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SPECIAL EDITION BATHURST 1000 EVENT GUIDE ISSUE#94 V8X.COM.AU

PULLOUT POSTERS BATHURST CHAMPIONS &‘THE KID’ TRIPLE EIGHT POWERHOUSE DECADE AT THE TOP FOGES WITH STEVEN RICHARDS GUN OF A SON YEAR OF THE UNDERDOG GRICE’S 1986 TRIUMPH

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I N C O R P O R AT I N G

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ISSUE 94

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FEATURES 22 THE GREAT RACE 2016 PREVIEW We preview the 2016 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. 28 AROUND THE MOUNTAIN The honour roll, records and facts from the Great Race. 32 HOW WE GOT HERE The key developments over the history of the event. 34 MOUNTAIN MEMORIES Current drivers reflect on their Bathurst memories.

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REGULARS

40 ▲ THE BROCK LEGACY Remembering Peter Brock, a decade since his passing. 46 BROCK’S BEST The top fives of Brock’s incredible career. 52 A DECADE OF DOMINANCE Ten years since its Bathurst breakthrough, a look at Triple Eight’s rule. 56 FRATERNISING WITH FOGES: RICHO JUNIOR Mark Fogarty chats with fourtimes Bathurst 1000 winner Steven Richards.

62 THE SUPERCOACH Jeff Grech on his varied career leading some of the greats. 68 YEAR OF THE UNDERDOG Celebrating the shock winners at Mount Panorama. 74 SHOOTOUT ON THE MOUNTAIN A tribute to the shootout for Bathurst pole.

6 ANALYSIS: GOING THE DISTANCE The leading issues heading into the enduros. 8 ANALYSIS: KEY NUMBERS The key numbers around the 2016 Great Race. 10 ANALYSIS: GOING RETRO Why Supercars is embracing its history. 12 ANALYSIS: BEYOND SANDOWN Where to next for the 500km endurance event? 14 The latest headlines from Speedcafe.com 16 MARK WINTERBOTTOM COLUMN Frosty on gearing up for the endurance events. 18 CRAIG LOWNDES COLUMN Lowndes on his love of Mount Panorama. 20 GARRY ROGERS COLUMN Rogers on the impending loss of Scott McLaughlin. 82 THE SHOOTOUT The best internationals to race at Bathurst.

25/07/2016 11:21 am


V8X.com.au SUP E RCA R M AGA Z IN E

EDITOR

Adrian Musolino Email: editor@v8x.com.au PUBLISHER

Allan Edwards Published by Raamen Pty Ltd PO Box 225, Keilor, Victoria, 3036 SUB EDITOR

Cameron McGavin Craig Fryers CONTRIBUTING JOURNALISTS

Bruce Newton, Mark Fogarty, Andrew Clarke, John Bannon, Cameron McGavin, Mark Winterbottom, Craig Lowndes, Garry Rogers PHOTOGRAPHERS

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Phone: (03) 9372 9125 Email: office@v8x.com.au V8X Supercar Magazine is printed in Australia by Webstar. Material in V8X is protected by copyright laws and may not be reproduced in full or in part in any format. V8X will consider unsolicited articles and pictures; however, no responsibility will be taken for their return. While all efforts are taken to verify information in V8X is factual, no responsibility will be taken for any material which is later found to be false or misleading. The opinions of the contributors are not always those of the publishers.

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Welcome HERE COMES OCTOBER!

ART DIRECTOR

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ctober means only one thing for Australian motorsport fans… the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is on the horizon! So as we gear up for the 2016 edition of the Great Race, we’re here to help your pre-event preparation with a team-byteam preview, key talking points for the endurance races, the numbers that matter and the honour roll of the event. Whenever we head to Mount Panorama, it’s hard to forget about the ‘King of the Mountain’. Peter Brock and Bathurst are synonymous with one another. So it’s hard to believe we’ve already reached a decade since Peter Brock’s tragic passing on September 8, 2006. Ten years on, we remember his legacy with Mark Fogarty and take a look back at the top fives of Brock’s incredible career. Brock’s protégé Craig Lowndes commemorated Brock’s passing with an emotive win in 2006, a decade after his first Bathurst win.

He remembers those wins in his regular column, while we examine the turning point that event proved for Triple Eight Race Engineering. Lowndes also joins many of his colleagues in sharing their first memories or experiences of Mount Panorama, while Foges also interviews Lowndes’ co-driver and fellow Bathurst winner, Steven Richards. Elsewhere, we celebrate the underdog winners of the Great Race in honour of the 30th anniversary of Allan Grice and Graeme Bailey’s win in 1986; feature the career of team boss

Jeff Grech; pay tribute to the Bathurst shootout; and rate the best internationals at Mount Panorama. Remember, V8X Supercar Magazine is also available in digital form in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition. V8XMagazine. com.au and in the Magzter app store. And keep up to date with the 2016 Supercars season and interact with us on our social media channels, @V8X_ Magazine on Twitter and at facebook.com/V8XMagazine on Facebook. Enjoy! PULLOUT POSTER: Available in the print

edition of this issue.

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25/07/2016 11:18 am


STRENGTH TO SUCCEED

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GOING THE DISTANCE!

The Pirtek Endurance Cup events will once again play a crucial role in deciding the 2016 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. These are some of the major talking points to look out for over the long-distance events.

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ast season’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 went some way to deciding the championship. Chaz Mostert’s mighty qualifying accident ended his season prematurely, allowing teammate Mark Winterbottom to gain the ascendancy at Prodrive Racing Australia. Meanwhile, Craig Lowndes’ win vaulted him into the position of Winterbottom’s closest adversary. All eyes will be on Mostert on his return to Mount Panorama 12 months on from the accident. Mostert did ease his way back with victory alongside Nathan Morcom in the production-car based Bathurst 6 Hour earlier in the year, but returning in a Supercar will present its own mental challenge. Unlike last season, Mostert heads to Mount Panorama well back in the championship standings, while teammate Winterbottom leads the charge for Prodrive Racing Australia against the Triple Eight Race Engineering trio of Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and Lowndes. With Whincup and van Gisbergen so evenly matched and racing for pit preference to avoid costly double stacking in the enduros, Winterbottom will be hoping their inter-team rivalry proves costly. Defending Bathurst winners Lowndes and Steven Richards have been freed of any potential inter-team double-stacking issues in Triple Eight’s second garage, so will be racing Tekno Autosports for pit preference.

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But while Triple Eight, Prodrive Racing Australia and the Holden Racing Team may have dominated at Mount Panorama for more than a decade, the form of the challengers this season suggests someone could break their stranglehold on the event. Garry Rogers Motorsport, Tekno Autosports, Nissan Motorsport and Brad Jones Racing are amongst the multitude of race winners so far in 2016 and could all lay claim to improving form heading to Mount Panorama. Also, DJR Team Penske must be factored into the equation. It returns to two cars at Bathurst 12 months on from Scott Pye’s impressive run, which marked a real turning point in its season. Throughout the field there’s a real mix in co-driver strategies.

While some teams have opted for the experience of veterans, others are looking to the next generation. Leading the way for the veterans is Russell Ingall, who will team with fellow multiple Bathurst winner Rick Kelly at Nissan Motorsport, while Craig Baird returns from a season off at Erebus Motorsport. Ingall and Baird have a combined total of 43 Bathurst 1000 starts. Lowndes and Richards are the only other drivers to also have started more than 20 Bathurst 1000s. A host of regular co-drivers return for another endurance season, including drivers who have started 10-plus Bathurst 1000s such as Paul Dumbrell, Jonathon Webb, Dean Canto, Steve Owen, Warren Luff, Jack Perkins, Andrew Jones, Luke

Youlden and Tony D’Alberto. In contrast, rising stars James Golding, Matt Campbell and Shae Davies will make their Bathurst 1000s debuts. This trio is highly rated amongst the paddock and seems destined to feature in a full-time capacity in the coming years. The same applies for Dunlop Development Series racers Jack Le Brocq and Macauley Jones, who return for their second Bathurst 1000s. Super Black Racing’s Richie Stanaway is another Bathurst 1000 debutant. The New Zealander has a strong pedigree racing sportscars and openwheelers in Europe, though the Bathurst 1000 represents his first touring-car outing. Will the gamble on youth pay dividends? Or rather the veterans who know their way around Mount Panorama?

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Records, anniversaries, milestones and more… These are the numbers that matter for the 2016 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

SEVEN▲UP!

Victory for Craig Lowndes will elevate him to equal second on the all-time Bathurst wins’ list alongside Jim Richards with seven victories. If that happens, co-driver Steven Richards will move to five wins and sixth on the all-time wins’ list.

LOWNDES’RECORDS

Lowndes rewrote the record books in 2015. His win took him to the top of the all-time Bathurst podiums list with 13 rostrums, one ahead of Peter Brock, Larry Perkins and Jim Richards. Lowndes has also won the most championship races at Mount Panorama with his fifth win last season. If he qualifies in the top 10, Lowndes will also equal Brock on 17 shootout appearances and third on the all-time list.

VETERANS

EQUAL ON 24 Steve Richards and Russell Ingall are the most experienced drivers at Mount Panorama. The former winners will compete in their 24th Bathurst 1000s in 2016. Jason Bright also makes his 20th start.

DOMINANTTRIO

Just three teams have won the last 15 Bathurst 1000s: entries from Walkinshaw Racing (Holden Racing Team and Kmart Racing), Triple Eight Race Engineering and Ford Performance Racing (Prodrive Racing Australia). The last time another team won the event was Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2000.

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IN A ROW?

Seven different drivers have taken the last seven Bathurst 1000 pole positions – Garth Tander, Mark Winterbottom, Greg Murphy, Will Davison, Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and David Reynolds. Could we see an eighth different polesitter in eight years?

HOLDEN VS FORD

Holden became the first manufacturer to notch up 30 Great Race wins in 2015, leaving rival Ford on 19 wins. Yet the Blue Oval did move ahead of the alltime pole positions list on 23, one ahead of Holden.

P/Q 2:04.9097 R 2:07.1226 The practice/qualifying and race lap records set by Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Jamie Whincup in 2015.

40th SHOOTOUT FOR POLE

The 2016 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will be the 40th time the polesitter is determined by the shootout qualifying format.

$1.5 MILLION 50 CREW MEMBERS The estimated value of the total equipment and number of personnel a two-car Virgin Australia Supercars Championship team will take to Mount Panorama.

249 rounds Garth Tander will make his 249th round start at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. He will join Russell Ingall and Craig Lowndes as the only drivers to reach the 250-round mark at the Gold Coast 600.

50th CHAMPIONSHIP ANNIVERSARY It’s 50 years since Mount Panorama hosted its first Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars round. The circuit hosted the singleevent decider in 1966, won by Ian Geoghegan in a Ford Mustang. Bathurst also hosted championship rounds in 1969, 1970, 1972, 1995 and 1996 before the Bathurst 1000’s inclusion in the title race from 1999.

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25/07/2016 10:52 am 22/07/2016 3:07 PM


The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship celebrates the rich heritage of Australian touring cars at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 with the first official retro round.

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he implementation of an official retro round for the first time in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship signals a renewed push by the series to embrace the history of the sport. While individual teams have run their own retro liveries in the past, it wasn’t until the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and the 50th year of the Great Race at Mount Panorama celebrations that saw a collective retro theme take hold. The 50-year celebrations helped the 2012 Bathurst 1000 smash the event’s attendance record with over 200,000 people attending the four days. The 2016 Wilson Security Sandown 500 has been chosen

BELOW: Some of the recent Bathurst 1000 retro liveries teams have campaigned at Mount Panorama.

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as the host of the first retro round as a nod to the suburban facility that has hosted more championship events than any other track. The retro round celebrates bygone eras of racing from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, featuring retro car liveries, retro pit garage signage, flashback team uniforms, heritagethemed promotions around the event and period-look team or manufacturer merchandise. “I think it’s bloody fantastic and we’ve had a bit of fun among the team workshopping a few ideas,” Prodrive Racing Australia team principal Tim Edwards told Speedcafe.com. “The obvious thing is for the teams to run retro liveries on the cars, but I think it’s something that can really be embraced by the public as well. “I’d love to see people turn up in retro cars and retro clothing as part of the whole theme.

“The Goodwood festival is such an amazing event and you’ll never emulate that completely, but if you have people embrace it like they do there it’d be great.” The category’s oldest team, Dick Johnson Racing, has been the most frequent runner of retro liveries in recent years. “It’s always good to mix a bit of the old with the new and show everyone where the category came from,” said Johnson. “Whenever we’ve done our colours at Bathurst it’s gone across really well, so it’s certainly an interesting concept for Sandown.”

NASCAR runs a ‘throwback’ weekend at Darlington, while the AFL and NRL also adopted retro-themed rounds.

Bathurst 1000 Edition

26/07/2016 5:22 pm


YOU’RE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR TOOLS.

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Sandown International Raceway’s days are numbered, with the facility set to be handed over to property developers in the coming years. So where to next for the pre-Bathurst 500km endurance event?

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irgin Australia Supercars Championship CEO James Warburton admits it was “inevitable”. “It is a matter of time… it’s not if, it’s when” Sandown International Raceway is sold to property developers. The dual horse racing and motorsport facility, owned by the Melbourne Racing Club, is worth an estimated $1 billion to developers in Melbourne’s suburban sprawl with its 100 hectares of land located just 25 kilometres from the CBD and already serviced by its own railway station. Therefore, Sandown is set for the same fate as Oran Park in the next decade. Sandown has hosted more Australian Touring Car Championship/ Supercars rounds than any other circuit, notching up its 47th event in 2016, with its touring-car endurance event dating back to 1964. So where to for the 500km Bathurst curtain raiser in the next decade? The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit has the best historical claim to the 500km race, as host of the Armstrong 500 before its move to Mount Panorama from 1960 to 1962 and host of the Phillip Island 500 from 1971 to 1977 and in 2008 to 2011, in place of Sandown. Phillip Island would ensure the 500km event remains in

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Victoria, but the grand prix circuit has struggled to attract a significant crowd relative to Sandown, forcing Melbournians to travel further afield for the event in the midst of the AFL finals in September. The proximity to the circuit’s MotoGP event in October also compounds those crowd concerns. Queensland Raceway also held the 500km race in place of Sandown (from 1999 to 2002) and could also stake its claim to the endurance event. Supercars is working with the Ipswich City Council (ICC) on infrastructure upgrades to secure the circuit’s place on the schedule. Queensland Raceway may have received a lukewarm response as host of the 500km race from non-Queenslanders,

though it’s hoped the redevelopment will enliven the Ipswich circuit. Leading the redevelopment is former Supercars general manager of motorsport Damien White, who moved into the Ipswich role following a brief spell in commercial operations at The Bend Motorsport Park project in Tailem Bend. The South Australian facility is leading the race to become the first new permanent circuit to join the Supercars calendar since Queensland Raceway in 1999. And its completion could allow the 500km enduro to start a new tradition at a brand-new facility. Construction is underway on The Bend Motorsport Park, an hour’s drive southeast of Adelaide, with a completion date set for the end of 2017. The multi-purpose facility will feature a 7.7km track that can be divided into separate

‘west’ and ‘east’ layouts, though Supercars is likely to race on the 4.8km ‘National Circuit’. Supercars has a memorandum of understanding with circuit owners Peregrine Corporation to race at the facility once completed, though it remains to be seen where on the calendar. Peregrine Corporation’s Sam Shahin told V8X Supercar Magazine the circuit would suit and prefer an endurance race, which also distances the event from the season-opening Clipsal 500 in South Australia. CAMS is also working with the Victorian government on a proposed facility in the Ballarat region, which would fill the void left by Sandown at a grassroots level. Meanwhile, a Newcastle street circuit in the heart of the New South Wales town has emerged as the favourite to replace Sydney Olympic Park as host of the season finale.

Bathurst 1000 Edition

26/07/2016 5:22 pm


WHEN PERFORMANCE IS EVERYTHING

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POWERBOND OVERDRIVE RACE Manufactured to the same specifications as the Powerbond Race Series, these balancers are bigger in diameter on the supercharger drive, increasing the drive belt speed to increase boost. Perfect for modern high displacement engines.

All Powerbond by Dayco Performance Balancers are proudly designed and manufactured in Australia. For more information about these premium performance products visit www.dayco.com.au

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News Round-up

Scan the QR codes with your smartphone to link to the full article. QR-code reading apps are available from your preferred app retailer.

A look at some of the topics making news on Speedcafe.com in recent weeks

HOW McLAUGHLIN GOT TO DJR TEAM PENSKE…

DJR Team Penske’s long courtship of Scott McLaughlin began with an enthusiastic introduction from Marcos Ambrose. McLaughlin signed a multi-year deal to drive the #17 DJR Team Penske entry from 2017, in the biggest move of the silly season. Team Penske president Tim Cindric expanded on his squad’s pursuit of the driver. “The interest initially started with Marcos Ambrose,” explained Cindric. “Marcos had mentioned to Roger and I that if there was ever an opportunity to sign a second driver at some point in time, he said you guys need to keep an eye on this kid named Scott McLaughlin. “At that point I didn’t really know much about him. I knew he was in a new Volvo team, but Marcos was quite high on what he’d accomplished in the Dev Series (Dunlop Series) and some of the other things he’d done. “He felt that as a young up and coming driver, he was the one to really look at. At that point there wasn’t an opportunity to do much. We were committed to a singlecar effort (for 2015). “It’s been well documented how we transitioned from Marcos to Scott Pye (during the early stages of 2015). “But along the way as we looked at

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making our driver choice for 2016, I reached out to Garry Rogers and asked what Scott’s status was for 2016 and beyond. “He made it quite clear that Scott wasn’t available for 2016 and we moved forward then with our signings (Fabian Coulthard and Pye). “Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure how that was all going to work out (with McLaughlin for 2017) until the Volvo thing (announcing its impending split with Rogers) transpired. “At that point in time we reconnected with Scott and were able to put this deal together and actually sign the paperwork.” Scott McLaughlin says he wants to win a Supercars Championship and a Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 before looking to race for Team Penske in the United States. Moving to DJR Team Penske for 2017 raises the prospect of future opportunities for McLaughlin in NASCAR, where the American outfit also runs a two-car Ford team. McLaughlin has previously expressed his desire to race in the stock car series, introducing himself to several teams and drivers during a trip to New Hampshire in 2014.

