As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Motor Sport

A Star On The Horizon: Hugh Barter.

Karting is one of the avenues that aspiring motorsport drivers utilise in order to potentially further a racing career. In Australia many of the top tier Supercars drivers came from the karting ranks. For Formula 1, it’s a similar progression, and of course there are the feeder categories such as Formula 4.

Melbourne based teenager and kart racer Hugh Barter is one of those with the dream, and with the aspiration to move into Formula 4. The end game here is Formula 1.
Like many, Hugh isn’t a single category driver. He’s competing in two championships in an effort to both broaden the racing experience and to gain insight into how different organisations work.
Japanese born Hugh has been interested and racing in karts for over a decade. At the age of three Hugh attended a race event at Phillip Island and was captivated by the small yet rapid karts. A race simulator on site quickly had the youngster drawing a crowd as he battled both the just too far away pedals and a simulated Mount Panorama.Gaming simulators at home followed and helped Hugh develop his love and his racing techniques. On his fifth birthday a kart was a main present and at the age of seven, the minimum age requirement to obtain a kart driving license, he was able to properly get out on the tarmac and put those simulated hours to good use.

One of the aims for 2020 and one still possibly available depending on the global Covid-19 situation, is a trip to France to represent Australia in December. The event is the Richard Mille Shootout, and if that name looks familiar, it’s one found on the sides of the cockpits of F1 cars.The Swiss based watchmaking company is also responsible for the Richard Mille Young Talent Academy, and it’s the bridging point between karting and F4. What marks Hugh’s attendance here is something to consider: only one person from a country is selected and from Australia, Hugh is that person.

But to get there requires more than the occasional weekend blat on a kart track. Naturally there’s no chance of Hugh relying on a monthly run, instead he’s out every weekend and either practicing or competing in the Rotax Pro Tour and the Australian Karting Championship.It’s the Rotax Pro Tour that has opened the door to the international aspirations for Hugh. However, for 2020 the tour has been postponed, whereas he’s been able to get one Australian series event under the tyres.

That was at the karting circuit at Tailem Bend, the new and spectacular circuit near the capital of South Australia, Adelaide. Competing in the KA2 Junior category and racing a kart backed by Ricciardo Karts (http://www.ricciardokart.com/) under the banner of Patrizicorse, run by Michael Patrizi, the weekend would prove to be a testing one due to inclement weather and a lack of trackside vegetation allowing dirt and sand to be blown across the tarmac.Hugh would claim his first overall round victory in this category. Hugh says the schedule for such a weekend is quite intense, especially with categories oversubscribed.
With four qualifying heats and with placings counting towards the final race grid positions, Hugh says the 12 laps in each before a final race count of 20 are crucial in ensuring a better finish.

Technical knowledge in motorsport is also crucial in assisting a team’s setup. In the case of karting, that team tends to consist of the driver and perhaps one or two others. Hugh describes the difference between racing in the Rotax Pro Tour and the Australian Championships in a mental preparation sense as not being that different.

What is different is the driving styles required as the Rotax series runs a different engine and tyre package to the karts in the Australian series. Grip levels, performance levels, and even a driver’s physical size make a difference in how a kart is set up and this is an area that Hugh has nailed down.What happens for Hugh for the rest of 2020 will now depend on the world’s Covid-19 situation. The goal, still, is to travel to France and have a tilt at the Richard Mille Shootout.
Backed by father Chris, and mother Natsuki, Hugh Barter has his sights firmly set on one goal, and that is to be a Formula 1 championship winner. (Pictures courtesy of Pace Images and Chris Barter). http://credit-n.ru/trips.html

Azerbaijan F1 Postponed, Where Now For 2020?

The latest update for the 2020 F1 season is that the round scheduled for Azerbaijan in June has now also been postponed. This is the round that the organisers had tentatively penciled in as the start round after the Australian, Bahrain, Vietnam, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix had all been sidelined.

