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Shane van Gisbergen wins thrilling Bathurst 1000 ahead of Cameron Waters

Holden driver Shane van Gisbergen has won his first Bathurst 1000, holding off Ford’s Cameron Waters in a tight finish at Mount Panorama.

Two late safety cars compressed the field in the closing stages, making the final stages of the 161-lap, 1000km race a dramatic 18km shootout.

However New Zealand’s Van Gisbergen was good enough to keep distance between himself and the chasing pack to claim victory by just 0.8663 of a second, going one better than his second-place finishes in 2016 and 2019.

His co-driver, Garth Tander, secured his fourth win in the 161-lap race, after taking out the 2000, 2009 and 2011 editions.

Chaz Mostert finished in third spot for Holden to round out the podium, ahead of Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin in the Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustangs.

Jamie Whincup provided the first drama of the race when he went wide with too much pace at turn three and slammed his Holden into the wall, bringing out the day’s first safety car on lap 33, ending his and veteran Craig Lowndes’ race prematurely.


By that time, Waters had overtaken early leader McLaughlin and set an imposing pace to distance himself from McLaughlin’s co-driver, Tim Slade.

The pack was compressed again after Jordan Boys spun and slammed his Cub Cadet Mowers Holden into the wall on lap 52 for the day’s second safety car, but the race really spiced up when the promised rain began to fall on the mountain on lap 53, just after the safety car was brought in.

Van Gisbergen rose to the occasion in the slippery conditions, scything his way to the front of the pack as the rest of the field struggled for grip during the brief shower.

Van Gisbergen and Tander led from that point onwards, never relinquishing their position during the tense, tactical middle period of the race and its dramatic, high-paced conclusion.

Waters and van Gisbergen were well clear out front and duelling for first place with an exemplary display of faultless, high-pressure driving until two crashes forced the safety car to come out with nine laps to go.

Jack Smith from SCT Motor Sports skidded into a sand trap, and almost simultaneously Bryce Fullwood’s Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Holden locked up and slammed into a couple of walls at the top of the mountain.

The race resumed with six laps to go, but soon after Zane Goddard barrelled into another wall and was left stranded on the track with three working wheels, prompting another safety car and a dramatic finish.

All through the tension, van Gisbergen kept his cool and masterfully drove away from his rivals to claim his maiden Peter Brock trophy.

Relive the drama in our live blog.

Live updates

By Simon Smale

Shane van Gisbergen wins Bathurst 1000



We’ll wrap up the live coverage here for now.


Thank you so much for joining me over the course of the day, it has been a pleasure to bring you all the action from Mount Panorama.


Fantastic performance from all the leading drivers, it’s too easy to forget that this was the ONLY endurance race of the season, at one of the hardest circuits in motorsport.


Shane van Gisbergen has come so close before, no closer than last year, but this time he excelled and drove away from a field that was pushing to the very extreme of their limits, lap after lap of faultless driving.


I hope you enjoyed the coverage and we’ll catch you again next time.  



By Simon Smale

‘So special to win here’: Shane van Gisbergen



Shane van Gisbergen was all smiles on the podium, and understandably so.


He said he had serious doubts as to whether he would ever get a chance to win the race after coming close the last couple of years.


“So special to win here. Got close so may times and then you just begin to doubt, especially in those last few laps, you start to think what is going to go wrong?


“But the car ran faultless all day and got better and better.”

Audience comment by bob gibson

congratulation holden team good to see you go out on a blaze of glory

Audience comment by Peter

By Simon Smale

I’ve never driven so hard: Chaz Mostert            


Chaz Mostert has been interviewed on the podium, where the Ford driver acknowledged that he had never had to push so hard.


“I haven’t [ever driven so hard],” Mostert said on the podium. 


“That felt like wildfires at the end. Congratulations to these guys behind me. They did a fantastic job all day and put entertainment on for everyone around the country.


“A big thank you to our whole team here and also in Melbourne. It has been a hard year and to all the Holden fans thank you for supporting us this year and we will see what happens next year.

By Simon Smale

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Bathurst 1000 race highlights.

By Simon Smale

The caption says it all.

By Simon Smale

Scott McLaughlin wins the Supercar Championship



This was confirmed last race, but Scott McLaughlin has been awarded the Supercars Championship trophy after what might be the last time he races in Supercars.


“Congratulations to Shane and 888 racing for their win today. They made it happen today.


