01 | 04 | 2014 - V8 SUPERCARS TO RACE BATHURST IN REVERSE
Racing traditions will return to Bathurst in Easter 2015 with a five day event for V8 Supercars using the full 6.213 kilometre Mt Panorama circuit in reverse for the first time ever.
The event will showcase every major category of Australian motorsport with V8 Supercars making it a Supersprint round - the first time that a V8 Supercars event outside the Bathurst 1000 has been held at the venue since the mid-1990s.
One driver excited for the opportunity to race around the Mountain in reverse is reigning Bathurst 1000 Champion and Pepsi MAX crew racer, Mark Winterbottom.
"Bring it on - I will race the place forward, backwards, whichever way they want - racing at Bathurst is truly special,? said Winterbottom. ?Even if we race to halfway and turn around and go the other way, then our team is up for the challenge.
?That charge into Murray?s Corner for the first time, whilst a bit different, will be quite a spectacle.
?One this is for sure though, your place on the pit road will make a difference."
The decision to return to Mount Panorama on the Easter weekend and race in a clockwise direction for the first time, according to a NSW Government source, is to create a better use of the multi-million dollar pit facility and using Conrod Straight for the run up the Mountain will provide photographers and television cameras the opportunity to deliver better images from the setting sun.
Tourism NSW is supportive of the return to Bathurst at Easter, as it will deliver a major, high profile event to regional NSW during a holiday time.
Officials were quick to point out that this innovation will not create a change or impact the October Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 or Bathurst 12 Hour and will build its own following.
It isn?t the first time that events at the Mountain have been conducted in reverse, with the Bathurst Light Car Club regularly holding Hillclimb events that start at Forrests Elbow and end at McPhillamy Park.
It follows the lead of the Knockhill circuit in Scotland (which can be run in both directions) and brings Bathurst into line with other major circuits such as Daytona and Indianapolis that host multiple events for their feature categories.
New digital rights holder, Fox Sports is supportive of the move, as it will create an opportunity for them to position the V8 Supercars product alongside its AFL, NRL and A-League offerings, which change ends at the end of each quarter or half.
V8 Supercars has reached an arrangement with well respected motorsport website, Speedcafe.com, with the event to be known as the Speedcafe 180 Nationals, in reference to the 29 lap races (180km) that will be held on each day - another innovation designed to deliver for the fans.
After a secret visit to Bathurst from V8 Supercars and CAMS officials last week, Bathurst Regional Council has confirmed several minor upgrades will need to be made for safety and they are meeting with appropriate authorities and partners to make those changes.
Motorcycling Australia has been consulted and with the reverse circuit being used, is interested in adding motorcycles to the five day extravaganza. Should that take place, it will be the first time that bikes have raced at Bathurst in some 15 years.
The Speedcafe 180 Nationals will be held on the Easter Weekend (April 1-5) in 2015.