Bathurst 1000 key talking points

Jawad Yaqub Roar Guru

By Jawad Yaqub, Jawad Yaqub is a Roar Guru

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6 Have your say

    It was another unforgettable edition of the Bathurst 1000, with weather wreaking havoc across Mount Panorama, as 161-laps yielded new winners in David Reynolds and Luke Youlden.

    Across what was a huge weekend for the Supercars championship in 2017, here are some of the key talking points at the conclusion of the Great Race.

    David beats Goliath
    When a small or struggling team in any sports wins, or gets one up on the more established outfits – there is reason to celebrate and it is no different in motorsport.

    Erebus Motorsport in their short presence in the Supercars series, have been up against it since day dot. From their failed venture with the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGs, to having to relocate their entire operation from Queensland to Victoria in 2016, changing manufacturers also – the minnows had redefined adversity.

    Winning the Bathurst 1000 is the jewel in the crown for touring cars in Australia and no matter who wins it, the victory is held in the highest regard. For the spirited Betty Klimenko and her Erebus team to topple the heavyweights and win the Great Race, will be a feat that’ll be talked about for years to come.

    David Reynolds proved why he was a genuine championship contender in 2015, driving a composed race and putting the #9 Commodore on the front-row, while Luke Youlden demonstrated that he doesn’t need to be driving full-time to be a top driver come the season of endurance.

    There have been many moments throughout the season, where Erebus have been billed as the leading Holden team, which amidst juggernauts such as the Red Bull Holden Racing Team and GRM – is a fair position to be in.

    The podium result at Phillip Island earlier in the season, was almost a premonition that Erebus would be strong come Bathurst. This due to the similarity between the circuits with the high-speed corners.

    Boosting Erebus’ victory, was the fourth-place finish for Dale Wood in the #99 car alongside co-driver Chris Pither.

    McLaughlin’s ‘Lap of the Gods’
    While the outcome of the Bathurst 1000 was one of heartbreak for championship contender Scott McLaughlin, the young Kiwi did leave everyone in awe of his record breaking lap from the Top-Ten Shootout.

    In what was a spectacular lap, where McLaughlin even got onto two wheels at McPhillarmy Park, the 24-year old squeezed a 2:03.831 out of his DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon – redefining the ‘Lap of the Gods’, which was a similarly astonishing lap set by fellow Kiwi Greg Murphy in 2003.

    Scott McLaughlin

    (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

    McLaughlin’s 14th pole position of the year has now elevated him to seventh on the all-time Supercars pole list. With a total of 31 now in his young career, the Kiwi has only 8 more to achieve and squeeze himself into the top five and join the esteemed company of Peter Brock, Mark Skaife, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup.

    The Mountain’s Cruelty
    It takes an earnest effort to win the Bathurst 1000, but conversely it is a very easy race to let slip through the clutches. Such is the cruel nature of Mount Panorama, that there’ll be many cases of hardship and heartache at the end of a most taxing day.

    The mechanical failure for the #17 Falcon stands out as being the biggest tale of anguish, considering the blistering speed shown by McLaughlin in the build-up to the race. Difficult it is also to fault the efforts from his co-driver Alex Prémat, who once again is left without the top prize.

    Similarly, Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell were once again thrown out of contention for the win in their Red Bull Holden, with mechanical problems curtailing their running during the race.

    Garry Rogers Motorsport’s momentous day became undone when both their cars underwent trauma in the chaotic late stages of the race. Both Garth Tander and James Moffat had their efforts cruelled and likely podium results snatched.

    So fickle is the nature of the Bathurst 1000 and endurance racing as a whole.

    Championship margins narrowed
    Such is the nature of the Bathurst 1000, that the picture of the championship battle has been turned on its head, with the lead changing between DJR Team Penske teammate and going over to Fabian Coulthard.

    A third-place finish for Coulthard has handed the Kiwi a 91-point advantage in the standings, while his rivals in Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin faltered.

    McLaughlin, who had led the championship since the mid-point of the season, drops to third with a 97-point deficit to his teammate – while Whincup retain second.

    Despite this shakeup, the gap across the top five drivers has been reduced drastically, with 289-point spread from Coulthard to Shane van Gisbergen in fifth.

    300-points are on offer for the final endurance race at the Gold Coast 600, with 150-points split across the two races. With the margins having been narrowed, this championship has just invited the likes of Chaz Mostert and Van Gisbergen back into the hunt.

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • Roar Guru

      October 10th 2017 @ 2:21pm
      Bayden Westerweller said | October 10th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

      It was a slow burn in the opening half similar to 2016, though the downpour certainly introduced the unpredictability lacking twelve months earlier until the closing stages.

