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Behind the Scenes: Bathurst 2019

From the outside it’s a spectacle.  The biggest event on the Supercars calendar – The Great Race.  But from our point of view it’s often just a tad bit different.  So… This. Is. Bathurst. Red Bull Holden Racing Team style.

 

Daytime TV:

Moments away from a punch-up over the remote. The Living Room or Days of our Lives reruns?

 

Mirror image:

It’s ‘HEAD, shoulders, knees and toes’, not ears. Done on a technicality, J-Dub.

 

Connection:

The ritual of communicating with the mountain.

 

Playing games:

Mannequin challenge or straight freeze because you’ve just heard the boss’s voice behind you?

 

Pics or it didn’t happen:

The ‘Gram waits for no one.

 

Happy snaps:

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Event 12 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Bathurst, New South Wales. Australia 10th-13th Oct 2019

What the fans and social media sees.

 

The reality:  

When your co-driver is taking his sweet time.

 

The grumpy man-child:

But it was my turn!

 

Back up:

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Event 12 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Bathurst, New South Wales. Australia 10th-13th Oct 2019

Stand down, crew. We’ve still got 47 seconds until #97 reaches pit lane.

 

Space program:

If all else fails… NASA is now accepting applications.

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Archive Bathurst Latest News

Live Diary: Bathurst

Jamie Whincup / Craig Lowndes – Car #888
Race Fourth
ChampionshipFifth (2,380 points)

 

Jamie Whincup – Car #888

“Today it was just not our day.  We did what we could out there on track but there was a lot going on.  At one stage we were leading the race but as everyone knows this is Bathurst and anything can happen over the 1000km.  We had a great three days leading up to the race and worked hard as a team.  Unfortunately, we gave it all we had but it just didn’t happen.”

 

Craig Lowndes – Car #888

It was a crazy race and hopefully we contributed our part as co-drivers.  We led the race for a little moment, and it could have been vastly different if there were less safety cars but as I said it was a crazy day.  We were in there with a fighting shot.  Jamie did an amazing job over the last three days with qualifying, Top Ten Shootout and more than a triple stint to the finish in the race.  Finishing fourth, yes a little disappointing but we will take that and move on to Gold Coast.”

 

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Event 12 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Bathurst, New South Wales. Australia 10th-13th Oct 2019

Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander – Car #97
Race Second
ChampionshipSecond (2,686 points)

 

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“Unfortunately, today we just didn’t get there in the end.  In the final restart I knew I was going to have a go and try to keep as much temperature in the car as possible but at the same time save fuel.  We got through the first two corners but saw that Scott (McLaughlin) had more grip.  It was tough but I thought we may have had a chance as he started to save more and more fuel I was hitting better than the number I was given so I knew I had a few more on the last couple of laps but what could have been.  We certainly did get knocked down a few times today; in the pits and then working back through the pack and got held up during the safety car by someone.  It’s pretty obvious what happened but we still would have had to fight it out with Jamie and Scott which would have been awesome and possibly closer but we were stuck behind traffic and more cars, but it is what it is.”

 

Garth Tander – Car #97

“It seemed to go fairly well but it would have been nicer being one step further up on the podium.  I was really happy with my performance and stints in the car today.  The team has been fantastic welcoming me into the organisation. I’ve felt like the new bloke all year sharing with Shane, Jamie and Craig who have been part of Triple Eight for so long, but they have all been fantastic integrating me into everything. In regard to today and the way the race played out there was no hiccups, no snags at all; it all went fairly smoothly it’s just that we fell short in the end and will try again next year.”

 

1130:  The. Great. Race. 2019 edition.

0930:  Driver Parade next with some smiles and waves before we get serious.

0845:  Probably the fastest 20 minutes ever!

JDub/CL – P5 02:05.4969

SVG/GT – P4 02:05.4166

 

 

0820:  Time for warm up.

0630:  The big day is here – Happy Bathurst Day!

