On-track action for this year’s Bathurst 1000 kicks off tomorrow, with a number of Kiwis set to race at the mountain throughout the week.
This year’s event will see the categories from Australian Racing Group’s planned Bathurst International event join the support category line-up, after it, like Supercars, was affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, both rescheduling their events at least once.
Ultimately this gives fans a six-day festival with 10 categories hitting the track this week.
With so many categories on track, there are a number of Kiwis to keep your eyes on.
Shane van Gisbergen, Andre Heimgartner and Fabian Coulthard will all be out on track as usual, though the endurance event will also see Chris Pither rejoining the field.
Pither will join Macauley Jones in the No. 96 entry for Brad Jones Racing, this will be the 11th time he has competed in the Great Race.
Van Gisbergen is one of only two pairings to carry over from last year’s race when he pairs up with Garth Tander.
The pairing head into the final event of the season as arguably the favourites to take the win, with ‘SVG’ wrapping up the championship at the last round at Sydney Motorsport Park (SMP).
Andre Heimgartner will be joined by Matt Campbell for this year’s Bathurst 1000, the team looking to build on strong performances at SMP to put together a successful Bathurst campaign.
This will be Coulthard’s first Bathurst race with Team Sydney, where he will be joined by team owner and 2016 race winner Jonathon Webb.
Matthew Payne will be on the Super2 grid when they hit the track at the mountain. This will be only his second round in the championship, and his first time at Bathurst.
Payne will be attempting to build on a rollercoaster weekend at SMP that saw him top the timesheets in the Super2 practice one and Supercars co-driver sessions, as well as qualifying on the front row in Super2 before having issues in both races.
The first race saw him struggle to get his Nissan Altima off the line to start the race, before crashing heavily in the second race of the weekend in tough conditions.
Payne will also be on the grid for the Porsche Carrera Cup, where he drives for Earl Bamber Motorsport (EBM).
He will be hoping to add to the three podiums, two poles, and one race win he has already secured in the three rounds so far this season.
Fellow Kiwis Callum Hedge and Madeline Stewart will also join Payne at EBM.
Stewart will be making her debut in the championship, while Hedge has already taken four podiums including one race win of the five races he has taken part in.
Main image: Phil Blatch