In case you live under a rock, or just don’t care, today was the V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000. And while the race had all of the drama and excitement you would expect from the great race, it just wasn’t the same.
This year marks the last year of any factory backed teams, with Holdens departure taking the last factory backing with it. It’s also the only year that the vast majority of spectators weren’t able to be at the mountain, this alone removed the colour and passion from the event, something that has made it unique in Australian motorsport. Granted, this made it close to impossible to get any sleep at the track, but it was always entertaining.
My deep love of motorsport started at the Mount Panorama Circuit. The very first time I went there was to take part as official for the very first time.
My first trip to the mountain was for the Festival of Sporting Cars, a 5 day event that had the biggest variety of race cars that I’ ever seen. For this race event I was fortunate enough to be positioned at the entrance to The Chase at the end of Conrod Straight. I can still remember to sound and the speed of the cars coming towards me a full noise, some of which were approaching at close to 300km/h. From that event on I was hooked and remain so to this day.
Since that event I have volunteered (yes, marshals are volunteers.) at several Bathurst 1000’s, the Bathurst 12 hour, several Australian F1 Grand Prix’s and various other race meeting at Winton, Sandown, Phillip Island and Queensland Raceway.
The plan this year was to do more events this year, but Covid put a stop to that.
At any rate, I find volunteering at race meetings to be incredibly rewarding. It always has a different feel to it, it isn’t work, but it isn’t leisure neither. Sure, there are a few that I’ve come across who take it all way too seriously, but you’re going to get that sometimes. To some, volunteering is all they have, so naturally there will be some perceived ownership that comes with it.
It doesn’t really matter if the event is a motorkhana in a farm paddock or the F1 Grand Prix, there is benefit in being part of any event. The smaller events are generally more fun and welcoming, while the bigger events carry more prestige and much, much faster cars.
So, while I didn’t make Bathurst this year, its not the end of the world. Things will eventually return to normal and I’ll be trackside again next year, if not at Bathurst, it will definitely be at some events more locally in Queensland. There will always be opportunities to get back to a track and recommence doing what I love, we just need this whole ugly mess to blow over.
Sadly, the end result of the race wasn’t what I was hoping for which made a not so happy Bathurst day.