RECORDS were broken on Saturday, but the rain just kept on falling on Sunday for the 55th running of the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.
Rain was predicted and it certainly came with falls recorded almost continually during the race.
Even as Deltra Goodrem sung the national album at a piano on the grid, she did so sheltered by umbrellas.
Then the drivers were off, for 161 laps, with many of them sliding across the racing surface with some ending up into walls, the grass and sand traps.
Supercars series leader Scott McLaughlin may have twice broken the lap record – once on Friday during practice and again on Saturday during the Top 10 shootout when he completed a lap in 2:03.83 seconds, but his car failed to finish the race.
Instead crossing the line first in the rain-soaked event was Team Erebus driver David Reynolds.
Along with co-driver Luke Youlden, the pair were first-time Bathurst 1000 winners.
Coming in second was Mobil1 HSV Racing’s Scott Pye and Warren Luff, while third over the line was Shell V-Power Racing Team of Fabian Coulthard and Tony D'Alberto.
Despite the sodden start to the main race, 56,042 people attended Mount Panorama to take in the action on Sunday, including NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
While a total of total of 205,693 attended across the four days of the event.
It was a one per cent increase on 2016 and only eclipsed by the 50th anniversary event in 2012 when 207,205 people celebrated half a century of Australia’s iconic race.
Supercars chief executive officer James Warburton said: “This event just gets better each year”.
“It is the biggest event in New South Wales and one of the largest in the country every year.”
Bathurst Regional Council general manager David Sherley said the Great Race brings millions of dollars to the city and region.
“It has a $25 million impact on the Bathurst economy,” he said.
“It also has a $55 million impact on the NSW economy.”
Member for Calare Andrew Gee was also at the track on Sunday and agreed that the event was a very big tourism driver for Bathurst and the Central West.
“We’re very lucky to have it and I think the whole plans for Velocity Park [the second circuit for Mount Panorama] shows a very forward-thinking council,” he said.
“It helps build the bridge between country and city.”
During the Bathurst 1000, the greats of the race were honoured on the grid following their induction into the newly established ‘Legend’s Lane’ which next year will be a permanent tribute at the circuit.
The late Peter Brock, as well as Jim Richards, Allan Moffat, Dick Johnson, John Goss, John Bowe, Allan Grice, Fred Gibson, Colin Bond, Kevin Bartlett, John Harvey and Bob Morris were the first to be inducted.
- The Great Race: A win for David Reynolds and Luke Youlden | Blog
- Police dogs have the best noses on the job for the Bathurst 1000 | Video
- NSW Premier’s pit stop at her first Bathurst 1000 | Photos