25th October 2015
The Zedders met at the Hydro Majestic Hotel ultimately – although there was a bit of dissemination of members – some parked outside on the street while others parked in the inside car park.
Eventually, there was a “coming together” of members and everyone settled down to a cup of coffee inside the Hydro Majestic.
There was a very good representation of Zedders consisting of eighteen members and twelve vehicles (Courtney and Anthony shared the Z32 twin turbo as Anthony wanted to give his 370Z a rest). The twelfth vehicle was a maZda driven by a member whose Z was indisposed.
After the coffee break/pit stops – the assembled members climbed aboard their Zs, formed a convoy and headed towards Bathurst.
After the rather tortuous drive through the Blue Mountains with its “stop start” traffic flow, narrow roads and 60, 80, 60 kms/hr limits – coupled with speed cameras – it was a relief to hit the open road where the magic speed limits such as “100” and “110” were frequently visible to the somewhat jaded Zedders.
As Bathurst was finally reached, a series of malevolent red traffic lights cut the column of Z cars – dispersing them in different directions. Ray (who now happened to be leading the remnants of the Z column) valiantly did a bit of “rubber necking” at a number of intersections but failed to detect any sign of the missing Zeds.
Knowing that the first priority of the “mission” was to go around the Mount Panorama Circuit – Ray decided to follow the signs to Mount Panorama.
At the entrance to the Mount Panorama circuit – the “Road Closed” sign sent a few chills up the column.
However, there was a detour to the right which stated that this was the entrance to the circuit.
At this point, Ray saw a clear spot off the road where the Z cars could park and pulled over – the column followed.
Soon after the missing Z cars appeared and joined the column of parked Zedders.
It was then decided to do a lap of the Mt Panorama circuit (remembering that the circuit was policed and that the speed limit was 60kms/hr).
The column of Z cars proceeded cautiously around the circuit. Ahead of the column was (what appeared to be an unmarked Police station wagon) driving very slowly (less than the required 60kms/hr). An older Holden Statesman became a little inpatient and overtook the station wagon only to be nabbed by two waiting Police officers at the very next corner equipped with both car radar and hand held radar guns.
Despite witnessing this unfortunate incident , one’s mind could only focus on the thought of supercars charging around this very narrow , twisting circuit with minimum passing room at up to 300kms/hr. While on television the accomplished supercar drivers make it look easy – a less accomplished driver could get into real trouble very quickly.
It truly must be one of the most challenging, difficult and dangerous racing tracks in the world.
After the first lap of the circuit the intention was to then visit the Bathurst motor museum. Unfortunately, due to the road closures we ended up doing another lap of the circuit – only to see another motorist getting booked.
After lining up the Z cars (facing the main straight) for a photo shoot we then progressed to the Bathurst Motor Museum.
The price of admission was thought to be a little high at $15 a head. Robyn tried for the “family ticket” at around thirty dollars. No luck, because of the age of “the kids” she was charged a hefty $60 for the four in the family.
The museum hadn’t changed all that much (Ray & Robyn had visited about five years ago) – there were a few more car exhibits with a somewhat less exciting display of motor cycles (i.e. less exciting to car enthusiasts).
The group (by this time was running a little late for its lunch time booking) then proceeded to Shanahans Family Hotel in Bentinck St Bathurst.
The good things about the hotel included tasty meals at very good prices and very pleasant and friendly staff.
Everyone from the Z Car Club enjoyed the day. It was a fairly lengthy journey but the camaraderie and good humour of the group shone through once more to make this a very pleasant excursion.