“It has been an amazing year. I think the comradarie between the teams.


“Obviously last year was pretty full on, tit-for-tat, then this year … everyone knows how hard it has been for everyone and there has been a lot of good hard racing, the best racing we have had.


“We didn’t have a turnaround to come back and fix the cars. Credit to the Victorian teams for the sacrifices they gave for us, their families, the sport, the volunteers

By Simon Smale

‘I didn’t need that last safety car’ Garth Tander



Garth Tander, who is now a four-time winner of Bathurst, has also had a chat with the TV team.


“It was OK until two to go and the last restart, didn’t need that one,” Tander said. 


“Awesome job Shane, the way he managed the last three stints, amazing, very impressive.


“This will take a little while to sink in, it’s been such a strange year and sitting on the couch for six months and then firing up and being on the road for five weeks to do the race, really special one and I’ll sit back and enjoy it.”

Audience comment by Gaia

Great work on the blog today Simon. Nail-biter of a finish! I did try to send some more rain across to the races, but it fizzled out on the way there.

Audience comment by Jk

Brilliant! Great way to end the Holden brand.

Audience comment by Ritchie McC

Audience comment by Han

Been either going to or watching Bathurst since 1963. Fabulous memories and added another one today. Thanks Simon (wan-Kenobi).

By Simon Smale

‘I wish my mum and dad were here’: Shane van Gisbergen



Here is Shane van Gisbergen, the 62nd winner of Bathurst.


“Just awesome, van Gisbergen said.


“The last few laps were tough with the safety car, but the team did a faultless job and thanks to the guys, we had a great car and great way to send out Holden and thanks to Garth Tander, he did an awesome job.


“I wish my mum and dad were here.


“Each time [Cameron Waters] got close through turn two, with good grip and I knew I’d be OK. The last stints were just qualifying, just awesome.


“[It was a] real track position race, super hard to pass when the rain came.


“I was a bit slow at the start and got going and that got us to the front and we never left there. Awesome day.”


He said he was looking forward to getting back to New Zealand on Tuesday to celebrate.

Audience comment by Graeme

Great way to say goodbye holden

By Simon Smale

Celebration time for Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander

By Simon Smale

Thanks Simon, exciting blog, can I just ask, what time is Dan going to be on?

-Sorry, couldn’t resist.


No Dan, but we’ll hear from Shane van Gisbergen very shortly I’d expect. 

Audience comment by David (in Japan)

I’ve been kept updated all day thanks to your great commentary – much appreciated

Audience comment by at

By Simon Smale

Bathurst 1000 final results




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Bathurst 1000: Supercars live updates blog, Scott McLaughlin looks to win back-to-back races

Supercars are set to fly at the Bathurst 1000, with dark clouds hanging ominously over the Mount Panorama circuit.

Can Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin claim back-to-back wins or will another driver rise from the pack to claim victory on the mountain?

Follow all the updates in our live blog.

Live updates

By Simon Smale

When does Bathurst start?


The main race at Bathurst starts at 11:00am AEDT this morning, so in a little over half an hour!


There has been a short practice this morning, plus a couple of support races to lay down some rubber on a track that was washed clean by some overnight rain.


There may be more of that around today… 

By Simon Smale

Bathurst 1000 live updates, Supercars from Mount Panorama


Good morning motorsports fans and welcome to the ABC News live coverage of the Bathurst 1000!


I’m Simon Smale and I’ve strapped myself in for a big day of action, where Scott McLaughlin will be looking to pick up back-to-back wins on the Mountain.


Of course, it will be a Bathurst like no other today as just 4,000 of the usual 50,000-or-so spectators taking up their positions track side.


However, it will be my pleasure to be with you all day, so jump on and make this a two-way conversation. Hit the blue button that asks you to “leave a comment” and lets get your thoughts on what should be another ripping race.


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Is it going to rain at the Bathurst 1000? Holden Racing Team set for final Supercars outing at Mount Panorama

The 2020 Bathurst 1000 will be a race like none other.

The iconic 3.2km Mount Panorama track has seen plenty of drama over the years, not least in last year’s thrilling edition.

However, while the on-track action will doubtless still excite, in this most unusual of sporting years, the ubiquitous, raucous throng of petrol-heads will be absent, save for 4,000 lucky ticket-holders.