 

Sunday 13 October

 

Jamie Whincup / Craig Lowndes – Car #888
Practice 6 – 20th (Fastest Time: 02:06.3437)
Practice 7 – Sixth (Fastest Time: 02:04.0849)
Top Ten Shootout – Fourth (Lap Time: 2:03.9505)

 

Jamie Whincup – Car #888

“We are happy with today as we maximised what we could.  Being on the second row of the grid is a good spot to start the great race.  At this stage, unfortunately we don’t have the pace of the other cars out on the track, but I feel like the engineers have done a really good job to get us here.  It’s now about working with what we have to maximise the balance across the car.  As a team we can’t have any weaknesses tomorrow.  Everyone has to perform at a high level across the whole team to have any chance tomorrow and I feel if every single person does that then we are in for a show.”

Craig Lowndes – Car #888
“It’s a great effort from Jamie to get into the top 10 yesterday in the difficult conditions and then today to be able to improve the car over the short two half-hour practice sessions.  The car feels really nice for me as a race car.  Jamie did a good job today in the shootout.  There’s always a great amount of pressure for any driver to be put under in those circumstances.  We now know that we will be starting in fourth tomorrow so it’s a credit to him and the team.  It’s going to be a long day tomorrow but we are starting on the second row and I couldn’t be happier.”

Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander – Car #97
Practice 6 – Sixth (Fastest Time: 02:05.1821)
Practice 7 – Fourth (Fastest Time: 02:04.0046)
Top Ten Shootout – Fifth (Lap Time: 02:04.1136)

 

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“It wasn’t the greatest lap to have for the Top Ten Shootout.  I probably could have given it a little more.  Having said that, fifth position isn’t a bad place to start the race.  We have a straight and fast car so it should be all fine for tomorrow.  Unfortunately, practice wasn’t very good for us out there on track earlier in the day.  We were happy yesterday but when the rain came the track was washed out and went back to being clean so possibly hurt us a little.  We aren’t too worried about it though.  Most likely we will go back to yesterday’s setup and hope that the track will work with us.  I haven’t had any thoughts about tomorrow just yet so we will just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.”

Garth Tander – Car #97
“It was a good day for me and the team.  Both cars were in the top 10 and now both cars are starting the race in the top five.  For car 97, in this morning’s practice we had a good run.  For me in particular, I felt comfortable in the car on light fuel and old tyres and then full fuel and newer tyres.  The practice session strategy was for me to get a read of how the car could potentially behave in the race.  I’m happy with how the car felt and progress we have so made so definitely looking forward for tomorrow.”

 

1830:  The day is done and it’s a P4 and P5 line up on the grid for tomorrow.  Being up front is exactly what we need but who knows what tomorrow will bring and who the mountain will choose.

1750:

 

 

Talk about cutting it close!  Not sure how much closer anyone can get to that wall by shaking their tail feather!

 


1725:

 

1700:  It’s shoot out time and for this it’s just better if we show you how it all went down (no not down hill at all… check out the clips above).

 

 

1430:  Thanks to Holden and Red Bull we were able to trek out and around the campsite on Mount Panorama.  Thanks to all the fans who come out to see the Supercars out on track.  Whether it’s your first Bathurst or your 50th we couldn’t go out racing with you!

 

1245:

 

1240:

JDub/CL – P6 — 02:04.0849

SVG/GT – P4 — 2:04.0046

 

1210:  Number seven.  Here we go one final time.  Co-drivers aren’t wearing their race suits so it looks like its all been left in the capable hands of JDub and SVG.

1130:  But before we do… here’s part of the Team Owner’s media conference in case you missed it – should we take up the offer?

 

 

1100:  Not much time in between sessions as they have been sliced in half and we now have two session instead of the usual 60 mins.  Back on track in an hour.

1010:

JDub/CL – P20 — 02:06.3437

SVG/GT – P6 — 02:05.3016

 

 

0955:  And now it’s the JDub’s turn.

 

 

0950:  Speaking of changes.

0940:  Looks like  it will be a jam packed practice session with pit spots and driver changes.

 


0940:  Co-drivers have jumped into the car which can only mean one thing…

0645:  Another early start as we head into the final day of practice and the all important top ten shootout.

