Bathurst 12hr Race – Godzilla Monster's the Mountain

Nissan has again won on the Mountain at the Bathurst 12 hour race with Godzilla.
Not since 1992 has the Nissan GTR won a race at Mt Panorama. Back then it was the R32 version and that was in the hands of Jim Richards & Mark Skaife and that was the Bathurst 1000 race. The nickname Godzilla was given to the the R32 by the Australian press back in the 90’s, when the car first went on sale in Australia.

Nissan & Nismo were out to prove themselves this year after last year’s early exit from the event.
The weekend started out with a unique and very cool media call on Thursday morning, the media team for the event has organised for one of each of the brands involved in the event to be driven to the top of the Mountain for a photo call.
It made for an impressive sight with all the cars lined up at the top of the Mountain at Skyline.

The good part of the media call was the fact that we were able to drive on track in front of the group of cars as they were driven both up and down the Mountain. The resulting images looked fantastic as they pull togther some of the most amazing GT3 cars currently racing around the world.
The first images featuring the 2014 race winner, the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari F458. As well as the M-Sport Bentley, Erebus Mercedes SLS AMG, Nismo Nissan GTR and the M-Motorsport Lamborghini Gallardo.

The second shot which was on the way down the Mountain after the call features the Bentley Continental GT3, Audi R8 LMS and the Nissan GTR GT3. In the second row you have a McLaren MP12C and a Porsche 911 GT3R. An impressive sight seeing all these GT3’s head down Conrod Straight with the top of Mount Panorama in the background.

The events attracts some of the best drivers from around the world, but this year it also had a celebrity racing. Felix Baumgartner is an Austrian skydiver, daredevil and BASE jumper, he is best known for his RedBull sponsored Stratos project where we he from a helium balloon 39km above the earth’s surface.
Now Baumgartner has turned to Motor racing, Audi Sport in Europe invited him to race at the  24 Hours of Nurburgring.
So it was great to see that for his second ever race, Audi Sport invited him to race with the Phoenix Race Team at the 12hr at Bathurst.

As mentioned earlier there was a massive cross section of GT3 cars competing at this years race. Here is a look a the brands represented.
First up we have the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Craft Bambo Racing, who brought not one but two of these cars to Bathurst.

The MARC Cars Australia are an interesting car, up until recently they were solely based on the Ford Focus, which was then fitted with a Ford Coyote V8 Engine. It sounds just like a V8 Supercar but in a compact car body.

But this year the team at MARC have created a new version based on a Mazda 3, whilst its weekend did not finish well, the car ended up crashing at the top of the Mountain. It was still nice to see a new version of the car evolve.

The Mercedes SLS AMG were again in strong numbers with three in attendance this year.
First there was the private entry of Dean Grant, who’s car was virtually brand new as it had only previously done one event in Malaysia.

The weekend for these guys did not end well as the car finished up hitting the wall after being collected by another car going into the chase.

The other two SLS AMG’s belonged to the Erebus Motorsport team. Which has a good weekend, the #36 car held the lead of the race for while and ended up finishing 5th outright.
This year was first year we have seen Bentley Continental GT’s on the Mountain for the 12hr and this year we has three of them. Two from the Bentley Team M Sport and one from the Aussie Flying B Team. The cars looked and sound amazing as they raced around the Mountain.

There is a whole class dedicated to Porsche Cup Car’s as the 12hr, that is class B. But two of the most aggressive Porsche’s were in Class A.
One of those was the stunning wide bodied Ice Break sponsored Porsche 911 GT3R, one of the three drivers for the #12 Porsche was factory racer Pat Long.

Whilst Porsche was the strongest marque represented in the event, due to the Porsche only class B.
The next strongest represented brand was Audi, which had 7 different R8 LMS’s entered across 5 different teams.
So the team from Audi Sport Customer support were very busy acorss the weekend. Also it was one of the last races for the currents R8 as the new road and race car will be launch at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The Phoenix Racing team which has support from Audi Australia, ran two R8’s. Both cars had very unique paint jobs. The #15 car ran, what has become the traditional  Kangaroo sign on the car. The sister car the #16 ran a very different paint scheme.

Where the #15 car paid tribute to the Kangaroo, the #16 Audi paid tribute to the crocodile, the basis of the scheme goes back to the 2000 when the Race of a Thousand Year was held in Adelaide as the last round of the American  Le Mans series. Audi Sport North America ran a Audi R8 with a crocodile livery then.

