The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) will award the Australian Tourist Trophy to the drivers of the winning car of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour from 2017.
The international endurance event will run on 3-5 February next year, with the addition of the Australian Tourist Trophy sure to add further interest to the increasing popularity of the event.
CAMS General Manager of Motor Sport Michael Smith said the Bathurst 12 Hour was a good fit with the history of the Australian Tourist Trophy.
“CAMS looked at the possibility of awarding the winners of the Bathurst 12 Hour with the Australian Tourist Trophy as part of the Australian Motor Race Commission review that took place last year,” Smith said.
“The Bathurst 12 Hour is increasingly attracting some of the best drivers both in Australia and from around the world, increasing the prestige of the event year on year.
“The Australian Tourist Trophy’s strong sports car history made it an appropriate fit with the Bathurst 12 Hour event, with future winners joining the likes of past Australian Tourist Trophy recipients Stirling Moss, Bib Stillwell and Frank Matich.”
Bathurst 12 Hour Event Director John Casey echoed Smith’s statements.
“We are proud and excited to have such a prestigious and historic award being presented to the winners of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, further reinforcing the stature of the event,” Casey said.
“We would like to thank CAMS for supporting the 12 Hour; having the outright winners recognised further by awarding them the Australian Tourist Trophy title only adds to the significance of winning this race.”
The Australian Tourist Trophy was first contested by Sports Cars in 1956 and then annually from 1958 until the introduction by CAMS of the Australian Sports Car Championship in 1969. In 1975 it was restricted for the first time to Production Sports Cars and contested over two heats. In 1976 the Australian Tourist Trophy once again became a contest for purpose built Group A Sports Cars until it was discontinued after the 1979 event.
Thirty years later the Australian Tourist Trophy was revived with the award going to the winner of the Sandown GT Classic in 2007 and 2008, and then the driver accumulating the most outright championship points at specified rounds of the annual Australian GT Championship from 2009.
Past winners of the Australian Tourist Trophy include Stirling Moss (1956), Bib Stillwell (1961 & 1962), Frank Matich (1964, 1966, 1967 & 1968) and Ian Geoghegan (1963, 1965 & 1967).