Pro-Am formula in place for 2022 Bathurst 6 Hour
The Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour will implement a driver categorisation system, much like other global endurance races, to ensure the current accessibility of the race is retained moving forward.
The changes are the only substantial update to existing event supplementary regulations, released this week to coincide with entries opening for the 2022 race.
All drivers entered in the 2022 race will be categorised as either Professional or Amateur, with only one ‘Pro’ allowed per entry regardless of whether they are fielding two or three drivers as permitted by the rules.
The winning 2021 combination included one ‘Pro’ (Shane van Gisbergen) and two ‘Am’ drivers (Shane Smollen and Rob Rubis) sharing their BMW M4.
The change has been made based on competitor feedback from entrants in the 2021 race, plus a desire by organisers to maintain the Bathurst 6 Hour’s status as the most accessible of all Mount Panorama’s long-distance races.
Driver categorisation will be determined by Event Director Ken Collier, who is a member of the FIA’s Driver Classification committee, Motorsport Australia officials and Bathurst 6 Hour event stewards.
“The rationale behind the addition of the driver categorisation rule is to protect what the Bathurst 6 Hour currently is,” Collier explained.
“The race is designed to be as accessible to as many drivers of all experience levels as possible and we didn’t want to go down a road where factory teams filled with professional drivers begin to dominate the entry list, potentially restricting the chances of others achieving a great result.
“If you look through the last few years of the race there are very few combinations that stand out as potentially having two ‘Pro’ drivers, so it’s not something we see as a massive issue moving forward – it’s just about ensuring that the race retains its accessibility as it is.
“We are 100% focussed on keeping this as a race based around ‘Am’ drivers while still allowing for teams to run the superstar, professional drivers that make it so exciting and add lots to the event.”
Driver categorisation aside, the 2022 Sporting and Technical regulations remain broadly unchanged from 2021, ensuring consistency for competitors who have existing machinery ready to race.
Significant interest has been received for the 2022 race with more than a dozen entry forms already officially lodged within three days of entries being open.
The full event supplementary regulations are able to be viewed via the Bathurst 6 Hour website here.