January 21, 2011 | General


THERE WILL BE ACTION APLENTY for fans and competitors alike at the  Bathurst Motor Festival to be held at the famous Mount Panorama circuit on April 22-24 this year. Five racing categories and two regularity ‘against the clock’ categories have been secured with interest high amongst competitors, promising big fields and first class racing action across the Easter long weekend. Racing categories confirmed are the always exciting Aussie Racing Cars Super Series,  Commodore Cup National Series,  Production Sports Cars, Saloon Cars and Formula Ford 1600 – ensuring there will be something for everyone. The return of Formula Ford to the Mountain will likely attract a mix of state -based competitors and national championship drivers seeking those elusive laps on the Mountain. Formula Ford 1600 is made up of cars powered by the well known ‘Kent’ engine, utilised at a national level from the categories birth right through to the start of 2007 season – where a fuel-injected engine sourced from the Ford Fiesta is now used. Formula Ford 1600 is now the predominant state-level Formula Ford category and attracts competitors in large numbers. The Formula Ford Association’s Jeff Senior said that the category was thrilled to have been invited to race at the Bathurst Motor Festival. “Whilst the Formula Ford (National) category does have icon events such as Gold Coast and the Clipsal 500 the Association sees the participation of the Formula Ford 1600 category at Bathurst as a major highlight in the competition year,” he said. “This will both strengthen the category and also draw competitors into Formula Ford 1600 knowing there is an opportunity to compete at Bathurst for an achievable cost. We are pleased to say we have an oversubscribed number of registered competitors for the Event, and feel confident this will produce a capacity field in Easter.” The two regularity classes will be run by the Porsche Club of New South Wales and the NSW Road Racing Club, with  both  expecting large fields. Regularity places competitors against the clock, rather than in a race with other drivers,  seeking to lap as close as possible to a nominated benchmark time and accrue the least number of penalty points as possible. The NSW Road Racing club has already confirmed 45 entrants for their five sessions, representing the width and breadth of the motorsport spectrum, including American Muscle Cars, Classic British Sports Cars, high powered modern turbos and Clubmans. Regular competitor and organiser Steve Lacey said the chance to compete at Bathurst was so rare that competitors were eager to be part of the Festival. “The opportunity to compete at Mount Panorama in a road registered car and with an L2S CAMS Licence is extremely rare – the Bathurst Motor Festival gives competitors this opportunity at an affordable cost,” he explained. “There is nothing like the rush you get at the Mountain. With the exception of the straight at Philip Island there is no other opportunity to stretch the legs of my five-speed, six-litre Holden Torana like the run up Mountain Straight & down Conrod. “The circuit’s topography & layout evens out the field with some sections suiting the big V8’s & other sections best suited to the modern day turbo cars.” Event Director James O’Brien said he was thrilled with the response from categories looking to support the new-look weekend of racing over the Easter Long Weekend. “We had a fantastic response from categories keen to race at Bathurst over Easter,” he said. “We have a great variety of competitors ranging from high profile national categories like the Aussie Racing Cars , to regularity Events that will allow people with road cars with limited modifications only to compete at Bathurst. “The Bathurst Motor Festival is designed to cater to enthusiasts and with the program of racing categories we have locked in, we think we will achieve that goal.”