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    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    Default Bathurst 12 Hour 2015

    Have been watching my recording of the 12 hour at Bathurst last week – what a revelation! I turned it on expecting a gaggle of “production” EVOs, WRXs, little BMWs, a couple of Aussie V8s, and a couple of exotics trying to last for 12 hours.
    To see a 50 car field mainly of quality GT cars, Ferraris, Audis, Bentleys, Nissan GTRs, etc, and with a big number of international drivers and teams, left me a bit stunned. I know I didn’t see any of it last year, but it has really transformed in the last few years, obviously.

    I was going to skim through the replay to catch the good bits, but have spent the week watching it from start to finish. And thanks to Channel Seven for the full coverage. Except for missing the action between 2nd, 3rd and 4th on the last corner, when the camera followed the leader across the finish line. I think the guy in 4th or 5th came second, somehow.

    Yes, there were too many Safety Cars, but that is motor racing in the current form.

    It would appear from some comments of international drivers and teams, that this event is now regarded very highly overseas, and one of them said it was now the premier event for GT/GT3 cars. It was certainly a great event, and I think I might make the effort to get there next year. It seems like an ideal combination of cars and track to suit each other.

    Without being too vitriolic (as I also enjoy V8 Supercars), it was interesting that they (V8s) had a compulsory test day in Sydney on the same day, which eliminated many of Australia’s top drivers from competing. V8 Supercars spin is that it was planned around other events, but there is that underlying feeling of “not wanting to be out-done” in many people’s minds. I don’t like that sort of restrictive commercialism in the sport. For instance, I believe the Nissan team would have liked to have their local drivers in the GTRs, but that couldn’t happen.

    Cheers.

    Edit: And Mercedes - I forgot the Mercedes. With Betty Klemenko there having a good day, and loving being dubbed The First lady of Australian Motorsport!

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    Last edited by Fordman; 16th February 2015 at 09:29 PM.
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    On the flip side, are we not sick of seeing all the V8 Supercar drivers automatically getting the seats in the 12hr, or other non V8SC championship events. At least this gave us an opportunity to see other international drivers and in some cases, perhaps the lack of V8SC drivers gave more local talent a chance to get a drive that otherwise might not have?
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    I watched it live, all day, I didn't intend to but it was such a good race I kept saying just 1 more hour and I'll switch off. I thought it made the V8's a joke. These are much more closer to the production cars than the V8's and so much faster. Plus they did 12hrs 1500 kms not 8hrs and only 1000, and there so much faster than the V8's

    Best part was the mixture of makes, V8, V12, V6turbo, 4 wheel drive, rear wheel drive, some were faster up the mountain some down and the whole time watching for back markers.

    Fantanstic event, what Bathurst use to be before GM and Ford started sooking to CAMS that they can't beat the imports.

    It was a bit of Renault verses VW though. Renault own Nissan and VW own Bentley, Audi & Lamborghini.
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    I thought it was the best Bathurst race I've seen for ages, where there seemed to be a compelling reason to keep watching rather than drift in and out as with the V8 Supercars. One way of minimising the number of safety cars would have been to eliminate those pesky Mazda RX-8s! Otherwise it had everything, from dodgy decisions, such as why didn't the Audi get a penalty for punting the MARC car, through Betty "Flamenco" giving young talent a go in a competitive car rather than experimenting with more imports, right down to a total surprise finish!

    It'll be interesting to see where V8 Supercars goes when they go Gen 2, on one hand it supports the Aussie motorsport manufacturing industries, but on the other it still ends up being a uniquely Australian formula, so quite expensive. GT cars being effectively "off the peg" are *relatively* cheap and offer the chance for international exposure to up and coming drivers.

    It is interesting to note for the upcoming Adelaide Clipsal race, the Australian GT Championship race is oversubscribed, 40 odd entries for 34 spaces on the grid. Hopefully it continues to capture the imagination of the punters, as it is great to see such a selection of different marques, all with different attributes producing similar lap times, as well as a wide range of drivers all having a go.
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    Now that there are to be no Australian manufacturers and V8's are ecologically unsound as "sedan" cars (rather than fantastic in "real sports cars") one wonders if the whole Supercar thing just appeals to the bogan TV watching empire. I haven't watched the (not so) Supercars for years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Cavanagh View Post
    Plus they did 12hrs 1500 kms not 8hrs and only 1000, and there so much faster than the V8's

    i.
    to put some numbers on it: V8 supercar lap record: 2m 7s. Fastest lap 24hr: 2m 3s.
    and that with the advantage of 4wd, paddle shift, overhead cams, no mandated rev limiter, and 2 turbo chargers.

    not that i wish to detract from the truly stunning performance:$$$ ratio of the Nissan GTR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    to put some numbers on it: V8 supercar lap record: 2m 7s. Fastest lap 24hr: 2m 3s.
    and that with the advantage of 4wd, paddle shift, overhead cams, no mandated rev limiter, and 2 turbo chargers.

    not that i wish to detract from the truly stunning performance:$$$ ratio of the Nissan GTR.
    So what you are saying in your inimitable way of being obtuse is that in a 12 hour race at Bathurst, a production Nissan GTR (that you can buy from a dealer, register and drive on the road) should beat a V8 Supercar to the finish line by 13 and a half minutes, providing the V8 Supercar actually lasted 12 hours on the track?