STALWARTS HONOURED AT MOUNT PANORAMA The Bathurst Regional Council will honour Australia’s pioneering motoring journalist Bill Tuckey by naming the media centre at Mount Panorama after the automotive identity. Tuckey passed away aged 80 in May. He played a major role in planting the seeds for motoring sections in major newspapers. An official ceremony to unveil a plaque honouring Tuckey is scheduled for Thursday October 6, ahead of this year’s edition of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. Tuckey’s widow Marcia, son Stuart and daughter Elisabeth are expected to attend the official ceremony overseen by Bathurst mayor Cr Gary Rush. Earlier this year the council also paid tribute to one of the Bathurst 1000’s most underrated heroes, leader and founder of the TAFE Smash Repair Team Tony Warrener. A Bathurst institution thanks to years of rebuilding seemingly unrepairable cars in time to make the start of the Bathurst 1000, the iconic program formerly headed by Warrener was shut down after the 2010 race due to a shortage of funds but was recently reinstated. The tributes follow the formal acknowledgment of the enduring service of late race director Ivan Stibbard, who had an inextricable link with the event from 1973 to 1998. Stibbard, who died aged 76 in 2014, has a grandstand named in his honour at Harris Park. From August 29, Penguin is publishing a soft-cover version of the best-selling book by Gordon Lomas, Bathurst: Celebrating 75 years of racing at Mount Panorama. Lomas, Speedcafe.com editor-inchief, is currently authoring a second Bathurst book that will reveal fresh stories and scandals on many of the Bathurst 1000s from the 1960s to present day. It’s scheduled for publication on August 1, 2017.

Bathurst 1000 Edition

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25/07/2016 11:38 am


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20/07/2016 2:42 pm


Expert Insight

BEYOND THE WHEEL Column by Mark Winterbottom

GETTING INTO ENDURO MODE

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fter racing against each other over the last 25 years dating back to our go-karting days, it’s great to finally have Dean Canto join me in the same entry for this season’s Pirtek Endurance Cup events. I know how good he is considering he’s been part of the team for the last several seasons, so it’s exciting to convert that history into a combination and aim for some endurance wins. Dean came close to winning at Bathurst in the Bottle-O entry in 2012. Going one better for him this season given his history with the team is an exciting prospect for the both of us. You rely so heavily on the codrivers to set up the car as they get a significant amount of time in the car over the endurance events, so an experienced driver like Dean counts for a lot. It’s understandably a strange feeling to have a championship won or lost without you in the car, with 300 points on the line for the one race each at Sandown and Bathurst and the co-driver in the car for so many laps. That’s why the choice of codrivers is so valuable in this day and age. Last season, Sandown and Bathurst proved crucial in our championship battle. We won at Sandown and came second at Bathurst, giving us 576 points from a possible 600 points. It would otherwise have been a big hit to lose points in those races as they are effectively

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double points considering at other events the 300 points are split across multiple races. Given how close the battle is again this season, those races are critical. This year’s championship fight has a bit of a different vibe with the Red Bull Racing Australia drivers both in the mix. With those two entries racing each other so closely and with double stacking such a huge factor in the long-distance races, it’ll be a battle between themselves. There’s a big preparation leading into the endurance events this season including two test days to get Dean up to

“Last season, Sandown and Bathurst proved crucial in the championship battle. We won at Sandown and came second at Bathurst, giving us 576 points from a possible 600 points.” speed and start the ball rolling of having a second driver in the equation, which is a positive dynamic after working solo for so much of the year to date. Bathurst is such a special event and some of my earliest memories are of watching the race. Also, the 2013 win remains one of the absolute highlights of my career so far and I’m determined not to go

down as a one-time winner. Amaroo Park and Oran Park were also local rounds for us, so we went often. I watched in the Group A days of Ford Sierras, BMWs, Nissans and more. I grew up as a Jim Richards and Peter Brock fan, so to now race for the Peter Brock Trophy at Mount Panorama is a great privilege. – Frosty

Bathurst 1000 Edition

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Expert Insight

RIGHT ON TRACK

Column by Craig Lowndes

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BATHURST

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athurst is now, more than ever, a race to put yourself into a strong postion for the final stint shootout to the chequered flag. You spend five or so hours racing your competition to make sure you are among the leading group following the final pitstops. The competitiveness of the field has only increased this season so with many strong driver pairings and quick entries, it’s sure to be another edge-of-your-seat finish. Last season we came out on top. That win was especially sweet considering my mixup with Mark Winterbottom late in the race got me penalised and cost us an opportunity to be on the podium the previous year. So to bounce back last year and have a victory with Steven Richards after another close battle in the closing stages was extra special. Steve is more than raceready considering he’s very active in the Porsche Carrera

Cup and in the Australian GT Championship, let alone in the Team Vortex car at test days and race weekends. He and I both have a lot of history at Mount Panorama. And this year will be very special considering it marks some key anniversaries, including 20 years since my first Bathurst win and 10 years since we mourned the loss of Peter Brock. Remembering Peter will make this season’s Bathurst another very special weekend.

Jamie Whincup and I were very honoured to be able to win the first-ever Peter Brock Trophy in 2006. Jamie probably didn’t appreciate the significance of what that meant at the time but now we both look back at its importance. We were running a Ford at the time, though it’s amazing to think how much support we still had from the Holden fans who knew we were honouring Peter. I still to this day reflect on the emotions of that weekend,

not only the race itself but also being able to drive Peter’s Torana XU-1 on the parade lap and play a small part in remembering his legacy. The 2006 win was also very special for us as a team, considering it was the first at Mount Panorama. Roland Dane had never been shy about his determination to win the Bathurst 1000, so to do so in such an important year in the history of the event was extra satisfying for us. The winning car (chassis #10) is still owned by Roland and it now, fittingly, sits in the National Motor Racing Museum. We went on to win Bathurst over the next two years for a three-peat and it’s a credit to the team that we went one-two in the year we switched manufacturers in 2010. It’s been amazing to be part of that success and heading to Mount Panorama for over two decades. And we are determined to keep that success going this year. – Craig

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20/07/2016 2:32 pm


Expert Insight

GARRY THE GURU Column by Garry Rogers

YOUNG TALENT TIME

P

eople ask if I’m angry Scott McLauglin is leaving to go to DJR Team Penske in 2017. I’m not. It’s sad to see him go but that is a fact of life. The thing that I’m proud of is that we saw his potential and we brought him through when others let him go. While I’m sad to see him go, I understand that this opportunity is one he couldn’t turn down. Also, what tipped it over the line is the situation with Volvo, with them pulling the pin on us out of the blue without any warning whatsoever… I think Scott would have stayed with us had it not been for that situation. I’m extremely proud of the talent we have brought to the series. You look at our roll call and it’s pretty impressive: Steven Richards, Jason Bright, Jason Bargwanna, Garth Tander, Jamie Whincup, Lee Holdsworth and Michael Caruso. Yes, I actually sacked Whincup but that has probably worked out for the best for him. It probably gave him the motivation that he needed at the time. You also need to look outside of touring cars. We had a hand in getting others started like Rachelle Splatt in drag racing, who is making a comeback and we are supporting her. The next one we will bring through is James Golding, or ‘Bieber’, as we’ve nicknamed him. He’s an extremely talented driver, cool, calm, collected and, importantly, has a good manner about him. He’s a person who wants to 20

succeed, not just for himself but for the whole team. He’s working with us as an apprentice mechanic. I always look for guys who are not scared to get their hands dirty and put in the hard yards in the workshop, whether that is pushing a broom or being an apprentice mechanic. It’s called commitment. He is certainly skilful enough. It will just be up to us to give him the right equipment and the environment for him to be able to learn and develop that talent. Nothing would be more rewarding for me than if we did put him in the car next year and he ended up beating McLauglin in his first race! It would just be great to see that we had added another one to our family of talented drivers to come through the Garry

“I’m extremely proud of the talent that we have brought to the series. You look at our roll call and it’s pretty impressive.” Rogers Motorsport system. I really do love it; I enjoy giving talented drivers their chance to show the Australian and the world motorsport fraternity what they can do if someone just gives them a break. So Scott leaving is really just presenting another opportunity for the next one to come through. We also mustn’t forget about James Moffat. He’s really starting to show some form. He struggled early; he just couldn’t seem to come to grips with our cars and the way we do things. However, lately he has really shown what he can achieve.

I knew he could drive or I wouldn’t have got him, but I’m sure he would admit himself that it has taken him a bit longer to gel with the car and the team than he would have liked. I believe that going forward he will repay the faith that we have shown in him, regardless of whether his new teammate is Golding or someone else. All I want is two drivers who aren’t scared to have a go. I love nothing more than when my drivers are fighting each other on track, so long as they don’t punt each other off! – Garry

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Bathurst 2016 PREVIEW

Following the most competitive start to a season, we head to Mount Panorama for what promises to be another classic Great Race. With so many championship race winners, competitive entries and a real mix of youth and experience, here’s your team-by-team guide to the event.

TRIPLE EIGHT RACE ENGINEERING JAMIE WHINCUP #88 PAUL DUMBRELL Red Bull Racing Australia Holden VF Commodore

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN #97 ALEXANDRE PRÉMAT Red Bull Racing Australia Holden VF Commodore

CRAIG LOWNDES #888 STEVEN RICHARDS Team Vortex Holden VF Commodore

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Triple Eight once again heads to Mount Panorama as one of the favourites following a strong run in the championship with multiple race wins for all three entries. Jamie Whincup pairs up with Paul Dumbrell for a fifth consecutive endurance campaign, looking to overcome the disappointment of the last two seasons in which the duo were in a leading position only to lose the race late on. Whincup will also need to

BEST BATHURST WINNERS 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015

avoid being double-stacked in the Red Bull garage against teammate Shane van Gisbergen, who enters his first endurance campaign with Triple Eight off the back of victory in the Bathurst 12 Hour earlier in the year. Van Gisbergen has yet to record a podium placing in the Bathurst 1000 and will be joined by Frenchman Alexandre Prémat, who impressed in his previous four Mount Panorama outings with Garry Rogers Motorsport. Defending winners Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards reunite in the team’s Caltexbacked entry, which will share a pit boom with the Tekno Autosports entry. Lowndes is looking to equal Steven’s father Jim on seven Great Race wins, while Steven himself could move to five wins at Mount Panorama. It’s the first time Triple Eight will run three cars at Bathurst since it campaigned an Xbox-backed wildcard entry

for Mattias Ekström and Andy Priaulx in 2013. Triple Eight has not finished outside the top five at Mount Panorama since 2004. JAMIE WHINCUP Starts: 14 Best result: 1st (2006, 2007, 2008, 2012) 2015 result: 18th with Paul Dumbrell PAUL DUMBRELL Starts: 17 Best result: 1st (2012) 2015 result: 18th with Jamie Whincup SHANE VAN GISBERGEN Starts: 9 Best result: 6th (2011) 2015 result: 8th with Jonathon Webb ALEXANDRE PRÉMAT Starts: 4 Best result: 5th (2015) 2015 result: 5th with Scott McLaughlin CRAIG LOWNDES Starts: 22 Best result: 1st (1996, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2015) 2015 result: 1st with Steven Richards STEVEN RICHARDS Starts: 23 Best result: 1st (1998, 1999, 2013, 2015) 2015 result: 1st with Craig Lowndes

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For the latest team/driver line-ups, liveries and wildcard entries, log on to V8X.COM.AU

TEKNO AUTOSPORTS WILL DAVISON #19 JONATHON WEBB Darrell Lea STIX Holden VF Commodore

Tekno Autosports claimed victory in the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour with a McLaren 650S GT3, though the team has yet to breakthrough for a Bathurst 1000 podium in six campaigns. The team is again running a customer Triple Eight Holden VF Commodore for its singlecar entry with team owner

BEST BATHURST SIXTH 2012

Jonathon Webb returning to the driver’s seat. He partners full-timer Will Davison in the Darrell Lea STIX-backed entry. WILL DAVISON Starts: 12 Best result: 1st (2009) 2015 result: 12th with Alex Davison JONATHON WEBB Starts: 10 Best result: 6th (2012) 2015 result: 8th with Shane van Gisbergen

PRODRIVE RACING AUSTRALIA

#1

MARK WINTERBOTTOM DEAN CANTO The Bottle-O Racing Team Ford FG X Falcon

CAMERON WATERS #6 JACK LE BROCQ Monster Energy Racing Ford FG X Falcon

CHAZ MOSTERT #55 STEVE OWEN Supercheap Auto Racing Ford FG X Falcon

CHRIS PITHER #111 RICHIE STANAWAY Super Black Racing Ford FG X Falcon

The leading Ford team missed out on a Bathurst 1000 hattrick last season, though Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen’s second place went some way to helping Winterbottom to his maiden drivers’ championship. Winterbottom is in the hunt for the championship yet again and will team with Dean Canto for the first time at Bathurst. Canto is a veteran of eight previous endurance campaigns with Ford Performance Racing/Rod Nash Racing/ Prodrive Racing Australia, after campaigning in the Rod Nash entry in Bottle-O colours since 2010.

Chaz Mostert returns to the scene of his 2015 seasonending accident, joined in the Supercheap Auto entry by veteran co-driver Steven Owen. Cameron Waters enters his first Bathurst 1000 campaign as the leading driver in the Monster-backed entry, alongside leading Dunlop Development Series driver Jack Le Brocq. The Super Black Racing entry enters its third Bathurst 1000 campaign with regular Chris Pither partnered by former GP2 race winner and Aston Martin sportscar driver, Richie Stanaway.

BEST BATHURST WINNERS 2013, 2014

Prodrive Racing Australia entries have finished on the podium at each of the last four Bathurst 1000s with two wins in that period. MARK WINTERBOTTOM Starts: 13 Best result: 1st (2013) 2015 result: 2nd with Steve Owen DEAN CANTO Starts: 17 Best result: 2nd (2012) 2015 result: 6th with David Reynolds CAMERON WATERS Starts: 3 Best result: 12th (2014) 2015 result: DNS with Chaz Mostert JACK LE BROCQ Starts: 1 Best result: Not applicable 2015 result: DNF with Ashley Walsh CHAZ MOSTERT Starts: 2 Best result: 1st (2014) 2015 result: DNS with Cam Waters STEVE OWEN Starts: 16 Best result: 2nd (2010, 2015) 2015 result: 2nd with Mark Winterbottom CHRIS PITHER Starts: 5 Best result: 14th (2012) 2015 result: DNF with David Wall RICHIE STANAWAY Starts: None Best result: Not applicable 2015 result: Did not enter Bathurst 1000 Edition

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Bathurst 2016 PREVIEW HOLDEN RACING TEAM

BEST BATHURST WINNERS 1990, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2011

their third placing last season. Courtney reunites with Jack Perkins, aiming to repeat their Gold Coast 600 win from last season and score a maiden Bathurst win.

GARTH TANDER #2 WARREN LUFF Holden Racing Team Holden VF Commodore

JAMES COURTNEY #22 JACK PERKINS Holden Racing Team Holden VF Commodore

After another consistently inconsistent season thus far, the Holden Racing Team will be looking to return to the top step of the podium at Mount Panorama. The factory-backed Holden team features an unchanged driver line-up from the end of last season’s endurance event

at the Gold Coast, though this event does mark a return to Mount Panorama for James Courtney who missed last year’s Bathurst 1000 through injury. Garth Tander and Warren Luff team up for a third consecutive season and will be determined to go two better after

BRAD JONES RACING JASON BRIGHT #8 ANDREW JONES Team BOC Holden VF Commodore

TIM SLADE #14 ASHLEY WALSH Freightliner Racing Holden VF Commodore

TIM BLANCHARD #21 MACAULEY JONES Team Cooldrive

Jason Bright and Andrew Jones pair up for their sixth consecutive endurance campaign as co-drivers, looking to improve on their best finish of fifth place. Macauley Jones, son of Brad Jones and cousin to Kim Jones’ son Andrew, debuted at Mount Panorama last season and returns to the family-run team alongside Tim Blanchard in the Cooldrive-backed entry.

GARTH TANDER Starts: 17 Best result: 1st (2000, 2009, 2011) 2015 result: 3rd with Warren Luff WARREN LUFF Starts: 15 Best result: 3rd (2012, 2013, 2015) 2015 result: 3rd with Garth Tander JAMES COURTNEY Starts: 10 Best result: 2nd (2007) 2015 result: Did not enter JACK PERKINS Starts: 10 Best result: 8th (2008, 2011, 2013) 2015 result: 11th with Russell Ingall BEST BATHURST SECOND 1997, 2001, 2009

JASON BRIGHT Starts: 19 Best result: 1st (1998) 2015 result: 7th with Andrew Jones ANDREW JONES Starts: 14 Best result: 4th (2005) 2015 result: 7th with Jason Bright TIM SLADE Starts: 6 Best result: 7th (2009, 2012) 2015 result: 14th with Tony D’Alberto

ASHLEY WALSH Starts: 3 Best result: 15th (2013) 2015 result: DNF with Jack Le Brocq TIM BLANCHARD Starts: 5 Best result: 15th (2013) 2015 result: DNF with Karl Reindler MACAULEY JONES Starts: 1 Best result: 15th (2015) 2015 result: 15th with Dale Wood

Holden VF Commodore

Brad Jones Racing is still chasing that elusive victory at Mount Panorama, following more frustration last season with Fabian Coulthard and Luke Youlden just missing out on a podium in fourth place. Tim Slade broke through for his first career win at Winton after replacing Coulthard in the Freightliner-backed entry. Joining him in the entry is Porsche Carrera Cup frontrunner and former Supercars fulltimer at Erebus Motorsport, Ashley Walsh. 24

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TEAM 18 LEE HOLDSWORTH #18 KARL REINDLER Preston Hire Racing Holden VF Commodore

Charlie Schwerkolt’s #18 is now a solo entrant, after previously being run out of Ford Performance Racing and Walkinshaw Racing. It’s been a disrupted campaign for the single-car team, running an ex-Triple Eight Holden VF Commodore, following the injuries suffered to Lee Holdsworth at Hidden Valley.

BEST BATHURST NINTH 2015

Holdsworth will be battling to be fit for the grueling Bathurst 1000 with Karl Reindler perhaps needing to take on greater driving time after his impressive showing with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport last season. LEE HOLDSWORTH Starts: 12 Best result: 3rd (2009) 2015 result: 9th with Sébastien Bourdais KARL REINDLER Starts: 6 Best result: 11th (2009) 2015 result: DNF with Tim Blanchard

NISSAN MOTORSPORT TODD KELLY #7 MATT CAMPBELL Carsales Racing Nissan Altima

RICK KELLY #15 RUSSELL INGALL Sengled Racing Nissan Altima

MICHAEL CARUSO #23 DEAN FIORE Nissan Nismo Nissan Altima

DALE WOOD #96 DAVID RUSSELL GB Galvanizing Racing

side of the garage, Todd Kelly welcomes Porsche Carrera Cup frontrunner Matt Campbell into the Carsales-backed entry, for what will be Campbell’s Bathurst 1000 debut. David Russell remains with the team for another endurance campaign and will pair with Dale Wood in the GB Galvanizing-backed entry. Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore is the only unchanged entry pairing at Nissan Motorsport, teaming up over the last two seasons.

