PERHAPS THE MOST EXCITING RACING to feature on Australian circuits, the Aussie Racing Cars will return to Mount Panorama this Easter as a key component to the Bathurst Motor Festival on April 22-24.
Featuring half-scale, motorcycle powered racing cars with body shapes based on Holden Commodores, Ford Falcons and Toyota Aurions, the Aussie Racing Car category has been a success story for many years providing an affordable way into the sport but also some of the most intense and exciting race ever likely to be witnessed.
Created and developed by Australian Touring Car identity Phil Ward and co-managed by Ward and his race driving sons Brad and James, the Aussie Racing Car series is a family operation that designs and builds the cars in-house from their Sydney base.
The Bathurst Motor Festival will host the second round of the 2011 National Series after the action category kicked things off at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. The series will feature at seven V8 Supercar rounds this season and is looking to enter into a period of sustained growth.
But James Ward, a regular front runner in the category when he jumps behind the wheel, said it was all about the action when the series comes to Bathurst.
“We’ve not been there for a couple of seasons so the Bathurst Motor Festival will be the first time we’ve taken out the Bathurst-specification aero package that is really responsible for the kind of racing we have there,” he said.
“It’s just off its face, really! It’s like a NASCAR drafting battle on a superspeedway in America. It’s incredibly close and entertaining if you’re watching from the sidelines – and even better if you are the one behind the wheel.”
On the classes’ last visit to Bathurst three years ago most races featured slipstreaming packs of up to ten cars all jostling for track position and desperately trying to not lead the race heading into Conrod Straight on the final lap.
Such is the aerodynamically-generated tow the cars produce, it is not unusual for one car to start the 1.6km long straight in first and enter the Chase in sixth position – making for unpredictable racing with multiple lead changes each lap.
“It’s like nothing else in Australian Motorsport and it’s a great spectacle,” Ward added.
“The field we have in 2011 is stronger than Ever and we’re expecting upwards of 40-plus cars at each round so there is always something happening throughout the field and something to watch – but it’s usually the fight for the lead which is usually for a pretty big sheep station!”
Ward said the category was excited to be returning to racing across the Easter long weekend at the nations’ toughest circuit.
“We’re pleased to be there,” he enthused.
“It’s a new Event and we’re happy to be part of it from day one. Hopefully it can build and grow and be a great way for us to show off the category at a place where we put on our best racing.
“(As a series) we have been working hard to put on a better show and grow the series this year so to return to Bathurst is a massive boost for us. We can’t wait.”
Round one of the Aussie Racing Cars in Adelaide saw veteran series’ drivers Peter Carr and Kyle Clews sharing the honours with two wins each after a tightly contested weekend. Other drivers looking to take the big prize of a Mountan victory at Bathurst will include Maurice Masini, Adrian Cottrell, Tyler Owen and female racer Hayley Swanson, amongst a massive field of cars nominated.
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.
Multiple positions for Event Volunteers are still available with information available via the Event website.