McLarens set for 2013 Bathurst 12 Hour

Tuesday 3rd July, 2012 - 2:00am

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The United Autosports at Silverstone's Blancpain event earlier this year

The United Autosports at Silverstone’s Blancpain event earlier this year

Anglo-American GT outfit United Autosports has entered a pair of McLaren MP4-12C GT3s for the 2013 Bathurst 12 Hour.

The squad raced a single Audi R8 LMS in this year’s event, but will return with two of the Woking-built vehicles that it campaigns in Europe’s thriving Blancpain Endurance Series.

The McLarens headline a 37-car provisional entry list for next February’s race set to be released by event organisers today.

Other entries expected for the outright class include the return of the Maranello Motorsport and Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458s, a pair of Porsche GT3Rs from German squad Muehlner Motorsport and a Ford GT from Asian Racing League.

Locals Peter Conroy (Audi R8), Rod Salmon (Audi R8) and Andrew MacPherson (Mosler MT900GT3) have also formalised their intentions to compete.

Additionally, Speedcafe.com understands that reigning winners Phoenix Racing have expressed interest in running as many as three Audi R8s next year, although confirmation of its participation is believed to be awaiting funding approval from the German manufacturer.

Malaysian outfit Clearwater Racing is expected to return after scoring third on debut this year

Malaysian outfit Clearwater Racing is expected to return after scoring third on debut this year

While the Black Falcon/Erebus Racing effort that entered a pair of Mercedes SLS AMGs in the 2012 event are also a notable omission from the provisional list, entries do not officially close until mid-December.

Event director James O’Brien, who has recently returned from a three-week competitor recruitment drive in Europe, says the early confirmation of the two United Autosport McLarens is a sign of the event’s growing international presence.

“It is very exciting to have a team of their calibre commit to returning at the event this early in the piece and it shows the growing respect in which the race is held overseas,” said O’Brien.

“People are very much aware of the Bathurst 12 Hour and that is reflected in the interest received to date.

“The McLaren is one of the most exciting of the ‘new’ GT3-specification cars now running in Europe and it is going to be very interesting to see them in action at Mount Panorama next February.”

No drivers have been confirmed for the McLaren entries, although the team’s Blancpain Series regular David Brabham would be a logical inclusion in the line-up.

In addition to the Outright contenders, 11 vehicles are being touted for the second and third tier GT class, including Porsches from Belgian outfits Speed Lover and Level Racing.

Seven cars have been nominated across the two Production Car classes, with a further eight in the revised Invitational divisions.

The Invitational runners will include Mal Rose’s ex-Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Commodore V8 Supercar, which will be allowed to compete in the race for the first time next year.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s previous story on the 2013 Bathurst 12 Hour’s eligibility criteria

See below for the provisional 2013 entry list

CLASS A – GT3 OUTRIGHT
United Autosports – McLaren MP4-12C GT3
United Autosports – McLaren MP4-12C GT3
Asian Racing League – Ford GT
Maranello Motorsport – Ferrari 458 Italia
Peter Conroy Motorsports – Audi R8 LMS
Rod Salmon – Audi R8 LMS GT3
Clearwater Racing – Ferrari 458 Italia
Muehlner Motorsport – Porsche GT3R
Muehlner Motorsport – Porsche GT3R
Amac Motorsport – Mosler MT900GT3

CLASS B – GT3
Big Pineapple Music Festival – Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car **
Rentcorp – Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car
Trofeo Motorsport – Chevrolet Corvette GT3
Motorsport Services – Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car
Motorsport Services – Porsche 996 GT3 Cup Car
James Koundouris – Porsche GT3 Cup S
Speed Lover – Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car
Level Racing – Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car

CLASS C – GT4
Tony Alford – Nissan GTR
Queenslandhouseandland.com – Lotus Exige S
Simply Sports Cars – Lotus Exige S

CLASS D – Production (High Performance)
Dean Herridge – Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Bruce Lynton BMW – BMW 1M
Motorsport Services – BMW 135i
GWS Motorsport – BMW 335i

CLASS E – Production (Performance)
Adam Dodd – Mazda 6 MPS
GWS Motorsport – BMW 130i
GWS Motorsport – BMW 130i

CLASS I1 – INVITATIONAL
Massell Racing – Mazda RX-7
Ric Shaw Racing – Mazda RX-7

CLASS I2 – INVITATIONAL
Racer Industries – Opel Astra VX-R
Motorsport Services – SEAT Leon Supercopa
Jim Hunter Motorsport – Subaru WRX STi

CLASS I3 – INVITATIONAL
Mal Rose Racing – Holden VY Commodore
Daytona Sportscars – Daytona Coupe
Steve Anslow – Mazda FD-RX-7

CLASS I4 – INVITATIONAL
Red Camel Jordans – SEAT Leon Supercopa Tdi

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