Bathurst 1000 with Shell V-Power Racing and DJR Team Penske
I hadn't been to the Bathurst 1000 since I was a little girl and so, when I got an invite to spend a day at the mountain with Shell V-Power and DJR Team Penske I was beyond excited, and couldn't wait to hear the roar of the V8's as they raced around Mount Panorama.
For those who are unfamiliar with Bathurst, it is considered by many as the pinnacle of motorsport in Australia, and has a rich history behind it.
This year’s Bathurst 1000 marked the 56th anniversary, but more importantly it celebrated the life of the great Peter Brock - 10 years on from his passing. It also signified the new partnership with Shell V-Power and DJR Team Penske.
Thanks to my Dad, I grew up with the V8 Supercars always playing on the TV, so I've always been somewhat familiar with 'The Great Race', and I've even had the chance to get behind the wheel and drive one of the V8 Supercars around Eastern Creek with Nathan Antunes, which was epic!
Over the years my Dad has collected quite a few of the V8 Supercar diecasts, which are now on display in the garage. BTW I have noticed that you guys have been requesting a full tour of my garage, after seeing snippets of it from my Snapchat. I'll put something together once it is finished, as Dad and I are currently working on designing a few things, so stay tuned!
Now, just several years after my first Bathurst experience, (I remember it all so well as it rained the entire time, and I got incredibly muddy!) I would get to go out there again and witness the famous endurance event - lucky the forecast didn't predict rain this time.
My journey began from central Sydney at 7:30AM, with the plan being to hop in a car and venture 3 hours out to Mount Panorama for the day, then drive back once the Top 10 Shootout was over. And to top the day off, I got to go there with Nigel Petrie from Engineered to Slide, Dean Walters and Oli Coulthard.
It was my first time meeting Nigel, which was super cool! He has been a huge inspiration to me over the past few years with his cars and blogging, and his 180sx was one of the reasons why I was so keen to buy one instead of getting an R34. BTW Nigel will be bringing his NA PS13 up to this years World Time Attack Challenge, so make sure you check it out!
When I met up with the guys, and I introduced myself, we discussed the day and waited patiently for our ride to take us out to the mountain. We were convinced that we were travelling by air, but sadly the helicopter never arrived *insert happy/crying emoji face*.
After the long 3 hour drive, we finally arrived at the venue and we were quickly greeted by the crazy aura that Bathurst has. The event was packed and buzzing with people of all ages, and you couldn't help but feel somewhat overwhelmed by everything.
We then made our way around the event, trying to take it all in, before heading into the Shell V-Power and DJR Team Penske suite that we had access to.
This year, Shell V-Power and DJR Team Penske have joined forces to launch the Shell V-Power Racing Team, and after walking around the event, Nigel, Dean, Oli and I had the chance to meet the DJR Team Penske drivers, Fabian Coulthard, Luke Youlden, Scott Pye, and Tony D'Alberto.
We also found out that Oli is somehow related to Fabian, and it was the first time that they got to meet each other!
We also got to meet motorsport legends Dick Johnson and Roger Penske, who together own DJR Team Penske. I was amazed at how humble and passionate these two racing icons were, and I felt very privileged to be in their presence.
DJR Team Penske is Australia's oldest motor racing team, and the new partnership sees DJR Team Penske with primary sponsor Shell V-Power branding for both their No. 12 and No. 17 Ford Falcons.
Dick Johnson is a 3 time Bathurst 1000 winner and is synonymous with Ford after starting the DJR team in 1980. Here he is signing and taking photos with fans of all ages.
After Dick Johnson took photos and met with fans, we then headed into the pits where we got a tour of the garage by Ryan Story, who is the Managing Director and Team Principal of DJR. I was amazed at Ryan's intellect and passion as he gave us all a rundown with how everything works.
Then after the tour, it was finally time for the Top 10 Shootout. This was the event I had been waiting for all day, and it's the session where the fastest 10 qualifiers complete one flying lap each, to determine the top 10 on the grid for Sunday's main race.
You can see the sheer concentration on Roger Penske's face during the race. BTW how cool is the new Shell V-Power livery?
Unfortunately I wasn't able to witness the main event on Sunday, however the coverage was shown all day across every television within my home. At the end of the day, the boys finished 5th and 6th, after a grueling 161 laps. A solid effort by all, and the team certainly has such a strong future ahead! Really looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings for the Shell V-Power and DJR Penske Team!
Also, make sure you check out Nigel's blog from the event as he has some awesome coverage! And a huge thank you to those who made this opportunity possible. It certainly was an awesome V8 experience!