Bathurst 1000 fans meet Supercars idols at off-track driver signing

DRIVERS' SIGNING: Tracy Cawte, from Hamilton, New Zealand, makes her visit here. She is pictured with Supercar driver Jack Perkins. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 100417cdrivrs1
DRIVERS' SIGNING: Tracy Cawte, from Hamilton, New Zealand, makes her visit here. She is pictured with Supercar driver Jack Perkins. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 100417cdrivrs1

Follow the Western Advocate’s Bathurst 1000 coverage.

It was a bumper crowd that came out to witness the Transporter Parade and driving signing on Wednesday, thanks to the aid of warm weather and school holidays.

Race fans were able to meet and greet their idols and have memorabilia signed by all drivers in two signings sessions, at the only official off-track group signing sessions.

Tim Slade, of Brad Jones Racing, has never managed to finish higher than seventh at the Bathurst 1000.

He said it was special to see the races fans back the streets for the Transporter Parade.

“It’s cool to see so many people out and about,” he said.

“Bathurst always has a lot of support from all the locals and there’s a lot of people who travel from far and wide to be here too.

“It’s cool and it’s awesome. It’s a ripper day, which makes it even better.”

Slade said the Bathurst 1000 is, each year, the race everyone is aiming to win. 

“It’s the one with the most history and the one that means the most to everyone,” he said.

Championship leader Scott McLaughlin, of DJR Team Penske, said that will bring no benefit heading into the 1000 kilometre race on Sunday.

“You never know what’s going to happen at Bathurst,” he said.

“It’s a matter of doing every lap, as fast as you can. Wherever we end up is wherever we end up.”

The Enduro Cup, which features the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600, can prove to be the most difficult time of the season.

McLaughlin said it is also a crucial time, with double points on offer to drivers.

“I’m excited by the prospect of a good race and we’ll see how it goes,” he said.

It said it was awesome to see so much support on the streets.

“Seeing people so excited about the race is fantastic,” he said.

“It’s going to be one of the best one yet.

“You knew what Supercars was [growing up] because of Bathurst.”

Jamie Whincup, of Triple Eight Race Engineering, is a veteran when it comes to the Bathurst 1000 and will race in his 16th Great Race on Sunday.

He’s also picked up a handy record in his time – four wins and three runner-up medals.

The success and podiums is something Whincup never gets sick of. 

“Absolutely not. It’s the biggest event of the year and it’s the one we all want to win and it’s exactly what we want to this weekend,” he said.

“We’re in contention [for the championship]. We lost a few points at Sandown but this weekend is standalone. We’ll just go out there and get the best result we can.”

***