THE GREATEST RACE: BATHURST SUPER GRID
SUPERCARXTRA ISSUE 130
’ EDIT S R O T C E L L O C
BATHURST MAGNIFICENT YEARS OF
CELEBRATING SIX DECADES OF THE BIG RACE AT MOUNT PANORAMA BATHURST SPECIAL EDITION AUS $14.95 ISSUE 130 ISSN 1442-9926
FEATURING the greatest drivers, race, car, lap and more
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BATHURST EDITION ISSUE #130 SUPERCARXTRA.COM.AU
6 WELCOME TO MOUNT PANORAMA A lap around the Mount Panorama Circuit, telling the history of the corners and straight names. 8 THE EVOLUTION OF BATHURST The history of the Bathurst 500/1000, from the first race in 1963 to today. 10 BATHURST RECORDS The winners, record holders and more from the Bathurst 500/1000. 14 60 AMAZING BATHURST MOMENTS Reflecting back on the 60 most amazing moments in the 60-year history of Bathurst. 24 THE GREATEST RACE A super grid of some of Bathurst’s best and most intriguing driver combinations and cars.
42 THE MASTERS OF BATHURST Ranking the 11 three-time or more Bathurst winners based on their race results.
66 THE LAP OF THE GODS Greg Murphy’s unforgettable Shootout qualifying lap from 2003.
48 BROCK & LOWNDES: MASTER & APPRENTICE The ties that bind Bathurst greats Peter Brock and Craig Lowndes. 54 THE LAST OF THE BIG BANGERS The Holden VK Commodore that dominated at Bathurst in 1984 in the Group C swansong. 60 1994: THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA The significance of one of the best Bathursts over the last 6o years, the 1994 Bathurst 1000.
70 TWO BATHURSTS - THE GREAT DIVIDE The factors that led to there being two Bathursts in both 1997 and 1998. 74 SHOOTOUT ON THE MOUNTAIN The history and development of the Bathurst 1000’s Shootout qualifying format.
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/SupercarXtra @SupercarXtra @SupercarXtra
CELEBRATING 60 YEARS OF BATHURST It is 60 years since the 500-mile endurance race known as the Armstrong 500 moved from Phillip Island to Mount Panorama, Bathurst. From the first Bathurst 500 in 1963 to the Repco Bathurst 1000 of today, the event has grown to become Australia’s iconic motor race. We celebrate the event in this special edition of SupercarXtra Magazine, with features on the greatest driver combinations and drivers plus the best car, race, lap and so much more. This issue starts out with a lap around the Mount Panorama Circuit, with the corner and straight names telling the story of the iconic circuit through some of the key players
in its formation and the characteristics of its geography. Then we explore the development of the race through its history and the records. To commemorate the 60-year anniversary, we look back and pick the 60 most amazing moments in the history of the race – from the memorable winners, headline-grabbing controversies, best laps, biggest crashes and more. We bring together the best drivers and combinations in what we’ve called ‘The Greatest Race’: 64 entries featuring every winner of the Bathurst 500/1000 plus other notable drivers to form an iconic fantasy Bathurst grid. There’s also
a look at the other great and intriguing combinations in the history of the event. The masters of Bathurst are ranked as we compare the records of the 11 drivers to win the race three times or more. We also pick what we consider to be the best and most significant car, race and lap over the last six decades. There’s also the story of why there were two Bathursts in 1997 and 1998 and the history of the Shooutout qualifying format, which is also celebrating a milestone in 2023. We hope you enjoy this special edition. Remember to visit SupercarXtra.com.au for all the latest news and to shop at our online store.
INCORPORATING V8X MAGAZINE PUBLISHER Allan Edwards Raamen Pty Ltd trading as V8X PO Box 225, Keilor, VIC 3036 firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR Adrian Musolino email@example.com SUB EDITOR Amanda Cobb DESIGNER Thao Trinh PHOTOGRAPHERS Peter Norton, Autopics.com.au, Glenis Lindley, James Baker, Ben Auld, Justin Deeley, Mark Horsburgh, P1 Images, Paul Nathan, Scott Wensley, Danny Bourke, Matthew Norton, Jack Martin ADVERTISING Matt Rice Mobile: 0404 672 196 EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES Phone: (03) 9372 9125 firstname.lastname@example.org ACCOUNTS Bookkeeper: Mark Frauenfelder email@example.com MERCHANDISE & SUBSCRIPTIONS Phone: (03) 9372 9125 firstname.lastname@example.org Published by Raamen Pty Ltd trading as V8X. Material in Supercar Xtra is protected by copyright laws and may not be reproduced in full or in part in any format. Supercar Xtra will consider unsolicited articles and pictures; however, no responsibility will be taken for their return. While all efforts are taken to verify information in Supercar Xtra 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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IMAGE Justin Deeley
WELCOME TO MOUNT PANORAMA The Mount Panorama Circuit opened 85 years ago as a scenic road in 1938. It soon became Australia’s best race track, hosting the Bathurst 500/1000 since 1963. This is the iconic circuit and the legendary corners and straights whose names tell the history and describe the character of the Mount Panorama Circuit.
14MURRAY’S CORNER The final turn was
previously called Pit Corner but took on the name Murray’s after racer Bill Murray, who crashed his Hudson car at the corner in 1946.
Added for safety grounds before the 1987 running of the World Touring Car Championship round, the first layout change since 1938 was named the Caltex Chase for years and has retained the Chase name.
The first turn was named a “hellish corner” thanks to a tree stump that sat at the apex. Early motorcycle racers at the circuit believed any rider killed after hitting the stump would be doomed to hell for making such a basic mistake. 6
The second longest straight on the circuit at 1.111km is named so as it begins the ascent up the mountain.
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The longest straight at 1.916km was formerly known as the Main Straight but took on the name Conrod after the conrod failure that ended the 1939 Easter race of Frank Kleinig in his Kleinig Hudson.
The final corner of the mountain section is named after motorcycle racer Jack Forrest, who scraped his elbow away after dropping his bike on the corner.
Named due to the sudden dip in the circuit that sees drivers plunge downhill.
The start of the downhill plunge is named thanks to its rightleft-right-left design that makes an ‘S’ shape.
Skyline is named for the panoramic views it provides over Bathurst and the fact that sky is all you can see when looking at this section from the bottom of the mountain. Named after the late multiple-Great Race winner Peter Brock and the scene of fan tributes following his death in 2006.
7 MCPHILLAMY PARK
Named after the former Bathurst mayor Walter J. McPhillamy and family, who owned most of the land at the top of the mountain. The family donated 15 acres at the summit to be used as a park, and for the circuit upon construction.
The first right-hander that marks the start of the mountain section is named after former Bathurst mayor Martin Griffin, who had the vision for a motor racing circuit on the mountain and opened the Mount Panorama Scenic Drive on 17 March 1938.
Named as the corner was cut out of the rock on the side of the mountain with a 1:6 gradient on exit from one of the tightest corners on the circuit.
The park that sits adjacent to this section is named after Bathurst City engineer Hughie Reid, who redesigned sections of the track in its formative years to be more suitable for motor racing.
Named after regular Bathurst racer Tom Sulman, a veteran of 50 years at Mount Panorama, who was killed in an accident at the bottom of Conrod Straight in 1970. A memorial to Sulman stands alongside one for the late Lex Davison (grandfather to Will and Alex Davison) at the entry to the Bathurst Light Car Club at the top of the mountain. SUPERCAR XTRA
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THE EVOLUTION OF BATHURST
How we got from the first Bathurst 500 in 1963 to the Bathurst 1000 in 2023.
Armstrong 500 moves from Phillip Island to Mount Panorama, Bathurst. First win for a V8-powered car (Ford XR Falcon GT of Harry Firth and Fred Gibson).
Factory-backed Ford and Holden entries face off for the first time.
Grid line-up changes from a three-twothree formation to two-by-two.
Event expands to include a Friday unlimited practice day. Event again expands with the unofficial testing getting underway on the Wednesday. Shootout qualifying format to determine the top 10 of the grid debuts.
Channel Seven gives us in-car cameras for the first time.
Holden Commodore faces off against the Ford Falcon for the first time.
Last 500-mile event and last time drivers 1984
breaking up Conrod Straight 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.
The event comes under the banner of the Pacific-Asia Touring Car Championship. Shootout runs as a promotional event and doesn’t count towards setting the grid. Rolling start used for the only time in the event’s history.
could race solo in the event.
Final event run to the Group C rulebook.
Shootout qualifying format and standing start return.
Event expands to 1000 kilometres. Rulebook changes to ‘Production Touring’ (Group C), the same regulations that applied to the Australian Touring Car Championship.
First event run to the international Group A rulebook. Shootout qualifying format simplifies to one run per entry.
Group 3A rules applied to the event, featuring V8-powered Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores.
Race is televised in colour for the first time. 8
‘The Chase’ is installed on safety grounds,
The final event run to the Group A rulebook.
Final Bathurst 1000 to include different
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classes (Group 3A V8s and two-litre Super Touring cars).
Two Bathurst 1000s held, one for two-litre Super Touring cars and the other for the V8 Supercars.
Once again the Super Touring and V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000s are held separately.
Super Touring event loses Bathurst 1000 status, reduced to a 500km race. Sole Bathurst 1000 included in the V8 Supercars championship. Control tyre introduced for the first time to match championship rules.
Shootout expands from 10 to 15 entries.
Project Blueprint regulations introduced, designed to achieve better parity between the Falcons and Commodores. Shootout reverts back to 10 entries.
Entries not running in the championship not permitted to enter Bathurst.
Peter Brock Trophy awarded to the winners for the first time.
Wildcard entries once again permitted to compete.
Final Bathurst 1000 for Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores exclusively.
Event opens up to non-Ford and Holden entries with the introduction of the Car of the Future rulebook.
Gen2 rulebook introduced.
Final Bathurst 1000 start for the Ford Falcon.
Final Bathurst 1000 start for Holden and the Commodore.
Gen3 rulebook introduced. SUPERCAR XTRA
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BATHURST 500/1000 WINNERS YEAR/RACE TITLE
1963 Armstrong 500 1964 Armstrong 500 1965 Armstrong 500 1966 Gallaher 500 1967 Gallaher 500 1968 Hardie-Ferodo 500 1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500 1970 Hardie-Ferodo 500 1971 Hardie-Ferodo 500 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500 1973 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 1974 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 1975 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 1976 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 1977 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 1978 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 1979 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 1980 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 1981 James Hardie 1000 1982 James Hardie 1000 1983 James Hardie 1000 1984 James Hardie 1000 1985 James Hardie 1000 1986 James Hardie 1000 1987 James Hardie 1000 1988 Tooheys 1000 1989 Tooheys 1000 1990 Tooheys 1000 1991 Tooheys 1000 1992 Tooheys 1000 1993 Tooheys 1000 1994 Tooheys 1000 1995 Tooheys 1000 1996 AMP Bathurst 1000 1997 AMP Bathurst 1000* 1997 Primus 1000 Classic 1998 AMP Bathurst 1000* 1998 FAI 1000 Classic 1999 FAI 1000 2000 FAI 1000 2001 V8 Supercar 1000 2002 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 2003 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 2004 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 2005 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2006 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2007 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2008 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2009 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2010 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2011 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2013 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2014 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2015 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2016 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2017 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2018 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2019 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000
Harry Firth/Bob Jane Bob Jane/George Reynolds Barry Seton/Midge Bosworth Rauno Aaltonen/Bob Holden Harry Firth/Fred Gibson Bruce McPhee/Barry Mulholland Colin Bond/Tony Roberts Allan Moffat Allan Moffat Peter Brock Allan Moffat/Ian Geoghegan John Goss/Kevin Bartlett Peter Brock/Brian Sampson Bob Morris/John Fitzpatrick Allan Moffat/Jacky Ickx Peter Brock/Jim Richards Peter Brock/Jim Richards Peter Brock/Jim Richards Dick Johnson/John French Peter Brock/Larry Perkins Peter Brock/Larry Perkins/John Harvey Peter Brock/Larry Perkins John Goss/Armin Hahne Allan Grice/Graeme Bailey Peter Brock/David Parsons/Peter McLeod Tony Longhurst/Tomas Mezera Dick Johnson/John Bowe Allan Grice/Win Percy Jim Richards/Mark Skaife Jim Richards/Mark Skaife Larry Perkins/Gregg Hansford Dick Johnson/John Bowe Larry Perkins/Russell Ingall Craig Lowndes/Greg Murphy Geoff Brabham/David Brabham Larry Perkins/Russell Ingall Rickard Rydell/Jim Richards Jason Bright/Steven Richards Greg Murphy/Steven Richards Garth Tander/Jason Bargwanna Mark Skaife/Tony Longhurst Mark Skaife/Jim Richards Greg Murphy/Rick Kelly Greg Murphy/Rick Kelly Mark Skaife/Todd Kelly Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup Garth Tander/Will Davison Craig Lowndes/Mark Skaife Garth Tander/Nick Percat Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards Chaz Mostert/Paul Morris Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards Will Davison/Jonathon Webb David Reynolds/Luke Youlden Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards Scott McLaughlin/Alexandre Prémat Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander Chaz Mostert/Lee Holdsworth Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander
Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company Fairfield Motors BMC Australia Ford Motor Company Wyong Motors Holden Dealer Team Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company Holden Dealer Team Ford Motor Company McLeod Ford Gown-Hindhaugh Racing Ron Hodgson Racing Moffat Ford Dealers Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Dick Johnson Racing Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Tom Walkinshaw Racing Chickadee/Roadways Racing HDT Racing Benson & Hedges Racing Dick Johnson Racing Holden Racing Team Gibson Motorsport Gibson Motorsport Perkins Engineering Dick Johnson Racing Perkins Engineering Holden Racing Team BMW Motorsport Australia Perkins Engineering Volvo S40 Racing/TWR Stone Brothers Racing Gibson Motorsport Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Kmart Racing Kmart Racing Holden Racing Team Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Racing Team Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Racing Team Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford Performance Racing Ford Performance Racing Triple Eight Race Engineering Tekno Autosports Erebus Motorsport Triple Eight Race Engineering DJR Team Penske Triple Eight Race Engineering Walkinshaw Andretti United Triple Eight Race Engineering
