Sunday, October 9, 2011

Garth Tander and Nick Percat win a Thrilling Bathurst 1000 endorse race on Mount Panorama in Australia.

Welcome readers, up until the past few weeks ago when Speed (Channel) here in the United States started advertising on TV that they were sending Darrell Waltrip and Mike Joy to Australia to cover the famous Bathurst 1000, I actually had never heard of that endorse race nor Mount Panorama before.

But I had not only heard of the Australian V8 Supercars, but I have watched a few of the races on TV here and there including Surfer’s Paradise. However I have to say that the Bathurst 1000, which is a 1000km (161 lap) race caught my attention especially for the first time after seeing that long Mount Panorama racetrack that also is a mountain road that is carved into the mountain itself. Damn what a sight.

Of course you talk about sights, the video of Darrell Waltrip heading out on to the racetrack in one of the Holden racecars riding shotgun with a legend in the driver’s seat was priceless. I have never seen Darrell Waltrip freak out in a racecar before, although the cork screw and the downhill run is pretty hair raising and that’s just on TV, I wonder what it’s like heading down at full speed in person.

Anyway, what a 6 hour endorse race that one was and while the announcers in the booth did say that we would see some good action in the final 50 laps, that was one hell of a final run for the checkers. 6 hours and baby it all came down to two drivers racing for everything they had in the end, separated by just mere car lengths.

So with just over 10 laps to go, and after some wild crashes including one fire (thankfully the driver walked way and is ok) and several cautions, the #888 Team Vodafone of Craig Lowndes (a 5-time winner of this race) in his Holden was over 5 seconds behind leader Garth Tander in his Holden, but over the next several laps, Lowndes closed down that gap to within a car length or two by 2 laps to go, I really thought that Lowndes was going to pass Tander and go on to collect yet another victory.

But in the final two laps, the #2 Toll Holden of Garth Tander did some amazing driving in holding off the 5-time winner and by a margin of victory of .29 seconds at the line, held on to win the Bathurst 1000. What an impressive last 20 laps, especially in the last five, my heart was racing as Lowndes closed down on the leader every lap, but he just couldn’t make the pass. However both drivers did a hell of a job in racing each other and should both be proud of themselves, it was anybodies race.

Hopefully SPEED with televise the Bathurst 1000 next year too. 6.5 hours of racing and it comes down to a .29 second margin of victory, you can’t get any better than that.