The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your Megaguide

They call it the great race. One thousand kilometers, six hours, of racing the craziest racing track in the world. Twenty nine V8 powered beasts enter, but only one can leave triumphant. It's Australia's greatest motor race, the greatest touring car race of all, and it begins tomorrow. Get ready with our car-by-car megaguide.

The Event

The 50 year old, 1000 kilometer race became a legend as the most important touring car race in the world, and though V8 Supercars aren't anything like touring cars any more, it still holds that title. With an estimated running time of six hours, it's an endurance race driven like a sprint, a two-driver-per-car battle that rewards the most aggressive.

The Championship

With 300 points awarded to the race winner, Bathurst is the most important race in the championship hunt. One mistake could cost a driver the equivalent of a full race weekend worth of points, and with only 97 points between first and third, that could be the difference between a title and a long, sad trip home from the finale in Sydney. Jamie Whincup, 2011 and 2012 champion, holds a 96 point lead over team mate Craig Lowndes, while Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom sits in third, 97 points back of Whincup but 69 points ahead of team mate Will Davison. Further back, James Courtney and Fabian Coulthard are still holding on to slim title hopes, 238 and 246 points back respectively.

Last year, Ford's Mark Winterbottom lost the title in the three race weekend "Season of endurance". It will be pivotal again in this six way fight for the championship, and a notable sub-plot throughout the 1000 kilometer race on Sunday.

The Contenders

Twenty nine cars are entered for this 51st edition of the great race, 28 regular V8 Supercar competitors and one wild card entry from Triple Eight Racing. Those 29 cars represent four manufacturers, eleven teams and fifty six drivers. Each car entered is a new-for-2013 "Car Of The Future" V8 Supercar, a RWD, 600 horsepower beast with four working doors and a body meant to replicate that of a performance oriented road going four door sedan.

Qualifying was completed on Friday, but it only set positions 11 through 29. The top 10 cars in that session go on to a car-by-car "Top 10 shootout" on Saturday afternoon (Friday night in the US), which will be aired live on V8supercars.com.au via the V8 SuperView service.

1 - Triple Eight Racing (Red Bull Racing Australia)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Jamie Whincup - Paul Dumbrell

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 1st. Following a stunning performance at Sandown where the duo won despite a drive through penalty, it is hard to bet against them going back-to-back. If Whincup wins this weekend, it goes a long way to helping him get his 5th championship.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 1st. Whincup won the great race and the championship last year, won the Wilson Security Sandown 500 just a few weeks back, is leading the title standings, and has lead the majority of the practice sessions this weekend. Without a doubt, he is the favorite to win the race tomorrow.

2 - Holden Racing Team (Toll HRT)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Garth Tander - Nick Percat

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: 11th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 12th. The 2011 champions race ended early last year after Nick Percat hit the wall in the esses. Another strong pairing, but I don’t think they have enough to compete for the victory this year.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 13th. Percat and Tander may be just two years removed from a Bathurst 1000 win, but HRT's only just recovered from an 18 month slump and the cars themselves still aren't comparable to what's being put out by Triple Eight and FPR right now.

3 - Tony D'Alberto Racing (Team Hi-Flex)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Tony D'Alberto - Johnny Reid

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: 15th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 23rd. D’Alberto is at the disadvantage of being a single car operation.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 27th. D'Alberto's team has never been exceptional, and without a team mate to bounce data off, I have trouble believing it finally will this weekend.

4 - Erebus Racing (Irwin Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Lee Holdsworth - Craig Baird

Car: Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

Starting Position: 12th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 6th. The pair scored a stunning 4th at the Wilson Security Sandown 500. If the car holds up it is likely they will be the highest finishing entry out of either Nissan or Erebus again.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 10th. I'm not sure the car has the pace to do what it did at Sandown again, but Holdsworth is still fantastic and the car is still sneaky quick. Thanks to a wreck that kept the #47 out of practice and qualifying yesterday, the #4 is a near lock to be the highest finishing Merc or Nissan.

