HOME OF THE NISSAN MOTORSPORT SUPERCARS TEAM

WHAT MAKES BATHURST SO SPECIAL?

by Michael Teychenne
on 06 October, 2018

Nissan Motorsport is ready to tackle tomorrow's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, following a productive final day of practice around the mountain.

Andre Heimgartner and Aaren Russell will start tomorrow's 161-lap event from 13th on the grid. The #7 Castrol / Plus Fitness Racing duo showed strong speed at the last round at Sandown, and have developed a solid platform to allow them to repeat that effort tomorrow.

Rick Kelly will race in a special Castrol Perkins livery on Sunday to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Larry Perkins' 1993 victory. The two-time race winner will start from position 14 on the grid, as he shares driving duties with Super2 ace Garry Jacobson.

Michael Caruso is partnering up with Dean Fiore for tomorrow's big race, as 2018 marks the fifth year that the pair will drive together at Bathurst. Aiming to exploit that continuity to improve upon last year's 6th placed finish, the #23 Industrial Athlete Nissan will line up 16th on the grid.

Bathurst is a track Simona De Silvestro knows well. The Swiss driver first arrived here in 2015 as a wildcard entry, and in her fourth start she will partner with Alex Rullo in the #78 Team Harvey Norman Nissan. Starting from 26th, De Silvestro will target steady progress to help deliver a strong result.

The 6.21km Mount Panorama circuit is the most revered bit of tarmac in Australia. Tomorrow, a new chapter will be written in its history.

Here's what the drivers had to say about what makes Bathurst so special...

 

 

 

#7 CASTROL / PLUS FITNESS RACING

ANDRE HEIMGARTNER
"Yes, the track is special, but the whole week leading up to Bathurst is unique. This event is our grand final and a Bathurst win is something every driver wants on their CV. This place is tight, fast and requires incredible commitment. To get one lap right here is difficult enough, but to nail a whole weekend is what keeps drivers coming back every year."
 
#11 CASTROL RACING

RICK KELLY
"Funnily enough, I try not to think too much about Bathurst while we're here. I just try to treat it like any weekend. That's tricky when you have 200,000 fans and the most exciting stretch of racetrack in the country. I just want to get the job done. The most rewarding part of the track is across the top of the hill. Getting the most out of your car from the Cutting to Skyline is a real challenge. There's nowhere else like it."
 
#23 INDUSTRIAL ATHLETE

MICHAEL CARUSO
"Not only is this place the best six and a half kilometres of tarmac I've ever driven on, it also challenges you at literally every point of the track. There's a trick to every corner, and you never complete a lap fully satisfied and convinced you got the most out of it. The history of the track and the town itself helps gives this event a special sort of magic. Through Reid Park and the Grate is unique and unlike anywhere else. The fans are metres away from you, so when you go in there with full commitment, they certainly share their appreciation."

#78 TEAM HARVEY NORMAN

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
"I've been lucky to driver on a lot of great circuits and Bathurst is right up there. The top of the mountain is a lot of fun - it's fast, flowing and has real consequences. It's not just the drivers that are excited for the event either. All the fans are super passionate about this race too. It's a long lap and the rise of elevation means that you can experience completely different weather at either end. As a driver, you want to be challenged, and Bathurst certainly provides that."

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