THE chance to do a hot lap of Mount Panorama is a lure which draws competitors to Challenge Bathurst every year, but in 2020 the event will not just have drivers smiling.
Event director James O'Brien points out that the four-day Challenge Bathurst event will also bring a economic boost to the city.
Though the impact of COVID-19 means numbers are down on the past two years, Challenge Bathurst is still the largest event to be held since the return of motor sport with over 300 confirmed entries.
O'Brien says that's "great news for the local Bathurst regional economy at a time when it needs it most."
"There's the use of the circuit so there's some dollars flowing to council there and then of greater importance is the economic benefit to the town and the region," he said.
"That's the same with any event at Mount Panorama, even a small event like ours when it brings in over 300 competitors and their companions, staying in hotel rooms and eating and drinking, obviously it's good for the economy.
"Given the Bathurst International event was cancelled and the 6 Hour cancelled and the 1000 was run with very limited spectators, I'm sure council and the community will be happy that this event is going ahead."
Challenge Bathurst has drawn competitors from across New South Wales and now border restrictions have eased, late entries will be extended to those from Victoria and Queensland who hope to attend.
While the four previous editions of Challenge Bathurst have not attracted large numbers of spectators - O'Brien pointing out it is "really just an event for the competitor and their car", COVID-19 safety protocols will still be implemented.
"Our COVID-19 management plans, coupled with the Motorsport Australia Return to Race protocols, mean this event will not only be safe for our competitors and the community, but a great experience for everyone participating as well," O'Brien said.
"There will be very strict protocols at the event around social distancing and COVID-19, all the things they have to do in their every day life will apply at the event.
"So there's a very small likelihood that there will be an issue there."
Challenge Bathurst will run November 26-29.