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Sports Sedans at the Bathurst 1000

The Australian Sports Sedan Series raced at the Bathurst 1000 for the first time in 30 years last weekend and it proved a popular addition due to the mixes of configurations, models, plus the loudness.

‘The gods of thunder’ as termed by a well known national commentator are an eclectic mix of various ideas put on the race track with one goal in mind, to go fast.

Rules and regulations are minimal, providing some awesome scope for creations such as category mainstay Tony Ricciardello’s ultra-successful, Chev-powered Alfa Romeo GTV, the John Gourlay-built Audi A4 driven by young gun Jordan Caruso in addition to an Aston Martin, Camaros, Monaros, Toyota 86s or even Mazda RX-7s.

Power is key with many of these Sports Sedans making upwards of 600bhp and matched to a light package these beasts are outrageous.

Aerodynamics is not quite a strong point, but recent rule changes allow bigger wings, splitters, air dams and even the use of a sequential gearbox. Driver aids are non-existent in these brutal pieces of kit ensuring there is much to learn especially at a place like Bathurst.

Unlikely models to feature include the likes of Holden Calibras, Saab 9-3s and a rapid Fiat 124 matching it with Corvettes, Commodores and Mustangs.

Unconventional it maybe, but putting big engines in small bodies has been a common thread of Sports Sedans for some time. From Harry Lefoe’s evil Hillman Imp of the 1970s to the current Joe Said-owned Fiat 124 raced by Brad Shiels, the basics haven’t changed despite the gains in technology and methods in the last 50 years.

Last weekend, Ricciardello won the round in the Alfa Romeo GTV he has raced for nearly 30 years as Caruso set the Mountain alight in qualifying by achieving a 2m 02.5436s (head to Jordan Caruso Racing on Facebook for the lap).

Let innovation continue to grow.