Here is what a few of the competitors had to say about racing at Mount Panorama for the Bathurst Motor Festival.
Luke Andersen (QLD #83 Property Mastermind Ford Falcon AU)
“Not a good weekend result wise but who cares when you’re racing at Bathurst and bring home a straight car.
“Ecstatic to bring home a straight car, particularly after running out of talent into the chase in race 2 and parallel parking it on the beach.
“The mountain was everything I hoped it would be – can’t wait to come back and tackle it again one year.”
Antonio Auddino (VIC #4 Auddino First National Ford Falcon AU)
“Mount Panorama where in the wet you know your alive and millimetres away from walls doesn’t get much better then that.”
Kane Baxter – Smith (QLD #56 Broadside Racing Ford Falcon AU)
“What an experience. This was our first attempt at the Mountain, and it was me who beached it in the chase lap 1 of race 1 from the lead, whoops.
“If you don’t beach it at the Chase on your first visit, your not trying hard enough. We had a fantastic time, the only downfall would be the lack of dry laps, actually the lack of laps in general made it very difficult for us being our first time at Mount Panorama.
“Race 2 was a big fight back from 49th to 18th in the wet, overtaking 31 cars… actually we had an off at turn 1 on restart after the safety car so I did a quick flick spin and got going again and had to re-overtake 4 cars making the total 35 cars overtaken in 4 race laps. Race 3 in the dry was a treat and we had some brilliant dicing with Lindsay Kearns and even Travis Sharp when I finally caught him, we thought we had a free kick when the safety car came out and cut the gap the top 3 cars as we had just taken 4th position, one more lap after the safety car would have been brilliant because I knew I could take King (in 3rd) as a minimum. So we had to settle for 4th in race 3. At the end of a big weekend we were still happy, although it doesn’t stop the team from constantly reminding me that I binned it in race 1, they gave me a jar of gravel which came from the car to take home – I’m going to put it in my trophy cabinet.”
Wayne Bates (VIC #68 Sails Apartments Merimbula Ford Falcon AU)
“Qualified 30th after struggling with set up in the wet on a unfamiliar track and a multitude of cars, race 1 got turned around at turn 1 which intern relegated me to the rear end of the grid. Race 2 in the wet went well with a change to the set up, picked up 10 places. Race 3 in the dry, picked up 5 positions in the first lap then picking off another 2 positions to place us in 29th for the weekend. Very happy with the result considering our first run at Bathurst.
“A most memorable first race around the iconic Bathurst Circuit, experienced a most frightening time of racing in the wet to the most exhilarating time racing this demanding track in the dry. An experience that will never be forgotten. I can say I have well and truly live the Bathurst dream.”
Mark Bryan (SA #62 Bridge Model Cars Ford Falcon AU)
“Our one and only practice was in crazy wet conditions, we got 2 laps before a red flag put us back into the pit lane which gave the cars an opportunity to fog up. We got out for another 3 laps after that and I ended up 14th fastest out of 52 cars.
“Qualifying was dry however on the first lap there was a red flag. After a delay we got out and did 1 full lap before a 2nd red flag and the session was over. I ended up 9th fastest in that session
“It was wet as for race one, started 14th got a good start and got through to 9th by the end with the 7th quickest lap time of the 52 car field, race was shortened to 4 laps due to cars in dangerous positions in the sand trap at the Chase.
“It was wet but not as bad a race 1, started 9th got a crap start and dropped back to around 13th but got back to 10th by the end with the 8thquickest lap time of the 52 car field, race was shortened to 6 laps due to some pace car laps.
“At last a dry race, started 10th got another crap start and dropped back to 12th on lap 1, had a couple of real fast front runners catching me and I ended up letting them through to end the race in 14th place with the 12th quickest lap time of the 52 car field, race went the full 8 laps but ended under pace car for the last 2 laps.
“Over the 3 races I ended up 8th for the round out of 52 cars which exceeded my expectations. I went there expecting a top 20 with the hope of top 15 so to be in the top 10 was awesome.”
Coleby Cowham (QLD #25 Escape Energy Ford Falcon AU)
“We were hoping for a strong result after qualifying on the front row, but it wasn’t meant to be, after going off the road to avoid another competitors out of control car in the first race followed by a diff failure on the warm up for the 2nd race leaving us to start the final race in 48th. A mixed weekend at a fantastic event topped off with a fun final race of the weekend and the “Best Presented Ford” Award. I can’t wait to come back.”
Chris Kneafsey (WA #515 Hot Lap Motorsport Holden Commodore VN)
“I really enjoyed racing at the mountain, taking 3 wins from 3 starts in the early EA/VN model class, but the highlight was starting race 1 from 7th out of 50 plus cars, and confusing a heap of new model AU/VT class cars as to how I could get a old VN to go so fast.”
Jason Leoncini (VIC Leoncini Motorsport – VT Commodore)
“First time at the mountain for us this weekend, the track was awesome. We had a bit of bad luck this time but can’t wait to come back for another crack.”
Brett Pope (SA #11 Maffra Automotive Holden Commodore VT)
“The best way to describe my first weekend at Bathurst would be driving a 1 1/2 tonne steam room at 200kph that won’t stop or turn and tries to kill you every time you push the accelerator.”
Shaun Woodhouse (VIC #46 Team Woodhouse Racing Holden Commodore VT)
“I didn’t care if it was wet or dry, as this was the weekend that I fulfilled a dream. I actually drove my race car around the iconic Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst.”