The Bathurst Motor Festival is an annual motor racing event held at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia during the Easter long weekend. The event was first held in 2011 as a replacement for the Festival of Sporting Cars and as a way to give a higher number of drivers the opportunity to drive on the circuit. The event plays host to a variety of racing categories, including production cars, sports cars, open-wheel racing cars and historic cars, which take part in sprint races, endurance races and regularity sessions. Around 300 vehicles are entered for the event each year, with crowds of up to and over 10,000 people attending the event. Car clubs also attend the event, displaying their cars within the confines of the circuit and performing parade laps. Since 2016, the Bathurst 6 Hour production car race has been the showpiece race of the event.
During the 2014 event, Formula 3 driver Simon Hodge set a new lap record for the circuit of 2:02.6701. Hodge's time remained as the lap record until the 2016 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, where Shane van Gisbergen set a time of 2:01.567 in a McLaren 650S GT3.
During the 2016 event, Nathan Morcom and 2014 Bathurst 1000 winner Chaz Mostert won the inaugural Bathurst 6 Hour, which also saw the event's biggest weekend crowd to date. In winning the 2017 Bathurst 6 Hour, Paul Morris, driving with Luke Searle, became the first driver to win all of the three current major events at Mount Panorama; the 6 Hour, the Bathurst 1000, which he won in 2014 with Mostert, and the Bathurst 12 Hour, which he won in 2007 and 2010.
The following categories have raced at the Bathurst Motor Festival.
Bathurst 6 Hour
The Bathurst 6 Hour, currently known as the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour for sponsorship reasons, is a race for Group 3E Series Production Cars and other invited cars that has been held as part of the Festival since 2016. The race is held on Easter Sunday, with practice and qualifying sessions taking place on the preceding two days.
The race is not to be confused with the 1962 Bathurst Six Hour Classic, a one-off event held for production touring and sports cars.
The Bathurst 12 Hour was an endurance race held for production cars from 1991 to 1995. It was revived in 2007 and continued as a production car-only race until 2010, before GT3 cars were made eligible for the race in 2011. Over the following years there was growing focus on the outright GT3 cars, while the number of production cars in the race declined. In April 2015, the former promoters of the 12 Hour, Yeehah Events, announced a six-hour race for Group 3E Series Production Cars, called the Bathurst 6 Hour, to be held at the Bathurst Motor Festival in 2016. Cars conforming to other regulations, such as V8 Utes and Saloon Cars, were also allowed to compete in the Invitational class.
The 2020 running of the race was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was to be part of the inaugural Bathurst International event in November, however this event, along with the 6 Hour, was eventually cancelled due to border closures within Australia arising from the pandemic. The 6 Hour returned to its traditional Easter date in 2021.
Entrants in the Bathurst 6 Hour are divided into six classes:
- Class X: Ultimate Performance
- Class A1: Extreme Performance (Forced Induction)
- Class A2: Extreme Performance (Naturally Aspirated)
- Class B1: High Performance (Forced Induction)
- Class B2: High Performance (Naturally Aspirated)
- Class C: Performance
- Class D: Production
- Class E: Compact
|2016|| Nathan Morcom
|BMW 335i E92||Direct Plasterboard Outlet||125||776.625 km (482.572 mi)|
|BMW M135i Hatch F20||Roadchill Freight Express||113||702.069 km (436.245 mi)|
||BMW M4 F82||Sherrin Rentals||109||677.217 km (420.803 mi)|
||BMW M3 F80 Competition||Bruce Lynton Bodyshop||1311||813.903 km (505.736 mi)|
|2020||Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|2021|| Shane Smollen
Shane van Gisbergen
|BMW M4 F82||Prestige Connex||120||745.560 km (463.270 mi)|
^1 – Race record for laps & distance covered.
|5||BMW||2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021|
- "Bathurst Motor Festival". Bathurst Regional Council. Archived from the original on 13 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Bathurst Revs up for Easter Event". Bathurst Motor Festival. 18 November 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Successful Motor Festival Ends With Big Sunday". Bathurst Motor Festival. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Mostert/Morcom win Bathurst 6 Hour". Speedcafe. 27 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Car Clubs". Bathurst Motor Festival. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Green light for Bathurst Easter 6 Hour race". Speedcafe. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- "Anthony wins again as Bathurst record smashed". Speedcafe. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Dale, Will (7 February 2016). "Shane van Gisbergen leads McLaren to victory in 2016 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour". Fox Sports. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- "Paul Morris reflects on Bathurst triple crown". Speedcafe. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
- "Big day at the races as Motor Festival concludes". Bathurst Motor Festival. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Record Breaking Sunday at Bathurst Motor Festival". Bathurst Motor Festival. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Spectacular Bathurst Motor Festival Ends in Style". Bathurst Motor Festival. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Motor Festival Concludes in the Bathurst Sun". Bathurst Motor Festival. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- "2016 Results". Bathurst Motor Festival. 27 March 2016. Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- "Entries Set to Flow for Bathurst 6 Hour". Bathurst Motor Festival. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- "Bathurst 6 Hour Re-scheduled". Bathurst 6 Hour. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
- "Bathurst International cancelled for 2020". Speedcafe. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2021.