Bathurst 12-Hour Race
VSCCA Camping Weekend
3-5 February 2017
Photos by Imogen Morris and Phil Guilfoyle
TIP: Click on images below to see the entire slide show.
The 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour was held on Sunday 5th February at Australia's iconic and most challenging race track - Mt. Panorama, Bathurst.
The VSCCA, as it did last year, organised a camping weekend with 14 sites grouped around a shared dining area. 29 members, friends and family enjoyed the 3-day event.
Brian Wilson and grandson Josh, new member Geoff Gay and son Alexander, Barry Shinfield and sons Stuart and Ian, Jeremy Morris, daughter Imogen and brother Christo, Noel McIntosh, son Bill and grandson Liam, Rob and Geoffrey Everett (WA), Todd Barker, Rees MacKay, Doug McKay, Richard Walton, Stuart Steinfort (VIC), Mark Jenkins, Marc Hodge, Rob Jardine, Phil Guilfoyle, Dave Stewart and Peter (a friend of Bill McIntosh).
Interstate guests included Godfrey Everett (WA) and Stuart Steinfort (VSCC-Victoria).
A good time was had by all
Just take a look at the smile Josh's face in pit alley. He's Brian Wilson's grandson.
The atmosphere was fun and accommodating for everyone, including four school age kids. The campground facilities and services were good, but we all appreciated Jeremy and Tod's catered meals of prawns, oysters, salmon, curries, wines, and more.
Members' real cars in attendance included: Frazer Nash, Sunbeam, Jaguar, Vauxhall, Porsche and almost two MGs.
The single entry ticket provides access to every spectator area of the track, plus behind and above the pit area. The atmosphere for spectators is relaxed and open - not so much for the teams which you can observe quite closely.
The race is the first round of The Intercontinental GT Challenge. Unlike most forms of modern motor racing, this race thrives due to the diversity of the field, and the fact that the cars are genuine production based supercars.
The Ferrari of Vilander (factory driver), Whincup and Loundes won pole on the last lap of practice. The race started before dawn, with 55 cars from 15 different makes racing through the dark, and continuing all day for 290 laps.
Photo by Imogen Morris
With magnificent machinery, heroic driving, many lead changes and numerous incidents at every stage, the race was excitement to the last lap.
The Maranello Ferrari 488 won, followed by a factory Porsche Group 3 and a factory Bentley Continental.
Other marques included Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Audi, Mercedes-AMG, BMW, McLaren, Nissan, Dodge Viper, Ginetta, KTM, Focus and Mazda. There were 7 different marques in the first 8 places.
The 5.45 AM start was in the dark with headlights blazing and discs glowing red in the night. I have no idea how the drivers negotiate the top of the mountain at race speed as the sun rises.
The design, technology and skill are pitted against the uncertainties of endurance motor racing. It is always exciting, partly because the cars have different competitive qualities which play out at different parts of the track and stages of the race, so places are swapping all the time.
This is motor racing, not a sponsors' circus.
This fabulous weekend was a big logistical exercise and succeeded due to the major efforts of Jeremy Morris and Todd Barker, not to mention Barry Shinfield, Rees MacKay, Brian Wilson and others who pitched in with gear and transport.
Both the 2016 and the 2017 events were thundering successes, and The Club intends to do it all again in 2018.