29-31 MARCH 2013
BATHURST will again come alive with motorsport this Easter with the Bathurst Motor Festival set to bring thousands into the Central West region across the long weekend.
271 Entrants supported by an anticipated 1500-plus team members, family, Event staff and volunteer officials are already beginning to descend on the township ahead of competition beginning this Friday, April 22.
The event features a wide array of vehicles included in five race and two regularity classes set to entertain.
AUSSIE RACING CARS:
Known for producing incredible racing, the Aussie Racing Cars will return to the Mountain for the first time in three years ready to entertain again.
The series has a record for producing racing at Bathurst that long-time competitor James Ward compares to ‘NASCAR Superspeedway racing at Talladega’. A unique rear-wing designed especially for Bathurst generates significant drag, allowing cars behind to draft the car in front and often run three or four abreast.
Kyle Clews (NSW) leads the standings coming into the series’ second round, ahead of Maurice Masini and Adelaidian Adrian Cottrell.
Several front-line stars from the V8 Supercars will get some additional practice on the mountain this Easter by co-driving in the two, 45-minute Commodore Cup endurance races. A one-make category for 4.2-Litre (253ci) V8 powered VH and VS Commodores, the series is famous for providing thrilling racing and developing V8 stars of the future.
Current VIP Petfoods sponsored V8 driver Steve Owen will drive with Fellow V8 racer, and five-time Commodore Cup champion Geoff Emery whilst David Russell – who won both Fujitsu races last October – will drive with Tony Bates.
Young gun Fujitsu racer and former Formula Ford champion Tim Blanchard will drive with Josh Hughes, whilst four-time Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans will compete with Victorian Jeff Watters.
Saloon Car organisers have inaugurated the Ashley Cooper 2011 Bathurst Saloon Car Challenge, to honour the life of the former Saloon Car, Commodore Cup and V8 Supercar racer.
The series will support the ‘Donate Life’ cause, aiming to raise awareness about organ donation. As an organ donor, Cooper’s organs helped save the lives of six people with differing illnesses following his untimely passing in a racing crash in 2008 – among them a six-year old Girl who received his liver.
Saloon Cars feature six-cylinder Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons going doorhandle to doorhandle every lap in the classic Holden versus Ford battle that is iconic to Australian Motorsport. Event organisers are expecting a capacity grid for the Bathurst Challenge, and whilst it will be a stand-alone Event several National Championship-contending drivers are expected to enter in what could be the strongest field of the year.
PRODUCTION SPORTS CARS:
An impressive 51 cars have been entered for the Production Sports Car battle, which will feature an incredible array of vehicles ranging from a $500,000 V10 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 to a horde of Mazda MX-5 sports cars that are a mainstay of the class.
Victorian driver Ted Huglin will race the stunning Lambo and will be joined by a host of national-level drivers in exotic machinery – with many opting for two drivers in the mini-endurance format that features two, 30-minute races on Saturday and a one-hour enduro Event on Sunday afternoon.
Iain Pretty’s GT40 Replica, Rod Wilson and Jim Manolios in a brand-new Corvette GT3 and Jamie Augustine and Bathurst 1000 veteran Andrew Miedecke in a Daytona Coupe are but a few favourites in the stunning entry list.
The return of Formula Ford open wheelers to the Mountain for the first time in years has also drawn a sensational response and some surprising names will make up the near-capacity, 41-car, grid.
Whilst several National Formula Ford championship runners will start – including the likes of Andre Borell and Luke Ellery – Fujitsu V8 supercar driver Tom Tweedie is another to use the weekend as a way to get miles ahead of the October V8 Supercar Event his Historic 1986 Van Diemen.
The Formula Ford field is made up of state-level ‘Kent’ powered vehicles with an incredible 16 different chassis manufactures represented in the field combined of modern chassis from the likes of Mygale and Spectrum, to historic Lola’s, Lotuses and Birrana’s.
The Porsche Club of NSW and the New South Wales Road Racing Club will both stage against-the-clock regularity trials across the Bathurst Motor Festival event, with more than 40 cars confirmed in each class.
Aussie Racing Cars 4 x Races (Sprint)
Commodore Cup 2 x Races (Mini Enduro)
Formula Ford 2 x Races (Sprint)
Production Sports 3 x Races (2 x Sprint & 1 x Mini Enduro)
Saloon Cars 3 x Races (Sprint)
NSW Road Racing Club 3 x Modern Regularity
Porsche Club NSW 3 x Modern Regularity
ENTRY TO THE BATHURST MOTOR FESTIVAL precinct on April 22-24 will be by bank note donation, as the Event strives to support the important work undertaken by the Cancer Council of New South Wales.
Spectators will be able to access the circuit for as little as $5 per person per day, or pay more should they wish to support the cause further. A Cancer Council Relay for Life Event was held at the Bathurst showgrounds on April 2-3, three weeks prior to the Bathurst Motor Festival.
Across the five race and two regularity classes, entries have been received from every state and territory of Australia.
The Bathurst Motor Festival marks the return of the Event following its inception in 2006 as the Bathurst international Motor Festival. That Event morphed into the Armor All Bathurst 12 hour and moved to it’s current February date three years ago. The Motor Festival event marks the first time since 2003 that two major Events with national category participation have been held on the Mountain within two months.
With the successful V8 Supercar / Formula One driver swap held recently, this will be the third major Event in three months to attract a significant amont of ‘traffic’ and national media exposure to the Bathurst region.
The event continues the successful cooperation between the Bathurst Regional Council and Yeehah Events.
More than 200 people from all over Australia volunteer their services to deliver the Event in roles such as track marshals, supply marshals, recovery marshals, fire marshals, gate officials, grandstand officials, media assistants, information booth attendants and much more. Volunteer training sessions occur in the week preceding the Event.
MOUNT PANORAMA FACTS:
The Mount Panorama track is a public road for the majority of the year and as such regular road rules apply (incl.2 way traffic, 60km/hr speed limit).
It is 174 metres from the bottom of the circuit (Pit Straight) to the top of Skyline, “as the crow flies”. Race direction (during major events) is anti-clockwise.
Mount Panorama is unique in its rural setting. There are over 40 private residences located around the circuit (inside and outside). Private businesses also exist on the Mount – including: luxury accommodation, a winery, restaurant and fruit orchard. Several local sporting associations also use the Mount as a base for their activities, including the Sporting Shooters Association, Bathurst Rifle Club, Bathurst Gun Club, Panorama Motorcycle Club, and, of course, the Bathurst Light Car Club.
The National Motor Racing Museum sits on Murray’s Corner, showcasing an impressive array of motorcycle and car racing memorabilia from all over the country.
Circuit Length: 6.213km
Direction of Track: anti-clockwise
Length of Conrod Straight = 1.916km
Length of Mountain Straight = 1.111km
Highest Point: 862m above sea level
Grades of up to 1 in 6.13
The Bathurst Motor Festival program features Practice and Qualifying on Friday (April 22) prior to 15 races and 6 regularity time-trial sessions on Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24.
The Bathurst Motor Festival will be held at Mount Panorama on April 22-24 and will feature a range of diverse racing and regularity categories, including the Aussie Racing Cars, Commodore Cup, NSW Production Sports Cars, Formula Ford 1600 and Saloon Cars, plus two regularity classes from the Porsche Club of NSW and the NSW Road Racing Club.
Entry to the Bathurst Motor Festival will be by ‘bank note’ donation – anything from $5 upwards – with proceeds going directly to the Cancer Council of New South Wales and their Relay for Life program.