Bathurst 12 Hour news 2007-07-08

WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR RETURNS TO MOUNT PANORAMA IN 08 Following the successful return of 12 hour endurance racing to Mount Panorama for the 2007 WPS Bathurst International Motor Festival in April, event organisers today announced the Event will...

WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR RETURNS TO MOUNT PANORAMA IN 08

Following the successful return of 12 hour endurance racing to Mount Panorama for the 2007 WPS Bathurst International Motor Festival in April, event organisers today announced the Event will again descend on the legendary circuit in 2008 with a new name and on a new date.

The WPS Bathurst Motor Festival, as it is now called to reflect the true Australian core of the Event, will shift from its traditional Easter long weekend timeslot to February 15 -- 17, and is expected to be bigger and better than ever before.

With spectator and manufacturer interest piqued by the inaugural running of the WPS Bathurst 12 hour in April this year, bigger crowds, additional marques, 40+ cars and more 'big name' drivers are expected for the 2008 Festival.

Event Director James O'Brien said the decision to move the event from its traditional Easter weekend timeslot was a strategic one aimed at creating further opportunities for the event and its supporters.

"We feel moving the event to the February 15-17 weekend will enable more of our fans, officials and corporate partners to maximise their experience and interactions with the event over its full three day duration, without feeling the need to compromise on family at Easter," said O'Brien.

"The earlier running date also means the WPS Bathurst Motor Festival will not clash with other events, and places us as the first major national event on the calendar.

"We hope this will act as an incentive for competitors and fans alike, who are looking to get into some serious motorsport action after the long summer lay-off."

With the announcement of the new date, the call is going out to all the motorsport fraternity to throw their hats in the ring for what is shaping up to be an enthralling tussle for bragging rights if April's running of the event is anything to go by.

"Following feedback from the manufacturers and competitors from the 2007 Event, it appears they are more than happy with the base structure and eligibility of the event," said Craig Denyer of WPS Bathurst 12 Hour category manager Spherix.

"Therefore only minor changes to the class structure and rules and regulations, which we are currently framing, will be made.

"Essentially the class makeup will be those cars that are eligible for the Australian Performance Car and Australian Production Car Championships, plus the addition of an eco diesel/hybrid class and a class for V8 Utes. Also being investigated is a class for cars with automatic or semi-automatic transmissions.

"We are currently seeking expressions of interest from manufacturers or any other competitors for specific vehicles they would like considered for eligibility, with a draft eligibility and class structure released within the next two weeks."

The 2007 WPS Bathurst Motor Festival attracted nearly 30,000 spectators and a number of big motorsport names over its three days -- with Grand Marshall Bob Jane dropping in for autograph sessions and a number of champions past and present lining up for the WPS Bathurst 12 hour.

On the grid were former V8 series and Bathurst champion John Bowe, Australia's only World Rally Championship competitor Chris Atkinson, former Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates and former national 2-Litre champion Paul Morris, who went on to win the inaugural WPS Bathurst 12 hour with Garry Holt and Craig Baird aboard a BMW 335i.

This illustrious group was also joined on the start line by former 12 hour winner Neil Crompton and media personality and Fujitsu V8 series contender Grant Denyer -- just to name a few.

Further announcements will be made over the coming months regarding the 2008 WPS Bathurst Motor Festival, which is promoted and managed by Global Entertainment Team through a joint venture with Bathurst Regional Council.

-credit: WPS Bathurst Motor Festival

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Series Supercars , Endurance
Drivers Neil Crompton , Craig Baird , Paul Morris , Neal Bates , Bob Jane , Grant Denyer , Garry Holt , Chris Atkinson