9 Feb 2016

Bathurst 12 hours-another great race

It was the Bathurst 12 hour GT race last weekend.For overseas readers Bathurst is a country town about 3 hours drive over the Blue Mountains west of Sydney,Australia. It is also the home of one of the world's greatest motor racing circuits-Mount Panorama. It's up there with the Nordschleife Nurburgring. Better than Spa. And even better than Le Mans.Yes it's that good.
Every time I stand at the top of the mountain and watch the cars rocket across the top at Skyline and down the Dipper I just say wow-this is real motor racing.
One of the great aspects of the 12 hour race is that it is not expensive to attend and you have full access to the pits and the padddock on the general admission ticket. This may change in the future as the rapacious V8 Supercar organisation owned by private equity have bought 50% of the race and they do not have a good record of looking after any other interests but their own. Just like Formula 1. If they do screw it up it will be a great shame but money always talks and it is hard to be optimistic.
This year's race was cooler than last year's-thank goodness. It was hot in the afternoon but not heatstroke hot. And the race was just as exciting.There were 29 changes of lead in the 12 hours and five different marques made up the top five places-McLaren,Nissan,Bentley,Audi and Mercedes. And the winner set a new circuit lap record and won by just 1.8 seconds.
And the Stone and Wood draught beer in the Hotel Canobalas in Orange where I stayed tasted great Saturday evening and Sunday evening.
In summary it was a great weekend.
Some action photos from the race with some paddock photos in the next blog post.

The start at 5.45am.An early morning wake up as I stayed in Oprange -54kms away.

Dawn breaking,Brake rotors glowing at the end of Conrod Straight.

Porsche Cayman entering Caltex Chase in the early morning light

The winning McLaren setting an cracking early pace as the sun rises over the Blue Mountains in the distance

Fast food.The McDonalds sponsored Ferrari did not bring home the bacon.

Audi R8 powering up the Mountain

The second placed Nissan coming out of the Cutting late morning

The third placed Bentley

The fifth placed Mercedes SLS

Porsche class winner descending the Dipper

Winning Mclaren fighting Bentley for lead mid afternoon

Porsche coming down the Dipper

Porsche and Audi turning onto Syline at the top of the Mountain.

Fifth placed Mercedes coming down pitlane

Over Skyline and into the Dipper
All photos by JohnS using a Sony a7 and 90mm Zeiss Biogon and  200mm Minolta Rokkor lenses. Both manual focus lenses.The Zeiss lens is superb and gives beautiful results which barely need any processing.
The Minolta lens which I bought for A$12 off eBay gives surprisingly good results after work in Lightroom.
The irony is that I used to have a superb Canon 70-200 F2.8 lens and 2X converter but I sold all that gear years ago when I decided that my days of dragging a big lens and cameras around a race track were over. That was then this is now and at least the outfit I used on Sunday was light and small.

1 comment:

  1. wonderful pics John

    Have always loved the pre dawn and early dawn light at Mt Panorama.

    The cayman and McLaren coming out of Caltex Chase are particularly good.

    Access seemed to be good looking at all of your pictures?