If you ever want to make Ernst Moser smile, simply ask him about Bathurst. The Team Principal never misses a chance to think about his times spent at the Australian circuit and some of the most memorable successes in the history of Phoenix Racing.
The year 2012 stands out in particular, when Ernst Moser took Phoenix Racing to “the mountain” for the first time and took the win at the first attempt. It was a spectacular victory for Phoenix Racing and for Audi, brought home by a strong driver line-up of Christopher Mies, Christer Jöns and Darryl O’Young.
Ernst Moser loves to look back at the 2012 season when he and his team wrote motorsport history in the Australian outback.
This was far more than just a solid start to the season: 2012 was one of the team’s most successful ever in GT racing. As the season progressed the Meuspath-based squad secured two further victories in prestigious endurance races, at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in May and two months later at the 24 Hours of Spa.
But back to Bathurst: considered one of the lesser-known events in 2012, today the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour is one of the first dates to look for on the GT racing calendar. And it’s not difficult to imagine why when you look at the setting. No other race in the world shares the kind of atmosphere that is on offer in Bathurst. The cars get going in the early morning, before the sun has risen, and start battling around the twists and turns of the Mount Panorama Circuit. Just a few laps into the race the sun begins to appear above the horizon and bathe the track in a deep golden glow.
It may sound idyllic, but Mount Panorama definitely knows how to bite as well. The circuit is one of the most technical in the world, with close barriers offering next to no run-off and countless blind turns. It’s easy to draw comparisons with the Nordschleife, especially when it comes to punishing drivers’ mistakes. But this is precisely the reason why more and more teams and drivers from all over the world are making the annual pilgrimage to New South Wales.
Some fans keenly remember the high-profile addition to the Phoenix Racing squad in 2015. The team raced with Felix Baumgartner – the man who fell from space. Every year the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour is on of the highlights of the GT3 season.