Big Grids For Bathurst

Big Grids For Bathurst

People power is putting the punch into the program for the Bathurst 1000.

With severely limited spectators and a ban on camping, it’s the competitors who are driving support for the biggest race on the calendar.

Super2, Toyota 86 and Bathurst Tin Top races will combine to fill the program at Mount Panorama.

Full details are not yet confirmed, but Race News sources indicate there will be at least 15 Super2 cars at Bathurst, a non-championship 86 headliner, and a full grid of Tin Tops.

A pair of planned Super2 races were originally cancelled by Supercars because of the ongoing state border restrictions, but a band of competitors have succeeded in having it reversed.

There is only likely to be one race but, with Supercars still to finalise details on the Main Game sessions through the Bathurst weekend, there are no firm details.

“Following category consultation Supercars have reversed the decision and will be conducting a Round at the upcoming Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000,” a Supercars spokesman told Race News.

The fate of the Super2 championship is uncertain, with no rounds beyond Bathurst in the calendar, but Motorsport Australia says it will still be crowning a title winner at some point.

A final decision on the Toyota 86 involvement is still waiting approval from several sources, but competitors have told Race News that a non-title event is a definite. With most of the 86 racers based on Sydney, and the trackside support coming from Neal Bates Motorsport in Canberra, there is every chance of a near-full grid for the Toyota sports cars.

And there will definitely be an over-full grid for the Bathurst Tin Tops.

“It’s definitely happening. We’ve got 65 expressions of interest already. And the grid capacity is 55 cars,” category convenor, Paul Morris, told Race News.

The Tin Top category has been the big success of 2020 as local drivers are able to join the travelling circus, which has boomed at Townsville and The Bend in South Australia, without breaking any Covid-19 restrictions.

Morris said the Tin Top category was created to fill the bill at Supercars races and he is not surprised by the support it has gained.

“If you’ve got a car, and you can drive it and you’re not a fool, we’ll let you come. You need to have the same philosophy as us, come to race, have fun and enjoy your car,” he said.

“The good thing about it is that we try to create enough classes so you can get a trophy if you don’t make a mistake. So you can have a race-within-a-race and get a reward. There are 24 trophies up for each races, with eight classes in Adelaide, plus the overall.

Morris said Tin Tops is all about the competitors, unlike other categories which charge giant entry fees, or restrict tyre choices, or are more interested in a profit than the racing.

“In the past those categories want to take your money and screw you. We want to take all that out of it. We try to keep the entry fe where it’s reasonable and encourage people to get their cars out of the garage and enjoy them.

“The other thing we try to do right is put a fair bit of effort into the social media resources. So everyone can follow what they’re doing, make the people in the race feel like they’re heroes when they’re out there racing.”

Morris said he is hoping for three Tin Tops races at Mount Panorama and, although his son Nash ‘Flash’ Morris is likely to be racing something and he had a Tin Tops hit-out in Townsville driving Roland Dane’s Jaguar XJ-S and Chevrolet Camaro, he has no plans to compete.

“Why would I want to drive? I’m having more fun running it,” he said.