 

Saturday 12 October

 

Jamie Whincup / Craig Lowndes – Car #888
Practice 4 (Co-Drivers) – 14th (Fastest Time: 02:05.9218)
Practice 5 – 17th (Fastest Time: 02:04.9580)
Qualifying – Seventh (Fastest Time: 02:29.6973) *Wet*

 

Jamie Whincup – Car #888

“High stress day! Obviously, practice wasn’t ideal, I was just caught up in somebody else’s crash. I felt I did the best I could there. If I had hit him (Richie Stanaway) it would have been a catastrophe. I slapped the wall reasonably hard, but side on, and it sort of distributed the impact in the front left. I slapped the rear right, but nothing major. It was still a lot of work, but all bolt-on parts and nothing majorly structural. Everything was all back to normal in the car for qualifying, but we were genuinely P20 out of the pits. The car was so on edge, I scared myself 15, 16 times just trying to keep it on the black stuff. We just persisted and chipped away to somehow get to P12 or 13 with one lap to go and just got into the top 10. While we’re not celebrating, we’re happy that we’re in the top 10, but Jesus, it took stupid amount of risk to finish P7 today. Not that I’m saying it should be easy, it’s bloody tough and competitive, but we had to hang way too much on the line there just to get in the 10. I think the shootout is going to be wet.”

Craig Lowndes – Car #888
“My practice session was dry this morning, so it was great to have another session of dry running. I felt more comfortable in the car after doing more laps. We did several changes which gave us a direction. For me, the car is nice across the top of the mountain which always inspires confidence as a driver, but we need to find a little bit more drive off the slow-speed corners like the last corner and turn one. Overall, I was happy with where we ended up. The stress levels in the garage were pretty high during qualifying. When you’re behind the steering wheel you’ve sort of got a feel and you know where you’re at, but when you’re in the garage you can only go by Jamie’s voice over the radio. He was quite calm, I’ve got to give him that, but knowing we were sat in P20 for so long, he did a fantastic job to end up in P7. It was pretty stressful in the garage!”

 

Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander – Car #97
Practice 4 (Co-Drivers) – Second (Fastest Time: 02:05.1821)
Practice 5 – Sixth (Fastest Time: 02:04.2852)
Qualifying – Third (Fastest Time: 02:29.1880) *Wet*

 

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“A few minor issues out on track but it was a little bit of everything out there; the car and the driver in the wet conditions for the qualifying session.  We didn’t stress too much.  We had a good start to the day this morning. For qualifying we put wets on without changing the setup and just drove the car.  We did well considering the car had a dry setup.  We were hoping it might dry a little bit in the session but that wasn’t the case.  In the end it was all good.”

Garth Tander – Car #97
“It’s been a good week for me so far.  I just jump into the car when the team tells me to and jump straight back out when they ask me to get out.  It’s been quite low stress in comparison to full-time driving.  The car is good, like Shane said.  We had a good couple of sessions this morning and we think we have found what we needed to find with the balance of the car.  I didn’t really enjoy qualifying and watching from outside the car but I’m comfortable with my role; where I fit into the team, working alongside Shane and enjoying it.”

 

1800:  It’s been a long day.  Who knows what’s in store tomorrow but we do know that these end of day chats give us only a small glimpse of an action packed day.

1745:  Into the top ten shootout tomorrow – nail biting finish!

 

 

1740:  It’s down to the wire and as the times are cut down every lap… it’s only a matter of time before the session ends and the bulls need to make the top ten!

 

 

1630:  Just driving perfection from SVG.

1600:  About to roll out and the weather has definitely decided to change it up for us.  It will be one slippery session out there!

1530:  Been a little absent from the scene as the drivers have dashed form a signing session to a corporate visit to merchandise alley and finally to Holden.  If you haven’t already limited Bathurst edition is available this weekend!

 

 

1205:  What a session – looks like the team will need to do a quick inspection and fixer-upper on the car ahead of qualifying.  It’s a good thing there is only minor damage and nothing our amazing crew can’t do.

 

JDub/CL – P17 — 02:04.9580

SVG/GT – P6 — 02:04.2852

 

 


1150:  Ick!  Seems like JDub managed to miss and then hit.  Not what we want to see out there today.

 

 

1110:  Seems like GT really isn’t do all that much.

1105:  Back on track and time for the final practice session.

0945:  Data review and then into blackout – yes you know the drill.  It will be the same again today and tomorrow for our drivers as it’s time to get down to business ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session.

0925:

JDub/CL – P14 — 02:05.9218

SVG/GT – P2 — 02:05.1821

 


0825:  Early start for our co-drivers.

