OK first a bit of info for those of you who don't know what happens in this sleepy country town once a year...
Originally at single 500 mile endurance race on public roads, through the years the bathurst 1000 (km after oz went metric) has become one of if not the motor-racing event in the aussie motorsport calendar.
The main event is now a race solely for Holdens (vauxhall to you poms) and ford over 161 laps of this crazy 6km circuit that goes up mount panorama and then back down the other side. The circuit is still a public road during the rest of the year but for obvious reasons is now surfaced more in the way that conventional race circuits are these days. Despite this it is still pretty hair-raising with huge elevation changes and a straight that allows speeds of about 300kmh.
Anyway enough of the technical stuff...
Mark and I started of from Melbourne at about half six on Wednesday morning, collecting Rob as part of our convoy along the way and made it to Bathurst some 11 hours later, allowing for a couple of stops on the way to see a submarine and a dog (see accompanying photo album). Once settled into the house we were renting for the wekend we went for a meal at the Waratah where they allow you to draw on the tablecloths (ish) so attempts were made to draw famous race circuits to pass the time while we waited for our meals. After failing miserably at this we then move on to F1 GP driver hangman and then ate, chatting up the waitress in the process before getting an early night.
As Mark was scrutineering for the whole weekend, Thursday largely consisted of Rob showing me round the circuit while all the different categories go some practice laps in and looking through what the merchandise stands had to offer before the crowds descended later in the weekend.
The evening then consisted of me cooking my now internationally acclaimed chilli con carne at which point Paul arrived with the kids, (another) Mark and Nathan. A relatively early night was had, or would have been if little Mark didn't keep me up talking until 1am...
At this point I'm going to stop and do the rest of the weekend in separate entry(s) before this turns into a dissertation, so stay turned for the next installment of Bathurst Nights: the ballad of Ricky Burdy...