2004 Bathurst 24 Hours Officially Cancelled
Throughout the past turbulent weeks Australian endurance racing
fans have kept alive their hopes of seeing a third edition of the
24 hour race at Mount Panorama; now these hopes have finally been
dashed by a statement from the Bathurst Regional Council.
had suspected, the level of organisation required in an event of
this scale within three months is not really feasible", says
Council Administrator, Kath Knowles in the press release that officialy
calls off the 24 Hours of Bathurst for this year. The Bathurst Council
has backed the efforts to keep the race on the calendar until the
last minute; but "with the news this week that it was unlikely
that a television broadcast deal could be secured for the event
and serious doubts about the sustainable viability of the current
proposals it is no longer an economically viable option."
Australian motorsport authority CAMS was said to be looking at two
proposals from parties interested in organising the event this year,
it was obviously too late to get the necessary deals together in
time: "Although there was some strong interest from a number
of international teams in recent months, the ground work required
to secure these and other entries could not be achieved by November."
very disappointing that but we should acknowledge the efforts of
Bathurst Regional Council and others in exploring all available
commercial opportunities that would enable the event to go ahead",
adds CAMS president, Colin Osborne, "there was always going
to be a marginal viability to an event of this kind in the short
term but we are confident that in the long term the 24 Hour Race
or a revised version of this event will go ahead."
indicates that while Australian race fans will miss out on 24 hour
racing action this year, the last word may not have been spoken
for 2005 and beyond. The City of Bathurst deserves every credit
for lending its support to a motor race in this fashion, at a time
when such events are deemed politically incorrect by other communities.
And it seems this support will continue: "Council is very disappointed
that the event will not go ahead this year but remains optimistic
for the future."
Since its inaugural
running in 2002, the 24 Hours of Bathurst has become an "instant
classic", an event that has captured the imagination of many
motorsport fans in Australia and around the world. We would very
much like to see it back on the schedule in 2005.