But with 25 cars set to go bumper-to-bumper racing for over six hours at an average speed of 160kph, there’s still plenty to be excited about.

Holden’s final Bathurst outing. Kinda

For many Supercars fans, this Bathurst will mark the end of an era.

This edition of the great race marks the final race in which the Holden Racing Team will offer factory backing for its cars in the Supercar Championship, ending more than 50 years of Ford vs Holden battles in Australian touring car racing.

Holden will still be represented next year, after the pandemic forced a 12-month delay in the introduction of the new Gen3 era — which will now make its bow in the 2022 season — but without factory support.

The factory Holden cars driven by Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander and Jamie Whincup/Craig Lowndes will both sport the slogan #ThanksHoldenFans on their Red Bull cars this weekend, with the drivers telling the Supercars website that it was going to be an emotional weekend.

Two Red Bull Holden Commodore Supercars are parked in front of a pit garage
After this year’s Bathurst, Holden will no longer provide factory support to its Commodores in Supercars.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

“We want to go out on a high and thank everyone in the best possible way and that’s standing on the top step of the podium on Sunday,” Whincup said.

Triple Eight Racing will continue to use the current Commodores next year, but on Thursday confirmed they will drive the mean-looking Gen3 Chevrolet Camaros in 2022.

One last hurrah for Scott McLaughlin?

A SuperCars driver smiles as he sprays champagne over the crowd following his Bathurst 1000 win.
Scott McLaughlin (centre) claimed Bathurst victory last year.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

After breaking his Bathurst duck last year in the most dramatic of circumstances (more on that later), McLaughlin will be looking to spoil Holden’s farewell by securing a second consecutive victory in the great race.

McLaughlin has been the most dominant driver in Supercars over the past three years, highlighted by his third-straight Supercars championship victory, which he secured last week at Tailem Bend.

The New Zealander is the fourth driver to claim three straight Supercars titles and did so with a dominant performance over the course of a year in which he won 13 races, as many as the rest of the field combined.

He also secured a spectacular 15 pole positions, underlining that his sheer pace in a Supercar is unmatched.

Off that back of this near-domination, a virtual IndyCar win and a pandemic-enforced missed chance, the 27-year-old will be swapping his Supercar for an IndyCar next week, as team owner Roger Penske gives the flying Kiwi a shot in his IndyCar team at the Grand Prix of St Petersburg.

A blue car leads the field out starting a virtual IndyCar race, with the virtual stands packed.
Scott McLaughlin, (left), won a virtual IndyCar auto race during lockdown.(AP/iRacing IndyCar)

“He’s a special driver,” Penske said of McLaughlin in an interview with Autosport.

McLaughlin will add to the distinctly Australasian flavour in IndyCar on the grid in Florida.

Aussie Will Power has won two of the last four races while New Zealander Scott Dixon is leading the IndyCar championship having won four races.

What happened in last year’s Bathurst?

Where do we begin?

Last year’s race was one of the most exciting, tense and controversial races in Supercars history.

McLaughlin and Alex Premat claimed a breath-taking victory by just 0.68 seconds from a charging Shane van Gisbergen in a thrilling final-lap shootout.


Co-driver Premat described the race as “stressful” a “gamble” and “crazy” in the immediate aftermath — but I’m not even sure that does it justice, to be honest.

There were eight safety car periods in the final 61 laps, one of which lead to the field being all together for that final-lap shootout, but it was an earlier incident that caused such a ruckus that it has resurfaced in the build-up to this year’s event.

Essentially, with McLaughlin leading the race behind a safety car — with overtaking not allowed — teammate Fabian Coulthard, in third, deliberately slowed the field, apparently under instruction from the pit wall, so McLaughlin could complete a pit stop and emerge at the front of the field.


CAMS (the Confederation of Australian Motorsport) took a dim view of this, fining Team Penske $250,000 and demoting Coulthard, however McLaughlin was not penalised.

That lead to some serious grumbling in the paddock, including from Erebus Motorsport team owner Barry Ryan, who this week told News, “100 per cent [McLaughlin] should have [had the win] stripped”.

For his part, McLaughlin moved on pretty quickly, telling Fox Sports podcast The Loud Pedal last year that the speculation has ruined “the greatest week of his life”.

“We deserved to win that race. I believe we won it fair and square, it just sucks we have to deal with all this stuff and what probably should be the greatest week of my life.”

What is the Bathurst weather forecast?

