Show time

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS - PAUL GOVER CHIEF REPORTER

BATHURST is firm­ing as the fu­ture home of a new-age Aus­tralian mo­tor show.

Af­ter two un­suc­cess­ful at­tempts to re­vive a show in Mel­bourne last year, and an­other planned for Syd­ney later this year, the or­gan­is­ers of the Bathurst 12-Hour race can see the po­ten­tial for a show cap­i­tal­is­ing on the moun­tain’s at­trac­tion.

They are con­sid­er­ing ex­pand­ing their three-day race week­end into an event with track time, in­ter­ac­tive events, car club dis­plays and a man­u­fac­turer-backed car show.

The model for the show, tweaked for Aus­tralia, is the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed in Bri­tain. In re­cent years it has ex­panded from a dis­play of his­toric rac­ing cars on the grounds of a stately home into a mas­sive new-car event in­clud­ing a rolling mo­tor show on the Good­wood course.

“I think the op­por­tu­nity for us with the 12-Hour is to start to cre­ate some­thing for peo­ple who love cars,” says 12-Hour event di­rec­tor John Casey. “Bathurst is an amaz­ing, iconic place. It works so well. And we have a very strong part­ner in the Bathurst City Coun­cil.”

Casey says the track could be closed from Wed­nes­day of the 12-Hour week to make time for the pub­lic to drive the track, ei­ther in their own cars or as a unique new-car test drive.

This year’s 12-Hour was spun off into drive time for brands in­clud­ing Audi and Subaru. Mercedes-Benz also has used Mount Panorama for an AMG cus­tomer drive event.

The new con­cept would put the shows on be­fore the race week­end to build ex­cite­ment.

“There is huge growth po­ten­tial,” says V8 Su­per­cars CEO James War­bur­ton. The tour­ing car or­gan­i­sa­tion bought the 12-Hour rights and ran it for the first time last week­end. “It’s about the en­tire en­ter­tain­ment pack­age.”

The next step is to as­sess the po­ten­tial for vis­i­tors to Bathurst and see what can be lifted from Good­wood.

“Mount Panorama is an amaz­ing place to bring cars, dis­play cars, look at cars and watch cars rac­ing,” says Casey. “Good­wood is an ex­tra­or­di­nary event. I’d never be so con­ceited to say that we could do that but as a tar­get I don’t think we could do any bet­ter.”

Tour­ing car team boss Roland Dane has been to Good­wood many times and is also a Bathurst sup­porter.

“Next year we want even more. We can do a rolling mo­tor show,” Dane says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.