As a complete motor-racing neutral – I’ve never owned a Holden, or a Ford – there’s a number of things I can’t work out about the Bathurst 1000.
Like how my 1988 Nissan Navara clocked a lap time of almost 12 minutes back in 2006.
And then, on Saturday, some upstart-kiwi named Scott McLaughlin, in what, to me, looked like Craig Lowndes’ old car, produced a time that would have resulted in him lapping me in the old girl almost six times.
I thought anything sub-13 minutes was pretty decent until then.
The roar my ute produced when I thumped the gear stick back into first as I negotiated the cutting on that scintillating lap was as loud a noise as any V8 produced on Sunday – that’s probably not a good thing, though.
Or why the commentators produce their best Darrell Eastlake impression every time a tyre hits anything other than bitumen.
Let alone when an entire car was shunted into a cement wall.
“HUUUUGE MOMENT”, I heard from my kitchen … on lap 10. And then again on lap 52. And then again on lap 112.
Huge moments everywhere. Eastlake would be loving it.
And then there’s the little screens on the drivers’ dash that seem to be spruiking me new seat covers as I watch on intently, or how sweet my ride would be with new rims – I can’t be sure.
Either way, if I’m driving at 300 kilometres per hour down Conrod, I’d rather the screen most cars use as a GPS tell me when to turn … not how nice cowhide seat covers would be for my Chaminda Vaas.
Come the second week in October, this stuff happens every year.
And yet, every year, I tune in and absorb the event that is Bathurst – or, Bath-hurst (cringe), depending on who you talk to.
Because, for people like me with a somewhat limited understanding about what makes a tonne-and-a-half’s worth of car shoot up the Mountain like a rocket, it’s about far more than what’s under the hood.
It’s one of those must-watch sporting events of the year.
It’s well and truly in the same class as the Melbourne Cup, the NRL and AFL grand finals, State of Origin, the start of the Sydney to Hobart and, for me, the Super Bowl.
We’re just lucky there’s one right on our doorstep in the Central West.