5 - Ford Performance Racing (Pepsi Max Crew)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Mark Winterbottom - Steven Richards

Car: Ford Falcon (FG)

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 3rd. Frosty and Steven Richards are one of the most experienced driver combos in the field, but they have yet to score a podium. I have a feeling they finally get it this year, as long as FPR has fixed their wheel nut issues as they have said.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 2nd. Frosty may be Whincup's only legitimate competition for pole in the shootout and should be his main source of pressure for the race itself. However, FPR seems to have annual difficulty with unsprung car parts this time of year, whether it's a lugnut, a tire or a spring, and that strange tradition could keep the 5 from competing for the win as it did at at Sandown.

6 - Ford Performance Racing (Pepsi Max Crew)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Will Davison - Steve Owen

Car: Ford Falcon (FG)

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 5th. Car #6 finished behind both RBRA cars at Sandown even after a complete debacle by Ford Performance racing in the pits. Like teammate Winterbottom, Davison needs to finish ahead of Jamie Whincup to keep the championship from getting too far out of reach.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 4th. Winterbottom has the one lap pace, and if the #5 gets out front of the #6 from the start, it should be preferred from that point on, and that will be enough to nearly guarantee that Davison finishes behind the one they call "Frosty"

7 - Kelly Racing (Nissan Motorsport) (Jack Daniels Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Todd Kelly - David Russell

Car: Nissan Altima

Starting Position: 23rd

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 22nd. Like his brother, Todd is a Bathurst champion but does not have the best co- driver and will likely suffer as a result.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 24th. The Kelly brothers have a pretty neat old Nissan Patrol. Wonder if that'd be faster around Mount Panorama this weekend?

8 - Brad Jones Racing (Team BOC)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Jason Bright - Andrew Jones

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 13th. Another returning combination from last year. Bright has won twice year but similar to Kiwi teammate Coulthard, has been less consistent the second half of the year. If things go right, they could get a podium, but I think a win is out of the question.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 15th. Bright is good and his qualifying pace is astounding, but I'm not sure Brad Jones Racing has enough pace at this point in the season to put up too much of a fight, and furthermore, I'm not sure Brad Jones Racing is all that worried about what the #8 does if the #14's doing well.

9 - Erebus Motorsport (SP Tools Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Maro Engel - Steven Johnson

Car: Mercedes E63 AMG

Starting Position: 16th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 29th. Steven Johnson may still have a bit of speed in him, but it’s not enough to make up for the shortcomings of his co-driver.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 20th. I'm still entirely unsure as to why Maro Engel is in this car, but he's improving along with the Erebus team and Steven Johnson is looking significantly faster as a co-driver than he did as a full time racer.

10 - Triple Eight Racing (XBOX ONE Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Andy Priaulx - Mattias Ekstrom

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: 18th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 14th. DTM drivers? Xbox One Commodore? Yes, please! The only thing working against them is their lack of experience (Priaulx has raced at Bathurst before, but not since 2003).

Porsche9146's Prediction: 11th. When this pairing was announced, Ekstrom was expected to play second fiddle to Priaulx, but he's been a revelation in the first two days of running, and despite his mediocre qualifying run, he could be fighting for a position in the top 10 by the halfway point of the race.

12 - Dick Johnson Racing (Wilson Security Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Tim Blanchard - Ash Walsh

Car: Ford Falcon (FG)

Starting Position: 21st

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 21st. Blanchard hasn’t performed as well as teammate Chaz Mostert has, but he is partnered with another impressive Ford rookie in Ash Walsh. Still, it’s doubtful they will achieve anything special.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 19th. Ash Walsh is a future star just as Dale Wood is, but Tim Blanchard is no Chaz Mostert.

14 - Brad Jones Racing (Lockwood Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Fabian Coulthard - Luke Youlden

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: 14th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 11th. Brad Jones Racing started the season off strong, but has since fallen back. Although they still have pace, they would have preferred if Bathurst was held in April.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 12th. Coulthard won some races in the beginning of the season, but relatively uncompetitive since.

