Bathurst 12 Hour to introduce ‘Lucky Dog’ rule

Rule changes are coming to the 2022 Bathurst 12 Hour

All cars one lap down will be given a free pass under Safety Car conditions at this year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Organisers are set to ratify a raft of rule changes, including the wave-by – colloquially known as the ‘Lucky Dog’ – in an effort to entice more Amateur competitors to join the race.

Last month organisers confirmed Pro would be ditched as the top class in this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour in favour of Pro-Am.

Craig Baird, who is working as an advisor to Supercars in relation to the Bathurst 12 Hour, said the latest rule change will keep Am competitors in the running for outright honours.

“When we form the train at a certain point across the top, on the restart lap those cars will come onto 19.5 [between Turns 19 and 20] on the straight, the lights will go out on the Safety Car, all cars stop accelerating and weaving, and then at 19.5 all cars a lap down take off,” Baird told

“They go. And then once they’re on their way, they may gain their lap back by maybe half realistically.

“If they go at the Elbow by the time the Safety Car gets through The Chase and peels into pit lane, the race starts and they’re on the lead lap. They will have gained a lap back but won’t be on the back of the train. They would be well on their way.

“So it’s a big change for that race to introduce that. There’s been a pretty serious think tank of people trying to entice people to bring their cars out of the shed and go racing with a realistic chance of taking gold.”

The rule change is part of efforts being made to draw entries from Australia, New Zealand, and Asian countries.

Another rule change set to be ratified is that two practice sessions will be dedicated to Am (FIA bronze rated) drivers.

Am drivers will also be required to complete one stint in the morning and one in the afternoon.

In years past, some teams have opted to put their Am drivers in the car early to quickly get their minimum driving time out of the way.

The move to have Am drivers have a morning and an afternoon stint will put a greater emphasis on their participation in the race.

Baird has plenty of experience in endurance racing, having previously won the Bathurst 12 Hour and Sepang 12 Hour, as well as competing in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.

He believes the race can succeed this year with the Pro-Am format.

“I’ve won 24-hour races, 12-hour races, six-hour races, I understand how they work internationally,” Baird said.

“Especially in the COVID environment, it’s very hard to fly cars all around the world. We had to have a bit of a rethink.

‘The best way forward at the moment for this in this environment is to have a Pro-Am style race. Obviously, it’s open arms for any international competitor, but what’s the core part of the business in Australia? It’s the Am that owns a GT3 or a Carrera Cup-style car.

“These guys, a lot of them work in an office all week and then go racing,” he added.

“They need to feel comfortable and that is one of the key components of this whole 12-hour race, the way we’re putting it together.

“It’s about the bronze driver. It’s about the car owner. It’s about them being comfortable. It’s about not using them and abusing them and then sending them to the back of the paddock.”

Other rule changes are being considered, such as minimum pit stop times and preventing Am drivers from completing double stints.

This year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour takes place across May 13-15.

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