BEST BATHURST SECOND 2014 TODD KELLY Starts: 18 Best result: 1st (2005) 2015 result: 20th with Alex Buncombe MATTHEW CAMPBELL Starts: None Best result: Not applicable 2015 result: Did not enter RICK KELLY Starts: 15 Best result: 1st (2003, 2004) 2015 result: 16th with David Russell RUSSELL INGALL Starts: 23 Best result: 1st (1995, 1997) 2015 result: 11th with Jack Perkins

MICHAEL CARUSO Starts: 10 Best result: 3rd (2009) 2015 result: 13th with Dean Fiore DEAN FIORE Starts: 7 Best result: 13th (2015) 2015 result: 13th with Michael Caruso DALE WOOD Starts: 8 Best result: 9th (2011) 2015 result: 15th with Macauley Jones DAVID RUSSELL Starts: 6 Best result: 8th (2014) 2015 result: 16th with Rick Kelly

Nissan Altima

Nissan Motorsport continues its climb up the grid and returned to the top step of the podium with Michael Caruso at Hidden Valley. Stability with its engine and aerodynamic package has allowed the team to make setup gains with a new-look co-driver line-up featuring a real mix of youth and experience. Former winners Rick Kelly and Russell Ingall team up in the Sengled-backed entry, with Ingall adding a drive in a Nissan to his long resume. In contrast, on the other Bathurst 1000 Edition

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Bathurst 2016 PREVIEW GARRY ROGERS MOTORSPORT

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN #33 DAVID WALL Wilson Security Racing GRM Volvo Polestar S60

JAMES MOFFAT #34 JAMES GOLDING Wilson Security Racing GRM Volvo Polestar S60

The 2016 Great Race will bring an end to Garry Rogers Motorsport’s short-lived stint as a factory-backed Volvo team, following the Swedish brands decision to pull its support at season’s end. Also, it will be the final time team protégé Scott McLaughlin lines up for Garry Rogers at Mount Panorama with a move to DJR Team Penske on the horizon in 2017. Fifth place for McLaughlin and Alexandre Prémat was the team’s best finish with the

Volvo Polestar S60, so a podium would be a fitting reward for the driver, team and manufacturer. McLaughlin is joined by the team’s full-timer from last season David Wall, who is racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup this year and fills the void left by the Triple Eight-bound Prémat. Across the garage, James Moffat will take part in his first Great Race in a Volvo with the team’s Dunlop Development Series driver and main-game mechanic James Golding for the latter’s Bathurst 1000 debut.

BEST BATHURST WINNERS 2000 SCOTT McLAUGHLIN Starts: 4 Best result: 5th (2015) 2015 result: 5th with Alexandre Prémat DAVID WALL Starts: 7 Best result: 14th (2011, 2012) 2015 result: DNF with Chris Pither JAMES MOFFAT Starts: 6 Best result: 2nd (2014) 2015 result: 10th with Taz Douglas JAMES GOLDING Starts: None Best result: Not applicable 2015 result: Did not enter

DJR TEAM PENSKE

FABIAN COULTHARD #12 LUKE YOULDEN DJR Team Penske Ford FG X Falcon

SCOTT PYE #17 TONY D’ALBERTO DJR Team Penske Ford FG X Falcon

DJR Team Penske returns to Mount Panorama with two cars after downsizing to one entry last season, no doubt determined to make amends for the late-race mechanical failure that sent Scott Pye heavily into the wall. Pye returns for what will be his final Bathurst 1000 with the team, with Scott McLaughlin set to takeover the #17 entry in 2017. Former full-timer Tony D’Alberto moves across from Walkinshaw Racing to team with Pye.

BEST BATHURST WINNERS 1981, 1989, 1994

Fabian Coulthard enters his first Bathurst 1000 for DJR Team Penske with his regular co-driver Luke Youlden also moving across from Brad Jones Racing. It’s their fourth campaign as co-drivers in 2016. It was at Mount Panorama last season where DJR Team Penske started its climb up the grid in the first season of the Dick Johnson Racing and Team Penske partnership, so this event will be an interesting gauge of how far the team has tracked in a year.

FABIAN COULTHARD Starts: 12 Best result: 4th (2015) 2015 result: 4th with Luke Youlden LUKE YOULDEN Starts: 16 Best result: 3rd (2003) 2015 result: 4th with Fabian Coulthard SCOTT PYE Starts: 4 Best result: 6th (2013) 2015 result: DNF with Marcos Ambrose TONY D’ALBERTO Starts: 11 Best result: 6th (2007) 2015 result: 14th with Tim Slade

LUCAS DUMBRELL MOTORSPORT

ANDRE HEIMGARTNER #3 Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden VF Commodore

NICK PERCAT #222 OLIVER GAVIN Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden VF Commodore

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport in 2016; from the high of a breakthrough Clipsal 500 win for Nick Percat to the sponsorship struggles that followed. It’s five years since Percat won the Bathurst 1000 as a rookie alongside Garth Tander at the Holden Racing Team in 2011. British sportscar veteran Oliver Gavin partners Percat for a third consecutive season.

Andre Heimgartner enters his third Bathurst 1000 campaign and first with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport. The Triple Eight customer entries will be looking to crack the top 10 to get the team back on track in 2016. Scan the QR code to see the most up to date endurance line ups, including the team’s complete #3 driver line-up and wildcard entrants.

BEST BATHURST SIXTH 2013 ANDRE HEIMGARTNER Starts: 2 Best result: 11th (2014) 2015 result: DNF with Ant Pedersen NICK PERCAT Starts: 5 Best result: 1st (2011) 2015 result: 19th with Oliver Gavin OLIVER GAVIN Starts: 2 Best result: 3rd (2014) 2015 result: 19th with Nick Percat

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EREBUS MOTORSPORT

DAVID REYNOLDS #9 CRAIG BAIRD Penrite Hungry Jacks Racing Holden VF Commodore SHAE DAVIES #4 Erebus Motorsport

Holden VF Commodore

It’s been a tumultuous season for Erebus Motorsport, which is now running customer Walkinshaw Racing Holden VF Commodores. The team has seen the departure of sponsors, key personnel, an off-season move of workshops and mixed results. David Reynolds leads the team in the Penrite-backed entry with Bathurst veteran Craig Baird returning to Mount

BEST BATHURST FOURTH 2014

Panorama after failing to land an endurance drive last season. Rookie Shae Davies steps up into the second entry from the Dunlop Development Series and will be looking to gain experience in his first Bathurst 1000. Scan the QR code to see the most up to date endurance line ups, including the team’s complete #4 driver line-up and wildcard entrants.

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DAVID REYNOLDS Starts: 8 Best result: 2nd (2012) 2015 result: 6th with Dean Canto CRAIG BAIRD Starts: 20 Best result: 4th (1997) 2015 result: Did not enter SHAE DAVIES Starts: None Best result: Not applicable 2015 result: Did not enter

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Bathurst 2016 FACTS & STATS

BATHURST CHAMPIONS

* Super Touring Bathurst 1000

YEAR/RACE TITLE WINNING DRIVERS TEAM CAR 1963 Armstrong 500 Harry Firth/Bob Jane Ford Motor Company Ford Cortina GT 1964 Armstrong 500 Bob Jane/George Reynolds Ford Motor Company Ford Cortina GT 1965 Armstrong 500 Barry Seton/Midge Bosworth Fairfield Motors Ford Cortina GT500 1966 Gallaher 500 Rauno Aaltonen/Bob Holden BMC Australia Morris Cooper S 1967 Gallaher 500 Harry Firth/Fred Gibson Ford Motor Company Ford Falcon XR GT 1968 Hardie-Ferodo 500 Bruce McPhee/Barry Mulholland Wyong Motors Holden Monaro GTS 327 1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500 Colin Bond/Tony Roberts Holden Dealer Team Holden Monaro GTS 350 1970 Hardie-Ferodo 500 Allan Moffat Ford Motor Company Ford Falcon XW GT-HO Ph II 1971 Hardie-Ferodo 500 Allan Moffat Ford Motor Company Ford Falcon XY GT-HO Ph III 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500 Peter Brock Holden Dealer Team Holden Torana XU-1 1973 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Allan Moffat/Ian Geoghegan Ford Motor Company Ford Falcon XA GT 1974 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 John Goss/Kevin Bartlett McLeod Ford Ford Falcon XA GT 1975 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Peter Brock/Brian Sampson Gown-Hindhaugh Racing Holden Torana L34 1976 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Bob Morris/John Fitzpatrick Ron Hodgson Racing Holden Torana L34 1977 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Allan Moffat/Jacky Ickx Moffat Ford Dealers Ford Falcon XC 1978 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Peter Brock/Jim Richards Holden Dealer Team Holden Torana A9X 1979 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Peter Brock/Jim Richards Holden Dealer Team Holden Torana A9X 1980 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 Peter Brock/Jim Richards Holden Dealer Team Holden Commodore VC 1981 James Hardie 1000 Dick Johnson/John French Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon XD 1982 James Hardie 1000 Peter Brock/Larry Perkins Holden Dealer Team Holden Commodore VH 1983 James Hardie 1000 Peter Brock/Larry Perkins/John Harvey Holden Dealer Team Holden Commodore VH 1984 James Hardie 1000 Peter Brock/Larry Perkins Holden Dealer Team Holden Commodore VK 1985 James Hardie 1000 John Goss/Armin Hahne Tom Walkinshaw Racing Jaguar XJ-S 1986 James Hardie 1000 Allan Grice/Graeme Bailey Chickadee/Roadways Racing Holden Commodore VK 1987 James Hardie 1000 Peter Brock/David Parsons/Peter McLeod HDT Racing Holden Commodore VL 1988 Tooheys 1000 Tony Longhurst/Tomas Mezera Benson & Hedges Racing Ford Sierra RS500 1989 Tooheys 1000 Dick Johnson/John Bowe Dick Johnson Racing Ford Sierra RS500 1990 Tooheys 1000 Allan Grice/Win Percy Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VL SS 1991 Tooheys 1000 Jim Richards/Mark Skaife Gibson Motorsport Nissan Skyline GT-R 1992 Tooheys 1000 Jim Richards/Mark Skaife Gibson Motorsport Nissan Skyline GT-R 1993 Tooheys 1000 Larry Perkins/Gregg Hansford Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VP 1994 Tooheys 1000 Dick Johnson/John Bowe Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon EB 1995 Tooheys 1000 Larry Perkins/Russell Ingall Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VR 1996 AMP Bathurst 1000 Craig Lowndes/Greg Murphy Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VR 1997 AMP Bathurst 1000* Geoff Brabham/David Brabham BMW Motorsport Australia BMW 320i 1997 Primus 1000 Classic Larry Perkins/Russell Ingall Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VS 1998 AMP Bathurst 1000* Rickard Rydell/Jim Richards Volvo S40 Racing/TWR Volvo S40 1998 FAI 1000 Classic Jason Bright/Steven Richards Stone Brothers Racing Ford Falcon EL 1999 FAI 1000 Greg Murphy/Steven Richards Gibson Motorsport Holden Commodore VT 2000 FAI 1000 Garth Tander/Jason Bargwanna Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Commodore VT 2001 V8 Supercar 1000 Mark Skaife/Tony Longhurst Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VX 2002 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 Mark Skaife/Jim Richards Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VX 2003 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 Greg Murphy/Rick Kelly Kmart Racing Holden Commodore VY 2004 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 Greg Murphy/Rick Kelly Kmart Racing Holden Commodore VY 2005 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Mark Skaife/Todd Kelly Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VZ 2006 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford Falcon BA 2007 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford Falcon BF 2008 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford Falcon BF 2009 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Garth Tander/Will Davison Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VE 2010 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Craig Lowndes/Mark Skaife Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VE 2011 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Garth Tander/Nick Percat Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VE 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VE 2013 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon FG 2014 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Chaz Mostert/Paul Morris Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon FG 2015 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VF

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MOST WINS WINS DRIVER

9 7 6 4 3 2

Peter Brock Jim Richards Larry Perkins, Mark Skaife, Craig Lowndes Allan Moffat, Greg Murphy, Jamie Whincup, Steven Richards Dick Johnson, Garth Tander Harry Firth, Bob Jane, John Goss, Allan Grice, John Bowe, Russell Ingall, Tony Longhurst, Rick Kelly

MOST WINS IN A ROW WINS 3 3 3

DRIVER Peter Brock/Jim Richards (1978-1980) Peter Brock/Larry Perkins (1982-1984) Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup (2006-2008)

MOST STARTS

35 – Jim Richards MOST STARTS IN A ROW

33 – Jim Richards

MOST WINS PER MAKE WINS 30 19 2 1

MAKE Holden Ford Nissan Morris, Jaguar, BMW, Volvo

MOST POLES FOR MAKE

23 – Ford MOST POLES IN A ROW PER MAKE

5 – Ford (1969-1973) BEST RESULT FOR MAKE

1st to 9th – Morris Cooper S in 1966 MOST WINS IN A ROW PER MAKE

7 – Holden (1999-2005)

Bathurst 1000 Edition

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IMAGES Autopics.com.au, Peter Norton

THE DIPPER FORREST’S ELBOW

McPHILLAMY PARK

SPEED: 90km/h GEAR: 2nd

SULMAN PARK SPEED: 183km/h GEAR: 4th

SPEED: 188km/h GEAR: 4th

SPEED: 90km/h GEAR: 2nd

BROCK’S SKYLINE SPEED: 218km/h GEAR: 4th

THE ESSES

REID PARK

SPEED: 160km/h GEAR: 3rd

SPEED: 130km/h GEAR: 2nd

GRIFFIN’S BEND

CONROD STRAIGHT

SPEED: 132km/h GEAR: 3rd

THE CUTTING SPEED: 94km/h GEAR: 2nd

SPEED: 295km/h GEAR: 6th

MOUNTAIN STRAIGHT SPEED: 258km/h GEAR: 5th

TRACK FACTS LENGTH

6.213km LAPS

161 DIRECTION

Anti-clockwise AVERAGE SPEED

178km/h TOP SPEED

300km/h LENGTH OF CONROD STRAIGHT

1.916km LENGTH OF MOUNTAIN STRAIGHT

THE CHASE SPEED: 120km/h GEAR: 2nd

1.111km

HELL CORNER SPEED: 99km/h GEAR: 2nd

HIGHEST POINT

862 metres above sea level ELEVATION

174 metres PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD

2:04.9097 – Jamie Whincup (2015) Triple Eight Holden VF Commodore RACE LAP RECORD

2:07.1226 – Jamie Whincup (2015) Triple Eight Holden VF Commodore

MURRAY’S CORNER SPEED: 99km/h GEAR: 2nd

Bathurst 1000 Edition

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Bathurst 2016 FACTS & STATS MOST PODIUMS TOTAL 13 12 12 12 10 8 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 5 5 5

DRIVER 1st Craig Lowndes 6 Peter Brock 9 Jim Richards 7 Larry Perkins 6 Mark Skaife 6 Greg Murphy 4 Jamie Whincup 4 Steven Richards 4 Allan Moffat 4 Allan Grice 2 John Bowe 2 Colin Bond 1 Dick Johnson 3 Bruce McPhee 1 Brad Jones 0 Garth Tander 3 John Harvey 1 Cameron McConville 0

2nd 5 1 2 3 2 1 3 2 1 4 4 2 3 3 3 0 3 2

3rd 2 2 3 3 2 3 0 1 2 1 1 4 0 2 3 2 1 3

MOST POLE POSITIONS TOTAL 6 5 4 2

DRIVERS Peter Brock Mark Skaife Allan Moffat Ian Geoghegan, Kevin Bartlett, Dick Johnson, Glenn Seton, Craig Lowndes, Garth Tander, Mark Winterbottom, Greg Murphy

OTHER RECORDS

▲ MOST SHOOTOUTS: 21 – Dick Johnson MOST FINISHES: 24 – Peter Brock, Jim Richards MOST FASTEST LAPS: 6 – Peter Brock BIGGEST WINNING MARGIN: 6 laps – Peter Brock/Jim Richards in 1979 CLOSEST NON-FORMATION FINISH: 0.2917 seconds – Garth Tander/Nick Percat ahead of Craig Lowndes/Mark Skaife in 2011 MOST POLES IN A ROW: 3 – Allan Moffat (1970-1972), Peter Brock (1977-1979) MOST WINS FROM POLE POSITION: 2 – Allan Moffat (1970-1971), Peter Brock/Jim Richards (1978-1979), Mark Skaife/Jim Richards (1991 & 2002) ROOKIES ON POLE: Klaus Ludwig (1987), Marcos Ambrose (2001) MOST BATHURST-CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLES: 3 – Mark Skaife (1992, 2001, 2002) MOST SANDOWN-BATHURST DOUBLES: 5 – Peter Brock (1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984) MOST SANDOWN-BATHURST-CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLES: 2 – Peter Brock (1978, 1980) 30

POLE POSITIONS

YEAR DRIVER TIME CAR 1967 Ian Geoghegan 3m02.00s Ford Falcon XR GT 1968 Bruce McPhee 2m56.70s Holden Monaro GTS 327 1969 Ian Geoghegan 2m48.90s Ford Falcon XW GT-HO 1970 Allan Moffat 2m52.10s Ford Falcon XW GT-HO Ph II 1971 Allan Moffat 2m38.90s Ford Falcon XY GT-HO Ph III 1972 Allan Moffat 2m35.80s Ford Falcon XY GT-HO Ph III 1973 John Goss 2m33.40s Ford Falcon XA GT 1974 Peter Brock 2m30.80s Holden Torana L34 1975 Colin Bond 2m27.40s Holden Torana L34 1976 Allan Moffat 2m25.00s Ford Falcon XB GT 1977 Peter Brock 2m24.90s Holden Torana A9X 1978 Peter Brock 2m20.00s Holden Torana A9X 1979 Peter Brock 2m20.50s Holden Torana A9X 1980 Kevin Bartlett 2m20.97s Chevrolet Camaro 1981 Kevin Bartlett 2m36.40s** Chevrolet Camaro 1982 Allan Grice 2m17.50s Holden Commodore VH 1983 Peter Brock 2m16.20s Holden Commodore VH 1984 George Fury 2m13.85s Nissan Bluebird Turbo 1985 Tom Walkinshaw 2m18.82s Jaguar XJ-S 1986 Gary Scott 2m17.16s Nissan Skyline Turbo 1987 Klaus Ludwig 2m16.96s Ford Sierra RS500 1988 Dick Johnson 2m16.46s Ford Sierra RS500 1989 Peter Brock 2m15.80s Ford Sierra RS500 1990 Klaus Niedzwiedz 2m13.94s Ford Sierra RS500 1991 Mark Skaife 2m12.62s Nissan Skyline GT-R 1992 Dick Johnson 2m12.893s Ford Sierra RS500 1993 Larry Perkins 2m13.013s Holden Commodore VP 1994 Glenn Seton 2m12.1464s Ford Falcon EB 1995 Craig Lowndes 2m11.5540s Holden Commodore VR 1996 Glenn Seton 2m11.0160s Ford Falcon EF 1997* Paul Morris 2m16.5958s BMW 320i 1997 Mark Skaife 2m10.0397s Holden Commodore VS 1998* Rickard Rydell 2m14.9265s Volvo S40 1998 Mark Skaife 2m09.8954s Holden Commodore VT 1999 Mark Larkham 2m09.5146s Ford Falcon AU 2000 Wayne Gardner 2m28.3844s** Ford Falcon AU 2001 Marcos Ambrose 2m09.7785s Ford Falcon AU 2002 Mark Skaife 2m08.8278s Holden Commodore VX 2003 Greg Murphy 2m06.8594s Holden Commodore VY 2004 Steven Richards 2m07.9611s Holden Commodore VY 2005 Craig Lowndes 2m08.5990s Ford Falcon BA 2006 Mark Skaife 2m07.4221s Holden Commodore VZ 2007 Mark Winterbottom 2m07.0908s Ford Falcon BF 2008 Garth Tander 2m07.2963s Holden Commodore VE 2009 Garth Tander 2m07.9463s Holden Commodore VE 2010 Mark Winterbottom 2m07.5377s Ford Falcon FG 2011 Greg Murphy 2m08.8009s Holden Commodore VE 2012 Will Davison 2m08.0693s Ford Falcon FG 2013 Jamie Whincup 2m07.8825s Holden Commodore VF 2014 Shane van Gisbergen 2m06.3267s Holden Commodore VF 2015 David Reynolds 2m27.8201s** Ford Falcon FG X *Super Touring Bathurst 1000 **Wet weather qualifying Note: From 1963 to 1966 the grid was lined up by classes with the most expensive class at the front.

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FASTEST RACE LAPS YEAR 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969

DRIVER TIME CAR Ian Geoghegan/Leo Geoghegan 3m21.3s Ford Cortina GT Brian Foley 3m.13.7s Morris Cooper S Frank Matich 3m10.0s Morris Cooper S Fred Gibson 3m03.0s Ford Falcon XR GT Bruce McPhee 2m58.0s Holden Monaro GTS 327 Allan Moffat/Alan Hamilton 2m52.1s Ford Falcon XW GT-HO Fred Gibson/Barry Seton 2m52.1s Ford Falcon XW GT-HO 1970 John Goss/Bob Skelton 2m53.0s Ford Falcon XW GT-HO 1971 Bob Morris 2m40.0s Ford Falcon XY GT-HO 1972 Allan Moffat 2m36.5s Ford Falcon XY GT-HO 1973 John Goss 2m34.8s Ford Falcon XA GT 1974 Peter Brock 2m29.8s Holden Torana L34 1975 Not recorded 1976 Allan Moffat 2m28.4s Ford Falcon XB GT Peter Brock 2m28.4s Holden Torana L34 1977 Allan Moffat 2m26.4s Ford Falcon XC 1978 Allan Moffat 2m22.0s Ford Falcon XC 1979 Peter Brock 2m21.1s Holden Torana A9X 1980 Dick Johnson 2m22.2s Ford Falcon XD 1981 Dick Johnson 2m20.9s Ford Falcon XD 1982 Peter Brock 2m20.1s Holden Commodore VH 1983 Peter Brock 2m18.5s Holden Commodore VH 1984 Peter Brock 2m15.13s Holden Commodore VK 1985 John Goss 2m21.86s Jaguar XJ-S 1986 Allan Grice 2m18.99s Holden Commodore VK 1987 Andrew Miedecke 2m22.50s Ford Sierra RS500 1988 Tony Longhurst 2m19.06s Ford Sierra RS500 1989 Dick Johnson 2m19.12s Ford Sierra RS500 1990 Mark Skaife 2m15.46s Nissan Skyline GT-R 1991 Mark Skaife 2m14.50s Nissan Skyline GT-R 1992 Mark Skaife 2m16.47s Nissan Skyline GT-R 1993 Mark Skaife 2m14.803s Holden Commodore VP 1994 Dick Johnson 2m14.1458s Ford Falcon EB 1995 Craig Lowndes 2m14.3229s Holden Commodore VR 1996 Craig Lowndes 2m13.1636s Holden Commodore VR 1997* Jason Plato 2m16.8034s Renault Laguna 1997 Larry Perkins 2m12.3398s Holden Commodore VS 1998* Rickard Rydell 2m17.9558s Volvo S40 1998 Craig Lowndes 2m12.7771s Holden Commodore VT 1999 Paul Radisich 2m.12.5624s Ford Falcon AU 2000 Craig Lowndes 2m14.2602s Holden Commodore VT 2001 Simon Wills 2m10.2011s Ford Falcon AU 2002 Brad Jones 2m09.5705s Ford Falcon AU 2003 Garth Tander 2m08.6726s Holden Commodore VY 2004 Jason Bright 2m08.8972s Holden Commodore VY 2005 Mark Skaife 2m08.6515s Holden Commodore VZ 2006 Craig Lowndes 2m08.6571s Ford Falcon BA 2007 Jamie Whincup 2m08.4651s Ford Falcon BF 2008 James Courtney 2m09.2775s Ford Falcon BF 2009 Jason Richards 2m08.9972s Holden Commodore VE 2010 Jason Bright 2m08.8215s Holden Commodore VE 2011 Jamie Whincup 2m09.3340s Holden Commodore VE 2012 Shane van Gisbergen 2m09.5962s Ford Falcon FG 2013 Garth Tander 2m10.5344s Holden Commodore VF 2014 Chaz Mostert 2m07.4913s Ford Falcon FG 2015 Jamie Whincup 2m07.1226s Holden Commodore VF *Super Touring Bathurst 1000 Note: No fastest lap recorded in 1963 and 1975.

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Bathurst 2016 FACTS & STATS The key developments in the evolution of the Great Race. First Armstrong 500 1960 held at Phillip Island Circuit.

Shootout runs as a promotional event and doesn’t count towards setting the grid.

Event moves to 1963 Mount Panorama, Bathurst.

Rolling start used for the only time in the event’s history. Shootout qualifying 1989 format and standing start return. final event run to 1992 The the Group A rulebook. Event expands to Shootout qualifying 1976  include a Friday unlim- 1986 format simplifies to one run per entry. ited practice day. ‘The Chase’ is installed Event again expands 1987  on safety grounds, 1978  with the unofficial breaking up Conrod Straight testing getting underway on the Wednesday.

First win for a 1967 V8-powered car (Ford XR Falcon GT of Harry Firth and Fred Gibson).

1969

Shootout qualifying format to determine to top 10 of the grid debuts. Channel Seven gives us 1979 in-car cameras for the first time.

Factory-backed Ford and Holden entries face off for the first time.

and increasing the circuit length from 6.172km to 6.213km.

The event is included as a round of the ‘World Touring Car Championship’. Official practice gets underway on the Thursday for the first time. The safety car is used during the race for the first time.

Live timing included in the race coverage.

1988

The event comes under the banner of the ‘Pacific-Asia Touring Car Championship’.

1970

Grid line-up changes from ‘three-two-three’ to ‘two-by-two’.

Group 3A rules applied 1993 to the event, featuring V8-powered Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores. Final Bathurst 1000 1994  to include different classes (Group 3A V8s and twolitre Super Touring cars).

Last 500-mile event 1972 and last time drivers could go solo in the event. expands to 1000 1973 Event kilometres. Rulebook changes to ‘Production Touring’ (Group C), the same regulations that applied to the Australian Touring Car Championship. Race is televised in 1975 colour for the first time. 32

Holden Commodore 1980 faces off against the Ford Falcon for the first time. event run to the 1984 Final Group C rulebook. First event run to the 1985  international Group A rulebook.

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parity between the Falcons and Commodores. Shootout reverts back to 10 entries. Entries not running 2004 in the championship not permitted to enter Bathurst.

Peter Brock Trophy 2006 awarded to winners for the first time.

Two Bathurst 1000s 1997 held, one for two-litre Super Touring cars and the other for the V8 Supercars.

Once again the Super 1998 Touring and V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000s held separately.

Super Touring event 1999 loses Bathurst 1000 status, reduced to a 500km race.

Wildcard entries once 2009 again permitted to compete at Bathurst only. Final Bathurst 1000 2012  for Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores exclusively. Event opens up to 2013  non-Ford and Holden entries with the introduction of the Car of the Futuregeneration cars.

Sole Bathurst 1000 included in the V8 Supercars championship. Control tyre introduced for the first time to match championship rules. expands from 2001 Shootout 10 entries to 15 entries. Project Blueprint reg2003  ulations introduced, designed to achieve better

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Bathurst 2016 MEMORIES

The first Bathurst experience is a jaw-dropping moment that’s exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. Mount Panorama remains a place where a passion can grow and stay with us for the rest of our lives, regardless of whether you are a driver or fan. Ahead of the 2016 edition of the Great Race, we asked some of the current crop of drivers how they discovered Mount Panorama. These are their stories… WORDS John Bannon IMAGES inetpics.com, Autopics.com.au

CRAIG LOWNDES

“I think I was in my mid-teens and we camped out the back. It was amazing; it was the biggest event I’d ever been to. From memory, I was about 10 or 11 [when I first watched Bathurst on TV]. I was racing karts at the time and my father was involved in the event.

I was sitting at home captivated, hoping one day I could get there, too. “I’ll never forget the first time I saw the iconic Holden and Ford rivalry and the passion of the fans. It’s great to see that the fans are still so passionate about the sport but particularly Bathurst. It takes it to a totally different level.”

Lowndes is closely connected to the history of the Great Race, running this Peter Brock retro livery in 2012.

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Waters watched on during Marcos Ambrose’s controversial 2005 race.

STEVE RICHARDS

“I spent most of my life going up to Bathurst. I think my first one was about 1976. I’ve basically only missed one, which was 1994, the year I won the Formula Ford championship. “I do remember 1977, 1978 and 1979 a little bit when Dad drove the Falcon and then with Peter Brock in the Holden Dealer Team. “I was mucking around with some of the other kids. There used to be the King George Tavern at the back of the pit area. There was a tent up there with a heap of pinball and gaming machines. We used to sneak up the back of the tent and flick the back of the machines for free credits and play the games. “I remember we’d been in there and came out and there was no racing on. I pulled someone up to ask what was going on because everyone was running around like mad men. They said there was this big crash at the top of the Mountain and the race had been stopped [in 1981].”

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN

“I went in 2007 for the first time while racing for Team Kiwi. It was pretty crazy; there aren’t too many events like it in New Zealand. “I watched it every year growing up; it was awesome! “There was always Kiwis doing well, so it was great to watch and support them, especially Greg Murphy’s shootout in 2003.”

CAMERON WATERS ▲

“I went to the track in 2004 or 2005. I was in midgets in karts and I was racing up that way. On the way home, Dad drove through Bathurst. He actually drove the track but I never went to the race until 2011 when I did the actual event. “I was always a Ford supporter, so it’s kind of fitting now. Back in the day I followed Marcos Ambrose a fair bit. I remember watching when he and Greg Murphy had the hiccup at the Cutting [2005].”

GARTH TANDER

“The first time I went there was in 1998 for a media day. It was snowing on the Monday when we drove up there. It was the first time I had seen snow. The media day was on the Tuesday and it poured with rain, so I don’t think they did a lap. It was a pretty disappointing first journey to get there and not even drive around. “I remember watching in 1985 when Peter Brock was chasing everyone down at the end. He jumped in the car, they kicked the windscreens out of it and he used someone else’s helmet. It was typical Brock. “I reckon the earliest memory I have watching it on TV was 1983 Hardies Heroes when Dick Johnson stuck it in the trees.”

CHAZ MOSTERT

“When I was about 12 or 13, one of my mechanics who worked on my kart took me to Bathurst and Bathurst 1000 Edition

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Bathurst 2016 MEMORIES we camped up there in our camper van. The atmosphere was absolutely amazing for all ages. “Being a young kid you could go and do all the activation stuff down in the pits and got to watch all the racing as well. “Seeing some guys punch above their weight, just putting everything into that one race and watching them have some good success and showing that anyone can really win it, they just need to have a good day.”

Slade was amongst the fans at the rain-drenched event in 2000.

JASON BRIGHT

“I first went up there in 1982 and my Dad and I camped on top of the Mountain with a few of his mates. “As a nine-year-old it was a fair experience. I remember there was a fair bit of larrikinism from the boys. We ran out of petrol in the middle of the night as we were going back. I just remember the whole experience; a really good atmosphere at the top of the Mountain and a great piece of race track. “I was a bit of a Peter Brock fan, so it was great to be there for when Brock won in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1987. I remember watching Brock come across the top in the wet, that was extra special and will stick with me forever.”

RICK KELLY

“I think it was 1996 or 1997 when Todd was racing Formula Ford. I remember staying at the uni at the bottom of the hill and sitting out on the porch every night watching the mayhem up Mount Panorama. “There was flares going off, ambulances racing up every hour or so, it was pretty crazy and is a much different environment now. “The first race I remember watching was 1992 when it rained and Jim Richards and Mark Skaife ended up winning it. We started the day with a BBQ breaky at our house with friends and I remember watching the start of the race, then heading outside to race my bike against Todd and another couple of friends after being inspired by the race. We would head inside every now and then to check on the race.”

TIM SLADE ▲

“I caught a bus with another one of my mates from McLaren Vale back in Adelaide to Bathurst in 2000. It was all pretty last minute! “I remember it was extremely wet and we didn’t have any accommodation sorted. I can’t even remember where we stayed; it was out in the boonies somewhere. That was the year GT [Garth Tander] and Bargs [Jason Bargwanna] won. “That first experience was pretty crazy given how wet it was. The shoes and pants all got pretty muddy that weekend!”

SCOTT McLAUGHLIN

“I first went to Bathurst in 2008. I was a part of the Britek Motorsport Scholarship with Jason Bright. It was the coolest thing ever and made me want to race there one day. It was cool to be close to the team and understand how hard they worked. I have been lucky every time I have gone to Bathurst I have been with a team. “My favourite memory would have to be watching Murph’s [Greg Murphy] pole lap in 2003 – that was so fast! Then for him to win the next day was so cool; it was a great weekend for a Murph fan.”

Greg Murphy’s ‘Lap of the Gods’ inspired many of the current drivers.

36

t CHRIS PITHER

“Growing up in New Zealand, I didn’t have the opportunity to get to Bathurst as soon as I would have liked. The first time I got to Bathurst was in 2006, driving a Kanga Loaders Falcon AU in the Development Series. “Watching it, the highlight is Greg Murphy’s ‘Lap of the Gods’. That was just unreal. I grew up watching him and aspired to be like him from a very young age. When you are a Kiwi kid and you are watching V8 Supercars, he is your national hero.”

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JAMES MOFFAT

es

“The first one I remember was 1994 when Dad still had the Cenovis Falcon running. To go as a 10-yearold and be hanging around in the pits with Dad’s team was a huge thrill for me. “I remember him telling me quite strongly to make sure I didn’t get in the way of the boys. If there was an opportunity to go and clean a wheel or give the car a bit of a polish, do that but make sure I wasn’t getting in anyone’s way. “I remember Larry’s [Perkins] last-to-first win in 1995 and at the time thinking that was almost a superhuman effort. I always looked up to Larry, he was a bit of a hero of mine growing up for sure. “I guess that was partly because I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time with him because Jack [Perkins] and I were friends.”

TIM BLANCHARD

“I went there in 1999 and watched my Dad race in Formula Vee. It was pretty interesting! The first time I went to the Bathurst 1000 was in 2006 when I raced Lucas Dumbrell’s Aussie Racing Car. “I was a Larry Perkins fan as a kid. I watched him win on television in 1993 but I remember 1995 more clearly. Seeing your favourite driver win Bathurst as a child always sticks in your mind. “I remember being really excited watching my favourite driver charge through the field, constantly passing people and closing the gap to the next car.”

MICHAEL CARUSO

“My father raced in Sports Sedan in an XE Falcon. So I went to support him at a lot of his races. At Bathurst I remember we slept in the truck in the paddock and it was so freaking cold but I had the best time. “The 1992 race was full of drama. And to watch what would be probably be the most remembered podium, with Jim Richards giving the crowd a spray, was great to watch. I think it’s moments like these that make it the Great Race.”

ff t s rst th rst e r is his father’s team racing in 1994.

FABIAN COULTHARD

“I did a 24-hour race there [in 2003], I was in a yellow Holden VX Commodore. It had a taxi light on the roof. I remember we were behind the safety car in the pouring rain in the middle of the night. It was 1am or 2am and all the fans up the top were shouting out, ‘Taxi!’ “When Greg Murphy did the ‘Lap of the Gods’ in 2003, that was an iconic memorable moment! We always looked up to Murph and Jason Richards as well, they were probably the two icons for us [Kiwis].”

TODD KELLY

“I think it may not have been until I raced Formula Ford there, almost overwhelmed to be driving on the same track as all of my childhood racing heroes. “It was the sporting event each year which brought together family and friends to watch. Mum and Dad always had people over to watch the race, so we used to float in and out of the house to watch in between playing outside with the other kids.”

DALE WOOD

“I didn’t visit the track until my first race in 2007. I went up there a few weeks earlier with Greg Murphy in a hire car and I was in awe of the place, the history, the climb up the hill and how tight it was at spots. “Seeing Jim Richards on the podium calling everyone a pack of arseholes, it was a standout memory thinking, ‘Wow, that’s different!’ I’m someone who enjoys speaking my mind, so if that’s how he felt, he made that pretty clear on the day.”

LEE HOLDSWORTH Jim Richards’ podium tirade of 1992 is a highlight for many.

“I was 11 years old and I remember getting the shits with Dad when we drove through the pay gates because he said I was 10 so I’d get in free. I thought he forgot my age so I told the guy he was wrong and that I was 11. Don’t remember much about the race but I do remember meeting my heroes at the time, such as Brock, Johnson, Seton and Bowe. That was pretty special.” Bathurst 1000 Edition

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Bathurst 2016 MEMORIES

WILL DAVISON

“The first time I went was when my brother raced Formula Ford in 1998. I remember thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m here!’ “I’ll never forget arriving that first time, just seeing the enormity of it. I do remember being blown away as you look up Mountain Straight. “I remember leaving the track and looking up at the top and there were fires and smoke, it was obviously pretty wild up there. “I was a Dick Johnson fan as a kid. I was just fascinated by the 1992 race and to see Johnson sort of win it and then lose it, then Richards on the podium calling them a pack of arseholes, that was a pretty memorable one! I was fascinated by the onboard cameras with those Sierras and the drivers talking their way around the circuit.”

DAVID REYNOLDS

“The first time I went to Bathurst was 2005 when I raced Carrera Cup there. I was miles off the pace when I first went and it just took me ages to understand the track, where it went and how to get the most out of it. “It’s a really intimidating track the first time. It still intimidates me now a decade on. Across the top you’ve got to give it a lot of respect. “For me there’s two favourite memories, the pack of arseholes podium and Murph’s lap. The pack of arseholes thing I like because it is different. At the time I didn’t really get it because I was too young to understand but later on I found it very comical and awesome. And the Murph lap, he was a second quicker than everyone else, that was massive at the time.”

JACK PERKINS

“I’m pretty fortunate that I got to grow up around it and be a part of it. “My first Bathurst I was only about a month old in 1986. There is a photo of Mum holding me out the back of the Enzed garage. I’ve been fortunate to have been to every one since. “There are so many memories it would be hard to pick, but I would say being there when Dad won three of them in 1993, 1995 and 1997. “I remember hanging out with Peter Brock’s kids and just running amuck at the accommodation and in and around the garages. “I remember finding a rabbit hole out the back of the pits and having pet rabbits to play with all week. “Dad helped me put the rabbits to sleep in a Dunlop tyre on the Saturday night. “I couldn’t think of anything more annoying than helping your seven-year-old boy put rabbits to sleep in a tyre the night before the Bathurst 1000!”

Jack Perkins grew up watching father Larry race around Mount Panorama.

NICK PERCAT

“I was in full HRT [Holden Racing Team] kit because I was a massive fan of Brock in the Mobil HRT car. I had the blue HRT hat on and it rained so much all the dye ran out of the hat and I ended up looking like a smurf! “I remember watching from McPhillamy Park and getting up on top of the gates there. It was a pretty cool experience. “There was some pretty lively action up there. I remember the craziness of cars getting torched and stuff like that. “Brock was racing and Dad grabbed him and got him to sign my hat. I had a photo with him. It felt like I spent a bit of time with him but it was probably about 30 seconds… it was pretty cool!”

ANDRE HEIMGARTNER

“The first time I went there was in Formula Ford and it was a bit of a surreal feeling going to a track that you’ve seen on television a lot. “I idolised Greg Murphy, especially after the ‘Lap of the Gods’. That was a pretty special moment, especially being a Kiwi. I went to all his races at Pukekohe.” 38

Bathurst 1000 Edition

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Bathurst 2016 BROCK

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Bathurst 1000 Edition

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THE

LEGACY WORDS Mark Fogarty IMAGES inetpics.com, James Baker

Remembering Peter Brock, a decade since his passing… he 10th month of the year became ‘Brocktober’ in the late 1970s. October and Peter Brock were synonymous with success in the Bathurst 1000 from 1978 to 1984, when his reign as ‘King of the Mountain’ was at its peak. Brock scored six of his nine victories in the October classic in that period, etching his name in not only Australian motorsport folklore but also in the public’s consciousness. He was and remains the best-known and most popular driver in Australia because of his mastery of Mount Panorama and his personal appeal. No driver has been as fan-friendly as Brock and none has

approached his standing as ‘the people’s champion’. His protégé Craig Lowndes comes closest, but even the now-veteran’s popularity is nowhere near as pervasive. On the 10th anniversary of Brock’s shock passing due to a rare but fatal miscue in a tarmac rally in Western Australia on the 8th of September 2006, his feats and influence are being revisited. Why Brock casts such a long-lasting shadow over the sport is discussed by five of those who knew him best: his de facto wife, his racing brother, his ‘spin doctor’ and his two greatest racing rivals. He wasn’t really ‘Peter Perfect’, but despite his flaws and insecurities, their perspectives reveal much about the man and why his legend lives on.

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Bathurst 2016 BROCK PHIL BROCK

YOUNGEST BROTHER, CO-DRIVER “I think his biggest legacy is his standing amongst his fans. If you look up Peter Brock on Facebook there are probably 20 different pages that have been put up by his fans. And there’s the huge renewed interest prompted by the 10th anniversary of his death. It’s pretty amazing for someone who was just a motorracing guy. I’m saying that flippantly because he was much more than that. “He’s still sorely missed by so many people. The biggest change I found in myself was in 2006, when I went to the Bathurst 1000 and talked to well over 100 people. Every single conversation was about Peter Brock the person and not one was about the race driver. That’s when the penny really dropped. So many people admired him as a person; they adored him. “Peter became very much a people person; the people’s champion. But he wasn’t he always like that. I think he understood himself a lot better as he grew older. He started to realise he could make a difference with people and cultivated that in himself. He honestly enjoyed spending so many hours with his fans. It wasn’t just because he was paid to do it. He really enjoyed doing it and I think that as much as anything set him apart. “He wasn’t like that when we were growing up. He was a cranky brother. He was fairly short as a youngster

and I don’t think he ever liked that too much. He had an awful temper. But he had leanings towards what he became. He was clever and very athletic. He became much more pleasurable to be with as he got older!” “When I raced with him in Team Brock, I was very much overshadowed. But it didn’t bother me then. I was very lucky to be Peter’s brother in that it opened doors to get an initial foothold in motor racing. “Later on, though, he was a huge impediment because you were forever compared with him. But I certainly never resented the fact he got all the attention. He deserved it. “Of course, Peter’s death was difficult for all of us who were close to him. But I believe those who were hit hardest were his fans because so many people relied on him as a bit of a crutch. They could see all this positive energy coming from him that they really enjoyed and it kept them on the straight and narrow, to some extent. “He was just different. He really affected people as a person, not just as a sportsman. That, I think, is his most important legacy. I have tried pretty darn hard since then to perpetuate that memory of Peter. I do what I can to keep it because it’s important to a lot of people. And doing that lessens the impact it may have otherwise had on me. “There are times when I’m extremely sad but because I’m doing stuff every day that in some way or form involves Peter Brock, it’s like he’s still around in a lot of ways. He just doesn’t yell at me as much!”

“HE WAS JUST DIFFERENT. HE REALLY AFFECTED PEOPLE AS A PERSON, NOT JUST AS A SPORTSMAN.” – PHIL BROCK

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Bathurst 1000 Edition

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BEV BROCK FORMER PARTNER

2006 TRIBUTE

Scan with your smartphone to watch the tributes to Peter Brock at Mount Panorama in 2006.

“Peter was larger than life and there was no expectation he wouldn’t be around because he was fit and healthy and kept working on that. There’s a gaping hole that he once filled. “He was inspirational, he was engaged with people, he wasn’t ready to give up the sport as such – he didn’t know how to walk away from it. So there’s a sense of emptiness, not just for me but for so many of his fans. When I talk to them they often say they still can’t believe he’s not here. “He was so much a part of their lives. So many tell me stories about him and the details of the memories are quite incredible. I don’t know that he will ever leave their lives. They have this incredible need to hang on to every aspect of how he touched them in their lives and I find that a bit overpowering at times. “What a lot of people didn’t understand – but I guess they’re understanding more now – is the problem depression brings for people when they’re retiring from a sport that has taken up their whole life. Peter was very good at masking his emotions. He let people see what he wanted them to see. But the sense of loss of his career made him incredibly introspective. “In one of my last conversations with him he was devastated by the fact he honestly felt he had never achieved anything really worthwhile… and that staggered me. The public perception was he was remarkably positive, totally confident. What they didn’t see was the person who, when he looked back, hadn’t achieved all he wanted to. “In the pursuit of his career he thought the family had sort of dipped out. So he felt he had let down the children

and myself because his life had been about him. For him the focus on his career had come at a cost. Now we didn’t see it that way but he did. “The public saw the image of this incredibly engaging, positive, dynamic person and never got to see the man who soul-searched to be the very best he could be; to make the world a better place. That wasn’t visible to the average person but the family got to see that – he didn’t hide that from us – and it was tough to watch somebody who had been so successful not being able to see that value in himself. “The 10th anniversary of Peter’s death is in some ways insignificant because every day I am dealing with his absence. Also, he had a unique way of thinking and to him death was inconsequential. I know that sounds trite but to his way of thinking death was just another phase of existence. “So whenever we lost anybody we loved he didn’t mean to be cold or callous but he felt that was a transition time and he couldn’t understand why people got so upset. He felt it should be a celebration of a person’s life. So it’s always been in the back of my mind that I shouldn’t let myself get too upset because I’d be letting him down.”

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Bathurst 2016 BROCK TIM ‘PLASTIC’ PEMBERTON CAREER-LONG PUBLICIST

“He set a standard for others to follow. Of course, the thing with Peter is while he was around he was larger than life. He was very much the sort of person you’d look up to and I think maybe a few of the guys these days don’t live up to that standard. “Ten years down the track I think everybody remembers him for who he was and what he did. As a personality Brock was a one-off. If you go back 20 or 30 years there was more of an emphasis on the personalities rather than the sport itself because there were quite a few guys who were larger than life – Johnson, Moffat, Grice, etc. They all helped build the Brock legend. “With him not around it’s just like a big blank, really. He hasn’t been replaced. His death left a big hole that hasn’t been filled – and I doubt it ever will. When it happened, I didn’t really have time to mourn. The media reaction was unbelievable … so I never really had a chance to think about the fact he wasn’t around. It was business as usual, really. I guess it wasn’t until a couple of months afterwards that it really hit me. “The thing about Brock was he genuinely loved people. I can remember when he was doing one of his mammoth signing sessions at Sandown and you’d see three people lined up to get his autograph – a father, a son and a grandson. He appealed to all generations. You wouldn’t find that anywhere else.”

ALLAN MOFFAT

RIVAL, FORMER CO-DRIVER “I can never forget the day of Peter’s death. I was at Winton watching my son James test and 55 radio stations rang me. So that tells you the impact his death had. And, like most of Australia, I was devastated. I always had a high regard for him. “We became synonymous in our careers and we became best of friends. But the public perception was we were enemies. We were never enemies. We were fierce competitors who tried to do the best for the companies we represented. It wasn’t personal at all beyond wanting to beat each other on the track. And to that extent we were each other’s greatest rival in the 1970s and early 1980s. “We didn’t socialise but that wasn’t because we didn’t like or respect each other. We were just minding

44

our own business, getting on with our jobs. We were so often racing each other at the front that we had to be mindful of not letting it get out of hand and taking each other out. “It was classically clean racing. We only had one little scrape in all our time racing against each other. It was at Adelaide International Raceway and I was leading Peter on the last lap. We were going through the final corner and Glen Dix was halfway out onto the track waving his chequered flag, so I went a little bit wide and Peter got the chance to come up on my right rear and give me just the slightest little tap. That was the limit of our contact in 25 years. “There’s no doubt Peter was my greatest rival. I got the most satisfaction out of beating him, especially in the early days. It was a function of the fact he was backed by the best Holden could offer and I was doing my best with Ford’s sporadic support. “When we teamed up in 1985/86, winning the Wellington 500 in an HDT Commodore both years, we both wondered why we hadn’t got together sooner. It was so natural and I will always be grateful for his generosity when I was ‘between engagements’. I’m happy to admit I do often think of him. After 10 years it’s become easier but I still get very emotional.”

DICK JOHNSON RIVAL

“It was so different in our time. We were team owners and drivers. Now the drivers are just the hired help. As a consequence they don’t have the fan base we enjoyed. There aren’t two individuals banging their heads together like we used to. “Brock’s passing left a very big hole in the sport. He put an awful lot into this sport and he put an awful lot into building it into what it is today. People remember that; they still have very fond memories of him and the peak of our era in the 1980s. “We had so many great battles and the greatest of them all was in the deciding round of the 1981 Australian Touring Car Championship at Lakeside. It was a great race to watch but the racing was so clean. We raced so closely and yet we hardly rubbed panels. “It was quite funny because I actually broke the rear sway bar on the second lap and one of the corner marshals radioed through to the control tower that I should be black-flagged as there was something hanging off the underneath of the car. “The clerk of course, Ken West, told me later he said to the start-line official, ‘I wouldn’t want to be the one who holds out that black flag because I don’t think you’d be able to get out of this place alive!’ It was my home track and there was a huge crowd there. “I won and took the title. There were a number of times Brock could have punted me off and he would have got away with it as the stewards back then weren’t into giving you a drive-through penalty. We raced hard without crashing into each other. Brock was a very fair racer. He was also one hell of a natural driver.”

Bathurst 1000 Edition

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Bathurst 2016 BROCK

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Bathurst 1000 Edition

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BATHURST WINS

BATHURST NEAR MISSES

It may have come under controversial circumstances following the disqualification of the Eggenberger Sierras, but let’s not forget Brock’s driving in the wet against the best touring-car drivers in the world.

Pole in the turbocharged Ford Sierra RS500, though troubles with the right-rear wheel in the race robbed him of a potential Great Race win for the Blue Oval.

#5 1987

#4 1975

Brock’s only Bathurst victory away from the Holden Dealer Team, winning by a two-lap margin over a number of fellow Torana runners.

#3 1984

#5 1989

#4 1997

Co-driver Mark Skaife landed pole and took an early lead, though an engine failure deprived Brock of win following his final full-time season.

#3 1985

The Holden Dealer Team steamrolled the opposition with a one-two formation finish in the iconic Holden VK Commodore.

Brock dragged his Group A-spec VK Commodore into second place in the closing stages before a timing chain failure late on.

The win that highlighted Brock’s potential, coming from fifth on the grid to overcome Allan Moffat with a starring solo drive at a very wet Mount Panorama.

The Holden Dealer Team stretched its fuel economy too far and co-driver Doug Chivas had to push an out-of-fuel Torana into the pits. Three minutes were lost in the process.

Pole position, led every lap, fastest lap on the final lap of the race, won by six laps. The most dominant performance in Mount Panorama history.

Brock looked on course for a comfortable win after scoring pole position and holding a six-lap lead before a holed piston ended his charge.

#2 1972

#1 1979 ▲

#2 1973

#1 1974

NON-ATCC/BATHURST 500/1000 PERFORMANCES #5 1971 GUIA RACE OF MACAU

Brock drove an older model Torana to a podium finish in the touring-car race around the challenging Macau street circuit.

#4 1977 SPA 24 HOURS

Driving for the Vauxhall dealer team, Brock and co-driver Gerry Marshall drove through the field from 28th on the grid to finish in second place in a Vauxhall Firenza Magnum.

#3 1986 EUROPEAN TOURING CAR C’SHIP

Up against the best international touring-car drivers of the era, Brock scored a pair of fifth places at Donington Park and Hockenheim in the European championship.

#2 2003 BATHURST 24 HOUR

Teamed with Greg Murphy, Jason Bright and Todd Kelly, Brock won his unofficial 10th Bathurst endurance race in the Holden Monaro 427C.

#1 1979 REPCO ROUND AUSTRALIA TRIAL

Brock and co-drivers Matt Philip and Noel Richards won the 20,000km rally, giving the Commodore its first major motorsport win. Bathurst 1000 Edition

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Bathurst 2016 BROCK

#1 HOLDEN VK COMMODORE ▲

HOLDENS

#5 HOLDEN VL COMMODORE SS

It may have struggled in the championship sprint races, but Brock wrestled the VL in the wet around Mount Panorama to victory in 1987.

#4 HOLDEN VH COMMODORE SS

The Group C-spec VK may have had a short lifespan but the iconic dayglo-liveried ‘big banger’ became an instant cult classic with dominant wins at Sandown and Bathurst.

NON-HOLDENS #5 VOLVO 850

Brock took the VH SS to consecutive Bathurst wins in 1982 and 1983, cementing the Commodore’s dominance at Mount Panorama.

Brock spent a season racing the Volvo 850 in the 1996 Super Touring championship, scoring two podiums and sixth in the championship.

An important car in Brock’s career, in which he scored his first Bathurst and championship wins in 1972 and 1974 respectively.

Brock competed in the famed Le Mans 24 Hour three times in his career, most notably in 1984 alongside Larry Perkins in the Porsche 956B, qualifying in 15th and running as high as fifth before an accident stopped their charge.

#3 HOLDEN LJ TORANA GTR XU-1

#2 HOLDEN LX TORANA SS A9X

The most successful Torana for Brock given his championship success in 1978 and his crushing win at Mount Panorama in 1979. 48

#4 PORSCHE 956B

#3 FORD SIERRA RS500

The Sierra RS500 was the car to have in the late eighties and Brock made the switch to

Ford for 1989 and 1990, winning two races across both seasons and claiming pole at Bathurst in 1989.

#2 ‘BROCK 01’

Brock’s homemade creation was born out of a stripped down Austin 7, in which the teenager would drive around the family’s Hurstbridge property.

#1 AUSTIN A30

Brock’s first circuit racer was a 1959 A30 powered by a six-cylinder engine, in which he won a number of events and continued to race even after his debut for the Holden Dealer Team.

RIVALS

#5 KEVIN BARTLETT

Bartlett and his Chevrolet Camaro Z28 proved a nemesis to Brock across the championship and Bathurst from 1980 to 1982, scoring a runners-up finish to Brock in the 1980 title battle.

Bathurst 1000 Edition

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TEAMMATES

#5 JIM RICHARDS

They achieved their best results as codrivers not teammates but they did work together in the 1988 season in a pair of BMW M3s, recording top-six finishes in the standings.

#4 GREG MURPHY

After his season grooming Craig Lowndes, Brock welcomed young New Zealander Greg Murphy into the Holden Racing Team for the former’s final championship season in 1997. Murphy scored three round wins to Brock’s one.

#3 TOMAS MEZERA

#4 ALLAN GRICE

#2 DICK JOHNSON

Grice’s privateer Holden entry often proved a nuisance to Brock and the Holden Dealer Team at Mount Panorama, particularly in 1986 when Grice prevailed for the win.

Johnson took over where Allan Moffat left off, carrying the Ford fight against Brock and Holden into the 1980s with their battle for the 1981 title the best of the lot.

#3 BOB MORRIS

Another privateer Holden rival who pushed Brock all the way in the 1978 and 1979 championship battles and triumphed at Mount Panorama in 1976.

Mezera played an important role as driver/ manager in the Holden Racing Team’s early years, including a stint as Brock’s teammate for two seasons.

#2 CRAIG LOWNDES

#1 ALLAN MOFFAT ▲

The son of former HDT mechanic Frank Lowndes came under the tutelage of Brock in a championship, Sandown and Bathurstwinning season in 1996.

Moffat and Brock’s battles at Bathurst did more for the Ford and Holden rivalry than any other drivers. They won eight of the Bathurst 500/1000s held in the 1970s, fittingly four each.

