Multiple factors combine to make the Bathurst 1000 the toughest test a Supercars driver or team faces. It’s the length of the race: 1,000 kilometers, 161 laps. It’s the speed: 300 kilometers an hour down Conrod. It’s the precision by which pit stops must be completed. Yet, it is something more difficult to measure that truly makes it the great race.
It’s the disbelief in the Tekno pits when Shane Van Gisbergen stalled in 2014. The hands on their hands, standing around in utter confusion. What more could they do?
There’s the anger of Greg Murphy, who after copping a five-minute penalty stepped out of his car to use a portable toilet. He couldn’t believe it. There had been nothing like it before or since.
Then there’s the relief of Fabian Coulthard as he stepped from a mangled Holden Commodore following his horrific 2010 shunt. Everyone held their breath.
It’s the butterflies in our stomach - that special feeling we get each time of year. The passion derived from seeing our favorites commit everything around one of the world’s great tracks.
We remember our heroes and the graceful machines which take to the track. Our time watching Brock was limited and the Falcon’s days are numbered, but the memories they have created will continue to inspire us.
Heartbreak. You can hear it in Glenn Seton’s voice when his car stopped ten laps short of the finish in 1995. “That’s life,” Seton quivered. “That’s life.” His dad’s reaction told the story, too.
There are dozens of examples: Dean Canto, Scott McLaughlin, Dick Johnson, Mark Winterbottom, Paul Dumbrell, all unable to cope with coming up short.
Finally, it’s the unbridled joy: Chaz Mostert screaming after winning the 2014 classic, Paul Morris crying after he finally achieved victory. It’s tears rolling down Craig Lowndes’ face when he hoisted the trophy dedicated to his mentor.
What makes the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 special isn’t just the speed, the distance, or even the famous track it takes place on. It’s the emotion. The feeling the drivers have after riding the highs and lows, pushing through the sorrow to emerge on the other side victorious. It’s that moment, as you look down on thousands of fans from the podium and the emotion overcomes you.
Success at the Bathurst 1000 has an impact so massive, only those experience it first hand can comprehend its scale.
Winning the Bathurst 1000 is immeasurable.