Production Sports car diversity to return in 2012

ONE OF THE MOST diverse grids in Australian Motorsport will return to the Bathurst Motor Festival next Easter.

The CUE Production Sports Cars will return to Mount Panorama in 2012 and bring their brilliant mix of high-powered, exotic GT cars and smaller, more nimble production racers to the Easter Long weekend after a hugely-successful first-up visit this year.

51 cars entered for the Production Sports Car one-hour race at the Event this year, a series of 10-lap heat races leading up to a one-hour spectacular that was won by Jamie Augustine and Touring Car hero Andrew Miedecke in a six-litre V8 Daytona Coupe.

76-year-old Ted Huglin was second in his Lamborghini Gallardo LP600, with Porsche Carrera Cup racer Ray Angus third in his Porsche GT3 Cup Car. A pair of little Lotus Exige GT racers completed the top five.

The field featured 12 brands and more than twenty different models of cars, including everything from a V10 Dodge Viper to a pack of Mazda MX5 sports cars.

New South Wales Production Sports Car Association president Arthur Magaitis – who also raced this year driving a Lotus – said the series was excited to confirm their return to Mount Panorama and the Bathurst Motor Festival after a strong debut this year.

“After such a good showing this Easter we can’t wait to return to such an iconic circuit and a great Event,” Magaitis said.

“The feedback from our competitors overwhelmingly supported us going back and it will be part of our CUE Endurance series next year as it was in 2011. The endurance races are the ones everyone wants to be part of and as a competitor it’s exhilarating to go back to such a great track.

“We expect to be close to or fully subscribed at 55 cars once again.”

Andrew Macpherson also raced a Lotus in the 2011 Event and said there was nothing like racing such a diverse field on the world-renowned 6.2km Bathurst circuit.

“It’s the most diverse field you can possibly imagine and it’s great to be part of it,” Macpherson – who also drives a Mosler GT car - said during this years’ event.

“You get fantastic racing because the cars are strong at different points of the circuit. Our Lotus is very strong across the top but the V8’s and cars like the Lamborghini are obviously faster up and down the Mountain. It’s very competitive and spectacular racing, and great fun to be part of.”

The CUE Production Sports racers will contest an identical schedule to this year’s Event, with separate sprint races for drivers and co-drivers before the crews combine for a feature one-hour race during the Easter Sunday program.

The 2012 Bathurst Motor Festival will be held on April 6-8 and will include a mixture of national level categories and state based competition offering something for everyone.

Categories already confirmed include the historic debut of Formula 3 at Mount Panorama, Production Sports Cars, Porsche Club New South Wales regularity and the New South Wales Road Racing Club regularity competition.