This week hundreds of Kiwi motorsport fans will make the pilgrimage to Bathurst.
Thousands more will spend Sunday afternoon with a few mates glued to the TV coverage.
What is it about this race that captivates us? Ever since Jim Richards called the Bathurst fans a ‘just a pack of bastards’ when they booed him on the podium. They have been legends and a special feral bunch. It is all part of the magic. I don’t think it is one magic ingredient it is the sum of many parts.
It is a race that has created drivers and turned them into legends and household names. Peter Brocks 7 wins, Greg Murphy’s ‘lap of the gods’, gentleman Jim and the ‘pack of bastards’.
The track is out in the middle of nowhere just getting there is a pilgrimage. It has more twists and turns than an interview with Winnie, the TV coverage is world class, part of that is due to a cameraman’s strike one year that forced them into developing the onboard camera technology that they thought would replace a cameraman or two. Something that has now such a vital part of the TV coverage. The weather always comes to the party with some will it or wont it rain. The local wildlife, no not the fans, can leap onto the track and cause more issues. Mechanical issues come into play, incidents in the pits. The co-driver factor and the strategy game all go to make this a great afternoon in front of TV.
Rather than just sit and watch what are we doing to create our own Bathurst? What small NZ town is going to stand up and say, hey there is an opportunity here. You need to have some hills in the background a few streets we can close and something unique.
Christchurch you could have done it around your ruined city centre. Bob had vision he would have done it. Auckland you will never do it you are too busy dithering and worrying about a wee sailing trophy. Hamilton you gave up when you should have pressed on. Wellington you once had it and it was brilliant but I suppose sensible regulation will stop that every happening again.
Taranaki you have courage and a mountain how about it?
Nelson you are about the right size, come on step up all it takes is one phone call and we are talking.
Whangerai you have all that spare Port land looking for something to do and you have all those Aucklanders sitting on your doorstep
Here is the key, the race has to be at least 500k long, you need to commit to at least 10 years and then you will be sitting on a goldmine.
Do we have any takers?