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HomeNewsBathurstDecision coming on future of Bathurst’s fifth event

Decision coming on future of Bathurst’s fifth event

MORE should be known on the Bathurst International’s future in the coming months, according to Australian Racing Group co-owner Barry Rogers.

One of three annual events owned by ARG, the 2024 International marks the final year of the original deal struck with the Bathurst Regional Council.

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The Bathurst International was initially pitched to feature a 500km TCR enduro and, as its name would suggest, a strong overseas flavour – but the COVID pandemic proved disruptive.

“Last year, being the fourth year, was the first real crack at it,” Rogers said via the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Castrol.

“We got the World Tour here with TCR, which was great.

“To bring those international TCR cars out here was a big thing and the plan was that they were going to return this year, but they have got some issues with travelling from China to Australia at that time, so that’s unfortunately not going to happen.”

That, in the eyes of some, is another nail in the coffin. The 2024 edition will proceed on November 8-10 without the TCR World Tour.

“It is challenging. We’ll have some discussions with the Bathurst council about what it looks like going forward after this year, but really, that international (element) that was planned hasn’t unfolded,” Rogers confessed.

“We’re not hiding from that. S5000 got banned from the track, so that killed them off in one foul swoop, so that ruined that side of it.

“One hundred percent if you said going forward, can it be rebirthed as something else? Do they necessarily need to have five events? Is it too many for the Mountain? Those sorts of decisions I would say will be made in the next few months as to exactly what happens.

“But we’re certainly committed to putting on a good show this year and just see what goes from there.”

Rogers also noted a date change could be discussed, to get the International away from other events in spring.

A maximum of five motorsport events are permitted each year at Mount Panorama, with the other four being the 12 Hour (usually February), the 6 Hour (Easter long weekend), the 1000 (October) and Challenge Bathurst (November).

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