 

Friday 11 October

 

Jamie Whincup / Craig Lowndes – Car #888
Practice 1– First (Fastest Time: 02:04.6744)
Practice 2 – Eight (Fastest Time: 2:06.1757)
Practice 3 – Second (Fastest Time: 02:03.9237)

 

Jamie Whincup – Car #888

“All in all, it was a good day.  The car was well and truly on the pace out on the track. We worked through our program very methodically and achieved what we wanted to achieve in the sessions.  Any day you can complete all three sessions is a good day, so we’ll take that.  It’s a long weekend ahead though, so we will keep focused and make sure we stay there or thereabouts.  Car #17 is very fast, and he has definitely cut the tenths down the road on pure speed so we will work away and see if we can find it tomorrow.”

Craig Lowndes – Car #888
“For my session it went fairly smoothly.  It was great to be back in the car and get some laps under my belt.  It’s good to get into a rhythm and work on more of a race car scenario than a qualifying car.  The car has come out of the transporter fairly close to the mark.  Jamie did a fantastic job in the third session . The car looks like it has the goods to be on pace for the rest of the weekend.”

 

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Event 12 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Bathurst, New South Wales. Australia 10th-13th Oct 2019

 

Shane van Gisbergen / Garth Tander – Car #97
Practice 1– Fifth (Fastest Time: 02:05.1577)
Practice 2 – Fourth (Fastest Time: 02:05.7200)
Practice 3 – Eighth (Fastest Time: 02:04.1501)

 

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“The car wasn’t good in practice one. It was hard to drive, but it got better as we tried to keep up with the track evolving. Garth did practice two and he did well. In practice three, the car was good, and the team made some good in-roads from the sessions before; it was easier to drive. The new tyres were a little bit off, but it’s not the end of the world. I kept making little mistakes, but also, we’re not 100 percent on the limit, you don’t need to be on a Thursday, so it was a really good start. We’re just trying to make it a little bit more balanced across the top to make it easier for us. It’s hard to follow, so we’re going to have to try to come up with a car that makes it easy to pass people or we’re hopefully up front and can race up to cars ahead. It’s going to be a fine line, I think. It’s so hard to follow here this year, it’s so much faster. We’ve got more downforce, which means dirtier air. You’re more reliant on the downforce, so when you follow someone you don’t have that clean air.”

Garth Tander – Car #97
“I felt really comfortable, but certainly taking no risks. For me, I was understanding how the Red Bull Holden Racing Team car behaves at Bathurst because it’s not somewhere that you can make a mistake and get away with it, especially across the top, so I just wanted to build up to it. I managed to do that through the session. I’m really comfortable with where the car was at. We made some changes that improved the car and the important thing is that Shane and I are saying the same thing as far as our feedback goes for the balance of the car. I thought for me it was a good day. I’ll sleep well tonight knowing that I feel comfortable in the car and look forward to tomorrow. The whole process of learning the Triple Eight way for me continues. As far as communication with all the crew and my description of how the car behaves, it seems to be working. It’s good that when we get to Bathurst and we’re doing it for real and the pressure’s on, it all works well.”

 

 

1900:  Dashing out to see fans with a little help from our friends at Red Bull.  Definitely need one to give us wings after the long day we’ve had today!

1730:  Although we’ve managed to talk to the drivers they need to quickly scoff down some food before the final appearance of the day.

1700:  

JDub / CL – P2 — 02:03.9327

SVG/GT – P8 — 02:04.1501

 

1545:  15 minutes away for the final session of the day.

1400:  There is no mucking around at Bathurst with this schedule.  It is literally blackout, practice, debrief and data review back into blackout, practice – think you get the gist of it.

1345:  Times up!

JDub/CL – P8  — 2:06.1757

SVG/GT – P4 — 2:05.7200

 

1315:  And what’s happening on the other side of the garage with another red flag this session.

 

 

1300: What are friends for – JDub returning the favour to CL.

 

1245:  Eagerly awaited co-driver only session.  Time to brush off the dust from CL and GT so they can get their hands on the wheel and take the cars for a spin.

1100:  Practice 1 complete.

JDub/CL – P1 — 02:04.6744

SVG/GT – P5 — 02.05.1578

 

1030:  Back into action and seems like there is speed in the cars after rolling out of the truck – that’s what we like to see!

