Bathurst 12 Hour

2015 Bathurst 12 Hour goes free-to-air

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

In massive news for the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour race (6–8 February) it was announced yesterday that all 12 hours of the race will be broadcast on free-to-air television. Yes, all 12 hours of it! That’s pretty cool.

The race will start on 7mate before switching across to Channel Seven for the closing stages. It’s expected at least the final three hours will be shown on Seven, but the final split won’t be known until closer to the event.

“We are delighted to be partners with the Bathurst 12 Hour,” said Saul Shtein, Seven’s Head of Sport. “We are focused on building our presence and leadership in major sports across our broadcast television platform and we are looking forward to working with the Bathurst 12 Hour, its partners and the teams to deliver all-encompassing coverage from one of the great motor racing circuits in the world.”

As well as the live coverage a post-race highlights package will be produced for international audiences.

“Having the entire 12-hours showcased live on free-to-air network television is rare in the world of endurance racing and we are excited to be able to offer this level of coverage from 2015,” said James O’Brien, Event Director.

“‘Australia’s International Endurance Race’ is growing rapidly and our partnership with Seven is a reflection of that.”

While we are both grateful and excited at this announcement, we’d just like to say, wouldn’t it be great to have live coverage in High Definition too. Oh well, you can’t have everything it seems.

Oh, one other slight whinge. The race start has been moved forward to 5:55am, which of course brings the finish forward as well. This has been done so that Seven can go straight into its six o’clock nightly news. So, we can look forward to a really thorough 30 second wrap up of the race.

Some people are never happy!

[Source: Bathurst 12 Hour]

Bathurst 12 Hour Formula 1 Motorsports WEC

Racetracks of the world to scale

Racetracks of the world to scale

In this graphic you’re looking at 95 famous racetracks from the world, all compared alongside each other in scale. It’s been prepared by a guy appropriately named Matt Dunlop. Thanks Matt, this is great work!

Some tracks are pretty obvious to make out, such as the Nürburgring, Circuit de la Sarthe, Silverstone, Suzuka, Mount Panorama, Phillip Island and so on. If you want to identify more tracks simply click on the image above for the full-sized 3450x2400px version and all will be revealed.

For example, what’s the massive track running around the outside of the graphic? It’s the 60.73km Snaefell Mountain Course, best known for hosting the Isle of Man TT.

[Source: imgur | Thanks to Micky for the tip]

Bathurst 12 Hour Motorsports News

Kangaroo cull proposed for Mount Panorama

Bathurst 12 Hour

Bathurst Councillor Warren Aubin is calling for a kangaroo cull at Mount Panorama following an incident in the 12 hour race which ended the race of Roger Lago’s Lamborghini Gallardo.

“We have to do something to rid the place of the kangaroos—no ifs or buts about it,” Cr Aubin told the Western Advocate.

Cr Aubin says he will raise the issue at the next committee meeting on 5 March. One gets the feeling Aubin won’t be too interested in listening to alternate options.

“If we don’t [have the cull] and there continues to be accidents involving the ’roos during big events, we face the prospect of losing something which is one of the region’s major sources of income and biggest sporting attractions,” Aubin said.

“We’re talking about an event like the Great Race that brings more than $70 million into the local economy each year.

“Council has spent a small fortune on the ’roo fencing to please the greenies and it’s just not working. It’s time to look at other measures and if that means culling, so be it.

“We are elected to council to make tough decisions and this is one of those. No matter what call you make, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

Nearby resident Warren Taylor supports Cr Aubin’s proposal. “My backyard’s full of the bastards and I’ve had enough,” he said.

“My grandkids are too frightened to go down there to see the horses because of the kangaroos. Some of the bucks are huge and they don’t budge an inch. They look at you with complete contempt.”

A quick read of the comments section at the end of the Western Advocate article (link below) shows Cr Aubin does not enjoy unanimous public support.

[Source: Western Advocate]

Bathurst 12 Hour

2015 Bathurst 12 Hour dates confirmed

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

Put these dates in your diary: 6–8 February 2015. That’s when you’ll get to see all the fun and games at the next Bathurst 12 Hour race.

[Source: twitter]

Bathurst 12 Hour Ferrari McLaren Mercedes-Benz Video

VIDEO: 2014 Bathurst 12 Minute race

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour race

In the end the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour race became a 12 minute sprint race. It was a battle in two; fourth chasing third and second chasing first. If you missed the action yesterday or just want to relive those final moments of madness the final 12 minutes are all yours after the break.

Bathurst 12 Hour Ferrari McLaren Mercedes-Benz Nissan

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour photo gallery: Race

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

Another Bathurst 12 Hour race has been run and won. Today, for the betterment of the event, it was another great chapter in the GT era.

