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Bathurst 1000

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Mount Panorama
Bathurst 1000 on the Mount Panorama Circuit

Bathurst 1000 on the Mount Panorama Circuit

© Matt Blyth / Getty Images

  • James Whincup, who placed first in the final practice session on October 4 and the top 10 shootout on October 6, has won the 2012 Bathurst 1000 with co-driver Paul Dumbrell (Holden). Finishing second in a tight heart-thumping finish were David Reynolds / Dean Canto (Ford) with Craig Lowndes / Warren Luff (Holden) third. It was Whincup's fourth Bathurst 1000 win and Dumbrell's first.

  • The Bathurst 1000 took place this year at Mount Panorama, opening with practice sessions on October 4, through to the great race on October 7.

  • In the final practice session on October 4, the top threee lap finishers were James Whincup (Holden) first, Will Davison (Ford) second and Craig Lowndes (Holden) third, the only three to record lap times under 2 minutes 8 seconds.

  • In the qualifying rounds on October 5, Whincup maintained his top spot with a lap time of 2 minutes 07.7145 seconds. In second and third place were Fabian Coulthard (Holden, 2:07.7931) and Mark Winterbottom (Ford, 2:07.9231).

  • In the top 10 shootout in the afternoon of October 6, the Ford driving team of Will Davison and John McIntyre (Ford) clinched the pole position for the great race on October 7, beating James Whincup / Paul Dumbrell (Holden) and Shane Van Gisbergen / Luke Youlden (Ford). The rest of the top 10 were Mark Winterbottom / Steven Richards (Ford), Fabian Coulthard / David Besnard (Holden), Garth Tander / Nick Percat (Holden), Tim Slade / Andrew Thompson (Ford), David Reynolds / Dean Canto (Ford), Craig Lowndes / Warren Luff (Holden), and Steve Owen / Paul Morris (Holden). Twenty-nine cars are on the grid for the great race.

In October each year, racing car enthuriasts head for the New South Wales inland city of Bathurst for the clash of the V8 Supercars in the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.

It's a time of high-powered cars in a test of skill and endurance as drivers speed to attain the title of King of the Mountain. For the spectators, revheads, petrolheads or simply speed enthusiasts, however they're called, it's a weekend of vroom-vroom action among a crowd of like-minded aficionados.

Endurance races

Racing is very much a part of the Australian ethos and Australia's premier racing events include the race that stops a nation, the Melbourne Cup, for thoroughbred horses, the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race for boats of various categories — and the Bathurst 1000 for V8 Supercars.

In effect, these are all endurance races, horses racing over 3200 metres, yachts covering the distance from Sydney Harbour to Hobart's Derwent River through rough and often dangerous seas, racing cars over 1000 kilometres of what have been described as merciless curves and unforgiving straights.

In terms of distance, the Bathurst 1000 could be likened to the Indianapolis 500, covering 1000 kilometres and 500 miles (804.67 kilometres), respectively.

50th anniversary

Motorcar racing at Mount Panorama began in 1938 with its first race, the Australian Tourist Trophy, and continued through the years as the Bathurst 500, raced at 500 miles, before metrification changed its name to Bathurst 1000, raced at 1000 kilometres.

From dirt tracks to line-marked pit stops, the Mount Panorama Circuit has evolved into the modern track it is today. The 2012 Bathurst 1000 marks the 50th anniversary of the great race at Mount Panorama.

The precursor to Bathurst 500/1000, the Armstrong 500, was first raced on Mount Panorama in 1963 and won by Bob Jane and Harry Firth.

Since 2000 the Bathurst 1000 has been run exclusively for V8 Supercars and the race has been between Ford and Holden each year. After this year's race, Nissan and Mercedes cars rejoin the Bathurst 1000.

Peter Brock

One of Australia's best racing car drivers, Peter Brock, holds the Bathurst record of nine wins at Mount Panorama and was dubbed King of the Mountain. He was also known as Peter Perfect. Brock died in an accident on September 8, 2006, during a rally, the West Targa '06, in Western Australia.

The Bathurst 1000 trophy is now officially named the Peter Brock Trophy. It is inscribed with the words King of the Mountain.

Race circuit

The length of the Mount Panorama circuit is 6.213 kilometres, requiring 161 laps to cover the 1000-kilometre distance.

Sections of the Mount Panorama Circuit carry such names as the Mountain Straight, Griffins Bend, The Cutting, Skyline, The Esses, The Dipper, Forest Elbow, Conrod Straight, The Chase and Murrays Corner.

V8 Supercars racing on Mount Panorama have reached speeds up to 300 kilometres per hour on the Conrod Straight with an average speed for the course of 178km/h. The fastest lap time was set by Greg Murphy in a Holden in 2003 in a qualifying race. The race record is 6 hours 19 minutes 14.80 seconds set by Jim Richards and Mark Skaife in a Nissan Skyline GT-R in 1991.

Four-day event

The Bathurst 1000 takes place over four days in October, taking in practice and qualifying runs, official dinners, autograph sessions, a ball and street fair, and various other entertainment events.

A V8 Supercar Transporter Parade is normally held on the first or second day of the Bathrust 1000 program.

Getting there

Driving. Bathurst and Mount Panorama are some two and a half hours by car from Sydney through the Blue Mountains on the Great Western Highway. Travel time may increase during busy periods such as weekends and at the start and end of Bathurst 1000. Head west on Parramatta Rd (part of the Great Western Highway) and enter the M4 Motorway at Strathfield. The M4 reconnects with, and continues into, the Great Western Highway at the foot of the Blue Mountains. Follow the Great Western Highway all the way to Bathurst. Follow the signs to Mount Panorama.

Flying. If flying to Buthurst, flight time is about 40 minutes from Sydney to the Bathurst regional airport in the suburb of Raglan, about 10 minutes to Bathurst city centre.

By train. Countrylink has daily XPT trains to Bathurst from Sydney's Central Station with a travel time of about 3.5 hours.

Where to stay

Hotels and motels are available in Bathurst but should be booked well in advance if planning to stay during the Bathurst 1000. Camping sites are available on Mount Panorama but should also be booked early.

Away from Bathurst, accommodation may be booked all along the towns on the Great Western Highway in the Blue Mountains or even in the Penrith region at the western end of the Sydney metropolitan area. This would entail commuting as often as needed to Bathurst and Mount Panorama.

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