About Blue Snoopy

Blue Snoopy is a 2012 Nova Vita Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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11 to 14 February 2010 – Bathurst 12 Hour

Introduction – Bathurst 12 Hour Race.

We are not sure if it is a sign of age or if so much has happened over the past few days as the events that took place last Thursday through to Sunday (this is being written on Monday, 15th February) are now a far distant memory.

11 February 2010

We planned to leave home at 7.30am but left at 7.50am.

The GPS was programmed for our destination at Bathurst and fortunately the traffic function took us around very heavy traffic on Parramatta Road to the M4 for our trip west. The trip to Bathurst should only take about 3 hours and we needed to arrive there well before midday so we could cross the Mount Panorama race track at 12.15pm to gain access to the camp ground.

We actually arrived at Bathurst at 11.45am and were able to cross the track immediately as the practice we believed would be taking place was not. Practice started on the Friday.

We found a spot close to friends and with a bit of ingenuity, managed to connect to power. Our site was actually in the area used for corporate tent s during the Bathurst 1000 (run in October), adjacent to Hell Corner and within 100 metres of the pits and our corporate box. We helped to setup the Winnebago Club shelter (“The Hut”) and started happy hour a little early. 22 motor homes were attending this Winnebago RV Club event and the group got together for happy hour and then a BYO BBQ.

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Image – Winnebago motor homes at the camp site adjacent to Mountain Straight.

We sat after tea renewing acquaintance and meeting new friends before heading to bed relatively early.

12 February 2010

We awoke to an overcast day but it was dry. The day started with a community breakfast in “The Hut” before we headed into the pit area and our corporate box.

Friday was practice day for the competitors who were racing in the 12 Hour Race plus Historic Touring Cars, HQ Holden’s, Porsche GT3 Challenge, Saloon Cars and Improved Production.

Most of the practice session were conducted in dry conditions and until Bathurst received a substantial dump of rain that made racing treacherous. Our camp site was turned into a bog with the ground that was already soaked from recent rain incapable of absorbing any of the rain. We were soon walking through an inch of water that was slowly turning into mud.

Sydney RV Centre provided us with a BBQ for the evening meal (thanks Jeremy) and we were allowed by the relevant authority to take our evening meal into our corporate box. In fact, we were allowed access until 10pm. After we finished the evening meal we participated in a trivia contest where our table came third. It was still raining!

13 February 2010

It continued to rain on Friday night with further heavy rain forecast for Saturday. Saturday breakfast was bacon and eggs. We spent the majority of Saturday watching various practice sessions and several races all run in wet conditions.

The Porsche challenge came to a halt with a bad crash directly in front of our box.

The rain continued during the afternoon and finally stopped after a massive deluge which dropped a massive amount of rain in only a few minutes. This deluge stopped racing for the day.

We had another BBQ for tea and were able to sit outside under an awning until further rain forced us to retire for the night. We needed an early night as Sunday was scheduled to start for us at 5.45am to allow sufficient time for us to dress and to be in the corporate box by 6.15am.

14 February 2010

The alarm sounded at 5.30am and one hour later we were watching the start of the 12 hour race from our corporate box.

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Image – Just after the start of the race

We spent the better part of 12 hours in the box where we enjoyed breakfast, morning tea, lunch and finally afternoon tea. All of the above were washed down with the contents of a well stocked fridge.

As far as the race went, it was won by a BMW. Most of the RV Club members were supporting a Mitsubishi Lancer sponsored and driven by the owner of the Easts Caravan Parks.

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Image – The East’s car under brakes

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Image – The winner (BMW)

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Image – Cars finishing the race

Most of the race was run in wet conditions and midway through the race, and fortunately while the safety car was on the track, a large tree fell across the track and stopped the race. Surely this was a first and did provide a different sort of entertainment for us whilst the tree was attacked with chain saws to remove it. The reason that the safety car was on the track at that time was due to very heavy rain and mist. We joked that the safety car was on the track so much that it would run out of fuel and much to our amusement, they did have to quickly refuel it.

Unfortunately the race concluded under the safety car but the result seemed clear with a couple of laps to go even though the East’s car was rapidly closing on the leader.

Being at the track is certainly different to watching on TV. Until you see the cars, you have no appreciation of the speed that they travel and the roar of a highly tuned race engine. You could feel the vibration from the engines as the cars travelled down the pit lane at low speed.

We had a salad for tea before joining other members for a quiet drink and a chat under clear skies and a lovely sunset.

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