 

 

1025:  First red flag of the race weekend.

 

 

1005:  This the first of three hour long sessions.  Hope you’re all strapped in for the ride because as we all know the mountain decides things around here.

 

0955:  Let’s get this show on the road – Bathurst style!

0830:  Shout out to the fans that have been lining up in these chilly Bathurst conditions!  Great to see the Red Bull Holden Racing Team fans out in force and it’s only Day 1!

0645:   Nothing like getting an early morning of exercise – pit stop and driver change.

0630:  Rise and shine it’s FINALLY time to hit the track at the great Mount Panorama.  We have been waiting all season for this week to start and it’s now finally here!

 

Thursday 10 October

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Bathurst Livery celebrates Holden

The Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodores will take on the Bathurst 1000 bedecked in a special edition, retro-inspired livery, revealed today at the team’s pre-endurance test.

 

 

Drawing inspiration from Peter Brock and Colin Bond’s 1971 Sandown 250 and Bathurst 500 Holden Toranas, the striking red and white livery celebrates Holden’s 50th anniversary of factory involvement in motorsport.

GM Design Australia Exterior Manager, Peter Hughes created a design to capture Holden’s celebrated motorsport history and evoke a strong link to the past.

“We tried many variations, but the 1971 HDT livery ended up being the perfect inspiration because of its unique historical appearance,” he said.

“The horizontal heritage stripes over the roof, for example, are unmistakable and should make a statement over the top of the mountain, just as they did back in 1971.

“It’s a great way for everyone to celebrate a wonderful history of factory Holden Bathurst entries and the heroic drivers, both past and present, that race them,” Hughes said.

 And the milestones keep coming as this year will also mark 10 years since Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes last drove together in an endurance race.

“Craig and I are obviously looking forward to racing together again and it’s a great that we will be doing it with such an iconic livery on our car,” Whincup said.

“Being the factory Holden team is something that Triple Eight is really proud of, so it’s pretty special to be marking their 50th anniversary in this way.  Holden has had a lot of success at Mount Panorama and we’re very lucky to say we’ve played a small part in that.  Lowndesy and I will certainly be trying to add to that next week.”

Having claimed a hat-trick between 2006-08, the pair are ready to battle it out for the top spot on the mountain.

“Jamie and I individually have a lot of experience at Bathurst, but we also have a great history racing together,” Lowndes said.

“To be teaming up with him again in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of Holden’s involvement in motorsport will be something we will remember for years to come.”

Having conquered the mountain for the seventh time last year, the spotlight will be on Lowndes as he attempts to edge closer to the great Peter Brock’s record of nine Bathurst wins.

“Preparation is always key at Bathurst,” Lowndes said.

“Mechanically, last year was tough in the build-up to the race with all the power steering issues.  Come race day we had pace and a good strategy which meant we were able to be there in the end to fight for the win.  You never know what’s going to happen at Bathurst!”

On the #97 side of the Red Bull Holden garage, Shane van Gisbergen will be trying to maximise the experience of his new co-driver, three-time Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander, as he hunts down his first win at the mountain in a supercar.

 “Garth has settled into the team really well.  He’s been coming to test days, ride days and spent quite a lot of time at the workshop, as well as doing plenty of racing in other cars, so we’re both looking forward to getting on track at Bathurst,” said the 2016 Supercars champion.

“It’s very cool to have a different livery on the cars for Bathurst.  Hopefully the fans like it as much as we do, and we represent Holden well for their anniversary.”

For fans, the retro-themed team kit is available for pre-order online from midday Monday, September 30 and track side at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team merchandise shop during the Bathurst 1000, 10-13 October.