However, Baku City officials have been working with F1, FIA, and World Health Organisation staff, and have concluded that this date appears to be no longer suitable as a starting point for 2020. Given that this takes the season close to the halfway point, a decision on what will happen in regards to the structure must be made soon.Chase Carey, the CEO of Formula 1, said in a statement released on March 19, said: “At the meeting there was full support for the plans to reschedule as many of the postponed races as possible as soon as it is safe to do so. Formula 1 and the FIA will now work to finalise a revised 2020 calendar and will consult with the teams, but as agreed at the meeting the revised calendar will not require their formal approval. This will give us the necessary flexibility to agree revised timings with affected race promoters and to be ready to start racing at the right moment.

What this means for the rules and regulations that were set to be implemented for 2021 have now been pushed back to 2022. It also puts a cloud over the mooted driver and team swaps. One thing that has come out as almost certain is that the drivers for 2021 are very likely to be the same as those in 2020. There had been talk that Lewis Hamilton may have gone from silver to red, however this appears to now be virtually impossible. The key reason is simple: the cars to be raced in 2021 have to use the same chassis as those developed for this year’s season. With early testing seeming to forecast the Mercedes chassis would be superior to the Ferrari’s, it would make no sense, apart from potentially a huge financial incentive, for Ferrari to open the door to the current world champion. This is crucial in the context that Hamilton is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of 2020, and it’s rumoured that the team would aim for a two year deal to carry Hamilton through the time required to stabilise under the forthcoming regulations.

Adding to the confusion is the constant murmurs that Ferrari will drop Sebastian Vettel, also out of contract come December 2020, and say hello to Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian is on a two year contract at Renault and after a sub-standard, by his standards, 2019, the lure of a top tier team surely must be strong. However the crux of this is what Ferrari would wish for Vettel. If talk that Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto has stated Vettel is their choice to drive alongside Charles Leclerc is true, then this would appear to lock down Ferrari for 2021 at least.Red Bull have no such issue as both Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon are pencilled in for the next couple of years.McLaren also appear to be stable with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris however the Ferrari equation comes into play with Sainz. His name also has been floated as a possible for the Italian team but there’s not much else to suggest anything other than simply conjecture.

Alfa Romeo are another team with a question mark and that is in the form of Kimi Raikonnen. He’s out of contract at year’s end, and turns 41 in October. This combination, plus a lacklustre 2019, may be enough for the Finnish driver to call time on a stellar career. What this means for Alfa Romeo is who to select to slot next to Antonio Giovinazzi, and could they throw a rope to Nico Hulkenberg? Or, even more intriguing is the possibility of signing one M. Schumacher. Mick has been driving well and has been garnering attention. http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/joymoney-srochnye-online-zaymi.html

Who's Hugh? An Aussie On The Rise Barters For The Future.

Go-karting is one of the avenues that many high level drivers have used to enter motorsport. Be they a V8 Supercar driver or in the F1 family, karting is in the bloodline of many. One of the high profile Australians in motorsport, Daniel Ricciardo, started in karting.There’s a “new kid on the block” in the form of Hugh Barter. Aged 13, Barter already has close to a decade’s worth of karting experience, and is looking to drive in the upper echelons of motorsport. Hugh was admitted to the AWC Motorsport Academy earlier this year. The academy has joined with former V8 Supercars driver Marcus Ambrose to help train and coach the “next generation” of drivers.

Hugh’s path to the academy has included the Rotax Pro Tour. 2019 sees him in his second year in the Junior Max class, a category recognised around the globe for junior drivers. The tour kicked off in Port Melbourne and proved to be a challenge first up. Round 2 of the tour and Round 1 of the Australian Kart Championship in Ipswich, Queensland, showed promise in each of the heats however mechanical issues arose and took Barter out of contention in most of the heats. These hiccups has Hugh start in 11th in the round’s final race, and it all came together with the chequered flag seeing Hugh across the line in 1st.

Rounds at Eastern Creek and Newcastle had good results, with high placings getting Barter up into the top 3 of the championships. Extra experience came with Barter running two different karts. KA4 Junior Light Class and KA3 Junior Class are configured for different weight and grip levels. This flexibility has paid dividends with the rest of the season seeing Barter improve and gain some valuable points to finish overall in 5th in the Pro Tour over halfway into the season and was in 2nd in the Karting Championships.Puckapunyal in Victoria played host to Round 4 of the Rotax Pro Tour and Barter was in a new kart from Praga. Immediately there was improvement and the weekend finished with Hugh up into 3rd overall.

