Valentino Rossi confirmed for 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour

Valentino Rossi is confirmed to be entering the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour and Dubai 24 Hour GT3 endurance races in early 2023.

Valentino Rossi - Yamaha, Petronas SRT, 2021 MotoGP

Valentino Rossi is set to compete in the Bathurst 12 Hour and Dubai 24 Hour endurance races next year, as his GT3 racing career continues. 

The Bathurst 12 Hour is one of the most famous and prestigious endurance races in the world, as the best GT3 drivers from around the world come together in Australia to face one of the most demanding circuits in the world.

Having competed in only a few GT3 races, even after his first full season GT World Challenge Europe competition, calling Valentino Rossi one of the best GT3 drivers in the world would be a stretch. However, his first full campaign on four wheels produced some promising moments, and his speed and pace improved throughout the season. 

Rossi will now take that improved speed and pace to the Bathurst 12 Hour on 3-5 February 2023, having been confirmed in the #46 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3 for the 2023 GT World Challenge Europe season today (16 December 2022). Rossi's teammates in the #46 car will be Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus, with the latter appearing only in the long-distance Endurance Cup races once the GTWCE season commences.

Rossi's appearance in the Bathurst would be set to be his competitive debut for BMW - which he has joined for 2023 after the WRT team he has driven for since last season chose to end their decade-long relationship with Audi thanks to the opportunity to run BMW’s LMDh prototype programme - but for an appearance at another well-established endurance race over the winter.

Specifically, that is the Dubai 24 Hour which will take place on 13-15 January, where Rossi and Martin will be paired with ex-FIA F2 and current LMP2-class driver in the World Endurance Championship for WRT, driver Sean Gelael, GT4 driver Tim Whale, and an as-yet-unnamed fifth driver.

Such appearances will be also an opportunity for Rossi to get up to speed before the start of the GTWC Europe season at the end of April in Monza. He will not be unique in this, of course, as the aforementioned popularity of the Bathurst 12 Hour, as well as the Dubai 24, among the top GT drivers guarantees many of Rossi’s European rivals will also be present in both races.

Rossi has also made clear his desire to race in the US, where of course there are such landmark endurance races as the Sebring 12 Hour and Daytona 24 Hour, should an opportunity present itself. As well as those, and after completing the Spa 24 Hour last year, Rossi is surely eyeing a possible Le Mans 24 Hour drive for the future, and the World Endurance Championship’s move away from GTE to GT3 cars for its production-derivative class only amplifies that possibility.

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