13 October 2021 | General


A STRONG performance on their Bathurst enduro debut has spurred the third generation of Bargwanna Family drivers to confirm a return to the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour next year.

After narrowly finishing second in Class D of the 2021 race, Cousins Ben, 20, and Jude, 16, will step up into outright contention in 2022 driving an Audi TTRS.

They are among the first of more than two dozen teams to have confirmed their early entry in Australia’s largest Production Car race, set for April 15-17 next year.

Purchased from noted Production Car racer Tony Alford, the five-cylinder Audi will run in class A1 for Extreme Performance All-wheel-drive cars, amidst the ever-popular Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions and Mercedes-AMG A45 entries.

The car purchased by the Bargwanna family team finished seventh in the 2017 race and remains a competitive proposition in the intensely competitive turbocharged category.

The Bargwanna family’s participation was a highlight of the 2021 event, three generations of the family involved in what was a strong weekend for the team.

The Bargwanna Bathurst story started with family patriarchs Harry and Alf competing together in the late 1960’s.

They were followed by cousins Jason and Scott, both aged 20 at the time, teaming up in small family-run team to join the elite group of Bathurst winners by taking out a class victory in the 1992 Bathurst 1000.

Ben and Jude became the next generation of the family to tackle a Bathurst enduro – and did so in style this year.

After qualifying their Volkswagen Golf GTi on pole in class D, the pair led a majority of the race in their class before a badly-timed Safety Car cost them an opportunity to grab the class victory.

Ben and Jude ultimately finished second in class and an impressive 19th outright, having completed 117 laps.

Former Bathurst 1000 champion Jason Bargwanna said the team was looking forward to the challenge of stepping up to an outright category next year.

“The boys did a great job last year and would have been on for the class win if they hadn’t have copped the Safety Car at the wrong time – but that’s Bathurst for you.

“It was still pretty cool to see them up on the podium at that place and have the whole family there to celebrate. It was a bit of a no brainer to have a look around and see what we could do to step up.

“The Audi is a really good car, it’s always been competitive in A1 and when the opportunity came up to grab it, we did,” he added.

Scott will again take control of the preparation and we will drag the ‘Harry and Alf show’ to the mountain for morale support, guidance and undeterred commitment.

“The 2020 event had it all, from the old boys driving all through the Friday night to borrow cars, stripping gearboxes and steering racks, but it came together on the Sunday.

“We are realistic in that it’s unlikely you will see an A1 or A2 car challenge the BMWs on raw speed, but of the 11 cars that finished on the lead lap this year, 7 of them were class A cars so if you’re smart and stay out of trouble they can definitely challenge for an outright result.

“We’ll head there looking to win the class as the primary goal, but Bathurst is Bathurst – anything can happen!”

The team will unveil their sponsors and race livery closer to the event, set for the Easter long weekend in 2022.