15 - Kelly Racing (Nissan Motorsport) (Jack Daniels Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Rick Kelly - Karl Reindler

Car: Nissan Altima

Starting Position: 24th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 17th. Even though Rick Kelly is a two-time race champion, I just don’t feel that the Altima is fast enough, reliable enough, or that he has a strong enough co-driver to be a serious threat.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 23rd. The Kelly brothers have struggled to keep up with the younger Caruso and Moffat in the Nissans they own throughout 2013, and that should continue on the mountain.

17 - Dick Johnson Racing (Wilson Security Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Chaz Mostert - Dale Wood

Car: Ford Falcon (FG)

Starting Position: Did Not Qualify

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 7th. “The Chaz” Mostert and “The Dale” Wood may be an all-rookie pairing, but they are mighty quick. I think a podium or top 5 might be asking a bit much for any all- rookie combo, but a top 10 for the Greens’ Tuf Wilson Security Dick Johnson Racing Falcon is reasonable.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 6th. Yes, the car was almost entirely totaled in Friday practice and missed it's chance to qualify. However, I don't think that an almost entirely new car and a back row starting position is enough to keep rookie sensations Chaz Mostert and Dale Wood out of the top 10. Although, as gorgeous as the car is, I'm not sure painting a car in tribute to a car most famous for crashing is a good idea...

18 - Ford Performance Racing (Team Jeld-Wen) (Charlie Schwerkolt Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Alex Davison - John McIntyre

Car: Ford Falcon (FG)

Starting Position: 26th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 20th. At most race meetings this year, Alex Davison have been off the pace of his sister FPR cars. I wouldn’t expect this to change this weekend.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 23rd. If it comes out at the end of the season that this entry was really fielded by Dick Johnson Racing all year and the #17 (the #12 on all non-Bathurst weekends) was really a Ford Performance Racing entry all season, it might not be a surprise.

19 - Tekno Autosports

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Jonathon Webb - Marc Lieb

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: 20th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 15th. Another international driver partners the Jonathan Webb in his Tekno racer. Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb should learn the mountain quickly, but Webb is not as fast as Van Gisbergen.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 21st. You'll be hearing a lot more from Marc Lieb next year, if he joins the Porsche LMP1 factory program as rumored, but a V8 Supercar is not an LMP1 car and Johnno Webb, while a talent, is not Mark Webber.

21 - Brad Jones Racing (BriTek Motorsport) (Wilson Security Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

David Wall - Chris Pither

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: 13th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 26th. The weakest of all the Wilson Security entries.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 26th. Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. This car is sponsored by Wilson Security Racing just as the two Dick Johnson Racing entries are, but it is a Holden fielded by an entirely separate team. Wilson Security Racing also sponsors the Sandown 500, a few Dunlop Development Series cars and, presumably, the entire state of Queensland.

22 - Holden Racing Team (Toll HRT)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

James Courtney - Greg Murphy

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 4th. Perhaps the strongest driver line-up in the field. The 2010series champion and four-time Bathurst winner finished 5th at Sandown last month despite a heavily damaged car! The only thing that keeps them from the podium is that they aren’t driving a Triple Eight or FPR car.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 7th. Murphy is without a doubt the best all-around co-driver in the field and Courtney isn't all that far removed from a title with Dick Johnson Racing, but I'm still not entirely sold on HRT's 2013 pace.

33 - Garry Rogers Motorsport (Fujitsu Racing GRM)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Scott McLaughlin - Jack Perkins

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 10th. Like Mostert, McLaughlin has impressed in his first season, winning two races and performing well with Perkins at Sandown where they finished 8th. Expect another top 10 from them.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 8th. McLaughlin is an even more dynamic rookie than Mostert, but Perkins isn't exactly Dale Wood and could hold the 33 back from a top 5.

34 - Garry Rogers Motorsport (Fujitstu Racing GRM)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Alex Premat - Greg Ritter

Car: Holden Commodore VF

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 18th. The former Audi factory driver has not done much of not in his V8 Supercars tenure.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 14

th. Premat's rookie V8 Supercar campaign was a nightmare, nearly the polar opposite of the dream season his team mate McLaughlin has had in 2013, but he's had a successful second season, and after an amazing lap to get him into the shootout, he may be primed for a good run on Sunday.

