It only takes a glance at the list of winners from 1973 onwards to realise how important the Bathurst 1000 is to Australian sport.
It’s an event that transcends motor racing.
Brock, Moffat, Perkins, Scaife, Lowndes, Johnson, Murphy, Tander, Whincup – iconic names in Australian sport fill the winners’ board.
Canberra’s Cameron Hill grew up dreaming of one day competing in the big race, one of the world’s greatest endurance events for supercars.
“Growing up Dad had most of the Bathurst 1000s on videotape,” he said. “We watched it all the time. One race that I remember well is Larry Perkins in the number 11 Castrol Commodore in 1995, when he went from last to first. From that moment on 11 was my favourite number.”
In October this year, Cameron, at 25, will finally get an opportunity to fulfil that long-held dream and compete in the Supercars at the Bathurst 1000.
He has been named as Chris Pither’s co-driver in the PremiAir Coca Cola Racing Holden ZB Commodore.
“I think a lot of racing drivers aspire to compete in this race. To finally get to compete in the Bathurst 1000 is amazing. I hope it puts me in a position to go full time in the Supercars.”
Cameron has completed a lengthy apprenticeship to get to this point.
In 2015 he won the Australian Formula Ford series. More recently he won the Porsche Carrera Cup before going on to win the Bathurst 6 Hour race.
He won the Bathurst 6 Hour after starting 60th on the grid.
Cameron has been preparing for his debut race in the Super2 series this year but the Supercars are a whole new level.
“It’s a pretty harsh environment in the car,” he said. “It’s around 20 degrees hotter than the ambient temperature outside, and there’s the g-force to consider.”
His experience driving on the Mount Panorama Circuit will hold him in good stead.
“When I first started driving at Mount Panorama in events such as the 6 Hour race my respect for the drivers in the Bathurst 1000 went up immeasurably,” he said.
But there are plenty of nerves heading into his debut Bathurst 1000 in the Supercars.
“Every now and again when I think about it there’s a mixture of nerves and excitement,” he said. “It’s a good thing. I get nervous before every race. This will go up a level. This the biggest race I have competed in.”
Canberra motorsport fans will also no doubt be feeling those nerves as well on 9 October.