MOUNTAIN MAN: The Bathurst 1000  was run at the same time as the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix. Only one proved memorable for racing reasons.
MOUNTAIN MAN: The Bathurst 1000 was run at the same time as the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix. Only one proved memorable for racing reasons.

Formula One or Bathurst? No contest

THERE really is nothing quite like Bathurst weekend.  

Forget all the football codes' Grand Finals fallout, ignore the coming cricket onslaught: this is the weekend when motor sport fanatics take centre stage.  

And Sunday afternoon delivered a double dose of four-wheeled fun. Not only was the Great Race at Mount Panorama going to dominate our screens for over six hours, the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix would be shown at the same time, albeit the latter all over in less than 90 minutes.  

Perfect, I thought. I persuaded the wife and kids it was a fine day for them to visit friends, I set out my stall on the cosiest part of the couch and kept the remote close to flick between the two races.  

FORMULA ONE: It may be the pinnacle of motor sport, but is F! really the best spectator sport? Not when compared to the Bathurst 1000 this year.
FORMULA ONE: It may be the pinnacle of motor sport, but is F! really the best spectator sport? Not when compared to the Bathurst 1000 this year. Clive Rose

The opening few hours of Bathurst proved a bit processional, so I was keen for the F1 to begin at the excellent Suzuka circuit. After a lively start it soon became a bit of a yawn fest too as a silver Mercedes, Nico Rosberg's on this occasion, drew away unchallenged.  

So, back to Bathurst. As the race neared its conclusion it became unmissable viewing, as has been typical in recent years. So much will to win, so many brave passing moves and the inevitable swapping of paint that ensues.   

I'll be honest, I completely forgot about the F1 as the Supercars once again showed how compelling close racing on an unforgiving circuit can be.  

It demanded a thrilling climax and it delivered. A brave lunge, a mistake, a collision, an opportunistic overtaking move and then a huge accident.

The race favourite (Jamie Whincup) in trouble with a deserved penalty; hopes and dreams shattered inside broken cars (Scott McGlaughlin, Garth Tander) and left-field winners (Will Davison and Jonathan Webb) all playing out in a stunning final few laps.  

BATHURST, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 09:  Will Davison driver of the #19 Tekno Autosports Holden celebrates after winning the Bathurst 1000, which is race 21 of the Supercars Championship at Mount Panorama on October 9, 2016 in Bathurst, Australia.
BATHURST, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 09: Will Davison driver of the #19 Tekno Autosports Holden celebrates after winning the Bathurst 1000, which is race 21 of the Supercars Championship at Mount Panorama on October 9, 2016 in Bathurst, Australia. Robert Cianflone

As the drama unfolded I heard people on my street screaming or cheering at the television. Such drama, such passion for this race.  

The F1? Biggest news of the weekend was the reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton ignoring the media and using a press conference as a personal Snapchat session. A bit sad, really.  

Supercars may be in a bit of a transitional period with an uncertain future right now, but Bathurst 2016 reminded why there really is nothing quite like this glorious contest at a proper race track.  

SNAP HAPPY: The Japanese Grand Prix made more headlines with reigning F1 world champ, Lewis Hamilton (right) Snapchatting during a media conference.
SNAP HAPPY: The Japanese Grand Prix made more headlines with reigning F1 world champ, Lewis Hamilton (right) Snapchatting during a media conference. Clive Rose


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