Becoming the first Queenslander to take out overall victory at Mount Panorama Bathurst was a real thrill to me. I’m ecstatic to take out my first round win in 2015 at the Mountain, it’s a dream come true to stand on the top step of the podium here at Bathurst. Coming away with a further nine points lead over second spot and leading by 29 points is great but there is no time for complacency, still two rounds to go to the conclusion of the championship.
I was fairly happy with Thursday’s practice setting the second fastest time only to be pipped by .4 of a second. In qualifying it was a tough battle, but it was good to team up with Maurice in the dying minutes of qualifying when I slipstreaming him down Conrod which got me back to third and then I returned the favour on the last lap of qualifying and he shot through to pole which was great.
I managed a great start in the first race, staying with Masini and Flack and we battled lap after lap. Even though I managed to set the fastest sector times up the mountain and across the top of the mountain down onto Conrod, I didn’t quite have the pace to make a pass on the two leaders. On the last lap Adrian Flack got a little bit overexcited and slammed the back of Masini’s car down at the end of Conrod which gave me an opportunity to make a pass on Flack into the last corner, and tag onto the back of Masini grabbing second spot just .4 for the second off the win. I was really excited to see that I broke the lap record, but then I was pipped by both Masini and Flack. All in all very happy with race one, my car was fantastic!!
Race two was a non-event due to the serious crash in the V8 Supercar qualifying, a little disappointing but understandable. On Saturday morning reversing the grid of the top 10 and starting alongside Maurice in position 9 was at least a better alternative than starting at the rear of the field for a full reverse grid. Got a reasonable start but I was very cautious about making sure that every pass needed to be clean and achievable. Coming down Conrod for the second time close in behind Tony Quinn and the first thing I knew of the impending incident was when he braked suddenly, and instinctively I took evasive action but was hit from behind by Masini and I went left to avoid Tony but was hit by a massive amount of flying debris which damaged the bodywork of my car and sent shards of carbon fibre and fibreglass into my eyes. I didn’t realise what had happened because at over 200 kph things happen so quickly. Obviously the race was stopped and deleted from any results, but importantly, even though Damian Flack was injured he was ok which is great thankfully. My heart goes out to him and his family and I hope he recovers quickly.
So we are now on the grid to start the final race and who could believe, it rained!! No wet set up but that’s ok everyone was in the same boat. Got a great start and lead the field around on the first lap only to be greeted by the safety car for the third round in succession!! Woodsy and Sam Milton came together over the top of the mountain and this ended up being a lengthy and frustrating safety car period. At the restart I anticipated the necessity to get going quickly, so once the green flag was waved I made a dash for turn one and focused on a perfect lap to lead the field to the chequered flag and win the double points round to take out my first round win for the season, you beauty!!! What better place to do it than at the Mountain!!
Winning here at Bathurst is certainly the pinnacle of my racing career to date, and I owe everything to my team, sponsors and supporters.