The Bathurst 12 Hour is a highlight for many who love motorsport. To have a car cross the line after 12 hours of racing around the brutal Mount Panorama circuit is an incredible team effort let alone to be standing on the podium’s top step.
2019 was my fifth year attending the event so here is a post about some of the finer details that I have experienced alongside the main event.
Pit lane was a short stroll from camp which makes it the perfect place for an after dinner stroll for those camping in the paddock.
The beauty of attending Friday and Saturday is that the track turns into a public road once the racing is over. It makes things a little easier and safer for one to jump a concrete fence and meet the noisy neighbours.
If spectators desire they can purchase tickets for a guided Pit Lane Walk on Friday and Saturday or even walk the grid before the race starts on Sunday. However one of my favourite parts of the weekend is taking a walk around the pits in the evening – you can check things out at your own pace plus it’s free.
Walking the pits is a great time to get really close to the cars and watch the teams in action. Long after the sun sets, the team garages are hustling and bustling in preparation for the big race. In one garage there are repairs and in the next final checks; all while other teams are practising driver changes and pit stops.
Everywhere you look there is something going on.
If you’re lucky you can meet pit crew members. Some are more than happy to answer questions and even let you take some photos inside the garage.
My main goal for Saturday was to watch the Group S race. It’s one of the more popular events and it’s not hard to see why. These days most classics are under lock & key but here on the mountain, the Group S participants prefer to use their machines as they were intended. Cutting loose on the track.
Once again the Show ‘n’ Shine didn’t fail to impress. An XJ220! Thank you, rich people, I love you.
There’s always some eye candy catering to my garage wish list year after year.
This year the new and gorgeous Brabham BT62 was brought over for some entertainment laps. It may sound like a casual blast around the track, but this was a casual blast that broke the GT3 lap record. Powered by a 5.4L V8 and weighing in at 972kg (2,143 lb) there’s little wonder why.
Speaking of timed laps; from mid-Saturday practice was over. The 12-hour cars were onto qualifying which boils down to the top 10 shootout.
Early in the shootout the team MANN FILTER GruppeM Racing, Mercedes AMG, number 999 had the fastest time with no one able to better it. That was until the 10th car rolled out of pit lane, the R-Motorsport 62 Aston Martin Vantage, number 62. I had met one of the crew the day before who told me “62 was fast”, it had the 4th fastest time on Friday. By the end of it’s shoot out lap, it had the fastest, securing pole position.
Stay tuned for Motorvated’s take on race day.
Words & Photos by Domenic Ciccio