THE guard has officially changed in V8 Supercars, at least when it comes to endurance races and the race that stops our motor sport nation – the Bathurst 1000.
Rising young Ford talent Chaz Mostert and journeyman Paul Morris led just one lap of the entire drama plagued 161 lap race – the most important lap, the final one across the line, to win the Great Race.
The pair snatched victory from Red Bull Holden pairing Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell, with Whincup’s fuel gamble failing to pay off, as he slowed in the final lap to be passed at the top of Conrod Straight by Mostert, with Nissan duo James Moffat and Taz Douglas taking second, and Holden drivers Nick Percat and Oliver Gavin pulling off third place as they rounded up Whincup just metres from the line.
It was the longest Bathurst 1000 in history (taking more than eight hours to complete), after a 40 minute suspension of racing at lap 61, after the track surface began to break up at Turn 2 and The Dipper, causing more than one driver to hit the wall.
Race officials chose to halt the event at that point, and carry out emergency repairs to the track, before the race was recommenced in single file behind the safety car.
There were also 10 safety car periods, as experienced drivers and rookie talents alike struggled to ride the edge of control, with plenty of cars getting acquainted with walls around the ultra fast circuit (speeds have increased significantly as a result of the resurfacing of the entire circuit).
In a sign of just how competitive and close the expanded list of manufacturers that takes part in the V8 Supercar Championship are, Erebus Motorsport drivers Will and Alex Davison crossed the line in fourth, in their Mercedes AMG. Whincup finished fifth.
Image courtesy of V8 Supercars.