Bathurst 24-Hour news 2003-07-08

Teams planning to contest November's Bathurst 24-Hour motor race have been urged to ensure their cars are eligible -- and to do so quickly to have any chance of securing a place in the 55-car field. Organiser PROCAR Australia has received a ...

Teams planning to contest November's Bathurst 24-Hour motor race have been urged to ensure their cars are eligible -- and to do so quickly to have any chance of securing a place in the 55-car field.

Organiser PROCAR Australia has received a significant number of enquiries about vehicles that would not be accepted for the event on 21-23 November, although regulations state cars must comply with the technical rules of specified Australian and international motor racing championships.

"We have been surprised at the weird and wonderful types of cars some teams have proposed to enter and we want to emphasise that this is not an all-comers race," PROCAR Australia Deputy Executive chairman John Cowley said.

"For instance, clubman-type sports cars, replicas and V8 Supercars cannot compete, because they do not comply with any of the championship series we have specified. We have one class where PROCAR can invite cars outside those series regulations, but they still must be in the spirit of the event and similar in type to the other entries."

The Bathurst 24-Hour will be contested in six classes for GT sports cars and touring cars.

The outright Class A is for cars meeting technical regulations for the Australian Nations Cup Championship (Group One), international FIA Grand Touring ( N-GT), British GTO, All-Japan GT (Group Two), American Grand-Am and European Lamborghini Trophy series.

Holden and Garry Rogers Motorsport are expected to defend their outright victory in the inaugural event with the 7.0 litre Monaro driven by Steven Richards, Nathan Pretty, Cameron McConville and Garth Tander.

Entries have been received for two British-based cars, Martin Short's Mosler MT900R, which finished second last year, and a TVR Tuscan V8 owned by Bert Taylor. Australian Peter Floyd has entered a Porsche GT3 RS.

The closing date for entries is 1 October, but Mr Cowley said more than 30 entries had been received already and the grid capacity of 55 starters was certain to be exceeded, meaning some teams would miss out.

"After the success of the first Bathurst 24-Hour, interest in this year's race is huge. There's a tremendous amount of activity going on here and overseas with teams sourcing cars, drivers and sponsors and drivers trying to link up with teams with the potential to do well, but the time has come for them all to start making decisions," Mr Cowley said.

"There are just 19 weeks to go and any team that seriously wants to be in this truly international race better make sure now that they understand the eligibility rules and then lodge their entry."

The Bathurst 24-Hour regulations, which were first published in April, can be downloaded from the official website, www.bathurst24hr.com.

The classes are for cars complying with technical rules for the following series -

* Class A (outright): Australian Nations Cup Championship (GroupOne), international FIA Grand Touring (N-GT), British GTO, All-Japan GT(Group Two), American Grand-Am, European Lamborghini Trophy.

* Class B: Australian Nations Cup Championship (Group Two).

* Class C: FIA Super 2000 touring cars.

* Class D: Australian GT Performance Championship touring cars.

* Class E: Australian Production Car Championship touring cars

* Class F: FIA Group N, FIA Super Production, New Zealand Schedule"S" touring cars and cars invited by PROCAR Australia.

Eligiblity for the Nations Cup, GT Performance and Australian Production Car Championships, which are staged by PROCAR Australia, is covered by a list of makes and models published twice a year.

The mid-year update expected to be published later this month will list all cars able to entered for the Bathurst 24-Hour, provided they are built to the appropriate technical rules.

The second Bathurst 24-Hour will start at 2 pm on Saturday 22 November, after practice and qualifying the day before. The winners are expected to cover more than 3300 kilometres.

Support races will feature the popular annual 2-Hour Showroom Showdown, plus V8 BRutes and Porsches, while planned off-track attractions include a giant ute muster and country music concert, plus entertainment in the Bathurst city centre.

Tickets have gone on sale already through Ticketmaster7, priced from just $24 with advance-purchase discounts.

Channel Seven will produce seven hours' of live race coverage, plus its telecast of the Rugby World Cup final in Sydney on Saturday 22 November will be shown on two giant screens at the top and bottom of the Mount Panorama circuit.

-www.bathurst24hr.com

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Garth Tander , Nathan Pretty , Cameron McConville , Garry Rogers , Peter Floyd
Teams Garry Rogers Motorsport