The Northern Territory news Fri 10 Oct 2014
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36 SPORT FRIDAY OCTOBER 10 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Bathursts Mount Panorama is one of the worlds most spectacular racing circuits. Constructed as a scenic drive in the mid-1930s, it first held races at Easter 1938. In its early stages, the circuit lacked any protective fencing or barriers and the pit lane was not separated from the track. Over time, it was improved, but the high speeds down Conrod Straight were still a hazard, and the death of Mike Burgmann in 1986 led to the addition of a chicane, named The Chase, in 1987. Mt PanoraMa is the ultimate test of a racecar and the most successful nameplate there is Holdens Commodore, with 22 wins since its debut in 1980. Throughout the iconic 1000km race, brake temperatures will peak at 900C; while the engine crankshaft will rotate more than 2.2 million times. Each driver will make around 30 gear changes per lap, or 4830 gear changes in total. This year each car will be allocated eight sets of hard-compound tyres (32 in all), as well as 24 wet tyres. the length of Australias Great Race has fluctuated over the years, with the initial endurance race at Bathurst the 1963 Armstrong 500 held over 500 miles (805km). Ten years later, in 1973, the annual endurance race was extended to 1000km as the nation gradually made the change to the metric system. The addition of The Chase in 1987 meant the race length had to change from 163 laps to its current 161-lap distance. statistically, Bathurst polesitters have more of a chance of failing to finish than winning the race. The car starting from pole has only won 11 times, while it has failed to finish on 13 occasions. The last drivers to win from pole were Holden Racing Team pilots Garth Tander and Will Davison in 2009. Tander won again with rookie Nick Percat in 2011, which was the closest finish in Bathurst history, but from ninth on the grid. Watching Bathurst on TV is an Australian tradition, but did you know that Channel 7 Australia pioneered onboard camera footage with Racecam in 1979? Racecam was the first use of an in-car camera streaming live to air, with a TV camera mounted behind the driver. The picture and sound was then sent directly from the car to a helicopter that would relay the images to a nearby broadcast centre. since 1973, all Bathurst entrants have been required to have a codriver the same year that the event became 1000km to prevent drivers from attempting the race solo. One of the shortest co-driver stints happened in 1968, with Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland taking Holdens first win in a mighty HK Monaro GTS 327. The latter only took over for one lap of the circuit. Now each driver must not exceed three and a half hours in the car or two-thirds total distance. a single lap of the famed 6.213km Mt Panorama circuit is a rollercoaster ride for the worlds best drivers, with 23 corners and impressive elevation changes. The difference between the pit straight and Skyline corner at the top of the mountain is 174m, which is just over half the height of the 309m Sydney Tower. The climb is also impressive at corners like The Cutting, the tightest on the circuit, which has a corner exit gradient of 1:6. a nuMBer of corners at Mt Panorama take their name from famous people in Bathurst history or incidents there over the years. Griffins Bend was named after former Bathurst mayor Martin Griffin, who came up with the idea of building a scenic drive/race track. Forrest Elbow was named after Jack Forrest, who scraped his elbow during a motorcycle crash in 1966. The famous Conrod Straight was named after Aussie motor racing great Frank Kleinigs conrod failure at a meet in 1939. While Murrays Corner, previously known as Pit Corner, was renamed after another Aussie racer Bill Murray, who crashed there in 1946. at 50 years of age, Russell Ingall is the most experienced current V8 driver with 22 Bathurst starts, and his debut dates back to 1990. The Enforcer, who races this year with Tim Blanchard at Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, took two wins on the mountain in 1995 and 1997, both partnered with Larry Perkins and driving Holden Commodores. However, Perkins takes the plaudits as the most successful Commodore driver in Bathurst history, claiming all six of his wins there in the famous sedan. KiWi Greg Murphy is still revered as having set the greatest-ever lap of Bathurst, known simply as the Lap of the Gods. His epic 2:06.8594 lap, set during 2003s Top 10 Shootout, still stands today as the qualifying lap record at Bathurst. Murphs heroics in the Kmart Racing Team VY Commodore earned him a rare standing ovation from the sport with all the teams lining the pit-lane celebrating his achievement as he made his way back to the garage. P it stops play a key role in the outcome of the Bathurst 1000. A smooth, efficient stop can give a team a significant advantage. On the other hand, a single mistake can lead to a loss of time, position or even penalties. It can also potentially endanger the safety of drivers, crew or other competitors. The Holden Racing Team crew practise for hours in the lead-up to the race. This ensures each of the seven scheduled stops is smooth, fast and safe and gives the team its best chance of winning. Slick stops crucial for conquering mountain Major modifications turn Driver and assistant HRT uses a driver change assistant to help unfasten and then refasten the drivers harness, cool suit, drink bottle, radio and window netting. Refueller The refueller inserts the drybreak fuel nozzle into the car while an observer watches on with a fuel extinguisher. Air jack attendant The air jack attendant raises the Commodore off the ground by inserting the air spike into the valve located in the rear window. Aerodynamics The aero kit on a standard Holden VF Commodore is designed to look good, maximise fuel efficiency and provide excellent handling for everyday driving. For the race version, the aero kit is focused on one thing maximum performance. Driver position All new Commodores feature side curtain airbags across the range to protect from side impacts, while the race car has moved the driver towards the centre of the car. Both cars feature side intrusion protection in the doors. road car into a V8 beast t he Holden VF Commodore V8 Supercar was unveiled just 24 hours after the road car was launched in February last year, the closest a race car variant has ever been revealed following the standard road car. Although the two Commodores have a lot in common, there are a number of major differences between the standard Holden SS VF Commodore and the cars campaigned by Holden Racing Team and Red Bull Racing Australia. Engine A Commodore SS road car is powered by a 270kW, six-litre alloy V8 engine, which has been refined to provide a balance between comfort, economy and performance. The Commodore race cars have a 450kW, five-litre Holden Motorsport engine that perfectly combines performance with economy Wheels The Commodore SS comes fitted with 18-inch wheels as standard, though there is a range of wheel size options up to 20 inches. Holdens V8 Supercars are fitted with control 18-inch forged aluminium wheels. Wheel changer The 18-inch wheels are secured by a single nut, then fastened by compressed nitrogen-driven rattle gun. Wheels can be changed in less than four seconds. Car controller The car controller is responsible for the entire pit stop: directing the car into in its pit box, supervising each crew member and ensuring it leaves quickly and safely. Unique challenge: Mount Panorama is one of the worlds greatest racetracks. Picture: AAP Fast Facts Murphys law: Greg Murphy set the Bathurst lap record in his Kmart Racing VY Commodore in 2003. Picture: AAP Bathurst 1000 Bathurst 1000