Feb 3, 2017
NATIONALS COMPETITORS AT 12 HOUR
We like to think that the Shannons Nationals is the breeding ground of future talent, considering how diverse the categories are that run at our rounds.
But, just how many of last year's Nationals competitors will be running at this year's Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour?
It definitely helps that the Australian GT Championship and the Australian Endurance Championship ran at our second round at Phillip Island last May, but drivers have stepped up from various championships and series across the Nationals schedule.
Australian Production Car Series
This year there were a few familiar faces entered on the official 12 Hour entry list, including Class champions from last year's season of the Australian Production Car Series.
Some drivers raced in the entire series, while some others entered as co-drivers at various rounds.
In Class A at the 12 Hour, Daniel Gaunt is entered, as well as Dean Fiore, Mark Griffith, David Russell and Ric Shaw.
Ashley Jarvis, who competed in Production Cars' Invitational class is running in Class C (GT4), while Tony Alford, Beric Lynton, Rod Salmon, Aaron Seton and Tim Leahy will be competing in the Invitational class during this Sunday's race.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia
Tim Miles, who took out last year's Class B in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge is racing (you guessed it) a Porsche at this year's 12 Hour, in Class A.
Current Jamey Blaikie Junior Scholarship winner, Jordan Love, will also be racing a Porsche in this year's 12 Hour in a Porsche in Class B.
CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship
A few drivers are swapping the open-wheels for tin-tops to race at this year's event, with last year's Formula 4 champion Will Brown making his 12 Hour debut in the Invitational class.
As well as Brown, Nick Rowe and Jack Smith are also running in the Invitational class and will join fellow F4 graduate Jordan Love on the official grid.
Australian Sports Racer Series
Now, this is pretty cool. Australian Sports Racer Series competitors, who mind you raced against each other all of last year, have teamed up and will all be racing together around Bathurst.
Adam Cranston, Josh Cranston and Aaron Steer have joined forces, and will make their 12 Hour debut in a Porsche 911, running in Class B.
Radical Australia Cup
Last year's Radical Australia Cup winner Peter Paddon is entered for this year's race, and will line up in Class C (GT4).
While Paddon is not the only Radical racer to be on the grid, he will be racing against long-time competitor James Winslow.
Australian GT Trophy Series
Last year's Australian GT Trophy Series was dominated by the entries of MARC Cars Australia, so its no surprise these familiar racers are on the 12 Hour entry list.
Jake Camilleri, last year's MARC Class winner will be racing against his teammates Keith Kassulke and Jack Smith.
As well as the MARC entries, Greg Taylor who won numerous races in last year's series and Stephen Grove both line up for Class A.
Australian Formula Ford Series
As well as finishing 1-2 in the 2016 Australian Formula Ford Series, Leanne Tander and Will Brown will go face-to-face again, as they are both entered for the Invitational class.
Kumho Tyre V8 Touring Car Series
Bryce Fullwood, who competed at our opening round at Sandown last year, will be making his 12 Hour debut in the Invitational class at the 12 Hour.
Australian Touring Car Masters Series
It's no surprise that these two legends line up on the 12 Hour grid, with late entry Glen Seton set to race against long-term rival John Bowe.
Another cool story is that Glen will team up alongside his son, Aaron, who is a competitor in the Australian Production Car Series.
Australian GT Championship/Australian Endurance Championship
No doubt is the second round of the Shannons Nationals at Phillip Island one of the biggest for the year, but having 101 laps and a sprint race of some of Australia's most exotic cars is just awe-inspiring. Throw in some very talented drivers, and you have quite a motor race.
Names like last year's 12 Hour winner Shane van Gisbergen and the sport's icons like Garth Tander, Warren Luff, Dean Canto, Steven Richards were all present at last year's GT-dominant round at the Island.
Drivers who also competed at this round include: Grant Denyer, Craig Baird, George Miedecke, Ash Samadi, Tony Walls, Dominic Storey, Nathan Antunes, Elliot Barbour, Roger Lago, Tony Bates, Klark Quinn, Markus Marshall, James Koundouris, Morgan Haber, Max Twigg, Liam Talbot, John Martin and Glen Wood.
Fifty-two drivers that raced at Nationals rounds in 2016 are entered for this Sunday's race, and boy are we looking forward to seeing these drivers race around the Mountain.