Sometimes it seems as though the Safety Car will always conspire to deliver last minute sprints for the line, as the increasingly harsh concrete barriers close in around the snaking ribbon atop Mount Panorama. The clichéd chat of close fought wins after yet another endurance epic will inevitably fill the airwaves and column inches.

And yet, it seems impossible to ignore the cliché that, today, motor racing was the real winner. Craig Lowndes, drafted in by the Maranello Motorsport team to replace the seemingly irreplaceable and equally likeable Allan Simonsen, steered the charismatic Ferrari home with a young kid keeping him honest all the way to the line.

Of course, 20 years ago we saw a finish not too dissimilar to this at the same venue with Lowndes in the junior role. Who played the senior part? John Bowe, the wily old master in the pit garage today cheering Lowndes towards victory.

Lowndes and Bowe, Bathurst legends each, and Simonsen no stranger to Mount Panorama’s history books, despite never tasting the ultimate success. It was a perfect mix from not so perfect circumstances, coming together to deliver a fairy tale result. The race stewards even stepped in to play villain once or twice.

The efforts of Mika Salo and Peter Edwards can’t be ignored, either. Well done them. Well done all.

We hope they’re still enjoying the spoils of this victory while individually taking quiet moments alone to pay their own respects to Simonsen.

[Pics: Joel Strickland Photographics]

Bathurst 12 Hour Ferrari

Maranello Motorsport wins 2014 Bathurst 12hr

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

Craig Lowndes has hung on in the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 during a drama-filled final 12 minutes to win the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour for the Maranello Motorsport team.

The winning margin was just 0.41 seconds back to Max Buhk in the #84 HTP Mercedes. Third place was claimed by the #63 Erebus Mercedes who had to fend off a charging Shane van Gisbergen in the #37 McLaren.

In P5 was Laurens Vanthoor in the #3 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra, the final car on the lead lap. A total of 296 laps were completed a new distance record for the Bathurst 12 Hour race.

A grandstand finish was guaranteed on lap 288 after the #67 Porsche went into the wall on the top of the mountain forcing the Safety Car on track to allow track marshals to move car and driver to safety.

It was the ninth Safety Car period for the race it pulled into pit lane with 12 minutes left on the clock. Lowndes held the lead from Buhk, Davison and van Gisbergen.

While those positions didn’t change the drama and excitement went through the roof. It was a two-stage race with Lowndes and Buhk dicing, while Davison and van Gisbergen fought over the final podium step.

Bathurst rookie Max Buhk gave his Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 every chance to win trying twice to overtake Lowndes around the outside of Lowndes at Griffins Bend. Lowndes showed immense composure to hold his line and defend his position.

Meanwhile van Gisbergen was doing all he could to get past the leading Erebus Mercedes but had to contend himself with P4. That late splash and dash for the McLaren proved to take away its chance for victory.

As you can imagine the Maranello Motorsport team was overjoyed at the win with Craig Lowndes joined by fellow drivers John Bowe, Mika Salo and Peter Edwards on the podium. The entire team paying tribute to fallen teammate Allan Simonsen.

And with that dramatic and final result the Bathurst 12 Hour race delivered not only an exciting sprint to the line but also a sentimental victory that nobody can deny.

Bathurst 12 Hour

2014 Bathurst 12hr update: Hour 12

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

With a touch over 30 minutes left to run in the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour here’s a run down of what’s happened since our last update.

The race ushered in its tenth hour with the seventh Safety Car period in order to collect the stricken #17 Ginetta.

With 222 laps behind them Mika Salo lead the race in the #88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari from the #63 Erebus Mercedes and the #37 McLaren. Joining them on the lead lap was the #84 Mercedes.

Several cars pitted during the Safety Car period including the #63 Mercedes and when racing resumed there were 19 cars between the race leading Ferrari and Shane van Gisbergen in the McLaren.

The young Kiwi wasn’t able to make up too much ground until lap 235 when the Safety Car was sent out again to salvage the #59 MARC Focus GTC, which had been punted into the wall at Forrest’s Elbow by the #3 Audi squeezing past on the inside.

The race leaders came in on lap 237 while the Safety Car still controlled the field handing the race lead to the #63 Erebus Mercedes. Shane van Gisbergen handed the McLaren over to Andrew Kirkaldy so he could step back in for the final charge to the line at the next round of pit stops.

On lap 240 the Safety Car came in with five cars on the lead lap: #63 Mercedes, # 88 Ferrari, #37 McLaren, #84 Mercedes and #3 Audi.

