Each car has three or four drivers who trade off over the course of the 12 hours, typical for endurance racing. Race officials divide the cars into four different classes, meaning, like the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona last weekend, varying speed and skill are circling each other on the track for the entire race.


What Are The Different Classes?

There are more than 50 cars entered in this year’s race, and they’ll fall into one of four different classes. That means there are four leaders at any given time in the race, which can get a little confusing.


Here’s a breakdown of how to know which class is which.

Class A: GT3 Cars

The GT3 class has a ton of manufacturers and a ton of talent levels, and is the biggest class by far on this year’s entry list. More than half of all of the entires entered are under the “Class A” designation, with race cars from Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Mercedes, McLaren, BMW and Bentley all on the list.


Part of what makes the GT3 class so big is that it’s divided into three more class designations, based on drivers entered in the car and the FIA’s ranking system for skill levels. The Bathurst 12 Hour divides the FIA’s Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze rankings into the categories “seeded” and “unseeded.” The top two are seeded, while the bottom two are unseeded.

The GT3 Pro class is for cars with an all-professional lineup in terms of the FIA system, and the GT3 Pro-Am class mandates no more than two professional, or seeded, drivers on a team. The GT3 Am class doesn’t allow any seeded drivers, but at least one of the drivers on each team must have a Bronze FIA ranking.


On the current entry list, there are 12 GT3 Pro entries, 13 Pro-Am entries and three in the Am class.

Class B: GT3 Cup Cars

Ever heard of a Porsche GT3 Cup car? That’s what this class is all about. There are currently five cars entered in this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour in Class B.


Class C: GT4 Cars

Worldwide, GT4 cars are a step under GT3 cars. There are 10 of them in the Bathurst 12 Hour this year, including Ginetta, KTM, Porsche and BMW race cars.


Class I: The Invitation Class

The Class I cars are the ones that got invited to race the Bathurst 12 Hours. Race organizers decide which cars are eligible, and they compete against each other. It’s the wild-card class, really.


This year, 10 Class I cars are on the list. That includes MARC Mazda V8s, MARC Focus V8s, MARC II V8s, a Dodge Viper and a Daytona Coupe. If you’ve never heard of those first three, MARC Cars is an engineering and manufacturing firm that competes in international sports-car racing.

When Is The Race And Is It On Television?

The race starts at 5:45 a.m. local time Sunday in Bathurst, which is in Australian Eastern Daylight Time. That means the race starts at 1:45 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time on Saturday. Live streams and television coverage start 15 minutes before the race does.


If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, the race will be on regular television. Sky Sports will show the whole race live in New Zealand, and the Seven Network will have it in Australia. Seven Network’s 7mate channel plans to show the full 12 hours live in Australia, plus qualifying the day before.

And while that’s usually the ultimate sign that everyone else in the world will have to pay to watch the race, not this time. The Bathurst 12 Hour website will have free live streams of all of the race sessions, including Saturday’s practice and qualifying—which happen on Friday in America.


Friday coverage, in America, starts at 1:30 p.m. ET on the website. There’s live timing and scoring, too, in case you need to drop the stream for a bit but still want to follow along.