Verstappen and Ricciardo target Bathurst 12 Hour starts

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen has confessed that he wants to race in the Bathurst 12 Hour, while Daniel Ricciardo has reaffirmed his interest in the event.

Verstappen has made no secret of his desire to compete in races outside of Formula 1, previously highlighting the potential of sharing a car with his father, Jos, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Speaking in an interview for the Heroes edition of The Red Bulletin, the 2021 Formula 1 world champion also singled out the 12 Hour.

“There is less pressure, more fun,” he said of endurance racing in general.

“That might even be possible during my Formula 1 career. But not this year or the next, maybe after.

“The 24-hour races seem like something to me: Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps, Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

“Or the one in Bathurst, Australia. Well, in a GT3 car. I have already won that race twice in the simulator.”

Verstappen has an association with Supercars, which promotes the Bathurst 12 Hour, on a number of fronts.

In 2020, he competed in the Supercars eSeries during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, where he picked up three podium places on debut.

The accomplished sim racer also has a relationship with Shane van Gisbergen, having previously been team-mates in the virtual world, including at the iRacing Bathurst 12 Hour.

Moreover, there is a strong relationship through Red Bull, which owns the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team and is one of the primary sponsors of Triple Eight locally.

That has seen the Dutchman cut laps as a passenger with Jamie Whincup in 2019, and Sergio Perez take the wheel of a ZB Commodore in Melbourne in April.

Triple Eight competes in the GT World Challenge Australia, and is the local agent for Mercedes, a point which may complicate matters given the growing expectation that Red Bull Racing F1 operation is set to ink a partnership deal with Porsche.

However, Verstappen is not the only Formula 1 race winner to have voiced an interest in the Bathurst 12 Hour.

Ricciardo has previously told this publication that he’s interested in competing. and reaffirmed that position on Thursday when asked again by Speedcafe.com.

“I think it’s something I’ll definitely be open for post-F1. I’m not sure how close I would be to doing it whilst still doing this,” he said.

“Probably the same old story I think with the calendar, and if we get to like 24 races next year, it’s going to be pretty hectic.

“So I think just my capacity to even want to do something else would probably be pretty low.

“Well, my overall interest for it is actually relatively high, but probably once maybe I’ve got a couple more grey hairs in my beard.”

The 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour is slated for February 3-5.

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