Ferrari also had a strong presence at this years event. 6 cars took the start line on race day, but one did not make it. The #88 Maranello was involved in an accident during Friday practise and was damaged so badly that it was unable to continue in the event.
The strongest finishing Ferrari Team was the local Aussie team of Vicious Rumour Racing, they finished 6th.

Lamborghini was represented by two teams, both were driving Gallardo’s
The highest finisher was the #32 JBS Australia car which finished 7th

Two other interesting cars worth mentioning included the Mazda RX8 which was raced by Patrick Dempsey in the Tudour series in the USA, before being bought out to Australia Featuring a Triple Rotor 20B engine, the cars are always guaranteed to put on a flame show.

The last of our car features is the McLaren MC-12C of the VIP Pet Foods team, what a difference a year makes. In 2014 this car was challenging for the win. This year the car struggled with set up and aero issues, so we didn’t really get to see it at its full potential and it retired on lap 80.

The race this year started at 5:50am so it was pitch black when the cars started the race. Even though it was an early start there were still lots of people around and Pit Lane and the Grid were full of people.

Total darkness allows for some light trail shots of the cars going across the top of the Mountain.

Once the sun starts to come up the light over the mountain is just awesome.

After 12 hours of racing, with multiple lead changes and incidents, the entire race came down to a 15 minute dash to the finish between the #10 Bentley, the #15 Audi and the #35 GTR.
The race hosted an amazing 20 safety cars across its duration – surpassing the previous record for number of safety car periods, previously 15 for the 2013 race.
The last few laps were extremely exciting to watch, and after the Nissan got past the Bentley and the Audi it just ran away with lead and increased its gap to the finish.
The Nismo Nissan GTR crosses the line, much to the delight of the team and the fans. Australian’s really have a love for Godzilla.

The Nismo Nissan drivers were very pleased to not only be on the podium but to be able to celebrate the win considering last year and the weekends earlier crash.

The all conquering Nissan GTR GT3 with its haul of trophies from the weekend.

The Nissan Nismo Team drivers with “Godzilla”.

It will be interesting to see if Nissan/Nismo will be back to defend their title in 2016. As no team has successfully defended their title in the last few years, not since the Audi team of  Christopher Miles and Darryl O’Young in 2011/2012.
Bring on 2016.
You can watch the thrilling last few laps right here too.
Full results of the race are below.

