SUNDAY ROAST WITH THE MOST! Tell us your favourite winter roast meat in the comments below and you could win a $20 Mad Butcher voucher. Just so you know…that’s enough to buy 2 fresh Tegel size 18 chickens at your Mad Butcher this week! Hurry, offer ends today.
I love this race, it’s the Bathurst 1000, ‘The Great Race”. It was where I watched many of my heroes make history and win this race. But I also hate this race just as much as I love it. This year was no exception to why I felt like this.
Let me get this straight, my job is amazing, I get to drive an absolute animal of a Supercar at speeds well in excess of 300kph at a track unlike any other in the whole world. I also do all that in front of 200,000 of the most hardcore of hardcore fans, which is an absolute bonus. I know I am a very lucky 23 year old and feel privileged to even be in this position.
This job though is how I and 25 other drivers (52 if you count the co drivers) earn our living like any other everyday person in the world. When we get to Bathurst though something changes, its not a job anymore for us its more like a dream. When you get here you understand the passion, the pressure, the commitment from everyone in your team not just from yourself, which goes into winning this race.
You feel not only you have to win this race for yourself but also you need to win this race for your whole crew, sponsors, fans, family and friends. IF you win this race, it might, no actually it wont just might, it WILL change your life and career forever.
I normally get to Bathurst on a Tuesday afternoon, every time I drive into the place and see that ‘Mount Panorama Bathurst’ sign on top of the mountain I get Goosebumps.
This year I was doing something different off track, I was actually staying at the track in a motorhome. I guess you could say I was ‘Glamping’, this was hands down the best thing I have ever done.
Wednesday arrives; really this day is just a teaser for us drivers, lots of media commitments, driver’s parade in the Bathurst CBD (which was fantastic to see so many people there!), we walk the 6.2km circuit with the team and complete one final Pit Stop Practice with the guys before official practice gets underway Thursday morning.
Thursday morning; it’s the first day of practice for the Bathurst 1000, it’s the one practice all year where before practice 1 I am slightly nervous. All the preparation done by the team and myself for this race comes down to this moment, the Bathurst 1000 week is starting.
Luckily for us the first day of practice went really smoothly, the car was pretty nice straight out of the truck, although I felt a little too twitchy across the top which we needed to fix because it would be a long weekend hanging onto a bucking bronco across the top for 161 laps come Sunday afternoon.
The track seemed pretty fast and at the end of practice it looked set to be a record breaking weekend at Bathurst, we ran a set of new tyres at the end of practice, we ended up P4 about 6 tenths off the pace, we had a fair bit of work to do. The #88 car seemed quick straightaway which confirmed all our predictions heading into the race that those lads would be the ones to beat if we wanted to hold up the Peter Brock Trophy come Sunday afternoon.
Friday, its qualifying day at Mount Panorama, for me it’s the best qualifying session of the year. 4 sets of new Dunlop Hard Tyres at our disposal to pull the trigger around this amazing place and try put your car in the shootout or even better on provisional pole for the Greatest Race in Australia.
David Wall completed his co driver session in the morning and said that the changes we made over night helped a heap to stop the twitchiness across the top, so it was over to me for the last practice before qualifying.
In this session we focused on qualifying simulation runs for most of the session, we felt by the end of this session we ended with a competitive balance and felt we could challenge for provisional pole in the afternoon, once again the #88 car was still very quick.
The qualifying session for me went real smoothly, until the end. We were looking at saving a set of tyres for the race Sunday but it looked like we needed to do a run to guarantee our spot in the shootout. I thought no dramas, I’ll just go out and find a gap, knock a time down and put us in there, little did I know it was going to be a little harder than that.
As I headed up mountain straight after coming out of the pits, ‘Krusty’ my engineer informed me I had 10 seconds up my sleeve to get around quick enough so I could get a lap in before the Chequered flag fell to end the session. So I had to hustle around, rush my warm up lap and use the tyre more than I wanted to, to make sure I got a lap in at the end.
I got round just in time to start my lap. Before this lap started I said to myself “ok, this is the shootout, lets do it!”. I let rip, I got through the first sector ok, slightly quicker than my best first sector time. Over the top I got it the best I did all weekend, I scraped the wall slightly on the exit of the ‘metal grate’ at Reid Park (which was a little hairy, I don’t recommend doing that!), after coming down the hill and out of Forest’s Elbow I looked at my Dash and my predicted lap time said I was on for a 2:04!
I tightened the belts down Conrod and had a massive go into the chase, I went slightly wide through here and cost myself some time. I got through the last corner cleanly looked down at my dash and bang it was a 2:05.1 we jumped to P2, 1 tenth of #88 but it was the fastest I had ever been around Mount Panorama.
I wasn’t fastest I know but it was such a cool feeling to nail a lap at this place especially under a little bit of pressure!
Going to bed that night knowing I was going to be competing in the Top 10 Shootout at Bathurst Saturday afternoon again was a very cool feeling.
Saturday rolled around; we had one practice in the morning. This session for the first half, Krusty, David and myself focused on a race balance before switching strategies for a shootout simulation at the end. We felt strong in both scenarios by the end of practice. We now had a 6-hour wait before it was just Mount Panorama and I, also I might add about 3 million eyeballs fixated on my every move at 5:45pm.
I was nervous, real nervous actually, I always get nervous for this lap, but Garry always says, ‘Nerves are a good thing mate’.
I rolled out for this lap, obviously doing my best too warm the car up to give me optimum temperature in my brakes and tyres before I started my lap, but I couldn’t help but look around at the crowd as I made my way around. It was the biggest crowd I had seen at the mountain for a shootout, it looked like a Sunday crowd, I can assure you this didn’t make me feel any less nervous!
I didn’t get the best start to my lap; I didn’t have enough pressure built up in my tyres for the first two corners, so I was playing catch up for most of the lap. I came out of Forest’s elbow pretty much on exactly the same time as Chaz Mosterts’ benchmark of a 2:05.5; I had to make up for my mistake on Friday at the Chase to be within any shot at beating his time. Lucky for me I got it perfect and got provisional pole with 1 car left in the Shootout, the #88.
Jamie’s lap was messy but very committed and he got me by .06 of a second, I was gutted, but at the end of the day we were on the front row of the Bathurst 1000 for the 2nd year in a row, with a real shot at winning with the package we had. It wasn’t all that bad.
I can’t really sleep Saturday night at Bathurst but I got about 5-6 hours in, good enough for me!
Sunday, Happy Bathurst Day people, it’s here, The Great Race. First up was warm up, this session is a bit of a system check for everyone, couple of driver changes, few slow laps just to warm you and the car up for what was hopefully going to be a successful day ahead. Everything went smoothly and we were ready to go for the Bathurst 1000.
Just before the race, we get to go around the track for a quick ‘Driver’s Parade’ I love this part of the weekend, so many people hurling good wishes, occasionally get abused but that’s all apart of the fun! It was so cool to see so many New Zealand flags around the place supporting all us kiwis at the race I might add.
We decided I was going to start the race, its important to get off to a decent start so when you can come in, you can hand over to your co driver and they can get into their groove pretty easily without to much traffic around them. Not to say David couldn’t start the race well, it’s just a less risky strategy and something that most teams decided to do.
Jamie and I got off to a pretty even start, I just wanted to slot into 2nd, I did that and basically straight away started saving some valuable fuel that I might need towards the end of the race, little did I know this would help me a bunch towards the end of the race.
I got to Lap 24 and pitted with the #88 car and handed the car over to David for his first stints of the race, we were planning at this stage to double stint him with the idea of getting me back in for one more stint before he would jump back in to finish off his compulsory 54 completed laps.
This all happened pretty well, and we sat in a pretty comfy 6th place with a very straight car, we had a few balance issues, we both needed more turn out of the car to keep the pace in the car across the race. We managed to successfully tune this into the car and the car was very nice to drive when I got back in.
A safety car fell at a perfect time for us, David had completed his laps and I was able to jump back into the car for a triple stint to the end of the race. A lot of cars around us weren’t in this position so we were lucky at this stage and I had to make the most of making some track position by passing a few of the co drivers.
By the time I did this I was in 4th place on the road and needed to save some fuel. I had Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander and Mark Winterbottom ahead of me doing exactly the same thing. We were all trying to save enough juice to get us to the end and make the job easier for our engineers.
I was hitting my number really well, saving more fuel then I actually needed to, so Krusty came on the radio to me and said I could do 3 laps at ‘Full Noise’ to try pass Mark Winterbottom for effectively 3rd Position. I did this at the chase on the last of my Full Noise laps and we were in 3rd, with a pretty quick car, but unfortunately we needed to keep fuel saving.
The next safety car fell at an awkward time for all. WE thought we could make it to the end, well we didn’t think we could we KNEW we could but it would take a little bit of luck and some big fuel saving from my end, but I was confident in doing this. A few cars jumped me in the stop including Fabian Coulthard, I was about 5th in the queue, we got around to the pit entry on the that lap and they all dived into the pits except myself and Fabian in front of me, the boys asked me to pit to be safe but I was already past the line to get into the lane. So that was it we were committed to this and I was up for a bit battle.
It was obvious from the restart, Fabian and DJR - Team Penske thought he couldn’t make it so he high tailed it and tried to build a gap. I was at the opposite end of the scale, I was saving fuel as much as I could, I COULD make it but it was going to take some big fuel saving and defending Jamie and Garth behind me pretty aggressively to keep track position from them. 1 safety car would set me free though, I would then be able to push at full noise and I felt I had the car pace to win this race.
So here I am saving fuel like a mad man, hitting the correct number, with a 6 time Supercars Champion and 4 time Bathurst winner hot on my heels, with probably the most aggressive racer in the category and a 3 time Bathurst winner himself Garth Tander right behind him, if I was going to win my first Bathurst 1000 I was definitely doing it the hard way!
Lap 150 of 161, I made a small mistake at Forest’s Elbow, Jamie was right on me coming down Conrod, I had to block, I did in to the Chase, Jamie dived which he is 100% entitled to do, but I was going to attempt to hold my line around the outside. Jamie locked his rears and spared into me pushing me off at the chase.
This is where it got pretty hectic, I came back on the track expecting to rejoin behind the pair of them, little did I knew Jamie was trying to readdress the situation but trying to hold Garth behind him. I came back on the track gathered it up and as Garth went right to go around Jamie unfortunately we interlocked wheels and we were done both catapulting towards the fence. Both our days were done, Jamie carried on.
I don’t blame Jamie for having a go, he believes the move was on, I believe it wasn’t as he wasn’t under control of the car at the point of impact. I’ve had some awesome battles with Jamie and have a lot of respect for him and this incident doesn’t change my opinion.
This is why I hate this race; it can be in the palm of your hand and suddenly from a freak incident being ripped away from you like you wouldn’t believe. I will never know whether I could’ve won that race, got on the podium, I will never know what could’ve happened. If there was a safety car, did I have more pace then those two to hold them off, what would the race have been like for everyone at the track and at home? We will never ever know.
When the mountain bites, it bites hard, harder than any track in the world. But that is why we love it so much.
One thing is for sure, we will be back, I’ll be back and one-day if or when I win this race I will always look back at this race as the one that got away.
Although in conclusion I would like to say sorry to Garry Rogers, the team at GRM and also our fans for not getting the job done for you, nothing would’ve satisfied me more then to win that race for Garry or even just to get on the podium, I felt it would almost be my thank you to him for giving me my shot in Supercars, at a race that means so much to him.
He put me in the spotlight when no one else would, I wouldn’t be in this position without him and the people at GRM and I will be forever grateful for that.
We're on the hunt for NZ's favourite banana cake icing! Will it be chocolate? Lemon? Cream Cheese? Or just a dusting of icing sugar?
Have your say below and go into the draw to win two x 1.25kg packets of our ready made Banana Cake mix AND a 1kg bag of plain icing sugar plus a 375g bag of chocolate icing sugar from Chelsea Sugar - so you can ice your cake your way!
Entries close midnight Tuesday 17th May, and we'll contact winners the next day. Full T's & C's are here: http://bit.ly/EdmondsTsandCs
Win this meal! We've spent months curating our new menu for you and it's finally time to give you a taste. We're giving away a meal just like this to a lucky person in each of our venues over the week. To win, just let us know who you'd share it with and your local Mexico! Winners drawn tomorrow.
Mexican Classics kick us off: Esquites, Panucho, Tamale, Empanada, Churros, 1 x Chelada, 1 x Agua Fresca.
The Poi E Movie has finally hit theatres today and to get our office excited about the film Daz & Ast laydown the Poi-Man Challenge! Relive the 80’s nostalgia and celebrate New Zealand’s unofficial anthem with Poi E: The Story Of Our Song in theatres now! Watch the trailer → http://bit.ly/2aU00Rg
This is Lilly, an absolute hero. Last week there were plantation fires at Maungati. Sadly, there were a number of sheep grazing among the trees. Lilly went in and drove a number of them out, saving their lives. For her efforts, Lilly has severely burnt feet and a number of other burns. We are pleased to say that she is recovering well. What a hero!!
WIN Estee Lauder's ultimate gift this Christmas: The Limited Edition Blockbuster with 29 Beauty Essentials. To enter, comment below and tell us what your first ever Estee Lauder purchase was. Winner will be selected at random. All the best #EsteeBeauties
On the 10th day of Christmas, Huawei gave to me, 2x Huawei GT3 and 2x Huawei Selfie Stick… To be in to WIN, like our page and tell us in the comments below, which of your friends would love to WIN this too.
2 winners will be drawn and announced on 11 December. #HuaweiGiveaways #12DaysOfChristmas T&C apply: http://bit.ly/2gLs9HO
IT'S COMPETITION TIME.... and we think your Summer skin deserves some pampering. Just comment below why you love Summer and we will pick one lucky winner to win our amazing Eight Hour Cream skincare kit valued at $281! Winner announced Thursday 4 February.
$$$$ SUPER SPECIALS $$$$$$$$ HUGE SAVINGS Don't forget to "LIKE and SHARE "our page so your family members and friends also get the advantage of huge specials 🤑🤑🤑 88f great south Takanini (near Bp gas station) (Takanini motarway offramp ) back side coffee home Phone no 09-2997909
There’s a new Food Bag in the family! My Food Bag have just launched Classic For Two, the perfect dinner solution for couples. I've got three bags to give away, comment below to be in to win! Check it out here: https://www.myfoodbag.co.nz/my-food-bags/classic-for-two
Junior LOVES a good traditional Christmas dinner but the rest of us want a BBQ at the beach. What are you having this Christmas? Comment below & be in to WIN $200 towards your Christmas feast. Five winners chosen at 4pm today. ~Head Elf
WIN!!! With the school holidays almost here, we have the ULTIMATE Klutz BOREDOM Buster pack to giveaway to keep the kids entertained. Featuring 5 of our brand-new KLUTZ kits, including Shimmer Art, Quote Art, Coloring Crush, Color-in Stained Glass and Smash Bot Battle, there are hours of pester-free fun to be had! To go in the draw to win this great prize just comment, share or like this post by next Friday the 8th of July at 10am. Good luck everyone! ** This competition is only open to our Facebook fans in New Zealand.