FACT FILE: 2022 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour
THE 2022 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour is on us and another chapter of Bathurst history will be written on Sunday afternoon.
Here’s some of the key elements to keep in mind when it comes to the race this weekend.
‘Production Car’ racing is at the very core of Mount Panorama’s long history, with the first races at the Mountain for road-going vehicles and the roots of the iconic Bathurst 1000 (then the Bathurst 500) in the ‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday’ mentality of a ‘showroom showdown’.
The Bathurst 6 Hour is the latest evolution of that concept.
Racing at Easter is also a Bathurst tradition, dating back to the circuit’s very foundation; the first ever race meeting on the Mountain was held on Easter 1938, just a month after the circuit opened.
THE SIX HOUR
The Bathurst 6 Hour emerged from demand from Production Car competitors wanting their own race.
The Bathurst 12 Hour, between 1991-1994 and then 2007 onwards, was originally for Production car vehicles but in 2011 saw GT cars introduced for the first time, forcing the Production Car racers out of the headline ‘outright’ classes.
In 2016 the Bathurst 6 Hour was introduced to give those competitors a chance to headline their own race. It was received incredibly well and has thrived since then.
It revives the spirt of class racing at Mount Panorama, with big fields, lots of different cars and a huge variety of drivers – from household names to those ticking off a bucket-list item – on the grid.
CLASS X – “Ultimate Performance” – The fastest cars in the field, categorized by price and performance potential. The primarily the domain of BMW’s ‘M’ Cars, the M3 and M4. Cost cap is $150K.
CLASS A1 – “Extreme Performance, Forced Induction” – The next-fastest cars in the field powered by engines that are either turbocharged or supercharged. Think Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, Mercedes AMG A45, Turbo BMWs and Audi TT’s.
CLASS A2 – “Extreme Performance, Normally Aspirated” – As with A1, but these things run without additional Boost. The domain of Ford Mustangs / Falcons and HSV Commodores.
CLASS B1 / B2 – “High Performance Forced Induction / Normally Aspirated” – as per Class A1 and A2, but for cars of a lower performance level. Instead of HSV GTS, Think SS Commodore.
CLASS C – “Performance” – Performance Sports Cars, Hot Hatches and similar, this is where the Renault Megane RS, Mazda RX8, Astra Turbos and similar reside.
CLASS D – “Production” – A broad range of sporty road cars priced when new around the $30-$50k mark, including the ultra-popular Toyota 86, Mini Cooper S and similar.
CLASS E – “Compact” – Little Hot Hatchbacks make up the ‘baby’ car class in the race.
KEY RACE FACTS / RECORDS
LAP RECORD: 2m25.802 – Chaz Mostert, 2017 (Ford Focus RS)
QUALY RECORD: 2m22.094 – Tim Leahey, 2018 (BMW M3 Competition)
- BMW has won every Bathurst 6 Hour contested, finished 1st and 2nd in 4 of the 5 races contested.
- BMW swept the podium last year, the first time in race history.
- BMW has qualified fastest for every Bathurst 6 Hour contested
- BMW have won their class on 9 occasions, a record for any brand. Holden (6) and Toyota (5) are the only other brands to win a class more than once
- Toyota has never lost Class D
- The largest winning margin was 1 lap, set in 2019 by winners Beric Lynton & Tim Leahey
- The smallest was 3.277s in 2018 by Grant and Iain Sherrin
- The distance record is 131 laps / 813km (set in 2019)
- The shortest distance was 109 laps / 677km (set in 2018)
Here’s some of the key rules to follow during the event. While it can appear complicated, it’s actually relatively simple.
- 2 or 3 drivers allowed per car, maximum.
- Only one (1) PRO-rated driver per entry.
- No driver can complete more than 3.5 hours of the 6-hour race.
- The maximum continuous driving time for any one driver is 3 hours.
- Drivers must remain out of the car for a one-hour ‘rest’ after any stint.
- Maximum of 24 (6 sets) new MRF Control Tyres for the entire weekend. No used (previously marked) tyres allowed. Teams must get at least two sets brand new for the event.
- Race begins with a rolling start (the clock starts counting on the green flag), finish is 1 lap after 17:13pm local time.
COMPULSORY PIT STOP RULES
Each car must complete mandatory, 90-second timed Compulsory Pit Stops (CPS) during the race.
The timing of said pit stop starts when they car crosses the control line at pit entry and finishes when they cross the control line at pit exit. As long as that time between lines is 90 seconds, what they do in between can take however long, or go as quickly, as they want. Penalties apply for a shorter CPS time.
- Class X cars must complete six (6) CPS across the race.
- Class A1, A2 and B1 must complete four (4) CPS
- The remaining classes all must complete three (3) CPS throughout the race.