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CHALLENGE BATHURST TO APPEAL GT3 RESTRICTIONS

BMW used Challenge Bathurst in 2016 in preparation for the Bathurst 12 Hour - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

BMW used Challenge Bathurst in 2016 in preparation for the Bathurst 12 Hour – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

James O’Brien, Event Director for Challenge Bathurst, intends to appeal a decision from CAMS that now prevents GT3 cars from entering the event in November.

The Mt Panorama sprint event, used as an unofficial test for the Bathurst 12 Hour last year, attracted several GT3 entries.

However a recent directive from CAMS has reclassified FIA GT3 spec cars, which now prevents them from competing in events other than the Bathurst 12 Hour and Australian GT Championship.

The CAMS directive issued last month: “National Championships are sanctioned by CAMS to encourage, develop and recognise professional competition and provide a place or pathway for similar racing cars to compete fairly.

“Similarly Club Level, or grass roots competition is to provide a pathway for entry to the sport and for those who wish to compete in events where the focus is more on participation and enjoyment of the sport and not necessarily with a single desire to be performing at the highest levels of the sport.

“Therefore, CAMS must restrict certain vehicles from racing in certain events. In order to apply such a restriction, CAMS will be re-classifying applicable 2GT vehicles to a revised CAMS Category Classification code of 2GT CHAMP.

“For clarity, CAMS will only permit a vehicle defined by CAMS as a 2GT (FIA/ASN Homologation GT) CHAMP Log Booked vehicle eligible to compete in the Australian GT Championship, and other Australian GT permitted events.

“Accordingly, these 2GT CHAMP vehicles will not be eligible for any other competition. All other CAMS Classified 2GT vehicles will remain eligible for other competition events, whereby they are accepted for competition at such events.

“Included with this communication is a document detailing the CAMS 2GT CHAMP classification and a defining list of vehicles that will be classified as 2GT CHAMP regardless of the existing classification applied in a CAMS Vehicle Log Book.

“CAMS will be working with Australian GT, CAMS stakeholders and relevant competitors to update each CAMS Vehicle Log Book as appropriate. This will be undertaken during relevant Australian GT events and where necessary with direct communication with Log Book holders.”

GT3 cars on track during 2016's Challenge Bathurst event - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

GT3 cars on track during 2016’s Challenge Bathurst event – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Challenge Bathurst organisers subsequently had their supplementary regulations knocked back, in preparation for this years event. Leading O’Brien to release his own statement.

“The recent statements by CAMS, issued on 24 May and 5 June 2017 respectively, aim to restrict certain FIA homologated GT3 automobiles (2GT) from competing at any CAMS sanctioned events other than Australian GT Championship or other Australian GT permitted events,” read a statement from O’Brien.

“CAMS intend to achieve these restrictions by re-classifying applicable 2GT automobiles to a code of 2GT CHAMP. CAMS have produced a list of automobiles to be re-classified as 2GT CHAMP, all of which would be ineligible to compete at the Event.

“We have reviewed the CAMS eligibility restrictions in conjunction with the International Sporting Code, CAMS Constitution and the National Competition Rules. It is our opinion that CAMS does not have jurisdiction to make a rule that restricts the participation of FIA homologated GT3 vehicles at the Event and consequently the vehicle eligibility restrictions which were announced on 24 May and 5 June 2017 are void.”

“The draft Supplementary Regulations (“the Regulations”) for the 2017 Event were submitted to CAMS for comment in late April. The final Supplementary Regulations were submitted to CAMS for approval on 26 June 2017.

“These Regulations include the eligibility of all FIA GT3 automobiles, as approved by CAMS at the 2016 Event, regardless of any domestic re-classification by CAMS. On 28 June 2017, CAMS refused to approve the Regulations without the restrictions above.

“We intend to appeal this decision through the Australian Motor Sport Appeal Court however are unable to provide a date for this Appeal.

“The date for entries to open in the Supplementary Regulations was 3 July 2017. Without approval of the Supplementary Regulations by CAMS, we are unable to accept entries to the Event.

“Once the Appeal has been heard, we will be able to advise the outcome and a revised date for entries to open.”

We’ll have more details in an upcoming issue of Auto Action, in the mean time make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest updates.