HUGE FIELDS ENTERED FOR WPS BATHURST MOTOR FESTIVAL

The growth of the WPS Bathurst Motor Festival is undisputed with over 200 race cars and hundreds of display cars and bikes set to converge on the famous Mount Panorama circuit for the February event, with entries for the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour officially closed last Friday.

The revival of endurance racing at the iconic circuit has continued to be popular, with 40 entries listed on the preliminary entry list for the production car feature, incorporating 13 different manufacturers.

Eight of the top ten manufacturers in Australia by volume, including the straight top six, will line up for the race around the clock with Toyota, Holden, Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Honda, as well as Hyundai and Subaru, all represented in the field.

Entries have also been received from Thomson Alfa Romeo, BMW, Mini and Proton, and for the first time the Lotus marque will be represented with two Exiges entered for the production car showdown.

Event Director James O'Brien said he was pleased to see a healthy increase on the 32 entries in 2007 and more manufacturers represented on the grid for the endurance race.

"The field for this year's WPS Bathurst 12 Hour is not only up on last year's but sees more competitors with a chance of outright victory," said O'Brien.

"This can only be a good thing for the Australian motor sport industry and for the fans, with more cars, more marques, more drivers and as a direct result, stiffer competition all round on the cards for the 2008 Event.

"The wide variety of cars will certainly provide some interest with outright speed, race tactics, fuel strategy and team work all coming into play throughout the race."

Along with the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour entries, literally hundreds of other cars and bikes will head to the spiritual home of motor sport over the three days with 10 further races around the 6.21km Mount Panorama circuit and plenty of on and off track entertainment in store for the fans.

Capacity fields of 56 Formula Vees, 50 Saloon Cars and two grids (approx 90) Holden HQs will all be in action throughout the weekend in official support of the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour.

Along with the run around the clock, and the 10 support races to be contested throughout the weekend, there will be plenty of other entertainment on the cards including the return of the Freestyle Motocross (FMX) Nationals to the Festival with 40+ entries including former FMX National Champion Chad Towers.

Also on the bill courtesy of Raceline -- the biggest providers of exhibition vehicle entertainment in Australia - are a further 150 cars for the Superstreet Nationals, the Raceline/Peer Stadium Drifters with 12 cars including Stadium Drift Nationals Grand Champion Josh Young, the Sports Bike Stunt Team, eight Drag and burnout cars, Mad Ron's Jet Truck, a Daihatsu Mini Van powered by a French Fighter Jet engine, Nigel Benson in the 500ci Rear Engined Commodore Ute, the award winning The Don' Mafia Show Piece Ford F350 Truck, the 'Transformers' movie 'Ford Mustang Highway Patrol Car' and Mad Ron's Jet Bike.

A further 50 show bikes will be on hand as part of the Festival's commitment to 'bringing back the bikes' with a Street and Custom Motorcycle show and a Club's display day planned for the weekend of the event.

The 2008 WPS Bathurst Motor Festival will be held at Mount Panorama on February 8-10, incorporating the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour on Sunday February 10.

Tickets can be purchased from Ticketek on 13 28 49 with discounted pricing available to patrons who purchase prior to the event. All patrons receive free entry to the Bathurst National Motor Racing Museum with each ticket, and children under 12 are free when they enter with a paying adult.

Access to the top of Mount Panorama will be open throughout the three day Event, with patrons able to catch a shuttle or drive their own car to the Mountain top for a unique viewing point of the track, with the Big Screen ensuring they miss none of the action.

WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR PRELIMINARY ENTRY LIST

Class A -- SONAX High Performance All Wheel Drive
Car - Entrant - Drivers
Subaru 03 WRX Sti -- Cameron Wilson -- TBA
Subaru 03 WRX Sti -- Cameron Wilson -- TBA
Subaru WRX Sti -- Cameron Wilson -- TBA
Mitsubishi EVO VIII RS -- Bob Pearson -- Bob Pearson/Anton Mechtler/Jason Walsh
Mitsubishi EVO IX -- Alan East -- David Wall/Des Wall/Martin Notaris/Trevor Symonds
Subaru WRX Sti -- Gary Deane -- Gary Deane/Rob Rubis/Rod Dawson
Mitsubishi EVO IX RS -- Tony Quinn -- Tony Quinn/Klark Quinn/TBA
Mitsubishi EVO VIII -- Mark King -- Mark King/Mark Brame/TBA
Mitsubishi EVO VIII -- Michael Brock -- Michael Brock/Garry Young/Jack Elsegood
Mitsubishi EVO VIII -- Alan Heaphy -- Damien White/Rod Salmon/Graham Alexander

Class B -- PENRITE High Performance Rear Wheel Drive
Car - Entrant - Drivers
Lotus Exige -- Mark O'Connor/Andrew Fisher/Richard Buttrose
BMW 335i -- Barry Morcom -- TBA
Falcon GT -- Rod Dawson -- Joel Spychala/Lindsay Yelland/Alex Saliba
BMW 335i -- Garry Holt -- Garry Holt/Craig Baird/Paul Morris
Lotus Exige -- Robert Thomson -- Robert Thomson/Greg Willis/Tim Poulton/Guy Gibbons
Holden HSV -- David Mertens -- David Mertens/Leigh Mertens/TBA
Holden HSV GTS VY II -- Greg Stevenson -- Barrie Nesbitt/Tony Alford/Paul Freestone

Class C -- Hot Hatch Performance Cars
Car - Entrant - Drivers
BMW 130i -- David Searle -- Luke Searle/Peter Kelly/TBA
BMW 130i -- Iain Sherrin -- Iain Sherrin/Michael Sherrin/Grant Sherrin
Mazda 3MPS -- Jake Camilleri -- Jake Camilleri/Scott Nicholas/Tim Sipp
Mazda 3MPS -- Allan Shephard -- Allan Shephard/Dennis Cribbin/TBA

Class D -- DISC BRAKES AUSTRALIA Production Vehicles under $50K
Car - Entrant - Drivers
Holden Commodore -- Steve Briffa -- Steve Briffa/Lee Holdsworth/Brett Holdsworth
Ford Falcon BF XR8 -- Robert Van Heusden -- TBA
Ford BF XR8 -- Chris Delfsma -- Chris Delfsma/John Bowe/Paul Stubber
Holden VZ SS -- Brian Walden -- Brian Walden/Garth Walden/Michael Auld
Ford XR6 Turbo -- Richard Howe -- Richard Howe/Dennis O'Keefe/TBA
Ford XR6 Turbo -- Chris Sexton -- TBA
Ford XR6 Turbo -- Chris Sexton -- TBA
Holden Sportswagon -- Holden Motorsport - TBA

Class F -- Production Sports under $50K
Car - Entrant - Drivers
Honda Integra Type R -- Richard Mork -- Richard Mork/David Turner/Richard Prince
Toyota Celica -- Colin Osborne -- TBA
Toyota Celica -- Colin Osborne -- TBA
Honda Integra Type S -- Peter Conroy -- Peter Conroy/Terry Conroy/TBA
Mazda MX5 NC -- Christopher Gough -- Christopher Gough/David Raddatz/Matilda Mravicic
Mini Cooper S -- Trevor Keene -- Trevor Keene/Stuart Jones/TBA

Class G -- Under 2.5 Litre Production
Car - Entrant - Drivers
Hyundai Sonata -- Greg Sticker -- Ross Buckingham/James Augustine/Brett Youlden/Greg Sticker
Subaru Impreza RS -- Jim Hunter -- Jim Hunter/Warren Bossie/Matthew Windsor
Proton Satria GTI -- Darren Harris -- Darren Harris/TBA

Class H - Eco Diesel Over 3.5 Litre
Car - Entrant - Drivers
Alfa Romeo 159 -- Kean Booker -- Kean Booker/David Stone/Rocco Rinaldo

Class I - Eco Diesel 3.5 Litres and Under
Car - Entrant - Drivers
Alfa Romeo 147 JTD -- David Filipetto -- David Filipetto/Wayne Gotch/Wayne Vinckx

-credit: bathurstmotorfestival.com.au