V8 Supercars has launched this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on a mountain of a different kind.
Multiple Bathurst winners Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup and Russell Ingall joined 2009 winner Will Davison and Fabian Coulthard, remembered for one of the biggest crashes at the Mountain in last year’s event, challenged themselves on the famous ski fields of Perisher Valley.
As the snow season draws to a close, the season of endurance begins for V8 Supercars with the L&H 500 at Phillip Island as the prelude to the world famous Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, followed by the internationally renowned Armor All Gold Coast 600 where 28 of the globes best internationals join the homegrown drivers.
The drivers were taken out of their racetrack comfort zones at Perisher today by a series of challenges.
“How awesome is this,” said Lowndes who is defending the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 with six-time winner Mark Skaife.
“It’s one of the best things I’ve done and a heap of fun. Now the serious stuff starts.
“To see the boys flying down the slopes was certainly an eye opener, not quite like 300kmh down Conrod Straight but still pretty challenging. Perisher is an incredible place and some of the black runs are almost as tough as Bathurst.
“At first we were all taking it pretty easy, but as always once you cross the line the fever starts. We all know there are no friends at Mount Panorama outside of your team-mate.
“Coming into my absolute favourite part of the year I feel incredibly confident. But as we all know anything can happen at Bathurst and generally always does.”
Wily veteran Ingall is always a challenger at his favourite Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event and was in the running last year with his then team-mate Paul Morris before finishing eighth. This year, he will be teamed with Jack Perkins, and Ingall is confident of anthers trong Bathurst showing.
“I absolutely love Bathurst. Mind you Perisher is not too bad either, a bit bloody cold though,” Ingall said.
“I really like our chances at Bathurst this year. I think Jack Perkins and I are the real surprise packets.
“It’s fantastic to be here having a bit of fun with Craig, Jamie, Will and Fabian. We spend so much time training and preparing for an event that it was a real pleasure to come here and have a lot of fun while promoting the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.”
From October 6–9, Mount Panorama will play host to 28 V8 Supercar drivers and their co drivers as they fight for the much coveted Peter Brock Trophy.
Supporting the V8 Supercars are the Fujitsu V8 Supercars, Touring Car Masters, GT Championship, Porsche Carerra Cup and the V8 Ute Series.
Check out the video clip from Perisher
See below for a gallery of images from the Bathurst 1000 launch
For more on the endurance races, check out Speedcafe.com’s exclusive preview videos – the IRWIN Tools Endurance Countdown.
See below for the first two episodes …