Ford Cortina GT Ford Cortina GT Ford Cortina GT500 Morris Cooper S Ford XR GT Falcon Holden GTS 327 Monaro Holden GTS 350 Monaro Ford XW GT-HO Ph II Falcon Ford XY GT-HO Ph III Falcon Holden XU-1 Torana Ford XA GT Falcon Ford XA GT Falcon Holden L34 Torana Holden L34 Torana Ford XC Falcon Holden A9X Torana Holden A9X Torana Holden VC Commodore Ford XD Falcon Holden VH Commodore Holden VH Commodore Holden VK Commodore Jaguar XJ-S Holden VK Commodore SS Holden VL Commodore SS Ford Sierra RS500 Ford Sierra RS500 Holden VL Commodore SS SV Nissan Skyline GT-R Nissan Skyline GT-R Holden VP Commodore Ford EB Falcon Holden VR Commodore Holden VR Commodore BMW 320i Holden VS Commodore Volvo S40 Ford EL Falcon Holden VT Commodore Holden VT Commodore Holden VX Commodore Holden VX Commodore Holden VY Commodore Holden VY Commodore Holden VZ Commodore Ford BA Falcon Ford BF Falcon Ford BF Falcon Holden VE Commodore Holden VE Commodore Holden VE Commodore Holden VE Commodore Ford FG Falcon Ford FG Falcon Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Holden ZB Commodore Ford Mustang Holden ZB Commodore Holden ZB Commodore Holden ZB Commodore
* Super Touring Bathurst 1000
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FASTEST RACE LAPS
*Super Touring Bathurst 1000 **Wet weather
*Super Touring Bathurst 1000. Note: No fastest lap recorded in 1963 and 1975
YEAR 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997* 1997 1998* 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
DRIVER Ian Geoghegan Bruce McPhee Ian Geoghegan Allan Moffat Allan Moffat Allan Moffat John Goss Peter Brock Colin Bond Allan Moffat Peter Brock Peter Brock Peter Brock Kevin Bartlett Kevin Bartlett Allan Grice Peter Brock George Fury Tom Walkinshaw Gary Scott Klaus Ludwig Dick Johnson Peter Brock Klaus Niedzwiedz Mark Skaife Dick Johnson Larry Perkins Glenn Seton Craig Lowndes Glenn Seton Paul Morris Mark Skaife Rickard Rydell Mark Skaife Mark Larkham Wayne Gardner Marcos Ambrose Mark Skaife Greg Murphy Steven Richards Craig Lowndes Mark Skaife Mark Winterbottom Garth Tander Garth Tander Mark Winterbottom Greg Murphy Will Davison Jamie Whincup Shane van Gisbergen David Reynolds Jamie Whincup Scott McLaughlin David Reynolds Chaz Mostert Cameron Waters Chaz Mostert Cameron Waters
TIME 3m02.00s 2m56.70s 2m48.90s 2m52.10s 2m38.90s 2m35.80s 2m33.40s 2m30.80s 2m27.40s 2m25.00s 2m24.90s 2m20.00s 2m20.50s 2m20.97s 2m36.40s** 2m17.50s 2m16.20s 2m13.85s 2m18.82s 2m17.16s 2m16.96s 2m16.46s 2m15.80s 2m13.94s 2m12.62s 2m12.893s 2m13.013s 2m12.1464s 2m11.5540s 2m11.0160s 2m16.5958s 2m10.0397s 2m14.9265s 2m09.8954s 2m09.5146s 2m28.3844s** 2m09.7785s 2m08.8278s 2m06.8594s 2m07.9611s 2m08.5990s 2m07.4221s 2m07.0908s 2m07.2963s 2m07.9463s 2m07.5377s 2m08.8009s 2m08.0693s 2m07.8825s 2m06.3267s 2m27.8201s** 2m05.4263s 2m03.8312s 2m04.0589s 2m03.7897s 2m03.5592s 2m03.3736s 2m23.6168s**
CAR Ford XR GT Falcon Holden GTS 327 Monaro Ford XW GT-HO Falcon Ford XW GT-HO Ph II Falcon Ford XY GT-HO Ph III Falcon Ford XY GT-HO Ph III Falcon Ford XA GT Falcon Holden L34 Torana Holden L34 Torana Ford XB GT Falcon Holden A9X Torana Holden A9X Torana Holden A9X Torana Chevrolet Camaro Chevrolet Camaro Holden VH Commodore Holden VH Commodore Nissan Bluebird Turbo Jaguar XJ-S Nissan Skyline Turbo Ford Sierra RS500 Ford Sierra RS500 Ford Sierra RS500 Ford Sierra RS500 Nissan Skyline GT-R Ford Sierra RS500 Holden VP Commodore Ford EB Falcon Holden VR Commodore Ford EF Falcon BMW 320i Holden VS Commodore Volvo S40 Holden VT Commodore Ford AU Falcon Ford AU Falcon Ford AU Falcon Holden VX Commodore Holden VY Commodore Holden VY Commodore Ford BA Falcon Holden VZ Commodore Ford BF Falcon Holden VE Commodore Holden VE Commodore Ford FG Falcon Holden VE Commodore Ford FG Falcon Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Ford FG X Falcon Holden VF Commodore Ford FG X Falcon Holden ZB Commodore Ford Mustang Ford Mustang Holden ZB Commodore Ford Mustang
Note: From 1963 to 1966 the grid was lined up by classes with the most expensive class at the front
YEAR 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969= 1969= 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976= 1976= 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997* 1997 1998* 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
DRIVER Ian Geoghegan/Leo Geoghegan Brian Foley Frank Matich Fred Gibson Bruce McPhee Allan Moffat/Alan Hamilton Fred Gibson/Barry Seton John Goss/Bob Skelton Bob Morris Allan Moffat John Goss Peter Brock Not recorded Allan Moffat Peter Brock Allan Moffat Allan Moffat Peter Brock Dick Johnson Dick Johnson Peter Brock Peter Brock Peter Brock John Goss Allan Grice Andrew Miedecke Tony Longhurst Dick Johnson Mark Skaife Mark Skaife Mark Skaife Mark Skaife Dick Johnson Craig Lowndes Craig Lowndes Jason Plato Larry Perkins Rickard Rydell Craig Lowndes Paul Radisich Craig Lowndes Simon Wills Brad Jones Garth Tander Jason Bright Mark Skaife Craig Lowndes Jamie Whincup James Courtney Jason Richards Jason Bright Jamie Whincup Shane van Gisbergen Garth Tander Chaz Mostert Jamie Whincup David Reynolds David Reynolds David Reynolds Chaz Mostert Shane van Gisbergen Chaz Mostert Shane van Gisbergen
TIME 3m21.3s 3m.13.7s 3m10.0s 3m03.0s 2m58.0s 2m52.1s 2m52.1s 2m53.0s 2m40.0s 2m36.5s 2m34.8s 2m29.8s 2m28.4s 2m28.4s 2m26.4s 2m22.0s 2m21.1s 2m22.2s 2m20.9s 2m20.1s 2m18.5s 2m15.13s 2m21.86s 2m18.99s 2m22.50s 2m19.06s 2m19.12s 2m15.46s 2m14.50s 2m16.47s 2m14.803s 2m14.1458s 2m14.3229s 2m13.1636s 2m16.8034s 2m12.3398s 2m17.9558s 2m12.7771s 2m.12.5624s 2m14.2602s 2m10.2011s 2m09.5705s 2m08.6726s 2m08.8972s 2m08.6515s 2m08.6571s 2m08.4651s 2m09.2775s 2m08.9972s 2m08.8215s 2m09.3340s 2m09.5962s 2m10.5344s 2m07.4913s 2m07.1226s 2m06.2769s 2m07.5013s 2m06.1492s 2m04.7602s 2m05.6412s 2m05.1862s 2m06.2663s
CAR Ford Cortina GT Morris Cooper S Morris Cooper S Ford XR GT Falcon Holden GTS 327 Monaro Ford XW GT-HO Falcon Ford XW GT-HO Falcon Ford XW GT-HO Falcon Ford XY GT-HO Falcon Ford XY GT-HO Falcon Ford XA GT Falcon Holden L34 Torana Ford XB GT Falcon Holden L34 Torana Ford XC Falcon Ford XC Falcon Holden A9X Torana Ford XD Falcon Ford XD Falcon Holden VH Commodore Holden VH Commodore Holden VK Commodore Jaguar XJ-S Holden VK Commodore SS Ford Sierra RS500 Ford Sierra RS500 Ford Sierra RS500 Nissan Skyline GT-R Nissan Skyline GT-R Nissan Skyline GT-R Holden VP Commodore Ford EB Falcon Holden VR Commodore Holden VR Commodore Renault Laguna Holden VS Commodore Volvo S40 Holden VT Commodore Ford AU Falcon Holden VT Commodore Ford AU Falcon Ford AU Falcon Holden VY Commodore Holden VY Commodore Holden VZ Commodore Ford BA Falcon Ford BF Falcon Ford BF Falcon Holden VE Commodore Holden VE Commodore Holden VE Commodore Ford FG Falcon Holden VF Commodore Ford FG Falcon Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Holden ZB Commodore Ford Mustang Holden ZB Commodore Holden ZB Commodore Holden ZB Commodore
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MOST WINS WINS
Jim Richards, Craig Lowndes
Larry Perkins, Mark Skaife
Steven Richards, Garth Tander
Allan Moffat, Greg Murphy, Jamie Whincup
Harry Firth, Bob Jane, John Goss, Allan Grice, John Bowe, Russell Ingall, Tony Longhurst, Rick Kelly, Will Davison, Chaz Mostert, Shane van Gisbergen
MOST WINS IN A ROW WINS 3 3 3
DRIVERS Peter Brock/Jim Richards (1978-1980) Peter Brock/Larry Perkins (1982-1984) Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup (2006-2008)
MOST PODIUMS TOTAL
14 12 12 12 10 9 8 8 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 5
Craig Lowndes Peter Brock Jim Richards Larry Perkins Mark Skaife Steven Richards Garth Tander Greg Murphy Jamie Whincup Allan Moffat Allan Grice John Bowe Colin Bond Dick Johnson Bruce McPhee Brad Jones Cameron McConville Warren Luff John Harvey
7 9 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 4 2 2 1 3 1 0 0 0 1
5 1 2 3 2 3 1 1 3 1 4 4 2 3 3 3 2 2 3
2 2 3 3 2 1 2 3 0 2 1 1 4 0 2 3 4 4 1
MOST POLE POSITIONS
6 Peter Brock 5 Mark Skaife 4 Allan Moffat 2 Ian Geoghegan 2 Kevin Bartlett 2 Dick Johnson
2 Garth Tander
2 Glenn Seton
2 Chaz Mostert
2 Craig Lowndes
2 Cameron Waters
2 Mark Winterbottom 2 Greg Murphy 2 Jamie Whincup 2 David Reynolds
WINS PER MAKE 36 Holden 20 Ford 2 Nissan 1 Morris, Jaguar, BMW, Volvo BEST RESULT FOR MAKE 1st to 9th – Morris Cooper S in 1966 MOST WINS IN A ROW FOR MAKE 7 – Holden (1999-2005) MOST WINS FOR TEAM 9 – Holden Dealer Team/HDT Racing, Triple Eight Race Engineering BIGGEST WINNING MARGIN 6 laps – Peter Brock/Jim Richards in 1979 CLOSEST NON-FORMATION WINNING MARGIN 0.1434 seconds – Will Davison/Jonathon Webb ahead of Shane van Gisbergen/Alexandre Prémat (2016) MOST STARTS 35 – Jim Richards MOST FASTEST LAPS 6 – Peter Brock MOST SHOOTOUTS 21 – Dick Johnson MOST POLES FOR MAKE 26 – Ford MOST POLES FOR TEAM 8 – Holden Racing Team/Walkinshaw Andretti United MOST POLES IN A ROW 3 – Allan Moffat (1970-1972), Peter Brock (1977-1979) MOST WINS FROM POLE 2 – Allan Moffat (1970-1971), Peter Brock/Jim Richards (1978-1979), Mark Skaife/ Jim Richards (1991 & 2002) 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)
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60 AMAZING BATHURST MOMENTS
Six decades of Bathurst 500/1000 events have produced countless amazing moments. We remember 60 of the most memorable to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Bathurst’s endurance race at the Mount Panorama Circuit.
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IMAGES Autopics.com.au, Justin Deeley, Peter Norton, Holden Motorsport, Mount Panorama Circuit, Dick Johnson Racing
BATHURST LEGEND BORN IN 1963
When the Phillip Island circuit deteriorated so badly it could no longer host the Armstrong 500, the event relocated to Mount Panorama in 1963. That first Bathurst event featured 56 cars from 17 different makes – everything from Morris Minis, Volkswagen Beetles and even a Studebaker Lark – and was won by Harry Firth and Bob Jane in a Ford Cortina GT Mark I. A legend was born.
privateer Wyong Motors entry driven by Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland claiming the win.
THE MORRIS MARCH IN 1966
The humble Morris Cooper S dominated the Bathurst 500 in 1966, filling the top nine places in the race. The BMC-entered Morris of Finnish rally star Rauno Aaltonen and experienced Australian Mini racer Bob Holden won, a lap ahead of their nearest rival. The top-nine sweep remains the best result for a manufacturer in Great Race history.
THE FIRST V8 WINNER IN 1967
After imported cars such as the Cortina and Mini dominated the first Bathurst 500s, Australian-built V8s came to the fore with victory for a Ford Falcon in 1967. The XR Falcon GT of Harry Firth and Fred Gibson finished ahead of teammates Ian and Leo Geoghegan, though there was controversy over who actually won following a disagreement over laps completed.
FORD VERSUS HOLDEN BEGINS IN 1968
Holden entered its first factory assault at Bathurst with the Holden Dealer Team in 1968. The stable of HK Monaro GTS 327s took on the established Ford challenge, giving birth to the Ford versus Holden rivalry that became the cornerstone of the Great Race in years to come. Holden claimed a sweep of the podium, with the
MOFFAT GOES SOLO IN 1970
Allan Moffat became the first driver to win the Bathurst 500 solo in 1970, completing the 130 laps/500 miles in six hours and 33 minutes – a true endurance test for the driver. All three drivers on the podium completed the race distance solo, with Bruce McPhee and Don Holland in second and third respectively.
BROWN’S BARREL ROLL IN 1971
Bill Brown spectacularly rolled his Ford Falcon GTHO at McPhillamy Park on lap 43 of the 1971 race following a tyre blow-out. The SUPERCAR XTRA
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Falcon rolled along the fence, which cut through the car and narrowly missed Brown. He and a marshal that came perilously close to being hit by the flying car both escaped without injury.
CHIVAS’ HEROIC PUSH IN 1973
MOFFAT WINS IN STYLE IN 1971
Doug Chivas, co-driver to Peter Brock, ran out of fuel while leading the race in 1973. Just short of the pits, he was forced to push the Holden Dealer Team Torana XU-1 up the incline into the garage without assistance. The 51-year-old impressively did so but the lead was lost and he and Brock had to settle for second behind Ford rivals Allan Moffat and Ian Geoghegan.
BROCK’S FIRST WIN IN 1972
Bathurst hasn’t been kind to former Formula 1 drivers, and in 1976 it was particularly cruel to two of the greats. Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss teamed up in a Holden Torana only for Brabham to be left on the grid at the start with a stuck gearbox and rammed in the rear. They eventually made it off the line but retired later on with engine problems.
FIRST 1000KM BATHURST IN 1973
John Fitzpatrick and Bob Morris were comfortably leading when the engine in their Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 started to smoke in the closing stages of the race in 1976. Morris could only look on nervously from pitlane as Fitzpatrick guided the car home to victory, finishing ahead of six other Torana entries as Holden steamrolled the opposition.
Allan Moffat scored his second consecutive Bathurst solo win in 1971 in a Ford XY Falcon GTHO. Nothing got in his way, not even a cardboard beer carton that had lodged in his grille and threatened to overheat his engine. Moffat just kept on driving with the Falcon GTHO becoming one of Ford’s most iconic cars and Moffat its most famous driver. Peter Brock’s first of nine Bathurst victories came in the final Bathurst 500 in 1972, a year before the race was extended to 1000 kilometres. Brock survived treacherous conditions to bring his Holden LJ Torana GT-R home a lap clear of John French’s Ford Falcon GTHO. He was the last solo winner of the event. The Brock era had officially commenced. In 1973 the race’s length was increased to 1000 kilometres, becoming the Bathurst 1000 – a distance that stuck over the decades and made co-drivers essential rather than a luxury. The first 1000km race saw a classic Ford versus Holden battle won by Allan Moffat and Ian Geoghegan’s Ford XA Falcon over the Holden Torana XU-1 of Peter Brock and Doug Chivas.
DISASTER FOR BRABHAM/MOSS IN 1976
A SMOKY END IN 1976
FORD’S ICONIC ONE-TWO IN 1977
Allan Moffat and Colin Bond delivered Ford one of its greatest days with a one-two formation finish at Bathurst in 1977. The
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Ford Falcon XCs ran alongside each other approaching the line, with the #1 of Moffat taking the win just ahead of the #2 of Bond. It became an iconic Bathurst moment for the Blue Oval.
SHOOTOUT DEBUTS IN 1978
The made-for-TV Shootout qualifying format made its debut in 1978. The likes of Allan Grice, Peter Brock, Jack Brabham, Dick Johnson, Derek Bell, Bob Morris, Colin Bond, Allan Moffat and more each had two one-lap runs to set a quick time in the race for pole position, setting the foundation for the more simplified format that features today.
BROCK’S MASTERCLASS IN 1979
Peter Brock and Jim Richards utterly dominated the 1979 race in a Holden Torana A9X. They scored pole position by almost two seconds and led from the start, winning by a record six laps with Brock remarkably setting the fastest lap on the last lap of the race to underscore his superiority. It remains the most dominant win in the history of the Great Race.
JOHNSON’S TANGLE WITH A ROCK IN 1980
Rising star Dick Johnson was leading the Bathurst 1000 in 1980 when he collided with a football-sized rock that had allegedly been thrown/kicked onto the track by a drunken fan on lap 17. His subsequent emotional television interview led to an outpouring of support that set up his triumphant return to Bathurst in 1981, making him an instant fan favourite. ‘The Rock’ now takes pride of place in the Dick Johnson Racing workshop, helping to create the Johnson-Bathurst legend.
TRAFFIC JAM BLOCKS TRACK IN 1981
A pile-up at the top of the mountain on lap 121 of the 1981 Bathurst 1000 resulted in an unprecedented blocked track that forced the race to be stopped. Bob Morris and Christine Gibson started the mess with Garry Rogers, Tony Edmondson, David Seldon and Kevin Bartlett piling in. It was the first time the Bathurst enduro had failed to complete its full distance.
JOHNSON’S TRIUMPH IN 1981
A year after the heartbreak of ‘The Rock’, Dick Johnson returned to Bathurst in 1981 following an outpouring of support from the Australian public and Ford Motor Company to claim victory in the Tru-Blu Ford XD Falcon. He and co-driver John French took the victory after the race was stopped after 120 laps following the track-blocking pile-up. SUPERCAR XTRA
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BARTLETT’S CHANNEL 9 ROLL IN 1982
Kevin Bartlett’s iconic Channel 9-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro Z28 made all the wrong headlines in 1982 when it rolled at Reid Park after 27 laps. The pole-sitter from the previous two years was out and thankfully unscathed, in what would be his final Bathurst start driving the Camaro. The crash became one of the most replayed Bathurst moments ever.