    You are right about one thing: V8 supercar is struggling to get on the track for less than $250k and a Nissan GTR is on the road for half of that.
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    I gave up watching v8 taxi racing years ago. I watched this race from start to finish even though i didnt intend to and found it to be most interesting. Hopefully Ch7 got good ratings from it as it deserves it IMHO. I an hooked.
    Is the Clipsal Adelaide being televised ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    to put some numbers on it: V8 supercar lap record: 2m 7s. Fastest lap 24hr: 2m 3s.
    and that with the advantage of 4wd, paddle shift, overhead cams, no mandated rev limiter, and 2 turbo chargers.

    not that i wish to detract from the truly stunning performance:$$$ ratio of the Nissan GTR.
    Like I said, just made the V8's look silly, especially when you start talking $

    Lets face it, they could go faster and save money if they started racing Nissan's.

    Last years Bathurst 1000 was the best race I'd seen for years........Until these guys came along.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr20516v View Post
    Is the Clipsal Adelaide being televised ?
    The V8 Supercar race is scheduled to be shown live on FTA Channel 10, however the Australian GT support race has traditionally not been shown in the telecast on the day, usually appearing on Speedweek on SBS about a week or so later.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman View Post
    ... I think I might make the effort to get there next year.
    Certainly dedication to come all the way from WA.

    I think it's better to watch the race itself on telly. I've headed up for the Saturday qualifying the last two years. The crowd is tiny (they claimed 32k over the three days, but that's nonsense; probably how many tickets they printed). You can wander around behind the pits and check out all the exotic kit. You can watch from the roof of the pits complex, or from the usual spectator area on the outside. And there's a courtesy bus to the top of the mountain to see the action at Skyline.

    Definitely good to hear the 12 hour entrants' engines in the flesh, and they're properly flat-out for qualifying. The Saturday session also has support events -- Radical Sports Cars, Modified Production and Formula Ford were on this year.

    There were certainly too many safety car sessions this year. For quite a few it would have been fine to wave local yellows; it can be hauled off when some worse positioned prang really calls for a safety car. I can't help feeling that they've lifted a page from the 1000 race: make sure there's a safety car near the end so there's an "exciting" sprint finish. I'd prefer they didn't. If an endurance race is actually a dozen sprint sessions interspersed with umpteen "parade" laps it'll disadvantage teams with real endurance cars and strategies. The Melbourne Cup would have some rather different entries if they introduced the horsey equivalent of a safety car!

    Have fun,

    Rob.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robs View Post
    ............................There were certainly too many safety car sessions this year. For quite a few it would have been fine to wave local yellows; it can be hauled off when some worse positioned prang really calls for a safety car. I can't help feeling that they've lifted a page from the 1000 race: make sure there's a safety car near the end so there's an "exciting" sprint finish. I'd prefer they didn't. If an endurance race is actually a dozen sprint sessions interspersed with umpteen "parade" laps it'll disadvantage teams with real endurance cars and strategies. The Melbourne Cup would have some rather different entries if they introduced the horsey equivalent of a safety car!

    Have fun,

    Rob.
    After what happened to Bianchi I don't think there is a race controller in the world that wants a repeat of that unfortunate circumstance. In spite of all the safety cars the first five completed 1.25 laps more per hour than the V8s do. For the whole 12 hours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robs View Post
    Certainly dedication to come all the way from WA.

    I think it's better to watch the race itself on telly. I've headed up for the Saturday qualifying the last two years. The crowd is tiny (they claimed 32k over the three days, but that's nonsense; probably how many tickets they printed). You can wander around behind the pits and check out all the exotic kit. You can watch from the roof of the pits complex, or from the usual spectator area on the outside. And there's a courtesy bus to the top of the mountain to see the action at Skyline.

    Definitely good to hear the 12 hour entrants' engines in the flesh, and they're properly flat-out for qualifying. The Saturday session also has support events -- Radical Sports Cars, Modified Production and Formula Ford were on this year.