47 - Erebus Racing (James Rosenburg Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Tim Slade - Andrew Thompson

Car: Mercedes E63 AMG

Starting Position: Did Not Qualify

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 19th. This driver combo is capable of much more than a 19th,, but a practice crash has set them way back. With the car missing all of Friday, if looks as though Sunday will be a long day for these guys.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 16th. The car may have been destroyed twice in one day and may have missed qualifying, but Tim Slade is still the driver that impressed so much in this car early in the season that he was signed by HRT's Supercheap Auto Racing satellite program. He's going to be charging up the field from lap 1 of his first stint on.

55 - Ford Performance Racing (The Bottle-O Racing) (Rod Nash Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

David Reynolds - Dean Canto

Car: Ford Falcon (FG)

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 8th. After losing the race by just .3s last year, I’d expect another good showing from The Bottle-O Falcon. If something happens to both Pepsi Max Crew entries, then car 55 will be FPR’s last hope for success at the mountain.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 9th. "Daffid" almost won the race last year, but it involved struggles for the two main FPR entries that I doubt will surface again this year.

66 - Holden Racing Team (Walkinshaw Racing) (Supercheap Auto Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Russell Ingall - Ryan Briscoe

Car: Holden Commodore VF

Starting Position: 25th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 16th. They scored a ninth at Sandown, but I don’t think the Enforcer has enough to get another top ten in his final run as a main driver at Mount Panorama.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 17th. Russell Ingall's final Bathurst as a headlining driver will be a storyline all weekend, and he's got a great co-driver in IndyCar star Ryan Briscoe, but this is a very deep field, and that simply may not be enough.

80 - Lucas Dumbrell Motorsports (Ekol Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Scott Pye - Paul Morris

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: 22nd

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 27th. The highlights of Scott Pye’s rookie year have been getting airborne on two separate occasions. Hopefully he does not get off the ground again this weekend.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 26th. I wonder if Sargent Security and Wilson Security are major rivals on the Australian security market? Meanwhile, Paul Morris is simply not a very good racing driver.

88 - Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (Dodo Insurance Racing)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Dean Fiore - Matt Halliday

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: 27th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 28th. Teammates of the Pye/Morris entry and part of the weakest Holden team.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 29th. This car has been nearly invisible in 2013 despite it's loud paint scheme.

97 - Tekno Autosports

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Shane Van Gisbergen - Jeroen Bleekemolen

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 9th. One of the most exciting combinations in the field. The Wild Kiwi teams with a Le Mans class winner who has raced at Bathurst in the Porsche Carrera Cup. Expect them to be competitive despite Bleekemolen’s lack of experience in V8 Supercars.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 5th. This is your dark horse for the win. Despite some fishy contract work (featuring a "retirement" at 23!) to get him from Erebus to Tekno for 2013, "SVG" had a successful year so far, and with his race-anything co-driver alongside, the only car in the field with multiple giant paw prints on it could win it all.

300 - Kelly Racing (Nissan Motorsport) (Norton Hornets)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Michael Caruso - Daniel Gaunt

Car: Nissan Altima

Starting Position: 17th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 25th. Something something E70.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 24th. Still unsure as to why this car, normally numbered 36, is wearing number 300 this weekend.

360 - Kelly Racing (Nissan Motorsport) (Norton Hornets)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

James Moffat - Taz Douglas

Car: Nissan Altima

Starting Position: 19th

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 24th. Something something E70.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 18th. The strongest of the Nissans, which is a bit like being the best Dale Coyne Racing driver in 2003. It's really not saying much.

888 - Triple Eight Racing (Red Bull Racing Australia)

The 2013 Bathurst 1000: Your MegaguideS

Craig Lowndes - Warren Luff

Car: Holden Commodore (VF)

Starting Position: In Shootout

DannyCatSteve's Prediction: 2nd. Given Triple Eight’s dominance in the enduros over the past years, another 1-2 is likely. Whincup and Dumbrell seem to be the faster pairing, but Lowndes and Luff are not slouches and should they manage to avoid pit lane stacking or if car #1 encounters problems, expect 888 to be right up front.

