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Sports editor remembered dad at Bathurst 1000

Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards with the Peter Brock Trophy after winning the Bathurst 1000.
Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards with the Peter Brock Trophy after winning the Bathurst 1000. Chris Lees

MOTORSPORT: Going to the Bathurst 1000 has been on my bucket list for a long time and it did not disappoint.

It's an event steeped in history and it holds a special place in the Australian sporting calendar.

There were more than 200,000 people on Mount Panorama for the race, and boy did they get a treat.

My reason for wanting to go is pretty personal.

I watched the event with my dad throughout my childhood, he was a massive motorsport fan, and so I became one too.

Craig Lowndes rounds the last corner at Mount Panorama.
Craig Lowndes rounds the last corner at Mount Panorama. Chris Lees

When he died a few years ago, I knew that I had to go.

It's a shame that I never had the opportunity to go with him.

I'm not really the sort of person that is into spirits and all that sort of stuff but walking up the main straight after Craig Lowndes won the race was a special moment for me.

There were hundreds of people running onto the track but I felt a real sense of calmness.

I know there was nobody walking alongside me but it was a bit of an eerie feeling.

The team of Scott Pye and Marcos Ambrose lead David Reynolds and Dean Canto.
The team of Scott Pye and Marcos Ambrose lead David Reynolds and Dean Canto. Chris Lees

Going to The Great Race was a thrill, and it's certainly one that I will never forget.

I'm a Ford person (I had to go for Ford, as my dad went for Holden) but even I was happy to see Lowndes win his sixth Bathurst 1000, with co-driver Steven Richards.

Lowndes seems like one of the genuinely nice people in Australian sport, his smile is infectious, and so was the chant of Lowndsey as he stepped onto the top step of the podium.

Sunday's race is something that I will remember for the rest of my life, not only for the excitement of it all, but because it meant so much more to me.

Topics:  bathurst 1000 mackay opinion sport tribute


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