The 2022 season in Australia begins under a new auspices. The rules of the 12-hour Bathurst race from 13 to 15 May state that the former exclusively professional drivers are a thing of the past. Instead, professional racers will race along with amateurs on the exciting Panorama Mountain. Six of the seven Audi cars unveiled this year will start in this Pro-Am category. Another R8 LMS will be involved in the Am classification. Four professionals Nathanael Burton, Ricardo Feller, Kelvin van der Linde and Marcus Winkelhock represent the Audi Sport brand at the eleventh start in Bathurst.
“In 2011, we were pioneers in the 12-hour Bathurst race as the first participant in the GT3,” says Chris Reinke, Audi Sport’s head of customer racing. “Meanwhile, many international brands have followed us and thus contributed to the growth of the event to one of the world’s most important GT3 endurance races. With three wins at Bathurst, Audi is the most successful manufacturer in the GT3 era. Now, against the background of the Pro-Am rules, we are facing a new problem, as well as our competitors. For the first time, four Audi Sport drivers will share two Audi R8 LMS from Audi Sport Team Valvoline with two amateurs. Nathanael Burton is teaming up with another Audi Sport driver, Kelvin van der Linde. Cameras from Bathurst Brad Schumacher completes the car at number 74, and the related car number 777 is driven by Audi Sport drivers Marcus Winkelhock and Ricardo Feller. They will compete alongside Australian Yasser Shahin, who last year won the GT World Challenge Australia at Audi.
The Melbourne Performance Center, which has been a contractual partner for Audi Sport racing customers in Australia for more than a decade, exhibits the racing cars of four other teams in addition to these two GT3 sports cars. Along with Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth, the two race winners in the Bathurst 1000 Touring Car race last December are among the drivers of the private R8 LMS. Holdsworth, as in previous editions of the 12-hour race, forms a trio of riders for the Hallmarc team with Mark Chini and Dean Fiore. Chini participated in the competition in Bathurst nine times and recorded the fifth result in the overall standings. Mostert, last year’s winner of Audi’s TCR Australia, shares the Coinspot team’s R8 LMS with Fraser Ross and Liam Talbat. Team TB Racing drivers include longtime Audi bodybuilder Tony Bates and Supercars drivers Dave Reynolds and Cam Waters. Brothers James and Theo Kundaris are joined by Dave Russell and Paul Stockel in the Supabarn team as the only Audi bodybuilders in the Am classification. The seventh Audi completes the lineup. The private BRM team from Adelaide is counting on three private drivers. Mark Rosser will start with Nick Percott, former Bathurst 1000 winner, and Joey Mawson, last year’s Australian S5000 champion.
The race on a difficult track with a length of 6,213 kilometers in the Blue Mountains starts at 5:15 local time on Sunday morning, May 15 (21:15 on Saturday at CEST). Before sunrise, the teams need to prove themselves for an hour and a half in the dark – much longer than in the past, when in early February there was a 12-hour race on the calendar. Numerous concrete walls running along the asphalt, spectacular bends, impressive up and down slopes of up to 16 percent and a total height difference of 174 meters raise the route to the status of a world-renowned route.
Teams and drivers in Bathurst
Audi R8 LMS № 9 Halmark, Mark Chini / Dean Fiore / Lee Holdsworth
Audi R8 LMS № 17 BRM, Joey Mawson / Nick Perkat / Mark Roser
Audi R8 LMS # 24 TB Racing, Tony Bates / Dave Reynolds / Cam Waters
Audi R8 LMS # 47 Supabarn, James Kundaris / Theo Kundaris / Dave Russell / Paul Stockel
Audi R8 LMS # 65 Coinspot, Chaz Mostert / Fraser Ross / Liam Talbot
Audi R8 LMS # 74 Audi Sport Team Valvoline, Nathanael Burton / Kelvin van der Linde / Brad Schumacher
Audi R8 LMS # 777 Audi Sport Team Valvoline, Ricardo Feller / Yasser Shahin / Marcus Winkelhock