The stage is set for one of Australia’s biggest production car events for the year as teams prepare for the annual Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour at the iconic Mount Panorama.
With the Easter holidays providing the country one of the biggest stages to strut their stuff, cams.com.au has a look at some of the key facts ahead of the big race.
The Entry List
A healthy field of 44 crews have entered the event across six categories, the largest being the A1 class with 16 cars competing.
Headlining the field is reigning champions Ian and Grant Sherrin who will be looking to make it two in a row behind the wheel of their BMW M4 F82. Joining the Queenslanders from the Australian Production Car Series (APC) are fellow title rivals Beric Lyton and Timothy Leahey, Anthony Soole and Dimitri Agathos.
The class also welcomes both Garth and Brian Walden from Walden Motorsport, while 2018 Australian GT4 Champion Jeremy Gray and 2018 CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Champion Jayden Ojeda are also in the fold to add another title to their name.
The remaining classes also a feature a number of motor sport regulars who compete in categories around the country. The APC has a host of 2018 class winners represented, including A2 winners Nathan Callaghan and Chris Lillis and Class B winner James Keene.
Reigning Queensland Excel Champion Frank Mamarella joins forces with another Queenslander in Kaden Olsen to lead the C class, while Jimmy Vernon will use the endurance event D class as solid preparation for the upcoming TCR Australia Series.
The Support Categories
Circuit Excels – 67 Cars
Heritage Touring Cars – 38 Cars
Improved Production – 55 Cars
Porsche Regularity – 55 Cars
Production Sports – 50 Cars
The action gets underway from 7.50am AEST on each day and wraps up around 6pm local time.
Competitors in the 6-Hour get their first chance at the track on Friday morning with a practice session before getting another session again on in the afternoon.
One final practice on Saturday morning sets up two qualifying sessions in the afternoon before the main race takes places at 11:30am on Sunday morning.
All the other categories have similar schedules with qualifying on Friday afternoon before the first two races on Saturday. Ahead of the 6-Hour on Sunday, each category will get their final race.
Last Time They Met
It was drama that came down to the last 10 minutes where the Sherrin brothers stormed their way to the front on the field after being in fourth moments before.
Brett Strom was leading the way in the final stages before a late safety car allowed Grant Sherrin to close to the front, but the American was too busy fighting it out with Steven Johnson to worry about the rampaging BMW M4.
After four lead changes between Strom and Johnson, Sherrin overtook both drivers in an incredible move on the second last lap to steal the victory and claim redemption for an unlucky runners-up finish in 2016.
2018 Top 10
1. Grand Sherrin- Iain Sherrin
2. Daren Jorgensen-Brett Strom
3. Rob Woods- Marcel Zalloua –Steven Johnson
4. Rod Salmon –Leigh Burges
5. Paul Loiacono- Peter Lown- James Vernon
6. Garth Walden – Craig Baird
7. Karl Begg-Justin Anthony
8. Jeremy Gray-George Miedecke
9. Christopher Lillis – Nathan Callaghan
10. Joe Krinelos-Tony Virag – Brett Howard
What they said:
We’ve just never cracked that outright victory we’ve been hunting for a while.
“We’ve been focussed on standing on the top podium step. It’s been a long time coming and a lot of hard work between the 135 and now the M4.”
“I think he was quicker down the straight but was slower getting out of the corners and he had some sort of traction issue.
“I could hear the car cutting out as he was coming out of corners, so that was my advantage.
“I managed to stay alongside of him coming out of turn two and then I used that car as a pick. I was thinking ‘you’re going to hit that car or hit me’.”