JOHNSON IN THE TREES IN 1983
Dick Johnson’s 1983 Shootout qualifying run came to a crushing end when he hit the wall at Forrest Elbow, which broke the steering arm and sent him into the trees. The Ford Falcon XE was heavily damaged with Johnson lucky to escape without injury. Johnson and co-driver Kevin Bartlett raced another XE but failed to finish.
WALKINSHAW’S STALL IN 1984
Tom Walkinshaw’s 1984 Bathurst 1000 campaign was over before it had even begun when he stalled his Jaguar XJ-S and was subsequently hit by John Tesoriero and Peter Williamson, blocking the track and forcing a restart. The dejected drivers could only leave their wrecks on the start-line. It is remembered as the most memorable start-line accident in Bathurst history, and the most infamous moment for Walkinshaw’s short but colourful Bathurst driving career. 18
BIG BANGERS FAREWELL IN 1984
The 1984 Bathurst 1000 marked the curtain call for the Group C touring cars, known as the last of the Big Bangers. Peter Brock and Larry Perkins led home a Holden Dealer Team one-two formation finish in the combination’s third consecutive Bathurst triumph. The winning Holden Commodore VK finished two laps clear of the third-placed Mazda RX-7 of Allan Moffat and Greg Hansford.
NEW MAKES STEAL THE SHOW IN 1985
The 1985 Bathurst 1000 saw manufacturers such as Jaguar and BMW dominate under the new Group A regulations, with John Goss and Armin Hahne taking the win in the fearsome Jaguar XJ-S ahead of team boss Tom Walkinshaw in third. The best Ford or Holden was the Dick Johnson/Larry Perkins Ford Mustang in seventh, while Holden hero Peter Brock’s charge came unstuck after a crushed windscreen followed by engine failure.
MOFFAT/BROCK COMBINE IN 1986
Two Bathurst legends joined forces in 1986 when Allan Moffat partnered great rival Peter Brock in the #05 Holden Dealer Team entry. But Moffat crashed their Commodore heavily at McPhillamy Park in Friday qualifying, with the heavy front-end damage forcing them out of the Shootout. They finished the race fifth from 11th on the grid.
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UNDERDOGS TRIUMPH IN 1986
Allan Grice and Graeme Bailey overcame the challenge of the imported cars by driving their Chickadee-backed privateer Holden Commodore to victory in 1986. After the domination of international entries in the first year of the Group A regulations, it was a popular win for a locally-built car.
CONTROVERSY RULES IN 1987
The 1987 Bathurst 1000 become a round of the World Touring Car Championship and saw the Texaco Ford Sierras claim a onetwo, led by Steve Soper and Pierre Dieudonné. The Sierras were investigated for using illegal fuel, which they were cleared of, but eventually disqualified for using wheelarches that were deemed too wide, handing Peter Brock his ninth and final Bathurst win. Brock, who entertained the crowd with his slipping and sliding in the wet conditions, had finished third on the road.
HRT TO THE FORE IN 1990
The Holden Racing Team was in its first year as its own entity in 1990. And against the might of the Group A dominators, including the Ford Sierra RS500, the Holden Commodore of Win Percy and Allan Grice prevailed. With the Sierras and Nissans plagued by unreliability on race day, the Commodore soldiered on to defy the odds.
RICHO’S ‘PACK OF ARSEHOLES’ IN 1992
On lap 144 of the 1992 race Jim Richards’ Nissan Skyline hit the wall while leading in very wet conditions. Parked on the side of the road, Richards and Mark Skaife were nevertheless declared the winners at the expense of crowd favourite Dick Johnson as the race was red-flagged and results taken from a lap earlier. Facing the “boos” and “bullshit” chants from an unhappy crowd, Richards delivered his now-infamous “pack of arseholes” podium speech. It was a constroversial end to the Group A era.
Perkins, Glenn Seton, Mark Skaife and Alan Jones went slipping and sliding around the circuit as they diced for the lead. It was masterful driving from a bevy of Bathurst greats.
LOWNDES’ ARRIVAL IN 1994
Craig Lowndes stole the show on debut at Bathurst in 1994 at just 20 years of age with a courageous pass around the outside of John Bowe at Griffin’s Bend for the race lead with 11 laps to go. Bowe eventually took back the position and went on to claim the win, leaving Lowndes to settle for second. But the youngster had made his mark and was the new talking point of the sport.
PERKINS/INGALL COME FROM THE BACK IN 1995
It seemed as though Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall’s 1995 campaign was over on the first lap following a puncture from contact off the start. But the pair fought through the pack and charged from fifth to the lead in the final 20 laps to claim a famous win. Meanwhile, it was heartache for Glenn Seton who looked set for his Bathurst breakthrough when engine problems forced him out with nine laps to go.
YOUNGSTERS LOWNDES/MURPHY TRIUMPH IN 1996
Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy took their first Bathurst triumphs with victory by more than 20 seconds in the #1 Holden Commodore for the Holden Racing Team in 1996. Beating out the likes of Peter Brock, Dick Johnson and Larry Perkins, their win signalled the generation change taking place in the series and the arrival of two new Bathurst greats.
BROCK’S FIRST FAREWELL IN 1997
After announcing his retirement earlier in the year, the 1997 Bathurst 1000 became a farewell tour for Peter Brock. There would be comebacks down the track as a co-driver but this was Brock’s last tilt as a full-time driver. Co-driver Mark Skaife grabbed pole position and the #05 entry led early until fuel-injector problems robbed Brock of a fairytale finale. Instead of ending with 10 Great Race successes, he would have to settle with being a nine-time winner of the race.
BRIGHT/RICHO’S FAIRYTALE IN 1998
After a heavy crash in practice that forced around-the-clock repairs, Jason Bright and Steven Richards – driving a Stone Brothers Racing Ford Falcon – started the 1998 race from 15th on the grid yet charged to the front to claim an unlikely win. Bright described it as a “fairytale” result; the only Bathurst win for the team.
JOHNSON’S FAREWELL IN 1999
V8S RETURN IN 1993
Australian touring cars moved away from the Group A rules and introduced homegrown Group 3A rules for V8-powered Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores in 1993. While the rest of the Holden entries ran a Chevrolet engine, Larry Perkins opted for his own Holden V8 and took the win alongside Gregg Hansford. After the controversies around Group A, the V8 formula proved to be a winner.
WET WEATHER MASTERY IN 1994
The 1994 race saw one of the wettest starts in Bathurst’s history and a spectacular opening stint as the likes of Peter Brock, Larry
Dick Johnson made his final Bathurst start in 1999 alongside son Steven Johnson. The father-son duo came home in fourth and it appeared teammate Paul Radisich would claim the win for the team in the #18 Ford Falcon until contact with a slower car damaged a wheel with just 14 laps to go.
RICHARDS BACK-TO-BACK IN 1999
Steven Richards, son of seven-times Bathurst winner Jim Richards, became the first driver to win the Great Race in both a Ford and Holden with back-to-back wins with Stone Brothers in 1998 and Gibson Motorsport in 1999. In a Commodore in 1999, Richards and Greg Murphy started from 12th and sailed through the field, giving the Richards family yet another Great Race triumph. SUPERCAR XTRA
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TANDER/BARGS IN THE RAIN IN 2000
Held in very wet conditions, the 2000 Bathurst 1000 was a messy affair with countless collisions and safety cars, taking well over seven hours to complete. But through the spray came underdogs Jason Bargwanna and Garth Tander from 10th on the grid, giving Garry Rogers Motorsport its first and only Bathurst win.
MURPHY’S FIVE-MINUTE PENALTY IN 2002
After leaving the pits with the fuel hose still attached to his Holden Commodore, sending mechanics scattering and fuel spilling all over the pit bay, Greg Murphy was handed a five-minute penalty in the 2002 race. The furious Kiwi pitted, stormed out of his car and took refuge in a portaloo before returning to his car to come home a disappointing 13th.
SKAIFE/RICHARDS REPEAT IN 2002
A decade after their infamous 1992 Bathurst victory with Nissan, Mark Skaife and Jim Richards reunited at the Holden Racing Team in 2002 to claim their third win together – Richards’ seventh and final Bathurst win. Unlike 1992, there was no podium tirade.
MURPHY’S ‘LAP OF THE GODS’ IN 2003
Considered the greatest ever qualifying lap in the history of the Great Race, Greg Murphy’s 2003 Shootout effort was labelled ‘Lap of the Gods’, with his 2:06.859 time resetting the record and putting him on pole position by more than a second. Fittingly, he and Rick Kelly went on to win the race. But it is the qualifying lap everyone still remembers.
BRITS END BROCK’S FINALE IN 2004
Peter Brock didn’t get a lap in his final Bathurst 1000 in 2004 when co-driver Jason Plato, crawling back to the pits with a puncture, was hit by British touring car rival John Cleland at the Chase in 20
the first stint of the race, throwing the latter onto his roof. It was an inconspicuous end to an exceptional Bathurst career for Brock.
LOWNDES’ WINDSCREEN IN 2005
Craig Lowndes’ 2005 charge came to a strange end when a flying wheel from Paul Dumbrell’s crashed Commodore slammed into his windscreen, forcing him into the garage to cut it out. Thankfully it hit the passenger side and Lowndes was uninjured. He rejoined the race without a windscreen and finished in 15th place, mimicking mentor Peter Brock’s 1985 windscreen issue.
AMBROSE VERSUS MURPHY IN 2005
Marcos Ambrose and Greg Murphy almost come to blows out of their cars in 2005 when the pair collided heavily on the approach to the Cutting on lap 145 following a restart. Both drivers blamed each other, making their feelings known in the immediate aftermath of the accident with a finger-pointing, yelling match that goes down as arguably the most heated exchange in Bathurst history. Earlier in the race it emerged Ambrose and co-driver Warren Luff had not been wearing balaclavas under their helmets as required by the rules, so they were forced to pit to don the safety gear. Describing it as an “absolute disgrace,” Ambrose demanded officials check other drivers and later claimed he hadn’t worn one for a couple of years.
HOMAGE TO THE LATE BROCK IN 2006
Following the death of Peter Brock a month earlier, the 2006 Bathurst 1000 was a sombre affair that paid tribute to the late King of the Mountain. Fittingly, Brock’s protégé Craig Lowndes and his co-driver Jamie Whincup held aloft the Peter Brock Trophy for the first time, holding off brothers Rick and Todd Kelly for an emotional win, while leading Holden driver Mark Skaife’s race ended on the opening lap following a sluggish start and contact with Jack Perkins.
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WET AND WILD FINISH IN 2007
The heavens opened late in the 2007 race to produce one of the most exciting finishes. Race leader Mark Winterbottom speared off at the Chase and Jason Bright, Russell Ingall and Mark Skaife went into the wall on top of the mountain, leaving Craig Lowndes and Steven Johnson to battle it out. Lowndes prevailed to take the win.
LOWNDES’ LAP RECORD IN 2010
It may not have had the fanfare of Greg Murphy’s 2003 recordbreaking lap but when Craig Lowndes set a 2:06.8012 in a practice session in 2010, he finally broke the seven-year-old lap record and laid claim to the title of fastest man at Mount Panorama.
COULTHARD’S BARREL ROLL IN 2010
Fabian Coulthard’s first-lap barrel roll on the opening lap of the 2010 event goes down as one of the most spectacular accidents in Bathurst’s history. After contact off the start Coulthard’s rear tyre let go on the entry to the Chase, sending him into a frightening series of rolls. He walked away unscathed, unlike his Commodore.
TRIPLE EIGHT’S ONE-TWO IN 2010
Triple Eight replicated the formation finishes of 1977 and 1984 with a one-two of its own in 2010. Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife
scored the win from Jamie Whincup and Steve Owen. The two Commodores crossed the line in unison, in the team’s first season with Holden.
TANDER VERSUS LOWNDES IN 2011
Garth Tander held off a hard-charging Craig Lowndes on the run to the flag in 2011. Tander’s co-driver Nick Percat became the first rookie winner since Jacky Ickx in 1977, while Lowndes’ co-driver Mark Skaife was forced to settle for second in his final Bathurst appearance.
LATE-RACE SHOWDOWN IN 2012
Bathurst celebrated 50 years of the Great Race in 2012, with the race fittingly coming down to a battle between a Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon. Ford’s David Reynolds stalked Holden’s Jamie Whincup in the closing stages of the race, though couldn’t find a way through in another grandstand finish at Bathurst.
WINTERBOTTOM VERSUS WHINCUP IN 2013
Long-time rivals Mark Winterbottom and Jamie Whincup went head-to-head for the win in 2013. A charging Whincup caught Winterbottom in the final stages of the race and went for a move on the outside of Griffin’s Bend on the final lap. Winterbottom held his ground as Whincup slid wide and lost ground. The win went to Winterbottom and Steven Richards, giving Ford Performance Racing victory over Triple Eight in their 10th anniversaries in the championship.
FINAL LAP DRAMA IN 2014
For the fourth consecutive year there was a final-lap showdown at Bathurst, but this time there was a change for the lead. After
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arguably the craziest Great Race in history, which included a race stoppage with the track breaking up, an out of fuel Jamie Whincup couldn’t hold off Chaz Mostert, who muscled his way into the lead on the run onto Conrod Straight. Mostert hadn’t led a lap all race, after starting at the rear of the grid and following an early-race incident for co-driver Paul Morris.
MOSTERT’S MONSTER CRASH IN 2015
After the high of winning from the rear of the field in 2014, Chaz Mostert experienced a career low with a sickening crash on the run down to Forrest’s Elbow in qualifying in 2015. Mostert broke his left femur and left wrist in the accident, ending his championship challenge and bid for a second consecutive Bathurst win.
REDRESS CALAMITY IN 2016
The decisive moment in the 2016 Bathurst 1000 saw Jamie Whincup, Scott McLaughlin and Garth Tander tangle in the late stages of the race on the exit of the Chase. Whincup and McLaughlin came together, with Whincup’s attempts to redress leading to McLaughlin and Tander making contact. With Whincup penalised, the win went to the Tekno Autosports entry of Will Davison and Jonathon Webb.
MCLAUGHLIN’S FLYING LAP IN 2017
Scott McLaughlin became the first driver to lap in the 2:03 bracket at Bathurst in 2017, emulating his hero Greg Murphy with his very own ‘Lap of the Gods’ Shootout effort. McLaughlin’s lap was a full three seconds faster than Murphy’s, setting a new benchmark time only bettered by Cameron Waters and Chaz Mostert in recent Shootouts.
EREBUS’ COMING OF AGE IN 2017
Erebus Motorsport stepped up and confirmed its rising status as a team with victory at Bathurst in 2017. David Reynolds and Luke Youlden claimed the win, following an engine failure for the polesitting DJR Team Penske Falcon of Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Prémat.
A CONTROVERSIAL WIN IN 2019
The Ford Mustang scored its first Bathurst win courtesy of DJR Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Prémat in controversial circumstances in 2019. Teammate Fabian Coulthard held up the pack during a late-race safety car, giving McLaughlin a buffer for his pitstop. The team was later fined and stripped of teams’ championship points for the team orders. Furthermore, McLaughlin was stripped of his pole position and the team fined for an engine irregularity.
MOSTERT’S RECORD-BREAKING LAP IN 2021
Chaz Mostert set a new qualifying lap record at Mount Panorama, a 2:03.3732, almost three-tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival in the Shootout in 2021. Mostert and co-driver Lee Holdsworth converted pole position into victory on race day.
HOLDEN’S WINNING FAREWELL IN 2022
The Holden and the Commodore raced at Bathurst for a final time in 2022. With the brand and car being retired and replaced by Chevrolet and the Camaro from 2023, it marked the end of an era for one of the pillars of the Great Race. Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander gave Holden a final win, its 36th in the Bathurst 500/1000.
