BATHURST READY FOR EASTER MOTOR FESTIVAL
This three day festival of racing was returned to the Mountain last year with a successful Event that featured exciting racing, great weather and a relaxed, family atmosphere with more than 9,000 attending the Event across the three days.
This year there will be more of the same with new categories joined by old favorites across three days of racing action on the Mountain.
Action commences tomorrow (Friday, April 6th) from 0820am with a full day of practice and qualifying before racing begins on Saturday morning – with a mixture of short, sharp sprint races mixed with several ‘mini endurance’ races with plenty of activity in pit lane.
Following is a summation of several key storylines ahead of this weekend’s Bathurst Motor Festival.
FORMULA 3 TO MAKE BATHURST DEBUT
Australia’s fastest racing cars will make their Mount Panorama debut this weekend as round three of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship joins the Bathurst Motor Festival. It marks the first time since 1979 that ‘wings and slicks’ open wheelers will have raced at Bathurst and is the result of nearly 18 months of planning and preparation.
Formula 3 is a global category and recognized worldwide as a major stepping stone to Formula 1 – in face, current Williams F1 driver Bruno Senna won his first ever car race in Australian Formula 3. Meanwhile, Top IndyCar frontrunner Will Power is a graduate of the class in Australia, whilst 85% of this year’s F1 field have F3 experience globally.
The biggest question of all is ‘how fast will they go?’ – a question key engineers and drivers in the series expect to be somewhere well below the current race lap record of 2m06.3 – and potentially under the ‘outright’ lap record of 2m04.8 seconds set late last year by Allan Simonsen.
Formula 3 cars hit the track for practice on Friday morning at 0930am – with three, 30-minute races to be held across Saturday and Sunday.
FAST FEMALE TEAM MAKES RETURN TO BATHURST ‘HOME’ IN AUSSIE RACING CARS
HAVING BEEN LAUNCHED in the lead-up to last October’s Bathurst 1000, the La Femme Academy of Motorsport is gearing up for its maiden race meeting at Mount Panorama, during Easter’s Bathurst Motor Festival.
Through courses to be run in Melbourne, the Academy aims to aid the participation and development of females in Australian motorsport; both on-track as drivers and off-track in roles such as mechanics and team managers.
Spearheaded by experienced campaigner Kosi Kalaitzidis, the program broke cover at Bathurst last year, announcing an entry in this year’s Aussie Racing Car Super Series with Lauren Gray behind the wheel.
HQ HOLDENS TURN ENDURO AND TARGET LAP RECORD
ARMED WITH A new tyre package, the popular HQ Holden class will be chasing their long-standing Mount Panorama lap record during Easter’s Bathurst Motor Festival.
The April 6-8 event will be the first major HQ hit out on the new Kenda Tyres, through a two-year deal inked between HQ Racing Australia and local Kenda importer Highway Tyres. With a bumper field of leading competitors from across the country set to converge on Bathurst, the class hopes to challenge their existing lap record.
Dating way back to 1997, Peter Holmes holds the current HQ lap record, with a lap of 2:56.0330 around the famous 6.2km circuit. That time was set during the era of using high-octane aviation gas to fuel the cars, with the class now using pump fuel.
Kenda tyres have also come on board as the major sponsor of the HQ Challenge this weekend.
SUPERCARS AND SUPERSTARS MAKE UP PRODUCTION SPORTS CAR FIELD
FEW DRIVERS WILL hit Mount Panorama at next weekend’s Bathurst Motor Festival in as rich a vein of form as Production Sports driver Neale Muston.
Muston, who will race a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car over the April 6-8 event, heads to Bathurst as a two-time defending NSW Production Sports Car Champion and the leader of the Radical Australia Cup.
If racing two different cars in two separate categories wasn’t enough, Muston has even more on his plate, coaching a top-level junior female soccer team for Sydney club Northbridge FC. With Muston at the helm, they’ve tasted success, but it’s come at a cost to his racing.
LOCAL READY FOR MOUNT PANORAMA DEBUT
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.
FREE ENTRY IN SUPPORT OF CHARITY
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.