April 6, 2014 | General


FOR THE SECOND TIME this year a big field of Production-based Sports and GT vehicles will tackle long-distance racing at Mount Panorama.A massive field of New South Wales Production Sports Car Racing Series competitors will descend on the Mountain for the Bathurst Motor Festival this Easter 18-20, just three months after the incredible Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour thrilled an international audience in February.The Prod Sports field will look somewhat similar to the 12-hour grid, too – famous brands like Porsche, Lamborghini and BMW amongst the 52 entries.The field is stacked with some impressive driver talent, too, a majority of whom have regular success in national level categories throughout the season.Dominant Radical Australia Cup sports car racer Neale Muston has entered his Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car, having won the pair of Radical races on the Mountain this February and the Easter races last year.Bill Pye has a similar Porsche entered whilst state champion Iain Pretty will bring a stunning Ford GT40 Replica to the party.Two Lamborghini’s, including the Bathurst 12-hour entered M Motorsport Gallardo LP560-4 driven by Justin McMillan and Ross Lilley, several speedy supercharged Lotuses, Porsche Carrera Cup racer Duvashen Padayachee and GT Championship runner Andrew MacPherson are also on the list.Amongst the frontrunners is expected to be Keith Kassulke, a full-timer in the popular Enzed Touring Car Masters Series where he races a 1976 Ford Falcon Hardtop. The New Guinea-based driver recently acquired the ex-Darren Berry Ascari A10 GT3 car and has confirmed his GT debut on the Mountain for this Easter.Kassulke raced the car at Sandown last weekend and has prior starts at the Mountain in both the TCM Falcon and in this year’s 12-hour – but says the Ascari is something different again.”It’s a driving challenge. The Ascari has quite a small cockpit where as the XB I have room around me… The Ascari is very tight, made for a very small European driver man rather than a big Australian like me, but I’ve got a handle on it fairly quickly and the plan is to get quicker and quicker as we go,” Kassulke explained.”I did faster laps in the race at Sandown than I did in qualifying so that’s a testament to the improvement.”It’s going to be quite a different thing to drive there,” he said of the forthcoming Bathurst trip.”It’s another big challenge. I can go reasonably quickly there in the XB, but the Ascari being left hand drive makes it different. It has enormous amount of grip and I think it will be very good – I’m looking forward to it.”I’m looking forward to the one hour races on the Mountain. Bathurst should be excellent in that car.”The Production Sports Car grid will tackle two, 35-minute races on Saturday before a final one-hour enduro on Sunday afternoon.The Bathurst Motor Festival will be held across the April 18-20 long weekend at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. Volunteers to assist in the operation of the Event are still being sought; interested parties can visit and click the ‘officials and volunteers’ tab to find more info. Entry to the Bathurst Motor Festival is by Bank Note donation with all proceeds going towards official Event charity, Legacy.