It’s time for the big one, the holy grail of Australian Motorsport, the Bathurst 1000.
It’s an event fans across the globe countdown to, it’s the Grand Final of our sport.
1000kms, 161 laps, one iconic circuit.
Mt Panorama is the perfect blend of beauty and danger. There’s the Dipper, McPhilamy Park, The Chase, Conrod Straight, nearly every meter of the 6.2km circuit is breathtaking.
But when The Mountain bites, it bites hard, and that’s why we love it. Concentration is critical, especially over the longer stints.
Endurance racing is not just about lap times though, with everyone in the team playing a part, especially in pit lane. There are seven compulsory pit-stops during the race which are all crucial in setting up a result.
New this year is a compulsory front brake rotor change during one of the stops, on top of the mandatory front brake pad change. The brake rotor and calliper will be swapped out for a new set, adding a new dimension into the race strategy.
Like last year, rain looks like it will be a factor in the weekend. There is between 5-10mm expected on Thursday, and showers on Sunday, which will be sure to spice things up.
Scott Pye and Warren Luff will be hoping to go one better in 2018, after a stunning second-place finish in 2017, while James Courtney and Jack Perkins are hoping to conquer The Mountain for the first time.
Both cars will debut a new silver livery for this weekend, which will remain on both cars for the remainder of the year.
On-track action gets underway at 9:35am on Thursday with the first of six practice sessions, with qualifying Friday, the top-10 shootout Saturday, and the Great Race going green at 11:10am on Sunday.
Bring it on.
“It’s impossible not to be excited. It’s Bathurst. There is nothing quite like this place.
“To get on the top step of the podium here would be a dream come true.
“It’s one of those races where things can change by the minute, it’s always exciting, and there is always a talking point.”
“There is nothing like Mt Panorama. It’s our Grand Final, it’s our biggest race of the year. How can you not love this place.
“The pace of the car at Sandown was a positive. Luck didn’t go our way, but we take a lot of confidence into this weekend.
“Everyone in the team is working really well together, I’m back in the car with James who I work really well with, so let’s hope that translates into a really good result on Sunday afternoon.”
“That first time you drive across the mountain is indescribable. It instantly puts a smile on your face and is really special.
“There were a lot of positives to take from Sandown, including driving through the field to sixth after a shocking Saturday.
“Sunday last year was special, but I would love nothing more to finish one place higher.”
“We are back at Bathurst, how good is this.
“I made my debut here in 1997, and I still feel like a kid on Christmas Eve every year.
“Bathurst is one of those places where things change very quickly, but I’m confident we can put ourselves in a position to be in the hunt.
“Last year showed we are more than capable of a strong result, so I’d love to get on the top step here.”