A SHOOTOUT involving some of the coolest cars around will add more spice to a new event on the Australian Motorsport calendar this year.
THE INAUGURAL The Bend Classic launches this December 7-8, unofficially replacing the Adelaide Motorsport Festival which lost government backing this year, on the end-of-year racing calendar in Adelaide.
The event will be run across two days with practice on Saturday and a Super Sprint on Sunday, uniquely involving three of the Bend’s varied layouts – some of them for the first time in active competition.
As well as the well-known 4.9km International layout, cars will also tackle the shorter West and East circuits, the latter for the first ever time in competitive running.
The East Circuit makes up a majority of the longest variation of the circuit, the 7.7km GT circuit to be used by Asian LeMans next year.
The circuit says the event is intended to offer a unique event which can build over the years into a place where a broad mix of classic and modern cars are on and off track throughout the weekend.
Competitors will race against the clock on each of the three layouts with the top two from each class then progressing to an end-of-day Shootout to decide the overall and category winners.
The shootout, which will also include a number of additional vehicles at the promoters discretion, will add a more intense level of competition thanks to a one-lap dash over the 3.6km West circuit. The choice of track is based on providing closer competition throughout the many cars involved in the event.
The circuit has offered up prizes for Shootout winners, including a drive day at the circuit for the outright champion, through to season passes, hot laps at the Asian LeMans event in January and tickets to the same event.
The grid is already building nicely with the headliners likely to be the Brabham BT62 and a host of Adelaide-era F1 cars.
The Brabham, already the fastest ever car at The Bend, will run competitively among other cars including Formula 1 machinery from Williams, BMS Scuderia / Dallara, Larrousse and Toleman.
The ‘Classic Open Wheel + F1’ group also includes the Birrana Racing Reynard 94D driven by Brenton Ramsey and a classic Chevrolet-powered Elfin F5000, with more yet to be announced.
12 cars currently fill the Porsche Rennsport group, while the Sports Cars & GT class includes Kevin Weeks’ Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, two Ford GT40s, a unique twin-turbo Audi R8 and a host of sports / clubman entries.
Seven Time Attack cars are currently locked in to their own unique group while the Touring Cars and Sports Sedans class includes a broad mix of cars, from Holden Toranas to Mazda MX5s.
The Bend Classic will run separately from the Shannons Adelaide Rally, which will commence on Wednesday, December 4 before tackling stages in and around the Adelaide Hills and finishing with a city-based sprint stage on Rundle Road on Saturday night.
The Rally will include the traditional Gouger street party as part of the event, while The Bend Classic will see practice on Saturday and competition on Sunday, potentially allowing punters to take in both events should they wish.