KEY Australian Production Car racers have confirmed their participation in the 2018 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour enduro, despite 200 days remaining until the race starts.
Nearly 30 entries have already been received by Event organisers for the 2018 edition of Bathurst’s new Easter classic, with another bumper field across multiple classes expected to start the race on Easter Sunday.
Early bird entry prices are available until 30 September 2017, with big discounts on entry fees for those entering before this date.
Entries remain open until 23 February next year, however a full 64-car field this year has promoted an influx of those keen to secure their place on the grid.
Entry forms have already been lodged for cars competing in seven classes, including a host of potentially outright-contending cars in the A1/A2 (Extreme Performance Forced Induction / Normally Aspirated) and B1/B2 (High Performance Forced Induction / Normally aspirated) categories.
Singapore-based Australian driver Troy Williams has entered his B2-class Holden Commodore SS V8 to the race and says the Mountain is a lure felt by competitors both in Australia and abroad.
“At the end of the day, Bathurst is one of the most iconic tracks anywhere in the world,” Williams said.
“I speak to racers overseas where I am based in Asia, and even in Europe and America and they all talk about Mount Panorama.
“So for racers globally it is an iconic track and for me personally, I started in historics so the heritage of motor racing and so on is important to me and I value it and appreciate it, so for me Bathurst is very, very special. It is the pinnacle for us I think.”
Williams has been competing in the Australian Production Car Series this year, with a view to building his distance-racing experience ahead of his Bathurst campaign next Easter.
“My first run with the APC was interesting because I had come from a sprint race background and after my first attempt at a one-hour stint, I sure did sit down for a very long time after I got out of the car, I was officially pooped!
“That whole mindset changed from a 20-minute sprint race to an endurance mindset – even for a two or three or four-hour race, and six hours is amplified again.
“It is great to have the team involved and not just one person having input in a 20-minute sprint race, all the crew and team manager have input into team strategy and so on, and I like that aspect as well.”
Turbo, all-wheel-drive cars continue to be popular on the Mountain with local team FullGas Racing confirming they will be returning after making their outright-class debut at Bathurst this year – having been class winners the year before in a smaller car.
The Subaru Impreza WRX STi driven by Dimitri Agathos and Lachlan Gibbons started 27th this year however worked their way through the field to finish a highly respectable 15th after six tough hours.
“We are looking forward to it,” Agathos said of returning for a second attempt in the outright class.
“We did it this year and we did it last year as well, racing a Pulsar in Class E and managing to get a victory in that. This year, it was our first time running with the Subaru and we finished a strong 15th place.
“We are looking to improve on that and with all of the advancements we have done this year, we should have a good run in next year’s Bathurst Six Hour.”
The team has made continual improvements to their performance this season in Australian Production Car series competition that they feel will help their campaign next April.
“We have improved the car pretty much every time we have gone out and next year I think it will be the first time we will be running a dry brake system, which will definitely improve our pit stops as well,” Agathos confirmed.
"It is a great event, we get plenty of track time, one-hour practice sessions on Friday and then the one hour qualifying. With the number of cars on the track, it makes it interesting and fun. This year there was a lot of safety cars, a lot more than the year before, I think next year will be a good race.”
Entries remain open with potential competitors urged to enter the race and confirm their participation sooner rather than later given anticipated demand.
Entry details can be found via the official Event website by clicking here.