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Rossi named in Bathurst 12 Hour squad

THE Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour has received a major boost with confirmation that retired MotoGP megastar Valentino Rossi will compete in the February 3-5 event.

Following reports earlier this week, BMW has officially named the 43-year-old Italian as part of a six-driver line-up spread across Team WRT’s two M4 GT3 entries.

The seven-time MotoGP champion turned his hand to GT racing following retirement from two-wheel competition at the end of last year.

Rossi has traded two wheels for four. Pic: Supplied

He this year drove WRT-run Audis in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint and Endurance Championships, which included tackling the famous Spa 24 Hour. 

Bathurst 12 Hour director Shane Rudzis expects Rossi’s inclusion to significantly increase interest in the event, which ran largely without international entries this year.

“Valentino Rossi is one of the biggest names in the world of motorsport and we’re proud that the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will be his first experience of Mount Panorama,” said Rudzis.

“Having had so much success here on two wheels, Valentino has an enormous Australian fanbase and we are prepared for a significant increase in attention as a result of his entry.

“It’s one of the most significant driver announcements in Bathurst 12 Hour history and we are thankful to BMW, WRT, Valentino and his team for making it happen – and we can’t wait to welcome him to Mount Panorama next February.”

Rossi will not lack for competitive co-drivers upon his Bathurst debut.

Rossi’s entry will carry his famous #46. Pic: Supplied

He’ll be joined in car #46 by Belgian Maxime Martin (whose only previous Bathurst start came in 2020) and Brazilian Augusto Farfus Jr (who raced in the event three times consecutively from 2018).

WRT’s second entry will be shared by 2018 event winner Dries Vanthoor, 2022 DTM champion Sheldon van der Linde and two-time GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup champ Charles Weerts.

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