Moun­tain is still the king

Herald Sun - Motoring - - PAUL GOVER -

THE Bathurst 1000 lived up to its rep­u­ta­tion as The Great Race on Sun­day. Some­thing was hap­pen­ing from the first lap al­most to the last, from the time Garth Tan­der stalled on the grid to when James Court­ney snatched third place on the run to the flag.

It would have been great to see Greg Mur­phy racing without steer­ing dam­age to his Com­modore, and Court­ney could have been a con­tender without tyre trou­bles. But the right team and the right driv­ers won.

As motorsport ex­pert Stephen Ottley says: ‘‘The per­for­mance of Triple Eight was gen­uinely fault­less. If you wanted to write a text­book on how to win Bathurst, that was the way.’’

Craig Lown­des and Jamie Whin­cup were clearly best of the best at Bathurst, in speed and tac­tics, and Team Voda­fone boss Roland Dane got it right at the flag when he called his driv­ers ‘‘leg­ends’’. Still, it was sad to see Paul Weel and Paul Ra­disich taken to hospi­tal in the run-up to the race.

Weel’s hard-work­ing crew was dev­as­tated by the crash and he was lucky it was not far worse. As for Ra­disich, the gi­ant prang at the top of the moun­tain has left him with bro­ken an­kles and ribs, al­most a re­peat of the dam­age he suf­fered in a sim­i­lar crash sev­eral years ago.

Ra­disich did bril­liantly to bounce back from the first crash to be­come one of the best Bath- urst co-driv­ers in the busi­ness, but the lat­est hit has prob­a­bly ended his ca­reer.

Ra­disich is a nice bloke who will be sorely missed.

Dy­namic duo: Triple Eight’s Craig Lown­des and Jamie Whin­cup drove the per­fect race at Bathurst.

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