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…
|2012 V8 SUPERCARS SUPERCHEAP AUTO BATHURST 10000
|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.
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||Jamie Whincup||Paul Dumbrell|
|2.||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Nick Percat|
|3.||HIFLEX Racing / Tony D’Alberto Racing||Tony D’Alberto||Dale Wood|
|4.||Irwin Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Craig Baird|
|5.||Orrcon Steel / Ford Performance Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Steven Richards|
|6.||Trading Post / Ford Performance Racing||Will Davison||John McIntyre|
|7.||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||Todd Kelly||Tim Blanchard|
|8.||Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing||Jason Bright||Andrew Jones|
|9.||SP Tools / Stone Brothers Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Luke Youlden|
|11.||Fair Dinkum Sheds / Kelly Racing||Karl Reindler||Daniel Gaunt|
|12.||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||Dean Fiore||Matt Halliday|
|14.||Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing||Fabian Coulthard||David Besnard|
|15.||Jack Daniel’s / Kelly Racing||Rick Kelly||David Russell|
|17.||Jim Beam Racing / Dick Johnson Racing||Steven Johnson||Allan Simonsen|
|18.||Team Norton / Dick Johnson Racing||James Moffat||Alex Davison|
|19.||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Scott McLaughlin|
|21.||Wilson Security / Brad Jones Racing||David Wall||Chris Pither|
|22.||TOLL / Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Cam McConville|
|23.||Shannons Insurance / Kelly Racing||Cameron Waters||Jesse Dixon|
|30.||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Taz Douglas||Scott Pye|
|33.||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alexandre Prémat||Jack Perkins|
|34.||Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Greg Ritter|
|47.||Lucky 7 Racing / Stone Brothers Racing||Tim Slade||Andrew Thompson|
|49.||VIP Petfoods / Dick Johnson Racing||Steve Owen||Paul Morris|
|51.||Pepsi Max Crew / Kelly Racing||Greg Murphy||Owen Kelly|
|55.||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Rod Nash||David Reynolds||Dean Canto|
|66.||Supercheap Auto / Walkinshaw Racing||Russell Ingall||Christian Klien|
|91.||Tekno Autosports||Michael Patrizi||Jonny Reid|
|888.||Team Vodafone / Triple 8 Racing||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!