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ORDER NOW! THE LEGEND OF BATHURST The Story of Australia’s Iconic Motor Race
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THE GREATEST RACE
What if we were to bring together some of the best and most intriguing combinations in the history of the Bathurst 500/1000 at Mount Panorama to form the greatest Bathurst grid of all-time? Featuring every winner in the history of the event plus drivers who narrowly missed out, other notables from Australia and overseas and more, in addition to an even split of Fords and Holdens plus other manufacturers. These are the rules we abided by to create the grid for what we call ‘The Greatest Race’: the combination must have teamed up in a Bathurst 500/1000 and a driver can only appear on this grid once, so no crossover between different combinations. The aim is to form the deepest grid in terms of combinations, driver talent, teams and machinery, with grid positions based on not only their results as a combination but also the potential for results on the partnership strength and career achievements. Sixty-four entrants have been included, equal to the largest grid recorded at Bathurst in 1984, to celebrate the talented drivers who have entertained us at Mount Panorama from 1963 to today. 64. TREVOR ASHBY & STEVE REED 1997 HOLDEN VS COMMODORE
The long-time Lansvale Smash Repairs entrants of Trevor Ashby and Steve Reed hold the record for the longest-running partnership at Bathurst with 16 consecutive starts from 1986 to 2001, a record unlikely to ever be matched. The regular combination scored a best of eighth place in 1997; a standout amongst the privateer entrants in the history of the Great Race.
63. TIMO MAKINEN & PADDY HOPKIRK 1965 MORRIS COOPER S
The rally winners were the first internationals to venture to Australia to compete in the Great Race at Mount Panorama in 1965. The Finn and Northern Irishman showed their class behind the wheel of the Mini Cooper S with sixth place in the third of the Mini entries, two laps off the winners. 24
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62. JOHNNY RUTHERFORD & JANET GUTHRIE 1977 HOLDEN LX TORANA SS A9X
An all-American all-star combination that drove the second Ron Hodgson Motors Torana in 1977. Johnny Rutherford was then a two-times Indy 500 winner, while Janet Guthrie had a few months earlier become the first woman to qualify for the Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
61. DEREK BELL & DIETER QUESTER 1978 HOLDEN LX TORANA SS A9X
Multiple Le Mans and Daytona 24 Hour winner Derek Bell, considered one of the greatest ever endurance drivers, also made a number of starts at Bathurst. He formed a strong combination with fellow sportscar legend Dieter Quester in a Ron Hodgson Motors-entered Torana in 1978.
60. RICHARD LYONS & ALLAN SIMONSEN 2007 FORD BF FALCON
The international duo both enjoyed success in Australia and proved Europeans could get a handle on a V8-powered Supercar. They teamed up in 2007 and took fifth place in the second Triple Eight Race Engineering Falcon, leading to regular call ups as endurance drivers across leading teams.
59. DOUG CHIVAS & MAX STEWART 1967 ALFA ROMEO 1600 GTV
Doug Chivas is best remembered for his stint as co-driver to Peter Brock in the 1970s but qualifies for this grid as part of Alec Mildren’s Alfa Romeo squad alongside accomplished open-wheeler Max Stewart, with the pair scoring an outright podium and class victory in 1967.
58. MURRAY CARTER & GRAEME LAWRENCE 1978 FORD XC FALCON GS500
Murray Carter was a championship regular for more than a decade and former series runner-up who developed a strong bond over a
number of years teaming with Kiwi open-wheeler Graeme Lawrence. The duo finished in third from 31st on the grid in their XC Falcon in 1978.
57. ALAIN MENU & JASON PLATO 1997 RENAULT LAGUNA
The British Touring Car Championship teammates were amongst the quickest entries in the 1997 Super Touring Bathurst event in their Williams-prepared Renault Laguna. Alain Menu had claimed the British Touring Car Championship that year with Jason Plato third, landing a front row start at Bathurst before a mechanical issue in the race.
56. JOHN CLELAND & DEREK WARWICK 1998 VAUXHALL VECTRA
Another set of British Touring Car Championship teammates who ventured to Bathurst for the Super Touring race. Bathurst regular John Cleland, who had won two British titles and was Vauxhall’s leading driver, was joined by former Formula 1 driver Derek Warwick with the combo finishing in fifth place in 1998.
55. MARK LARKHAM & WILL POWER 2002 FORD AU FALCON
Bathurst polesitter Mark Larkham was a consistent performer at Mount Panorama, introducing young talent into the series through his own team, including future IndyCar series champion and Indy 500 winner Will Power in 2002. That year Power won the Formula Holden Australian drivers’ championship.
54. MARK GIBBS & ROHAN ONSLOW 1991 NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R R32
The Sandown 500-winning combination of Mark Gibbs and Rohan Onslow backed that victory up with a third in their GIO-backed Nissan Skyline GT-R at Bathurst in 1991, demonstrating their endurance pedigree in a car that was ahead of the competition at the time. SUPERCAR XTRA
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53. MATTIAS EKSTRÖM & ANDY PRIAULX 2013 HOLDEN VF COMMODORE
48. JOHNNY CECOTTO & ROBERTO RAVAGLIA 1985 BMW 635 CSI
52. DOUG WHITEFORD & JOHN ROXBURGH 1968 DATSUN 1600
47. WAYNE GARDNER & NEIL CROMPTON 1995 HOLDEN VR COMMODORE
The international touring car greats who together have multiple championships across the globe proved to be a dynamite wildcard combination at Bathurst in 2013, finishing in the top 10 in Triple Eight’s third entry despite limited experience at the track and in the car.
Regular co-drivers in the factory-supported Datsun Racing Team in the event’s early years, this combination won their class in 1967 and 1968. John Roxburgh also claimed the original Armstrong 500 at Phillip Island in 1960, while Doug Whiteford won three Australian Grands Prix.
One of the most talented international combinations to ever race at Mount Panorama scored second in 1985, the only threat to the Jaguars that year. Roberto Ravaglia would claim world, European, German and Italian touring car titles, while Johnny Cecotto raced in grands prix on two and four wheels.
The Coca-Cola-backed pair of former grand prix motorcycle world champion Wayne Gardner and the ever-reliable Neil Crompton were teammates for three seasons in Gardner’s own team, a spell highlighted by third at Bathurst in 1995.
51. JACK BRABHAM & STIRLING MOSS 1976 HOLDEN LH TORANA SL/R 5000 L34
The motorsport legends were long-time rivals in Formula 1 who came out of retirement to team up in a privateer Torana in 1976. Though a start-line stall curtailed their race, which ended with a broken valve, it is one of the most impressive combos in Bathurst history.
50. ALAN JONES & DENNY HULME 1990 FORD SIERRA RS500
This is the only Formula 1 world championship-winning duo to ever combine at Bathurst, remembering Stirling Moss never won a title like Bathurst partner Jack Brabham. Both Kiwi Denny Hulme and Aussie Alan Jones were also handy touring-car drivers who were always quick at Mount Panorama, with the former tragically losing his life in the 1992 race.
49. STEVE SOPER & PIERRE DIEUDONNÉ 1987 FORD SIERRA RS500
The would-be winners of the 1987 event, disqualified for illegal wheelarch modifications to their Sierra after the race. Both were accomplished touring and sportscar drivers who racked up multiple titles, though were forced to accept the loss of the Bathurst win.
46. JAMES COURTNEY & DAVID BESNARD 2007 FORD BF FALCON
Two drivers who came very close to winning the Great Race when teamed together, taking second and third in two strong outings for Stone Brothers Racing in 2007 and 2008. James Courtney would go on to win the championship in 2010, while it was near misses at Bathurst for David Besnard.
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45. PETER JANSON & GARRY ROGERS 1984 HOLDEN VH COMMODORE
41. PAUL DUMBRELL & LEANNE FERRIER 2001 HOLDEN VX COMMODORE
44. JASON RICHARDS & CAMERON MCCONVILLE 2009 HOLDEN VE COMMODORE
40. NICK PERCAT & OLIVER GAVIN 2014 HOLDEN VF COMMODORE
Two great extroverted personalities of Australian touring cars and Bathurst regulars, who on their day could surprise more fancied rivals. Peter Janson and Garry Rogers teamed up in 1984, driving an entry backed by Cadbury Schweppes with a livery that befitted their personalities.
Jason Richards and Cameron McConville always seemed to find extra speed at Mount Panorama but, while coming close, never made that breakthrough to win. They have a combined total of nine Bathurst podiums, sharing an entry and scoring a third place with Brad Jones Racing in 2009 in what would be Richards’ penultimate Bathurst start before his tragic cancer diagnosis.
43. BRAD JONES & FRANK BIELA 1997 AUDI A4 QUATTRO
Audi specialists Brad Jones and Frank Biela won the Australian and British Super Touring titles in the A4 Quattro for the German manufacturer in 1996 and teamed up at Bathurst to finish in second in the Super Touring event in 1997, one of multiple runner-up spots for Jones.
42. BRIAN SAMPSON & BILL O’BRIEN 1990 HOLDEN VL COMMODORE SS SV
Brian Sampson won Bathurst alongside Peter Brock, in a career that spanned four decades. He and Bill O’Brien were regular co-drivers over the 1980s, making their final start together in 1990 with a best of eighth place in a Commodore.
These two graduates from the Garry Rogers Motorsport finishing school were at the beginning of their careers when they combined. Paul Dumbrell would go on to win Bathurst with Jamie Whincup in 2012, while Ferrier is one of Australia’s most successful female racers.
Nick Percat won Bathurst as a rookie as co-driver to Garth Tander at the Holden Racing Team in 2011. He returned to the Bathurst podium three years later alongside Britain’s Oliver Gavin at Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport in 2014, the latter one of the best credentialed international sportscar drivers.
39. JOHN FAULKNER & TODD KELLY 1998 HOLDEN VS COMMODORE
John Faulkner was one of the most consistent privateers in the early years of the V8 era, who regularly mixed it with the factorybacked entries. He was joined by future Bathurst winner Todd Kelly in 1998 (winner in 2005 with Mark Skaife), with the duo taking it to more fancied opponents with fifth in qualifying.
38. DAVID MCKAY & GEORGE REYNOLDS 1967 AUDI SUPER 90
David McKay was the first winner of the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1960, also scoring podiums in both the Phillip Island and Bathurst 500s. George Reynolds was the winner at Bathurst alongside Bob Jane in 1964. McKay and Reynolds codrove together in an Audi in 1967. SUPERCAR XTRA
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37. FRANK GARDNER & JOHN FRENCH 1968 ALFA ROMEO 1750 GTV
Former Formula 1 driver and British touring car champion Frank Gardner made a number of Bathurst starts before turning his attention to team management. He was joined in 1968 by John French, who would be best remembered as Dick Johnson’s winning co-driver of 1981.
36. JASON BRIGHT & CRAIG BAIRD 1999 FORD AU FALCON
Craig Baird lost victory in the Super Touring Bathurst 1000 in 1997, stripped of the win for exceeding the maximum driving time. A year later, Jason Bright took victory in the V8 version of Bathurst in 1998. They teamed up for Stone Brothers Racing in 1999.
35. PAUL MORRIS & JOACHIM WINKELHOCK 1993 BMW M3
The BMW specialists scored a top 15 in an M3 in 1993 and won multiple titles for the manufacturer. Paul Morris was at his best in the BMWs of this era, winning Bathurst in his final attempt alongside Chaz Mostert in 2003, while German Joachim Winkelhock won the British Touring Car Championship for the make in the same year he joined Morris at Bathurst.
34. JASON BARGWANNA & MAX WILSON 2007 FORD BF FALCON
Jason Bargwanna had won the Great Race for Garry Rogers Motorsport with Garth Tander in 2000. Bargwanna and partner Max Wilson scored a seventh place in a Falcon in 2007.
29. PETER MCLEOD & GRAEME BAILEY 1983 MAZDA RX-7
Peter McLeod emerged as a contender with his own Mazda RX-7 in the early 1980s, going on to win Bathurst as part of Peter Brock’s winning entry at the Holden Dealer Team in 1987. McLeod and Graeme Bailey, who won alongside Allan Grice in the Chickadee entry in 1986, teamed up in an RX-7 in 1983, finishing in fifth place.
28. GREGG HANSFORD & KLAUS NIEDZWIEDZ 1992 FORD SIERRA RS500
This combo and team boss Allan Moffat looked set for victory in 1988 before suffering a blown gasket. In 1992 Gregg Hansford and Klaus Niedzwiedz teamed up without Moffat, who is cross-entered elsewhere on this grid. Hansford won alongside Larry Perkins in 1993, while Niedzwiedz was one of the fastest internationals ever at Bathurst.
27. JOHN HARVEY & VERN SCHUPPAN 1981 HOLDEN VC COMMODORE
John Harvey was the Holden Dealer Team’s reliable number two for a decade and a part of the winning entry in 1983. He was joined in 1981 by former Formula 1 and IndyCar driver and Le Mans winner Vern Schuppan, forming a strong combination of endurance guns. They qualified strongly in the top 10, though failed to finish the race.
33. NORM BEECHEY & JIM MCKEOWN 1971 CHRYSLER VH VALIANT CHARGER
The championship winner in 1965 and 1970, Norm Beechey never added a Bathurst win to his title successes. He and teammate/ runner-up in 1970 Jim McKeown were a pairing to watch in their Valiant Charger in 1971, finishing sixth in their class.
32. MARCOS AMBROSE & WARREN LUFF 2005 FORD BA FALCON
Marcos Ambrose won two championships but missed out on a Bathurst victory, most notably in 2005 after a crash with Greg Murphy late in the race. His co-driver that day was Warren Luff, who has six Bathurst podiums without a win.
31. ARMIN HAHNE & ROBBIE FRANCEVIC 1988 FORD SIERRA RS500
The 1985 Bathurst-winning co-driver Armin Hahne and 1986 championship-winning Robbie Francevic, both stars in the early years of the Group A era, made for a strong combination in the Mark Petch-prepared Ford Sierra RS500 in 1988, even though they didn’t get a result after qualifying just outside the top 10.
30. RICKARD RYDELL & PAUL RADISICH 2003 FORD BA FALCON
Two talented and successful Super Touring drivers who did battle in Britain also proved very quick in a V8 Supercar and enjoyed success in Australia, combining at Briggs Motor Sport just after the team had been bought out by Triple Eight Race Engineering. Rickard Rydell won the Super Touring Bathurst 1000 with Volvo in 1998, while Radisich had some near misses at Mount Panorama with Dick Johnson Racing. 28
26. DAVID REYNOLDS & LUKE YOULDEN 2017 HOLDEN VF COMMODORE
After scoring a Bathurst podium each, David Reynolds and Luke Youlden came together and won for Erebus Motorsport in 2017. They were also in contention in 2018, racing together for four Bathursts across two teams.
25. BRUCE MCPHEE & BARRY MULHOLLAND 1968 HOLDEN HK MONARO GTS327
Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland in the Wyong Motorsentered Holden Monaro upstaged the factory-backed Ford and Holdens to win in 1968. Uniquely, co-driver Mulholland completed just one of the 130 laps in order to fulfill the two-driver requirement.
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24. BOB HOLDEN & RAUNO AALTONEN 1966 MORRIS COOPER S
The winners of the 1966 Bathurst 500 in the BMC Australiaentered Morris Cooper S. Bob Holden would become an Australian touring car regular in a career spanning four decades, while Aaltonen was one of the original flying Finns of rallying and the first international winner of the race.
23. BARRY SETON & MIDGE BOSWORTH 1965 FORD CORTINA MK.I GT500
Barry ‘Bo’ Seton would become a veteran of Mount Panorama, winning at his third attempt at the race in a Cortina alongside 24-year-old Midge Bosworth, who would hold the record of youngest winner of the event until Craig Lowndes’ victory in 1996.
22. GEORGE FURY & FRED GIBSON 1982 NISSAN BLUEBIRD
Nissan regular George Fury was charged with the manufacturer’s assault on Australian touring cars with the Bluebird in the final years of Group C alongside 1967 Bathurst race-winner Fred Gibson. They qualified in the top 10 in 1982, a breakout Bathurst result for the turbo-charged car.
21. DAVID BRABHAM & GEOFF BRABHAM 1997 BMW 320I
The Brabham brothers ensured the family’s legacy included a Bathurst title following their win in the Super Touring event in 1997. They were the only brothers to win together in the history of the Great Race, confirming their versatility across multiple cars and disciplines.
20. GLENN SETON & DAVID PARSONS 1995 FORD EF FALCON
The combination that should have won in 1995 but was robbed by an engine failure with nine laps to go. David ‘Skippy’ Parsons was a Bathurst regular for some of the biggest teams for more than a
decade; part of the Holden Dealer Team’s winning entry in 1987. Seton is considered the unluckiest driver at Bathurst, narrowly missing out on adding a Great Race title to his two championship wins.
19. CAMERON WATERS & WILL DAVISON 2020 FORD MUSTANG
Will Davison has won Bathurst twice with the Holden Racing Team in 2009 and Tekno Autosports in 2016. In 2020 he teamed with Cameron Waters, with the duo finishing in second place. It was one of three consecutive Bathurst podiums for Waters.
18. COLIN BOND & TONY ROBERTS 1969 HOLDEN HT MONARO GTS350
Colin Bond won Bathurst in his first year with the Holden Dealer Team in 1969, a successful start to an eight-year stint that included touring car and rally championship wins. He was joined at Mount Panorama by fellow racer and rally driver, Tony Roberts.
