Two Bathursts Every Year?

Every Bevan’s Dream .. Two Mt. Panorama V8 Supercar Races Each Year.

Mt. Panorama twice a year? .. YessssBig Pond motor racing journalist Ben Hocking puts forward some very strong arguments for V8 Supercar superimos to consider holding two events at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama circuit each year. I don’t think you would get any arguments from the fans, and the drivers and teams wouldn’t have any problems either. Read below and see what you think.

If Bathurst is Australia’s premier race track – and there is little question that it is – why is it not put to better use?

This year’s Bathurst 1000 was again the highlight of the racing year, but why should we have to wait another 12 months before we get to see Australia’s best drivers testing out their talent across the top of Mount Panorama?

The 2013 calendar was released this week and there are few surprises, but the time seems ripe to employ a little creative thinking and return the Great Race to a standalone event to ensure the championship doesn’t lose a round at Mount Panorama.

This could easily be achieved by having a Bathurst 500 early in the season as part of the championship, and then holding the Great Race in October separate from the title chase, like it used to be.

This not only gives the fans a chance double the opportunity to visit one of the world’s best temporary circuits, but reduces the risk of a driver’s championship being ruined by a mistake made by a co-driver.

Having Bathurst as a standalone event also allows the return of dream driver pairings. The prospect of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes teaming up to take on Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison is a lot more enticing than watching co-drivers complete the minimum number of laps while trying to stay out of trouble.

The best part about Bathurst in the glory days was the fact that drivers were giving it their all to win, or to make the top 10 in some cases, rather than taking into account their championship position before deciding if they should make a risky move. The racing is still fierce at the top, but too often these days, co-drivers find themselves in the seat at crucial times and they are too hesitant to make a move, lest they incur the wrath of the team and find themselves out of a drive next season.

The argument makes sense from a business perspective as well, especially with a TV rights deal still to be negotiated.

Aside from the benefit of having two races throughout the year that would sell out in no time, a standalone Bathurst 1000 would allow V8 Supercars to sell the TV rights for the Great Race separately. If it turns out that this would devalue the amount offered for the championship, as was the case with NRL and State of Origin rights in their current deal, then they could stay together as a package. But having the flexibility would surely help when it comes to leveraging the best deal from the free to air networks.

Teams could also take advantage of having a Bathurst race separate from the championship by signing different sponsorship agreements, enhancing their revenue streams in tough times.

The Bathurst 500 championship race also proves who the best individual driver at Mount Panorama as there are no co-drivers as part of the equation. While the Bathurst 1000 is often won by the best team – those with the best co-pilot and for whom everything goes right on the day – the shorter version would leave drivers with no excuses, being entirely responsible for their own result.

It won’t happen in 2013, but it is definitely something that should be considered in future.

Ben makes some very good points. I for one love the idea and would be there in a flash. As long as the powers that be don’t get too greedy and interfere with the male bonding, camping and drinking attractions of the trip .. I’m in.

Now give us your comment. What do you think of the idea?

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