Winning Bathurst for the seventh time – how about that?
Any success in Supercars is all about team work – the crew who design, build and maintain the car, as well as the guys and girls making the right calls on race day, and everyone in between – it’s always a collective effort.
Also, I can’t forget my partner in crime behind the wheel, Steve Richards, who notched up his fifth Bathurst 1000 win, after putting in an amazing effort all weekend long.
It was obviously a challenging event for everyone, with wet weather impacting the lead up to race day.
Basically, dry weather running was restricted to qualifying, the final hour of practice, as well as the race day warm up, so we were incredibly reliant on the boffins in the team to figure out the ideal race car setup.
Fortunately, our Commodore was right on the money come the race start, and we had the speed to run right amongst the leaders all day long.
Bathurst places unique demands on the car that we can’t replicate anywhere else – from the loads across the top of The Mountain to speeds of around 300km/h into the Chase, the tyres especially are punished.
The trade off in all forms of motorsport is ultimately speed versus reliability; the more aggressive suspension geometry becomes, the higher the chances of excess tyre wear, and ultimately failure.
Fortunately for our 888 machine, we had pace, but also exceptional tyre life, which came into its own the longer the race developed.
Because Bathurst is our biggest event of the year, both in terms of race length and off-track activities, it is important roll into race week refreshed and ready to go.
A tradition we have developed over the years is to pack up the caravan and cruise down the Pacific Highway, taking in some relaxation time (and fishing) en route to the great race.
One of the unfortunate things we constantly see in our travels are cars stuck on the side of the road, suffering a variety of issues that could easily be prevented with a pre-trip inspection.
While most people will keep an eye on the condition of the tyres on their road car (not forgetting the spare), often caravans or camper trailers can be left neglected, which can quickly unravel the fun of a road trip.
Even if the tyre has good grip and holds air, have a closer look at their condition.
Because they might not get used as often as you would like, time can perish the older tyres on your trailer, so it’s very easy to wind up in a spot of trouble.
It’s something that is especially important coming up to the Christmas holidays, when seemingly all of Australia hits the road – so why not get in early and looked at before the busy December life takes over?
Keep it safe on the roads, and I hope to see you trackside soon!