THE FIVE categories that will join the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour on the 2016 Bathurst Motor Festival program have been confirmed.
Bumper grids are assured from the three race and two regularity categories set to feature on a bumper Easter long-weekend program.
Production Sports Cars, Historic Touring Cars and HQ Holdens will race while Motor Festival regulars, the Porsche Club of NSW and the New South Wales Road Racing Club, will each bring huge fields of competitors looking for their once-a-year chance to get laps at Bathurst.
The ever-popular HQ Holdens will return to the Mountain after a two-year absence and category administrator Dale Youd says interest is already strong.
“The HQ boys have been very busy lately with the HQ Nationals and the Muscle Car Masters event, but Bathurst has already created a buzz amongst the competitors – everyone is always keen for the Mountain,” he said.
“Having a year away has renewed interest so I am expecting a full field of top quality competitors. We’ve had word from the West Aussie boys that they are expecting to send 10 cars and drivers over – the first time in a few years that anyone will have come across.
“We’re going back to three, 6-lap races so the boys will be tuning the cars for sprint races and there should be some good lap times from the front runners. The Event will also be part of the NSW State Championship so there’ll be lots of support from the local runners, as well as our usual great support from Queensland and Victoria, amongst others.”
The Production Sports Cars series has been a staple of the Easter program and will return in 2016 with another full grid of GT-style vehicles.
This year, victories in the pair of one-hour races were shared between Neale Muston (Porsche GT3 Cup Car) and Australian GT racer, Rod Salmon (Audi R8 LMS Ultra). The grid included plenty of star power, including Australian GT, Bathurst 12 Hour and Porsche Carrera / GT3 Cup regulars looking to gain more seat time at the Mountain.
50-cars started this year’s first race with the Porsche’s, Ferrari’s and Audi’s at the front of the field supplemented by vehicles in smaller classes like the Mazda MX-5 and Porsche 944 – amongst others.
The Group N Historic Touring Cars offer a nod to Bathurst’s history, with a full grid of Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and Ford Falcon GTs power sliding their way around the 6.213-km circuit.
The two Bathurst Motor Festival regularity classes are unique in that they offer competitors a chance to race against the clock, rather than wheel to wheel with other competitors.
Oversubscribed fields are a feature of the Porsche Club of NSW and NSW Road Racing Club-run events that see an incredibly diverse array of vehicles tackling the Mountain – some competitors for the first time. The regularity component of the Bathurst Motor Festival continues the Event’s tradition of opening up the circuit for others who might not otherwise have the opportunity.