Friday, October 11, 2013

Win Sunday - Buy Monday

There's an old saying in motor racing along the lines of "Win it on Sunday, sell it on Monday". So true, because the big race at Bathurst is for production cars, real cars from a factory that anyone can buy and call their own.

Of course, you can't buy an actual stripped down racer with roll bars, tricked up components, slick tyres etc, but you can get pretty close. The Ford or Holden V8 sedan that wins Bathurst started life as a great Australian road car. It just lost some creature comforts and gained a few stickers along the way to the track.

The tradition of racing production cars at Bathurst is what makes it one of the world's great races, because the average motorist can readily identify with the vehicle, unlike F1 and other motorsports where the car hi-tech science lab on wheels.

So, if you love Bathurst and like the idea of owning a race-winning car, well the genesis of one, keep an eye on Carzoos to own a mountain machine.

Fast Facts at 298km/h

Bathurst looks and sounds amazing on TV. But what you don't get on the box is a real feel for the place, this true road racetrack carved out of the side of a mountain in regional NSW. Here are a few fast facts about this world famous circuit.

Mount Panorama Scenic Drive started as a dirt track tourist run in the 1930s and is still used as a public road, except at race times. The track is 6.21km long, and at its highest point are 862m above sea level (and the views are spectacular).

A race car roars around the track in just over 2 minutes, which in nothing, so there's not a lot of time to admire the scenery. Along the way, at an lap average lap speed of 178kn/h, there are 6 hard braking corners to negotiate, another 6 six or so high speed twists, turns and drop aways to master, along with incredibly fast straights, like Conrod where top speed
is 298km/h.

Do all of the above over 160 times to rack up 1000.29 km to complete a race, and you'll really know a lot Bathurst.

Lowndes Another Legend?

It's hard to beat Craig Lowndes' record at Bathurst. His CV for the mountain is so impressive, he looks set to join some famous names in the legend’s stakes.

In 2013 Lowndes will line up on the grid for his 20th Bathurst start, which means he's been racing around the mountain almost half his life (Craig turns 40 in 2014). During that time he's won 5 times and come pretty close, standing on the podium 8 times. This year's Bathurst will also be Lowndes' 500th STCC/V8 Supercars Championship Race.

That score alone makes him a legend, but if he bags a podium finish this year, he'll tie with some of the biggest names in Bathurst history – Brock, Perkins and Richards – for the record of most podiums.

There are a lot drivers worth supporting in Sunday's big race, but only one is on the cusp of greatness. Good luck Craig.

Son of Godzilla Returns

Ford and Holden have long dominated the great race at Bathurst. There have been other winners, particularly in the early days when many marques in different classes took to the track, but essentially it’s been a Ford vs Holden war, the way fans like it.

In the early 90s an unwelcome yet super fast intruder from Japan appeared, the incredible Nissan GT-R, and it earned the nickname Godzilla, because like the movie monster, the GT-R wiped out everything. However, Godzilla’s reign as king of the mountain was spectacular and brief, dethroned by angry fans, unhappy competitors and new rules.

The racing rules have been re-written again and this year Nissans will return to Bathurst. Four Nissan Altimas will follow in Godzilla's all conquering footsteps to break the traditional Holden and Ford stranglehold on the trophy. Keep a close eye on these very capable sons of Godzilla - they might just give the others a scare.

Dick Goes Green Again

In 1983 Dick Johnson’s dream of a Bathurst win was shattered by an event now part of V8 racing history.

Going flat-out in the Top 10 Shootout, Dick's vivid green Falcon clipped the wall coming out of Forrest Elbow, causing him to crash heavily and totally destroy the race favourite’s immaculately prepared V8.

Now, 30 years later, a Dick Johnson Racing green Falcon is back at Bathurst, with Chaz Mostert and Dale Woods driving a modern day V8 decked out as a retro replica of the original racer.

Same colour, same stickers and with the famous #17 on the doors, this tribute car will bring back memories for racing fans. And all will agree it deserves a long overdue place in the winner’s circle.