Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing is gearing up for battle with sights set on the overall victory at the LIQUI-MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour, the season opener of the 2023 Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli. The highly revered and globally anticipated event is scheduled to be held at Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia from the 3rd to the 5th of February. The team is delighted to welcome MSI as the title partner for a brand-new partnership for the team's sixth attempt at the mountain.
The squad’s challenge for outright victory at the demanding round-the-clock race will be spearheaded by Daniel Juncadella (ESP), Philip Ellis (SUI) and Nicky Catsburg (NLD) in the Pro Class. Juncadella has been in fine form with Craft-Bamboo Racing, finishing P2 with the team in May at Bathurst, followed by a victory at the Indianapolis 8 Hour. He will be complemented well by Catsburg who brings a wealth of experience to the team. On top of having previously raced on the mountain, the Dutch driver brings an impressive list of accolades with victories at some of the most challenging endurance races in the world like the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, 24 Hours of Daytona, 24 Hours of Spa to name a few. The Mercedes-AMG driver, Ellis brings valuable experience to the team, having most recently secured pole position at Daytona and a class win at the Gulf 12 Hours. The trio will make a formidable combination and will push hard throughout to maximise their chances to win come Sunday.
DRIVER UPDATE (30 Jan): Following an incident during practice at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Lucas Auer sustained a back injury and will be unable to join us for the upcoming Bathurst 12 Hour. Mercedes-AMG driver Philip Ellis will replace Auer in the #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing GT3 at the mountain.
The #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 will carry an aggressive black chrome and red livery featuring MSI as the title partner, marking the global computer hardware brand’s first partnership in real-world 4-wheel motorsport. With the global rise of sim racing and motorsport gaming, the collaboration is a true testament to MSI's commitment to bringing their consumers the ultimate user experience by creating real-world connections to the racing world. MSI’s unwavering commitment to cutting-edge innovation and enabling success for gamers and racers to win in the virtual and real world is the driving force behind this partnership with Craft-Bamboo Racing, an official performance team of Mercedes-AMG. The team is also delighted to welcome Theodore Racing as a partner for Australia’s International Endurance Race.
The Bathurst event returns to a traditional multi-class grid of 28 cars, with the Hong Kong squad contesting for overall victory in the Pro Class with entries from four top global manufacturers. Mercedes-AMG had a stellar IGTC season in 2022, winning 3 out of 4 races including a historic 1-2-3 finish at Bathurst and also clinching the Manufacturer’s Championship. Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing will be leading the charge for the German marquee from Affalterbach to kick off the 2023 campaign with a big points haul.
The season opener is set to be an exciting race, with the 6.2 km Mount Panorama circuit presenting a multitude of challenges. As the name suggests, the track winds up and down a hillside and remains one of the most challenging GT circuits in the world. The circuit presents plenty of overtaking opportunities, set to make it a very exciting affair
Last year, the team displayed clinical performance and showcased a unique strategy to put itself in contention for the overall win, despite starting in P19. Craft-Bamboo Racing came tantalizing close to claiming the top step, finishing just 8 seconds behind the leader after 12 hours of hard-fought racing. The squad is ready and determined to put on the title charge and finally claim the elusive Bathurst 12 Hour victory this year.
Darryl O’Young | Team Director, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing
“We are looking forward to returning to Bathurst this year. We have a very strong driver line-up, it’s our first time working with Nicky and Lucas. Obviously, they have a very strong reputation and experience behind them, so excited to have them join the team. Of course, we have had success with Dani in the last couple of endurance races so we feel very confident heading to the mountain. On top of that, having MSI, a globally recognized brand, join us at this event is very exciting. We look forward to delivering a strong partnership in this race.
Sam Chern | Marketing Vice President, MSI
“We are excited to be partnering with Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing for the upcoming Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia. On top of being our first partnership in the world of GT racing, we are really looking forward to bringing new gaming technology for racers to excel in the virtual world. This partnership is a testament to our dedication as we strive for cutting-edge innovation and enable the best user experience for our consumers.”
Daniel Juncadella | Driver, #77 Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3
“I am very excited for this second edition for me at Bathurst. Finally, it is more an authentic Bathurst 12 Hour as last year was a difficult one with different dates to the usual race. It is also a bigger field this year with Pro and Pro-Am line-ups. I am especially looking forward to being back with Craft-Bamboo Racing after such a successful two races in 2022 - a podium in Bathurst and a win in Indy. I can’t wait to be there, it's an amazing track. I loved getting my first taste last year and it will be exciting to be back again in the heat this time. Looking to go one better this year!”
Nicky Catsburg | Driver, #77 Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3
“I am really excited about this opportunity. The Bathurst 12 Hour is definitely one of my favourite events. Being able to join Craft-Bamboo Racing with Dani and Lucas feels like an amazing opportunity to fight for the win. It will be a big challenge since it will be my first time working with the team and I have hardly driven the Mercedes-AMG GT3. I would like to thank Craft-Bamboo Racing and Mercedes-AMG for the trust, let’s go and win this one!”