THE Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour won’t be the only bumper field of cars tackling the Mountain at this Easter’s Bathurst Motor Festival.
250 entries have been received across the five other major categories competing on the March 25-27 weekend including an incredible (and oversubscribed) 64-car HQ Holden entry list.
With the 6-Hour grid sitting at more than 50 cars it means the Mountain will be filled with more than 300 competitors and their associated support crews, families, friends and supporters for the Easter long weekend.
While the HQ Holden pack exceeds the nominated track density (55) for the Easter weekend, the NSW Road Racing Club and Porsche Club of NSW have each entered maximum 55-strong grids for their respective race-against-the-clock regularity competitions.
More than 40 Group N Historic Touring Cars will compete as will a high-class field of 34 Production Sports Cars, including entrants running the latest and greatest GT3 machinery.
However it is the return of HQ Holdens to Mount Panorama after a year’s absence that has drawn the most interest and the oversubscribed field. Entrants have flocked from every state in Australia, including 10 making the trek from West Australia.
Category Administrator Dale Youd said the category had plans in place to deal with the incredible interest.
“Competitors that don’t qualify for the 55-car field will be placed on a reserve list and if anyone drops out, they will be able to race. At the very least they’ll get the chance to get track time in practice and qualifying,” he explained.
“We have had an incredible response from competitors all around Australia to the HQ’s going back to the Mountain, thanks to a year away and a return to the sprint racing format. It’s going to be quite the show.”
The classy NSW Production Sports Car field features its usual raft of exotic Supercars and GT vehicles – however the Bathurst debut of the brand-new Ferrari 488 GT3 is likely to be the highlight.
Melbourne team Vicious Rumour Racing has entered their brand new, turbocharged Ferrari GT3 weapon and has named team owner Tony DeFelice and Bathurst 12-hour co-driver Benny Simonsen as steerers.
The pair are expected to be amongst the pacesetters in a field that includes Neale Muston (Porsche GT3 Cup Car), the father-son combination of Steve and Jake Shelley (Lotus Exige HPE), longstanding Porsche stalwarts Geoff Morgan and Peter Boylan (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup Cars) and double Formula 3 champion Tim Macrow, who will share car owner Brenton Grigoul’s Ferrari 430 GT3.
The Group N Historic Touring Cars grid includes a host of familiar front running names, including Ford Mustang drivers Brad Tilley and Darryl Hansen, and the Camaro-bound Dean Neville.
The stunning grid includes its usual mix of high-powered American and Aussie-built Muscle cars mixed with the smaller class cars including the classic Mini Cooper, Lotus Cortina and Porsche 911.
The Porsche Club of NSW regularity will be something of a rolling cavalcade featuring just about every model the famous German marque has ever produced – while the NSW Road Racing Club’s grid is as diverse as it ever gets at Mount Panorama with everything from high-powered Sports Sedans to road-going classics set to take the track.
The bumper 2016 Bathurst Motor Racing program gets underway on Friday, March 25 with practice and qualifying for all categories, and the first pair of regularity trials.
Racing continues unabated on Saturday while Sunday’s program – to be streamed live via the Motor Festival website – will include one race / regularity session from each category in the lead up to the midday start of the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.
The Bathurst Motor Festival will be held across the March 25-27 Easter long weekend. Sunday’s action, including the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour enduro, will be streamed live via www.bathurstmotorfestival.com.au on Easter Sunday, with highlights to air on SBS Speedweek following the race.
Tickets and camping are on sale via the Bathurst Motor Festival website with savings available for those booking in advance.
The Bathurst Motor Festival is proudly supported by the NSW Government as part of its Regional Flagship Events Program.