Pos Car Competitor/Team Drivers Vehicle Cap CL Laps Race Time Fastest Lap Time On Lap
1 35 NISMO Athlete Global Team F.Strauss/K.Chiyo/W.Reip Nissan GT-R NISMO GT 6459 AA 269 12:00:11.0280 2:03.9769 14
2 15 Phoenix Racing M.Mapelli/L.Vanthoor/M.Winkelhock Audi R8-LMS Ultra 20 5200 AP 269 12:00:13.4809 2:03.3091R 29
3 97 Craft Bamboo Racing D.O’Young/A.MacDowall/S.Mucke Aston Martin Vantage 5955 AP 269 12:00:13.8296 2:04.4514 94
4 10 Bentley Team M-Sport G.Smith/S.Kane/M.Bell Bentley Continental 3994 AP 269 12:00:14.8101 2:05.1808 15
5 36 Erebus Motorsport J.LeBrocq/R.Muscat/D.Canto Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 6200 AP 269 12:00:14.9710 2:04.5607 93
6 49 Vicious Rumour Racing B.Simonsen/A.Montermini/R.Loberto Ferrari F458 Italia 4500 AA 268 12:00:14.7389 2:05.5603 251
7 32 JBS Australia R.Lago/D.Russell/S.Owen Lamborghini Gallardo 5200 AP 268 12:00:15.8879 2:04.8101 15
8 33 Clearwater Racing W S Mok/T.Vilander/M.Griffin Ferrari F458 Italia 4500 AP 268 12:00:17.9999 2:04.8706 248
9 16 Phoenix Racing F.Baumgartner/C.Haase/S.Ortelli Audi R8-LMS Ultra 20 5200 AP 268 12:00:22.7640 2:05.0164 84
10 9 Hallmarc / Network Clothing M.Cini/M.Eddy/C.Mies Audi R8-LMS Ultra 20 5200 AA 267 12:00:20.6153 2:05.0948 15
11 12 ICE Break D.Calvert-Jones/P.Long/C.Pither Porsche 911 GT3 R 20 3996 AP 267 12:00:22.2432 2:06.2932 15
12 75 Jamec Pem S.McLaughlin/J.Winslow/D.Koutsoumidis Audi R8-LMS Ultra 20 5200 AA 265 12:00:17.1002 2:06.3906 15
13 74 Jamec Pem A.Latif/W.Luff/G.Crick Audi R8-LMS Ultra 20 5200 AA 265 12:00:23.3819 2:06.1262 15
14 2 Fitzgerald Racing / Evolve Tec P.Fitzgerald/M.Almond/M.Halliday Audi R8-LMS Ultra 20 5204 AA 264 12:00:48.6100 2:05.6939 14
15 93 MARC Cars Australia G.Jacobson/B.Gersekowski/A.Gowans MARC Focus V8 5048 I 262 12:00:47.4706 2:12.8567 90
16 47 Supabarn Supermarkets J.Koundouris/T.Koundouris/M.Marshall/S.Power Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 3800 B 261 12:01:14.9831 2:09.2957 67
17 4 Grove Group S.Grove/B.Barker/L.Youlden Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 3800 B 261 12:01:14.9831 2:09.2957 67
18 64 Motorsport Services T.Macrow/P.Rullo/D.Modell Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 3800 B 257 12:00:55.2880 2:14.7743 28
19 21 Motorsport Services / Team Fre S.Fillmore/D.Stutterd/R.Lilley Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 3800 B 256 12:00:43.6011 2:15.4890 88
20 68 Motorsport Services A.Chapel/M.Whyman/X.West Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 3800 B 252 12:01:17.7127 2:17.3964 23
21 63 Erebus Motorsport N.Morcom/A.Cindric/S.Hodge Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 6200 AA 251 12:00:21.7641 2:04.9120 92
22 50 Team LHI N.Cresswell/T.Knight/J.Goodacre/J.Bobik Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 3600 B 251 12:00:54.0053 2:17.4629 16
23 52 P.Storey/B.Gower/G.Shedden Aston Martin Vantage 6000 AA 250 12:00:23.9339 2:07.9390 188
24 54 Donut King T.Alford/M.O’Connor/P.Leemhuis Lotus Exige Cup R 3500 C 249 12:01:15.6244 2:19.6884 103
25 99 Craft Bamboo Racing F.Yu/J.Venter/J.Merlin Aston Martin Vantage 5955 AA 248 12:01:14.2973 2:05.2330 129
26 76 Aston Martin Saint Gallen A.Baenziger/F.Kamelger/C.Porritt Aston Martin Vantage 4700 C 245 12:01:11.8244 2:19.2175 54
27 23 Bruce Lynton BMW B.Lynton/J.Modystach/R.Thomson BMW M Coupe (1 Serie 2979 D 242 12:01:03.6690 2:25.5232 125
28 28 GWS Personnel R.Shaw/J.Williams/M.Chahda/S.Devjak BMW 335i E90 5064 D 239 12:01:19.8837 2:26.2171 81
29 43 Stawell CARTage M.Robinson/P.Crompton/S.Woodman/S.Bradford Mazda RX8 GT 3434 I 234 12:01:16.6413 2:18.8169 53
30 6 SAFE-T-STOP R.Gartner/M.Hector/G.Duffy/A.Zerefos Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 3600 B 206 12:00:47.4438 2:15.4182 58
31 18 Sherrin Rentals M.Sherrin/G.Sherrin/I.Sherrin BMW 135i E82 2995 D 203 12:02:03.7663 2:28.9784 98
32 66 GT3 Endurance / Mobil 1 C.van der Drift/F.Lyons/M.Lyons Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 3800 B 192 12:00:34.6647 2:10.9735 16
33 65 Daytona Sports Cars J.Augustine/B.Schoots/R.Hislop Daytona Sportscar Co 6996 D 173 12:00:57.3711 2:14.7352 102
34 41 Stawell CARTage B.Henley/M.King/J.Walsh/I.Cowley Mazda RX8 GT 3434 I 149 12:01:16.8658 2:18.3067 61
DNF 8 Flying B Motorsport P.Edwards/J.Bowe/D.Brabham Bentley Continental 3994 AA 254 11:21:23.5892 2:05.2959 93
DNF 11 Bentley Team M-Sport A.Soucek/M.Buhk/H.Primat Bentley Continental 3994 AP 245 11:05:57.1912 2:05.1746 14
DNF 27 T F M – Ferrari Motorsport NZ J.Lester/J.McIntyre/G.Smyth Ferrari F458 Italia 4500 AA 221 10:40:04.2251 2:04.6412 15
DNF 91 MARC Cars Australia K.Kassulke/J.Camilleri/I.Breukers MARC Mazda 3 V8 5048 I 203 09:27:53.2403 2:13.4518 31
DNF 7 VodkaO D.Grant/A.Samadi/M.Twigg Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 6200 AA 171 07:57:38.1842 2:10.3860 128
DNF 77 AF Corse SRL S.Wyatt/M.Rugolo/D.Rigon Ferrari F458 Italia 4500 AA 163 07:53:13.7604 2:03.3813r 72
DNF 48 Interlloy / M Motorsport S.Richards/C.Baird/J.McMillan Lamborghini Gallardo 5224 AP 129 05:45:08.7797 2:06.8937 127
DNF 29 PIRELLI J.Manolios/R.Miller/I.Capelli Ferrari F458 GT3 201 4500 AA 114 05:19:03.5646 2:07.4608 99
DNF 73 Triffid Bar.Venue T.Martin/M.Hovey/G.Bromley/R.Hackwood Ginetta G50 GT4 2012 3700 C 112 08:27:02.2542 2:27.2137 54
DNF 92 MARC Cars Australia M.Benton/H.Morrall/T.Miles MARC Focus V8 5048 I 106 05:00:18.0126 2:16.7593 24
DNF 5 Skwirk R.Salmon/N.Antunes/O.Gavin Audi R8-LMS Ultra 20 5200 AA 103 04:29:54.9997 2:04.9216 15
DNF 55 Kintyre Racing G.Crimp/S.Kostera/M.Cherry Audi TT RS 2.5 Turbo 2500 D 85 05:19:04.9135 2:23.0696 12
DNF 59 VIP Petfoods T.Quinn/K.Quinn/K.Estre McLaren MP4-12C 2012 3800 AA 80 03:47:14.5669 2:04.2346 45
DNF 51 IMAK – KWIKMIT A.Macpherson/M.Campbell Porsche 911 GT3 R 20 4000 AA 41 01:48:46.1833 2:06.2494 15
DNF 14 Peter Conroy Motorsport P.Conroy/T.Bates/G.Denyer Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 3800 B 36 01:34:34.3106 2:16.6753 23
DNF 42 Hallmark Homes A.Gilbertson/J.Clements/K.Begg BMW E46 GTR 5000 D 5 16:55.5614 2:18.4137 5