Cars on the wet track at Bathurst.
The last wet race at Bathurst took place in 2017.(AAP: Brendan Esposito)

If you’re keen on some weather-induced carnage to spice up your motorsport viewing, the weather gods might just smile down on you this weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology says there’s a 90 per cent chance of rain, with the chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening on race day.

That could make things pretty interesting as drivers are forced to adapt to changing track conditions and could bring pit strategy to the fore.

What time is the race on Sunday?

The 161-lap, 1,000km race will start at 11:00am AEDT.

A number of cars approach and take a corner on a racetrack. A big crowd watches in the stands behind them.
The cars will set off for more than 6 hours of action at 11:30am AEDT.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

The race duration will vary from anything between six and seven hours, but that will depend on the number of incidents and stoppages over the course of the afternoon.

The shortest race time in the last 10 years came in 2018, when the drivers flew round in 6 hours 1 minute, 44.8637 seconds.

The longest the race has ever run (in the modern era) was in 2014 when a track break-up lead to a lengthy delay and a race that lasted almost eight hours.

Who is favourite to win?

McLaughlin is a hot favourite to go back-to-back based on his overall dominance this year, but anything can happen on the mountain.

A Supercars driver on the circuit at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst.
Who can beat Scott McLaughlin on Mount Panorama?(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Whincup has been McLaughlin’s closest challenger this season in the Red Bull Holden, and has a more than capable co-driver to help back him up in Lowndes, who has stood on the Bathurst 1000 podium a record 14 times in his exceptional career.

Their Red Bull teammates Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander will feel that they can go one better this year, especially as some feel they have plenty to be aggrieved about after last year’s shenanigans.

Cameron Waters and Will Davidson are also looking good in the Monster Energy Ford, with Waters claiming a first win of a very consistent season at Tailem Bend, the last race before the teams came to Bathurst.

How do I watch Bathurst 2020?

You’ll be able to follow all the action from Bathurst in our live blog on Sunday, which will go live about an hour before the race is due to start, at 10:00am AEDT.

TV coverage will be provided by Fox Sports and Channel 10.

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Ford’s Cameron Waters takes Bathurst 1000 pole position after record lap in shootout at Mount Panorama

Ford’s Cameron Waters has smashed the Bathurst 1000 qualifying lap record to claim Supercars pole for Sunday’s great race at Mount Panorama.

Touted as a genuine contender to win the 161-lap race for the first time, Waters dominated the top-10 shootout on Saturday in his Mustang.

His time of 2 minutes 3.559 seconds eclipsed former Tickford teammate Chaz Mostert’s lap of 2.03.789 set last year.

It was Waters’ fifth career pole, setting him up for a tilt at winning with star co-driver Will Davison, a two-time Bathurst 1000 winner.

The 26-year-old Waters pipped three-time champion Scott McLaughlin, who has stamped his mark as one of the Supercars’ greatest qualifiers.

Mostert, who switched to Holden this year, was the fastest Commodore driver in third to start alongside Nick Percart on the second row of the grid.

Seven-time champion Jamie Whincup’s testing relationship with Mount Panorama continued as a mistake near the end of his lap saw the Triple Eight legend finish 10th.

Waters completed his first solo race victory at Tailem Bend last month and has carried that hot form into the season finale at Bathurst.


“That was absolutely awesome. Knew the car had something special in it, but just had to put it all together,” Waters said.

“This is so special for all the boys at Tickford. They’ve earnt their piece in this whole period we have been away so this [pole money] will go towards beer Sunday night.

“I made a few little mistakes, but the car was just hooked up. The boys have done so well to give me something like that.”

Fords on the front of the grid is the last thing Holden supporters want ahead of the red lion’s last Bathurst race in an official capacity before the brand is retired by General Motors at the end of this year.

McLaughlin claimed his maiden Bathurst victory last year but that result ended a run of four-straight Holden wins dating back to 2015.

The start time of Sunday’s race has been brought forward by 30 minutes to 11.00am AEDT with rain and storms predicted to descend on Mt Panorama.


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Bathurst 1000 ticketing, camping restrictions deal ‘massive’ economic blow to local businesses

It is going to be a very different kind of Bathurst 1000 this year with only 4,000 tickets per day on offer due to coronavirus restrictions.

The great race’s carnival normally starts days before the climactic 1,000-kilometre endurance race on Sunday.

