The biggest name in Australian Touring Car competition, plus a German Touring Car Legend and the current World Touring Car Champion will face off at the 2013 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race.
Five-time Bathurst champion Craig Lowndes and German legend Bernd Schneider will feature on a grid of 51-cars and stunning racing talent confirmed today, all set to tackle the Mountain on February 8-10.
Confirmed today, current WTCC champion - British driver Rob Huff - will drive an Audi R8 LMS with Peter Conroy and Australian Gold Star champion James Winlsow.
It brings together arguably the biggest names in global Touring Car racing amongst a star-studded field that includes some of Australia and the world’s best drivers.
Huff won the WTCC last year driving for the factory Chevrolet squad, edging out bitter rivals Alain Menu and Yvan Muller in a dramatic finale at the Macau street circuit last November.
He is amongst the best-credentialed Touring Car racers in the world, with 178 WTCC starts and 28 race wins to his credit. It will be his first visit to Mount Panorama with an Audi team that must now be considered a strong outright chance for victory. He will use the trip Down Under to learn Mount Panorama with a longer-term view of racing V8 Supercars at the iconic circuit.
In an interesting quirk, Huff and co-driver Winslow actually started their first ever races together, at the Silverstone Racing Drivers school many years ago. The pair have been close friends ever since.
A 51-car entry list has been confirmed, made up of 20 brands, 19 international entries and drivers from an incredible 17 nationalities.
Last year 27 cars started the race, with 9 international entrants.
Highlights include a host of top V8 Supercar drivers, including Lowndes, Jason Bright, Warren Luff, Steven Johnson, Steven Richards, David Russell, David Wall the Erebus duo of Slade and Holdsworth and new FPR driver Alex Davison.
The event includes former Bathurst 1000 winners Bright, Richards, John Bowe (also a former 12-hour winner) and, of course, Lowndes.
VIP Petfoods boss Tony Quinn has also officially confirmed that Shane van Gisbergen will team with him and current Australian GT Champion Klark Quinn in their Porsche GT3R.
A host of former Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour champions are also confirmed.
Two-time winners Rod Salmon and Christopher Mies return, as does Darryl O’Young – who looks set to tackle the race in an Audi R8 LMS with Equity-One Motorsport drivers Dean Koutsoumidis, Andrew McInnes and Simon Middleton.
Porsche Carrera Cup aces Craig Baird, a four-time champion of the series and the 2007 12-hour winner, Daniel Gaunt and Johnny Reid are spread throughout the field: Reid and Gaunt in separate class B Porsche’s that could surprise some of the outright vehicles.
Of the international visitors, it’s ex Formula One ace’s Ivan Capelli and Mika Salo that perhaps headline an incredibly talented group of drivers that of course include DTM champion Schneider and a host of World Touring Car Championship and international GT experts scattered through the field.
After several years of waiting, Aston Martin will make their debut in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour this year with the Aston Martin St. Gallen team and a Class C Vantage GT4.
Amongst the driving squad is Chris Porrit, Aston Martin’s chief test driver behind the development of their stunning road-going vehicles.
Click HERE for the full Bathurst 12 Hour entry list.