News TRT Media Release January 10, 2024 (Comments off) (165)

Quick Merc Returns

Defending Allan Simonsen Pole Award winners and multiple podium finishing squad Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing are coming back to Bathurst in 2024.  

FRESH from claiming victory in the Gulf 12 Hours, the final round of the 2023 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, one of the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour’s most successful international teams has confirmed their return for the 2024 event.  

Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing will tackle their fourth edition of Australia’s International Enduro with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry, in a bid to build on sustained prior success and target victory for the first time.  

The team, which operates from Hong Kong and Germany, has become one of the most consistently successful international teams in Bathurst 12 Hour history.  

In three visits the team has never qualified lower than third and has crossed the line in the top three each year.  

GruppeM first entered the race in 2019, scoring the Allan Simonsen Pole Award with Raffaele Marciello before the fast Italian then paired with Maximilian Buhk and Maximilian Goetz to lead 34 laps and ultimately finish third.  

The team returned the following year and for a time had looked to go one position better than their debut.  

With Marciello and Buhk joined by Felipe Fraga, the team qualified third and crossed the line second behind the winning Bentley Continental GT3 – only to be penalised post-race for a pit lane infringement during their final pit stop, ultimately classified sixth.  

A two-year Covid-forced break saw GruppeM return in style last year; Maro Engel scoring the team’s second Allan Simonsen pole award with a stunning 2m00.8819s lap at the end of the Pirelli Pole Shootout in qualifying.  

Engel, Marciello and Mikael Grenier went on to lead 144 laps – the most ever by a car that did not win – before going on to finish third.  

A mechanical issue with a Balance of Performance data logger in the team’s Mann Filter AMG GT3 saw them forced to complete a late, unscheduled pitstop before to an on-track clash as Engel battled with ultimate winner Jules Gounon for the lead, also cost them time.  

However, their remarkable comeback saw Engel haul in the leaders, crossing the line third just 1.4 seconds behind the winning Mercedes-AMG.  

Founded in the early 2000s, GruppeM has achieved much in its long history including becoming the first Asian team to become an official Mercedes-AMG Performance team.  

The team has claimed the Suzuka 10 Hours and the 2019 FIA GT3 World Cup at Macau – adding victory in the 2023 Gulf 12 Hours to their roster of success late last year.  

The Repco Bathurst 12 Hour is proudly supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. 

Tickets, Camping and Corporate Hospitality are on sale now, with information via the Bathurst 12 Hour website; www.bathurst12hour.com.au 

You might also like!