A\u00a04am\u00a0alarm on a\u00a0Sunday\u00a0is rarely a good thing, but with the prospect of watching the worlds best cars battle it out on one of my favourite circuits, I was happy to refuse the snooze. A pitch-black grid on a crispy Bathurst morning was something I won\u2019t forget in a hurry. The silhouettes of the GT3 cars were illuminated with flash photography, Engineers were calculating, crews were hustling, while I was still trying to wake up.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nYou'll also like:\r\nPushing the R8 to its Limits at the Audi Driving Experience\r\nAudi SQ5 \u2013 The S is for Sports\r\nElectric Concept Trucks \u2013 a Brave Proposal for Audi\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAs we got the call to clear the grid, we made our way up to the top of the mountain to watch the start of the race. The symphony of V10 engines and glowing brake rotors got the fans smiling over their morning coffees and with a safety car deployed on the opening lap, they knew they were in for some drama. When the track was cleared and the sun started to light up the mountain, the Valvoline Audi R8\u2019s set off in pursuit of the BMW M6 which seemed to be enjoying the cold mountain air.\r\nThroughout the course of the day fans witnessed absolute racing melee. Crashes, repairs, driver changes, mechanical failures, pit stops, mores crashes, more repairs... the absence of a yellow flag became a rare sight and spectators were excused for struggling to grasp who was effectively winning. The off-track action seemed equally as entertaining with one of the largest collection of supercars I\u2019ve ever seen this side of an oil tycoon and the likes of Mark Webber and Mick Doohan cruising around meeting fans.\r\n\r\nAs\u00a05pm\u00a0came around, fans returned to their seats for the final 45 minutes of this epic race. I happened to be lucky enough to get a garage tour of the Audi Sport Team WRT and I decided I\u2019d just casually hang around and see if anyone noticed. With 30 minutes to go and more cars retiring, it didn\u2019t take long for my sleep deprived brain to realise that the WRT R8 was in with a chance. When the lead Porsche 911 pitted for its final stop, the Audi R8 took the lead with and that\u2019s exactly where it stayed until a large crash up on the mountain meant the race finished under a red flag. Celebrations erupted, I high fived some pretty confused looking Belgian mechanics and made my way to salute the podium.\r\n\r\nAfter the race, Audi driver, Dries Vanthoor, summed up his Bathurst experience:\r\n\u201cYou can compare it to the Nurburgring and Macau. It is definitely in the top three. For the mountain I had to learn a lot, but I had a good team and the Audi was very strong on the mountain where you need good downforce, good brakes and top speed. \u201c\r\nIn an era when motorsport seems more disconnected with the vehicles they represent, it\u2019s refreshing to see a genuine link between race development and their road cars (over 50% of the parts in the Audi R8 race cars are found in the production R8).\r\nThe immersive experience at Bathurst was quite unique and surprisingly accessible. Mount Panaroma truly is a special canvas and the 12 hour endurance race provided the perfect painting. If you get the chance next year, grab some friends and head to the mountain, you\u2019ll have to push through some sleep deprivation but you\u2019ll have one hell of a time.\r\n\r\nAudi\r\n\r\n\r\nYou'll also like:\r\nPushing the R8 to its Limits at the Audi Driving Experience\r\nAudi SQ5 \u2013 The S is for Sports\r\nElectric Concept Trucks \u2013 a Brave Proposal for Audi\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHave you subscribed to\u00a0Man of Many? You can also follow us on\u00a0Facebook,\u00a0Twitter,\u00a0Instagram, and\u00a0YouTube.