The 2013 Bathurst Motor Festival was held over the??29th to the 31st of March, and the Autohaus Hamilton family was there in a big way.
The event celebrated the 75th anniversary of Mount Panorama and saw a field more than 300 strong thrilling a hair under 10,000 spectators over the course of a three-day weekend on The Mountain.
It was one of our largest ever motorsport attendances and we were lucky enough to share the weekend with a crew of good friends, who all braved the mountain admirably, improving times, growing as drivers and generally being spectacular.
There were personal bests all ‘round in regularity, with a few drivers even dipping below the magic 2:40 cut-off mark and receiving a stern chat with the marshalls for being too quick.
Stephen Borness had a particularly eventful weekend, twice piled into by other drivers in stacks which saw us replacing radiators in one race and the entire rear left corner of his suspension in another. That didn’t stop him from finishing in a very strong third outright, however!
We’ve caught up with a few of our buddies over the weeks since the event to see what they thought of the weekend.
On the Autohaus Hamilton Porsche Specialist Track Support:
“The team from Autohaus Hamilton were always on hand to support both car and driver! Nothing like a pep-talk from Grant and the boys before you head out.”
“The car (996 GT3) ran faultlessly and I only had to call on their services for some minor set-up adjustments. But at a track that’s so fast and intense its great to know that you’ve got the best in the business looking after things for you - and they’re not bad to have a beer with in the evening as well!” - Grant Bush
“Track support is invaluable for Bathurst. Typically a couple of months out we all deliberate if we need it, but experience says that we do. We push our cars to the limit, and without support addressing them becomes fairly risky.”
“It’s basically like a form of ” fun” insurance. I suggest its well worth it. The boys from Autohaus do a stellar job. The odd all night repair isn’t uncommon. Thanks boys, I know we pay you, and I know it’s worth it!” - Mark Croudace
Image thanks to Grant Bush
“The highlight for me was going with Autohaus. They were really professional and the??camaraderie??was great.”
“Grant has a tremendous intuition for helping you improve your driving. It???s more than just track support.”
“Matt even organised for me to sit down and watch some videos of someone who???d done some really good laps. They make you feel like you???re the only one there and that you???re special.”
“Grant and his guys are very supportive and everyone is so friendly and social. We went and had drinks and pizza together on Friday, and it???s just a really good atmosphere. Everyone???s really helpful and supportive as well.” - Roxanne Saba
On the people, the event, and the driving:
“Being part of the broader motorsport event adds to the atmosphere of the weekend and provides for plenty of action and entertainment when not behind the wheel or checking out the variety of great Porsches at the track.”
“Tim from the PCNSW does an amazing job organising the weekend and ensuring that we’re all where we need to be for the sessions - must feel like herding cats at times! It was also great to have the opportunity to swap notes and driving stories with other club members over the course of the weekend.” - Grant Bush
It started out for me this year by meeting up at fellow PCNSW member’s workplace - Mark Bloxham’s - and heading out to Bathurst in convoy. From that moment on it’s fun and game-on laugh wise.”
“From ‘Froggy’ in his new GT3 RS, to Mark Bloxham in his flame-throwing ‘little old 994 turbo’, to the Headman in the GT3 with the “mostest” bling and Simon Tate in his 997 that makes all the GT3s look slow, the fun factor is high.”
“From then on we enjoy the hospitality of the city of Bathurst immensely, and slot into the event as run by our own Tim Bickford, who does a stellar job. I thoroughly enjoy the company up at the Mountain in the Porsche club!” - Mark Croudace
“It???s really nice to meet people from other clubs around Australia. Everyone drove respectfully and well. Nobody was dangerous or intimidating.”??- Roxanne Saba
On The Mountain:
“As a first timer to experience unrestricted laps of Bathurst I can tell you that nothing prepares you for the experience. I have watched countless laps of the mountain and talked to people who’ve driven the track before but was still left in complete awe at the end of the first session.”
“One of the issues I found at times was overcoming the distraction of surreal moments where it was as if you had jumped through the TV screen on the in-car telecast - but arriving at the next corner usually regained the focus!” - Grant Bush
“For me, Bathurst is pretty much the highlight of the track year.”
“Its partly about the driving; lets face it, covering 240 kilometers over three days on a track that makes Eastern Creek look small is a blast, but for me it is also in large part about the friendship and shared experiences.”
“Adrenalin, fear, very high speeds and very high stakes make for great post track session laughs and bonding. As does pizza with ridiculously good red wine at dinner.” - Mark Croudace
“I love the track; it’s fast, very intimidating and a great privilege to drive on, especially??with a truly brilliant group of people.”??- Roxanne Saba
Read on to check out another of Simon Tate’s brilliant videos, along with our photo gallery from the weekend, which includes some great shots thanks to Grant Bush.