BATHURST 1000 winners Chaz Mostert and John Bowe head a massive, and diverse, 66-car field for next weekend’s annual Bathurst Six-Hour production car enduro at Mount Panorama.
At the other end of the age and experience scale to Bowe in the 152-driver line-up is 15-year-old Tyson Harvey from Adelaide who, due to licensing requirements, won’t be able to take to Mount Panorama until he turns 16 on Easter Saturday.
Mostert, who won the race in a BMW last year with Nathan Morcom, returns with the same co-driver but a new car, a Ford Focus RS.
Tim Slade is the other full-time Supercar driver in the field, whilst David Wall, Karl Reindler and Jack Perkins represent those from endurance co-driver ranks.
Four Bathurst 12-Hour winners are lining up on Sunday – Bowe, Paul Morris, Rod Salmon and current Supercars driving standards officer Craig Baird.
Several teams have chosen the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG in the belief it can take the fight to the BMWs and Mitsubishis that have dominated in recent times.
Every state and territory (except the Northern Territory) has representation on the driver roster, while six different nationalities also feature – including US racer Michele Abbate and fast Kiwi young-gun Andy Waite.
The 66-car field includes 35 different models of vehicle, representing 18 different brands.
BMW is the most popular marque with 13 entries representing different eight models, with Holden/HSV next with nine cars. Toyota, Ford and Mitsubishi each have eight starters.
Making the author feel a little old is the entry of David Callaghan in a Honda Integra. Callaghan, 21, is the grandson of Brian Callaghan, the bloke with which I made my Bathurst 1000 debut in an XD Falcon in 1981.
Grandpa has prepped the Integra for the Six-Hour. “I swore I’d never go back to Bathurst and rip up 50 dollar bills again,” Brian told me. “But here I am.”
Ex speedway champ Brian Callaghan raced in 11 consecutive Bathurst 1000s until 1991.
The 2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst Six-Hour starts at 11.30am on Sunday
The race will be streamed on the Bathurst Six-Hour website, which will also feature live timing and scoring throughout the weekend.