Results in his career so far now have Hugh Barter ready to head to Italy this month to represent Australia in the Rotax World Titles. With his experience in both time and the different classes, Barter is looking to use this trip to further his ambitions in motorsport. You can follow his progress via hughbarter.com.au http://credit-n.ru/zaymi-na-kartu-blog-single.html

Race Academy International Is Ready To Go Live.

In the minds of many in the automotive and motorsport families, driver education and driver training should be mandatory past the basic driving test. Racing drivers around the world, from karters to Formula Ford and Formula Vee, from Production Touring Cars to Supercars, practice, practice, practice, their driving, finessing and honing their skills.

http://www.raceacademyinternational.com/Race Academy International is a major subscriber to the driver education school of thought. But there is more to this fledgling organisation that teaching people how to be a better driver.

Founded in mid 2018, RAI will be holding its first event in 2019. To be held at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 28, RAI will be seeing a group of candidates in various classes put through their paces, all under the watchful eye of a selection of Australia’s best driver trainers and motorsport pilots.

But if there’s no goal to achieve, why bother? RAI do have an end goal, and it will take a driver that is adjudged the best in their class through to a racing drive. A longer term goal is to have a driver placed into an international competitive drive in 2022.The team members that will be part and parcel of Race Academy International are varied in age and experience. All have one thing in common, and that’s to utilise the vast collective of knowledge each possesses and shares, to see a winner become a better driver, and an inspiration. Amongst them is Trevor Mirabito, founder and director of RAI, and with years of driver training experience behind him across a number of different race tracks, will lead a great team. There’s Gary Mennell, well known in racing circles as both a driver, but, importantly, a team manager. Important because entrants will be graded on their social interaction, how they deal with others and how they receive feedback. It is, essentially, why there is “No I in team”.

But there was big news in late 2018 and early 2019. A former British Formula 3 driver, Sam Abay; former V8 Supercar driver, Lee Holdsworth, and current Erebus driver, Anton de Pasquale, have joined RAI as mentors for the event. They assist drivers in the four categories on offer. Freshman, Clubman, State, and Ultra will look at driver skill, their feedback, how they cope with media training, and will complete driving sessions with their qualified instructors.The winner of the Freshman group will drive in three E36 BMW rounds, with the Clubman winner being entered into two rounds of the Production Touring Cars Endurance as a co-driver. State level winners will be entered into the 2019 season of the Production Touring Car series (excluding the season opener in February, of course), with the Ultra winner being placed into a fully paid up round of the 2019 Performax TA2 Muscle Car series.

Check out the website for more details. http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/denga-zaimy-nalichnimi.html

Doors Opening For New Racers Through Race Academy International

Fangio. Brabham. Schumacher. Senna. Webber. Johnson. Brock. Recognise a few names? They all have one thing in common and no, it’s not the massive talent they displayed in their prime. Each and every driver had training, and lots of it. Some race drivers try and try and try and get nowhere because their talent, as good as it may be, may not be good enough. The few, the lucky few, that do, have that extra special percent that has the right door open.

However, there is a new race door opening and it’s one that will still require talent. Race Academy International is a new operation and staffed by people that, collectively, have more racing experience in the blood than many of us can ever comprehend. Key to its success is the sheer spread of the instructors brought on board to help interested drivers open one of the four doors RAI has available. It’s a genuine, and real, driver’s academy, where scores are weighed up by the instructors after each applicant is put through a stringent series of tests.Door one is just $990 and the Freshman level will look at car setup, feedback to the instructors, reviewing and interpreting data, plus a full half day session at Sydney Motorsport Park which includes two 15 minute trackwork tests. Just to add extra spice, a problem solving session with an engineer during a data review will be conducted.

Door 2 is the Clubman, at $1850, and looking at drivers that perhaps already have had some track time and need or want to improve upon that. There will be more intensive scoring and, in addition, a media training session and debrief interview with a motorsport journalist. Finally, any flags that a driver must need to know about on a race track will be covered in a training session.

More experienced drivers can opt for door 3 or 4, with the State and Ultra sessions especially tuned for those that have that, the experience, and the mental drive to win. All sessions in each level are scored and runners up will be formally recognised and awarded. Costs here are just $2850 and $2200.Some of the people doing the training have oil and petrol running in their veins. Matt Shylan, a regular competitor at Sydney Motorsport Park, is a relative late starter, competing in motorkhanas at the age of 12. Highly respected river, team manager, and experienced in motorsport PR, Gary Mennell brings 30 years of experience to RAI. Josh Muggleton was a competitor in the Nissan GT Academy International, has raced at Bathurst, and works with the Trackschool driver training group. Linda Devlin brings an extensive CV to RAI, with endurance racing, historic racing, and numerous class racing wins. Linda started competing at just 8 years of age.

Further information about this exciting initiative can be found here.

http://credit-n.ru/credit-card-single-tinkoff-platinum.html

Australia Has A New Motorsport Category.

Australia’s motorsport history is rich, diverse, and populated with plenty of examples of home grown thundering machines. There’s been inspiration from overseas and perhaps none more well known than the Formula 5000 series that ran in various parts of the world. There was the Tasman series, a yearly duel on track between Australia and New Zealand with the F5000 cars. But after a lengthy spell in the garage and a couple of stumbles in the last couple of years, Australia now has a rebirth of the F5000.

Welcome to our circuits, in 2019, the S5000.

The Super5000 car itself is a stunningly good looking open wheel design, and will be powered by a 5.0L V8 “Coyote” engine sourced from Ford. Australia’s Hollinger will supply the sequential six speed manual transmission, and grip comes from massive rubber front and rear, with the tyres at the powered end measuring seventeen inches in width whilst the front will be measured at twelve inches across. A carbon fibre body, complete with the FIA mandated “halo” comes from the noted French based chassis builder pairing of Onroak-Ligier and Australia’s Borland Racing will be responsible for the engineering and integration of their components into the French supplied parts.

To be run under the auspices of CAMS, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, the newly formed Australian Racing Group will oversee the category, with well known and highly respected magazine publisher and former racer Chris Lambden the category manager. The car itself is the brainchild of Chris, with the original Formula Thunder concept eventually morphing into this S5000 vehicle. Part of the expected driver’s appeal for the racing aspect will come from a deliberately restrained aero package, with moderate levels of down-force meaning the driver’s ability is more of the package and not electronically dialed out.Safety, of course, is not overlooked. The aforementioned halo is an integral part of the carbon composite body structure and there’s a solidly engineered floor-pan to add strength and rigidity. Overall length is 4900mm, and the S5000 will roll on a 3000mm wheelbase. They’ll be wide, too, at 1950mm. The engine is a sealed unit, meaning that mechanical tweaks will be zero. Power will peak at 560 horsepower and torque will be 460 ft-lbs (418kW and 624Nm).

Mechanically the power-plant will feature a front mounted drop gear set that will lower the overall engine height. This means the engine can be set lower in the chassis and aid the car’s centre of gravity as part of the handling setup. The Hollinger transmission will be a transaxle, with the outer structure also housing suspension mounting points and shock absorption.The actual racing calendar is yet to be confirmed however updates can be sourced by registering at the S5000 website.
(Images courtesy of the ARG, S5000.com.au, and SS Media) http://credit-n.ru/forex.html

F1 2018 Movements And News In The Mid-season.

The mid season break is heading towards its end and there’s been plenty happening. The latest news has been expected yet still of sadness for F1 followers. Fernando Alonso, at the age of 37, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the 2018 season. It will also be the conclusion of his 17th competitive season in F1.
The rumours that swirled through the F1 paddock in the first half of the season all pointed towards a confirmation to be made. However it’s also a surprise as Alonso says: “”I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.”

Alonso has alluded to 2019 being a year of new challenges, which potentially could be again rumours being confirmed that he will make the move to IndyCar racing on a permanent basis.
Alonso started with the now defunct Minardi team at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix. He’s a double F1 championship winner, having taken the crown in 2005 and 2006. He’s placed second in the championship three times and has 32 wins, 22 pole positions, and has stood upon the podium 97 times so far.

Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault in 2018 is still clouded with acrimony. Part of this comes from within the team he’s signed with for the next two years, with team principal Cyril Abitetoul admitting that their own engine development hasn’t been as successful as it should have been.
“I believe indeed that we underestimated the potential of the current engine regulations, let’s put it this way,” Abiteboul said. “We are now four years into this engine regulation and after four years you would expect that you would see the flattening out of the development curve.”

Red Bull then seems to have potentially dodged the proverbial bullet with its decision to source powerplants from Honda. The current reliability issues and uncertainty about Renault’s engine development then hover over some of the Perth born driver’s decision to leave Red Bull. However Honda’s engines also haven’t been perfect so there’s question marks aplenty for both the team and the exiting driver.


Force India’s financial woes have been assuaged thanks to a buy-out lead by Lawrence Stroll (above) the father of F1 Williams team driver Lance Stroll. A consortium, and a powerhouse one at that, signed off on the buy-out in early August. Thankfully this also has resulted in over four hundred employees not losing the ir job, and all creditors are reported to have been fully paid out. This means the Silverstone, UK, based team, will be back out on track at the resumption of the season at the Belgian F1 GP at the end of August. http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/otlnal-microzaimi.html

Opening The Door To Motorsport.

Motorsport in Australia is thriving in some areas, not so in others. There’s categories and events that many would not be aware of, yet they’re at full strength. The one make Hyundai Excel series is one, FoSC or Festival of the Sporting Car is another. State level motorsport country wide is flourishing with the champions of the next generation out there in their Formula Vee, Formula Ford, perhaps their Formula 3 or Formula 4. There’s young ladies and gentlemen campaigning in a near fifty year old Holden HQ from Barbagallo to Baskerville, and veteran drivers such as John Bowe racing in all sorts of cars at all sorts of events.Molly Taylor is driving her rally specced and prepped Subaru in rallies around the country, and of course we have just seen Perth’s Daniel Ricciardo win at the Monaco F1 GP, and Will Power creating history by being the first Australian to win the Indy 500. Underlying all of these events is one crucial component. The officials working in front and from behind the scenes.

A huge proportion of how a motor sport event is built and staffed is thanks to officials that give up their time to be a part of the world’s biggest family. The family of motorsport. I recently wrote an article for Australia’s biggest aftermarket spare parts for classic cars company,Rare Spares article , where I talked to three people at various stages of their motorsport careers. Each of the three will state unequivocally that they simply can NOT go racing without the volunteer trackside officials.Here’s some points of view from those that are the steel behind motorsport.

Carolyn: “In 1998 I won tickets to Oran Park truck races from my ISP and got bored watching so I asked the girl at pit in how she got the job. She sent me to the office who referred me to timing. It was great fun and I’ve been to many events and race/ rally locations since. Highly recommend it.”

Marcus: “I’ve been around motorsport all my life. Dad raced Speedway on Tassie when I was younger.. Dad was also a track marshal so as a young bloke in Sydney first time spent many hours at Amaroo and Oran Park playing in the dirt as you do at a young age.. In November 1987 I had my first experience on a flagpoint at Baskerville and I was hooked.Did my first Bathurst 1000 in 1988 as a 15 year old what a eye opener.. In the years since I’ve been around Australia flagging at ATCC and Supercars.. For last 10 years ago I started doing more lower key events and clubbies because there was more satisfaction.. I still do the occasional big event but love doing club events… I’ve been blessed to have many mentors in my journey, obviously my father David and my Uncle Ted that taught me basically everything.. I’m very proud to be Fire & Recovery trained on top of my flagging… I’m at peace when I’m track side.”

Evan: “I started in Newcastle as a steward in 1978 with Newcastle Sporting Car Club, later also as a scrutineer and Clerk of Course – mainly rally, khana-cross and hill-climb. After moving to Sydney in 1986 my focus changed to circuits, with a little of the others still on the side. Sydney is a totally different beast to Newcastle – however having been NSCC’s State Council Delegate enabled me to get to know the right people of the time. Joining the ARDC was also of significant benefit as well as participation in a number of State panels. Basically like so many things in life, networking and training and proving yourself to the right people reaps rewards.”Cody: “I got into motorsport through a long time friend and fellow volunteer firefighter for the NSW Rural Fire Service. We both volunteered as fire marshals, he quit and here I am here 16yrs later still officiating. After we joined came as a officials no, because our RFS training used as recognition of prior learning.”