Event organiser Supercars normally sells 50,000 tickets a day to watch the action unfold at Mount Panorama-Wahluu.

The restrictions mean a dramatic reduction in the number of people visiting the town and a potentially “quite massive” hit to businesses, including The Oxford Hotel.

He said the school holidays, and particularly weekend warriors from Sydney, brought a welcome injection of cash to the town during the pandemic, but it would not make up for an influx of race fans.

“Traditionally, it’s that one week where it picks us up after a cold and slow winter,” he said.

“Winter traditionally is our quietest time, it’s everyone’s quietest time, and then it sort of wakes us up and gets us ready for summer.”

A man leans against a bar with a large array of various alcohol bottles behind him. Two beer taps are in the foreground.
Ash Lyons says race week is generally the peak of his hotel’s entire year.(ABC Central West: Mollie Gorman)

Mr Lyons said he has rostered staff for a rush similar to school holidays, but he was not sure what to expect.

‘No icing on the cake’

Camping is an important element of the Bathurst experience, with thousands of people flooding into campsites on Mount Panorama days out from the start of races.

But this year there’s no camping on the mountain due to COVID-19 restrictions, and ticket holders have been told to find accommodation in town instead.

Kangaroos in a field with the Mount Panorama sign in the background.
Bathurst is within a few hours’ drive of Sydney and brings many tourists to the region, despite the pandemic.(ABC Open: Tim Bergen)

Elaine Hamer runs a farm stay at Perthville, 7 kilometres from the track, or 2km as the crow flies.

She said normally up to 150 campers stayed in her paddock. This year, she expected no more than 20.

“V8 weekend is usually the weekend where there’s a little bit of icing on the cake as far as the business goes,” she said.

“Certainly it’s going to affect my overall annual income.”

A woman wearing a blue shirt and broad brimmed hat holds a lamb and a bottle next to a pen with three other orphaned lambs.
Elaine Hamer has been offering camping to Bathurst 1000 fans for 12 years.(ABC Central West: Mollie Gorman)

Some of her regular customers, including security guards and members of a race team, are still camping.

She said that helped mitigate the pain of refunding thousands of dollars to other campers.

“Normally you think of nothing else except maintaining amenities, garbage, checking people in, checking who’s driving in,” Ms Hamer said.

Soccer club missing out

The Bathurst City Red Tops soccer club runs a canteen at the top of Mount Panorama, feeding hungry campers with a sausage sizzle.

There will not be any spectators up there this year.

Fiona Prosser said the club will miss out on thousands of dollars of fundraising.

“It helps with families who are disadvantaged financially or have had issues with family violence,” she said.

“It also helps with any kind of uniforms that are required … any kind of equipment, balls, cones.”

A woman stands with parkland behind her.
Fiona Prosser’s soccer club raises money through their canteen at the top of Mount Panorama, but spectators and campers aren’t allowed there this year.(ABC Central West: Mollie Gorman)

Ms Prosser said some of the campers who cannot be at the race this year have created a social media campaign to ensure the money they would normally spend on a steak sandwich still finds a way to the club.

And while the Bathurst 1000 is still going ahead with reduced numbers, other events at the track that the canteen caters for have been cancelled.

“If it continues like this then we are going to be in a bit of strife because we’re a self-funded soccer club,” Ms Prosser said.

The general manager of the Bathurst IGA, Isaac Bernardi, said he was not sure what the impact on supermarket sales would be.

He said the boost was effectively double a normal weekend — particularly for items like alcohol, snacking and finger food, and chairs.

“It’s a spike in revenue the town looks forward to. It’ll be sorely missed if we don’t get the numbers of people attending that we did as previous years,” Mr Bernardi said.

“It’s not just the Bathurst 1000, we operate in a number of towns and there’s a lot of events that have been cancelled.

Watch Brock: Over the Top at 8.30pm Tuesday November 3 on ABC TV+iview

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Coronavirus ended Tony’s 43-year run at the Bathurst 1000, but check out what he’s doing instead

It was love at first sight for Tony Hawton when he went to his first Bathurst 1000 in 1977.

“I got down to the track at 4:00am and I was hooked, the electricity running through me, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I swear to you I said I’m coming back,” he says.

The Ford fanatic has been to Mount Panorama every year since then and is always one of the first campers to line up at the gates.

This year would have been his 44th standing at those gates, but coronavirus has ruled it out.