    There were certainly too many safety car sessions this year. For quite a few it would have been fine to wave local yellows; it can be hauled off when some worse positioned prang really calls for a safety car. I can't help feeling that they've lifted a page from the 1000 race: make sure there's a safety car near the end so there's an "exciting" sprint finish. I'd prefer they didn't. If an endurance race is actually a dozen sprint sessions interspersed with umpteen "parade" laps it'll disadvantage teams with real endurance cars and strategies. The Melbourne Cup would have some rather different entries if they introduced the horsey equivalent of a safety car!

    Have fun,

    Rob.
    Getting there next February may just be the target for getting the little caravan organised for an extended ES tour, wife retires in December, I retired 2 years ago with part time work since then.

    When I think about it, I guess my motorsport feelings are pretty well spread, I don't have a chip on my shoulder about V8s, or any other category. Travelling from WA does add to the difficulty, so it needs a good meeting for me to do it. I did Bathurst in 1971 & 1972 but I was working in Melbourne at that time. Since then have done Bathurst in 84 with the family (camper van trip), 86 and 98 (fly/drive). Organised 3 other mates and rental car drive Perth-Adelaide for the first F1GP in 1985, drove there again in 87. Also drove to the 2000 Adelaide ALMS Sports Car event - another event with less restrictive pit access, etc - it was one of the best meetings I have been to. The last one I felt "obliged" to attend was the 2008 V8SC inaugural 500k at Phillip Island - just such a fantastic track and destination - drove to that one also, made it a 5 weeks holiday with the wife. Funny, I haven't felt the urge to get to Melbourne for the F1GP although I get there fairly regularly to visit family and friends. Nothing notable about the track, I think street tracks are better watched on TV for sure. Which reminds me, also flew to Canberra in 2001? for V8 racing around the streets - couldn't see a thing basically.

    Good tips about size of crowd and pit access, etc, at the GT 12 hr, that adds to the attraction for me. But yes, television is the way to see the detail. At the same time, I had an old mate driving in the 12 hr last week, on TV I only saw his car once, when he happened to be a bit of a chicane for the leading pack lapping him at one stage, car 55 Audi TT, so TV coverage hasn't changed much in that respect, stick with the big names.

    As for safety cars, I think Bianchi's F1 accident last year has made the FIA very careful especially when trucks or tractors are going onto the circuit. In last week's race the Brit commentators were praising the local Clerk of Course for giving the driver a fair bit of time to get his car back onto the track before they brought out the safety car. Personally, in an endurance race, I think if someone can build up a 5 lap lead, then that is how it should finish, but I daresay 80% of spectators would prefer to see a sprint race for the finish. But I respect the safety angle in today's motorsport environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fordman View Post
    Getting there next February may just be the target for getting the little caravan organised for an extended ES tour, wife retires in December, I retired 2 years ago with part time work since then.
    If you need/want to do a pit stop, you know where I live.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robs View Post
    Certainly dedication to come all the way from WA.

    I think it's better to watch the race itself on telly. I've headed up for the Saturday qualifying the last two years. The crowd is tiny (they claimed 32k over the three days, but that's nonsense; probably how many tickets they printed). You can wander around behind the pits and check out all the exotic kit. You can watch from the roof of the pits complex, or from the usual spectator area on the outside. And there's a courtesy bus to the top of the mountain to see the action at Skyline.

    Definitely good to hear the 12 hour entrants' engines in the flesh, and they're properly flat-out for qualifying. The Saturday session also has support events -- Radical Sports Cars, Modified Production and Formula Ford were on this year.



    Rob.
    I've been the last 5 (I think) years running. Definitely worth the effort, purely for the sound of the Ferrari alone!

    This year was by far the busiest. Arrived at Hell Corner in the morning (actually earlier than previous years) and it was PACKED! All bathurst accom was booked out and the owner of our accom said it is expected to overtake the October race for crowd numbers next year. He's already taking bookings (3 nights minimum next year unfortunately).

    I love that it is growing, but really hope that it doesn't lose the best parts like pit access etc as it grows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    So what you are saying in your inimitable way of being obtuse is that in a 12 hour race at Bathurst, a production Nissan GTR (that you can buy from a dealer, register and drive on the road) should beat a V8 Supercar to the finish line by 13 and a half minutes, providing the V8 Supercar actually lasted 12 hours on the track?

