By the time you read this, it will have ripped the air of New South Wales apart: Bathurst, The Great Race, the 1000km highlight of the Australian Supercars Championship.
This is the last Bathurst that will exclusively feature V8-powered Supercars. As of next year, twin-turbocharged V6s will gradually proliferate the grid.
Now, I’ve banged on enough about Supercars already this year, so I won’t start again. Especially given that, in the form of the BTCC, the UK is hardly short of its own thrilling race series featuring cars that look like ones you can buy off the street.
Instead, what I want to ref lect on today is a big month for Australian motoring, and one which, mirrored here, might affect us all. Because more significant than any Antipodean racing changes is the fact that later this month production at Holden’s Adelaide plant will close and the last Commodore, the domestically produced Holden – GM’s indigenous Australian arm – will roll from the line.
The Commodore, which we know here as the Vauxhall VXR8, is one of the big, traditional Australian two. Holden versus Ford, Commodore versus Falcon. It defined Australian touring car racing, just as it defined the Australian car market, until imports opened up, Hyundais and Toyotas started rolling in and tastes veered towards something smaller, something cheaper, something less V8-ish. Falcon production finished last year and there was always an inevitability about this outcome too.