Saturday, 12h45 local time

It is, I am reliably informed, 75 years since Bentley last competed in anything approaching an official capacity on Australian soil. But this weekend the firm is back, running a pair of GT3-spec Continentals at the Bathurst 12 Hour.

Yes, you read right: Bathurst. Mount Panorama is really known for one race globally -  the annual 1000-kilometre V8 touring car thrash. But the 12-hour enduro race, which starts at sunrise on Sunday morning and finishes around teatime, is gaining popularity. Word is that most of the camping in key parts of the circuit is already sold out for this weekend, and the rest is filling up fast.

Anyway, Mount Panorama has always high up on my list of racetracks to visit, so when Bentley invited Autocar along to watch its return Down Under, I grabbed the e-ticket - and 24 hours of travelling later, I'm here.

Qualifying starts in about an hour, but I've just had a sneaky look at the circuit, thanks to Bentley factory driver Steven Kane (above) and a Continental V8 S. First impressions? The gradient and elevation of the place is extraordinary. And there appears to be but one line across the top of The Mountain, and bugger all run-off to boot. Small wonder that the Bentley drivers - many of whom have never been here before - compare the place to a 'mini-Nurburgring'.