2012 Bathurst 1000 Preview 2012 Bathurst 1000 Preview 2012 Bathurst 1000 Preview

Dubbed ‘The Great Race’ for a very obvious reason, the Bathurst 1000 is one of Australian greatest annual motorsport events, held every year at the iconic Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst.

This year’s instalment – the fiftieth running of the marathon event – will see a field of 29 cars and driver pairings do battle over a 161-lap race, and it will be a crucial chapter in the championship fight between the Triple 8 Engineering and Ford Performance Racing stables.

Take a look at our event preview for the SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000…

The Circuit

Date: 14-16 September 2012
Venue: Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst, New South Wales
Lap Length: 6.213km / 3.859mi
Race Lap Record: 2:08.4551, Jamie Whincup (Ford Falcon BF) – 2007
Event Schedule: Free Practice Session 1 Thu 10:40-11:30
Free Practice Session 2 Thu 12:55-13:40
Free Practice Session 3 Thu 15:05-15:55
  Free Practice Session 4 Fri 09:25-10:10
  Free Practice Session 5 Fri 11:00-11:50
Preliminary Qualifying Session Fri 14:45-15:25
  Free Practice 6 Sat 10:25-11:15
  Top-10 Qualifying Shootout Sat 16:30-17:15
  Sunday Warm-Up Sun 07:25-07:45
Feature Race (161 laps, 1,000km) Sun 10:30-17:15
Past Winners: Garth Tander / Nick Percat (Holden Commodore VE II) 2011
  Craig Lowndes / Mark Skaife (Holden Commodore VE II) 2010
  Garth Tander / Will Davison (Holden Commodore VE) 2009
  Craig Lowndes / Jamie Whincup (Ford Falcon BF) 2008
  Craig Lowndes / Jamie Whincup (Ford Falcon BF) 2007
  Craig Lowndes / Jamie Whincup (Ford Falcon BA) 2006
  Mark Skaife / Todd Kelly (Holden Commodore VZ) 2005
  Greg Murphy / Rick Kelly (Holden Commodore VY) 2004
  Greg Murphy / Rick Kelly (Holden Commodore VY) 2003
  Mark Skaife / Jim Richards (Holden Commodore VY) 2002

Located just south of the central New South Wales town of Bathurst, the Mount Panorama circuit is one of the most recognised motor racing venues in the country, and is truly regarded as a Mecca of Motorsport.

Nicknamed ‘The Mountain’, the track design is unusual by modern standards, with a 174-metre vertical difference between the track’s lowest and highest points, with gradient changes being as steep as 1:6 in some parts.

The flat-out blasts along Mountain and Conrod straights will see the cars reach speeds of close to 300km/h, while the twistier section along the top of the escarpment is a supreme test of driver skill: the walls are so close in parts that a slight error can prove catastrophic to a driver’s race.

The very first race held at the circuit was the 1938 Australian Grand Prix, and since then, the venue has gone on to host some of the biggest races in the country.


Rewinding to 2011

It was the Holden Racing Team pairing of Garth Tander and Nick Percat who claimed the victory at last year’s Bathurst 1000.

At the end of the 161 thrilling laps, their margin of victory over TeamVodafone pairing Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife was a mere 0.2197s, with a fast-closing Lowndes trying every trick in the book to get ahead of the wily Tander.

For those of you who are super keen, you can watch the whole of last year’s race right here:

The victory was one of the few highlights in a very lacklustre season for the Holden Racing Team, but the win again served to underscore just how much a combination of driving talent – and a little luck, to be fair – can yield a top-step result at Mount Panorama.

Percat became the first driver since Jacky Ickx in 1977 to win the Bathurst 1000 on debut. It was Tander’s third Bathurst 1000 victory, drawing him level with Jamie Whincup’s tally of wins at ‘The Mountain’.


Facts, Stats & Predictions

The driver pairings for the Bathurst 1000 are essentially the same as those seen at the previous championship round, the Dick Smith Sandown 500.

Jesse Dixon will make his V8 Supercars debut in a wildcard entry run by Kelly RacingThere is just one change – or rather, addition – of note.

A fifth Holden Commodore is again being awarded a wildcard entry by the Kelly Racing stable, with brothers Todd and Rick Kelly appointing teenage driver Jesse Dixon as the competition winner in the brothers’ Shannons Supercar Showdown reality TV series that was run in the weeks leading up to the race.

Dixon emerged as the winner in the elimination series against eleven other would-be drivers. He was set to partner occasional V8 peddler and the show’s host Grant Denyer in the #23 entry, but a recurrent shoulder injury has sidelined Denyer this weekend. Driving in his place will be the 2011 Supercar Showdown competition winner, Cameron Waters. While the pairing is hardly expected to feature anywhere above the back of the field, they will make history as the youngest driver pairing to ever enter the Bathurst 1000.

The full entry list is below:

2012 V8 Supercars SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Entry List:

Entry / Team Driver Co-Driver
1. Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing Holden Jamie Whincup Paul Dumbrell
2. TOLL / Holden Racing Team Holden Garth Tander Nick Percat
3. HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing Ford Tony D’Alberto Dale Wood
4. Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing Ford Lee Holdsworth Craig Baird
5. Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing Ford Mark Winterbottom Steven Richards
6. Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing Ford Will Davison John McIntyre
7. Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing Holden Todd Kelly Tim Blanchard
8. Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing Holden Jason Bright Andrew Jones
9. SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing Ford Shane van Gisbergen Luke Youlden
11. Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing Holden Karl Reindler Daniel Gaunt
12. Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing Ford Dean Fiore Matt Halliday
14. Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing Holden Fabian Coulthard David Besnard
15. Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing Holden Rick Kelly David Russell
17. Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing Ford Steven Johnson Allan Simonsen
18. Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing Ford James Moffat Alex Davison
19. Tekno Autosports Holden Jonathon Webb Scott McLaughlin
21. Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing Holden David Wall Chris Pither
22. TOLL / Holden Racing Team Holden James Courtney Cam McConville
23. Shannons Insurance / Kelly Racing Holden Cameron Waters Jesse Dixon
30. Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden Taz Douglas Scott Pye
33. Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Alexandre Prémat Jack Perkins
34. Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Michael Caruso Greg Ritter
47. Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing Ford Tim Slade Andrew Thompson
49. VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing Ford Steve Owen Paul Morris
51. Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing Holden Greg Murphy Owen Kelly
55. The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash Ford David Reynolds Dean Canto
66. Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing Holden Russell Ingall Christian Klien
91. Tekno Autosports Holden Michael Patrizi Jonny Reid
888. Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing Holden Craig Lowndes Warren Luff

Last time out at Sandown, we saw Craig Lowndes and co-driver Warren Luff claim victory in the season’s first endurance race, and it will be a brave fan who is prepared to wager that the five-time Bathurst winner would somehow strike disaster this year.

Lowndes’ win moved him into third place overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings, putting him well within reach of overhauling team-mate Jamie Whincup and Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom, who are separated by just 32 points at the lead of the points standings.

Make sure you visit the RichardsF1.com website throughout the weekend for all the latest news, highlights and gossip from Sandown Raceway!

Check out the ultimate Bathurst 1000 package!

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.