23 March 2016 | General


BATHURST’S newest iconic endurance race kicks off this weekend at the Bathurst Motor Festival. The Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour returns the classic Bathurst tradition of long-distance racing with the same cars you can buy on the showroom floor – production-based vehicles tuned for racing but remaining true to their road going origins.What it means is that Easter Sunday will see a true multi-class race with a range of different vehicles tackling the Mountain for six hours.Here’s some of the key points worth knowing ahead of the race.PIT STOPS:Like every endurance race at Mount Panorama, pit stop strategy could win or lose you the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour. The regulations for pit stops in this race are very specific and will be closely policed by race control – both for the sake of safety and for the competition.Cars in classes A, B and I must make a minimum of four (4) compulsory stops throughout the race – 3 for those in class C, D and E. You don’t want to get that number wrong, either – it’s a five lap penalty if you do.The CPS window opens 30 minutes after the start of the race so any trip to pit lane outside of the window won’t count.There are also rules in place for the amount of time spent in pit lane. The rules state a compulsory stationary time of two minutes is in place for every entry – this is to cover off the fact some cars don’t run an expensive dry-break refuelling system that is significantly quicker than ‘old school’ refuelling.Teams will be timed from the moment they hit the 40km/hr control line at pit entry to the control line at pit exit. If officials deem this time shorter than allowed (the two-minutes plus the time taken to transit the lane) it will be a 32-second penalty added to the race time – basically a drive-through.The pit lane speed is 40km/hr, you cannot work on the car while refuelling is taking place and, once done, only three people and the car controller are allowed into the working lane to service the car – two on the tyre changes and one to assist the driver change and perform other tasks like cleaning the windscreen.GOING RACING:The Bathurst 6 Hour will commence with a rolling start with a grid determined by qualifying on Saturday.Qualifying is simple – the fastest car starts on pole and the remainder of the grid follows on time – there’s no complicated knock-out system here. There will be a 60-minute all-in session on Saturday afternoon prior to a second, 15-minute session for the top 20 cars from qualifying one held immediately afterwards.Crucially, every driver in every car must qualify for the race by setting a time within 130% of the fastest time set in qualifying.Drivers will need to keep an eye on the clock during the race, too. Not only can drivers only compete three hours behind the wheel continuously, any one driver must only complete 3 hours and 30 minutes of the race – and no more. That means entries with two drivers will need to measure their driving time accurately to avoid any unforeseen pit stops to change drivers when their time is up.Once you’re out of the car, you need to stay out for a full hour before jumping back in. Each team will nominate a starting driver by 9am on Sunday morning.RUBBER:Every car in the field will use a control Hankook Ventus all-weather tyre.24 new tyres are permitted for use across the practice sessions, qualifying and the race itself – no ‘previously marked’ (i.e. used) tyres are allowed.COVERAGE:There are plenty of ways to follow the action, including a comprehensive live stream and live timing system throughout the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour. Click here for the details.The Bathurst Motor Festival will be held across the March 25-27 Easter long weekend. Sunday’s action, including the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour enduro, will be streamed live via on Easter Sunday, with highlights to air on SBS Speedweek following the race on Sunday, April 10.Tickets remain on sale via the Bathurst Motor Festival website with savings available for those booking in advance.The Bathurst Motor Festival is proudly supported by the NSW Government as part of its Regional Flagship Events Program.