Bathurst 1000 — known as ‘The Great Race’ amongst fans — is Australia’s ultimate motorsports championship. It began in 1960 as a humble car race that took place on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit; the entrants were car manufacturers seeking to showcase the quality and durability of their cars.
In 1973 it grew to become a four-day event culminating in a 1000-kilometre endurance race at the dramatic Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales. The track was originally designed as a scenic tourist drive but its twists, corners and 1.9-kilometre straight (the longest racing straight in Australia, on which cars can reach up to 300 kilometres per hour) made it the ideal racetrack for fast and fierce V8 Supercar racing. The championship is now synonymous with the legendary rivalry between Australia’s biggest car manufacturers, Ford and Holden.
Each year a crowd of around 200,000 people gathers on ‘The Hill’ to watch the drivers putting their cars through their paces and vying for the Peter Brock Trophy. The four-day event is peppered with non-racing events, including a drivers’ parade, autograph signing, a dinner attended by Bathurst driving legends, a charity ball and even a street fair.
WORDS OF WISDOM
- Drive safely. Local law enforcement steps up its presence over the event period to counter any overenthusiastic spectator driving.
- Catch the bus. Bathhurst Buslines put on extra buses for the event weekend.
- Most of the grandstand seating is uncovered, meaning sunscreen and waterproofs are spectator essentials.
- Visit Live Traffic NSW for special event information including road closures, clearways and live traffic.