Gold Coast to home via the Bathurst 1000

Following on from my last post where I drove our 1965 Econoline up to the RedBull Day in the Dirt I stored my van at my sister in laws on the Gold Coast and flew back home waiting for the perfect opportunity to make the flight back up and drive home.

That opportunity came when Sidchrome offered me some tickets to the big race, the Bathurst 1000.

I booked some flights and got excited about another adventure in our van.

After flying in to the GC and taking my nephew for a few laps around the block it was time to hit the road.

I was really excited to see some new places I hadn’t been before, if you have followed my adventures then you would have seen a bunch of stuff from the east coast of Australia, there is no denying the beuty of our coastline but this time I wanted to head inland.

I steered the old van off the highway and passed through Bangalow for dinner at the Bowlo, then continued on to Lismore for the night.

After Lismore I tracked out some more scenic ways of getting to Bathurst.

In true shortcut fashion this road took us through some wild terrain, dirt roads, farm land, mountains and rain.

The van eats it all up though and although we didnt make it to Bathurst that night we stayed just a few hours north in Merriwa.

The Eldorado Motor Inn gave us that USA roadtrip vibe all over again.

Back on the road and bound for Bathurst, we made it in-time for the morning practice session.

It just blows me away how many people attend this event, it is a real credit to the whole organisation how well it all runs.

Ford brought out some big guns.

It was good to see the guys from Team 18 Preston hire, I have spent a fair few days in the Team 18 workshop and these are a great bunch of guys.

They were fighting some problems with both their transaxle gearbox’s, they have one spare and one in the car, unfortunately they damaged both leading up to the shootout on Saturday.

We had some time to kill and there is no better way to do that than in the Bathurst Motor Museum.

I dig everything about old race cars.

But the unexpected highlight was the bikes.

Oh and the speedway cars, you know I love these!

A Vincent V twin is up there on the list of bikes I would like to experience.

Vintage speedway bikes too.

There really was a bunch of cool stuff in there.

But anyway I had to get back out and get a spot for the top 10 shootout.

But not before visiting the Sidchrome tools LSV12 Project Car’s engine. This is going in a 1969 Camaro that will be given away, I have had a bit to do with this car and cant wait to show you some stuff that has been in the works all year.

We took a bus up the mountain and enjoyed the view.

Words can not describe the undulations of this circuit.

Or the dedication of the 10s of thousands of people who make this place home for the week leading up to the race.

It is complete dedication and passion, a snapshot of Australian culture and it made me proud to be an Australian.

I also spent some time reflecting on the Falcon and its last race year at Bathurst.

The end of an era and the end of a something that has been a big part of my life.

After the shootout ended we had some dinner in Bathurst and then got up early to do it all again Sunday.

Blue skies and the big race loomed.

After the fly over it was on!

I didn’t really take any photos during the race I just sat back and enjoyed it.

Craig Lowndes won the 1,000km race and the crowd went wild.

I had some plans though and we got out of the track asap.

Before the sun went down I had invite from Josh and Katie to ride their private flat track.

Katie met us at the gate and I was excited to get some more seat time on the Rickman Metisse, the track was perfect, unfortunately Josh broke his arm the day before but Katie and Dimmo were lapping it up. There was no better way to spend the last night of this trip than this.

We had some beers and talked cars and bikes, turns out that Josh and I have been following a similar path and actually drifted together way back in 2005.

It’s been a really fun trip, I have met a heap of great people along the way, had some great times both in the van and on the bike, the van has been perfect and continues to be our perfect roadtrip companion.

I am only back at work for two days and then I am off to WTAC to debut the BMW R Nine TE Build so keep an eye on that in the next post, as always thanks for reading.