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  1. caltemus Avatar

    I wanna know what happened to the bentley in the last corner that lost it a few positions.

    1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

      My guess is the driver was just tired. He had suffered from heat exhaustion earlier in the race, and probably not on his game. Paying to much attention to his mirrors, messed up his line in the final corner, allowing the other cars to sneak past.

  2. john875 Avatar

    The Audi outbraked him on the outside and the Aston gave him a nudge on the inside. The pace of the Nissan at the end was incredible, the Audi was fast but across the top of the mountain where it is so hard to overtake. Something Felix Baumgartner should have kept in mind when he put the Marc Mazda into the wall!
    ps the first Bentley pictured is the Flying B car.

  3. Rover_1 Avatar

    Nissan Skylines have some history coming through Skyline at Bathurst.
    R31 GTR 1988
    <img src="; width="550">
    <img src="; width="550">
    <img src="; width="550">
    and the corresponding Aussie market only limited edition 3.0 litre Skyline Silhouette.
    <img src="; width="550">
    Then the R32 swept all before it, winning the great race in '91 & '92.
    <img src="; width="550">
    <img src="; width="550">
    <img src=""width="550"&gt;
    And let's not forget that it was an Australian magazine that came up with the 'Godzilla' moniker
    <img src="; width="450">

    1. dr zero Avatar
      dr zero

      And don't forget Jim Richards calling the Ford an Holden fans booing him a "pack of arseholes"!.