Bathurst 24-hour race on target

Bathurst 24-Hour on target as teams, television and ticketing announced. Australia's first major 24-hour motor race is on schedule for 16-17 November this year at Bathurst's Mount Panorama circuit, with the announcement in Sydney today of ...

Bathurst 24-Hour on target as teams, television and ticketing announced.

Australia's first major 24-hour motor race is on schedule for 16-17 November this year at Bathurst's Mount Panorama circuit, with the announcement in Sydney today of television and ticketing arrangements and several prospective entries.

Tickets will go on sale next Monday for the race, which will be telecast around Australia on the Seven Network.

Agreements to show the race on Australian pay television and in Britain, Europe, Asia and New Zealand also are in the pipeline.

The starting grid for the Bathurst 24-Hour will be able to take up to 83 sports and touring cars - and already 12 overseas teams have expressed strong interest in running against some of Australia's top outfits.

One of the first to advise an intended entry is United Kingdom-based Australian driver VJ Angelo, who is visiting home this week to further arrangements for his team to race a BMW M Coupe in the outright class.

Mr Angelo, 36, raced the 380-horsepower BMW at last month's Nurburgring 24-hour in Germany and will test it at England's Snetterton track later this week before shipping it to Australia in September.

Organiser PROCAR Australia said it had finalised agreements with the Bathurst City Council, the Seven Network and International Management Group, which will provide ticketing, sales operational and other services for the race.

PROCAR Australia Chairman Ross Palmer said he expected an influx of entries after today's announcements.

"Since we first announced the Bathurst 24-Hour race in March, interest has been intense from all quarters because this will be one of the world's great motorsport challenges," he said.

"Until now, there has been only one chance a year to race at Australia's most famous track, but the 24-Hour opens the door for many drivers who otherwise would never get the chance.

"Mount Panorama is legendary for its high top speeds, its enthralling climb and descent, its atmosphere, its history and even its changeable weather and any driver with a gram of emotion yearns for a crack at it.

"Well, the Bathurst 24-Hour will require up to 300 such drivers with international-class licences. The challenge to win will almost be secondary to that of just making it around the clock."

Mr Palmer said the Seven Network was committed to providing at least four hours' live national coverage, including overnight updates, between the race start at 4pm on Saturday 16 November and the finish at 4 pm on Sunday.

"We're extremely pleased to welcome Seven as host television broadcaster at Bathurst," he continued.

"We look forward to superb coverage from the Seven team, which built a great reputation on its pioneering live Bathurst broadcasts and in more recent times distinguished itself with its coverage of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games - and as it no doubt will again with the forthcoming Manchester Commonwealth Games.

"Seven will underpin an extensive international telecast. We are in active negotiations with broadcasters throughout the world to take live and delayed television packages."

Bathurst City Council, which owns the Mount Panorama facility and the public roads that will become the 6.2 kilometre circuit for four days from 14 November, will erect special lighting for the race.

International Management Group, whose Gold Coast-based motorsport division runs the Honda Indy 300, Bathurst 1000 and several other major events in Australia and New Zealand, has contracted to supply ticketing and accreditation, major sponsorship, signage and hospitality sales.

It also will enlist and manage up to 1000 officials and volunteers, along with other operational responsibilities.

TICKETS to the Bathurst 24-Hour race will go on sale next Monday, 22 July, through Ticketmaster 7 outlets.

A wide choice of ticket types is available, with a weekend adult general admission pass costing just $40 with an advance purchase discount.

RACE OVERVIEW

Drivers - minimum 3, maximum 4. Minimum licence requirements will be International Grade C.

The race permit will be international, issued by the FIA and administered by under the terms and conditions of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport.

-www.bathurst24hr.com.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Road racing