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Live Diary: Bathurst 1000

SUNDAY

Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell – Car #1
Race 1 –  10th
Championship –  Third (2,872 points)

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
“I don’t feel like we did much wrong today, we were in the race, sitting pretty until the wheel issue – there’s one story of our day and it’s the wheel falling off. We just did what we could to turn that around – the guys and girls did a great job to get us back onto the lead lap and then back up to 10th. We fought hard and we felt like we did most things right all weekend, I feel like it’s a bit of a cruel game and we deserve more than that but that’s the game we play. From the preparation to coming here and all the way through practice, we made the right calls, and everyone worked exceptionally hard. It’s fantastic for Triple Eight to get the Peter Brock Trophy back to the workshop again. For car one, we thought we deserved a little bit more and it’s disappointing not to end up on the podium. You honestly couldn’t have written that script, with Lowndesy (Craig Lowndes) finishing up full-time driving and winning the biggest race of the year. They all did a good job, stayed out of trouble and were there. They didn’t make any mistakes, it’s unbelievable and I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Paul Dumbrell – Car #1 Co-Driver
“Everything was going to plan, we were behind the (David) Reynolds car and had an equal pace to them. Then with the safety car we had a pit stop, and something failed on the car so the wheel came off – it’s bizarre to see your wheel passing down the main straight as you’re braking. We managed to get the car back and be two laps down and then still finish 10th, you can’t argue with that. The car was really crook at the end of the day, we did everything we said we’d do all week but it just wasn’t our day. It’s quite incredible the amount of work that the crew did, they were awesome. Full credit to them, and goes to show why we are one of the best teams in pit lane because through adversity we don’t put our heads down and we get on with the job. It was quite incredible to hear all the fans cheering for Craig (Lowndes) with just five laps to go. For them, being eight seconds in the lead, they would have known they had the win for awhile which is awesome for Craig as his last full-time race here at Bathurst.

Shane van Gisbergen / Earl Bamber – Car #97
Race 1 –  Fifth
Championship –  First (3,276 points)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
“The race today started alright, we got into second and the car was nice, and I thought the track would come to the car and it sort of did but then it didn’t quite come to. The balance got better but the pace didn’t, so that was a shame. Earl (Bamber) did an awesome job, always passing people smoothly and he had good pace, but we were just too far back. At the end there was no strategy, it was just the same pits and we couldn’t go faster which is a shame. We’ll settle for fifth but I’m super proud of Triple Eight, Craig (Lowndes), Steve (Richards) and the team, that’s really cool.”

Earl Bamber – Car #97 Co-Driver
“We had a good car all day and we were running up front in the top two. And then we cycled back with a brake change and ended up in 16th. That was good fun because it was the first time that I had to push and take some risk in a Supercar and try to gain some spots. We then got back up to sixth, in a good position to make ground. However, we just stalled in that position and we didn’t have enough to go forward. It’s a mega result with getting in the top five and it’s a great result for Shane with the Championship points. It’s been an honour to come and drive for Red Bull Holden Racing Team this weekend and to drive for such a team in my first ever Bathurst as a rookie was amazing. So thank you for putting your trust in me, to Shane as well. It’s been a great weekend, especially to see Lowndesy (Craig Lowndes) next door win. So now let’s roll on to the Gold Coast and win some surf boards.”

It’s race day! J-Dub starts on the front row in P2… SVG will start immediately behind him in P4. Let’s get ’em!

SATURDAY

Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell – Car #1
Practice 6 –  11th (Fastest Time: 2:05.6369)
Top Ten Shootout –  Second (Lap Time: 2:04.0683)

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
“I got a good lap in the shootout, the engineers did a good job, the car was fast, and I got the most out of it. The boy beside me (David Reynolds) was fast, there’s no other way to look at it. We did the best we could, and we were happy with second today. It’s a long day for us, practice feels like six hours ago and I feel like we’ve met everyone on the mountain, so just trying to get back into racing mode for the shootout was difficult. We are happy we got through our program today. This race is very hard to win, and also very easy to lose.”

Paul Dumbrell – Car #1 Co-Driver
“We obviously had limited running earlier this week so practice was key to get some more tuning in, which we did. It showed in qualifying and the Top Ten Shootout as we were there or thereabouts. One one-hundredth of a second on a 6.2km lap is nothing – but it’s all good, we have 161 laps tomorrow, so we just need to put our head down and work on tomorrow.

Shane van Gisbergen / Earl Bamber – Car #97
Practice 6 –  Seventh (Fastest Time: 2:05.2423)
Top Ten Shootout –  Fourth (Lap Time: 2:04.5385)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
“Our practice this morning wasn’t very good, we tried a whole lot and we were still struggling with the car. We’ve got plenty to analyse tonight but all the tools are there, so I know we’ll be good tomorrow. We made the car better for the shootout and fourth was good, but we just didn’t quite get the front guys – I made a couple of mistakes. We had a good track, we just didn’t quite get it there but it’s not the end of the world.”