    You are right about one thing: V8 supercar is struggling to get on the track for less than $250k and a Nissan GTR is on the road for half of that.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Cavanagh View Post
    Like I said, just made the V8's look silly, especially when you start talking $

    Lets face it, they could go faster and save money if they started racing Nissan's.
    .
    no kim, what i pointed out was that a winning V8 supercar is 4s slower around that track than the winning GT, so they are not "slow" or "silly".
    they are also a NA rev limited V8, which restricts power output and top speed, and have a mandated body silhouette, and i am guessing that the aerodynamics of that also restrict top speed down Conrod. plus the other restrictions i mentioned. if, for instance, the rev limit was removed, then the OHC V8 supercars would likely slaughter the pushrod ones, and likely match or better the GT car lap times. so there are reasons why the GTs are a bit faster, and it certainly doesnt warrant any snotty bagging of V8 supercars.

    as for cost, note that the GTR costs just shy of $200k, and i would reckon that by the time it gets in the 12 hour race, has likely acquired some additional expenses. now, the GTR is an incredible machine for the money; others in the field are twice that off the shelf, so what is true of GTR vs V8 supercar, is also true of GTR vs the rest of the 12hour filed. the audi R8 V10, for example, costs near $400k, before it is fettled for 12 hours of racing. V8 supercars cost, i gather, up around $450k in current form, with the new series aimed at about $250k. even at current costs therefore, they are comparable with most of the field in the GT class of car.

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    Default Bathurst 12 Hour 2015

    I believe many of the GT cars are also power limited, with many of them being less powerful than the road going versions. I found it interesting that they are approx 15km/h slower down Conrod, but make up the time on the corners and under braking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    so there are reasons why the GTs are a bit faster, and it certainly doesnt warrant any snotty bagging of V8 supercars.
    There is an old saying, you can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear. What the V8 Supercars mob are starting with are more like pig's arses.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    as for cost, note that the GTR costs just shy of $200k, and i would reckon that by the time it gets in the 12 hour race, has likely acquired some additional expenses. now, the GTR is an incredible machine for the money; others in the field are twice that off the shelf, so what is true of GTR vs V8 supercar, is also true of GTR vs the rest of the 12hour filed. the audi R8 V10, for example, costs near $400k, before it is fettled for 12 hours of racing. V8 supercars cost, i gather, up around $450k in current form, with the new series aimed at about $250k. even at current costs therefore, they are comparable with most of the field in the GT class of car.
    If they're only going to cost $250K compared with current costs the V8's are going to lose out somewhere big time. We'll be back to the HQ series.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverGTi_6 View Post
    I believe many of the GT cars are also power limited, with many of them being less powerful than the road going versions. I found it interesting that they are approx 15km/h slower down Conrod, but make up the time on the corners and under braking.
    Yes the V8's are topping 300 down the straight whereas the GT's are at 280ish. But they make up 4 seconds a lap under brakes and corners. Even on TV I could see the speed difference across the top of the mountain. That's how they made the V8's look silly.

    The TV puts on a big show and dance about how fast the V8's are making out there the fastest tintops in the land but the GT's are so much faster with a slower top speed.

    Call me silly but to me speed isn't just going fast in a straight line.
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    You're silly : )
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    The Bathurst motor festival is also great if you have never been to Bathurst. No crowds and a great mix of categories. You can wander around the pits and set up pretty much anywhere without too much drama.

    Bathurst Motor Festival
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warus View Post
    The Bathurst motor festival is also great if you have never been to Bathurst. No crowds and a great mix of categories. You can wander around the pits and set up pretty much anywhere without too much drama.

    Bathurst Motor Festival
    Oh No ! I'll have to make another trip now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Cavanagh View Post
    Yes the V8's are topping 300 down the straight whereas the GT's are at 280ish. But they make up 4 seconds a lap under brakes and corners. Even on TV I could see the speed difference across the top of the mountain. That's how they made the V8's look silly.
    .
    ok, so with a differential of 20km/h, and i read that they are flat out for about 20s down conrod, that means the V8S makes up about 110m advantage down conrod. at 300km/h, that is <1.5s. then they lose 5.5s around the rest of the track to wind up 4s slower overall.

    well, they are non turbo, and not 4wd and rev limited. which makes a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    There is an old saying, you can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear. What the V8 Supercars mob are starting with are more like pig's arses.
    .
    no, they are just starting with something that isnt turboed, and doesnt have OHC, or if it does, is artificially limited so as to not be able to take advantage of the OHCs. V8S is a formula with its own set of rules, and some of them liimit what could otherwise be achieved in outright performance. those rules have their own objectives of crowd entertainment, and (relative) affordability for the players. much as it i hate to see it, if you look at, say, Nurburging lap times, the Dodge Viper SST is right up there at the fasterst lap times, and it uses a pushrod V8 motor.
    Last edited by alexander; 18th February 2015 at 01:54 PM.
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    2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ARC at Nurburgring

    The Dodge Viper ACR that broke the Nürburgring Nordschleife track record

    A V10 (as are all Vipers I believe) Engine block cast by Lamborgini, hand built and far from a normal production car.
    But as mentioned at the bottom of the article, available for $100,000 US.
    Seems like reasonable value.

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