Teammates for decade from 1978 to 1987, Harvey played the role of dutiful number two, with Brock winning Bathurst in Harvey’s car in 1983.

#1 JOHN HARVEY

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Bathurst 2016 BROCK

PETER BROCK

BY THE NUMBERS

CO-DRIVERS

#5 PHIL BROCK

The brothers teamed up under the Team Brock/Bill Patterson Racing banner and scored a third in 1976 and fourth in 1977.

#4 DOUG CHIVAS

Chivas may be renowned for having to push the out-of-fuel Torana in 1973, but they nevertheless recovered to second place.

#3 BRIAN SAMPSON

Brock and Sampson should have won at

50

Mount Panorama in 1974, though they made amends the following year with victory in the Gown-Hindhaugh entry.

#2 LARRY PERKINS ▲

Perkins took over where Jim Richards left off, not only scoring a hat-trick of Bathurst wins from 1982 to 1984 but playing an important role in developing the Holden Dealer Team’s Commodores.

#1 JIM RICHARDS

The original dream team, a combination that became the first to score a hat-trick of Bathurst wins in 1978, ’79 and ’80.

NINE Record for Bathurst 500/1000 wins 32 Bathurst 500/1000 starts 12 Bathurst 500/1000 podiums 24 Equal record for Bathurst 500/1000 finishes THREE Equal record for Bathurst 1000 wins in succession SIX Record for Bathurst 500/1000 pole positions THREE equal record for consecutive Bathurst 500/1000 poles 17 Bathurst 1000 shootout appearances TWO Equal record of wins from pole position at Bathurst 500/1000 SIX LAPS Record for biggest winning margin at Bathurst 500/1000 SIX Record for most fastest laps in the Bathurst 500/1000 THREE Australian Touring Car Championship titles FIVE Australian Touring Car Championship runners-up finishes 212 ATCC/V8 Supercars round starts 37 ATCC/V8 Supercars round wins 48 ATCC/V8 Supercars race wins 57 ATCC/V8 Supercars pole positions 100 ATCC/V8 Supercars podiums 13 Record for successive ATCC pole positions, 1979-1980 52 YEARS OF AGE Record for oldest polesitter in the ATCC/VASC 22 ATCC wins from pole position NINE Sandown 250/400/500 wins SEVEN Record for Sandown wins in succession, 1975-1981 NINE Record for most pole positions at Sandown THREE Record for most wins from pole position at Sandown 11 Record for most podiums at Sandown #05 Famed racing number, promoting Victoria’s blood-alcohol limit 1980 Awarded Member of the Order of Australia for service to the sport of motor racing 2001 Inducted into Supercars Hall of Fame

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Bathurst 2016 TRIPLE EIGHT

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s breakthrough Bathurst 1000 win in 2006 marked the beginning of a dominant period for the Roland Dane-led team of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup. A decade on, we look back at that Triple Eight dominance and compare the current powerhouse to past multiple Bathurst-winning outfits.

W

WORDS Adrian Musolino IMAGES inetpics.com, James Baker

e’ve entered an age where the importance of the championship has surpassed the Bathurst 1000. Ask most drivers and the goal of earning the #1 plate for a season’s effort outweighs the glory of one Sunday in October at Mount Panorama. Yet there are a few old-school campaigners who still have Bathurst at the forefront of their mind.

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And, perhaps surprisingly, amongst them is the Irishman who has crafted Triple Eight Race Engineering into the powerhouse team in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship over the last decade, Roland Dane. “It’s Bathurst; winning there is a big part of my motivation,” he says. “Bathurst is still, to my mind, the holy grail and the most important single event in touring-car racing in the world.

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“I still get goose bumps every time I drive over the hill and see Mount Panorama on the horizon.” Fittingly, then, it was at the endurance events, the Bathurst 1000 curtain-raiser at Sandown and at Mount Panorama, where Triple Eight made its mark in V8 Supercars. Triple Eight took over from Briggs Motorsport at Sandown in 2003. Two years on, big-name recruit Craig Lowndes and co-driver Yvan Muller took the win in the Sandown 500. They looked on course for a Bathurst victory a month later, though Lowndes brushed the wall while leading in what culminated in a disastrous campaign for the #888 entry. The following year, off the back of the emotion of Peter Brock’s death and Lowndes’ key role in the tributes to his mentor, the Lowndes and Jamie Whincup combination held off Rick and Todd Kelly for an emotion-charged win. While the headlines spoke of Brock’s protégé holding aloft the first Peter Brock Trophy, Triple Eight had officially arrived. As Dane says upon reflection, “The win set us up as a truly top team.” Few could have expected the level of dominance Triple Eight would achieve over the next decade. Since 2006, Whincup has won a record-breaking six championships. In the other four championships over that decade, Lowndes or Whincup have finished runner-up in the standings having lost out to their rivals in the final round of those seasons. At the Bathurst 1000, Triple Eight entries have finished in the top five at each attempt since 2006 – podiums at all but two attempts with six wins in total. At the Sandown/Phillip Island 500, Triple Eight entries have finished on the podium at all but one attempt. That came in last season’s Sandown event, in which Whincup and Paul Dumbrell were leading before a puncture. Take Triple Eight’s approach to its endurance codriver line-up as an example of its hunger in succeeding. Whincup was acquired from Tasman Motorsport following a career-saving season in 2005 to help alongside Lowndes at Bathurst. He would do so with the hat-trick of Bathurst wins that followed in 2006, 2007 and 2008, though few expected Whincup to have such an impact on the championship. Highly successful internationals such as Fabrizio Giovanardi, Marc Hynes, James Thompson, Richard Lyons and Allan Simonsen were recruited for the second entry, the latter two finishing an impressive fifth place in 2007. Further down the track in 2013, the top-10 finish for the wildcard entry of Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekström confirmed that Triple Eight could run three cars successfully. When Lowndes and Whincup were split by the rule precluding full-time entrants teaming up in 2010, Triple Eight aggressively recruited the best co-drivers. Mark Skaife partnered former teammate Craig Lowndes to win three of the four enduros entered, while Steve Owen and Andrew Thompson joined Whincup.

2006

Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup Ford BA Falcon

2007

Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup Ford BF Falcon

2008

Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup Ford BF Falcon

2010

Craig Lowndes/Mark Skaife Holden VE Commodore

2012

Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell Holden VE Commodore

2015

Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards Holden VF Commodore

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Bathurst 2016 TRIPLE EIGHT The team then recruited Paul Dumbrell to join close friend Whincup from 2012, with the former proving to be the fastest co-driver in the field ever since. Warren Luff replaced Skaife in 2012 and took a Sandown 500 win and two Bathurst podiums with Lowndes. But the poaching of multiple Bathurst-winner Steven Richards from Ford Performance Racing for Lowndes from 2014 and Alexandre Prémat from Garry Rogers Motorsport for Shane van Gisbergen in 2016 signalled the cunning of Triple Eight to remain at the top of the series. Of the 30 championships, Sandown/Phillip Island 500s and Bathurst 1000s held since 2006, Triple Eight has won 18 – a strike rate of 60 per cent. The 2006 Bathurst 1000 victory was significant given the timing of Triple Eight’s rise. Stone Brothers Racing had ended the Holden Racing Team’s dominant championship run in 2003 to 2005. But at Bathurst, the factory Holden entries still ruled with two wins for Kmart Racing and one to the Holden Racing Team across those three years. Triple Eight wrestled the momentum away from Stone Brothers Racing and Kmart Racing/HSV Dealer Team in 2006, winning Bathurst and only losing the title in the controversial collision between Lowndes and the Kellys at the Phillip Island season finale. Triple Eight has not only won seven of the last eight teams’ championships and Whincup’s record-breaking six titles, but another Bathurst win in 2016 would put the team level with the total wins for Ford works/dealer teams and the Holden Racing Team on seven each and just two shy of the Holden Dealer Team. The following is how Triple Eight’s Bathurst record compares to the great teams that have won three or more Bathursts with over 10 attempts.

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TRIPLE EIGHT'S DECADE OF DOMINANCE 1

1st 3

2

1

1

2

2

1

5th

1

1

2

1

The highest-placed Triple Eight Race Engineering entries 1

2

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

2

5

1

1

1

1

2

5

10th 13

15th 20th 25th

Sandown/Phillip Island 500 Bathurst 1000 Championship

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Triple Eight, which has won six from 13 starts (2003 to 2015) for a strike rate of 46.15 per cent. The Holden Dealer, which won nine from 19 starts (from 1969 to 1987) for a strike rate of 47.36 per cent. The Holden Racing Team/Walkinshaw Racing (Kmart Racing), which has won nine from 26 starts (from 1990 to 2015) for a strike rate of 34.61 per cent. The Allan Moffat-prepared and driven Ford works/ dealer team, which won four from 12 starts (from 1969 to 1980) for a strike rate 33.33 per cent. Gibson Motorsport, which won three from 22 starts (from 1981 to 2003) for a strike rate of 13.63 per cent. Perkins Engineering, which won three from 23 starts (from 1986 to 2008) for a strike rate of 13.04 per cent. Dick Johnson Racing, which has won three from 36 starts (from 1980 to 2015) for a strike rate of 9.67 per cent. A decade on since Triple Eight’s first win, there’s no sign of this dominant era coming to an end.

2013

2014

2015

ABOVE: Triple Eight has

nished tside the t ve t the nd n Phillip Island/Bathurst end r n e events nd the championship just once ver the st de de

BELOW: Victory at Bathurst in 2015 marked Triple i ht s rst nder the Red Bull Racing Australia banner and the 30th for Holden.

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Fraternising with Foges IN T ERV IE W BY M A RK FOG A R T Y

IMAGES inetpics.com, Autopics.com.au, Peter Norton, James Baker, Mark Horsburgh

STEVEN RICHARDS

GUN OF A SON Four-times Bathurst 1000 winner Steven Richards hasn’t rested on his laurels since retiring from full-time Supercars racing, as he explains in an in-depth discussion about his career with Mark Fogarty. teven Richards slumps in the fold-up chair relieved that the ordeal is over, “I hate talking about myself.” He’s genuinely uncomfortable with speaking at length about his transition from Supercars stalwart to elite part-timer. Yet despite his unease, Richards has engaged in a candid conversation that reveals a steely resolve belying his understated image. He may not like talking about himself, but when called upon to do so he undertakes the task with the same sort of quiet determination as his racing. Richards might be self-effacing but he is more assertive than he appears – on and off the track. He is not flashy but he is effective. You don’t survive in Supercars for close to 20 years, drive for top teams and win four Bathurst 1000s unless you have inner drive and talent. Nor do you overcome the blessing/burden of being the son of legend Jim Richards. Unlike most secondgeneration drivers, Richo junior hasn’t raced in the

shadow of his father, establishing his own identity. Since retiring from full-time racing in Supercars at the end of 2010 he has created a successful second phase of his career as a prized co-driver in the endurance races and a burgeoning team owner, running in the Porsche Carrera Cup and Australian GT racing. Melbourne-based Richards, 44, has won two of the past three Bathurst 1000s – in 2013 with Mark Winterbottom and last year with Craig Lowndes – more than a decade after his initial back-to-back triumphs at Mount Panorama in 1998/99 with Jason Bright and Greg Murphy respectively. He is again paired with Lowndes in Triple Eight’s TeamVortex entry – a combination that must rank among the favourites, representing the unequalled combined experience of 10 Bathurst 1000 victories. Meanwhile, Richo junior formed Steve Richards Motorsport (SRM) in 2011 to contest the Carrera Cup – keeping his hand in as a driver while laying the foundation of his long-term future as a team owner. He won the title in 2014 and parlayed that success into securing a factory-backed deal to field a pair of BMW M6 GT3s in the booming Australian GT championship. There is nothing pretentious about Richards, just as there’s nothing showy about the venue for our extended chat. No plush motorhome or glitzy entertainment marquee. Just a small annex behind the SRM Team BMW’s space in the GT paddock tent, sitting on outdoor chairs at a trestle table amid parts and provisions. The role of the co-driver has changed over the years and I’d suggest it’s more important than ever. Is that the case? I think so… You still have to have someone that’s reliable, that can bring the car back, but I think you also have to have someone that can read the situation at the time.

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Mark Fogarty is Fairfax Media’s award-winning motorsport writer. Foges also enlivens the Inside Supercars TV show every so often.

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Fraternising with Foges As good a preparation as the teams now do and all the data they have and all of the resources that are available, when you’re in the car yourself you still have to make the right decision at the right time. And the right decision sometimes isn’t about going flat out. From my perspective, the co-driver role is more important than ever and I know I don’t just turn up and drive for those weekends. I work pretty hard on going over previous races and making sure that, like it or lump it, I make a contribution to the team in terms of what I feel the car’s doing. How much of that they take onboard I don’t know, but I like to make sure that if I have anything sitting on my shoulders – whether it’s the crotch belt being too tight or the drink straw is too short or whatever – it’s important to make sure you tick all your own boxes. You still have to be above-averagely quick, though, don’t you? Sure, but you have to pick those moments. Being fast in the first stint when the car’s not working for you is not the time to be trying to set lap records. If I look back at last year, there were periods at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast where I was like, “Okay, I’m going to really press on hard and try to set the fastest lap of the race.” But then there are other times where you weigh up the situation and go, “Well, no, this isn’t the time to be doing that; this is the time to be trying to save a bit of fuel or managing something.” The race isn’t just won on the track. It’s won off the track as well and there’s a lot that you can do to help influence that as a driver. So, yes, you do have to be able to be fast when called upon to do it, but mostly it’s about exercising restraint. It’s harder than ever. We have the best touring-car drivers in the world driving these cars and you still have to shape up. You also have to be adaptable and be prepared to swallow your own pride, don’t you? You have to adapt to the main driver’s preferences and your job is to assist him, so it’s not all about you. No, it’s not. But I’m in the perfect situation because Craig and I sit in the same seat, we don’t have to adjust the belts and what we want out of the car is identical. So it’s perfect because every session is valuable feedback to help the car perform better if it’s not performing as good as it can. Craig and I want the same things in terms of what we’re asking for from the car.

1995

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1996-97

That’s interesting because from the outside you appear to have contrasting driving styles. He’s flamboyant and you’re not. I probably don’t stand on the throttle quite as hard as what Craig does, but I’m wanting that exact same feeling. I want the thing to turn on a dime and I’d rather deal with it on the exit than have the thing planted. So the way the car is for Craig is absolutely spot on for me.

ABOVE: Father and son

teamed up three times in the Bathurst 1000, pushing for the win in 2004 with Perkins Engineering.

Recently experienced full-time drivers are very much in demand by the top teams and are being signed earlier and earlier. It’s a seller’s market, isn’t it? It is, but it’s not about money. For me, it’s always been about being in the best team possible to get a result and in order to do that you have to be driving regularly. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to set my course to be able to drive in a competitive championship every year and that keeps you at a level where you’re in demand by the teams who are looking for co-drivers that can jump in and be competitive, as well as having a lot of racing experience. I don’t always get it right, but I probably get it right 95 per cent of the time. I know what teams are looking

GARRY ROGERS MOTORSPORT

“I THOUGHT IF I COULD BE HALF THE DRIVER HE WAS, THAT WOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH.”

1998

STONE BROTHERS RACING

1999-2000

GIBSON MOTORSPORT

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So it wasn’t an easy decision, there’s no question about that, but all of a sudden when you have an opportunity turn up to drive for the best team in the current era – and that the seat happens to be alongside Craig Lowndes – then that’s pretty attractive.

ABOVE: Richards claimed

his fourth Bathurst 1000 win in 2015; the sixth for Craig Lowndes.

for and I just do my own thing; trying to ensure that I measure up to their expectations. I’m one of those guys that never made too many big mistakes during my career. I’m pretty consistent. I might not be the Greg Murphy ‘Lap of the Gods’-type driver, but I can pretty well be up there 99 per cent of the time. But I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that you’re in demand and that you can command a premium? I guess you’re right, but I’d be a lot happier being in the best team and not getting paid quite as much as someone else. It’s not about the level of remuneration. Being in a happy environment, I reckon, leads to being in a successful environment. So was it a big decision when you got the offer from Triple Eight to partner Craig in the enduros? Did you have to think about leaving what was then Ford Performance Racing (FPR), where you’d been for a long time and had just won Bathurst with Mark Winterbottom? It was and it wasn’t a big decision. I’m the sort of guy that if I’m in an environment for too long, I always worry that I might take things for granted. I like a challenge; I like something new. I’d been with them through the full-time and parttime thing for seven years and to me the culmination of what we’d been trying to do there was to win Bathurst.

2001

FORD TICKFORD RACING

2002-06

PERKINS ENGINEERING

Did you notice differences between the two operations that might explain why Triple Eight has been consistently so successful for so long? Culturally some differences. From a performance level and the way they go about things, they’re very similar. The year Frosty and I won Bathurst was the first year of Rod Nash and Rusty French’s ownership, so there were some changes that evolved from that. At Triple Eight, you have a figurehead in Roland Dane who’s definitely leading the charge; he’s a patriarchal figure. So, yes, they’re different but I wouldn’t say those differences make one more successful than the other. Definitely, though, there’s a difference in the way that things happen at Triple Eight versus FPR/Prodrive and that may be just in the structure of the organisations. You’re obviously keeping your hand in by running in the Porsche Carrera Cup and this year adding the BMW GT program. Is that extending your life as a Supercars co-driver? I don’t know. It’s more looking at Steve Richards Motorsport and where that goes. When the V8 Supercars merry-go-round stopped for me, my wife Ange and I considered getting out of racing all together. We were a long way down the track to opening a fast-food retail outlet – in fact, we had all the paperwork. I was a bit burned by the two previous years and I wondered if I should do something totally different. Thankfully, we came to our senses and went motor racing at a different level, which brought the enjoyment back for me. I’m not consciously doing it to stay in the Supercars pecking order. I know that there’s going to come a time where, whether it’s Roland or whether it’s me, that door will be closed. I’m hopeful that won’t be for a while because I still enjoy driving the cars. But I don’t want to overstay my welcome. It was the same with being a full-time driver. I could’ve continued in 2011, but the opportunities available wouldn’t have seen me be able to do it at the level that I’d previously done it. So it was time to draw a line in the sand.

