A COMPLETE sell-out of all available entry spaces will see Mount Panorama filled to capacity during the annual Challenge Bathurst event this 28 November 28 – 1 December.
The Event will continue to offer a broad mix of cars and stars on the Mountain, with several high-profile additions to the dedicated Pirelli GT3 group joining 120 Super Sprint competitors and 275 Regularity participants set to fill the Mount Panorama circuit paddock.
All 395 available entry spaces across Super Sprint & Regularity – the Pirelli GT3 group elected to take their own entire ‘slot’ within the broader Super Sprint program – have been filled, with 25 more entries than available capacity received by the Event organisers.
It will be the second time in Event history more than 400 competitors in total will compete across the four-day competition.
The Pirelli GT3 group includes several high-profile competitors beginning their preparations for the 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Factory Audi ace Kelvin van der Linde will drive one of the Audi Sport Customer Racing R8 LMS entries, while Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen will drive Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Mercedes Benz GT3.
Notable names also include Tony Quinn (Aston Martin Vantage GT3), Steven Richards and Dean Grant (BMW M6 GT3), Luke Youlden (Audi R8), and brothers Yasser and Sam Shahin (Mercedes AMG GT3).
The remaining Super Sprint categories include the regular diverse mix of machinery and will feature the likes of Brett Hobson’s Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, Tony Walls’ McLaren 650S GT3, several of the Generation I and II MARC Cars racers and Radical SR3 Sports Racers.
A highlight of the Regularity competition, to be held across the Saturday and Sunday of the Event, will be a full field of Nissan / Datsun ‘Z Cars’, fielded by the Z Car Club of Queensland
Celebrating a key anniversary for the marque, the club has a full field of 55 cars filling one complete Regularity class, plus a further 28 entries across other groups.
The dedicated Z Car Club group includes the immensely popular Datsun 240Z and 260Zs, Nissan 280 and 300ZX models and much more.
Category Manager and Z Car Club of Queensland Social Events Coordinator David Robertson said it was exciting for the club to have such a significant way to celebrate a milestone anniversary of a famous ‘Z’ car.
“This year is the 50th anniversary of the release of the 240Z back on October 22nd 1969. ‘Group Z’, as it is called, will have 51 Z cars covering all the 6 different models competing on the track at one time, so it will be an incredible and historic sight and sound with all on these Z’s on the track together,” he said.
“The Festival of Z which is running at the same time will see about 50 other show and club car attending over the weekend and in the days leading up to the Saturday and Sunday of the Regularity
“On Friday the Bathurst Regional Council are kindly blocking of a section on Russell Street in the heart of Bathurst, so that the road registered race cars and the show cars are able to park up in town so that the locals can come and see the Z’s up close.”
The remainder of the regularity competition includes a remarkably diverse assortment of cars with everything from Hyundai Excel Cup racers though to big-banger Aussie muscle cars, BMWs and more.
Promoter James O’Brien said he was thrilled with the reaction from competitors, signalling that demand could lead to changes moving forward.
“Since Challenge Bathurst was founded we have built a loyal and sustainable group of regulars who continue to support the Event each year,” O’Brien said.
“As demand has exceeded spots available this year, the Event will investigate moving to an invitational model such that we can continue to reward our loyal regulars, with any vacancies being offered to new competitors.
“We’re looking forward to another successful Event this year with a broad array of cars and drivers that will make for four sensational days of people attempting to ‘Conquer the Mountain’.”
The 2019 Challenge Bathurst is supported by Pirelli, Liqui-Moly Australia and the Bathurst Regional Council.