AS IT DOES at least three times a year, Bathurst will come alive for motorsport at this weekend’s Bathurst Motor Festival.
The Easter long weekend holds a special place in the town’s heart, given it was this very weekend 75 years ago where racing cars first took to the hallowed six-kilometre-plus circuit on the side of a Mountain called ‘Mount Panorama’.
The town is now entrenched in the Australian sporting psyche, with October’s Bathurst 1000 arguably one of the nation’s top recognisable sporting events alongside the Melbourne Cup, AFL / NRL Grand Finals and Boxing Day test match.
Events including the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and this weekend’s Bathurst Motor Festival add to the circuit’s reputation.
This weekend more than 300 cars will compete across seven racing and regularity (against the clock) categories with something for every kind of racing fan likely to be on-track at some point of the racing weekend.
Open-wheel traditionalists are well catered for with Formula 3 and Formula Vee, whilst purists who loved the class-based racing that was a Bathurst feature of old will enjoy the CUE Production Sports Car series – with a packed grid filled with exotic cars – to tackle the race in a longer-distance race.
Whilst the Production Sports Cars will include cars from the likes of Porsche and Lamborghini, the NSW Production Touring Cars series features modified road-going cars from Holden, Ford, Mitsubishi, Toyota and more going wheel-to-wheel across three races.
The Group N Historic Touring Cars will offer a flash back to Bathurst’s past with cars like Ford Mustangs and classic Aussie, USA and UK-born Muscle Cars from the 1960s and 70s going head to head.
The Porsche Club of NSW and NSW Road Racing Club regularities will add more variety with their against-the-clock battles.
Entry to the Bathurst Motor Festival will again be free of charge in 2013, however spectators are asked for a ‘bank note’ donation to official event charity, Legacy, on entry.
Legacy is dedicated to caring for the families of deceased veterans and today assists over 100,000 widows and 1900 children. The volunteer driven organisation will have representatives at the entry gate to the circuit precinct this weekend.
Meanwhile, events in the town will help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the circuit.
Local identity and former racer, Brian Nightingale, has organised a trivia night to be held Saturday night at the Panorama City Hotel, with all proceeds going towards the Christmas Miracle Appeal charity.
Other notable events include a gathering and parade laps of Toyota 86 models, plus the inclusion of TV and film identity, Shane Jacobson, making his Bathurst debut in the Production Touring Car field.
On track action commences Friday morning – with the day dedicated to practice and qualifying. Racing commences on Saturday and runs into Sunday with a packed program of on and off-track activities.
The 2013 Bathurst Motor Festival will be held across the Easter long weekend, March 29-31.