17. BOB MORRIS & JOHN FITZPATRICK 1976 HOLDEN LH TORANA SL/R 5000 L34
Bob Morris was a star of Australian touring cars in the 1970s, taking it to the factory-backed entries in his privateer Ron Hodgson Motors entry. Before he won the championship he scored victory at Bathurst alongside former British touring car champion, John Fitzpatrick.
16. CHAZ MOSTERT & LEE HOLDSWORTH 2021 HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE
Chaz Mostert won a dramatic Bathurst with Ford Performance Racing in 2014, coming from the rear of the grid and taking the lead on the final lap of the race. His win in 2021 was far more conventional, winning from pole position alongside Lee Holdsworth for Walkinshaw Andretti United. After setting a record-breaking lap in the Shootout, the duo overcome an early-race puncture to claim victory.
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15. TONY LONGHURST & TOMAS MEZERA 1988 FORD SIERRA RS500
Tony Longhurst and Tomas Mezera scored the first win for the Sierra RS500 and a turbo-charged car at Bathurst in 1988. Longhurst went on to become the second driver in the history of the Great Race to win for Ford and Holden (after Steven Richards) with success with the Holden Racing Team in 2001, while for Czech-born Mezera the 1988 win was the start of a long career in Australia.
14. SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN & ALEXANDRE PRÉMAT 2019 FORD MUSTANG
Scott McLaughlin scored his only Bathurst win in 2019, adding to the three championships he won in a row. He was joined by Alexandre Prémat in that winning Bathurst entry, with the New Zealander and Frenchman racing together five times for a win and two podiums.
10. ALLAN GRICE & WIN PERCY 1990 HOLDEN VL COMMODORE SS SV
Allan Grice scored a long-awaited Bathurst victory in 1986, beating more fancied factory-backed entries with a dominant performance in a privately-owned Chickadee Commodore entry. It was the first of two Bathurst wins for Grice in a Commodore, teaming with multiple British touring car champion Win Percy to lead the Holden Racing Team to a maiden Great Race triumph in one of Holden’s best Bathurst wins.
9. MARK WINTERBOTTOM & STEVEN RICHARDS 2013 FORD FG FALCON
Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards had been teammates/ co-drivers for seven seasons at Ford Performance Racing before their triumph in 2013. The factory Ford pair could have won in their first attempt as co-drivers in 2007, leading the race from pole position only for Winterbottom to skate off in damp conditions at the Chase late in the race. After years of close calls and competitive runs, Winterbottom and Richards broke through with victory in 2013, holding off Jamie Whincup in a thrilling final lap battle. It was Winterbottom’s first, while Richards went on to claim five Bathurst wins.
13. SHANE VAN GISBERGEN & JONATHON WEBB 2014 HOLDEN VF COMMODORE
Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb came agonisingly close to winning at Bathurst in 2014, leading in the late stages until the starter motor failed following a stall at their final pitstop. The team and Webb made amends with victory with Will Davison two years later in 2016, while van Gisbergen won two Bathursts with Triple Eight Race Engineering between 2020 and 2022.
12. IAN GEOGHEGAN & LEO GEOGHEGAN 1967 FORD XR FALCON GT
The Geoghegan brothers were stars of Australian motorsport in the 1960s and regularly teamed up in that era. While Ian Geoghegan would eventually win a Bathurst title with Allan Moffat in 1973, he and Leo Geoghegan were a strong combination that took second in 1967.
11. JOHN GOSS & KEVIN BARTLETT 1974 FORD XA FALCON GT
Two of Australia’s most talented open-wheeler stars whose speed also translated into touring cars. The duo was on course for the win from pole in 1973 until they tangled with lapped traffic. They made amends the following year in the same self-developed XA Falcon GT with the backing of the McLeod Ford dealership, surviving one of the wettest races at Mount Panorama to score the win. John Goss remains the only driver to have won the Bathurst 1000 and Australian Grand Prix, winning at Bathurst a second time in 1985, while Kevin Bartlett had already notched up Macau Grand Prix and Australian Drivers’ Championship titles. 30
8. GREG MURPHY & RICK KELLY 2003 HOLDEN VY COMMODORE
The Greg Murphy and Rick Kelly partnership is one of just four combinations to defend their Bathurst title, taking back-to-back victories in 2003 and 2004. The Kmart-backed Commodore entry proved unstoppable in those two years, defeating a competitive field with relative ease on both occasions. The 2003 win followed on from Murphy’s famed ‘Lap of the Gods’ Shootout qualifying effort, which ensured his place in Mount Panorama folklore and set up the win the following day. Kelly became a two-time winner at the age of 21 and grew as a driver under the tutelage of Murphy, who won four Bathurst 1000s in total.
7. BOB JANE & HARRY FIRTH 1963 FORD CORTINA MK.1 GT
The original endurance dream team who claimed back-to-back Armstrong 500 wins at Phillip Island in 1961 and 1962 before the race moved to Bathurst in 1963. Harry Firth’s factory Ford team entered a Ford Cortina Mk.I GT in 1963 and scored the first Bathurst 500 win by over a lap, completing the hat-trick of Armstrong 500 titles. It was a double success for Bob Jane, who also won the championship in 1963. Jane would go on to claim another win in 1964, while Firth won again in 1967 before leading the Holden Dealer Team.
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6. DICK JOHNSON & JOHN BOWE 1994 FORD EB FALCON
Dick Johnson and John Bowe remains one of the most successful partnerships in the history of Australian touring cars, both in the championship and at Bathurst. During an 11-year stint as teammates they won three titles and two Bathursts. Johnson and Bowe dominated the 1989 race following another championship success for Johnson, but it is the 1994 EB Falcon we have picked. Johnson called the car “the most perfect we ever had” at Bathurst. The duo fought off a stubborn resistance from rookie Craig Lowndes, claiming the Sandown/Bathurst double and launching Bowe’s championship charge in 1995.
5. ALLAN MOFFAT & JACKY ICKX 1977 FORD XC FALCON
Allan Moffat had won Bathurst solo two times before the race switched to 1000km in 1973 and he would link up with some of the greatest drivers from Australia and around the world. This included eight-times grand prix winner and multiple Le Mans 24
Hour victor Jacky Ickx, who competed at Bathurst for the first time alongside Moffat in 1977 and duly won on debut. The formation one-two Ford finish is the most iconic of Moffat’s four Bathurst wins. The presence of a driver who earlier in the year had claimed a fourth Le Mans win added to the mystique.
4. MARK SKAIFE & GARTH TANDER 2006 HOLDEN VZ COMMODORE
The Holden Racing Team greats may not have enjoyed much success together but combined they form a formidable combination – two multiple Bathurst victors, championship winners and factory Holden superstars. Mark Skaife and Garth Tander teamed up in 2006 and 2008 and started from pole position on both occasions. Skaife claimed pole in 2006 while Tander achieved the feat in 2008, though incidents in both races derailed their campaigns. Skaife won Bathurst six times, including three for the Holden Racing Team between 2001 and 2005, while Tander would go on to win five Bathursts, including two for the Holden Racing Team between 2009 and 2011. SUPERCAR XTRA
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3. LARRY PERKINS & RUSSELL INGALL 1995 HOLDEN VR COMMODORE
Larry Perkins had already won three Bathursts on the trot with Peter Brock by the time he set on his own path with Perkins Engineering. He would add a further three wins, the most famous being the last-to-first comeback of 1995. Perkins teamed with Russell Ingall, who by that stage had returned home from a successful open-wheeler career that included a championship victory in British Formula Ford. Together they climbed through the field following a first-lap puncture to claim an unexpected win. The Perkins/ Ingall partnership added a second win in 1997 in a more controlled race from the front of the field.
2. CRAIG LOWNDES & JAMIE WHINCUP 2006 FORD BA FALCON
Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup first teamed up in 2006 and became one of three partnerships to claim three consecutive wins at Bathurst. The 2006 victory was an emotion-charged win for Lowndes, who broke a decade-long drought at Bathurst to hold off Rick Kelly in a close finish on the same weekend he farewelled mentor Peter Brock. The duo proved unstoppable in 2007 and 2008, completing the hat-trick at a time when Whincup established himself as the driver to beat in the championship, winning a record number of titles. A second stint as co-drivers followed between 2019 and 2021, netting two fourth places. 32
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1. PETER BROCK & JIM RICHARDS 1979 HOLDEN LX TORANA SS A9X
The two most experienced and successful drivers in the history of the Great Race were the first combination to claim a hat-trick of wins in a dominant spell from 1978 to 1980. Peter Brock had already won two Bathursts by the time the Holden Dealer Team hired Jim Richards on its lead driver’s advice; the New Zealander having impressed at his debut at a wet Mount Panorama in 1974. The 1979 victory remains the most famous of their hat-trick. It was more of a demonstration than a race with the entry claiming pole position, leading every lap and winning by six laps, with Brock setting the fastest lap and new record on the final lap of the race. Their third win in 1980 took Brock to the top of the all-timewins list, a position where he remains with Richards right behind. Together they have 16 wins (Brock nine and Richards seven), 24 podiums (12 each) and 67 starts (Richards 35 and Brock 32). They are the undoubted greatest combination in the history of the Great Race at Bathurst.
THE ALTERNATE SUPER GRID
The make up of the grid was defined by one key question: do we team Peter Brock with Jim Richards or Larry Perkins? Both pairs won three on the trot, though we decided on Brock/Richards for a few reasons: together they have the biggest total of Bathurst wins (16); the Richards spell was during Brock’s championship peak (two titles in 1978 and 1980); and the winning margin of the 1979 triumph. Had Brock been teamed with Perkins in the famed 1984 Holden VK Commodore, it would have changed the line-up of the top 10. Richards would be free to pair with Mark Skaife in the dominant Nissan Skyline GT-R, in the entry that won back-to-back in 1991 and 1992 (the duo also recorded a third win together in 2002). Russell Ingall could then team with Stone Brothers Racing teammate Marcos Ambrose in the Ford BA Falcon in which they drove together in Ambrose’s first championship year in 2003. Tander would also need a new co-driver and could team with his recent two-time winning co-driver, Shane van Gisbergen. For more alternate combinations, flick over to page 36.
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THE GREATEST RACE GRID
MANUFACTURERS Ford Holden BMW Alfa Romeo Audi Morris Nissan Chrysler Datsun Mazda Renault Vauxhall
NATIONALITIES Australia New Zealand England Germany Belgium Finland Sweden USA Austria Brazil Canada Czechoslovakia Denmark France Italy Northern Ireland Scotland Switzerland Venezuela
24 24 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15
82 13 10 4 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63
Peter Brock & Jim Richards 1979 Holden LX Torana SS A9X Larry Perkins & Russell Ingall 1995 Holden VR Commodore Allan Moffat & Jacky Ickx 1977 Ford XC Falcon Bob Jane & Harry Firth 1963 Ford Cortina MkI GT Mark Winterbottom & Steven Richards 2013 Ford FG Falcon John Goss & Kevin Bartlett 1974 Ford XA Falcon GT Shane van Gisbergen & Jonathon Webb 2014 Holden VF Commodore Tony Longhurst & Tomas Mezera 1988 Ford Sierra RS500 Bob Morris & John Fitzpatrick 1976 Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 Cameron Waters & Will Davison 2020 Ford Mustang David Brabham & Geoff Brabham 1997 BMW 320i Barry Seton & Midge Bosworth 1965 Ford Cortina Mk.I GT500 Bruce McPhee & Barry Mulholland 1968 Holden HK Monaro GTS327 John Harvey & Vern Schuppan 1981 Holden VC Commodore Peter McLeod & Graeme Bailey 1983 Mazda RX-7 Armin Hahne & Robbie Francevic 1988 Ford Sierra RS500 Norm Beechey & Jim McKeown 1971 Chrysler VH Valiant Charger Paul Morris & Joachim Winkelhock 1993 BMW M3 Frank Gardner & John French 1968 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV John Faulkner & Todd Kelly 1998 Holden VS Commodore Paul Dumbrell & Leanne Ferrier 2001 Holden VX Commodore Brad Jones & Frank Biela 1997 Audi A4 Quattro Peter Janson & Garry Rogers 1984 Holden VH Commodore Wayne Gardner & Neil Crompton 1995 Holden VR Commodore Steve Soper & Pierre Dieudonné 1987 Ford Sierra RS500 Jack Brabham & Stirling Moss 1976 Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 Mattias Ekström & Andy Priaulx 2013 Holden VF Commodore Mark Larkham & Will Power 2002 Ford AU Falcon Alain Menu & Jason Plato 1997 Renault Laguna Doug Chivas & Max Stewart 1967 Alfa Romeo 1600 GTV Derek Bell & Dieter Quester 1978 Holden LX Torana SS A9X Timo Makinen & Paddy Hopkirk 1965 Morris Cooper S
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62 64
Craig Lowndes & Jamie Whincup 2006 Ford BA Falcon Mark Skaife & Garth Tander 2006 Holden VZ Commodore Dick Johnson & John Bowe 1994 Ford EB Falcon Greg Murphy & Rick Kelly 2003 Holden VY Commodore Allan Grice & Win Percy 1990 Holden VL Commodore SS SV Ian Geoghegan & Leo Geoghegan 1967 Ford XR Falcon GT Scott McLaughlin & Alexandre Prémat 2019 Ford Mustang Chaz Mostert & Lee Holdsworth 2021 Holden ZB Commodore Colin Bond & Tony Roberts 1969 Holden HT Monaro GTS350 Glenn Seton & David Parsons 1995 Ford EF Falcon George Fury & Fred Gibson 1982 Nissan Bluebird Bob Holden & Rauno Aaltonen 1966 Morris Cooper S David Reynolds & Luke Youlden 2017 Holden VF Commodore Gregg Hansford & Klaus Niedzwiedz 1992 Ford Sierra RS500 Rickard Rydell & Paul Radisich 2003 Ford BA Falcon Marcos Ambrose & Warren Luff 2005 Ford BA Falcon Jason Bargwanna & Max Wilson 2007 Ford BF Falcon Jason Bright & Craig Baird 1999 Ford AU Falcon David McKay & George Reynolds 1967 Audi Super 90 Nick Percat & Oliver Gavin 2014 Holden VF Commodore Brian Sampson & Bill O’Brien 1990 Holden VL Commodore SS SV Jason Richards & Cameron McConville 2009 Holden VE Commodore James Courtney & David Besnard 2007 Ford BF Falcon Johnny Cecotto & Roberto Ravaglia 1985 BMW 635 CSi Alan Jones & Denny Hulme 1990 Ford Sierra RS500 Doug Whiteford & John Roxburgh 1968 Datsun 1600 Mark Gibbs & Rohan Onslow 1991 Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 John Cleland & Derek Warwick 1998 Vauxhall Vectra Murray Carter & Graeme Lawrence 1978 Ford XC Falcon GS500 Richard Lyons & Allan Simonsen 2007 Ford BF Falcon Johnny Rutherford & Janet Guthrie 1977 Holden LX Torana SS A9X Trevor Ashby & Steve Reed 1997 Holden VS Commodore
CARS Commodore Falcon Sierra Torana Monaro Mustang Cortina Mini 320i 635 CSi 1600 1600 GTV 1750 GTV Bluebird Charger Laguna M3 Quattro RX-7 Skyline Super 90 Vectra
17 15 5 5 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
DECADES 1963-1972 1973-1982 1983-1992 1993-2002 2003-2012 2013-2022
12 10 11 14 9 8
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IMAGES Autopics.com.au, Supercars, Justin Deeley, Peter Norton, Holden Motorsport
The ‘Greatest Race’ grid couldn’t accommodate all of the best and most notable combinations in Bathurst history. So these are the partnerships that didn’t make it but still deserve recognition in the history of the event, including winning combinations, partners of pedigree and family connections. SHANE VAN GISBERGEN & GARTH TANDER 2020, 2022
The recent dominators at Bathurst scored three podiums and two wins over the last four years, splitting in 2023 with Garth Tander’s move to Grove Racing.
BOB JANE & GEORGE REYNOLDS 1964
When the Bob Jane and Harry Firth dream team that had dominated the event split within the factory Ford team, George Reynolds joined Jane to claim the outright victory in 1964.
HARRY FIRTH & FRED GIBSON 1967
Timing and scoring confusion couldn’t stop Harry Firth from claiming another Bathurst win and Fred Gibson’s first in 1967. They went on to become two of the greatest team managers.
ALLAN MOFFAT & IAN GEOGHEGAN 1973
A powerhouse combination of champions who combined to win the first 1000km Great Race and Ian Geoghegan’s long-awaited Bathurst title.
