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Thursday, 22 September 2016 00:00

Flashbacks: Drivers’ first Bathurst memories

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The first Bathurst experience is a jaw-dropping moment that's exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.

Mount Panorama remains a place where a passion can grow and stays with us for the rest of our lives, regardless of whether you are a driver or fan.

Ahead of the 2016 edition of the Great Race, V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94 asks some of the current crop of drivers about how they discovered Mount Panorama.

Issue #94 is a special Bathurst 1000 special edition and is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94.

Craig Lowndes tells us: "I think I was in my mid-teens and we camped out the back. It was amazing; it was the biggest event I'd ever been to. From memory, I was about 10 or 11 [when I first watched Bathurst on TV]. I was racing karts at the time and my father was involved in the event. I was sitting at home captivated, hoping one day I could get there too.

"I'll never forget the first time I saw the iconic Holden and Ford rivalry and the passion of the fans. It's great to see that the fans are still so passionate about the sport but particularly Bathurst. It takes it to a totally different level."

Some grew up at Mount Panorama and share their stories, including the likes of second-generation racers Jack Perkins, James Moffat and Steven Richards.

"I spent most of my life going up to Bathurst... and I think my first one was about 1976," says Richards.

"I do remember 1977, 1978 and 1979 a little bit when Dad drove the Falcon and then with Peter Brock in the Holden Dealer Team.

"I was mucking around with some of the other driver's kids at that time. There used to be the King George Tavern at the back of the pit area. There was a tent up there with a heap of pinball and gaming machines. We used to sneak up the back of the tent and flick the back of the machines for free credits and play the games.

"I remember we'd been in there and came out and there was no racing on. I pulled someone up to ask what was going on because everyone was running around like mad men. They said there was this big crash at the top of the Mountain and the race had been stopped [in 1981]."

Also sharing their first memories are Shane van Gisbergen, Garth Tander, Cameron Waters, Chaz Mostert, Jason Bright, Rick Kelly, Tim Slade, Scott McLaughlin, Chris Pither, Tim Blanchard, Michael Caruso, Fabian Coulthard, Todd Kelly, Lee Holdsworth, Dale Wood, Will Davison, David Reynolds, Nick Percat and Andre Heimgartner.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94 to read the full feature.