The Bathurst 1000 is the Holy Grail of Australian motorsport; a race that stops the country in its tracks.
A true test of men and machines working in harmony, it’s an event where many have failed and a select few legends have triumphed.
|2014 V8 SUPERCARS SUPERCHEAP AUTO BATHURST 1000
|Date:||09-12 October 2015|
|Free Practice Session 1||Thu 11:05-11:55|
|Free Practice Session 2||Thu 13:15-14:00*|
|Free Practice Session 3||Thu 15:10-16:00|
|Free Practice Session 4||Fri 09:30-10:15*|
|Free Practice Session 5||Fri 13:10-14:00|
|Preliminary Qualifying||Sat 15:00-15:40|
|Free Practice Session 6||Sat 10:20-11:10|
|Top-10 Qualifying||Sat 17:10-17:55|
|Race Warm-Up||Sun 07:50-08:10|
|Feature Race (161 laps)||Sun 10:30-18:00|
* Denotes co-driver only sessions. Session times are quoted in Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (UTC +11:00 hrs)
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.
2014 V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000 Entry List:
|Entry||Primary / Secondary Driver(s)||Team / Entry|
|1.||Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF|
|2.||Garth Tander / Warren Luff||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF|
|4.||Lee Holdsworth / Craig Baird||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG|
|5.||Mark Winterbottom / Steve Owen||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG|
|6.||Chaz Mostert / Paul Morris||Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG|
|7.||Todd Kelly / Alex Buncombe||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima|
|8.||Jason Bright / Andrew Jones||Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF|
|9.||Will Davison / Alex Davison||Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG|
|14.||Fabian Coulthard / Luke Youlden||Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF|
|15.||Rick Kelly / David Russell||Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima|
|16.||Scott Pye / Ashley Walsh||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG|
|17.||David Wall / Steven Johnson||Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG|
|18.||Jack Perkins / Cameron Waters||Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG|
|21.||Dale Wood / Chris Pither||Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF|
|22.||James Courtney / Greg Murphy||Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF|
|23.||Russell Ingall / Tim Blanchard||Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF|
|33.||Scott McLaughlin / Alexandre Premat||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60|
|34.||Robert Dahlgren / Greg Ritter||Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60|
|36.||Michael Caruso / Dean Fiore||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima|
|47.||Tim Slade / Tony D’Alberto||SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF|
|55.||David Reynolds / Dean Canto||The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG|
|97.||Shane van Gisbergen / Jonathon Webb||TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF|
|111.||Andre Heimgartner / Ant Pedersen||Super Black Racing / Ford Falcon FG*|
|222.||Nick Percat / Oliver Gavin||Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF|
|360.||James Moffat / Taz Douglas||Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima|
|888.||Craig Lowndes / Steven Richards||Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF|
* Denotes wildcard entry
The Form Guide
Mastering 161 laps of the iconic 6.2-kilometre Mount Panorama circuit used to be treated as an endurance classic. Today it’s almost a sprint – albeit one that lasts six hours! – and this year’s event could see records tumble courtesy of a newly-laid track surface that promises plenty of extra grip.
This year’s edition should be a closely fought chapter of what has been one of the most closely contested and competitive seasons of touring car racing in Australian history. Eleven different drivers and four of the five manufacturers have claimed race wins to-date, and perhaps we could see a new winner emerge on Sunday afternoon.
After dominating proceedings at the Sandown 500 ‘warm up’, the Red Bull Racing pair of Jamie Whincup and co-driver Paul Dumbrell are the short-priced favourites to win here. That being said, Whincup – a five-time series champion and four-time winner at Bathurst – has had his superiority tested on more than one occasion, with both his teammate Craig Lowndes and Ford driver Mark Winterbottom (the defending Bathurst champion) enjoying stints at the top of the championship standings during the season.
This trio have largely headed proceedings in 2014, but that’s by no means a sure bet that they’ll be certainties for victory on Sunday. There are a wave of other contenders in the mix to claim the title of ‘King of the Mountain’ and the Peter Brock Trophy.
The factory HRT squad of James Courtney/Greg Murphy and Garth Tander/Warren Luff should feature in the mix, reliability and good strategy prevailing. Both driver pairings showed great pace at Sandown and the team is clearly starting to feel the benefits of the major restructure it underwent earlier in the year under the new leadership of Adrian Burgess.
Among the other contenders, look out once again for the GRM Volvo of Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Prémat. The pair was desperately unlucky not to have earned a better result at Sandown, having had their race ruined after being baulked in the pit lane by a rival car. It will be the Volvo S60’s first hit-out at ‘The Mountain’ and it will be truly fascinating to see how one of this year’s true success stories copes in its biggest test yet.
Imag via V8 Supercars Championship Media