ARDC launches new 10 hour Sydney enduro

SMP will host a new endurance race next January

SMP will host a new endurance race next January

A new 10 hour endurance race for Production Touring Cars and selected Production Sports Cars will take place at Sydney Motorsport Park next January.

Promoted by SMP custodians the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club, the race will be held over two five-hour segments on the 3.9km Gardner GP layout.

The first will run into the early twilight on Saturday, January 14, before recommencing on Sunday morning.

A broad eligibility list featuring more than 200 cars has been tabled, with organisers stressing an emphasis on class as well as outright success.

Although eligible for regular Production Sports Car competition, GT3 and similarly quick machinery will not be allowed in the 10 Hours of Sydney.

Those on the yet-to-be-released eligibility list range from Lotus Exige sportscars to traditional touring cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evos and HSVs.

The inclusion of selected sportscars gives the event a point of difference over Easter’s booming Bathurst 6 Hour, which is run for Production Touring Cars by former 12 Hour promoter James O’Brien.

Additionally, the ARDC says that “technical regulations have been freed up with several ‘common sense’ modifications to allow for some freedoms not otherwise allowed at alternate events”.

Former Shannons Nationals director Rob Curkpatrick, whose management company has been employed by the ARDC to oversee the event’s operations, expects up to 50 cars to take the start.

“There was a hole in the marketplace for an event of this type, which puts the focus on competitor enjoyment and an inclusive eligibility list that allows a wide range of cars to compete,” said Curkpatrick.

“The ARDC had the vision to embrace the concept and do something ‘outside the box’ that offers something different for competitors and spectators alike.

“The rules allow for a wide range of Production Touring and Production Sports cars that can be reasonably modified to better suit this style of racing.

“The event sits on its own and isn’t designed to compete with other endurance races on the calendar.

“We think it’s complimentary – hence the decision to broaden the Production Car eligibility requirements without stretching to GT3 vehicles.

“Early feedback from prospective competitors has been strong and we are expecting a grid of up to 50 cars for the inaugural race.”

ARDC CEO Glenn Matthews hopes that fans will embrace the event’s split-race format.

A ‘pit party’ BBQ and live music are being planned to encourage fans to camp at the circuit on the Saturday night.

“We are always working to add to our events program at Sydney Motor Sport Park and especially with something as exciting as the 10 hours of Sydney,” he said.

“This race will ensure Sydney Motor Sport Park is the starting point for the 2017 season and an enjoyable way to start the New Year for both competitors and spectators alike.

“We are certain that within a few short years the 10 Hours of Sydney will be held in the same esteem as other major events held at the venue, including the Muscle Car Masters, World Time Attack Challenge and Sydney Retro Racefest.”

Entries open on September 1.

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