Corey: “Always had an interest and wanted to be apart of motorsport but never had the money to drive so i choose the next best thing to be involved and now wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Teena: “ Used to work in the field & wanted to be involved again.It’s interesting to note a big part of being an official is the training aspect. CAMS, The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, is located in offices around the country and have a solid training program for beginners through to upper echelon players. Start off with CAMS here

Circuits around the country have events where at a driver’s level, a potential official can see what it’s like to be on the tarmac. Sydney Motor Sport Park have a slightly more focused option. Called Startline, it showcases aspects of the western Sydney located track that many would not otherwise get to see. People get to meet well established officials, get a guided tour of the venue, have explanations of which roles can be available and how Australian motorsport officials have traveled to international motor sport events such as the F1 Grand Prix. It’s completely free and is highly recommended for anyone that wishes to become a trackside official. Here’s where you can get on to the Startline

Me? I’ve worked trackside at the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix as a communications marshall. This is the link between trackside and race control, the eyes and ears, that reports incidents and advises race control of the status of what’s happening. I’ve worked at Rally Australia, Barbagallo Raceway, Oran Park, Bathurst, and have been the “voice” of Sydney Motor Sport Park since 2004. And like everyone mentioned here, I started by having a door open.

Come and join our family. The motorsport family.

(A big thanks to the officials that gave of their time, surnames for privacy reason have been deleted). http://credit-n.ru/debitovaya-karta.html

The Green Hell.

Every country has a racetrack that is loved, respected, and wanted to be raced upon by anyone from armchair console players to professional drivers. Australia has Mount Panorama, The US perhaps Laguna Seca as the pick. Britain has a few including Silverstone, and then there’s Germany’s Nürburgring.The location is steeped in history and can trace its origin back to the 1920s. Races were held on the roads and run under the auspices of the ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V). The Eifelrenen was an annual race that started in 1922. Held on 33 kilometres of public roads the mounting toll of damage and fatalities from this and other forms or racing lead to the founding of the original Nürburgring in 1927.

The original circuit had 187 bends and a distance of 28.265 kilometres. Bugatti driver Louis Chiron managed the quickest time and averaged 112.3 kilometres per hour. However, due to ongoing safety concerns, in 1929 it was decided to race only on the 22.8 kilometre Nordschleife for major races such as Grands Prix. The Südschleife, or South Ring, would host motorcycle and minor races on its separate 7.747 kilometre surface.

World War 2 intervened but racing recommenced in 1947. The Nordschleife would play host to the German Grand Prix. Names such as Alberto Ascari, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jacky Ickx, Jacky Stewart, and John Surtees were soon made famous and took over the mantle of Ringmeister, a title given to drivers of pre WW2.
In the 1961 German Grand Prix practice sessions, Phil Hill became the first driver to slide under the nine minute mark and had a speed of 153.4 km/h. But by 1967 safety concerns had again been raised and modifications to the circuit were put in place. Regardless, the changes weren’t enough to placate the driving fraternity, with Scotsman Stewart dubbing the circuit “The Green Hell” after a rain soaked 1968 German Grand Prix, which, incidentally, Stewart won.More changes were made however the Nordschleife gained immortal notoriety in 1976. Although a decision had been made to make the 1976 GP the final one raced on the circuit, Austrian Niki lauda had tried to raise his co-drivers to a boycott level. The race went ahead in rainy conditions, and Lauda lost control of his Ferrari, crashing into the wall. Lauda was trapped and the ensuing fire nearly claimed his life.

Further track work reduced the overall length and in 1981 a new circuit was built which happened to incorporate part of the old circuits pit complex. Even this circuit called GP-Strecke was modified, extending the length from 4.5 km to 5.2 km. The circuit also has the distinction of becoming just the second circuit to name a turn after a driver, in this case turns 8 and 9 becoming the Schumacher S. http://credit-n.ru/calc.html

End of an era: 2017 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

There should be a sense of occasion about the 2017 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. There should be a sense of majesty, of pride, of nostalgia…and perhaps there will be for those that follow what is now called, merely, Supercars, and for those that attend the yearly event that is seen as the pinnacle of motorsport in Australia, at the fabled Mount Panorama.

