This Sunday heralds the return of racing to Mt Panorama for another year – a special year: the 50th anniversary of the SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – the Great Race. The biggest race in the V8 Supercars calendar.
The 7 Network will have it covered. They always do, and apart from some complaints about a slightly delayed telecast (and we’re talking minutes here, not seconds) from the mountain, all in all it’s a visual feast for the ethanol-fueled enthusiast. Matt White & Neil Crompton anchoring the broadcast. 168 cameras in use around the track, including a number in/underneath/on cars, a Flycam covering the pits & Pit Straight, on a horse, in a helicopter, and even driver’s helmets (I may have lied about the horse, although I’d not put it past them). Those with a predilection for motion sickness should find something else to do for the day.
For motorsport fans, Bathurst *is* Mecca. The sights, the smells, the sights, the cars, the sights, the grid girls, the sights & the racing. If you doubt there are so many sights to see you’ve clearly not spent any time at the top of the mountain during the weekend that the race is on. It’s a whole other country up there. Those people are scary.
I have such fond memories of watching Bathurst with my Dad as a kid. Back in the era of Johnson, Brock, Moffat, & Richards. Brock’s stranglehold on the mountain. Johnson’s run in with that rock. So awesome. We’d settle into the lounge room to see the anthem and the field line up, and then they were off, and we were tuned in all day.
I’m working on indoctrinating my son & daughter in the same way. Sunday will be couch day, likely in the study. They may float in and out, but both myself and @LovelyWife will be enjoying the race and all the tension racing 161 laps around a mountain circuit can bring. The drivers see it as the best track they face all year, and it’s one hell of a race.
Along with the telecast, the teams are starting to introduce access directly into the garage & pits through their websites & social media teams – Holden Racing Team are doing the best job of this, with HRT TV hosted live from the pits by Tom keeping punters up to date with all that’s happening live from their garage. Critical if a car has to pit for an extended time or if something chaotic happens. Jump on the web and check it out. Their Twitter stream has all the news too, so make sure you follow them.
While up to 1000 kilometres from the original 500 miles of the past, it’s torture on cars, drivers, pit crews and teams equally. A slow pit stop or a poorly timed pit stop can make all the difference. There’s a lot riding on the outcome of the race too: Tander must win to keep his chances of a V8 Supercar 2010 Grand Slam alive; James Courtney is a measly 179 points ahead of Jamie Whincup in the driver’s championship (with Winterbottom & Lowndes snapping at their heels); & Skaife’s return to the car as Lowndes’s partner after a win at Phillip Island earlier in the year has him out to prove he’s still the man. There are stats up the wahoo too – 16 drivers are 2nd generation for Bathurst; 4 drivers are making their first start; Glenn Seaton’s back; It’s HRT’s 20th anniversary at Bathurst; & regardless of the winner – whichever team wins pole, with Ford or Holden both at 19 pole positions for the race, history will be made.
For mine – it’ll be Lowndes & Skaife all the way.
The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, 7 Network
Friday, 8 October 1:00-4:00pm
Saturday, 9 October 12:00-5:00pm
Sunday, 10 October 7:00am-6:00pm
(all times AEDT)
Image Source: V8 Supercars