Mood swings of a Bathurst true believer

HERE I am, a little dejected right now.

I'm writing this Sunday afternoon and the Bathurst 1000 has just a few laps left to go.

On and off all day I've been watching young Kiwi hero Scott McLaughlin looking so much like he could have taken the Peter Brock Trophy at Bathurst.

And just now, he's done what heaps have done before him today - hit the wall, which has put him right out of contention to take out the big race.

He started the event in such a spectacular way, taking the inside line and passing the pair on the front row to take first place before the first corner.

McLaughlin's performance at Bathurst in a Volvo brought back a heap of memories of another Kiwi who came to Bathurst and almost won in a Volvo - something that was totally unexpected.

That man was Robbie Franecivec, who teamed up with Aussie star John Bowe in the 1985 1000 and was well in contention until lap 122 when a failed alternator diode put him out of the Great Race.

McLaughlin's been hugely impressive for the whole season in the Volvo, which is still in its first season.

Now that he's out of contention, my next hope is another Kiwi, Shane van Gisbergen, who has spent a fair few laps with everyone else looking at his tail lights.

This race is like no other in the world from what I can see.

It's on one of those circuits which offers so many huge challenges to drivers, from the ultra-tight and curvy section at the top of the hill, the almost 300kmh stretch down Conrod Straight.

And this year, the dangers associated with the tarmac problems on turn 2. That's what Bathurst is all about and that's what makes it such an iconic place to go racing.

Over the years there have been all manner of problems for drivers, such as the rock that brought Dick Johnson's early demise, and a few who have come across kangaroos.

Whoever wins today, they will have earned every bit of champagne they get.

Fingers crossed for the Gold Coast and McLaughlin.