2007-13

FORD PERFORMANCE RACING

2014-16

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Fraternising with Foges

You’ve won Bathurst four times but the first two and the most recent two are separated by 14 years. And both pairs were with different manufacturers and teams. That’s a remarkable record. You have to be in good teams to do that. There are at least two years in those 14 years when we could’ve also won. In 2002 with Russell Ingall, we should’ve won that race. And again in 2007 with Frosty. If one little circumstance had’ve been slightly different in each of those races, all of a sudden you’d be a sixtimes Bathurst winner. I don’t look deeply into why I’ve won four and many other deserving drivers haven’t won any. What I do know is that you have to have plenty of miles under your belt to do well at Bathurst. Last year the Triple Eight guys were good enough when we went to the pre-enduros test day, they more or less just threw me the keys to the car and left me in it all day long. And when I’m in the cars and getting that sort of mileage, I’ve never ever felt like I’ve left them. You always have a reference in the other guys, so you’re always gauging yourself against them. So that’s a good way to go into the campaign. You finish that test and you go, “Phew, I can still drive these things” and away you go. Well, miles are smiles, aren’t they? The more time you spend behind the wheel, the better you are. Of course! But I’ve also been in other situations where you go to those tests days and you get five laps here and five laps there and the team is busy doing other things. Whereas in the past two years, it’s been, “Okay, Richo, you’re in the car today, we’ll get Craig in every now and again to validate what you’re talking about.” That’s the best preparation you could ever have. Growing up as Jim Richards’ son, was it inevitable that you would also become a racing driver? I don’t perceive that it was. Some people looking in from the outside may think otherwise. But I didn’t start karting until I was 15, which is quite late, and I did my apprenticeship as an aircraft mechanic and saw my time out doing that. Mum and Dad always told me that I should have something in my back pocket as a career because while they could help get me to a certain point in motor racing, from then on it was up to me to fund it. They couldn’t fund it any further. 60

I don’t have good enough recall of those early days to tell you if there was a particular moment that I went, “Wow, this is it, this is my opportunity!” One thing led to another and then all of a sudden the Garry Rogers Motorsport opportunity (in Formula Ford) came up. When I got into my second year of Formula Ford, that was when we all sat down and said, “Well, we have to buy a new car because then there’ll be no excuse – then we’ll know.” Once we did that and the results followed, my path became obvious.

ABOVE: Richards’ racing

schedule includes his own entries in the Porsche Carrera Cup and Australian GT championships.

BELOW: Like father, like son. Steven has followed in the footsteps of Jim Richards as a multiple Bathurst 1000 winner.

You must have interesting discussions around the Sunday dinner table. No other father and son have won 11 Bathurst 1000s between them! Yeah, but you don’t discuss that sort of stuff, anyway. Now it’s actually quite good as Dad’s winding down a bit, but he’s still doing a heap of driving. Like Dad, I’m a motorsport fan, so whether it’s MotoGP or Formula 1 or sportscars, we talk about it. But now my son Clay, he’s 16 and he’s racing karts, so he and Dad probably talk more. We do have lots of discussion about motorsport as a family, but in a broad sense. When I finished Supercars full-time and started my own team, I suggested that we get a factory together, but he wasn’t keen. He said, “I kinda like my own space; doing my own thing.” Is Clay going to make it three generations of Richos in racing? Clay would love to think he could, but I don’t know. We’re only going to be able to take him so far – that’s karting. He only started two years ago, so he still has a lot of learning to do.

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You’ve never seemed to live in Jim’s shadow. You never really had to live up to being his son like most young second-generation drivers. I can’t really answer that. The only thing I know is that I never ever really set out to emulate what he’d achieved. I thought if I could be half the driver he was, that would be good enough. I worked bloody hard at it. I don’t know about natural ability and having raw talent. I just worked really hard to go as quick as I could all the time and try to tick all the boxes. You raced at Bathurst together three times. They must be among the highlights of your career. Absolutely. But at the time, I didn’t really think anything of it. In ’96, Dad could’ve fronted up to any top team in pitlane and been the co-driver and had the potential to win that race. But he wanted to drive with us. At the time, you don’t think anything about it. You’re just a young bloke trying to do your best and Dad’s coming along to drive – great, we’ll do our best and see what happens. But looking back on it now, it was unbelievable. In ’97 we finished second. We didn’t have the pace to win it – we were never going to win it – but still, to stand up there on the podium as father and son, that’s pretty cool. And then in 2004 when we drove together at Perkins.

It was different because there was an expectation for us to win. We qualified on pole and we were going along okay in the first half of the race. We were running in the top three and then the kangaroo thing happened. Hitting that kangaroo really hurt us from a championship perspective. Your record suggests you’re at least half as good as he was. Looking back on your career, how do you rate yourself as a V8 driver? I’m pretty good. I won some races. It’s a long time ago now, but if you look back at 2003 to 2005, we were neck-and-neck with Marcos Ambrose. It’s easy from my perspective to look back on that because most people only remember who won, but we led the championship in 2004 and 2005. If it weren’t for a few things – whether it was a mistake by me or a reliability issue – we could have easily been a champion. I don’t begrudge any of that. I think a lot of this sport is about being in the right place at the right time. There were times when you were talking with other teams and had you made a different decision, who knows? I don’t regret any of my career. I don’t wish for anything other than what I have. I’ve been competitive in the best motor racing championship in the world and I’m pretty happy, to be honest.

STEVEN RICHARDS

FAST FACTS DATE OF BIRTH

July 11, 1972 BIRTHPLACE

Auckland, New Zealand LIVES

Melbourne, Victoria STATUS

Wife, Angela CHILDREN

Clayton & Priya V8 SUPERCARS BEST RESULT

Fifth (2004) BATHURST 1000 WINS

1998, 1999, 2013, 2015 BATHURST 24 HOUR WINS

2002 SERIES WINS

1994 Australian Formula Ford 2014 Australian Carrera Cup

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JEFF GRECH

Jeff Grech has done it all. He’s worked at or managed some of the greatest teams in the history of Australian touring cars, including the Holden Dealer Team, Perkins Engineering, Gibson Motorsport, Holden Racing Team and Tasman Motorsport. Now he’s back on the scene, determined to lift Charlie Schwerkolt’s team up the grid. WORDS Andrew Clarke IMAGES inetpics.com, Autopics.com.au, Peter Norton

n the beginning, the Australian Touring Car Championship was secondary in every way to Bathurst. The endurance race quickly entrenched itself in the motorsport landscape of this country and took its place among the great races of the world… arguably the biggest and most important touring-car race of all. It’s no surprise, then, that our racing evolved around it, even if Tony Cochrane ranted about no sacred sites… he was bluffing and we all knew it. Many a race team has built its pedigree around Bathurst success… and the Holden Racing Team (HRT) was no different. It won at Bathurst in its first season but then it went through a lean patch. In 1993 the brain’s trust at the team knew some serious changes were necessary. It had drivers Wayne Gardner and Tomas Mezera and former Dick Johnson Racing boss Neal Lowe was in charge of the team. Lowe was the first scalp, then Gardner and then Mezera, who was also the team manager. Jeff Grech arrived in March 1993 and he was the pin in the middle of the plan. His initial role was as “THE ICONIC workshop manager THING WAS BATHURST. but eventually became FROM WHEN I GOT the team manager. He had a background INVOLVED IN MOTOR back to RACING AS A YOUNG BLOKE stretching the Holden Dealer THAT WAS THE ONE THAT Team (HDT) days and had wound his MATTERED. IT STILL way to the top of the DOES TODAY.” sport via Larry Perkins

JEFF GRECH

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and Gibson Motorsport. He knew how to win and he knew how to value Bathurst. Post-Grech’s arrival, 1993 turned into a bit of a disaster with Gardner not only crashing a lot and earning the title of ‘Captain Chaos’ but also trying to poach the team’s sponsors to set up his own team in 1994. It was obvious when he was suspended for Sandown that the former motorcycle racer was not going beyond that season with the team. John Crennan was in charge of the business side of the team and he started on a plan. He wanted an experienced driver in the team that could help pull sponsors; the Holden deal was up for renewal and they needed to pull a rabbit out of the hat if they were going to do something special. Enter Peter Brock. Brock came with Mobil, which remains with the team today, an army of supporters and plenty of experience. So that side was coming together, merchandise sales were going through the roof and a wave of clever young engineers (like Chris Dyer and Richard Hollway) and drivers (Craig Lowndes, Greg Murphy and the notso-young Brad Jones) were starting to make noises and force change. So Grech, Crennan and Tom Walkinshaw, who owned the team, sat down and formalised what they were going to do. Grech says the plan was always to build something special and Bathurst was a key component in that. “Going back to the early days of HDT, Larry Perkins had been subbed in to run the team for a couple of years as well as drive and I guess my approach was learned through Larry,” says Grech. “To him Bathurst was the whole year; you had to make sure reliability wasn’t an issue when you got there and that meant a lot of work.

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JEFF GRECH Grech worked with Mark Skaife at Gibson Motorsport, Holden Racing Team and Tasman Motorsport.

“I joined him when he started Perkins Engineering and none of that changed. Larry’s teaching had always been to respect Bathurst and then to treat the whole year as though you’re leading up to Bathurst for reliability and speed. “At Gibson Motorsport we were fortunate enough to get three years with the GT-R program. That was just an awesome car, but it was very fragile initially and there was a lot of work done for reliability to get it to the stage where it would complete a race like Bathurst. Once the reliability issues were corrected in the shorter races, it became an awesome thing at Bathurst. “We were coming out of a bit of a dark era around HRT. I don’t want to comment too much on why it was like that because I don’t fully understand it myself, but Peter [Brock] helped change so many things. He changed our whole persona about how we went racing and the way we reacted to our fanbase and the general public. That sticks in my memory and it always will, it really changed the whole facade of what the Holden Racing Team was and what we stood for. “It was a bit of a purple patch as far as our staff went and I was able to recruit good people and everyone was enthusiastic and we got good success out of it. John Crennan was instrumental in allowing us as a young group to put our best foot forward and provided us with a budget to get all that success.” In 1993 the championship meant very little compared with Bathurst, which is not the case today. Teams back then would sacrifice sprint races to learn something for the Great Race. “Yes, it was a like a two-part season; it finished at Oran Park generally halfway through the year and then you geared up for Bathurst,” reflects Grech. “I guess as we got going in HRT and we got car speed and we had Craig with Peter, so we started to believe we could win. Once you start winning races and you’re competitive, the team gets more and more confident and then you go for the win each time you hit the track. “But still the iconic thing was Bathurst. From when I got involved in motor racing as a young bloke that 64

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was the one that mattered. It still does today, but back then because it was separated out of a championship it was the most prestigious event that you’d want to win. “We started learning what mistakes we made… and some of it wasn’t our own doing. In 1995 a manufacturer changed the specification of a component and it failed, then there were other things with crashes or the wrong strategy… we just had to learn.” And learn they did. The 1996 rookie season by Craig Lowndes was one of the best by a driver on record… just about everything, including Bathurst, fell their way. Then the team started to push harder for more speed and things started to break again. Brock retired, Skaife came in and that was the start of the juggernaut and it built its was to five titles in a row and then five Bathursts in a row – including the two Kmart victories in those figures – and even the departure of Lowndes in the middle of it did nothing. “1996 was a stellar year; Craig had won the championship and we won Bathurst, Sandown and New Zealand and I think at the end we reflected on that and thought, well, let’s keep the momentum going and we probably tried too hard to keep finding speed where we should have backed off a little,” explains Grech. “So we kept chasing more and more speed and with that come a few failings. All those things are very challenging and it’s such a long race and from year to year things change, sometimes you change and sometimes the product changes that you’re using. “You can never go there and be so cocky as to say, ‘Well, we’ve got all our house in order and we will be able to win the race’. Safety cars, oil on the track… any thing can come up and that’s what makes it such a big

event. For six hours you’ve got to be on the ball every second of every minute of every hour or things will bite you. That’s how it is.” They had speed and won every series from 1998 to 2002 (as part of eight in total over the journey including two for the sister HSV Dealer Team) and in 2001 the Bathurst wins started to tumble. After five in a row, they backed off to two in next six for a total of nine in 25 seasons. The power of that era was from the growing collective wisdom. Skaife was big on talking about how they were able to tune the car for the end of Bathurst, which is really just about taking an educated guess. By the time they got to the start of the Bathurst wins, people like Grech and Hollway had nearly a decade inside the team under their belts. There were lots of others, too, that had grown with the team and it was a tight and proud outfit.

ABOVE & BELOW: Grech led

the Holden Racing Team in its dominant era, from Craig Lowndes’ dream rookie season of 1996 (above) to Mark Skaife’s championship and Bathurst victories (below).

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JEFF GRECH

ABOVE: Grech took a hands-on approach to his role of team boss at Tasman Motorsport. BELOW: Team 18 will be looking for Bathurst redemption following a challenging season thus far in 2016.

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For Bathurst, they knew what had to be done and had the discipline not to get distracted. It was this, perhaps more than anything else, that HRT forced on the sport because if you wanted to beat them you needed to understand what they were doing – 140 qualifying laps, 21 racing laps. “That event can suck you in a little bit; you’ll go up there looking for speed and then when you have found it, you’ll keep chasing more,” says Grech. “At some time on the weekend you’ve got to put that speed out of your head and go, ‘We’ve got to do this for six hours, we need to have a really good look at tyre wear, tyre pressures, the brakes, our brake bias and even the fuel, what is the economy like and how does the car behave on full tanks?’ We had to make sure we did all those checks and balances and run the car like that. “You’ve got to do the exercise of backing the camber off to see how much speed you lose versus your tyre durability. That requires good communication with the driver and the engineers to make sure that you’re not going into the race with excessive camber just because it’s faster… if we back it off half a degree and we lose three-tenths on one lap, over a stint we’ll lose bugger all and we’ll come out with better tyres. That was the path we wanted to head down. “It takes discipline because it’s so easy to get blinded up there by the event, the speed and the hype. You’ve really got to have a bit of quiet time and work out if we were able to win this race with the car that we had and what could we do to make it better and more durable.” They ended up as the masters of the art. Sure, they had plenty of speed, as the qualifying records show, but they had genuine and sustainable speed on race day. Now, Grech is trying the same thing with Preston Hire Racing for Charlie Schwerkolt. “We’re learning with the car all the time and the team’s focus has been on Sandown and Bathurst,” says Grech. “I think we’ve got as good a shot as any with the driver selection we have and the car we have. “During the past six months we’ve had two major service points where we’ve pulled everything out and we’ve updated it all, just as we’ve done in all the teams I have been with. “We’ve still got a lot of work in front of us, but we have a real chance. “It’s not just if you get the results… I mean, if you’re not going up there to win you might as well stay at home. And if you think anything less you’re not really serious. “We will have a reliable and fast car, everything is not brand new but the stuff we know that needs reliability, to get through six hours of racing, we’re certainly addressing those bits. “We’re a very small group, but with our experience over the years, we know what to look for and what not to.” And who knows? It worked once before for Grech and winning at Bathurst is the reason he got back involved in the sport. It may not be this year, but look for the signs and see where they are at the 140-lap mark.

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s d e i f

i ss

a l C

GOT SOMETHING TO SELL? LIST IT ON SPEEDCAFE.COM CLASSIFIEDS FREE

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WORDS Cameron McGavin IMAGES Autopics.com.au, James Baker

Watching an underdog triumph over more fancied opponents is one of the great pleasures of sports. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest underdog victories at Mount Panorama, we delve into the great upset that was the 1986 Great Race.

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t’s hard not to feel a certain satisfaction when the underdog smashes the habitual winner, denying them their so often enjoyed rewards. And Bathurst, a place full of traps that can kill the best-prepared cars and crush the biggest racing-driver egos in an instant, has managed to serve up unexpected winners. It’s 30 years since one of Bathurst’s greatest ‘up yours’ moments. In one corner, factory-supported outfits from Nissan and Volvo that had fought out that year’s Australian Touring Car Championship, plus

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the omnipotent (though soon not to be) Holden Dealer Team (HDT) and strong privateers with proven Bathurst-bagging credentials (Dick Johnson and Larry Perkins, fielding the first iteration of his own team). In the other, a comparatively rag-tag grouping of motorsport souls who had pooled comparatively meager resources into a serious Bathurst assault – privateer star Allan Grice, his long-time race-car preparer Les Small and chicken-processing

czar/part-time racer Graeme Bailey. History favoured the first group. Peter Brock and his surprise HDT teammate of 1986, Allan Moffat, had 12 Bathurst wins between them, Perkins a trio and Johnson one. The Nissan team had 1967 Bathurstwinner Fred Gibson at the helm, while Volvo was headed by the man who taken HDT to dominant wins in 1978 and 1979, John Sheppard.

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Graeme Bailey and Allan Grice celebrate the welldeserved victory in 1986.

The Grice crew’s Bathurst credentials were rather more modest. Small had spannered Brock’s Gown-Hindhaugh-winning Torana in 1975 and Bailey had won the two-litre class in 1980. Grice, so famously at the time, had never cracked the winning formula in more than a decade of trying. By the Sunday evening, however, the status quo was in tatters. The big-dollar factory teams wilted – actually, they never got a serious look in – and Grice’s reputation as the guy who didn’t have what it took to win at Bathurst was extinguished with a crushing lights-to-flag (figuratively, if not quite literally) victory. It was a Bathurst win for the books – the last on the original pre-Chase layout and the last win of the pre-safety-car era. Grice’s record of 16 starts before winning remains the record for a Bathurst-winning driver even today. Fate, kindly, would only ask him to wait another four years before striking Bathurst gold again. Nowadays the dual Bathurst winner, Australia’s first NASCAR driver and former politician, is living on the Gold Coast and keeping himself busy with an beveragesupply business.

“You retire, you die!” he says. He also has son Ben’s burgeoning motorsport career to keep an eye on. “It’s tough going to get started, we know that, but he’s obviously got some ability – he won 12 straight (in the Super Six Series) last year,” he says. Will we see another Grice in Australia’s premier tin-top series? “Well, Supercars is a goal,” he says. “But also NASCAR.” But back to Grice senior’s magnificent 1986. Actually, further back, to the decade-plus of Bathurst misses that predated his maiden success – a seemingly endless run of close-butno-cigar results (second in 1978, fourth in 1979, second in 1982, third in 1983), punctuated by DNFs that were the result of tiny/bewildering/silly fails (1975, 1976, 1977, 1984, 1985). Did he ever think he might never get the Bathurst monkey off his back?