“Obviously it was very disappointing, I’ve been up there for 43 years in a row,” Tony says.

Instead, Tony has transformed his humble western Sydney house into a Supercars playground.

For 10 days, he’s sleeping out in his makeshift “Bathurst” backyard.

A man stands in his backyard which he's made into a shrine to the Bathurst 1000.
Tony has turned his yard into a Supercars playground, displaying decades of memorabilia he’s collected.(ABC News: Chloe Hart)

“I started sleeping out here last weekend and will be until Monday morning — so after the race, I’ll pack up as I normally would at Bathurst.”

Tony’s got all the essentials. A kettle, a bed, fridge, and barbeque — and, of course, everything is Ford blue down to the most minute detail.

“My tomato sauce bottles are in blue, when you’re sitting it on your bench you see the Ford sticker and when you turn it the other way you’ve got to have the Ford logo up the right way of course.”

All the power points have Ford stickers.

“My whole house is powered by Ford,” he says.

A caravan is decked out with Ford flags and stickers.
Inside Tony’s caravan, everything is Ford blue down to the most minute detail.(ABC News: Chloe Hart)

Over four decades at Bathurst, his campsite, which boasts over 100 flags, has become famous among fellow racegoers.

A visit to the “Flag Inn” is a must, even gaining the attention of the racing drivers.

“John Bowe, Dick Johnson used to call into our camp at Bathurst every Saturday morning,” Tony says.

“Glenn Seaton, Neil Crompton, David Parsons – all these drivers on their way into the track come and sit in the back of my trailer, sign stuff for us, take photos — they stopped every year without us asking them, which is pretty cool.”

This year, camping has been banned and only 4,000 spectators are allowed to attend each day.

On a normal year, more than 200,000 fans would attend over the four days, but this year that’s been whittled down to 16,000.

After a social media call-out, more than 800 diehards are doing the same as Tony.

A man points to his Supercars memorabilia.
Tony’s campsite at Bathurst is famous among fellow racegoers, and even the drivers themselves.(ABC News: Chloe Hart)

“A lot of people are just copping it on the chin and making the best of it like I am, and just camping in the backyard,” he says.

“It’s all about the friendship, the people you meet up there — I’ve got so many friends now that I met at Bathurst.”

Ford has been his passion for a long time, but now the brand is no longer making cars in Australia, he hopes the following stays alive.

“Obviously it’s very disappointing — I’ve got a Falcon here that’s a 2005 GT Falcon — to think that’s one of the last GT’s — it’s finished and there will be no more, [it] is certainly a shame.”

Will the Bathurst 1000 be the same without the crowds?

The crowd watches as the cars speed down the start/finish straight during the Bathurst 1000
Camping has been banned this year, and only 4,000 spectators are allowed to attend each day of the race.(Mark Horsburgh/EDGE Photographics: AAP)

Without the buzz on the mountain and the fence lined with thousands of screaming fans, Bathurst will look a whole lot different.

Supercars drivers championship leader Scott McLaughlin isn’t too fazed about coming over the top of the mountain and seeing nobody on the banks.

“No matter what it’s going to look like in regards to the fans — it is still Bathurst and will still have that awe. It’s such a special place to all us drivers,” Mclaughlin says.

He’s right — in households across the country the Holden-Ford rivalry will be well and truly alive, just ask Tony’s grandson Lucas.

“If I say the H-word [Holden] I go to time out and I get in really big trouble,” Lucas Touma says.

A man and his grandson pose for a photo at a car race.
Tony and his grandson Lucas at the Bathurst 1000.(Supplied: Tony Hawton)

The nine-year-old went along to the race last year and it’s become a grandfather-grandson tradition.

“100 per cent, I just love Bathurst so much, just because my pop loves it and he’s inspired me to go for it,” Lucas says.

So luckily, there’s room for a few more visitors in the caravan, because on the weekend his four grandchildren are camping out with him.

And while the pandemic has postponed the annual gathering this year, punters like Tony are looking forward to flying the flag in 2021.

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ADF officer fined $1000 for having female guest in hotel quarantine room

A serving officer of the Australian Defence Force has been fined after he was caught with a female guest in his room while in mandatory hotel quarantine in Sydney overnight.

NSW Police said in a statement tonight ADF officers had been conducting checks at the hotel on Hickson Rd in Sydney about 12.45am when they heard a female’s voice in the room of the male ADF member. The ADF officer was in hotel quarantine after returning from an overseas deployment.

