|The Sepang 12-Hour endurance race has officially gone green, with its official announcement.|
At the same time. the entry list for the final round of the inaugural season of the Intercontinental GT Challenge was released. In the last bid deciding round, the Intercontinental GT Challenge looks to be even more exciting…
The 2016 edition of the Sepang 12 Hours, just like last year, features major teams from the U.S., Australia, Europe and Asia. With no fewer than 13 cars, the GT3 category is by far the largest, with works-supported teams aplenty. Porsche will bring an all-factory driver line-up to the Sepang 12 Hours, with two Manthey Racing-run Porsche 911 GT3R representing the German manufacturer, who will make its debut in the Sepang 12-hour. 2015 Le Mans winners Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy will be joined by Patrick Pilet on the no.911 car, while Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen and Fred Makowiecki will be at the wheel of the no.912.
American team K-PAX will enter its Pirelli World Challenge-winning McLaren 650S GT3 at Sepang. The driver line-up is yet to be announced, but the car will be shared by three McLaren GT factory drivers. For its first-ever endurance race, K-PAX will also have the support of the Flying Lizard squad, well-known for its Le Mans 24-hour endeavors.
Last year, Audi Sport Team Phoenix’ Audi R8 LMS finished in third in the Sepang 12 Hours; this time German squad is aiming to shine even more at the Malaysian track. In order to achieve that, Audi Sport Team Phoenix brings two Audi R8 LMS to Sepang, with a star-studded line-up. The no.15 car will be driven by Christopher Haas, Robin Frijns and Laurens Vanthoor, while the no.16 has Pierre Kaffer, René Rast and Markus Winkelhock at the wheel.
Both the McLaren and Audi teams will also try to conquer at the first manufacturers’ title in the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Audi is in third in the standings and McLaren in fourth. In the drivers’ standings, Belgian Audi driver Laurens Vanthoor is currently topping the classification.
Representatives of Ferrari (Singha Motorsports Team, Nexus Infinity, HubAuto Racing, Spirit of Race and T2 Motorsport), Mercedes (Saitama Toyopet Green Brave) and Lamborghini (J-Loc) add more spice to the GT3 battle, and with teams in the other GT and Touring Car classes entering a Toyota, Lexus, Ginetta, Honda, Subaru, Seat or Ford, the total number of manufacturers represented is thirteen.
The agreement between Super GT promotors GTA and the SRO Motorsports Group has increased the number of teams from Japan, with J-Loc, APR (Toyota Prius), HubAuto Racing and Saitama Toyopet Green Brave all bringing GT3 machines to Sepang. The former two enter a full Pro line-up, with South African Adrian Zaugg joining the J-Loc squad for the event.
Sepang 12-hour GT4 category
The 2016 edition of the Sepang 12 Hours also sees the introduction of the GT4 category. With Simpson Motorsport and Ayelzo Ecotint Racing representing Ginetta and Muta Racing bringing a Lexus RC350 to Sepang, this race-within-the-race could become quite interesting.
The same goes for GTC category. B-Quik Racing finished on the class podium last year, and again has GT legend Peter Kox at the wheel of the ‘Bumblebee’ Audi, but it will face strong competition. GDL Racing, fourth in class last year, has switched from Porsche to Lamborghini and brings a new Huracan Super Trofeo, while Belgian squad SpeedLover brings a couple of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
The Sepang 12 Hours is also open to Touring Cars. There are several teams and drivers from Down Under in Sepang, and Australian Jim Hunter Motorsports is one of them. With their Subaru Impreza, they will certainly want to erase the memory of last year’s early retirement. However, the Honda Civic Type R of Team ST Powered and the Toyota GT86 of Amuse & SPV Racing will also want to grab the class victory. Last but not least, look out for newbies Australian team MARC Cars with their Focus V8s.