Earl Bamber – Car #97 Co-Driver
“Today was good, we had a nice chance to have a look overnight and learn a bit more because yesterday was my first ever lap here in a Supercar. I think we were competitive, we still need to tune up the race car, we’re getting there but we’re not quite as strong as car one. There’s a little bit of work to do tonight but we have a pretty good idea on the direction. It was good that I got some experience with high fuel, low fuel etc, it’s good race prep for me. I’m loving the track it’s so awesome to drive these machines around here, it’s so cool. Then that was about it for me, it was nerve-racking watching a Top Ten Shootout as well and Shane did so well to put it all together and to get us onto the second row of the grid. I can’t wait to get involved in the race, we didn’t have quite enough for pole but it’s still cool. I also did a DVS (Super2 category) race which was wild – I stayed out of trouble and got P10 for Grove (Racing), the best ever result of the season for him. Now, we roll on to tomorrow for the 1000.”

FRIDAY

Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell – Car #1
Practice 4 (Co-drivers)  10th (Fastest Time: 2:07.8340)
Practice 5 –  N/A *Elected not to run
Qualifying –  First (Fastest Time: 2:04.1093)

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
“It was great to finally get on the track in the dry conditions today, it’s been quite tough sitting out during the practice sessions because this is such an awesome track, one of the best bits of road in the world. The real hero from my day was the engineers, they took an educated guess on the dry setup which was bloody difficult, and I feel like our guys and girls did it the best out of anyone. The car is completely different to what it was here last year, so they did well. That was by far the quickest I’ve been around here in a Supercar, so I couldn’t be happier, but I can’t stress enough that it’s still early days. The track was surprisingly quick, I expected it to be a lot more slippery than what it was. The conditions were cool so we had cool track temperature but there was zero rubber out there. I think we were lucky that the DVS (Super2 category) were out there before us so that got the dirt and mud out of the track to give us some grip. We’ve always given ourselves an opportunity in the shootout which is great because starting the race anywhere in the top ten at this track is good and we’ve guaranteed ourselves a good starting position for Sunday.”

Paul Dumbrell – Car #1 Co-Driver
“I did a few laps in the dry which was good as I was able to get my head around the car and we were happy with the program we ran today. Obviously, Jamie did a phenomenal job in qualifying and whilst it’s great to be in qualifying, our race is what we’re all about so we’ll put our head down overnight and think about Sunday. I will likely do a few laps in practice on Saturday morning because we haven’t been able to do much of that and from then on, it’s thinking about the race, what we need from the race and how we can make the car faster on Sunday afternoon, not necessarily on Sunday morning.

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sandown Raceway, Victoria. Australia. October 4th - 7th 2018

Shane van Gisbergen / Earl Bamber – Car #97
Practice 4 (Co-drivers)  11th (Fastest Time: 2:07.8565)
Practice 5 –  N/A *Elected not to run
Qualifying –  Fourth (Fastest Time: 2:04.3818)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
“Qualifying today was alright – we did four runs where we got up to speed but it was very hard to go straight into qualifying with no dry running. However, we built up each run and became quicker and quicker as we progressed. We tried to tune the car a little and were not quite as happy as the other cars, so tomorrow’s practice session is important for us. We’ve made a few shootouts now so that’s pretty good although we’re going into this one a little less prepared than normal. We will have to make the most of tomorrow’s practice, it’s important we work on the race car, give Earl some laps and maybe do some shootout practice so there’s a lot there to get through. The car does feel good, but we just need to keep up with the track because it’s not completely rubbed in due to the rain – from now on the track is only going to get better and better without the rain.”

Earl Bamber – Car #97 Co-Driver
“It was cool to finally do my first dry laps around Bathurst in a V8 Supercar. I think we have a good race car for the weekend, we do need to work on it a little bit but it’s definitely good and that showed in qualifying with all three Triple Eight cars making the Top Ten Shootout. I was happy to get into the sevens (seconds) straight away in my first session, that was cool. We were getting better and better towards the end of practice, so we know it’s possible to go quicker. Hopefully we can now do a bit more race preparation because we haven’t done much of that for a dry race. Tomorrow morning is important. The car was good, there’s good momentum within the team, we just need to keep crossing off the dots, not get too complacent and make sure that we look over everything before the big race on Sunday.”

