• Lightning Super Sprint attracts leading GT3 teams, cars to Bathurst
  • Thunder Regularity draws 200 entries, with space remaining
  • Entries for inaugural event close 28 October.

THE first ever Challenge Bathurst event will feature more than 320 cars thanks to enormous response to the inaugural event, to be held this November 24-27.

With entries set to close on 28 October, the Lightning Super Sprint is fully subscribed at the 120 entry limit – with reserve entries also taken should others fall out.

Meanwhile, more than 200 cars have nominated for the Thunder Regularity sessions, with space remaining for last-minute entries before the 275-car cap is reached.

A maximum field would see five groups of 55 cars tackle sessions across November 26 and 27, while the Lightning Regularity will run on November 24 and 25.

“The reaction to Challenge Bathurst has been outstanding and shows the appeal that Mount Panorama has for motor racing fans and competitors from all around Australia,” Event Director James O’Brien said.

“The Lightning Super Sprint is sold out and will be a very fast, very competitive few days with some of the fastest GT cars and biggest brands involved alongside a lot of private entries – all in serious machinery.

“The Thunder Regularity has achieved 200 entries. With the cap set at 275, there is still time for people looking to get some laps of Mount Panorama to submit an entry and be part of the action.

“We are very pleased with the outcome in both Lightning and Thunder, and it will deliver a big four days on the Mountain this November.”

The competitive, two-day Lightning Sprint looks set to serve as something of a test and tune for competitors looking to get their cars in shape for major endurance races held at Mount Panorama, including the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 hour enduros.

A host of top GT3 teams have entered with many looking to test ahead of February’s 12-Hour race. Included are former winners Maranello Motorsport, the Melbourne team entering four cars including their latest and greatest Ferrari 488 GT3 racer.

Vicious Rumour Racing has also entered their 488, while Steven Richards Motorsport has submitted entries for their pair of BMW M6 GT3 cars – the driving squad likely to include Bathurst legends Mark Skaife, Russell Ingall and Tony Longhurst as well as Richards himself.

Miedecke Stone Racing (Aston Martin GT3), Mark Griffith (Mercedes-Benz AMG GT), Yasser Shahin (Lamborghini Gallardo GT3), McElrea Racing and Grove Racing (running Porsche GT3 Cup Cars) are amongst the other top GT teams and racers entered.

MARC Cars Australia will also field five of their Ford Focus and Mazda 3 racers in the Lightning Sprint, as will several Radical Australia entrants in their LeMans-style SR3 sports racers.

The Thunder regularity has already attracted more than 200 cars and an incredibly diverse array of machinery.

Running to a capped 2 minute 36 second lap time, the Regularity field includes everything from Nissan Skyline GTRs to Nissan Pulsars – and almost everything in between.