Almost 30 000 people have enjoyed the second installment of the WPS Bathurst International Motor Festival, which culminated in today’s action packed endurance race as a fitting finale to the Easter weekend.
The WPS 12-Hour Showroom Enduro lived up to all expectations, as the top manufacturers and some of Australia’s leading drivers competed at Bathurst’s famous Mt Panorama racing circuit.
An enthralling tussle that lasted the entirety of the 12-hour acid test saw the Craig Baird/Paul Morris/Garry Holt BMW 335i entry collect the chequered flag.
The team’s overall race strategy proved superior as they finished ahead of the top Subaru WRX Sti being campaigned by rally champions Chris Atkinson, Cody Crocker and Dean Herridge.
Further back in third was the Mitsubishi EVO of Rick Bates/Bob Hughes and Peter Gazzard, ensuring three separate manufacturers were represented on the podium.
“It’s always nice to bring the car home to the finish line and this one was even more special reliving that feeling from ’97,” said Baird.
“It felt like we were chasing early on but then got into a rhythm and everything just fell into place.
“It’s not just about us, all the guys have been really digging in and I’m just over the moon and ready to celebrate the win.”
As the two major combatants in the final wash up of the WPS 12-Hour Showroom Enduro, the Baird/Morris/Holt trio also claimed the Penrite Rear Wheel Drive Performance Class.
Just as impressive were Atkinson, Crocker and Herridge who were deserving victors in the Sonax All Wheel Drive Performance Class.
From an event perspective the feedback received and the results of the 2007 WPS Bathurst International Motor Festival all point to a bright future.
“It’s been great to bring back top class motor racing to Bathurst over the Easter weekend and I think the fans have responded in kind by supporting the 2007 WPS Bathurst International Motor Festival,” said Event Director James O’Brien.
“Today we had a crowd figure in excess of 10 000 people and that’s a brilliant result as we lay the foundations to making this event a long term fixture on the Australian motor racing calendar.
“Of course we’ve been able to provide a magnificent program across the entire festival, incorporating first class entertainment and interactive opportunities.
“Without the partnership we share with the Bathurst Regional Council and the support from our primary sponsor WPS the event wouldn’t be able to take place.
“But we’re now moving forward and looking towards bigger and better things in the future.”
Such sentiments were shared by Bathurst Regional Council Mayor Norm Mann who sensed the significance of the Bathurst Easter occasion.
“There is potential for this event to grow even further and I have no doubt that word of mouth will spread the message, there is a sense of nostalgia about Easter racing at Mount Panorama that people enjoy,” Cr Mann said.
“I would like to thank those visitors to the Bathurst Region who attended the event, as well as make special mention of the locals who were there. Without home grown support we can’t continue to grow something as valuable as the Bathurst International Motor Festival which benefits the entire Region.”
WPS 12-Hour Showroom Enduro Top 10
1. P. Morris-C. Baird-G. Holt (BMW 335i)
2. C. Atkinson-D. Heridge-C. Crocker (Subaru WRX sti)
3. R. Bates-B. Hughes-P. Gazzard (Mitsubishi EVO)
4. C. Pither-B. Lynton-B. Morcom (BMW 335i)
5. N. Crompton-G. Denyer-C. Alajajian (Subaru WRX sti)
6. A. Moffat-D.Russell-S.Juniper (BMW 130i)
7. D.Grant-M.Cini-M.Eddy (BMW 130i)
8. L. Searle-P. Kelly (BMW 130i)
9. C.Delfsma-J.Elsegood-J.Bowe (Ford XR8)
10. M.Trimble-D.Ryan-A.Fawcett-M.Craig (Ford Typhoon)
WPS International Motor Festival Attendances
Day One – 8071
Day Two – 9011
Day Three – 10 266
Total – 27 348