Porsche9146's Prediction: 3rd. Craig Lowndes is still in the prime of a hall of fame career, with only team mate Whincup between him and even more championships and wins than he has already, and he's paired with one of the best co-drivers in the field in perhaps the best car in the field. That's all irrelevant compared to just how adorable Warren Luff's dog, Gnocchi Luff, is. Whincup may have the momentum, but does Paul Dumbrell's dog wear hats? I don't think so.

The Arena

The Mount Panorama circuit, often referred to simply as "The Mountain", may be the most difficult to drive racing track on earth. It may be only six kilometers long, but those six kilometers are essentially two long straightaways, a single chicane ("The Chase") and an unbelievable trek straight up and then straight back down a mountain, with unforgiving concrete walls on either side throughout. For a tour of the circuit, watch Greg Murphy's legendary "Lap of the Gods" above.

DannyCatSteve's Race Preview

There were many incidents at the Wilson Security 500, causing multiple cars to have damage. Bathurst is a much more unforgiving race track and much faster so any of the same mistakes will leave cars with more than just minor damage. Regardless of contact, reliability could still be a huge issue in the COTF’s first go at Mount Panorama.

The pace of Nissan and Erebus (Mercedes) has improved over the last few rounds but they have never seen anything like 1000 kilometers at Bathurst before. If they make the distance, then they might be able to record a decent result.

Although Triple Eight still seems like the team to beat, they have more competition in 2013 than recent years. FPR has to leave behind their characteristic mistakes of Sandown and past years and run as close to a flawless race as possible, or they run the risk of letting the championship slip away just as last year. Half the field is capable of getting a podium, so do not be surprised if the race goes down to final corner as the last two have.

Nobody's Weather Corner

Saturday at the Mountain will see a high of about 25C (77F) with winds coming from the northwest (headwind/crosswind down Conrod) by the afternoon. Because of the winds (and the general lack of pace so far), I don’t think anyone will match Murphy’s Lap of the Gods.

The forecast for Sunday is a little trickier, as there will be a cold front moving through the area sometime between 11am and 11pm. While the air is somewhat dry, there could still be enough moisture for a few millimeters (tenths of inches) sometime Sunday afternoon and evening. The difficult part is the exact timing of the front. I don’t think the front will move in until after the race. The morning low will be about 7C (45F) and the afternoon high 25C. Winds will come from the northwest in the morning, then will build and start to swing to the southwest by afternoon. Winds will be very strong Sunday; the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe wind warning for the entire region.

How To Watch

The race itself starts at 10:15 AM AEST on Sunday, 7:15 PM EDT on Saturday for US east coast viewers and 4:15 PM EDT on Saturday for US west coast viewers.

Unfortunately, it appears the race itself won't be shown live in the US. However, it can be viewed everywhere but New Zealand on V8supercars.com.au's brilliant subscription based V8 SuperView service.Furthermore, Oppositelock will bring you yet another live blog during the event, featuring the traditional text-based coverage of the event and, new for this weekend, up-to-the-minute animated "gif" images of the highlights as they happen.

About The Authors

DannyCatSteve is perhaps the US's foremost expert on the Bathurst 1000. He's also a high school student in Texas, so his life is basically "Friday Night Lights". You can follow him on twitter at @DannyCatSteve.

Nobody is a meteorology student and motorsport enthusiast. He watches Aussie Rules Football AND the National Rugby League, so logically forecasting the weather for major Australian sporting events is a hobby of his. You can follow him on Twitter at @NobodyFromOppo.

Porsche9146 is a random guy on the internet that sometimes writes interesting things about interesting motor races. He does not like the Circuit of the Americas very much. Sometimes he live tweets syndicated episodes of "Seinfeld" aired on TBS. You can follow him on twitter at @Porsche914yr74.

All but one picture in the "The Competitors" section of this guide is from each teams's respective PR outlets, while the title image itself is from Adam Taylor of FoxSports.com.au. The picture representing car #888 is, as you may guess, not a picture of a Holden Commodore racing car at all, but instead a picture of Gnocchi Luff, and is from Warren Luff's Twitter feed.