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sandown Raceway, Victoria. Australia. October 4th - 7th 2018

THURSDAY

Jamie Whincup / Paul Dumbrell – Car #1
Practice 1  10th (Fastest Time: 2:26.6690)
Practice 2 (Co-drivers) –  N/A *Elected not to run
Practice 3   N/A *Elected not to run

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
“We had a couple of items on our program that we got through which we were able to tick off in practice one, we didn’t feel we could achieve anymore in practices two or three. It’s great that car no. 97 and the pit stop crew were able to do heaps of pit stop work and ticked off a few items for the team. Now we can prepare for tomorrow, the rain will go away, and we’ll have a nice dry day.”

Paul Dumbrell – Car #1 Co-Driver
“The team got a lot out of today – Shane (van Gisbergen), Craig (Lowndes), Earl (Bamber) and Richo (Steve Richards) did some laps which is good to get under the belt. However, with the race on Sunday most likely going to be dry, there wasn’t a lot of point to go out and do too many laps, so we did what we needed to. Back inside the garage, we did some brake changes, pit stop practice and driver change practice, so we got all of that stuff out of the way, things which we had planned to do later in the weekend, so it wasn’t a waste of a day. There are more people here than last year and it’s good to know it’s going to be a great day on Sunday so there will be a lot of campers soaking it up.

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sandown Raceway, Victoria. Australia. October 4th - 7th 2018

Shane van Gisbergen / Earl Bamber – Car #97
Practice 1 –  Seventh (Fastest Time: 2:26.3577)
Practice 2 (Co-drivers) –  Third (Fastest Time: 2:35.9013)
Practice 3 –  Fifth (Fastest Time: 2:29.8938)

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
“The car has rolled out of the truck well and we were able to run through our programs today. The only reason we ran in the rain was to keep the car hot and practise some brake pad and caliper changes. It was helpful for the crew to go through the processes – it was worthwhile running today.”

Earl Bamber – Car #97 Co-Driver
“Our day had a hectic start – I think it’s the earliest I’ve ever arrived for a driver change practice. However, it was good to get going and run through the systems. It helps quite a lot to do the DVS practice to go through the motions and get used to what it’s like out there in the conditions. I managed to do a couple of laps at the end of P1 when Shane had enough driving. It’s great to be back at Bathurst, the track is amazing and it’s cool to be here in a V8 Supercar, I can’t wait to do some dry laps. The co-driver practice session was good, I think we ended up P3, we weren’t trying too much, and we just rolled through the motions to make sure were competitive – I think they wanted to check that I was somewhat competitive around Bathurst – luckily there’s lots of left turns for me. The other cool thing here is all the fans out and about, it’s crazy for a Thursday practice day. The fans are so passionate, attending signing sessions and all of that, so this is a cool part of the sport in Australia.”

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event 13 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Sandown Raceway, Victoria. Australia. October 4th - 7th 2018

Categories
Bathurst Latest News

Bathurst Top Ten Snaps

It was a fine week in Bathurst with blue skies and hot temps… That was until Sunday, when it poured just after the beginning of the Great Race! Relive all of the action with some of the best snaps below.

 

Sun shining down… 

For a short while anyway…

 

Hello

The drivers parade had a great turnout… The corvettes were a nice touch too!

 

Tunes

Hmmmm…. Wonder what they’re listening to?!

 

Serious squad

*Quick, the camera’s on us, look busy and act like you know what you’re doing!*

 

Enduro pit stops

Organised chaos in the rain

 

The rains are here!

Yep, the heavens opened and the rain poured on Sunday of all days!!

 

The waiting game

Feet up! J-Dub resting his feet ahead of his final stint… Which didn’t turn out to be as long as we all expected 🙁

 

Views

That view… It never gets old. Rain, hail or shine!

 

Counting sheep

Yep, it’s a long weekend and PD’s taking any opportunity he can get for some ZZZ’s.

 

Epic 10/10 committed fans

You came, it rained and it poured… But you all stayed put and cheered us through another tough day on the mountain – we can’t thank you enough!