Greg Bray, columnist for the Gladstone Observer. Photo Brenda Strong/The Observer
Greg Bray, columnist for the Gladstone Observer. Photo Brenda Strong/The Observer Brenda Strong GLA170212GREG

Revheads know the fun factor is waning

FOLKS, this weekend, as an old revhead, I'll check out the Bathurst 1000 and do what I've done every year for the past two decades - try to work out which cars are Fords or Holdens. Mind you, I suppose it won't be long before all touring cars are running the same-sized battery-powered electric motors covered by pretty much the same carbon-fibre shells. So the only thing that will make them stand out will be their paint jobs, advertising and drivers.

Basically like it is now but minus the ear-splitting roar of revving, high-octane, V8 engines.

Because even the most dedicated motor racing fans are starting to realise the day is rapidly approaching when gasoline-powered race cars will be as out of place in professional motorsports as Tony Abbott dancing to Macklemore on a Mardi Gras float.

Does this mean the end of the Bathurst 1000? Well, no, but there will be a few changes. Like retraining all the unemployed fuel fillers to swap out dead batteries at lightning speed.

But only one engine mechanic will be needed to turn the car off, then on again, to fix any glitches. Plus teams may decide against putting unnecessary human "ballast" into the cars as future vehicles become driverless.

Now, while this will stop the devil-may-care, swashbuckling driving personalities from ploughing into each other when they get a rush of blood to the head, or fall asleep, it will be much less fun to watch.

Still, like other antique races like bicycles, rowboats, ride-on mowers, shopping trolleys and office chairs, petrol-powered touring cars should still have a future at the Bathurst 1000, possibly as a nostalgic feature event before the main race.

During which, all us old petrol-heads will savour the sound of V8s blasting around the track while wiping a wistful tear from the corners of our eyes.

And, as the noxious exhaust fumes roll over the crowd, we'll fondly recall a golden age when Australia built and raced cars - even if they did all look the same.

Greg Bray blogs at Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer