Motorsports News

Snow on Mount Panorama!

Snow on Mount Panorama, Bathurst, July 2015

Parts of New South Wales and south-east Queensland awoke to a fresh blanket of snow this morning and here’s something you don’t see every day: snow on Mount Panorama in Bathurst!

This image of the downhill run from Skyline was shared on twitter. There’s a two more images of a snowy “mountain” after the break as well, including one of Nick Percat driving on the circuit.

If you see any more pics of a snowy Bathurst drop us a line in the comments section.

[Source: @MtPanCircuit]

EDIT: Wheels has the story on a Mercedes-Benz AMG drive day, featuring the new GT S, being affected by the snow.

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.

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]

Bathurst 12 Hour Ferrari McLaren Mercedes-Benz

Erebus Mercedes on pole for 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

Maro Engel, Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

Maro Engel has claimed pole position for the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour in this afternoon’s Class A-only Qualifying 3 session with an outstanding lap time of 2:03.8586. Engel’s time in the #1 Erebus Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 was 0.0835s faster than Mika Salo’s provisional pole time from this morning.

That means Engel now holds the fastest recorded lap for a closed roof car around Mount Panorama and along with his Erebus teammates they become the inaugural winners of the Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy.

Starting from P3 tomorrow will be the #37 McLaren 12C GT3 which went 2:04.0006 at the hands of Shane van Gisbergen. Alongside the McLaren will be the #63 Erebus Mercedes which couldn’t quite pull off a late charge for pole, when Will Davison was the last car across the line, setting a time of 2:04.2563.

Rick Kelly’s 2:04.7643 lap set during the morning session was enough to put the #32 Nissan GTR on the third row. A dispute over technical regulations saw the #23 Lamborghini Gallardo forced to change to 2013-spec and move from Class B up to Class A. The team spent the morning session making the required changes, mostly to do with aerodynamics. David Russell returned to the track in the afternoon to top the time sheets in Qualifying 2 and his time of 2:05.0320 secured P6 on the starting grid.

You could throw a blanket over the next three cars, all Audi R8 LMS Ultras. The Audis posted their fastest times in the cooler morning conditions, with the #9 Network Clothing R8 recording a 2:05.5919 lap; the #3 Phoenix Racing R8 was desperately close with a time of 2:05.5946 and the #25 United Autosports R8 went 2:05.7175.

The top 10 is rounded out by #48 Lamborghini Gallardo which recorded its 2:06.3498 time in the morning session.

After collecting the pole trophy Engel paid tribute to Simonsen, killed at Le Mans last year, as well as his former teammate Sean Edwards, who died after a testing accident in Queensland where he was acting as a private tutor.

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour – Qualifying times
Qualifyng 1 | Qualifying 2 | Qualifying 3

Bathurst 12 Hour Ferrari

Mika Salo sets lap record in B12hr Qualifying 1

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

Mika Salo driving the #88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari has claimed provisional pole position for the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour race with a blistering 2:03.9421 lap time posted late in Qualifying 1 this morning.

Salo’s time is a new lap record for a GT car and is the fastest lap ever by a closed roof racecar around Mount Panorama.

The one hour session was marred by two red flags which cost competitors more than 30 minutes of track time. A total of four cars were lost, perhaps for the rest of the weekend, but thankfully no driver suffered serious injury.

The first incident occurred early in the session, which began at 9am, when Jason Bright hit the wall on the exit of Reid Park. His #5 Audi R8 was left stricken in the middle of the track as cars came flying up the Mountain. Most cars got past without incident, however the Porsche 911s of Shane Smollen and Garth Walden came to blows trying to avoid Bright’s car.

Bright was reportedly unconscious for a short time but he was able to walk away from the car and was taken to Bathurst Hospital for observation.

It took 25 minutes to clear the track and when the green flag dropped it wasn’t long before cold tyres caught out Ben Schoots who nosed the #65 Daytona Coupe into the concrete barrier after the Cutting. Another red flag followed and gave race organisers cause to extend the session by a few minutes.

The closing 15 minutes of Qualifying 1 was very entertaining and raises hopes for some fast times in this afternoon’s Class A only session at 2:20pm.

Salo holds a gap of 0.8s back to a trio of cars who all ran in the 2:04s. In second place was Maro Engel in the 2013 race winning #1 Erebus Mercedes with a lap of 2:04.7643. The Nismo-backed #32 Nissan GTR continued its strong form on the Mountain with Rick Kelly recording a time of 2:04.8228.

Shane van Gisbergen lapped in 2:04.9150 to further prove his versatility with the fourth fastest time in the #37 McLaren 12C GT3. Three Audi R8s filled the next three positions with laps in the 2:05 bracket.

With one hand on the pole postion trophy named after Allan Simonsen, Mika Salo acknowledged the former Maranello Motorsport driver was inspiring the team. Speaking to Salo said: “We need to keep the trophy for Allan Simonsen. He would have been on the pole anyway, so it’s good to get it for him.”