Eight laps later the leading trio were nose to tail. The McLaren had dropped to fourth and Greg Crick in the #63 Erebus Mercedes lead from Mika Salo on the #88 Ferrari. While they were scrapping Max Buhk in the #84 HTP Mercedes closed in and managed to take the lead, first overtaking Salo into Murray’s Corner and repeating the dose on Crick for the lead the following lap.

Mika Salo, now in P3, wasn’t done with and managed to fight his way past Greg Crick to reclaim P2 on lap 251 with 1 hour 40 minutes left to race.

On lap 256 car #63 came into the pits and young Jack Lebrocq took the wheel. Ten laps later new tyres and a refreshed Shane van Gisbergen were installed on the #37 McLaren for the run home, with just over one hour to left to race.

The two lead cars came in on lap 268. Craig Lowndes hopped into the #88 Ferrari and Harold Primat took charge of the #84 Mercedes for the race to the flag. All was going well until the #84 had brake issues with its car at the front right corner, it lost about 45 seconds and handed the lead to Lowndes.

By lap 271 the #63 Mercedes was in the lead and came in for its final stop for new tyres and fuel. Will Davison took the wheel rejoining the track just behind the #84 Mercedes.

By 5:35pm with 40 minutes left the run the cars are on the 278th lap and Shane van Gisbergen dived into the pits for a splash and dash and you’d think without a Safety Car that will be their race done.

Craig Lowndes in the #88 Ferrari now has a 25 second lead over the #84 Mercedes and a 30 second gap back to the #63 Erebus Mercedes. Van Gisbergen is charging hard but has a 62 second deficit to make up. Can the leading trio make it to the 6:15pm chequered flag without another fuel stop?

Bathurst 12 Hour

2014 Bathurst 12hr update: Hour 9

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

Hour 7 began with the #1 Erebus Mercedes leading from the #37 McLaren and the #88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari. They were the only cars on the lead lap.

The ambient temperature began to heat up making it tougher for both cars and drivers. It was 34°C ambient temperature, while track temps climbed above 60°C by the end of the ninth hour.

Mika Salo at the wheel of the #88 Ferrari pushed his case for victory by overtaking the McLaren with a three-wide overtaking move on Conrod Straight and briefly assumed the lead on lap 157 during pit stop rotations.

On lap 164 a clumsy overtake on a slower car by the #63 Erebus Mercedes in the Esses lost its right fender. The car was in P5 at the time and came in for a routine pit stop and went straight back out with no real fuss.

As the race began its eighth hour the Safety Car came out for the sixth time after the #35 Porsche came to a stop on track just after Griffins Bend. The lead cars took the opportunity to pit and resumed with the #1 Mercedes ahead of the #37 McLaren.

The shape of the race took a dramatic turn in the ninth hour when the leading #1 Mercedes came in for a routine pit stop. Everything seemed okay, the car was cleared to go and it stuttered a few metres down pitlane. The car was rolled back and eventually into its garage where a problem with the right rear brake was attended to, which included replacing the brake rotor.

After 12 minutes the #1 rejoined the race but was now six laps behind the new race leader the #37 McLaren with all hopes of a podium finished appearing to be dashed.

On lap 196 the McLaren entered the pits and the #88 Ferrari assumed the lead of the race. Shortly afterwards, on lap 200, Craig Lowndes was black flagged in the #88 Ferrari. The team was given a drive through penalty for leaving a pit board in the pitlane after the car had exited the pits.

A total of 32 seconds was lost, but thankfully for Lowndes he had a comfortable lead and resumed the race with a one minute gap back to second.

It was the second drive through for the #88 car after Peter Edwards was pinged for exceeding the 40km/h pitlane speed limit by 2km/h.

On lap 205 the #65 Erebus Mercedes breathed new life into the race by getting on the lead lap and overtaking the #37 McLaren for P2.

A tweet from Shane van Gisbergen seemed to indicate the #37 car might have some clutch and/or gearbox issues.

As the race started its tenth hour the #63 Mercedes took the lead on lap 219 during pitstop rotations and questions remain over its legibility to race with that right fender missing. There’s no loose bodywork and the car has been running like that for almost 60 laps.

Bathurst 12 Hour

2014 Bathurst 12hr update: Hour 6

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

The fourth hour of racing at the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour began with a great scrap between the leading three cars, headed by the #1 Erebus Mercedes, the #37 McLaren 12C and the #3 Audi R8.

Sadly for the Audi a right rear puncture sent it into the pits for an unscheduled stop. Meanwhile the leading two cars were nose to tail for several laps and try as he might Shane van Gisbergen could only take the lead when the #1 car went into the pits.

