Officials to analyse grid sizes for 2018 Bathurst 6H
Bathurst 6 Hour event director James O’Brien will investigate the possibility of lowering the amount of entries for next year’s Mount Panorama production car enduro.
O’Brien’s comments come after a race which was dominated by the Safety Car, which was on track for almost half of the 6-Hour battle.
During the course of the day, the safety car headed the field for 33 laps, eight more than Chaz Mostert and Nathan Morcom who finished in second place, and nine more than race winners Paul Morris and Luke Searle.
A total of 64 cars took the green flag, a new record for endurance racing at Mount Panorama, and according to O’Brien a record that could stand for some time.
“I want to sit down and analyse the race,” O’Brien told Speedcafe.com.
“The amount of safety cars was a little bit excessive; (there was) too much time under yellow and how much of that backs into the size of the field.”
“We might have a close look at what we want to cap the field at.
“Even though 72 cars is the official capacity, and we’ll safety run 72 cars, but I don’t think I’d want to see that after the amount of safety cars.
“Objectively I think we don’t want any more cars than we had, perhaps even less.
“We have an invitational class which has a number of cars which aren’t strictly production cars, and we did that in the early years as we’re chasing entries.
“We’ll closely look at that and see whether that fits in with where we’re going with the production category.”
Attendance for this year’s event was up on the inaugural race in 2016, with 17,487 fans watching on across the three days.
Though yet to be confirmed, it’s also understood there was also a sharp increase in viewers of the live stream, which last year recorded over 60,000 views.
“I think we’ll keep building the event in terms of the quality of the field and the cars and the drivers are raising the professionalism,” O’Brien said when asked about the future of the event.
“It’s still a grass roots, amateur sort of race, but we’ll just be careful of our stewardship of the event and keep it attainable for everyone, but also raise the standard of it.
“I like to look at it strategically in terms of the other endurance races at the Mountain to make sure none of us are competing against each other or cannibalising each other.
“I think it fits within the other two, as sort of the little brother of the three,” he concluded.
Next year’s event is again slated for the Easter weekend, which will see it take place two weeks earlier on April 1.