In Australian motorsport there isn't a greater achievement than standing on the top step of the podium at Mount Panorama.
Bendigo driver Kaide Lehmann was able to fulfill this dream on the weekend when he and Osborne Motorsport teammate Josh Haynes secured victory on debut in the C Class division of the Bathurst 6 Hour.
The pair were racing a Renault Megane and finished with a final time of 06:04:13.40 (2:40.4173 fastest lap on 105) after 116 laps of the iconic 6.2km circuit.
"Standing up on the top of the podium at Bathurst, trophy in-hand, is everyone's childhood dream in motorsport," Lehmann said.
"It really was a once in a lifetime experience."
The win didn't come without the expected challenges an endurance race dishes out to drivers.
The pair had only met each other for the first time last week but formed a strong bond from the get go.
"We got along like a house on fire from the moment we met," Haynes said.
"Not only to win a race at Bathurst, but to do it on our first try together.
"We were pretty pumped."
Lehmann and Haynes took turns driving in 90 minute stints, feeding each other information and tips at each handover.
"It was extremely tough," Lehmann said.
"The length of time you're behind the wheel, the heat in the cabin and the need to maintain concentration lap after lap, after lap," Lehmann said.
Lehmann had raced at the circuit a few years ago while competing in a support category for the Bathurst 6 Hour.
However, every time he gets behind the wheel on the Mount Panorama Circuit, it's "always a surreal experience".
"When you drive up that mountain and realise where you are...the track is tight and there's zero room for error," Lehmann said.
"You need to be driving at your best and be able to place the car inches from the wall every time you go around.
"All it takes is one small mistake and it's all over.
"It's quite the experience and by far the most exhilarating track I've ever driven.
"It's magical place."
The win also marked the first time both Lehmann and Haynes had driven for Osborne Motorsport.
"The team was very supportive. It really is a motorsport family," Lehmann said.
"We turned up on Wednesday and instantly felt part of the team and by the end of the weekend, we were part of the family.
"They did an unreal job of setting up the car and it really was head of its class as it was fastest in all practice sessions and also qualified on pole.
"It was a gem all weekend."
Lehmann is now preparing to race his VE Commodore (improved production class) next month at Phillip Island for the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championship.
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