McLaren Returns to Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour with 720S GT3
McLaren finds its way back to Mount Panorama for the 2020 edition of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, Australia’s premier international endurance race.
The racing giant will be fielding in two 720 GT3s for the first time—one for the Pro class and the other for the Silver class.
The Pro driver lineup will be led by McLaren Factory Driver Ben Barnicoat, alongside Tom Blomqvist and Alvaro Parente.
The Silver lineup will consist of the Australia pairing of Fraser Ross and Dominic Storey, who will be joined by Martin Kodrić, a first-timer on Bathurst.
Aside from Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, McLaren’s two-car lineup will also compete in the first round of the 2020 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup later this month, the race formerly known as Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Given the caliber of the confirmed drivers for the two cars, McLaren’s intentions for its first customer entry in a 12-hour endurance race are clear from the get-go. The Pro entry in particular—which will be racing the number 60—boasts an impressive resume of endurance and Bathurst experience.
Parente himself is a former Mount Panorama podium finisher looking to repeat his 2016 race-winning run in a McLaren, while Blomqvist has enjoyed further top-level endurance having secured victory at the notorious 24 Hours of Spa in 2018. Parente raced with Barnicoat in 2018 as part of the line-up that race-debuted the 720S GT3 at the Gulf 12 Hours in December of that year.
The Silver team, running with car number 59—the same number of the McLaren F1 GTR that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995—is led by Mount Panorama second-timer Fraser ross, who has two race wins, eight podium finishes and two lap records with the 720S GT3 during the 2019 Australian GT championship tucked under his belt.
Ross will be joined by McLaren Professional Driver Martin Kodrić, who finished second in the International GT Open championship driving the 720S GT3. This will be Kodrić’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour debut. Completing the line-up for the team’s Silver-graded entry is 2017 Australian GT Endurance winner, New Zealand’s Dominic Storey.
“After making a winning start on debut with 59Racing at the beginning of 2019, the 720S GT3 went from strength to strength with our Customer Racing teams around the world,” said Ian Morgan, Director of Motorsport, McLaren Automotive.
“The car has proved it can compete, and win, against grids around the world, and the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour is the next big challenge. It is great to see 59Racing confirm two world-class driver line-ups who will be pushing for a strong result in their respective classes, and a clear indication that the team really means business,” Morgan added.
The 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race starts February 1, Sunday.