The 2022 edition of the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour has been run and won as international GT gun Jules Gounon led an-all Mercedes-AMG podium lockout.
Becoming the first ever back-to-back winner of the highly popular endurance event, the Frenchman formed part of a powerhouse international outfit made up of Luca Stolz, Martin Konrad and American-based Aussie Kenny Habul.
Behind the wheel of the Sunenergy1 #75 Mercedes AMG, the quartet all put in strong stints throughout their 291 completed laps to storm home to a thrilling victory of just eight seconds.
Finishing in second place were Maro Engel, Daniel Juncadella and Kevin Tse in the Craft-Bamboo Racing’s #91 Mercedes-AMG, while the Triple Eight Racing Mercedes of Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Repco Supercars Championship drivers Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney rounded out the podium.
With 20 cars making up the full entry list, it was a final result dominated by the three Mercedes cars.
However, that was far from the full story, with another German manufacturer in Audi having dominated the field in the lead up to the main event.
Topping the time sheets for much of the weekend, the Audi cars solidified their position as the favourites after Chaz Mostert steered the #65 Coinspot Audi R8 Evo II to pole position.
Claiming second place in qualifying and sealing an Audi front-row lockout was South African Kelvin van der Linde in the #74 Audi Sport Team Valvoline Audi.
Both Audis would go on to have completely different fortunes in the race, as the #65 car, which had experienced GT drivers Fraser Ross and Liam Talbot joining Mostert, failed to finish after Ross crashed at the start of the eighth hour.
The #74 on the other hand ended up finishing the race in fourth place, one lap behind the winners as Brad Schumacher, Nathanael Berthon and particularly van der Linde all put in good shifts.
While the #6 Wall Racing prepared Lamborghini Huracan driven by Adrian Deitz, Tony D'Alberto, Grant Denyer and David Wall finished an impressive fifth – the next four positions were all occupied by Audis.
The last of those Audis had David Russell, Paul Stokell and James Koundouris behind the wheel and the trio steered the Supabarn backed car to the Amateur class victory.
Rounding out the top 10 was the C Class winning Prostate Cancer Foundation Porsche 991.2 GT3 of Craig Lowndes, Alex Davison and well respected GT racers Geoff Emery and Scott Taylor.
Only 11 cars managed to finish a chaotic race with C Tech Laser's Tony Bates, Cam Waters and David Reynolds guiding their Audi to 11th place and 35 laps behind the winners.
Click here to view the full results of the 2022 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.