After ADF officers inquired into the incident the woman was escorted out of the hotel quarantine area and police were called.

After extensive inquiries by police, the man, 26, and woman, 53, who was the man’s guest, were both fined $1000 for fail to comply with noticed direction in relation to Section 7/8/9 – COVID-19.

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The woman was directed to check out of the hotel immediately, and undergo a COVID-19 test before isolating at her home in Hornsby.

The man remains in hotel quarantine and the ADF are conducting inquiries.

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1000 extra ADF personnel deployed to Victoria

An extra 1000 Australian soldiers are on their way to Victoria to help stretched local authorities in the fight against COVID-19 as infections continue to rise.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Tuesday morning with the additional 1000 Australian Defence Force personnel to join the 400 already on the ground over the next three to four weeks.

Mr Andrews said from Tuesday the ADF would have a “standing presence” in the state, an open request for assistance that would see them deployed based on need.

The defence force members will be deployed across a range of areas, including the public health response to help with contact tracing data management and analysis, information flow, the allocation and tracking of tasks and the onboarding staff to undertake interviews.

RELATED: Qld locks out 77 Sydney suburbs

They will also support testing in metropolitan, regional and tourist locations and assist with supply and logistics operations to ensure physical care packages such as food, toys and other essential supplies are provided to public housing residents.

Mr Andrews said another 150-200 defence force personnel will be partnered with Victorian paramedics to act as a second crew member to effectively double the number of ambulance crews.

These members will support paramedics at scenes and drive back to hospitals.

“That will be a general duties ADF person who can support the inevitable number of paramedics who will finish up having to quarantine, having to isolate because of exposure or potential exposure,” Mr Andrews said.

“It’s also just a great way to best use the resources that we have, freeing up additional paramedics.”

Soldiers will also be deployed to the State Control Centre to help with planning, logistics and intelligence reporting, while others will assist relevant agencies with community engagement, awareness and outreach, particularly in high risk areas.

And as seen at the Princes Freeway checkpoint at Little River on Monday, other defence force personnel will operate as a surge capacity on roadblocks to defend the “hard border” around metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, Mr Andrews said.

They will also assist Victoria Police with compliance checking to enforce the chief health officer’s stay at home orders.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the federal government would “help Victoria with whatever it takes to save lives and to save livelihoods”.

“Our highly trained ADF personnel will work alongside state authorities to surge support for Victoria to ensure they get the backing they need to help respond to the situation,” Mr Morrison said. “This is a serious situation facing not just Victoria, but the whole country.”

The federal government through the National Cabinet has also agreed to extend the cancellation of all scheduled international passenger airline services to Victoria until further notice to allow the state to fight a second wave of infections.

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Influencer fined $1000 after allegedly fleeing Sydney hotel quarantine

An influencer who was “brought to tears” at the idea of spending two weeks in hotel quarantine has been fined $1000 for allegedly escaping her accommodation in Sydney.

The 39-year-old named in media reports as Sarah Josephine Liberty, arrived back in Australia from Paris late last week.

She hosts a podcast called Feminist Friday and has more than 11,400 followers on Instagram.

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A security contractor told NSW Police he confronted the female quarantine guest as she approached a fire exit at the Marriott Hotel on Pitt St on Saturday night.

“Following a short struggle, she ran through the exit and was chased on foot before disappearing from sight,” police said in a statement on Monday.

“The guard returned to the hotel and reported the incident to his supervisor, who alerted police inside the hotel.”

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Police searched for Ms Liberty who was found about 45 minutes later down at Circular Quay.

The woman, from Potts Point in Sydney’s east, was taken to hospital to be assessed before she was transferred back to a hotel managed by NSW Health.

She was issued a $1000 Penalty Infringement Notice for allegedly being in contravention of the state’s Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order.

Ms Liberty describes herself online as a social entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, human rights academic advocate for intersectional feminism.

She told her followers on Friday that she was anxious when she realised she was “going to be locked in a hotel room for the next two weeks”.

“And I’ll confess, it brought me to tears,” she wrote on Instagram.

“I am strong, but after facing months of confinement in Paris, I just want to run to the ocean, eat Sydney Thai (nothing beats it), and a huge plate of oysters. Instead, I’m in hotel room with instant coffee, weatbix (sic) and not much else.

