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Opinion: The other Great Race

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Bathurst 12 Hour
Picture courtesy of InSyde Media and Rhys Vandersyde

THIS will be controversial: the Bathurst 1000 is not the best event at Mt Panorama.

Sure, the Bathurst 1000 will always be Australia’s Great Race. It’s laced in a rich history, created Australian motor sport icons like Peter Brock, Dick Johnson, Mark Skaife and Craig Lowndes – but Exhaust Notes Australia is more excited about this weekend’s Bathurst 12 Hour than the 161-lap race in October.

Sacrilege?

No! And here’s why.

Here at Exhaust Notes Australia we are motoring buffs. We love cars and we love motor sport.

Don’t get us wrong, we love the Bathurst 1000. It’s one of the highlights of the year, but the Bathurst 12 Hour is different.

The fans at the Bathurst 12 Hour aren’t here to barrack for individual drivers. They are here because they love motor sport. They love cars. Sure, there may be some fan favourite drivers amongst them (including some of the best GT racers from around the world), but for the most part, it’s all about the machinery.

This weekend, there are 55 entries across four classes, boasting an array of 14 different marques and a total of 180 drivers.

There is something to be said for standing at McPhillamy Park and hearing the scream of a V10, followed by the shrill of a flat-six and for a bit of variety, a V8.

There is no set distance. There is a lot more strategy at play. There is variety.

And best of all, the cars on track are more or less the race versions of what is available to buy and drive on Australian roads.

Yes, GT3s and GT4s are literally the road cars, with a few performance upgrades and a beefed up aero package.

So while the Bathurst 1000 will always be Australia’s Great Race, our favourite event at the Mountain will always be the annual once around the clock challenge – the 12 Hour.

If you haven’t guessed by now, here at Exhaust Notes Australia we love cars. We love technology and GT racing is the pinnacle of this.

If anything, this is one race that is 12 hours too short.

Picture courtesy of Rhys Vandersyde and InSyde Media.

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