      As is so frequently the case, pole counts for little and Erebus’ consistency across the weekend whilst maintaining a low profile means the result isn’t as much of a surprise as it might be to some.

      • Roar Guru

        October 10th 2017 @ 7:26pm
        Jawad Yaqub said | October 10th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

        And despite everyone spinning off at Turns 1 and 23, the drivers did well to avoid any carnage in the first two-thirds of the race. Though as soon as one Safety Car is deployed, it concertinas onto several others as it disrupts the rhythm of the race and upsets strategies and what not.

        The curse of pole position as you labelled it! At least the #9 started on the front-row and managed to avoid trouble all day, vindicating somewhat having started at the pointy end of the grid.

    • October 10th 2017 @ 2:28pm
      Garry Edwards said | October 10th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

      I’ve looked at the heading over and over and have sat ion my hands till now!
      And without being derogatory but rather being respectful to the Guru for I for one appreciate the column but alas,The primary key point talking or otherwise should be: SAFETY.
      I recall at GC ~2/3 years ago that T Slade suffered fro heat exhaustion and low and behold again this year at Bathurst. The cars as expressed on numerous times (when the unduly biased commentary team weren’t talking about their beloved Jamie, Craig and the god like T8 team in general) have no ventilation or windscreen clearing system for the driver. Now also if my memory serves me one of those just crucified commentators I was bagging had a hand in this the COTF design. I’m lost for words. It’s certainly not professional but it is an accident possibly death or vegetative stuff waiting too happen And where will the buck stop in that case.
      Further more whilst I’m banging on about the race lets get a few notions and bias out of the way. How many times did anyone hear the names: Pither, Reindler, Russel, A Davison I didn’t! How many times did we hear the names: Dumbrell, Whingingcup, Lowndes, Richards, SVG, Campbell (poor bugger- I felt for him) the answer is numerous and the best part they weren’t even running most of the time and what was even better they weren’t on screen, now I know they spoke of S MaC and DR Coultard Pye Luff but they were contesting the race to the finish save SMaC but he was pole sitter obvious commentary point.
      So where is this going you ask: Well lets see the commentary team is composed of ex Holden drivers, even the verbose one drove Holdens always told the engineer what was wrong with the car butt Jaysus couldn’t drive for the,love of money, but loves his Buddy. Then we have an X Holden dealer team owner who has a love affair with the same bloke, his mate and tells everyone and, loves Holdens, then we have a guy who for some reason can’t speak fluent English but he too drove Holdens and, did you notice the look on CW face when he was asked if he” thought he and his pier,peer, pair teeerr, tear, were good together CW, like you, just now was bewildered the expression said it all: WTF did you just ask? It was simply euphoric.
      And the best part is there more too come at the GC 600.
      So take note of the deliberate bias, jot it down, check the times and percentages and check the intricate detail i.e. Craig as opposed to Lowndes and you will hear through deaf ears.
      Soo, there’s my talking points.
      Yes! I’m bitching and justifiably so and as such because I’m sick of the bias the cars will race to the sounds of Liszt or maybe Canarvan both sublime composers/ musicians without bias or verbosity.

      • Roar Guru

        October 10th 2017 @ 7:41pm
        Jawad Yaqub said | October 10th 2017 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

        Thanks for the feedback as always mate, it is greatly appreciated.

        Kudos to Tim Slade and BJR sticking it out with their problems during the race, but as you say it wasn’t ideal and considering they started the weekend on the back-foot having had that early crash – the effort cannot be discounted. As far as safety as an issue is concerned, I had raised it quite heavily following the Sandown 500 with the multiple crashes that occurred there. Slade’s dilemma was with a failed cool suit, which seems to happen even in Formula One on occasion. One argument could be that why didn’t he just get Heimgartner into the car and get a new cool suit on? Interesting point though that you have raised.

        Broadcast commentators are always going to talk up the front-running drivers and its the same in other motorsports too. Sky Sports UK and Lewis Hamilton is an example of partial rhetoric. If asked personally, drivers such as Chris Pither and Karl Reindler are highly regarded in my books – with Pither doing a solid job alongside Dale Wood to achieve fourth at Bathurst.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 6:21pm
      Garry Edwards said | October 11th 2017 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

      Much appreciated from you sorry I went off a bit but..,. and yeah you’re absolutely right about Hamilton and dare I say it he’s the reason I no longer watch F1. Ggggrrrrrrrrr.
      But I shall enjoy the Chinese Blancpain this weekend.

      • Roar Guru

        October 11th 2017 @ 8:45pm
        Jawad Yaqub said | October 11th 2017 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

        No need to apologise. We all get frustrated with certain facets of all sports at times and forums such as this are where we can air them!

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