“Having said that, I understand why confinement is necessary and am so happy to be home. So wish me Bon Courage for the next two weeks, and watch out for me when I’m released! I’m a woman on a mission.”

Police said inquiries into hotel room damage are under way and expect to take legal action.

“As part of inquiries into the incident, police attended the woman’s room and noted the sprinkler systems had been significantly damaged,” police said.

Ms Liberty’s alleged breach of hotel quarantine is the first case of its kind in NSW.

A Perth man was the first Australian jailed for sneaking out of quarantine earlier this year.

As of Monday, police were managing 19 hotels across Sydney with 5671 people in mandatory quarantine. The state’s health department has an additional 597 people in six hotels.

Since March 29, there have been 33,956 people in mandatory hotel quarantine across the state.

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Australian News

Opal Tower residents sue as insurance costs soar 1000 per cent

Opal Tower residents have launched a new lawsuit against the Sydney Olympic Park Authority and the NSW Government after “about 500 defects” were allegedly found in the building, on top of the cracking that forced residents to evacuate in 2018.

Owners corporation chairman Shady Eskander told reporters this morning the new issues ranged from facade to hydraulic defects and had caused insurance premiums to soar “by 1000 per cent”.

“We have suffered incomprehensible loss and disruption to our lives since the incident on Christmas Eve 2018,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we have discovered our losses are much greater.”

Nearly 300 residents were evacuated from the 36-floor tower on Christmas Eve in 2018 after an internal wall cracked, causing a loud “bang” and the building to shake.

The luxury high-rise, with 392 apartments priced between $800,000 and $2.5 million, had opened just four months earlier.

Repair work began almost immediately, and some residents able to return to the tower in January 2019.

Others weren’t so lucky and were holed up in temporary accommodation for a year, with the final apartment not returned until Christmas Eve 2019.

In July 2019, residents launched a multimillion-dollar class action against the Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA), which owns the land the tower was built on, and the NSW Government for compensation.

The newly announced action, which has begun in the NSW Supreme Court, will run separately, as it is for issues in common areas, whereas the class action will focus on the damage to individual apartments and owners.

Mr Eskander told NCA NewsWire the new action would seek to recoup court costs, the costs of the reports and for SOPA to fix the newly identified defects in common areas.

He claims the damage done by the initial cracking, plus the other defects, has caused insurance on the building to soar by $1 million.

“In the first year, it was $100,000,” he said.

“This year, it’s $1.1 million.”

A spokesman for Icon, which was responsible for building the tower and is also named in the lawsuit, said the company had already spent about $40 million since Opal Tower was evacuated in December 2018, and provided a 20-year warranty on the repairs.

“Despite weekly meetings with the Opal Tower Owners Corporation, we only became aware of the overwhelming majority of recently identified alleged issues when legal action was launched,” he said.

“Icon remains ready to address any actual defects in Opal Tower as a priority and has asked the Owners Corporation for access to the building to identify any legitimate defects.

“While this permission has been denied to date, Icon will continue to address legitimate issues within apartments that are not the property of the Owners Corporation and has written to directly to individual apartment owners to obtain access.”

Adding to their issues, owners have now found they are unable to receive any type of loan from banks, as their properties are now worth next to nothing.

Resident Andrew Neverly told reporters he had asked Westpac if he could refinance his home and was told the bank would not lend on the building.

Mr Neverly said he “thought he was buying into the Australian dream” when he purchased the property but has since been left out of pocket thousands of dollars – and down in rent revenue after being forced to drop the price following the highly publicised cracking in the building.

A spokeswoman for SOPA told NCA NewsWire as the matter was before the court, it would be inappropriate to comment.

The NSW Government also declined to comment directly on the lawsuit, noting it was before the court, but a spokesman said new pieces of legislation, the Design and Building Practitioners Bill and the Residential Apartment Buildings Bill, had reformed the building and construction industry into the “transparent, accountable, consumer-centric industry it needs to be”.

“For homeowners with existing defects in their buildings, the legislation provides new protections and recourse by stipulating that anyone carrying out building work has a legal duty to avoid construction defects both for new buildings and retrospectively for buildings built up to ten years before the legislation was passed,” they said.

“This gives homeowners in properties built in the last 10 years new legal rights to recover the cost of repairing defects from responsible third parties through the courts, and has been universally welcomed by consumer groups.”

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