To end this preview, an essay from DannyCatSteve on what makes the Bathurst 1000 so special:

"It is dangerous, filled with twists and turns, features massive elevation changes, and high speeds. For half a century, the best drivers in Australia and from around the world have come to Mount Panorama, attempting to last 1000 grueling kilometers. Legends like Brock, Moffat, Johnson, Richards, Perkins, Skaife, Lowndes and Murphy have succeeded, but names such as Seton, Larkham, Crompton, and Jones have come up short. Hundreds have tried, but most have failed to attain success at Bathurst, Australia’s most prestigious race.

Mount Panorama, located near the town of Bathurst in New South Wales, Australia, is one of the greatest race tracks in the world. Every section of the track leaves the fans in awe and wanting more. It starts with the left handed Hell Corner, followed by the climb up Mountain Straight, where drivers take Griffin’s bend, then run to “The Cutting.” Meticulously maneuvering through the tight “Cutting”, drivers continue to climb to the fast, blind right-left hander at Reid Park, and then meander to the top of the mountain, knowing very well that the slightest error will send them hard into the wall. The drivers reach Skyline and plunge back down hill through the “esses” before taking the corkscrew known as “the Dipper,” then taking Forrest’s Elbow, where precision is needed to maximize speed down Conrod Straight. The mile long Conrod Straight is a roller coaster ride that provides the drivers an opportunity to rest for a bit, before risking it all at the fastest corner in Touring Car racing. “The Chase” terrifies, with the 300 km/h right-hand kink that could send the cars into violent, end-over-end barrel rolls. If they’ve survived the kink, they slam hard on the breaks for the chicane at the end of The Chase, then race to Murray’s, the last corner. As you hit pit straight, you read the time: 2:08, 2:10, or if you are Greg Murphy, 2:06.8. Now you must do it another 160 times.

The first great race at Bathurst was held in 1963, and was a 500-mile contest. In the early years, it became clear that two manufacturers would stand above the rest; Ford and Holden. The rivalry continued to grow; over the years, Moffat, Johnson, Perkins, Richards, and the greatest of them all, Peter Brock, driving for the two major manufacturers fought for victory. As the rivalry grew, so did the race, attracting more and more manufacturers and drivers from around the world, and in 1973 the race became a 1000 kilometer marathon.

In 1985, a new era began. Group A regulations saw the dominance of the Ford Sierra, while Holden still fought for victory with its trademark Commodore. In the final years of Group A, Nissan with their Skyline GT-R, nicknamed “Godzilla” conquered the mountain with its four-wheel drive technology. The more and more races the GT-R won, the more and more unpopular it became, and following a controversial finish in 1992, the crowd jeered winning drivers Mark Skaife and Jim Richards on the podium. Richards, upset with the poor sportsmanship displayed by the crowd, responded by labeling them “a pack of ass holes” on live television. Thus ended the Group A era.

In 1993, new regulations introduced 5.0L V8 engines, a formula that would later become known as V8 Supercars. Soon, it became exclusively Ford versus Holden and the rivalry became as intense as ever. A new group of warriors with the names Russell Ingall, Greg Murphy, and Craig Lowndes, mentored by Peter Brock, tamed the mountain. Under the V8 Supercar formula, the race has grown to be as popular as it has ever been, with exciting, down to the wire racing every year.

In 2006, The King of the Mountain was killed in a rallying crash, and the race organizers decided to create a new trophy for the winner of The Great Race in his honor. Fittingly, Craig Lowndes won the first Peter Brock trophy in one of the most emotional moments in Bathurst history. Now drivers such as Whincup, Tander, Winterbottom, Davison, and Kelly fight to win the race in honor of the mountain’s greatest hero, with Nissan, Mercedes, and Volvo joining the fray.

Bathurst is breathtaking, heart-stopping, and jaw dropping. Each year, thousands flock to Mount Panorama to see drivers follow in the footsteps of Brock, Moffat, and Johnson, in an attempt to achieve greatness and to cheer on Ford and Holden. From the first lap, to the checkered flag, there’s never a dull moment. To win the 1000 kilometer-race is such a difficult task, that it makes gown men come to tears year-after-year. That’s why Bathurst is The Great Race."