MOUNT PANORAMA, Australia — Virgin Australia Supercars Championship stars Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup will race a Ferrari 488 GT3 for Maranello Motorsport in the 2017 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Lowndes and Whincup, who have more than 200 race wins, nine Supercars championships and 10 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 victories between them, will be joined by a factory Ferrari GT driver, whose identity will be announced at a later point.
Lowndes joined Maranello Motorsport to win the 2014 running of the Australian endurance classic, while Whincup will make his Bathurst 12 Hour and GT racing debut in the event this coming February.
Triple Eight Race Engineering will provide support for the entry, in the form of an engineer and additional staff.
“We’re very pleased to have secured about the best possible combination of drivers you could get together for our 2017 Bathurst campaign,” said Maranello Motorsport team principal Mark Coffey. “We wanted to be in a position to take advantage of the rules allowing all-professional driver line-ups for the first time, and we feel like we have (checked off) that box.
“Craig and Jamie are two of the best Australian drivers of the last several decades … and also have an excellent track record of driving together in major endurance races. We are very pleased to have secured both of them for the event and look forward to working with them both. “
Lowndes, who will seek his seventh Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 victory next month, is keen to return to February’s Bathurst enduro in search of a second 12-hour crown.
“I am delighted to have the chance to defend my victory in the Bathurst 12 Hour from two years ago with Ferrari and Maranello again,” said Lowndes. “Jamie and I have enjoyed a lot of success together at Bathurst, so it’ll be great to pair up again, and to have the engineering support of Triple Eight. I can’t wait.”
Six-time Supercars champion Whincup is looking forward to his first experience behind the wheel of a GT3 car at Mount Panorama.
“The Bathurst 12 hour is an event I’ve been keeping an eye on for a few years now. I’ve been patient, waiting for the right opportunity, and feel I’ve found it with the Maranello/Triple Eight combination,” Whincup said. “I’m excited to be teaming up with Craig again after more than six years … and also look forward to learning how to drive a left-hand drive, high-downforce, turbo car fast.”
The 2017 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will take place Feb. 3-5 at Mount Panorama.
CREDIT: Bathurst 12 Hour Promotions