Insight Richard Craill January 28, 2023 (Comments off) (390)

The big 36: Those tackling the Daytona-Bathurst double

THIRTEEN drivers will contest 36 hours of Sports Car racing in two weekends when they attempt the Daytona-Bathurst double this coming week. 

The return of the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour to it’s traditional February date means that it falls one week after the traditional US Motorsport season opener, the famous Rolex 24 at Daytona. 

It means a host of drivers, key media and some members of the broadcast team will jump on a plane soon after the conclusion of the around-the-clock Floridian epic to fly the 15,134km from Daytona Beach to Bathurst, New South Wales. 

Here are the drivers to follow this weekend at Daytona, and then to check on their alertness when they arrive into Bathurst next week! 

Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will each drive one of Porsche’s brand new Porsche 963 entries in the GTP class this weekend. 

Jaminet will share the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry with Nick Tandy and Dane Cameron, while Campbell will steer the #7 with Felipe Nasr and Michael Christensen. 

The pair will then join forces for Bathurst, sharing the Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3R with Thomas Preining in the 12-Hour. 

With works-supported entries in both races, BMW have a lot on the line in the next two weeks and two of their very best will be represented in each. 

BMW Team RLL (Rahal Letterman Lanigan) run the pair of BMW M Hybrid V8s in the GTP class in IMSA competition, with speedy Brazilian Augusto Farfus to drive the #24 car with Phillip Eng, Marco Wittmann and IndyCar star, Colton Herta. 

Teammate Sheldon van der Linde will drive the #25 BMW entry with Connor De Phillippi, Nick Yelloly and Herta – who will float between both cars. 

Van der Linde will drive with Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts in the 12-Hour, while Farfus has the job at Bathurst alongside Valentino Rossi and Maxime Martin. 

Speaking of Martin, he’s up for a big month. 

As well as contesting the 12-Hour in a BMW and the Rolex 24 aboard the GTD class #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3, Martin also contested the Dubai 24 Hours two weeks ago. 

The GTD and GTD Pro categories are filled with a host of GT3 talent, which means many are making the trek to Bathurst as well. 

The #79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 has an all-star squad driving with Cooper MacNeil, in the form of Daniel Juncadella, Maro Engel and Jules Gounon. 

The three will drive for different Mercedes-AMG teams at Bathurst: Juncadella with Craft-Bamboo Racing, Engel with GruppeM and Gounon with SunEnergy1 Racing. 

Speaking of, Kenny Habul has Luca Stolz alongside him for Daytona and Bathurst. 

“We are going to have a busy couple of weeks with the Daytona 24-hour and then jumping on my Global 6000 for Australia that night. It is going to be great,” Habul explained of ‘doing the double’. 

“We might even need to throw some spares on board,….”

Habul will drive two different Mercedes AMG GT3s across the two races, with a brand-new chassis air freighted to Australia this week for the team to use in their Bathurst defence. 

Rounding out those doing the double, we find Raffaele Marciello aboard the High Class Racing Oreca 07 in the LMP2 class, driving with Dennis Anderson, Ed Jones and Anders Fjordbach. 

The Swiss driver will, of course, return to Bathurst a week later to drive for GruppeM racing. 

Finally, German ace Maximillian Goetz and Canadian Mikael Grenier will share the #32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 in the GT Daytona class this weekend, driving with Mike Skeen and Kenton Koch. 

At Bathurst, Goetz finds himself alongside Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney in Triple Eight’s lead entry in the Pro class, while Grenier’s Bathurst debut will come alongside Engel and Marciello at Gruppe M – meaning the Hong Kong team is the only one where all three of their drivers will have raced in each enduro classic. 

Also making the trip will be broadcasters, John Hindhaugh and Shae Adam, who head up the IMSA Radio broadcast this weekend. 

A host of media, including several journalists and photographers, will also make the trek direct from Daytona to Bathurst. 

Of course, notable in his absence from this list is Lucas Auer, the fast Austrian who was due to race this weekend with Winward Motorsport in their GTD Mercedes-AMG. 

A heavy crash in practice saw the 2022 DTM runner-up sustain ‘significant fractured lumbar injuries’ in the impact, seeing him taken to hospital. 

It places his Bathurst debut in obvious doubt, with his 12-Hour team, Craft-Bamboo Racing, yet to advise of plans moving forward. 

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