PURISTS keen to see the return of Production-based, class racing to Mount Panorama need look no further than the 2013 Bathurst Motor Festival, this Easter.

The debut of the healthy New South Wales-based Production Touring Cars category at the Bathurst Motor Festival has attracted a bumper 51-car entry, all types of cars from four-wheel-drive turbos to little Suzuki Swift’s set to make up the packed grid.

Thirteen brands are represented on the current entry list; Mitsubishi, Mini, Holden, HSV, Subaru, BMW, Honda, Suzuki, Ford, FPV, Mazda, Toyota and Alfa Romeo.

In the outright battle, it’s expected to be the horde of Mitsubishi Lancers that make up much of the leading pack.

Defending PTC champion Gerry Murphy will return with No. 1 on the door of his Evo X RS Lancer, but should face stern challenges from the likes of NSW open-wheel ace Ryan Simpson, V8 Touring Car series racer Jim Pollicina and long-time racer Anton Metchler.

There are two father-son combinations entered amongst the big group of turbocharged Mitsubishi’s, Steve and Jake Shelley and Lee and Gerry Burgess both combining to tackle the two sprints and one enduro format.

Fans of V8-power won’t be disappointed, however, with the likes of Dean Potts, Alex Veryinis, Tony Virag and Matthew Holt, amongst others, to tackle the Mountain in varying specification of HSV entries.

Some well known advocates of Production Car class racing are scattered throughout the field, including a strong battle for the Class C honours.

Amongst others, the likes of Trevor Keene (Mini Cooper S) plus BMW 130i drivers Peter O’Donnell and Richard Gartner should feature strongly thanks to their vehicle and circuit experience.

The Production Touring Car field is also expected to include the Australian racing debut of Toyota’s much-hyped new sports car, the FT 86 coupe’.

The Pedders Suspension team has entered their FT86 GTS entry, currently in the final stages of construction and preparation.

The team is also working on announcing a ‘name’ co-driver for the entry, with confirmation expected soon.

The Bathurst Motor Festival Event will be held between March 29-31.

The Bathurst Motor Festival will feature the opening round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, NSW Production Touring Cars, Group N historic Touring Cars, Production Sports Cars, Formula Vee and regularity categories, the New South Wales Road Racing Club and NSW Porsche Club.