Members of the public will be able to rub shoulders with their V8 Supercar heroes at this year's Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at Bathurst from October 9 to 12.

Fans will be able to walk along pit lane at set periods on the Friday and Saturday, and meet the drivers at special autograph sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday - a new initiative in 2003.

All paddock ticket holders will be able to experience the colour, drama and excitement that occurs in the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 paddock as well participate in the pit lane walks and driver autograph sessions.

Current ticket sales are on track to exceed last year's four-day record of 163,840 for the 41st anniversary of the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000.

Castrol Perkins Racing Team will be one of the leading Holden teams embarking on the premier V8 Supercar event for the year. Steven Richards and Larry Perkins have eight Bathurst 1000 wins between them and will join forces for an attempt on the title once again. Their record and general popularity will place them among the fan favourites in the Paddock.

Richards highlighted the importance of these public activities for the sport.

"V8 Supercar racing, especially at Bathurst, is one of the few sports where spectators can get up close and personal with the participants at the event, in this case the teams and drivers," said Richards.

"This adds to the appeal for fans and we love to stop, have a chat with, and sign autographs for them. It gives our team a buzz to see how much support there is out there, and provides extra motivation to do well."

Ford will be out to turn around four successive years of being the bridesmaid to Holden at Bathurst with Stone Brothers Racing currently leading the V8 Supercar Championship Series through Marcos Ambrose.

Ford fans will be eagerly anticipating the partnership of Ambrose and Russell Ingall with the SBR pit garage set to be one of the most popular during the Pit Walks.

Stone Brothers Racing team manager Ross Stone enjoys seeing a large crowd around the SBR pit garage.

"The fans are an integral component of V8 Supercar racing and we do as much as we can to make their experience an enjoyable one," said Stone. "If we attract a large crowd around our pit garage, we know we must be doing something right this season and it gives our team extra incentive to perform at 110 percent."



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