PETER BROCK & LARRY PERKINS 1982, 1983, 1984
A hat-trick of wins from 1982 to 1984 cemented Peter Brock’s legendary status and propelled Larry Perkins to further success with his own team.
JIM RICHARDS & MARK SKAIFE 1991, 1992, 2002
PETER BROCK & BRIAN SAMPSON 1975
This partnership was on course for a comfortable victory in 1974 before engine problems. They made amends in 1975 for Peter Brock’s second win, which was his only one outside of the Holden Dealer Team.
DICK JOHNSON & JOHN FRENCH 1981 Another duo that won three times together, back-to-to-back with Probable winners in 1980 had it not been for the tangle with a rock, the dominant Nissan Skyline in 1991 and 1992 and with the Holden Racing Team in 2002.
the pair took a popular victory in 1981 with John French making the decisive pass for the lead pre-red flag.
CRAIG LOWNDES & STEVEN RICHARDS 2015, 2018
JOHN GOSS & ARMIN HAHNE 1985
The multiple-time winners combined over a five-year stint at Triple Eight Race Engineering, winning twice in 2015 and 2018 in the twilight years of their careers. 36
John Goss’ second Bathurst win came alongside German Spa 24 Hours winner Armin Hahne, in the Tom Walkinshaw Racing-run Jaguar XJ-S dominator.
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Holden Racing Team and a Holden win for Longhurst following his victory with Ford in 1988.
MARK SKAIFE & TODD KELLY 2005
A mix of youth and experience claimed the win in 2005. Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly had been teammates for three seasons by this stage.
ALLAN GRICE & GRAEME BAILEY 1986
Allan Grice scored a long-awaited win in the privateer Chickadeebacked entry alongside Bailey.
PETER BROCK & DAVID PARSONS/PETER MCLEOD 1987
Peter Brock and co-driver David Parsons took over the #10 sister car entered for Peter McLeod and Jon Crooke following the early demise of #05. It was Brock’s final win.
LARRY PERKINS & GREGG HANSFORD 1993
GARTH TANDER & WILL DAVISON 2009
Another strong partnership from the Holden Racing Team that blended the experience of a lead driver with an up-and-coming partner to win in a strong season for the factory Holden duo.
CRAIG LOWNDES & MARK SKAIFE 2010
A dynamite combo of multiple Bathurst and championship winners that was in contention in 1998 and 2000 for the Holden Racing Team and got the job done at Triple Eight in 2010.
GARTH TANDER & NICK PERCAT 2011
Larry Perkins’ first win with his own team also marked a breakthrough for former motorbike racer Gregg Hansford, who had also won major bikes races at Bathurst.
The mentor and protégé Holden Racing Team partnership saw Garth Tander guide Nick Percat for the role of co-driver through the team’s Super2 Series entry. They would go on to claim the win in Percat’s first Bathurst campaign.
CRAIG LOWNDES & GREG MURPHY 1996
JAMIE WHINCUP & PAUL DUMBRELL 2012
The Holden Racing Team young guns upstaged the established stars for their first wins in a dominant performance that defied their lack of experience.
Close friends Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell combined to win in 2012. It was Whincup’s first success at Bathurst apart from Craig Lowndes and the crowning glory of Dumbrell’s career.
JASON BRIGHT & STEVEN RICHARDS 1998
Jason Bright and Steven Richards overcame a practice crash and lowly qualifying position to win in 1998, the first and only Bathurst triumph for Stone Brothers Racing.
GREG MURPHY & STEVEN RICHARDS 1999
History was made when Steven Richards became the first driver to win Bathurst in a Ford and Holden in 1999, doing so in consecutive years.
JIM RICHARDS & RICKARD RYDELL 1998
Jim Richards once again showed his versatility with victory in the Super Touring Great Race alongside Volvo specialist and British touring-car champ, Rickard Rydell.
GARTH TANDER & JASON BARGWANNA 2000
CHAZ MOSTERT & PAUL MORRIS 2014
The Garry Rogers Motorsport duo scored a popular win on a damp day at Mount Panorama, the first of Tander’s multiple wins.
Chaz Mostert took the lead on the final lap of a dramatic race in 2014, fighting from the rear of the grid. It was Mostert’s first win and a long-awaited Bathurst success for Paul Morris.
MARK SKAIFE & TONY LONGHURST 2001
WILL DAVISON & JONATHON WEBB 2016
The Holden Racing Team duo took the honours in 2001, in what proved to be justice for Tony Longhurst after a close call in 2000. It was also Mark Skaife’s first Bathurst win for the
Team owner Jonathon Webb and lead driver Will Davison combined for the win in 2016, following late-race drama for the leading contenders. SUPERCAR XTRA
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PARTNERS OF PEDIGREE
Some other combinations that didn’t win together but either came close or deserve a mention. PETER BROCK & ALLAN MOFFAT 1986
The former foes teamed up in an unexpected union in 1986, though the dream team’s campaign was derailed by a practice crash with Allan Moffat behind the wheel. It was Moffat only Bathurst start in a Holden.
KLAUS NIEDZWIEDZ & KLAUS LUDWIG 1987
The German duo claimed pole and finished second before their Eggenberger team was disqualified. Nevertheless, they were two very quick internationals.
PETER BROCK & BOB MORRIS 1970
GLENN SETON & JOHN BOWE 1987
The Holden Dealer Team’s youthful combination of Peter Brock and Bob Morris would go on to become foes and enjoy great success.
A strong team of future champions that impressed in wet conditions in the star-studded 1987 race, with Glenn Seton’s sideways antics a highlight.
BOB JANE & IAN GEOGHEGAN 1977
GLENN SETON & ALAN JONES 1992, 1993
JOHN GOSS & HENRI PESCAROLO 1977, 1978, 1979
PAUL MORRIS & CRAIG BAIRD 1997
A powerful combination of multiple championship winners that teamed up for 1977 in Bob Jane’s own entry in the twilight of their respective careers.
Multiple Le Mans winner Henri Pescarolo joined Bathurst winner John Goss for three campaigns to form a strong team that was beset by reliability issues.
KEVIN BARTLETT & COLIN BOND 1982
Former winner Colin Bond joined Kevin Bartlett for what would be the Channel Nine-backed Chevrolet Camaro’s swansong, with a wheel-rim failure ending its campaign.
JIM RICHARDS & TONY LONGHURST 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987
Jim Richards and Tony Longhurst formed a strong combination of youth and experience in the JPS-backed BMW over multiple years.
DICK JOHNSON & LARRY PERKINS 1985
Two Bathurst greats combined when Larry Perkins defected from the Holden Dealer Team to partner Dick Johnson for a brief spell. 38
The teammates dominated the 1993 season with a one-two in the championship, though there was more heartache at Bathurst for both drivers.
The would-be winners of the 1997 race had Craig Baird not breached the rule limiting one driver to a max of three hours’ continuous driving. Morris would eventually win Bathurst with Chaz Mostert in 2014.
MARK SKAIFE & PETER BROCK 1997
The all-time greats were co-drivers as Mark Skaife geared up to replace the retiring Peter Brock at the Holden Racing Team, taking pole and looking on course for a popular win before engine problems.
RUSSELL INGALL & GREG MURPHY 1998
The Holden winners combined in a Vauxhall Vectra (badged as a Holden) in the 1998 Super Touring Bathurst 1000, impressively setting the fastest qualifying time amongst two-litre experts. Though they were teammates at Paul Morris Motorsport in 2010, they didn’t co-drive together at Bathurst.
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JOHN BOWE & JIM RICHARDS 1999, 2000
The multiple winners joined forces in a two-year spell in the Caterpillar-backed Ford AU Falcon, though the experienced combo was plagued by poor reliability.
GREG MURPHY & MARK SKAIFE 2009
The Holden legends teamed up at Tasman Motorsport in 2009, nearly scoring a win after a bold fuel strategy, having to settle for fourth place in their only race together.
BRAD JONES & JOHN CLELAND 2001
Brad Jones came closest to the long-awaited Bathurst win in 2001, when he and British champion John Cleland pushed the Holden Racing Team in the final stint.
GARTH TANDER & JAMIE WHINCUP 2003
Garth Tander was joined by Garry Rogers Motorsport rookie teammate Jamie Whincup in 2003, though few could have predicted the impact Whincup would have later on in his career.
MARCOS AMBROSE & RUSSELL INGALL 2003
The Stone Brothers Racing championship winners were normally split at the endurance races due to sponsor clashes but teamed up in 2003 to take sixth.
GREG MURPHY & ALLAN SIMONSEN 2010, 2011
Greg Murphy and Allan Simonsen scored pole position and a podium for Kelly Racing in 2011. Both drivers were known for record-breaking flying laps at Mount Panorama.
CRAIG LOWNDES & WARREN LUFF 2012, 2013
The driver with the record for most Bathurst podiums and the one with the equal most podiums without a win combined in 2012 and 2013, fittingly scoring two third places for Triple Eight Race Engineering.
CHAZ MOSTERT & CAMERON WATERS 2015
The current day contenders came together in 2015 with Cameron Waters on the brink of his full-time breakthrough, though they didn’t start at Bathurst following Chaz Mostert’s qualifying crash.
LEE HOLDSWORTH & SÉBASTIEN BOURDAIS 2015 CRAIG LOWNDES & GLENN SETON 2003, 2004
Glenn Seton came close to that elusive Bathurst breakthrough in his two-year spell with Craig Lowndes, finishing second in both 2003 and 2004 for the factory Ford team.
JASON RICHARDS & JAMIE WHINCUP 2005
Eventual Bathurst winner Lee Holdsworth teamed with multiple Champ Car championship winner Sébastien Bourdais at Team 18 in 2015, in the latter’s only Bathurst following race wins at the Gold Coast 600.
SHANE VAN GISBERGEN & ALEXANDRE PRÉMAT 2016
Jason Richards scored the first of three Bathurst second places with Jamie Whincup for Tasman Motorsport in 2005, in a performance that helped the latter land a seat at Triple Eight Race Engineering.
Shane van Gisbergen and Alexandre Prémat both scored their first Bathurst podium in 2016, before winning with other drivers in the coming years. Prémat is one of a number of internationalbased drivers who have raced with van Gisbergen, including Jeroen Bleekemolen, Matthew Campbell and Earl Bamber.
GARTH TANDER & RICK KELLY 2005, 2007
BROC FEENEY & JAMIE WHINCUP 2022, 2023
The HSV Dealer Team teammates each scored a championship in 2006 and 2007 but were unable to add Bathurst success for the factory Holden squad.
Broc Feeney replaced the retiring Jamie Whincup at Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2022, with the two generations coming together for Bathurst. They once again joined forces in 2023. SUPERCAR XTRA
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ALL IN THE FAMILY
The family combinations that made their mark in the Bathurst 500/1000 at Mount Panorama. Bathurst 12 Hours and shared a Toyota Corolla FX-GT in the Bathurst 1000 in 1992, winning their class.
JIM RICHARDS & STEVEN RICHARDS 1996, 1997, 2004
A year before father and son went head-to-head in the Super Touring event, they teamed up in V8s and claimed second place with Garry Rogers Motorsport.
DICK JOHNSON & STEVEN JOHNSON 1998, 1999
Father and son were co-drivers for two years in the unofficial handover of the #17 Dick Johnson Racing entry. They scored fourth place in Dick Johnson’s final Bathurst in 1999.
RICK KELLY & TODD KELLY 2006, 2009 PETER BROCK & PHIL BROCK 1976, 1977
The Brock brothers finished third and fourth in 1976 and 1977 respectively with their own Team Brock entry.
GEOFF BRABHAM & JACK BRABHAM 1977
Jack Brabham’s second Bathurst start saw him team with eldest son Geoff Brabham in 1977. Two decades later, Geoff and brother David Brabham won in a BMW in 1997.
GLENN SETON & BARRY SETON 1983
A young Glenn Seton joined his father for his Bathurst debut in 1983. It was the start of a long career that included championship success but no Great Race win.
NEAL BATES & RICK BATES 1991, 1992, 2003
The rally champs and twin brothers were no strangers to Bathurst, competing a number of times and teaming up through their Toyota association in 1991 and 1992.
JASON BARGWANNA & SCOTT BARGWANNA 1992
Cousins Jason and Scott Bargwanna competed in a number of 40
The brothers had both won Bathurst separately by the time they teamed up for the first time in 2006, when they pushed the Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup winning entry all the way to the finish.
WILL DAVISON & ALEX DAVISON 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023
The long-time Bathurst co-drivers have raced together across three teams – Erebus Motorsport, 23 Red Racing and now Dick Johnson Racing. The best result for the brothers together is fourth place.
AAREN RUSSELL & DREW RUSSELL 2015
Brothers Aaren Russell and Drew Russell were part of a wildcard entry for the family-run Novocastrian Motorsport team in 2015, following in the footsteps of father Wayne Russell in starting a Bathurst 1000.
BRODIE KOSTECKI & JAKE KOSTECKI 2019
Cousins Brodie Kostecki and Jake Kostecki were another family wildcard entry at Bathurst, teaming up for their first Great Race starts in a Kostecki Brothers Racing entry in 2019.
JAKE KOSTECKI & KURT KOSTECKI 2021, 2022
After partnering his cousin, Jake Kostecki joined forces with his brother Kurt Kostecki at Matt Stone Racing in 2021 and Tickford Racing in 2022.
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IMAGES Justin Deeley, Peter Norton
THE MASTERS OF BATHURST
Eleven drivers have won the Bathurst 500/1000 three times or more. This is how their racing records in the event match up, as we let numbers rank the greatest amongst the masters of Mount Panorama by taking their victories, podiums and top 10s, calculating them against their total starts and taking the average of those percentages to see how they compare. Unfair to compare eras, perhaps, but the unreliability of yesteryear is counter-balanced by the competitiveness and depth of the field today.
