Bathurst 1000: Friday Notebook
The big wet rolled into Bathurst today, which fortunately gave us plenty of fodder for our third notebook this week from Mount Panorama.
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Crowds back, corporates too
The crowds are back on the Mountain, sure, but so are the other end of town up in corporate land.
After businesses tightened their purse strings during the pandemic, this year there is no shortage of very busy corporate suits filled with lucky people who don’t need to worry about mud in the campgrounds – rather that their champagne is chilled just so.
The corporate suites were sold out months ago with demand reported to be much higher than supply. Most of the big teams have setup above their garages – Red Bull Ampol Racing, Penrite Racing and so on – for their own sponsors and lucky supporters, while individual sponsors have also invested in entertaining their own guests, including Dunlop, Middy’s and, interestingly, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, who work with Supercars to provide an exclusive lounge that can be yours for somewhere in the vicinity of $2200 per ticket.
Supercars’ own paddock club is in its own massive structure on the inside of Hell corner, while others use their own setups around the venue to entertain their own guests.
Bathurst is the biggest Motorsport TV event of the year so TRT will be backtracking the ratings across the four days this weekend.
Yesterday’s most-viewed session was the Gen 3 demonstration that included Dick Johnson and Greg Murphy, viewed by 54,000 people on Fox Sports’ Bathurst channel. 50,000 watched practice two later in the afternoon. Eight of the top ten programs were Supercars related to subscription TV.
Kayo Sports numbers are unavailable, however, last year streaming numbers added more than 30% to the overall Fox total – so an approximate audience of 70,000 would be expected.
Today: On top of The Mountain
Grand Designs Mount Panorama
Once upon a time, the addresses around Mount Panorama were semi-rural, unloved backlots. These days, an abode on the inside of the circuit is a symbol of status.
Some recent additions to the infield, and some other renovations, have really upped the game for the suburb.
Every year, there is a growing importance on rolling into race week early so fans can stake their claim on their own patch of prime real estate for the week.
Also, the other necessity is placing your gazebo in place, many days prior to race day.
Prior to race week, we produced the ultimate guide to the city of Bathurst, where we ran a rule over the best eats around town.
One glaring omission was clearly Dominos Pizza, although the chain has hit Bathurst, HARD, with this campaign offering large pizzas for $3 a pop.
With signs in shopfronts and front gardens, they have gone all out. And at that price, you can’t go wrong…
Back up on top
The pop-up Repco outlet on top of the Mountain, just opposite the Jack Hinxman Vista, has returned this year after an extended hiatus.
Unlike a typical Repco store, this one focuses on the necessities required for camping, and generally surviving, life on top of the hill.
Speaking of the top of the hill, we’re guessing someone in this camp has a level of OCD.
They truly sorted their recycling, well done team.
So damn close…
Back at the Bathurst 6 Hour, John Holinger was involved in a rather massive-looking shunt on Conrod Straight – click here to check it out.
The witness marks left on the fence paint a picture of just how close the Trans Am car went to launching over the fence…
Weapon of choice
The Race Torque remarked to this gentleman yesterday, that his weapon of choice is absolutely perfect for the sodden outfield around the precinct.
What an awesome piece of kit…
Welcome to the Bathurst Hilton
The red carpet has been rolled out for the return of the incredible Bathurst Hilton, possibly the finest hotel contained within the paddock campground.
What now for Rory?
With 2022 marking Holden’s final fling in The Great Race, has anyone thought about what will become of Rory, Holden’s lovable lion mascot?
You too can compete at Bathurst
While there are five key full-circuit events held during the year aimed at the higher end of the sport, there is also a range of amateur-level events held throughout the year, allowing average punters to take on the challenge of Mount Panorama.
The Bathurst Light Car Club, which has its club rooms located at the top of Mountain Straight, hosts events with various configurations, with one recent example a hillclimb from Forrest’s Elbow, the wrong way up to Skyline – skids from the start line can be seen above.
Other formats include a hillclimb from Mountain Straight up to the Jack Hinxman Vista, plus a sprint through The Chase.
No car park for you, come back in one year
One of the first casualties of the big wet was the VIP car park, which was shut off to everything bar 4WDs today.
This image was taken leaving the track on Thursday evening, and without the intervention of a significant quality of chip wood, the weekend is going to have a bit on…
Bring back Ozemail
The devotion of this punter in the Chase campground to the Ozemail cause is remarkable.
Absolutely loving the conditions
Baby ducks, awwwwww.
FROM THE INTERNET…
One of the worst 10sec in the history of Australian motorsport
A safety car in the Toyota 86 Qualifying session sure was different…
Frankly, we’d be here for it. A real pick me up.
Quasi retro round
Super3 looking on point
It sure did stop
…it’s ok, it’s only a zombie vortex weather system
ICYMI: The Bathurst 1000 on TRT
Race week build-up: