Fri, Oct 10, 11:53am by Mike Randall
Venue: Mt Panorama, Bathurst, NSW
Race time: Sunday, October 12, 10.30am
Race distance: 1000.3 kms – 161 laps
Circuit length: 6.231 km
Direction: Anti clockwise
Average speed: 178 km/h
Max speed: 300 km/h
Fastest point: Conrod straight
Watch it: Channel 7
Bet: Sign up at BetEasy and get up to $500 in bonus bets.
AUSTRALIAN Motorsport’s holy grail is upon us.
Scenic Mt Panorama plays host to the race that stops the rev head nation, the Bathurst 1000.
And with thousands of rev heads making the trip to Wahluu for the pinnacle V8 Supercars event this weekend, plenty of punters have also made the trip online to our recommended bookmakers to try and find who will cross the finish line first in the 12 hour race.
Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell lead the market and will start favourites for the Peter Brock Trophy at $3.75, BetEasy.com.au’s Rob Cumbrae-Stewart told AustralianGambling.com.au.
“But hot on their heels is the team that, between them, has eight titles at Bathurst – Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards – currently at $5 to win the race.”
This year – the traditional rivalry that is Holden and Ford might have to take a back seat, as Holden is currently at short odds of $1.20 at BetEasy to beat the other manufacturers in the race.
“If punters think that Holden can get beaten, then there is some serious value in the market – we have Ford at $6.50, Volvo at $15 Nissan at $34 and the Mercedes team is way out at $51,” he said.
And a Holden victory is even shorter at Sportsbet.com.au.
While Volvo, Nissan and Mercedes are part of the V8 fold at Mount Panorama, it might as well be a good old fashioned Ford v Holden battle.
Holden is priced at $1.18 to provide this year’s winner, ahead of Ford at $6.
Punters think Volvo ($13.50), Nissan ($31) and Mercedes ($52) are just making up the numbers.
The top four teams in outright betting at Sportsbet.com.au will be driving a Holden – Whincup and Dumbrell are the favourites at $3.75, with Lowndes and Richards on the second line at $5.
The HRT Team of Greg Murphy and James Courtney is next at $7 and then Garth Tander and Warren Luff ($8) are the only other racers under $10.
For those fans who can’t agree on Ford or Holden, they can at least be patriotic with $1.12 on offer for any Aussie driver to take out the Great Race, Sportsbet.com.au’s Christian Jantzen said.
Any of the three Kiwis is paying $5.05, while the lone Swede in the field, Robert Dahlgren, is a $501 chance.
“It’s no surprise to see the amount of money coming in for the Red Bull Racing cars and in particular Jamie Whincup,” Jantzen said.
“He’s won it four times, just took out the Sandown 500, and leads the championship by 135 points.”
The track has been resurfaced – a $2 million project – and that has produced some blitzing times in practice yesterday – it’s going to be a very fast race and many are predicting records to be smashed this weekend.
And one has already been broken, with $36 FPR chance David Reynolds eclipsing Lowndes’ 2010 practice record. He’s now been crunched in to $19 on the back of yesterday’s drive.
Whoever is crowned winner of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 this weekend, it is sure to be a cracker of a race and, more importantly, a great weekend away for those going.
Bathurst 1000 Winner
$15 Van Gisbergen/Webb
Team of Winning Driver
$5.05 New Zealand
Number of Drivers to Finish
$1.85 Over 21.5 Cars
$1.85 Under 21.5 Cars
Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell $3.75 at Sportingbet.com.au
It’s hard to go past Whincup and Dumbrell after their win in the Sandown 500 in September. They’re the enduro kings, having joined together in 2012 and never finished off the podium at Bathurst or Sandown. Whincup leads the championship, and is well in the hunt for a record sixth title, ahead of Courtney and Murphy at the top of the endurance cup standings.
A caution is the flat practice the pair had yesterday – Whincup reckons they have plenty of work to do before the race proper to get the car right.
“We’re not in the ballpark with the car at the moment and we’re currently around the mid pack,” Whincup said after yesterday’s practice.
“I had a suspicion that this might be the case today and it has been.
“With the massive change in track conditions as a result of the resurfacing, it’s always a lottery on how much pace you’re going to have when you roll off the truck.
“Having said that, we’ve been in this position plenty of times before and we’ve pulled through.
“I’ve got full faith in the team and engineers that they can reinvent the wheel overnight and try to get us back where we’d like to be.”
Lowndes is a superstar of the sport and has won the race five times. He cannot be discounted, especially with Richards, who won last year’s race, sharing duties in car 888. They will be right on Whincup and Dumbrell’s tail when the whips are cracking.
“Bathurst really is the biggest race of the year and it’s one that I always want to win and I think that we’re in a good position to do so after we got a lot of confidence from Sandown,” Lowndes said.
“Going to Bathurst, the track’s been resurfaced so we’ll have to get our heads around setups from previous years, but I think the speed of the cars will be faster than we’ve seen in the past and, as long as the weather stays fine over the course of the week, it will be a fast paced race.
“Steve and I are up for the challenge and really looking forward to it.”
At odds, we like the Ford Pepsi Max team of Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen.
Winterbottom was Richards’ co-driver in last year’s win and, if he is any hope of reeling in Whincup and winning the championship, he must cross the line first at Bathurst.
“We’ve enjoyed the week so far, and we’ve enjoyed being defending champions but, as a team, we want it for another 12 months,” Winterbottom said after Thursday’s practice.
“It is hard work out there and while there is a lot more speed, that brings some issues but it seems to be the same for everyone.
“Hopefully we can maintain our speed and I think Sunday will be a good race given the fast times we are all doing.”
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