Maranello Motorsport's Ferrari wins 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour
Maranello Motorsport wins the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour! The #88 Ferrari 488 GT3 started from pole, set the fastest lap and crossed the finish line with one lap gap in front of second-place car, after leading for 136 of 290 laps. It looks like an easy win for Toni Vilander, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Wincup, but it was all but not easy.
The race was epic, with so many duels and accidents, what is normal for the Mount Panorama Circuit, one of the most challenging race track in the world. The most notable victims of the Mountain were the guys in the #22 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of STM/HTP Motorsport. They fought against #88 Ferrari for more than 10 hours, with many breathtaking moments between them. With two more hours to go, Maro Engel and Craig Baird made their stints in the #22, Shane van Gisbergen had a mission to drive until the end. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it.
Half an hour before the end, Van Gisbergen ran into the back of a lapped Porsche on the exit of The Chase, pitching it into the wall. Van Gisbergen earned a drive-through penatly for that. After a restart, Van Gisbergen made a mistake in The Esses, slamming into the wall.
After that final chapter of 12-hour drama at Mount Panorama, the #88 Ferrari had a clear way to the second victory for Maranello Motorsport. The team previously won the race with Ferrari 458 GT3 in 2014. Craig Lowndes had been in the car three years ago, winning the Bathurst 12 Hour for the second time today, along with five wins in the Bathurst 1000. For Jamie Whincup, this was the first race in GT category and he immediately gained a big success.
The #12 Competition Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 finished in the second place overall and the best among Pro-Am competitors. The drivers were Matt Campbell, Marc Lieb, David Calvert-Jones and Patrick Long. The #17 Bentley Continental GT3 came home third, with Steven Kane, Guy Smith and Oliver Jarvis driving the car.
John Martin in the #912 Walkinshaw Porsche 911 GT3 R finished in the fourth place, taking out the Am class victory along with Liam Talbot and Davashen Padayachee. Class B winners are Dean Grant, Dylan O’Keefe and David Wall in the #21 Porsche of Steve Richards Motorsport. Class C winners are Andrew Pilgrim, Max Braams, Jorg Viebahn and Nicolaj Moller-Madsen with #19 PROsport Porsche Cayman GT4 while the #91 MARC Focus V8 took the victory in the Invitational class, driven by Keith Kassulke, Will Brown and Rod Salmon.