THERE are many drivers who will be praying to the weather gods for a dry Mount Panorama circuit over the next three days, but Quentin Bland sees things a little differently.
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The Bathurst driver wouldn't mind a bit of rain, in fact he knows a bit of rain will increase his chances of claiming podium at his home track behind the wheel of his Ford Capri.
Bland is racing his Capri as part of the 40-car Heritage Revival field. It's a category designed to showcase the some of the best examples of Australia's motor sport heritage from the 1960s through to the 1990s.
It means there are cars with more horsepower than Bland's Class N Capri, but when it's wet they can't convert that into as big of a speed advantage.
It's something that was demonstrated on day one at the Mount. Bland was third fastest overall and third in class during opening practice when it was wet, but in dry conditions for practice two and qualifying he was further down the timesheet.
"It was very wet, but the car felt good. I've driven in conditions like this before, but the wet's trying at any time," Bland said after practice one.
"You have to treat it with respect, but the car felt good.
"I was first [in class]. If it dries up that will change because we don't have the horse power, but if it stays wet, we'll be up the pointy end. Fingers crossed."
This year is not the first time that Bland has been involved with the Bathurst 1000 as part of a support category.
In 2020 he raced his Ford Capri in the Combined Historics series, placing 15th in race one and 17th in race three with a DNF in between.
He's had plenty more experience at the 6.213 kilometre circuit on top of that too. That's why Bland handled the wet running in opening practice well.
Despite the slippery conditions - as the first category on track there was no rubber laid down either - the Bathurst driver peeled off a quickest lap of 3:06.6258.
Only two drivers went quicker than him in that session, while Bland's best lap was more than five seconds faster than his nearest class rival.
In practice two the track had more grip and there was no rain as the field headed out.
Bland was quicker, but so too were his rivals. His best lap was a 2:44.9584, which was fourth in class and 15th outright.
Then in Thursday afternoon's qualifying, the final session of the day, there was some light drizzle early but it then stopped and the track dried. Bland finished in 16th with a best lap of 2:55.5222.
While the Bathurst driver is hoping to do well over the next two days at the Mount as he tackles three 20-minute races, simply getting the chance to race on his home circuit at this time of year is something he'll enjoy.
"We're up here enjoying it, this is one of the best tracks in the world," he said.
"You like to race, but there's no sheep stations in it, so you just enjoy it. You just treat it with respect and fingers crossed it all goes well.
"It's an invite to race up here so it's not a series points race.
"It's just great to be here, fantastic, it's very well organised, they do a great job. They're just trying to mix the field up a bit, we get three races which is pretty good."
Race one of the Heritage Revival is set to commence at 8.20am Friday morning with Bland going from position 16.
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