47 Entries Confirmed for Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour Enduro
Entries for the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour officially closed last Friday with a classy 47 car field entered for the showroom endurance race to be held over 12 -- 14 February at Mount Panorama.
Twelve manufacturers and 27 different models or variants will line up on the grid Sunday morning at 6.30 am and Bathurst 12 Hour Promoter James O'Brien is confident of an exciting Race.
"We are pleased with the numbers, it's a quality field and we expect a healthy crowd with lots of atmosphere," said O'Brien. "We have a bumper support category programme, plus plenty of off track entertainment so it will be a fantastic weekend.
Given the well documented economic woes, to field 47 entries is a pleasant surprise and testament to the appeal of the Event."
Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ford, Holden, Honda, Lotus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Subaru and Toyota will tough out the showroom showdown, with outright honours likely to be settled between the Evo, Impreza, Typhoon, GTS and the new Shelby Mustang GT500.
In Class A -- High Performance (All Wheel Drive): Mitsubishi and Subaru will fight out class and outright victory following Team Ralliart's domination of the last two 12 Hour Races with 2009 winners Damien White and Rod Salmon returning in their Mitsubishi Evo X. Team Ralliart three car operation will face strong opposition from Bob Pearson's two car Evo X team, and Jim Hunter's Subaru WRX STi's.
"I'm very very pumped about the weekend. Obviously that's the plan (to win). As a team we've done all we can to prepare so what happens when we get on the track we'll see," said White.
Other drivers to watch out for are; Warren Luff, Eric Bana, Steve Owen, Tim Leahey and David and Des Wall.
Class B -- High Performance (Rear Wheel Drive) will see the HSV Sportwagon of Russell Ingall and Cam McConville go up against FPV's Typhoons and the BMW's.
FPV's F6 Turbo will be represented for the first time with veteran Bathurst campaigner Andrew Miedecke joining Jeremy Gray and Chris Delfsma. FPV's FG Typhoon will be represented by long time Ford guru Ted Robinson. Also new to the field this year is the BMW 135i entered by Sherrin Rentals and driven by an all Sherrin family team comprising father Michael and sons Iain and Grant.
The 2007 race winning BMW 335i will be driven by V8 Supercar driver Paul Morris, former 12 hour winner and manufacturers champion Garry Holt, along with touring car legend John Bowe. 2009 Class winner Barry Morcom will also be back in his BMW 335i with V8 Supercar driver Andrew Jones and Chevvy Camaro crowd pleaser Paul Stubber. Greg Murphy Racing will also field a HSV GTS along with two HSV entries from Greg Stevenson's Monaro Performance Centre.
Mazda, Holden, BMW and Ford will fight for glory in Class C -- Performance Sedans/Hatches with the new two car Mazda 3 MPS team of Osborne Motorsport stepping up to the class for the first time to take on previous class winners, Walden Motorsports Holden VE SS and Allan Shephards BMW 130i. New Zealand will also be represented in this class with David Taylor's 130i entry. The Ford BF XR8 of Richard Howe, Dean Neville and Dennis O'Keefe will also line up for its 4th start in the race.
Class - D Sports Production includes the only two women competing in the Event, V8 Supercar endurance driver Leanne Tander in Terry Conroy's Honda Integra S and Lauren Gray in a Toyota Corolla Sportiva. Richard Gartner in a Renault Clio 197 will make a first time appearance in the class, with former Bathurst winner Peter McLeod back with the family in a Holden Astra SRi.
Toyota and Subaru will campaign for Class E -- Production (Small) honours with 77 year old Bathurst legend Bob Holden in a Toyota Yaris and Bathurst locals Matthew Windsor, Paul Newman and Steven Shiels returning in the same Subaru Impreza 2.5 they claimed victory with in 2009. Bob Holden won the 1966 Bathurst 500 in a Mini Cooper S some forty four years ago.
Kean Booker's Alfa Romeo 159 diesel will take to the grid in Class F - (Alternative Energy Class), while 3 V8 Utes will join the field in Class H -- (V8 Utes), which will see the debut of the new Ford FG XR8 V8 Ute driven by Andrew Fisher, Ben Dunn and Brad Patton. Holden will be represented by the VE SS Commodore V8 of Grant Johnson and Alan Letcher, and Brisbane's Greg Willis also has the Grove Fruit Juice BF Ford entered for the first time.
The Surprise Entry into the Event in Class I -- Invitational is the Shelby Mustang GT 500 of Marcus Zukanovic, which will be a stand-out on the grid and a potential dark horse for outright honours. The brand new car has just been shipped from the USA, is well prepared and set to not only shake the Mountain, but shake up the BMW/Mitsubishi front running domination of the Race. Rob Thomson's Lotus Exige S and Josh Hunt's Nissan 350Z will also be strong runners.
The Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro is in its 4th year. The race features production cars in a class structure representative of the mass road-going market.
Prostate Cancer is the official charity and the Event will be televised in a 3 hour special on the SEVEN Network, through Fox Sports, New Zealand and other International Markets.
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