9 Feb 2015

Bathurst 12 hours-A Really Great Race.

I spent the weekend in Bathurst in western NSW with friend Warren at the Bathurst 12 hour GT tace.and it was fabulous.I have not been to the Mount Panorama track for a few years since a lot of money has been spent on the facilities.It is now not only one of the world's greatest race circuits but it now has great facilities for the spectators and the crews.
The admission price was very good value( astonishing value compared to the F1 Grand Prix ),the viewing areas are excellent,there was by Australian standards a good crowd and the ambience was wonderful.

The admission price included admission to the paddock and you could look into the pits and even talk to the drivers.It was a world away from Formula 1.The spectators were knowledgeable motor racing fans and there were lots of families.It was just delightful and I thought I would never say this but to my mind it was nearly as good as the Le Mans 24 hour race.And it was only 300 kms from home over the Blue Mountains.

The only negatives were that it was just a bit too hot -34ºC ambient and clear skies at 2.00pm with a track temperature of 54ºC and many of the overseas drivers charged a little too hard and did not give the circuit the respect it demands so there were way too many incidents and way too many safety car deployments as a result.

The race itself was an absolute cracker and the last 2 laps were the most exciting motor racing I have ever seen in 50 years of spectating with the lead being contested by 7 cars.In the end a Nissan GT-R driven by Chuyo San,Reep and Strauss won from an Audi R8 with an Aston Martin in third place.The variety of front running cars was great-the first seven places were taken by Nissan,Audi,Aston-Martin,Bentley,Mercedes,Ferrari and Lamborghini-but sadly no Porsche.In qualifying Belgian driver,Laurens Vantoor in an Audi R8,recorded the fastest ever lap of the Mount Panorama circuit.This car finished in second place.

Overall a fantastic weekend and thank you Warren for being excellent company.I was silly enough to carry a load of camera gear with me hiking over the top of that very hot mountain thereby breaking all my own rules about carrying minimal gear and not taking anymore action photos of motor sport.You can judge whether my efforts were worthwhile from this selection of photos from the weekend.I will post details of the gear in a future story and more photos will follow.

The weekend's most important piece of gear-sunscreen.


  1. Great photos John, well worth the effort of taking the good equipment. Maybe Warren could carry more next time. Not.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Ray .Not sure if Warren will be that enthusiastic about being a Mount Panorama Sherpa but it's worth considering for next year's race.