A Safety Car was called out after Ross Lilley driving the #48 Lamborghini, the previous lap record holder, made room for the leading pair to pass him across the top of the mountain. Alas the driver lost traction where the #33 Clearwater Ferrari crash happened and smashed into the wall. It was a heavy impact and crucially Lilley appears to be okay.

Back in the lead of the race van Gisbergen emerged around 24 seconds behind the #1 Mercedes after his pit stop and went about the business of reeling in the leader.

On lap 94 Shane van Gisbergen showed the blistering pace of the 12c GT3 when lowered the race lap record to 2:04.0408 in the #37 McLaren 12C GT3. Four laps later he lowered it again to 2:03.8506, bettering yesterday’s pole position time.

When van Gisbergen inevitably caught Bernd Schneider in the Mercedes we saw one of the most exciting periods of racing witnessed at Bathurst as the pair sliced their way through traffic. Eventually the experience of Schneider came to the fore and he let the charging McLaren overtake.

Van Gisbergen then showed some amazing courage and made some aggressive moves to pass slower traffic and at one stage very nearly put himself into the wall.

And then it was all for nothing. The lead pair came into the pits on the same lap and a more efficient stop from the Erebus crew gained 10 seconds on the McLaren as both cars changed drivers. Maro Engel now in the Mercedes regained the lead ahead of Andrew Kirkaldy in the McLaren.

A long period of green flag conditions followed as the race settled with the #1 Mercedes maintaining its race lead. With full fuel tanks the SLS AMG GT3 seems to have the pace on the McLaren, which was able to gain time on the leader as the next stop for fuel drew near.

Late in the sixth hour Nico Bastian, fresh into the #1 Erebus Mercedes, went off track across the top of the mountain and into the kitty litter. Luckily for Bastian he was able to rejoin the track without losing track position and only some minor damage to the right rear bodywork.

The #45 Porsche went spearing across the track after entry into the Chase, coming to a stop and brought out the Safety Car and the seventh hour began under a full course yellow with 144 laps completed.

The sole remaining Ferrari, the #88 Maranello Motorsport entry, is in third place and is the only other car on the lead lap.

Bathurst 12 Hour

2014 Bathurst 12hr update: Hour 3

Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

The 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour is now into its fourth hour and has already seen plenty of action. The polesitting #1 Erebus Mercedes has held onto its lead through a series of pitstops and is looking good for a strong final result.

Tony Quinn’s #37 McLaren is also performing well and is charging hard in second place, ahead of the #3 Audi R8 LMS Ultra.

Peter Kox has suffered bad luck in his previous visits for the Bathurst 12 Hour and good fortune averted him again when he hit a kangaroo on the climb into the Cutting in the #23 Lamborghini Gallardo less than 20 minutes after the race start.

The incident brought out the first Safety Car of the race and according to Kox the chassis rails were damaged and his race was over. Kox also complained angrily about a loose roll of tape rolling beneath his pedal box which he claims was left there by the race camera crew.

Once the race settled into a rhythm lap records began to fall, first for the GT3 category but the outright lap record around Mount Panorama has been broken as well with Steven Richards currently holding the honour thanks to his 2:04.5134 lap in the #48 Lamborghini Gallardo.

The next major Safety Car period happened after the #33 Clearwater Ferrari hit the wall at MacPhillamy Park and spun coming to a rest on track facing the wrong direction. Its race was already over with suspension damage but in the dust from the kitty litter cars flying around the corner heading towards Skyline were unsighted and the #32 Nissan GTR made heavy contact with the Ferrari in a spectacular incident.

Luckily the drivers from both cars were able to get themselves out of their cars and they appear to be all okay. It was a terrifying accident and we’re lucky that no serious injury occurred.

The leading pair are now providing great entertainment with a terrific scrap for the race lead. Check out the live stream to see all the action for yourself.

Audi Bathurst 12 Hour Ferrari Fiat Ford Lamborghini McLaren Mercedes-Benz Nissan Porsche

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour photo gallery: Qualifying

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

Here’s your pick of photos from today’s qualifying for the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour race. We start with this great image above of the MARC Focus GTC. What the hell is a Focus GTC you ask?

There’s three of them entered in the race and they’re a purpose-built creations powered by a 500hp 5.0 litre V8 sending power to the rear wheels. Weighing in at 1250kg their best lap times during quali have been in the 2:15 bracket. You can learn more about them HERE and HERE.

Of course, we’ve got more for you than Frankenstein Focuses, so check ’em all out after the break.

[Pics: Joel Strickland Photographics]