Salo and the rest of the Class A runners have to get through two more qualifying sessions before pole position is confirmed but with warmer conditions early this afternoon Maranello Motorsport may have cause to be confident of securing P1 for tomorrow’s race.

A full list of times from Quali 1 can be seen on the Natsoft website.

Audi Bathurst 12 Hour Lamborghini Video

More onboard action from the Bathurst 12 Hour

David Russell, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3

Keen for some more onboard action to get you ready for tomorrow’s Bathurst 12 Hour race. Here’s a couple of laps from inside the #23 Lamborghini Gallardo with David Russell posting what was a GT lap record (2:05.9s) and also Laurens Vanthoor driving the #3 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS.

Factory Porsche driver Patrick Long, who is racing in the Class B entered #12 911 Carrera Cup car, drops in to give his impressions after his first visit to Bathurst.

Bathurst 12 Hour Nissan Video

Onboard the Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 at Bathurst

Rick Kelly, Nissan GTR Nismo GT3

The #32 Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 has just set the fastest time in Practice 3 at the Bathurst 12 Hour. At the wheel for this afternoon’s flying lap was Bathurst rookie Alex Buncombe who set a time of 2:06.5958. That’s a bit off this morning’s pace when David Russell set a GT3 practice record with his 2:05.9397 lap during Practice 2 in the #23 Lamborghini Gallardo.

From that morning session here is an onboard video with V8 Supercar ace Rick Kelly driving the GTR. He lapped in the low 2:07s and said it was his second fastest-lap ever around the 6.2km Mount Panorama circuit.

Bathurst 12 Hour

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour race program

Bathurst 12 Hour trophy

A full race program including all support categories can be found on the Bathurst 12 Hour website, but here’s the key times for the main runners.

Aside from the race itself the key timeslot will be 2:20pm tomorrow where the Class A runners will be let off the leash for a frantic 15 minute qualifying session. For the first time the GT3 runners won’t be cobbled by a time ceiling, they’ll be going as fast as they dare with expectations a new course record could be set.

Friday 7 February

0745–0845: Practice 1 (Classes C, D, E, F & I)
0855–0955: Practice 2 (Classes A & B)
1305–1405: Practice 3 (All classes)
1615–1715: Practice 4 (All classes)

Saturday 8 February

0900–1000: Qualifying 1 (All classes)
1330–1410: Qualifying 2 (All classes)
1420–1435: Qualifying 3 (Class A only)

Sunday 9 February

0615–1815: 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

[Pic: Race Torque Media]

Bathurst 12 Hour

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour live streaming guide

2013 Bathurst 12 Hour race start

Live coverage for the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour will be available throughout the weekend, culminating with SBS TV covering the final three hours of the race across the nation.

Live streaming and live audio (via Radio Le Mans) will do the bulk of the work prior to the race climax on televsion. If you can’t see the live stream here at AUSmotive then keep an eye on the official race website.

Lap times for practice, qualifying and the race can be monitored on the NatSoft website too, just select the Bathurst 12 Hour entry and follow the relevant links.

You can also keep up to date with on track and behind the scenes action by following the Bathurst 12 Hour on Facebook and twitter (use #B12hr hashtag).

[Pic: Race Torque Media]

Bathurst 12 Hour

A twitter lap of Mount Panorama

Griffins Bend, Mount Panorama, Bathurst

The 2014 Bathurst 12 hour race takes place this weekend and to help get you in the mood the official race twitter account has taken us on a lap of the famed 6.2km Mount Panorama circuit.

Of note is the new super smooth surface the drivers will experience on Australia’s toughest and most spectacular race track. Check it out below.

Accessories & Tech

Win Bathurst 1000 from the comfort of your lounge

Gran Turismo 6 including Bathurst

The inclusion of Mount Panorama, Bathurst, as an official Gran Turismo track is only a few weeks away. The release of Gran Turismo 6 is scheduled for 6 December and if this preview is anything to go by the gamers among you are going to be happy.

And if you don’t want to wait until December, well get yourself an Xbox One on 22 November, along with Forza Motorsport 5, and get cracking!

There’s a preview of both waiting for you after the break. For now, though, Xbox is only giving us an interview with Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekstrom, who both raced at Bathurst last weekend.

Bathurst 12 Hour Motorsports News

The Grid shows some love to Mount Panorama

Jenson Button at Mount Panorama in 2011

The television program Mobil 1 The Grid has made available its mini-feature on Australia’s most famous race track, Mount Panorama in Bathurst. It really is a special place and it’s nice to see an international audience given an insight into our very own tarmac temple.

Even better your favourite AUSmotive editor can be seen in the image above, taken on the day Jenson Button and Craig Lowndes drove an F1 car around the track.