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11. DICK JOHNSON
One of Ford’s great Bathurst heroes, Dick Johnson cemented his status as a legend with his triumphant return to Mount Panorama following the heartbreak of crashing out of the lead after his encounter with a rock in 1980, winning the first of his three Bathursts in 1981. Despite suffering from Ford’s sporadic support throughout the 1980s and being forced to develop the Mustang and Sierra as alternatives to the Falcon, Johnson remained a threat during the decade, culminating in a championship-Bathurst double in the Sierra in 1989. Returning to the Falcon from 1993, Johnson won again with long-time co-driver John Bowe in 1994. Each Bathurst finish for Johnson was in the top 10, though the number of retirements and the span of his career hurts his percentages. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
3 from 26 6 from 26 12 from 26
11.53% 23.07% 46.15% 26.91%
10. GREG MURPHY
Greg Murphy established himself as a Bathurst great with his dominant performances in the Kmart-backed entry in 2003 and 2004, which included the ‘Lap of the Gods’ qualifying lap record in the Shootout in 2003 and back-to-back wins. The 2004 win was his fourth Bathurst win from 12 starts, with victory alongside Craig Lowndes in Murphy’s third Bathurst start in 1996 and a win with Steven Richards in 1999. Despite finding himself in uncompetitive machinery during the latter half of his career, Murphy scored further Bathurst podiums amongst some highprofile costly results such as a five-minute penalty in 2002 and a clash with Marcos Ambrose in 2005. He narrowly missed out on a top 10 in his final Bathurst race in 2022, finishing in 11th place in an Erebus Motorsport wildcard entry. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
4 from 23 8 from 23 11 from 23
17.39% 34.78% 47.82% 33.33%
9. GARTH TANDER
It took Garth Tander just three attempts to win the Bathurst 1000. Following a swift progression from Formula Ford into V8 Supercars with Garry Rogers Motorsport, Tander emerged as a championship contender and Bathurst winner in just three seasons, teaming with Jason Bargwanna to win a wet Great Race in 2000. After nine years without a win, Tander returned to the top of the Bathurst podium with victory alongside Will Davison in 2009 followed by another win with rookie Nick Percat in 2011. Moving into the role of endurance co-driver, Tander partnered Shane van Gisbergen to victories in 2020 and 2022. Retirements in the first half of his career hurt Tander’s averages, turning that around in more recent years with a string of podiums. With more wins, he just shades Greg Murphy. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
5 from 24 8 from 24 11 from 24
20.83% 33.33% 45.83% 33.33% SUPERCAR XTRA
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8. JIM RICHARDS
‘Gentleman Jim’ belongs higher on a list of Bathurst greats, having won the Great Race seven times over a 24-year period, though is hurt in this method of ranking the greats by the sheer span of his career with the record number of starts. Following a three-peat of wins as co-driver to Peter Brock from 1978 to 1980, Jim Richards became a lead driver and scored back-to-back wins with Mark Skaife for Nissan in 1991 and 1992. There were also wins in the Super Touring Bathurst with Volvo in 1998 and as codriver to Skaife in 2002. His longevity (record number of Bathurst starts) and speed in so many different types of machinery – top 10 Bathurst results for five different manufacturers (Holden, Ford, BMW, Nissan and Volvo) – would put Richards at the top of any Bathurst versatility list. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
7 from 35 12 from 35 20 from 35
20% 34.28% 57.14% 37.14%
7. ALLAN MOFFAT
Allan Moffat will remain the only driver to record multiple solo wins in the Great Race, when the event was contested over 500 miles before the switch to 1000 kilometres. With Ford he claimed four wins and its most famous Bathurst moment – the one-two formation finish of 1977 – cementing his place as a Bathurst legend. Though he didn’t add to his Bathurst winning tally in his stint with Mazda from 1982 to 1984, there were further podiums. Moffat’s Bathurst career was one of peaks and troughs, often as a result of the level of funding he had from Ford’s inconsistent level of support. This is typified by his record in the 1970s with four wins and five retirements. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
4 from 19 7 from 19 11 from 19
21.05% 36.84% 57.89% 38.59%
6. STEVEN RICHARDS
Steven Richards followed in the footsteps of father Jim Richards in becoming a Bathurst winner in 1998, a year after the father and son combined to finish the race in second place. Going backto-back in 1999, the second-generation racer was the first driver to win Bathurst for both Ford and Holden. Richards had to wait 14 years for his next Bathurst win in 2013, becoming one of the leading co-drivers first with Ford Performance Racing and then Triple Eight Race Engineering. It was with the latter that Richards won a further two Bathursts alongside Craig Lowndes in 2015 and 2018. His competitiveness across his full-time and co-driving career helps Richards just edge his father in terms of race result averages. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average 44
5 from 27 9 from 27 18 from 27
18.51% 33.33% 66.66% 39.5%
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5. JAMIE WHINCUP
Jamie Whincup scored a second place with Tasman Motorsport in his fourth start at Bathurst. After moving to Triple Eight Race Engineering, he teamed with Craig Lowndes and promptly won three Bathursts in a row between 2006 and 2008. But despite a dominant championship run, which saw him claim a recordbreaking seven titles, Bathurst success proved more difficult. A fourth Bathurst win followed in 2012, however despite being the championship frontrunner, it was his most recent success in the event. Whincup’s most recent podium at Bathurst was a decade ago in 2013. Running out of fuel and losing the lead on the final lap of the race in 2014 highlighted Whincup’s run of misfortune at Bathurst, impacting on his race-result averages. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
4 from 21 7 from 21 14 from 21
19.04% 33.33% 66.66% 39.67%
4. MARK SKAIFE
Mark Skaife’s Bathurst career can be divided into two chapters: his factory Nissan and Holden stints. In both periods he walked away with multiple Bathurst wins in dominant periods for the makes. After his two wins on the trot with Jim Richards in 1991 and 1992, his switch to Holden and rise to lead driver in the factory Holden Racing Team saw him add a further three wins between 2001 and 2005 during his dominant reign with the team. Even as a co-driver he added to his winning stats, rounding out his career with three top-four finishes - a win and two podiums in his final two starts with Triple Eight Race Engineering. Despite a number of retirements, Skaife’s winning and podium run boost his averages. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
6 from 25 10 from 25 15 from 25
24% 40% 60% 41.33%
3. PETER BROCK
The King of the Mountain sits at the top of most Bathurst greats list with the most wins, though uncompetitive attempts in his latter years hurt his greater stats. Peter Brock won in his fourth start at Bathurst in wet conditions in 1972. After a split with the Holden Dealer Team, Brock won in a privateer entry in 1975. Returning to the leading Holden team, Brock scored two sets of three-peats in 1978 to 1980 with Jim Richards and 1982 to 1984 with Larry Perkins, cementing his place as the best at Bathurst. The 1979 win was his greatest, winning by six laps and setting the fastest lap on the final lap of the race. His final win came in another wet race in 1987, meaning he won his nine Bathursts within a 15-year span. Had it not been for a string of lowly results and retirements from 1988 on, Brock would have sat at the top of this list. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
9 from 32 12 from 32 19 from 32
28.12% 37.50% 59.37% 41.66% SUPERCAR XTRA
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2. CRAIG LOWNDES
The seven-times winner has been a consistent Bathurst threat from his debut in 1994, when he pulled off a remarkable move around John Bowe, to today where he’s still a contender as a wildcard entrant and one win away from climbing to second on the all-time winners’ list. After going a decade without a Bathurst win from his first success in 1996 to his second in 2006, Craig Lowndes made amends with a three-peat run alongside Jamie Whincup at Triple Eight Race Engineering from 2006 to 2008. Further wins followed in 2010, 2015 and 2018, the latter in his final full-time season. There have also been five runnersup finishes, including in his debut in 1994, and two third-place finishes. Then there’s the near misses, which could have seen him match or surpass his mentor Peter Brock’s record number of wins. Lowndes is a worthy successor to Brock, with his record and averages speaking for themselves. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
7 from 29 14 from 29 21 from 29
24.13% 48.27% 72.41% 48.27%
1. LARRY PERKINS
Larry Perkins never won an Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars title but could always be counted as a threat at Bathurst, proving to be an endurance specialist and master at preparing a car for a 1000-kilometre assault on Mount Panorama. After stepping out of Peter Brock’s shadow following their hat-trick of wins from 1982 to 1984, it was with his own Perkins Engineering outfit that Perkins would get to six wins with three wins between 1993 and 1997. Though he wasn’t the outright quickest driver with just one pole position and fastest lap, his ability over long distances saw him record 18 top 10s from 22 finishes and 12 podiums, including his six wins, and three topthree finishes from his first three Bathurst starts. Wins Podiums Top 10s Average
6 from 26 12 from 26 20 from 26
23.07% 46.15% 76.92% 48.71%
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BROCK & LOWNDES: MASTER & apprentice
brock & lowndes:
IMAGES Justin Deeley, Autopics.com.au
Two drivers that feature prominently in the history of the Bathurst 500 and 1000 are Peter Brock and Craig Lowndes. The master Brock played an influential role in the development of his apprentice Lowndes. Lowndes recalls the lessons from his late mentor that have shaped his racing career and life.
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raig Lowndes is one Bathurst win away from moving into second on the all–time Great Race winners’ list. If he does claim an eighth victory in the Bathurst 1000, he will be one win away from the record of nine set by his mentor Peter Brock. Lowndes grew up with Brock as his role model and mentor. He himself is now the elder statesmen of Supercars, and a long way down the track from the tearaway who was christened ‘The Kid’ when he hit the big time with the Holden Racing Team alongside Brock.
brock & lowndes: master & apprentice
master & apprentice
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Craig Lowndes and Peter Brock were teammates at the Holden Racing Team in 1996, with Brock helping guide Lowndes to a championship win in his rookie season.
PETER BROCK’S BATHURST STATS Active years: 1969 – 2004 Bathurst starts: 32 Bathurst wins: 9 Bathurst podiums: 12 Bathurst poles: 6 Bathurst Shootouts: 17 Teams: Holden Dealer Team (1969 – 1974), Gown Hindhaugh Racing (1975), Bill Patterson Holden (1976 – 1977), Holden Dealer Team (1978 – 1987), Advantage Racing/Mobil 1 Racing (1988 – 1993), Holden Racing Team (1994 – 1997), Team Brock (2002), Holden Racing Team (2004)
CRAIG LOWNDES’ BATHURST STATS Active years: 1994 – present Bathurst starts: 29 Bathurst wins: 7 Bathurst podiums: 14 Bathurst poles: 2 Bathurst Shootouts: 17 Teams Holden Racing Team (1994 – 2000), Gibson Motor Sport (2001 – 2002), Ford Performance Racing (2003 – 2004), Triple Eight Race Engineering (2005 – present)
Even after stepping down from full–time driving in Supercars at the end of 2018, Lowndes remains the most popular figure in Supercars, arguably having reached the Brock-style following that made the ‘Bradman of Bathurst’ a national treasure before his death in 2006. Lowndes says he learned a lot from Brock, but a single thing still shines through. “One of the biggest things I got from him was being able to get out of the car and go on smiling and do my day-to-day chores and keep smiling,” says Lowndes. “Everyone is happy when they’re winning, but, for me, it’s when you’re not winning that is the true indication of a person.” Lowndes burst onto the scene with the Holden Racing Team in the mid–nineties, starring at Bathurst with second place as a rookie in 1994 and winning the championship on debut in 1996. Further championships wins followed in 1998 and 1999, after a year racing single-seaters in Europe in 1997. But it wasn’t until 2006 that Lowndes won again at Bathurst, in the aftermath of Brock’s passing. Then the floodgates opened and Lowndes became the current king of Mount Panorama. His career tally includes 110 races wins, seven Bathurst victories and three championships. In the early years, Lowndes was a tearaway who did lots of winning, made lots of fans and was almost a mirror image of his mentor. He grew up in the same
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1996: THE WIN THAT ALMOST DIDN’T HAPPEN...
Lowndes with Brock’s 1972 Bathurst–winning Holden LJ Torana GTR XU–1 at the tribute to Brock at Bathurst in 2006.
area as Brock, had similar natural skills to Brock and shared the veteran’s easy-going attitude to most things. Brock took ‘The Kid’ under his wing, helping in every way – even creating an opportunity on the Formula 1 ladder in Formula 3000 in 1997. Lowndes still has fond memories of those days. “I see myself a lot like Brock, in the sense of the driving ability; he could drive anything,” he says. “He could put up with things that other drivers couldn’t and I’m much the same. He built his own car and I’m a qualified mechanic. “The downside for me is that I’m too relaxed in the sense of car setup. My ability to drive around things is pretty good, and I do tend to do that. There is a lot of similarity between Brock and myself.” There are also similarities out of the car. Father Frank Lowndes was a mechanic with the Holden Dealer Team in Brock’s rise to prominence in the early 1970s. The ties between Brock and Lowndes were already in place before the latter was even born. When Lowndes joined the Holden Racing Team fold as a rookie sensation, Brock was in the final years of his full–time career. The time they spent as teammates between 1994 and 1997 had a profound impact on Lowndes. “I try to portray myself in and out of the sport as I would normally live,” says Lowndes. “I try to carry myself the same way. That was pretty well drummed into me, at the beginning, not to be a robot but to be myself. That was the HRT era. They wanted to keep the person, but polish the presentation. They were very mindful of not being a robot. In combination with Brock, it helped me be who I am.” But Lowndes has learned from Brock and his life, stepping around some of the personal potholes. “I think I’m more simple. I try to make my life the least complicated I can,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with people I trust and also people who have helped me to develop and learn.”
The craziest thing Craig Lowndes has ever done almost cost him his first Bathurst win in 1996. He went riding. On a high–powered dirt bike. In an industrial area. Without a helmet. Are you getting the picture? “A mate had bought this dirt bike, a KTM 450 and I was working on my four–wheel drive,” recounts Lowndes. “He brought it around. You go through the process saying, ‘I’m not going to ride this, I’m not going to ride this’ but then it was, ‘Give us a go.’” So Lowndes rockets down the road and hits a T- junction. “I was going too fast to pull up, so I decided to go over the gutter, but beyond the grass verge was a car park with a double–height gutter. “I hit the gutter with the rear wheel which catapulted me over the front. From that point I cannot remember. They were saying I was more worried about the bike and didn’t let it go.” There was an ambulance, hospital and emergency repairs. Lowndes had a deep gash on the right–hand side of his head and had taken a very bad knock. “When I fell off the bike my head took the impact which pinched a nerve in my neck, and my arm was lifeless; I also had to get my head stitched up, it was a nasty gash,” he says. “It was touch–and–go if I was actually going to be racing. I had to pass a medical on the Monday prior to the race weekend. “I had an initial concentration test, like a crossword puzzle, where I had to find all the letter As and Bs in a pile. I think I missed about 60 percent of them. My concentration was really bad. “In the second test I got 100 percent. And that contributed to my leave pass.” But it was more than that, as the Holden Racing Team needed to keep the injury secret to prevent troubles with CAMS, and so rival teams would not try to have the Holden hero taken out of his car. “The cover–up was a cold, so I had to wear a hat all week,” says Lowndes. He also had to sleep for hours each day and had giant headaches, but the biggest drama was the paralaysis. “I was literally picking my left arm up with my right arm, to place it on things. I couldn’t hold anything,” he says. “We had huge intensive physio at Melbourne Olympic Park. It started to come back to life the week prior to the race. At the final physical my arm was about 95 percent right.” Lowndes still rides, both dirt bikes and a street Suzuki, and has even ridden a Superbike racer. But he never rides without a helmet. SUPERCAR XTRA
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Lowndes has won the Peter Brock Trophy six times, fittingly the most of any driver since the trophy was introduced after Brock’s passing in 2006.
Lowndes has clearly looked at the Brock experience and draws some interesting conclusions. He says: “Would I ever get into politics? No. Would I ever own a race team? No. I understand the business and I understand my ability.” Lowndes’ victory at Bathurst in 2006 further cemented the ties with Brock. Just weeks after Brock’s death, Lowndes was part of the pre-race tribute and, together with co-driver Jamie Whincup, won the first Peter Brock Trophy, showing his emotion after taking the chequered flag and on the podium. “It is probably the most emotional race that I’ve had to do and it will always be the best victory that I’ll ever achieve,” says Lowndes. “It’s a race I look back on and am really proud. I remember the parade lap from that morning, the minute of silence to going right through to the other side which was obviously getting the chequered flag… it was an amazing day. “We knew going into it that it was obviously going to be a big, big week. We went there with respect, but there was also the sense of trying to keep all that in check; focused on making the race car fast. We were able to do that and we had a little bit of luck, which is something you need there. “It will always be my most memorable win. Having our name engraved on the Brock Trophy for the first time was quite special.” Like Brock and drivers of yesteryear, Bathurst seemed to be the focal point of Lowndes’ season. And he thrived in the challenge of setting himself up to be in the best position for Mount Panorama. “Bathurst has always been the ultimate race... it allows cars and drivers to find their speed over the course of the day,” says Lowndes. “You’ve got six-plus hours to make sure the car is fast at the end and not the start. And more experienced and more mature drivers approach the weekend differently to a championship weekend.” Lowndes is now mentoring another generation, including his 2023 co-driver Zane Goddard, sliding successfully into a Brock-style role as the public face of motorsport in Australia. “When I retired from full time racing at the end of 2018, I always said that I wanted to continue to stay involved by fostering the next generation of Supercars racers, which I’ve been fortunate enough to do through the team’s wildcard program,” he says. “It’s something that I find both professionally and personally rewarding and a way I can give back to the sport that has been such a big part of my life.” Brock’s record of nine wins, which once seemed insurmountable, could be within reach if Lowndes can steer Triple Eight’s wildcard entry into a winning position in 2023. Or 2024 or 2025, having re-signed with the team for a further two years. Sitting second only to Brock on the wins’ list would be another fitting bond between the two. “I always said in the early days I didn’t think it was going to be possible but, now we’re here, we’ve got seven… so who knows?” says Lowndes.
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Peter Brock and Larry Perkins’ 1984 Holden VK Commodore is one of the most iconic Australian touring cars ever produced, from its flared guards, big wings and day-glo livery to its perfect record in the farewell events to the legendary Group C era. It led a one-two formation finish for the Holden Dealer Team in the Bathurst 1000 in 1984 and is one of the most celebrated Bathurst winners of all time.
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he sight of the pair of distinctive white and day-glo red Holden Dealer Team (HDT) VK Commodores crossing the line for a one-two formation finish at the 1984 James Hardie Bathurst 1000 is unforgettable for Holden fans. Peter Brock and Larry Perkins shared the winning #05 car, which – despite being two laps in front of their teammates – crossed the finish just metres ahead of the number #25 team car driven by John Harvey and David Parsons. Brock, having blown the competition to pieces, had deliberately slowed towards the end of the race to allow Parsons to catch up and finally deliver the formation finish Holden had been craving since the Moffat Ford Dealers team did it in 1977. HDT’s dominance of the 1984 race was remarkable, given the fastest 10 cars after official practice were covered by just over two seconds. Six different manufacturers (Holden, Ford, Nissan, Mazda, BMW and Jaguar) took part in the top 10 qualifying Shootout. Although Brock was just pipped for pole by George Fury’s turbocharged Nissan Bluebird, the King of the Mountain surged into the lead at the start of the race as many rivals dropped out of contention with either crash damage or mechanical failures. It was Brock’s eighth Bathurst win. HDT’s emphatic Mountain victory came in the final year of Australia’s home-grown Group C touring car rules, which were replaced with international Group A regs in 1985.
