4 April 2024 | Uncategorised

Biggest Bathurst continues growth of Easter event

BATHURST’S biggest enduro has lived up to its tagline with a sensational Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour delivering again across the Easter Long weekend at Mount Panorama. 

18,033 people attended the three-day festival of motorsport, the third-largest event attendance across the eight to have run so far.

That was off the back of a record take up of campground sites this year, with more than 500 booked for the first time in event history.

The event enjoyed a digital audience reach of more than 1.3m people – an event record – with more than 750,000 video views recorded on social media channels.

That corresponded with a return to free-to-air TV this year with extensive coverage on SBS and SBS Viceland, as well as coverage on Fox Sports and Kayo Streaming.

More than 300 competitors competed across the six hour and six support categories at the event as the focus on local competition returned to the event, giving it a sensational ‘grass roots’ feel throughout the main and support race paddocks.

On track the main race lived up to its building reputation as a must-win Bathurst classic as three BMWs battled right to the final corner to decide the winner.

Ultimately Simon Hodges and Jayden Ojeda – joined this year by George Miedecke – defended their 2023 victory by just 1.2 seconds, the closest winning margin in race history.

Their Secure Wealth BMW M4 completed 123 laps (764km) of Mount Panorama en-route to victory, the first team to win the race twice or defend their Bathurst win.

The winning trio led just 16 laps of the race, the least by a Bathurst 6 Hour winner ever.

Second position for Ben and Michael Kavich and Supercars star Tom Randle represented their best-ever Bathurst performances, while polesitters Beric Lynton, Tim Leahey and Will Davison finished third, just 1.4 seconds behind the winning car in the closest 1-2-3 result in 6-hour history.

The result was Davison’s first 6-hour podium, and the third for long-time contenders Lynton and Leahey who have now finished first, second and third in the race.

Davison left with the added consolation of a new Bathurst 6 Hour lap record – 2m24.0217s – as well as having earlier set the quickest time in Bathurst 6 Hour qualifying history.

9 different cars led the race, while 58 cars started the race and 37 finished.

The class competition was equally intense with an array of storylines throughout.

The under-the-radar effort from the Harding Performance VW Golf R to claim the A1 class win and finish fourth outright was a standout in a day filled with big performances.

It represented long-time 6-hour comeptitors Cem Yucel and Iain Salteri’s best ever finish in the race and the best result for a VW in 6-hour history.

Fifth for Jason Gomersall, son Ben and Aaron Seton delivered them each a maiden 6 Hour win and equalled the best result for a Mustang in Bathurst 6 Hour history.

That combination came from a lap behind late to claim the victory after pit stop issues for the Chevrolet Camaro in pit lane and a heavy crash for the Local Legends Mustang, from which Ryder Quinn emerged unscathed.

Class B winners, Team Buccini Racing, created their own piece of Bathurst history as Karlie Buccini, Courtney Prince and Suzanne Palermo finished 10th outright in their BMW.

In the long history of endurance racing at Mount Panorama they’re the first ever all-woman team to stand on the top step of the podium as class winners.

The team finished second in 2023, while last year’s winners – the Bathurst-based Inwood families Subaru – finished second.

The Class C winning Astra driven by Pieter Faulkner and Matt Slavin was the first win for both and came after a race long battle with the #77 VW Sirocco.

In winning Class D, Mitch Wooller and Tim Barwick delivered Toyota their seventh class win from eight races in the Class D fight, while Wooller scored his second Bathurst victory.

And in Class E, the 1800 Lasagne Mazda 3 was another example of a classic Bathurst resurrection story, the car having been taken off-site early in the event following a hefty practice crash at the Elbow.

It was the fourth class win for the car in Bathurst 6 Hour history.

The Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour will return across the Easter long weekend in 2025, on the weekend of April 18-20.