Willow Vale racing driver Aaron McGill will meet his moment of truth on Sunday amid the deafening roars and exhilarating speeds of the mighty V8s.
Careering around a slippery mountain at speeds in excess of 300 kph may not be everybody’s idea of fun but for McGill it’s a passion.
The 37 year old driver will realise his lifelong dream this weekend when he lines up for the first time in the V8 FAI Bathurst 1000.
Powered by a 650 horsepower VS Commodore, there’s no doubt McGill has finally reached the pinnacle in this most enduring of sports.
“This is the ultimate, it’s like the Melbourne Cup for race drivers,” he told the News from Mt Panorama on Wednesday.
“It’s been my lifelong ambition to get to this point and I must admit there’s a lot of emotion that goes with it.”
Currently competing in the BOC Gases Super Touring Championship, McGill was called up to for the big race by the Paul Morris/Big Kev team and amazingly will make his V8 debut at this most auspicious of occasions.
As a result, the big moment is tinged with a degree of apprehension.
“To be honest it scares the hell out of me,” McGill confessed.
“I’m even more nervous because it’s wet.
“When you’re travelling 300 kph only inches away from the car in front it’s pretty terrifying.
“Most people don’t realise but you can’t see a thing and you’ve just got to drive and hope the person in front is well out of the way.”
But the sheer exhilaration of the moment more than compensates for the risk, according to McGill.
“The feeling is unbelievable and you just block all the other stuff out,” he said.
“You get into a groove and become entranced.”
Racing is a labour of love for drivers like McGill with only the top few drivers being able to grab the headlines and consequently the big bucks.
“Most teams run on a yearly budget of $1-3 million and the cars alone are worth a fortune,” he said.
“These days you have to be more of a marketing person than a race driver.
“The fact is that every red blooded male in Australia sits down to watch the big races and sponsors demand a good performance from drivers.
“Bathurst brings together the best drivers from Australia and the world.”
There’s no question that McGill has his work cut out for him on debut but he remains optimistic about his chances.
“I think we’re capable of finishing in the top 35 which would be a great performance,” he said.
McGill has actually snared two drives over the weekend, earning a spot in the two-litre production car race behind the wheel of a Suzuki GTI tomorrow.
But his moment of truth will come on Sunday in the V8.
“It’s a bit hard just getting used to the sheer power of the car,” he said.
“It weighs less than a normal Commodore but has five times the power.
“You put your foot down just a bit and you get 300 horsepower.”
But at the end of the day, McGill’s pursuit of his dream has only been made possible by the support of locals and he made sure he paid tribute to all those that have helped along the way.
“People don’t realise how huge motor sports are locally,” he said.
“I really must thank people like Dave Edwards from Oxley Travel, Les Johnson, John Winter Carpets, Dux Hot Water and Tyrepower for all the support they’ve provided over the years.”
Such is the ongoing prohibitive cost of motor racing at this level, that McGill urgently requires more local businesses to get behind him and as such has devised five $1000 sponsorship packages for this weekend’s big race and beyond.
Anyone wishing to support this most talented local man can do so by calling him on 4872 2622.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.