Monday, October 09, 2006

Bathurst run and won for Peter

Bathurst is done for another year. And perhaps no more fitting winner than Craig Lowndes, the kid Peter Brock mentored for a long period.

The removal from the equation of Mark Skaife and the first HRT car following a first lap incident with a slipping clutch and an unavoidable crash with Jack Perkins, this really only left Lowndes as the choice to give Brocky a spiritual #10.

Being a year that I didnt watch it start to finish, instead choosing to invite friends over to partake of food and drink and observe the race for minutes at a time, perhaps I missed a few incidents that people will talk about. Thats what highlights packages are for.

The death of Mark Porter in hospital following the race after a severe crash on friday afternoon lends gravity to a situation that is stated wherever motorsports are undertaken. Motorsport is dangerous. We've lost three people to motorsport in a short time, including the death of a Japanese drag racer in Victoria recently as well. The crash involving Paul Radisich could have so easily turned out far worse.

Maybe Bathurst is becoming anachronistic. Concrete walls abound with limited or no run off at the top of the mountain, and a series of crests and dips giving no chance for view ahead. Not an ideal in which to place several fast and heavy motor vehicles. It was fun in the 60's and 70's, when the vehicles were a little slower, although the lack of fences meant that anyone leaving the track wound up in a paddock or were halted by a tree. The 80's bought about several large scale incidents involving several cars, including a few shortened races owing to track blockages.

Naturally, every Australian motorsport fan understands what Bathurst means, which has been built up through history. Although maybe the torch is being passed, and the flame a little less bright for the Mountain. The men who bought about the shift in the ATCC to a professional series are going or gone. Jim Richards exit from teh race this year owing to a mistake are reminiscent of Larry Perkins exit of a few years ago. A case of 'getting too old for this sh*t'?

Big call time. Maybe its time to leave Bathurst behind. Consign it to folklore and legend. It's created a few, and its taken a few away.

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