June 22, 2016 | General


THE RETURN of some of the most famous cars from the annuals of Mount Panorama’s incredible history feature on the support program for the 2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour, announced today. The Heritage Touring Cars category, comprised of genuine Group C and Group A vehicles that competed in Australian Touring Car Racing between 1973 and 1992, will return to the Mountain next Easter amongst a full racing program set for the April 14-16 long weekend.Production Sports Cars will return for their now-annual Bathurst trip of high performance GT vehicles, while a full field of HQ Holdens is again anticipated when Australia’s oldest one-make category returns to the Mountain.All eras of Bathurst’s history will be catered for thanks to the return of the Group N Historic Touring Cars, while the Porsche Club of New South Wales returns for their annual regularity.The five additional racing and regularity categories will join the Easter long weekend event alongside the second running of the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour Production Car enduro that exploded onto the scene this year with a 50-car grid and a thrilling race.More than 300 cars are expected to compete across the three-day festival, one that culminates with an 11:30am Bathurst 6 Hour race start on Sunday, April 16 – with support races to be held across Saturday and on Sunday morning prior to the Bathurst 6 Hour commencing.Heritage Touring Cars last competed at Mount Panorama in 2015, Nissan Skyline GT-R driver Terry Lawlor dominating in wet conditions by taking pole position and three race victories. Ford Sierra RS500 driver Brian Sala finished second while Mark Eddy (Nissan Skyline HR31) and Holden Commodore driver Gary Collins also stood on the podium across the weekend.The 2017 Heritage Touring Cars field promises much the same action as the class continues to grow in stature and importance as a nod to the sports’ past.The series’ recently attracted a record 30 car grid to an event in Sydney as more cars – the genuine examples that raced back in their era – are returned to the track. Series officials report they have already received five registrations for the 2017 Bathurst event.New additions to the field this year include noted racer Carey McMahon in an ex-B&H Ford Sierra RS500 and a perfectly restored NetComm Nissan Skyline raced by the great Murray Carter.2015 winner Lawler, meanwhile, recently purchased the ex-Dick Johnson ‘Greens Tuff’ Mustang to race.40 Group N Historic Touring Cars tackled the Mountain this year, classic muscle cars like Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Falcon GTHO battling it out at the pointy-end of the field.HQ Holdens remain as popular as ever – 58 cars competed across three sprint races held this year with similar numbers expected once again next Easter.The Production Sports Cars further Bathurst’s newer tradition of long-distance GT racing with an array of current-specification GT and Sports Cars set to take to the circuit, while the Porsche Club Regularity allows for drivers to experience the Bathurst circuit who might not otherwise get the chance.Tickets and camping for the 2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 hour will go on sale later this year.