LOCAL READY FOR HOME TRACK DEBUT AT MOTOR FESTIVAL

HE’S LIVED IN Bathurst his whole life, but Michael Anderson will satisfy a long-held ambition during this weekend’s Bathurst Motor Festival – racing at Mount Panorama for the first time.

Anderson – who runs local building company Kenwood Homes with his father – is counting down the hours until he hits the track for the first time for practice on Friday morning. He’ll do so aboard a Ford Falcon XY GT in the Group N Historic Touring Car ranks, which features Production and Touring cars built before 1972, such as Ford’s Mustang and Holden’s Torana and Monaro.

“I’ve lived here my whole life, 27 years, and I’ve tried to do it before, but with work commitments and a few other things like licensing, it just never panned out,” Anderson explained.

“You can travel around the country going racing. We’ve got a racetrack in our hometown but there aren’t many opportunities to race on it. I’m excited it’s actually come together.”

Anderson joined the Group N ranks two years ago, having previously spent time racing motorcycles.

“I really like the vibe of historic cars and wanted to get involved,” he said.

“For a while I actually looked at building a car to race. But I ended up finding a guy that was getting divorced and had to get rid of his car, which we’ve now rebuilt. I’m enjoying driving it.”

So keen was Anderson to race at the event, he was involved in rounding up competitors to ensure a strong turnout of Group N machinery this weekend.

Anderson will be part of a 25-car field, and he’s rebuilt his Ford’s engine over summer for the occasion. Having done the bulk of his running at other circuits in New South Wales in the local Group N championship, Anderson is looking to visit some interstate tracks for the first time in 2012.

“We pulled the engine out after the last round at Eastern Creek in November,” he said.

“We wanted to get more horsepower out of the car for Bathurst; it’s going to be very important this weekend. We’re looking at doing a few more tracks this year, but the Motor Festival is the big race meeting for us.”

Anderson will be joined in the Group N field by fellow Bathurst racer Bob Munday, the reigning state champion, who drives a Mustang. They’re set to enjoy plenty of hometown support across the three races this weekend.

Spectator entry to the event will be via a ‘bank note’ donation to the official event charity, Legacy.

“It’s for a good cause and it’ll help bring a lot of people along,” Anderson said of the unique entry price.

“As the event’s been getting closer, I’ve had a lot of people ringing me about it; they want to come and see the XY GT on the track. It should be a good weekend.”

With three big days of on-track action, spectator entry to the April 6-8 event at Mount Panorama will be via a ‘bank note’ donation to official Event charity, Legacy.