G'day folks ,

Ever heard of a car race known as The Bathurst 1000? Well it's as big as Texas, but it's held in Australia, attended by thousands of car fanatics. I've been to the Indi 500, but I've not yet been to this race in Australia. Anyway, here are some facts about this awesome race. At the end of this post you can sit inside a fast car and dodge and weave as you tour the circuit. Do it. It's exciting.

The Bathurst 1000 is a 1,000-kilometre touring car race held annually at Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.

Even prior to the Mount being opened to racing, the Bathurst 1000 was in its infancy in the form of the Armstrong 500 at Phillip Island in Victoria. The race was held at Phillip Island only three times, as the track was severely damaged in the 1962 race. This became a godsend to Bathurst and Mount Panorama, who has hosted the Great Race ever since.

The Bathurst 1000 (currently called the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000) is a 1,000-kilometre (620 mi) touring car race held annually at Mount Panorama Circuit. The race traces its lineage to the 1960 Armstrong 500. Since then 52 races have taken place under the combined history of two events at two venues in two states. It is known among fans and broadcasters as "The Great Race", and is widely regarded as the pinnacle of Australian motorsport.

Since 2000, the race has been run exclusively for V8 Supercars and is now a round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.  The race has a long and colourful history, having been conducted for numerous categories such as Series Production, Group C, Group A, Super Touring and currently V8 Supercar category. Although the Bathurst 1000 is today run by just two marques, Ford and Holden, makes as diverse as Morris, Jaguar, BMW, Nissan and Volvo have also tasted success at "The Mountain". Holden has the most victories at Bathurst with 25 wins, while Ford has 17 (or 18 if including the victory from the 1962 Phillip Island event).

The popularity of the race continued to grow so rapidly during the 1960s that by 1966 most major manufacturers operating in the Australian market became heavily involved in "The Great Race". This is because an outright win in the long and tough race would add great credibility to the car and its brand, especially in proving the winning car-brand offered the best overall package in terms of performance, durability, reliability and image. This proved to be a great marketing opportunity to increase sales and market share in the local market, and so the famous "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday" concept was born. 

Notably, it was during this period that the famous Holden-Ford-Chrysler rivalry originated.  The Bathurst 1000 race was initially intended for small vehicles, as it was thought V8s would struggle due to the conditions and the required driving techniques. However, a Mini Cooper S' outright win in 1966 was the last time a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder car won at Bathurst. From then on V8s and V6s have dominated the winners table. The most successful driver at Bathurst is Peter Brock, whose nine victories (1972, 1975, 1978–80, 1982–84 and 1987) earned him the nickname King of the Mountain. 

The track itself is the most famous landmark in the small inland city of Bathurst. In total the track drops 174m from top to bottom. The race begins at the bottom of Mount Panorama and follows a series of sharp turns, steep straights and huge drops. The cars can reach up to 300km/hour near the end of the track, on the longest racing straight in Australia (1.9km in length). Bathurst 1000 continues to draw crowds of thousands and will no doubt remain Australia's most popular racing event for many years to come. 

  FACTS as at 2009:

The track: Mount Panorama, Bathurst

Race distance

Average lap speed

Fuel used during race
4.6 litres per lap (almost 800 litres for the race)

Top speed
298km/h down Conrod straight

Fastest lap
Jenson Button in a McLaren Formula One car. Ignoring that demonstration run, Craig Lowndes during practice in 2010: 2 minutes, 6.8012 seconds, and in qualifying, Greg Murphy in 2003: 2 minutes, 6.8594 seconds

Most winning brand (V8 Supercars, Holden 13 Ford 5, 1993 to 2010) overall Holden 27, Ford 18

Number of manufacturers: 2 but has been as many as 16.

Claimed biggest crowd
193,647 in 2006 (the year Peter Brock died)
180,000 in 2010

Milestones for 2011
20 years since Godzilla (the Nissan GT-R) became the first Japanese car to with the Bathurst 1000
30 years since Dick Johnson's first win
40 years since Allan Moffat won in the legendary Ford Falcon GT-HO

Number of cars entered
30 (only 29 can start)

Number of tyres used over the weekend
At least 928 tyres will be used over the weekend. 

Each car is allowed four sets of tyres for the weekend (32 tyres in total)

If it rains there is no restriction on how many wet tyres can be used; tyre supplier Dunlop has 400 wet weather tyres at the track and 400 more in a warehouse ready to be trucked in.

Youngest driver: Cameron Waters (17 years 67 days) on race day. Breaks previous record by 8 days, Paul Dumbrell 1999

Winningest driver
Peter Brock (9)

Number of 1-2 finishes for a team
3; Moffat and Bond (1977), Brock and Harvey (1984), Lowndes and Whincup (2010)

Weight lost during the race for drivers
Average sweat losses resulting in a 3 per cent loss of body weight

Number of people killed during the Great Race
3; Mike Burgmann (1986), Denny Hulme (who died after suffering a heart attack during the race (1992), Don Watson (1994)

Alcohol limit
One case per person per day of beer; 24 cans of regular beer or 36 cans light/mid strength beer
24 cans mixed drinks per person per day
4 litres of wine per person per day

Number of police patrolling Bathurst during race weekend
More than 260

Arrests in 2010
56 arrests, 1122 traffic notices issued & 13,500 random breath tests carried out

Now, you might like to watch this video as you sit in a Ford Falcon XY GTHO, built in the 1970’s, as it wends its way through a gaggle of cars on this very circuit. These are all cars that have at some stage competed in this race. So, turn the volume up, get in, buckle up and sit tight. You’re in for one hellova ride. Trust me, I'm a fiction writer. Would I lie to you?


Clancy's comment: Well? Did you enjoy the ride in one of Australia's iconic vehicles? Great track, eh? Typical Aussie grunt!

Today is the final day of voting in the People's Choice Award in the Best Australian Blogs 2014 Competition. Many thanks to all of you who have voted. Many, many thanks. Who knows? I will let you know what happens. 


But, to those of you who have voted ...

I'm ...

Think about this!

Peter Brock
'King of the Mountain'

Loved ya work, Brocky.

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