All roads lead to Ford win 

IT’S that time again, revheads. The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is on this weekend.

The all-important Ford and Holden rivalry will be sparked, and in my opinion, it should be a Ford whitewash.

Garth Tander and co-driver Nick Percat held their nerves last year to deny second placed Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife by 0.29-of-a-second. The 2012 event should be equally exciting.

The race celebrates its 50th year, with some big events planned over the whole weekend. This year the RAAF Roulettes and the Hitachi stunt team take to the skies and track. The Roulettes will be performing their acrobatic air tricks and manoeuvres in the sky above the track.

Speaking of skies, there will also be helicopter flights throughout the event. There will be an opportunity to fly two laps of the track and chase the cars up the Conrod Straight as well.

There’s an inspiring history attached to Mt Panorama. It’s ranked as one of the great race tracks of the world, and was originally constructed in 1938 as a scenic tourist drive. It’s also hosted many other racing events such as the annual 12 hour GT race, 24 hour endurance races and the annual Easter motorcycle races. It even hosted the Australian Grand Prix for a while.

It’s a public road every other day of the year, with people actually living on properties on top of the mountain.

The Bathurst 1000 first started as the Armstrong 500(500 miles) back in 1962, and was won by Harry Firth and Bob Jane in a Ford Cortina GT. The first years of the race were dominated by smaller cars until Ford introduced its 289 cubic-inch Falcon GT V8 engine in the late 1960s.

The big V8 dominated the circuit for many years to come with its unmatched speed and size over the smaller engines.

This is then when the mountain became synonymous with V8s and changed the face of motor racing forever.

Let’s be honest here. I don’t claim to know a lot about motor racing or V8 Supercars, but what I do know is that the Bathurst 1000 has become the most exciting events of the year. Not only just a race day, it’s an entertainment spectaclar too.

Events such as the Hitachi stunt driving team performance, the Legends Parade Lap and Victor and Ben Bray’s burnout cars will be taking to the track. All in all, it’s looking to be a pretty exciting weekend… that will end in a Ford triumph.

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Shane Van Gisbergen hits the straight at Bathurst in 2011. Photo: Robert Cianflone.

FULL SPEED AHEAD: Shane Van Gisbergen hits the straight at Bathurst in 2011. Photo: Robert Cianflone.


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