9.30am – WILD WEATHER COULD FORCE TACTICAL SHAKE-UP
Two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Russell Ingall says the unpredictable wild weather that’s forecast for Mount Panorama could persuade some teams to flip their strategies and consider start the Great Race with their co-drivers.
While teams normally prefer to start and finish the 161-lap with their main drivers, Ingall said the changing conditions will make some teams re-think their plans.
With the race expected to start in relatively fine conditions before the thunderstorms rumble in later in the day, Ingall believes the smart teams could switch the order so the senior drivers are behind the wheel doof their drivers around depending on the conditions at the time.
“The best strategy you can have is to actually let your co-driver start because you want your main driver to finish,” he said.
“Those sorts of guys don’t get phased too much about the inclement weather, whether it’s wet, dry or anything in between.
“So that’s why I always lean towards the co driver side. There might be some teams that start their main driver.”
But Ingall, who teamed up with Larry Perkins to win the Bathurst 1000 in 1995 and again 1997, said there was also a risk attached to switching drivers because the senior racers would try to put any less experienced rivals under pressure.
“They won’t hesitate in boxing up any newcomers because they know they can intimidate them,” Ingall said.
“They’ll be on the radio saying the car in front of you has got so and so in front of you.”
9.00am – SUN’S OUT, SPEEDS HEAT UP
Supercars drivers have been met with improving track conditions for their final warm-up ahead of the Bathurst 1000.
Dick Johnson Racing star Will Davison emerged on top of the timesheet for the 20-minute session as the team’s made their final preparations for the 1000km race.
Davison was fastest ahead of last year’s winner Lee Holdsworth (Grove Racing), who will line-up at the front of the grid alongside pole sitter Cameron Waters for his final Bathurst as a full-time Supercars driver.
In an indication of the improving condition of the track, Davison’s warm-up time (2:22.45) was faster than what Waters produced in the wet qualifying on Friday, which delivered him pole after the shootout was cancelled.
But pace was not a focus for the teams in the warm-up as they focused on getting the cars race ready with pit stop practice and driver changes ahead of the race.
Davison, driving with brother Alex, will start Sunday’s race from fifth.
The drivers then made their way around the track for the drivers’ parade.
8.15am – RAIN EASES, CARS HIT TRACK FOR FINAL WARM-UP
Supercars have hit the track for their final warm-up ahead of today’s Bathurst 1000 after the dramatic call to cancel the top-10 shootout due to extreme weather on Saturday.
Heavy rain continued to fall overnight in Bathurst but it has cleared to a lighter drizzle this morning.
Sunday’s 1000km race is due to start at 11.15am as scheduled.
Organisers assessed the track overnight to clear debris from drains where they could to help improve drainage after the torrential rain that has hit Bathurst over the past two days.
The Superutes support category has already been on track on Sunday morning and finished under the safety car after Craig Dontas put his ute into the wall at Reid Park.
The warm-up will run for 20 minutes.
FROSTY’S BIZARRE GIFT FOR SUPER FAN
Sport stars, they’re asked to do all kinds of things for the fans.
Mark Winterbottom is the clubhouse leader at this year’s Bathurst for the wackiest request after a supporter presented him with his prosthetic leg at a signing.
Incredibly, thousands of Supercars fans have braved incredibly wild weather to stick around at Mount Panorama for the Great Race.
Torrential downpours caused havoc on Saturday with Super2 race cancelled due to the condition of the track.
Praising the resilience of the fans Winterbottom said: “The fan base we have for our support is unbelievable.
“The rain would send most people home from most sports. They’re not just watching in the rain, they’re camping, living through this.
“So when we’re saying it’s hard work, we’re in this driver’s room and people out there are getting soaked.”
Winterbottom was then pushed for a wacky fan story which is when he shared the fake leg anecdote.
“We have all signed something out there,” he said.
“I’ve signed a leg — prosthetic leg before, which the guy gave it to me and I was like are you sure you wanted it signed?
“It was his pride and joy. That didn’t sound right.
“It meant a lot because he’s gone through the disability but that was his pride and joy.
“These guys have signed eye balls and all sorts of stuff.”
Away from the wacky fan requests, the weather forecast for Bathurst race day is looking significantly better than Saturday when rain was so heavy the track was deemed unsafe and forced the cancellation of the top 10 shootout.
While rain is expected on Sunday the volume will be nowhere near the deluge of Saturday.
Cameron Waters will start from pole position after he set the fastest time the previous day.
“I’m disappointed to be honest, I really love the shootout around here, it’s pretty special to get the place to yourself for a lap,” Waters said.
“But the rain was crazy and you saw the rivers and everything going on, it was going to be a bit of a safety thing.
“I’m disappointed, but awesome to be starting on pole. It’s cool to be starting on pole again around here.
“I was ready to go, I put my suit on and I was listening to music and I saw the lap that the guys did around the track and I thought we were going to get going.”
Originally published as Bathurst live: All the key moments from Sunday at Mount Panorama