New car, more entries for Bathurst 24

Monaro mounts Pnorama one month early in 24-hour race preview. Holden's 7.0-litre Monaro contender for the Bathurst 24-Hour race has broken cover for the first time with a surprise demonstration run at Mount Panorama, where next month it will ...

Monaro mounts Pnorama one month early in 24-hour race preview.

Holden's 7.0-litre Monaro contender for the Bathurst 24-Hour race has broken cover for the first time with a surprise demonstration run at Mount Panorama, where next month it will tackle some of the world's top GT sportscar teams.

Garth Tander, the only one of four drivers yet to be nominated by entrant Garry Rogers Motorsport, took the Monaro CV8 on three laps of the 6.2 km circuit late yesterday during the Bathurst 1000 meeting.

The Monaro will be pitted against Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and other exotic makes in the race on 16-17 November and then is scheduled to contest the Australian Nations Cup Championship in 2003.

Tander reported the striking yellow coupe was a hit with Holden fans lining Mount Panorama.

"Judging by their reaction it's going to be a popular thing when we finally go racing," he said.

"It's got a lot of potential, but we haven't even begun to crack it yet. It's got good horsepower and handling balance and I've no doubt it will be competitive against the other Nations Cup cars.

"However, it's premature to speculate how it compares to my Garry Rogers Motorsport Commodore V8 Supercar - they're really chalk and cheese and we won't have any idea until we go testing at Winton in a couple of weeks."

Garry Rogers Motorsport has built the Monaro over the past several months in its Melbourne workshop.

Within bodywork that is virtually standard except for front and rear spoilers, the Monaro runs a derivative of the roadgoing Monaro CV8's Gen III alloy V8 engine, an Australian-made Holinger six-speed sequential gearbox, AP Racing brakes and independent rear suspension developed by Peter Brock's V8 Supercar engineer Ron Harrop.

Dunlop tyres are fitted to wheels of 18 in. x 11 in. at the front and 18 in. x 13 in. at the rear, the same sizes used by the Nations Cup Lamborghini Diablo and Chrysler Viper.

The Mount Panorama appearance yesterday followed a secret shakedown at Melbourne's Calder Park circuit last week.

Bahrain GP Masterminds enter Bathurst 24-hour.

Two officials leading the development of a new circuit for the Middle East's first formula one grand prix will drive in the Bathurst 24-Hour race.

Danish-born Peter Hansen, former Chief Executive of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and now supervising construction of the track in Bahrain, and the circuit's German designer Herman Tilke will compete in a Honda S2000 sports car.

The foundation stone for the 5.5 kilometre Bahrain GP track was laid last week by Crown Prince Shaikh Salman Al Khalifa with the assistance of Britain's Prince Andrew and FIA President Max Mosley.

Hansen's and Tilke's mountain soujourn from their desert duties will be shared with James Philip and Ken Talbert, from Melbourne, who took the car to a class victory in the recent Sandown 500.

Both have extensive motor racing experience as competitors, as well as administrators.

Hansen, 52, was Danish Touring Car Champion in 1980 and raced in the 1982 World Sportscar Championship and since then has competed in several international races.

Tilke, 47, was second in the European Touring Car Championship in 1984. He has competed in the Spa 24-hour, Nurburgring 24-hour and Daytona 24-hour for many years.

>From Bahrain, the drivers said: "We are extremely excited to be able to race together. It was something we talked about when we met for the first time at the Malaysian Grand Prix in March this year.

"We are now working closely together on circuit design and circuit management and so it is a perfect fit that we can also race together.

"Both of us have raced on most of the famous European circuits, but never at Bathurst, so we are really looking forward to it.O

The Bahrain track, which will host a grand prix in 2004, is believed to be the largest motorsports project in the world.

Hansen's company International Motorsports Management provides management services and consultancy to several large motorsports project around the world, including Australia.

Herman Tilke designed the F1 circuit in Malaysia and recently re-worked Hockenheim Ring in Germany. He is involved in planning the proposed F1 circuit in China and has a watching brief on the progress in Moscow.

Australia's first major international 24-hour race, the Bathurst 24-Hour will start at 4 pm on Saturday 16 November. Practice and qualifying, including night sessions, will be on Friday. Support events will be a two-hour Showroom Showdown for GT Production Cars on Saturday, and races on Friday and Saturday for V8 BRutes and Holden HQ sedans. Tickets, priced from $40 for two days, can be purchased through Ticketmaster7 by phoning 1300 136 122 or visiting www.ticketmaster7.com. More information about the event is on the official website,

-www.bathurst24hr.com-

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Garth Tander , Garry Rogers , Peter Brock , Peter Hansen , James Philip , Hermann Tilke
Teams Garry Rogers Motorsport