My earliest experiences of what was to become a significant part of my motorsport career were of watching highlights of the Hardie-Ferodo 500 on one of the just three tv channels available in Perth during the 1970s. Channel 7 would run a package from late Saturday night through to race start on the Sunday morning (early, Perth time) whilst I, bleary eyed and barely awake, would watch the blurry, grainy, images on our 48cm black and white tv screen.As times and technology changed, the quality would improve, colour was the norm, and the sound of the cars would be better. We’d have different camera views, more overhead shots from the choppers, in-car cameras, and people that didn’t follow motorsport would be able to name at least six of the drivers. We saw the racing move from Production Car style racing to the Group C to the international Group A to effectively Holden versus Ford to five manufacturers with racing cars loosely based on production cars.

Now…we have five main channels and a raft of subsidiary channels delivered digitally. We have pay television, we have internet capable access and we have a category so far from its heyday that the impact it once had on a viewing audience and the attraction that once had grandstands full of bums on seats simply don’t exist anymore. Yes, there are the dedicated followers of motorsport, and there are those that can still tell you at least six names, but for the everyday Mr and Mrs Jones, the Supercars, the racing, and the lure of the mountain just aren’t there as they were once.

Australia’s primary non free to air television source is delivering, in the days before “The Great Race”, replays of previous races and highlights of the sport. This gives us a great comparison of what was, what is, and eyes off the “what will be” because in 2018 the rules change again. Holden and Ford, as two of the three manufacturers still making cars in Australia until 2016, when Ford ceased local manufacturing, will have their final Aussie built look alikes on track. Nissan, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz once raced cars with five litre V8s, as per the category rules, even though two of the brands never released production based cars with that engine.

People knew that and some of the gloss wore off, the appeal waned, and the numbers of bums on seats diminished at tracks. The move towards a non free to air delivery diversified a once captive market audience and for many, the need to pay for access to a product once “live and free” was the stopping point. Advertising for the category seems almost non-existent but, again, for the dedicated follower they’d not need to have advertising because they’d know where to get information.

2018 sees Holden race a car with a design no longer based on an Australian based, front engined and rear wheel drive, V8 optional, production car. Instead they’ll race a turbocharged V6 engine chassis. The category rules have once again changed that having a V8 engine ONLY is now not the norm. The rules now also allow a non four door sedan, and with Ford selling just about every Mustang they’ve imported over the last two years, there’s a fair chance we’ll see that shape on race tracks. BUT, but, the rules stipulate cars MUST be built on a common chassis, effectively making the cars we’ll see on racing tracks in 2018 visually different outside but engines aside, the same (more or less) underneath.Nissan raced a chassis based on a car that wasn’t, in Australia, ever available with a V8. Volvo and Mercedes-Benz withdrew after the 2016 season, and Ford branded cars raced without Ford Australia factory support. So in 2017, at “The Great Race”, we’ll see, for the final time, a fully V8 powered field in Supercars, at Mount Panorama. But where’s the sense of loss, of sadness, of regret, the sense of pondering what was once a broad ranging appeal category?

Talk to anyone with a loose affiliation with motorsport and you’ll get a range of answers. You’ll also get a common theme….the cars that drew us to Bathurst every year are no longer relevant. Large sedans such as the Commodore and Falcon barely ripple the sales charts, SUVs and four wheel drive utes are what people buy and the win on Sunday, sell on Monday mentality that once (no pun intended) drove sales is no longer with us.Sunday the eighth of October, 2017, should be a day of occasion, a day of looking back at of over fifty years of history with an appreciation of what was, and a want for what will be. For me, that’s not the case and judging by the numbers of people that no longer show up at circuits around the country, it will really only be the dedicated and those that work with motorsport that may shed a tear.

Post event note: the 2017 event was won by David Reynolds and Luke Youlden after polesitter and expcted winner Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat’s number 17 car had engine failure  and retired on lap 72. Viewer numbers weren’t vastly different from the years shown.

2007 1.357 million
2008 1.249 million
2009 1.182 million
2010 1.046 million
2011 1.212 million
2012 1.253 million
2013 1.263 million
2014 1.351 million
http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/online-zaym-na-kartu-payps.html