“I had some ridiculous things happen, tiny things,” he says. “The little screw that holds the rotor in the distributor coming out (in 1985)... just some crazy things. But I always thought I could win it as long as I just kept going back and being competitive. “You just need the rub of the green, a bit of luck. And, finally, it happened.” Bathurst 1985 is significant for more than just being another year when a silly niggle ended Grice’s charge. His pace advantage over the HDT cars showed a Small-built Commodore could be more than a match for a factory Holden in the new Group A formula that had kicked off that championship season. “In 1985 we were the only car that was competitive with the Jaguars,” he says. “That’s the year when one of them hit

“YOU JUST NEED THE RUB OF THE GREEN, A BIT OF LUCK. AND, FINALLY, IT HAPPENED.” ALLAN GRICE

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Bathurst victory made the Chickadee entry one of the most popular in event history.

me up the bum when my car suddenly stopped in the middle of the corner. It was a grub screw that came out of the rotor in the distributor. It was all over by then. “But we were the only car running in with the Jags... I definitely had one behind me because it hit me up the arse! “Les was building the fastest Group A Commodores of that time and that’s difficult to do when you’re competing against the factory. People don’t understand the little bits and pieces and the advantage that entails. “A good example would be Harry Firth in the production days, turning up at Warwick Farm with a camshaft in his hands on a Saturday saying, ‘Here, Cock, put this in, it’s worth another 12hp’... it’d be like, ‘Thanks Harry’ but you knew he’d been dyno testing it for months. Les was very good. He was ultracompetitive, he enjoyed a win as much as I did.” Grice finding the final member of his Bathurst-winning triumvirate – Bailey – was the indirect benefit of an ill-fated attempt to put together a big-dollar, allAustralian team for the 1986 European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) and, then, the inaugural World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) of 1987. “I put together a concept for an Australian national motor racing team,” he says. “I would go over and run the thing with

the mechanics and drive in every race and Dick Johnson, Vern Schuppan, Colin Bond and Peter Brock, the cream of Australian motorsport, would come over. “The proposals were all put together using those names and I had both Qantas and Fosters very interested. “It was just a matter of sorting out the dollars and the cashflow, that sort of stuff. “Then you picked up the paper and Brock’s announced he’s going to Europe with Mobil. “Both Fosters and Qantas were like, ‘What’s going on here? You’ve said Brock, Johnson, Schuppan and Brock’s announced he’s going.’ I didn’t know, they knew before me. So I was Brock-ed!” Every cloud, though, for this closed door brought Bailey into the frame. With the Chickadee boss kicking the tin, they would contest selected 1986 ETCC rounds together and then – in Bailey’s new Les Small-built Commodore – Sandown and Bathurst. “Graeme had bought a car from Les and part of the condition of buying the car was I had to test it at Amaroo to show that it had all the good stuff and was on the pace and give him a hand,” says Grice. “That was where I first met him. Then the whole Europe thing blew up and one day he said, ‘It’s a pity it all fell over’. I said... well, I said more than that! And then he said, ‘I wouldn’t mind doing some of

“I WAS DOING 500KM RACES EVERY FEW WEEKS, SO I WAS ABSOLUTELY AT THE TOP OF MY GAME.” ALLAN GRICE

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those races with you, it’s been my childhood dream to race at Monza’. So that’s how it all happened.” Grice and Bailey’s 1986 ETCC adventure was a financial and logistical challenge, done in probably the cleanest-skinned Commodore ever to grace a racetrack. Bailey stuck it in the sandpit at Monza and Donington and a collision with an errant class Golf stopped their Hockenheim run. But they were running at the front of the field and generally showing their fellow Australian expats from HDT, Brock and Moffat, a clean pair of heels. “The year was just trying to get bloody sponsors, get the car around,” says Grice. “We had two mechanics! And I got Brock-ed again – his PR bloke would ring the Australian newspapers after practice and reverse our times and positions on the grid because I was in front of him all the time. But we were quick, we led a few of the races.” The European experience might not have brought tangible success but the pieces were in place for a strong showing in the Australian enduros. In the duo’s first local showing after their European foray – the Sandown curtain-raiser, which was also their first run together in the Bailey-owned Commodore with the famous fluoro Chickadee livery – they lost time with a first-lap fracas and pitstop niggles, but still finished a fighting third behind a factory Nissan one-two, ahead of the HDT factory Commodore of Brock and Moffat. “The Sandown result wasn’t what we wanted but it gave us confidence for Bathurst, we had good speed,” says Grice. “But the biggest thing about it, which became pretty obvious at Bathurst, was that

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I was doing 500km races every few weeks, so I was absolutely at the top of my game. I could do a tank of gas, get out of the car and not blow a candle out, as they say.” Grice had troubles getting to Bathurst – he’d returned to race in Europe after Sandown and a bomb hoax at Heathrow delayed his flight back, forcing him to miss Wednesday practice – but once he was on the ground on the Thursday everything was, well, easy. “I think by the fourth or fifth lap we were the quickest car there; it didn’t take long for it to come together,” he says. “What was good about that car? Everything! And we had the superior tyre. “I had a terrific arrangement with Yokohama. I did all of the development work of their first radial tyre in Australia, Japan and over in Europe and the com-

pound they developed was extraordinary. “Qualifying tyres were starting to be all the go in touring cars then and I put the car second on the grid on the race tyre. That’s how good that tyre was.” Grice’s strategy for the race was to get out of the gates fast, a modus operandi he’d always employed. This time, however, instead of striking trouble, things went to plan. The factory Nissan Skylines, quick in the championship and at Sandown, had no answer for the Chickadee car’s pace. The Brock and Moffat HDT car, munched by Moffat in practice and forced to start well back, climbed to second but never threatened. Grice lost the lead briefly during the first pit cycle, but ended his opening double stint with a handy buffer.

“Our strategy was to make them run hard,” says Grice. “We thought we could run hard and we wanted to make them run hard as well. “The Holden Dealer Team cars didn’t qualify that well and I figured if I could break away and make them chase hard, we could do it. “I was confident my car would last – contrary to popular belief, I was always good on revs and nice on the engines. As it turned out, well, it was a pretty good start, wasn’t it?” It was. But Bathurst being Bathurst, there was the odd hurdle to keep things interesting. A leaking differential sullied the crisp white rump of the Chickadee Commodore, furrowed brows on the pit counter and needed to be topped up when Bailey

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handed back to Grice, making for a long stop. Also, Bailey had lost time with a spin late in his single stint. That allowed the second HDT car of John Harvey and Neal Lowe – by now the leading HDT challenge after the Brock/ Moffat car lost six minutes in the pits having a cracked oil cooler fixed – to close in and briefly muscle past. The time gained from the ripper opening stints, however, had taken the pressure off. The Harvey/Lowe challenge wasn’t quite as threatening as it appeared (they were due to pit soon and would drop back again) and the diff problem wasn’t fatal. As for Grice, he never doubted he’d be able to bring it home. “You’re saving time by putting it in the bank and that means you’ve got time to fix something, which we needed,” he says. “We had to top the diff up and Graeme had a little whoopsie, as he called it. But I was never really worried on the day, I knew we had the pace to win it.” He wasn’t wrong. The Chickadee car kept on circulating at the head of the field – far enough ahead of its competitors for Grice to treat the crowd to one of the longest, most leisurely victory waves in Bathurst history – and still had nearly one minute 20 seconds over the Harvey/Lowe car when it crossed the line. Grice would follow up his memorable maiden win with another celebrated, against-the-odds victory for the Holden Racing Team in 1990. But 1986 is the one that is closest to his heart: “The first win’s always the go,” he says. With Chickadee Commodore still kicking around the traps – it was retired soon after its 1986 success, remained in Bailey’s possession and underwent an extensive restoration a few years back, by Les Small no less – has he had a reunion? “I have had a look at it – at the Muscle Car Masters a few years back, they had it there – but I haven’t driven it,” he says. “It was good to see it again, we’re good old friends! “Interestingly, according to some market-survey mob who told me this, it’s the second most recognisable Australian race car. “The first one is Moffat’s Coca-Cola Mustang, then the Chickadee car. “The reason the red, white and black Marlboro HDT cars didn’t get a look in is that nobody remembers a particular one because they all had similar-but-different liveries.” 72

are chewed down to a fine powder, but the privatelyentered Torana survives to take the flag ahead of its factory foe.

1985

A Jaguar was going to win Bathurst in 1985 but few would have predicted the failure of the two leading cars and good old Gossy – driving the third Jag with German Ahmin Hahne – coming through to grab his second Bathurst crown and save face for the big-buck British invaders. Ford favourite and Sandown 250 winner Allan Moffat is in trouble all weekend and Peter Brock and HDT self-destruct in a cloud of engine smoke after building a six-lap lead. That paves the way for Ford drivers John Goss and Kevin Bartlett to take the glory in one of the wettest Bathursts ever.

▲1974

1988

Dick Johnson Racing’s Ford Sierra RS500s dominated the championship, so few expected the Sierra of Tony Longhurst and co-driver Tomas Mezera to prevail at Mount Panorama.

Holden Racing Team star Craig Lowndes had convincingly won his ▲1998 second championship. With co-driver Mark Skaife bagPolesitter Allan Moffat takes up the front-running in his Falcon ahead of ▲1976 star Holden privateer Peter Brock early on, but both

fall prey to mechanical niggles. That leaves HDT’s Colin Bond and John Harvey in a battle for the lead with Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick in their Ron Hodgson Motors-entered Torana. The latter duo look to have it when the factory Holden pits with a broken fan belt with 14 laps to go, but then, with four laps to go, the Morris/Fitzpatrick car starts to smoke. Now it’s Bond closing on Fitzpatrick, who has chosen a win-or-bust strategy rather than pitting. Morris paces the pits in despair, fingernails in the crowd

ging the pole, surely Bathurst would follow? Err, no. Rather, it was Ford duo Jason Bright and Steven Richards coming through at the end of a chaotic and crashfilled day, despite their own practice accident.

1999

Richards, now driving a Gibson Motorsport Holden with Greg Murphy, strikes again, pushing the mighty Holden Racing Team to the lower podium positions. Another one for the kids, with Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Garth Tander 2000 and Jason Bargwanna taking their Commodore to

victory in a wet and wild race while the factory teams and other fancied contenders falter.

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Bathurst 2016 MILESTONE

The 2016 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will mark the 40th time the shootout determines the polesitter for the Great Race. To celebrate the milestone, we look back at the evolution of the shootout and the highs and lows from the dash for pole position. WORDS Adrian Musolino IMAGES Autopics.com.au, James Baker, Peter Norton

t’s man and machine versus the mountain in the shootout for pole position at Bathurst, a compelling drama that’s an important part of the fabric of the Great Race. With the pressure of the spotlight shining on them, the 10 fastest qualifiers shoot for pole in a make or break one-lap dash. Even the greats such as Peter Brock and Dick Johnson have come unstuck in the shootout, highlighting the pressure associated with the qualifying format.

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The 2016 edition of the Great Race will be the 40th time the polesitter will be determined by a shootout. It may have all began in 1978 but there have been some anomalies over the years that leave us on 40 shootouts for pole some 38 years later. Firstly, there was no official shootout for pole in 1988. As the race was a round of the short-lived Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship and run under the FIA regulations, the shootout was held for prizemoney only ($40,000, no less!) and did not go towards setting the grid. This allowed for some shenanigans amongst the drivers, such as Allan Grice going down the escape

road at Murray’s Corner on his warm-up lap to get a better top speed on the home straight at the start of his timed lap. Secondly, much to the chagrin of hardcore V8 fans, the two Super Touring Bathurst 1000 are counted in the Great Race record books because both featured a shootout. That leaves us on 39 shootouts, though there have been some varying versions of the format over the years. Initially, an organiser’s discretion was built into the rules to ensure the big names that didn’t qualify in the top 10 could be included. This controversially ensured Allan Moffat was promoted into the shootout at the expense of an unhappy John Harvey in 1979.

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This special dispensation was eventually dropped, though is interesting to reflect on following the controversy in 2014 when the 11th-fastest qualifier James Courtney was prevented from replacing the withdrawn entry of his teammates Garth Tander and Warren Luff in the shootout. From 1978 to 1985, the shootout was held over two runs per entry. The simplified one-run format from 1986 ensured greater pressure for drivers. The clumsy attempt to expand the format to a top 15 lasted two years in 2001 and 2002. Since then, only the top 10 qualifiers have been permitted into the shootout, which came to headline the Saturday afternoon of the event.

While we have become accustomed to shootouts at marquee events throughout the championship, it was a novelty once reserved for Bathurst. The format debuted in 1978 with event sponsor James-Hardie providing the backing for the made-for-TV spectacle designed to enliven the qualifying process. Taking its cues from the Indianapolis 500 format, the cars ran side-by-side for a parade lap around the circuit before lining up on pit straight. The drivers drew their positions from numbered marbels out of a helmet. The fastest driver would earn not just pole but also $8250 in prize money, intriguingly more than David Reynolds earned for his pole position last season ($5000).

It was a star-studded line-up in 1978 that included iconic names in Australian motorsport, including Peter Brock, Allan Moffat, Dick Johnson, Jack Brabham, Colin Bond, Allan Grice, Bob Morris and more. The two-lap format came in handy given the damp conditions of the first run, with Brock setting a 2:20 to go 1.7 seconds faster than anyone else in the second dryer session to take the first ever shootout pole Remarkably, there has been 26 different polesitters from 39 shootouts. Eight of those shootout pole winners went on the claim the race win. The last time the polesitter won the race was when Garth Tander and Will Davison triumphed back in 2009.

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Bathurst 2016 MILESTONE “IN THE LAST SEVEN YEARS, SEVEN DIFFERENT DRIVERS HAVE WON THE POLE POSITION AT MOUNT PANORAMA.”

David Reynolds became the seventh different Bathurst polesitter from as many years in 2015.

Some shootout performances have come to define a certain period in the history of the Great Race; representing high points in a driver’s career or the changing of the guard. After Brock claimed the first two shootouts, Kevin Bartlett notched up consecutive pole positions in his Channel Ninebacked Chevrolet Camaro in the wet of 1981 with an extraordinary gap of 2.381 seconds between himself and the second-placed Johnson – the biggest margin in the history of the shootout. Though the Camaro would never breakthrough for Great Race or championship wins, the poles helped to cement Bartlett’s Camaro status as a Bathurst legend. Greg Murphy’s ‘Lap of the Gods’ from 2003 remains the most celebrated qualifying effort. Murphy entered the shootout with a margin of four-tenths over the best of the rest. Yet his lap of 2:06.8594 gave him a 1.1second margin over John Bowe, a stunning result that drew plaudits from pitlane. Another career-defining pole position came in 1997, when Mark Skaife scored pole position in his first Bathurst appearance for the Holden Racing Team. It gave Brock the best possible starting position in what was then set to be his final Bathurst, 0.77 seconds faster than Glenn Seton. In keeping with a sensational rookie 76

campaign, Stone Brothers Racing’s Marcos Ambrose claimed pole in the expanded top 15 shootout of 2001. He’s one of two rookies to win pole at Bathurst, along with German Klaus Ludwig from 1987. Internationals have often shone in shootouts, highlighting how quickly some of the best can come to grips with Mount Panorama. Scotsman Tom Walkinshaw ushered in the Group A era with a 2:18.822 in a spectacular lap in the Jaguar XJ-S, more than a second faster than his nearest rival. German Klaus Niedzwiedz joined his countryman Ludwig as a polesitter with a 2:13.94 in 1990. It was a fitting honour for Niedzwiedz, who won the unofficial ‘Tooheys Dozen’ in 1988. In the Super Touring event in 1998, Rickard Rydell’s decisive 2:14.9265 aboard the Volvo S40 goes down as one of most memorable moments of the two-litre events. Another technical milestone in the shootout is George Fury’s 2:13.850 polewinning lap from 1984 in the maxed-out Nissan Bluebird, a highlight of ‘Farmer George’s’ touring-car career and the first pole position for a turbo-charged engine at Bathurst.

Ironically, it’s the driver with the most shootout appearances who’s best remembered for the most calamitous moment in the history of the format. Johnson made 21 attempts in the shootout, though his record is blighted by his trip through the trees on the exit of Forrest’s Elbow in 1983. The heavy accident ended his chances of victory, though showed how the mountain can bite even in the one-lap dash. The shootout can produce the odd upset. Few expected Mark Larkham to upstage the big names in his own Mitre 10-backed Ford AU Falcon entry in 1999. Not to mention Wayne Gardner’s pole in another AU Falcon in the driving rain of 2000. The Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander is the most recent driver to score back-toback shootout poles in 2008-2009. In the last seven years, seven different drivers have won the pole position at Mount Panorama – Tander, Mark Winterbottom, Murphy, Will Davison, Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and David Reynolds. But only Tander went on to win the race amongst that group. Will the 40th shootout pole winner defy the recent trend? Either way, drama is guaranteed.

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SHOOTOUT

BEST INTERNATIONALS AT MOUNT PANORAMA 10 MATTIAS EKSTRÖM ▲ 8 KLAUS LUDWIG ▲ The Swedish all-rounder qualified impressively just a second off pole position on his Mount Panorama debut in 2013, finishing the race in the top 10 alongside Andy Priaulx in a Triple Eight Holden VF Commodore wildcard entry.

9 YOSHIMI KATAYAMA

The Japanese motorcycle grand prix winner turned to four wheels as a factory Mazda driver later in his career. After rolling his RX-3 in his rookie campaign at Bathurst in 1977, Katayama returned as co-driver to Allan Moffat in 1983 and finished in second place.

While Steve Soper and Pierre Dieudonné took the flag in 1987, their German teammate Ludwig became the first rookie to take pole position at Mount Panorama with a blistering shootout qualifying effort.

7 STEVE SOPER

The British touring-car champion provisionally won the 1987 Bathurst 1000 with Pierre Dieudonné, though they were later disqualified for illegally modified front-wheel arch guards.

6 RICKARD RYDELL ▲

The Swedish ace took a storming pole position in the Super Touring event in 1998 and went on to win the race alongside Jim Richards in the Volvo S40. His speed also translated to a V8 Supercar, scoring a seventh with Triple Eight in 2003.

5 RAUNO AALTONEN

The Finnish rally star joined the BMC Australia team for the Bathurst 500 in 1966 and duly led a Mini sweep of the top nine placings alongside Bob Holden.

4 KLAUS NIEDZWIEDZ ▲ The German never won at Mount Panorama in six attempts, though his pole position in 1990 and unofficial fastest time in 1988 made him one of the most formidable internationals.

3 JOHN FITZPATRICK

The Briton enjoyed a varied career in sportscars and touring cars, competing at Mount Panorama eight times and scoring a win alongside Bob Morris in 1976 in addition to a second place in 1981.

2 ARMIN HAHNE

The German took a class win in a Rover Vitesse on his debut in the race in 1984, returning the following year and taking outright honours with John Goss in the Jaguar XJ-S.

t 1 JACKY ICKX

The Belgian grand prix and Le Mans winner paired up with Allan Moffat in 1977 and, despite his rookie status, played his part in the famed one-two formation finish.

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Profile for Supercar Xtra Magazine

V8X Issue 94  

#94 Includes the season preview, what's new, event guides and more!

V8X Issue 94  

#94 Includes the season preview, what's new, event guides and more!