Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time. It’s Bathurst week. Hold on to your hats!
It’s an event fans across the globe countdown to, it’s the grand final of our sport, and this year we are going even bigger.
1000kms, 161 laps, one iconic circuit, three cars.
This year, we are attacking The Mountain with Scott Pye and Warren Luff in Car No. 2, James Courtney and Jack Perkins in Car No. 22, and IndyCar stars Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe in our Wildcard Car No. 27, and you better believe we are ready!
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.
Back this year is the 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, especially on Friday.
Scott Pye and Warren Luff will be hoping to go one better in 2019, after back-to-back second-place finishes in 2017 and 2018, while James Courtney and Jack Perkins are hoping to conquer The Mountain for the first time.
Both Mobil 1™ Racing cars will debut their new Winning Appliances and Appliances Online backed liveries this weekend, which look fantastic.
For the NAPA Auto Parts Racing No. 27, Rossi and Hinchliffe arrive at Bathurst fresh off a test at Winton where they came to grips with their Holden Commodore. They will be one to watch this weekend.
On-track action gets underway at 9:55am on Thursday, with qualifying Friday, the top-10 shootout Saturday, and the Great Race going green at 11:30am on Sunday.
You can catch all the action of Fox Sports and Channel 10 across the weekend.
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 out biggest race of the year. How can you not love this place.
“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.
“It’ll definitely be a bit different with no lead-in race like in previous years, but it’ll be a lot of fun. I can’t wait.”
“That first time you drive across the mountain is indescribable. It instantly puts a smile on your face and is really special.
“The last two Sunday’s at this place were special, but I would love nothing more to finish one place higher.
“It’s great to be back with Luffy, he is an absolute pro, and a pleasure to share the car with.”
“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 two years have showed we are more than capable of a strong result, so I’d love to get on the top step here.”
“The Bathurst 1000 is the Indy 500 of Supercar racing, I certainly hope that we do well enough that it opens doors for other guys to come over and have this opportunity. And, hopefully enough people back in the States and Canada are watching and it brings a little extra attention.
“Obviously we want to do well and show well for the team. It’s a long race, 1000km, a lot can happen. If you just stay out of trouble and hit your marks throughout the course of the afternoon, it’d be great to come home with a top 10.”
“I think once people who are fans of IndyCar tune into this race, see the competitiveness of it, the uniqueness of the track and just how cool the series is and great the drivers are, there will be a lot more eyeballs paying attention. And we’re here to help all of those things - and to have some fun and be competitive. Hopefully, with NAPA AUTO PARTS being a U.S. name coming on board to support us for this event and their expansion into the Australian market, it opens a lot of doors for us all.
“We got to do some testing in the No. 27 Holden Commodore at Winton last week, and had our first live look at the track today; it’s going to be a wild weekend. The track is every bit as impressive - and even more so - in person as it’s been on TV and simulators. We’re looking forward to getting the NAPA car out there and seeing what we can do.”