Jenny and Stephen Tanner, of Stephen Tanner Automotive Services in Albury, yesterday met Volvo drivers Robert Dahlgren and Scott McLaughlin on their way to Sunday’s Bathurst 1000. The Tanners invited their Volvo-driving customers to meet the V8 competitors. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK
The car is fast enough to contend for a win but it is a long day … A podium finish is a pass mark, top five would be great, but we want to win it — that’s the goal. SCOTT McLAUGHLIN
AT the same time dual Bathurst winner Jim Richards was declaring Scott McLaughlin the favourite for Mount Panorama, the young Kiwi was tucking into jam and cream scones in Albury’s Australia Park.
It’s been a breakout year for McLaughlin with Volvo Racing GRM, steering his S60 to two wins and four other podiums in the car’s debut V8 Supercars season.
But yesterday it was a chance to catch up with the fans and film for the Channel 7 package that will be part of the Bathurst 1000 coverage on Sunday.
Along with owner Garry Rogers, teammate Robert Dahlgren and the pit crew dropped in to see the faithful on the Border, including local Volvo mechanic Stephen Tanner, as the team bus made its way to the biggest race on the V8 calendar.
“We are in with a shot,” McLaughlin said.
“The car is fast enough to contend for a win but it is a long day at Bathurst as everyone knows.
“A podium finish is a pass mark, top five would be great, but we want to win it — that’s the goal.
“If we are outside the top 10 we’d be very disappointed, but we are going there with high hopes and hopefully we might be carrying a celebration hangover when we get back on this bus on Monday morning.”
McLaughlin said Bath- urst was a special event.
“The track is unbelievable, but it’s not just about the race, it’s the whole festivity about the week leading up to Bathurst,” he said.
“It’s a big road trip and being our first year at Volvo makes it pretty special as well.”
McLaughlin expects the re-surfaced 6.213-kilometre circuit to be only slightly quicker than last year.
“It has been some time since they re-surfaced it so you expect cars will go quicker, but there are people saying it will be seconds faster and I don’t think that is going to happen,” he said.
Rogers said luck would play a part.
“It’s our first year and there is a question mark about whether the car can go flat out for 1000 kilometres — we just haven’t done it before,” he said.
“There is no doubt we have the speed, the drivers and the team, but Bathurst is a long day.
“I hate to talk about luck but if things don’t go your way you just can’t win a race like this.”
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