Bega car racer remembers his time on Bathurst track

Bega car salesman Rob Motbey turns on to pit straight during an Aussie Racing Car competition at Bathurst in 2015.
Bega car salesman Rob Motbey turns on to pit straight during an Aussie Racing Car competition at Bathurst in 2015.

The Bathurst 1000 is just around the corner, and car racing enthusiasts are revving up for the big race. 

One with fond memories of Panorama Mountain is Bega car salesman Robert Motbey, who took on the Bathurst track in 2014 and 2015 as a competitor in the Aussie Racing Car series

He said the track was daunting, but an unforgettable experience. 

“You’re really buzzing when you’re driving, because you’re doing ridiculous, incredible speeds,” Mr Motbey said. 

He said the toughest part of the track is the lead up to the mountain when racers are travelling around corners while hitting speeds over 150kmh.

“You really have to skim the sides of the track to keep control of your car,” he said.  

“You’ve got to trust your car and you’ve got to trust the people that put it together for you.”

Mr Motbey said racing at Bathurst was good experience, but he knows how dangerous it can be, 

“I remember on my second race, one of the drivers crashed and his car caught fire,” he said.

“I was three cars behind him when he started to lose control, and before I knew it I was looking back in my review mirror as he burst into flames.”

The crash prompted safety changes including the adjustment of rear wing angles and adding a bigger restrictor to ensure cars can’t exceed 230kmh.

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The Aussie Racing Cars didn’t get a start this year, so Mr Motbey is taking a year off the track. Although these days Mr Motbey spends more of his time track side, supporting his sons’ racing ambitions. 

“My main focus is my kids at the moment, all four of my boys are really getting into kart racing,” he said. 

Last week, Mr Motbey’s 15-year-old son Blake placed fifth in the NSW karting state titles in Wollongong. 

“Blake is working toward Formula Ford racing at the moment. He has the ability and hes been practising hard with his driving coach,” he said.

“We’re hoping to build up the sponsorship to make that happen for him next year.” 

Formula Ford racing will take Blake all over the country, including some events at Bathurst.

But this weekend, Mr Motbey will be taking time away from the track, opting to experience the race from his lounge seat at home, instead of the driver’s seat.

“This will be the first time I’ve been able to sit back and have a beer on Bathurst day, so I’ll be doing just that with a few of my old racing friends,” he said. 

Judging by the track his son is on, Mr Motbey may find himself back at Bathurst in the not so distant future. 

Follow the Western Advocate’s Bathurst coverage and photos as the action unfolds.