Bathurst: Production based cars prominent

Production-based cars to feature strongly. PRODUCTION-based touring cars from Australia and New Zealand will feature prominently in the Bathurst 24-Hour. Gold Coast-based Team Yamaha is confident of a strong, reliable run in its Ford Falcon ...

Production-based cars to feature strongly.

PRODUCTION-based touring cars from Australia and New Zealand will feature prominently in the Bathurst 24-Hour.

Gold Coast-based Team Yamaha is confident of a strong, reliable run in its Ford Falcon Tickford TE50 sedan, which finished 13th outright in the recent Sandown 500 in Melbourne.

Team Manager Jon Carroll this week announced that owner-driver Trevor Haines would be joined by two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Tony Longhurst, Australian GT Production champion Mark King and experienced Melbourne driver Trevor Sheumack.

"The Falcon ran superbly all weekend at Sandown. It covered a lot of distance and was good to its brakes and tyres. I'm more than confident we'll be running in a good position after 24 hours at Bathurst," Carroll said.

Sydney veteran Bob Pearson is working on one of the most promising entries, a triple-rotor Maza RX-7 from the All Japan GT Series.

Pearson has signed well-known GTP ace Mark Brame to drive with him and is looking for two other drivers, who could accompany the car from Japan.

"The Mazda runs in the GT300 class and if I can get it - it depends on whether Bathurst clashes with a race in Japan - it should be a Group One outright prospect because it will certainly be as quick as a current Nations Cup car," Pearson said.

"It's got huge brakes, a heaps of engine torque for climbing the mountain and only weighs 1100 kg.

"If we can't get the entire car, plan B is to import all the parts to build an equivalent from a car I own already, although with a slightly less powerful twin-rotor engine."

Melbourne team owner Greg Haysom plans to run three Nissan 200SX coupes from the GT Performance series and a Toyota Supra twin-turbo.

Haysom said he had confirmed eight of the 16 drivers he will require, including a high-profile V8 Supercar driver.

"We're currently rebuilding all the Nissans and will have a mountain of spares to get them through the event if necessary," he said.

"Our number one goal is to be still running when the live telecast resumes on Sunday afternoon. The race won't really begin until then and I reckon we'll be there because our cars are all relatively standard."

The first New Zealand entries have been received from Christchurch teams, DCH Racing and Bruce Miles Racing.

DCH will have an ex-works BMW 318i Super Touring car for owner Dennis Chapman, his wife Debbie and brothers Lindsay and Scott O'Donnell.

Bruce Miles will share his BMW 320i Super Tourer with Murray Cleland and Gary Geeves.

Cleland, one of New Zealand's best-known touring car drivers, says he's looking forward immensely to the challenge of Mount Panorama.

"Our car is relatively under-powered but it's a properly engineered race vehicle and pretty well bulletproof," he said.

"I'll be very disappointed if the Kiwis aren't in there fighting to the end."

-bathurst-

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Tony Longhurst , Scott O'Donnell , Trevor Sheumack , Greg Haysom , Mark King , Mark Brame , Bob Pearson