THE EXPANDED Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour support program will see a record number of entries tackling the Mountain next year.
For the first time a fourth category – Formula Ford – was added to the existing supports roster, with an additional day of on-track activity confirmed for Thursday, January 31 to cater for the additional sessions.
The famous open wheel class will join Group S Historic Sports Cars, Skye Sands Combined Sedans and the opening round of the 2019 Radical Australia Cup on the 12-hour under-card.
Practice and qualifying will be held on Thursday with racing across Friday and Saturday in the lead-up to the 2019 running of Australia’s International Enduro.
More track time for Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour competitors will also feature throughout the program on Friday and Saturday.
Group S, Combined Sedans and Formula Ford are all set for oversubscribed fields while a strong Radical presence is expected for what will be the first round of their new season.
The Group S Historic Sports Cars grid sold out in under two days when their entries opened last Friday.
“We’ve had a remarkable response to our return to Bathurst next February,” Category representative Alex Webster explained.
“At this stage there are 11 different manufacturers represented with a great spread of different models that will put on a great show.
“Not only a large contingent of returning competitors from last year, but also a great group of newcomers.”
Formula Ford’s return to the Mountain will see a full grid cars tackle a series of sprint races in the official kicking-off point for the classes’ 50th anniversary celebrations.
The grid will be split between more modern Formula Ford 1600 machinery and historic cars covering the many years of competition the class has enjoyed.
“Our grid was full five days after we opened entries, and we have in excess of 10 on our reserve list,” Formula Ford Australia’s Phil Marrinon said.
“There should be some really good racing throughout the field with such a good range of current and historic cars competing.”
Combined Sedans – which features a mix of ex-Supercars, Sports Sedans and Improved Production machinery – has confirmed the inclusion of a fourth class for TA2 (TransAm 2) cars and the ongoing support of Skye Sands as a major event sponsor.
A larger contingent of the predominantly Queensland-based TA2 cars will join the grid next February, after several raced at Bathurst this February and performed well.
Racing legend and Tickford Racing co-owner Rusty French will be among those in the US-sourced cars, while defending class winner Steve Lacey has also confirmed his return in his thundering Chevrolet Camaro Sports Sedan.
The New South Wales-based driver has targeted his intention to topple his own 2m10.99s lap record, established at the event this year.
Combined Sedans organisers confirmed that their field was oversubscribed just days after entries opened.
The Radical Australia Cup has one round of competition remaining in their 2018 season before attention turns to their 2019 campaign, that will again commence at Mount Panorama.
A strong field of the quick sports cars are expected to tackle the Mountain, regular Radical front-runners Peter Paddon and Kim Burke having split the race wins between them earlier this year.