The most iconic race in Australian V8 Supercars – perhaps the most iconic in all of Australia, and one that is known worldwide – occurs this weekend. October 10-13 sees the V8s tackle Mount Panorama for the 2013 running of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Holden has won the race each of the last four years, most recently with Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell a year ago. The 2012 race though saw the emergence of new talent David Reynolds, who co-drove a Rod Nash Racing-entered Ford Falcon to second with veteran Dean Canto.
Whincup and Dumbrell lead the 29-car field that, until this year, was comprised solely of Holdens and Fords. But a new wrinkle this year is the addition of Mercedes-Benz and Nissan to the field. There are two MB E63 AMGs along with four Nissan Altimas.
And there’s a handful of familiar names to U.S. fans in the field, even though most of the drivers are Australian. Ryan Briscoe continues his season-long world tour of driving different cars, co-driving with Australian legend Russell Ingall in the No. 66 Supercheap Auto Holden Commodore. American Le Mans Series regular Jeroen Bleekemolen co-drives with Shane van Gisbergen in the No. 97 VIP Petfoods Holden.
Ex-Audi factory driver Alexandre Premat is in the field as is current Porsche factory shoe Marc Lieb.
The V8s made a stateside appearance to Circuit of the Americas in May. As part of the lead-up to that event, NASCAR’s Kurt Busch sampled James Courtney’s V8 Holden.
More information can be found on the series’ official website. Newly announced Wednesday was that the commentary will be done by the excellent Radio Le Mans crew.