Regulations release gives green light for teams to start Bathurst 24-Hour preparations.

International and Australian teams are expected to start serious preparations for the second Bathurst 24-Hour motor race after the release of the event regulations yesterday.

The race will be staged on the 6.3 km Mount Panorama circuit, 210 km west of Sydney, on 22-23 November, with qualifying on Friday 21 November.

A field of 55 GT sports cars and touring cars will take a rolling start at 2 pm on Saturday, with a gruelling test of more than 3300 km ahead of the leading contenders.

Announcing the release of the official Supplementary Regulations, John Cowley, Deputy Executive Chairman of organiser PROCAR Australia, said the second Bathurst 24-Hour would be a further step toward the development of one of the world's great endurance races.

"PROCAR and our partner Bathurst City Council have made a long-term committment to the Bathurst 24-Hour race and after the inaugural event last November we are confident it has enormous potential.

"We have been contacted by many potential entrants from Europe and the United States since last November. International media coverage and word of mouth in the motorsport world has reached them and they're keen to tackle Australia's legendary Bathurst circuit," Mr Cowley said.

The 2003 race will see the number of eligible car classes reduced from 10 to six.

The classes are -

* Class A (outright): Sports cars complying to regulations for Australian Nations Cup (Group One), FIA Grand Touring (N-GT), British GTO, All Japan GT (Group Two), American Grand-Am, Lamborghini Trophy.

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

* Class C: FIA Super 2000 touring cars.

* Class D: Australian GT Performance touring cars.

* Class E: Australian Production Car Championship touring cars (classes A, B, C).

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

The race will be covered again by the Seven Network in Australia, plus international affiliates reaching more than 280 million households.

Seven will air at least six hours of live action, including opening and closing programs and several live updates.

The Bathurst telecast will share Channel Seven's programming on Saturday night with the final of the Rugby World Cup in Sydney and Mr Cowley said Super Screens around Mount Panorama would allow fans to follow both events.

The Class A battle for outright victory is expected to feature cars such as last year's winner, the 7.0 litre Holden Monaro, plus Ferrari, Porsche, Mosler, BMW and Lamborghini representatives.

Mr Cowley said overseas expressions of interest included a two-car Mosler entry from Britain's Rollcentre Racing team and Porsches from Le Mans and Sebring class winner Kevin Buckler (United States), Seikel Motorsport (Germany) and Graham Nash Motorsport (Britain).

One of America's most successful sports car racers, Le Mans and Daytona 24-hour winner Davy Jones, also was keen to compete at Bathurst, while Australian teams were preparing to run a variety of Ferraris, Maseratis, Vipers, Monaros and Porsches.

Support events to the Bathurst 24-Hour will be the seventh annual Showroom Showdown mini-enduro for production touring cars, V8 BRute races and the Great Aussie Ute Muster.

The full Supplementary Regulations, including entry forms, can be downloaded from