Many local teams and fans were sad to see the demise of the ‘big banger’ Group C class, as the unique Australian category had produced some of the fastest and most exciting racing sedans since its inception in 1973. HDT was determined to give Group C a memorable curtain call, though, by building two brand-new Commodores, which would have a racing life of only a few months and compete in just three events. Brock’s #05 car achieved a perfect score, winning not only the 1984 Bathurst 1000 but also the Sandown 500km and Surfers Paradise 300km endurance races, while Harvey’s #25 car finished third, second and sixth at those long-distance events. The most memorable visual feature of these cars was undoubtedly the red and white Marlboro livery, in which the red sections featured a special day-glo paint that glowed brightly when exposed to the sun’s rays. Brock was inspired to use this special paint after competing in an international sports car race at Silverstone earlier in the year. Inspired by the dazzling effect he saw on some rival cars, he took a sample back to Australia and insisted it be used on the last of the Group C Commodores.
Compared to today’s purpose-built Supercars with their tubular steel space-frame chassis, transaxles and pure-bred competition components, Group C cars were effectively hotted-up road cars that were relatively cheap to build and race. SUPERCAR XTRA
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Underneath their huge fiberglass front and rear spoilers, wheel-arch flares, fat tyres and barking exhausts were body shells and mechanicals which never strayed far from their road-car origins. So what made HDT’s 1984 Bathurst VK Commodores so special? Put simply, they were the ultimate refinement of the breed; a process that started with the original VB model in 1980 and continued through the VC and VH models. By the time they got to VK, this refinement had been perfected. They were the lightest, simplest, strongest and fastest, built under the supervision of workshop manager Larry Perkins, who was renowned for his frugal efficiency as a constructor. By comparison to today’s Supercars, HDT’s final Group C warriors were built for a fraction of the cost. Most components used were then-current Holden production-line parts supplied free by GM-H, with the more specialised racing hardware purchased from Harrop Engineering and other local suppliers. Proof of HDT’s efficiency was that it did not start building its two 1984 Bathurst cars until the squad returned from competing in the Le Mans 24 Hour sportscar race in a Porsche 956 in late June. With a build time of about eight weeks, the HDT mechanics led by Perkins included Neil Burns, Marty Watt, Graham Brown, Andy Bartley and future Holden Racing Team manager Jeff Grech. The two cars were completed on time and on budget. GM-H’s production line process for Commodore body shells earmarked for competition use was well established by 1984 under production manager Mike Prowse. To make building race cars easier and faster, HDT and other Holden teams would walk each body shell down the line to ensure they got what they needed as a starting point.
Scan to watch the famed Holden VK Commodore and its formation finish at Bathurst in 1984. ABOVE & LEFT: Peter Brock and Larry Perkins with the Holden VK Commodore in 1984. Twenty-two years on, Perkins joined the tribute to Brock at Bathurst in 2006 with the VK Commodore.
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TECH SPECS Engine: Power: Torque: Gearbox: Front end: Rear axle: Wheels:
HDT-modified 5.0-litre V8 (5044cc) 40bhp @ 6500rpm 325ft/lb @ 4350rpm Borg Warner Super T10 four-speed (aluminium case) Harrop rose-jointed coil-over shocks Salisbury housing 3.55 Detroit Locker diff Momo AP Racing
COSTS Engines: Gearboxes: Differentials: Suspension: Wheel rims: Tyres: Brakes:
$15,000 for two $1500 for two $4000 for three $4000 $4000 $8000 total $4000
Roll cage: Spoilers: Fuel tank: Fuel:
$1000 $1000 $2000 $1500
Perkins had already organised HDT’s new VK shells earlier in the year, which came from the factory as clean skins devoid of any joint sealer and sound deadener plus any brackets, internal panels or components not needed for racing. They were also treated to double the standard number of spot welds to increase chassis strength and rigidity. Blind nuts used for bolting in the aluminium roll cages were welded in place at the base of each body shell’s A, B and C pillars. The front sub-frames were stamped from thicker steel for greater strength and durability. From there HDT would apply its expertise in racecar construction, which included additional seam welding of the body shell for maximum rigidity and fabrication of stronger mountings for the frontsuspension caster arms, rear-axle top-trailing arms and Watts linkage. The boot floors were modified to fit low-slung 120litre dry-break fuel cells, and the outer radius of the wheel arches was enlarged to provide sufficient tyre clearance. The inner halves of the standard rear wheel housings were also moved inboard by about 20mm as part of the VK’s homologation package, to accommodate very wide rear tyres. The fiberglass body kit approved for use on the VK was the best of the lot, starting with a large front spoiler, which for the first time incorporated the front bumper bar in one seamless moulding. At the rear was a very effective three-piece air dam (some called it an ‘air bucket’), which generated substantial aerodynamic downforce to keep the car stable at high speeds and provide extra grip for the rear tyres. Large wheel-arch extensions at each corner covered the bulging tyres that protruded beyond the standard. The HDT VKs had impressive rolling stock, using the standard five-stud hub pattern as demanded by the rules. Featherweight 16 x 11-inch Momo five-spoke rims with 11.25-inch wide rubber were mounted up front with fatter 16 x 12-inch Momos on the rear wearing steamroller-style 13-inch wide tyres. Four-wheel disc brakes featured huge Harrop ventilated front rotors clamped by powerful four-spot callipers. Super stiff spring rates and wrist-thick anti-sway bars were controlled by Bilstein race shocks, and many suspension components were rose-jointed. Group C cars had to retain most of their road-car interior trim, apart from the removal of floor carpets and installation of proper racing seats, steering wheels, safety harnesses and aftermarket gauges and switches. Lightweight roll cages made from aluminium tubing were firmly bolted to numerous points throughout the cabins, providing improved crash protection for the drivers and better chassis rigidity. By 1984 the performance of Holden’s 308ci (five-litre) cast-iron V8 had reached its peak after 10 years of Group C development that started with the Torana L34. SUPERCAR XTRA
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exhaust systems. These engines also shared the HDT road car’s dualplane, square-port inlet manifold. A pair of Weber twin-choke 48mm IDF carburettors was mounted on a HDT adapter that positioned these carburettors laterally to avoid fuel surge, with the front tilted slightly forward to allow for the bonnet clearance. Cold intake air was delivered by a tray-style aluminium air scoop, which sealed against the underside of the closed bonnet and breathed through the narrow gap between the top of the grille and the leading edge of the bonnet. Peak power was just over 400bhp (300kW) at 6800rpm with 385ft/lb (520Nm) of mountain-climbing torque at 4800rpm. The remainder of the drivetrain was tried and tested hardware proven at many previous Bathurst campaigns, comprising a multi-plate competition clutch, Borg Warner Super T10 four-speed gearbox and a four-link, coil-sprung live rear axle equipped with GM’s big 10-bolt centre and a rugged Detroit Locker.
Brock’s last two Bathurst winning cars, the Group C Holden VK Commodore of 1984 and Group A Holden VL Commodore SS of 1987.
Crankshaft stroke, cylinder bore, combustionchamber volume, head-gasket thickness and cylinderblock deck heights were all tightly controlled by the rules, but HRT’s engine man Burns worked within those parameters to build what were arguably the best 308s in the business. By 1984 his fully baffled wet-sump design had proven to be very efficient, even though it suffered the odd failure when caught out by oil surge, like Brock’s early failure at Bathurst in 1983 when the engine ran a big-end bearing and then threw a connecting rod. Burns always had to keep a close eye on the sump’s oil level. A Harrop forged-steel crankshaft was super strong, held securely in place by two-bolt main-bearing caps. Six-inch forged-steel Carrillo rods were matched with Cosworth forged-aluminium flat-top pistons, running a sensible 11:1 compression ratio on 100-octane fuel. Although this bottom-end combination was safe to over 7000rpm, maximum power was reached at 6800rpm, so there was never any need to surpass that figure. It just provided a nice safety margin. Ported and polished big-valve ‘B’ cast cylinder heads were shared with the HDT road cars. They were basically later versions of the original Torana L34 heads, incorporating the latest updates from Perfectune and Harrop Engineering. A high-lift camshaft made to Burns’ specifications was matched with GM-H lifters, pushrods and Crane roller rockers mounted on screw-in studs. Burns also did a lot of development work with John Ferris of HM Headers to produce the best extractors and
While the HDT power figures may sound tame in comparison to today’s 600bhp-plus (450kW) fuel-injected five-litre Supercar engines, it must be remembered that the 1984 HDT cars weighed only 1250kg compared to the current Supercars at 1400kg. This results in near identical power-to-weight ratios of around 3.1kg/kW. And with the tall 3.08:1 diff they ran at Bathurst, the day-glo VKs were reaching top speeds of 280 to 290km/h at 6600rpm by the time they topped the second hump on the old full-length Conrod Straight. And that, folks, is just as fast as a Supercar goes down Conrod today. It is interesting also to compare the fastest lap times achieved by Brock’s 1984 winner with the fastest recorded by a modern-day Supercar. Brock’s qualifying time was 2:14.039. The long-time Supercar qualifying benchmark stood at 2:06.8594 set by Greg Murphy’s VY Commodore back in 2003 – that is a difference of more than seven seconds across two decades. Brock’s fastest race lap, which was a new lap record, was 2:15.30. Compare this to Jamie Whincup’s record set in 2007 aboard his BF Falcon at 2:08.4651, just over 20 years later, and that’s a difference of just under seven seconds per lap. In other words, if Brock’s VK Commodore and Whincup’s BF Falcon had been competing in the same race, Brock would have been lapped by Whincup after about 18 laps. And if they had continued at that pace throughout the 161-lap race, Brock would have finished more than eight laps behind. It is a sobering statistic but one that brings into sharp focus the huge advances that have been made in engine, chassis, tyre, brake and aerodynamic development. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that the HDT VK Commodores that finished one-two at Bathurst in 1984 were truly the ‘Supercars’ of their generation.
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1994: THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA The 1994 Bathurst 1000 was one of the most significant in the history of Bathurst: at the start of the V8 era yet with a different class for other cars; one of the most talented fields representing a generation change; and changeable conditions and a late-race battle for the lead between an established star in a Ford and a newcomer in a Holden. There may have been crazier and arguably better Bathursts, but the 1994 race is significant in so many ways.
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ooking back on the 1994 Bathurst 1000 nearly three decades on, despite the monsoonal start, heroic drivers and epic drives, that moment on lap 148 at the top of Mountain Straight is what we all see in our mind’s eye. John Bowe moves to the inside in his Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) Ford Falcon EB I to defend the race lead, but rookie Craig Lowndes sweeps imperiously round the outside in the Holden Racing Team (HRT) Commodore VP and into first place. It was said at the time Lowndes missed his braking marker and the pass was accidental. These days he denies that, insisting Bowe braked early. Maybe there was a little of both in it. What it amounts to is one of those rare moments that is career defining. No, Lowndes did not go on to win what many rate as the greatest edition of Australia’s greatest race at his very first attempt. In fact, his lead lasted less than two laps before Bowe reasserted himself. But it was the passing move that ensured Lowndes’ future at the factory Holden team and started a rise that would see him become the most popular racing driver in the country. “If I hadn’t made that passing manoeuvre who knows?” ponders Lowndes. “Hopefully I had done enough already to probably have interest from other teams, but I think that pass sparked my future with HRT at the time.” Twenty-nine years on, if we widen our focus a little more, we can see that race meant so much more than even the emergence of one of our greatest ever drivers.
Clearly, Lowndes’ performance was the start of the dismantling of the status quo in Australia’s most popular motorsport category. A stasis had enveloped the class; Peter Brock and Dick Johnson had been its leaders for more than a generation. But others in their age group such as Jim Richards, Colin Bond, Allan Grice and Andrew Miedecke were all on the grid at Bathurst in 1994. Lowndes’ pace and success was the crack in the dam wall that led to a flood. “I think there was a lot of negativity against young people getting involved in the sport at the time,” says Lowndes. “I didn’t realise that, the team was very good at keeping me shielded from the politics and really just allowed me to focus on driving a car. “It was hard to break in. It was the old gentlemens’ club and young people weren’t seen to be the future of the sport at that point.” It is an assertion Wayne Cattach agrees with. One of the sharpest minds to ever inhabit the pitlane, he was DJR general manager and played a critical role in the establishment and professionalising of the Holden versus Ford V8 category that had started only in 1993. He later served as CEO of V8 Supercars alongside category czar, Tony Cochrane. “It changed the focus of a lot of young emerging drivers, so instead of looking at Europe as where they needed to go and Formula 1 as the pinnacle, all of sudden they had realigned themselves,” says Cattach. “If Lowndes can do this, take on one of the best drivers the
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Dick Johnson and John Bowe prevailed to take their second Bathurst win as a pairing in 1994.
category has ever seen, then they realised there was a future for them in V8s.” Cattach also defends the senior drivers, pointing out how important they were to public acceptance of the new formula: “You had the Brocks, Johnsons, Grices and so on and they were all coming up to their use-by dates. And they were very critical to the move to V8s because had they not been part of it we would still be trying to do it.” For the two teams that battled for the lead, Bathurst 1994 also signalled the beginning of new eras. With Ross and Jimmy Stone calling the shots, DJR had bounced back from a poor start to the season to win the Sandown 500 as it mastered its new shock dyno and developed Penske dampers into a key racewinning advantage. At Bathurst the pace was strong enough for the normally taciturn Ross Stone to predict victory. The only setback came when Johnson grazed the wall in the Cutting in the Shootout, which meant an overnight repair job and 10th starting position on the grid. Bowe and Johnson both drove brilliantly the next day; Johnson setting the fastest lap during a strong mid-race stint, while Bowe was at his peak, something underlined when he went on to win the championship in 1995. “It was one of Dick’s best drives while I was involved in the team,” recalls Ross Stone. “John was always on the money and Dick was in the twilight. It was such a strong combination… then that bugger Lowndes popped his head up.” Bowe adds: “I can still feel that hollow feeling in my guts when he went around the outside of me. It really twisted me up inside…
“I have done hundreds of races since then and Bathurst ’94 is still fresh in my mind. I think it is probably because we had had a difficult period as a team, we had a really good group of people together at that stage and it was a tough battle. “And I haven’t managed to win it since, so I guess that’s why it became so important.” For HRT, Bathurst 1994 was further evidence of its transition from joke to serious contender. Once it gained momentum it didn’t stop there, becoming the dominant force in Australian racing either side of the turn of the century. Lowndes was critical to that, joining the team as test driver in 1995, then taking over Tomas Mezera’s seat alongside Brock in 1996 and winning the championship on debut. He also won Bathurst that year before heading off overseas in 1997, returning to win the championship in 1998 and 1999 before his controversial elopement to Ford in 2001. “I got told if the team hadn’t won the championship in 1996, Tom Walkinshaw was prepared to shut it down, so it was on the knife edge of succeeding or collapsing,” recalls Lowndes. “I was lucky enough to walk into a team where it was about to turn the corner. It had good engineers, good engines, good cars, good personnel and I just happened to walk into the perfect opportunity. “It was a great opportunity to work with a team as passionate as I was to win a race and be successful.” Lowndes concedes the story could have emerged very differently from that October week. But there is a feeling of destiny about what happened to him. He won the 1993 Formula Ford championship and earned a test drive with DJR as part of his prize. But
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TRIUMPH & TRAGEDY
Scan to watch the laterace battle for the lead in the 1994 Bathurst 1000.
The final battle between John Bowe and Craig Lowndes at Bathurst in 1994 was the culmination of a tragic, tumultuous and tense week for the category we would come to know as Supercars. The tragedy came early when privateer Don Watson fatally crashed his Commodore VP at the Chase on Thursday, a section re-designed after Mike Burgmann’s 1986 fatal accident. The tumult revolved around the technical legality of the front suspension towers of Peter Brock and Tomas Mezera’s new Holden Racing Team Commodore, which after modifications eventually would be allowed to race even though many rivals were unhappy about it. If #05 had won, it was expected that a flurry of protests would have been fired in to CAMS, which was still then in charge of the category’s technical rules and legality. The Holden Racing Team, in turn, was apparently ready to fire protests straight back at its rivals. It is worth pointing out that in those days the cars weren’t as technically identical as they are now; different platforms, different front suspensions and much else... the debate about aero remains familiar! It wasn’t until the Project Blueprint rule that the cars began to truly merge. Brock was already unpopular with his fellow drivers as he was on a $100,000 bonus to win his 10th Bathurst. Instead of collecting a sizeable cheque, he collected the wall and brought out the safety car that would allow Lowndes to close up on Bowe for their final battle. It was also the final Bathurst to include a Class B for two-litre cars before they were outlawed and went into Super Touring. The tension was unending on race day. Monsoonal rain doused the circuit. The opening two hours of the race were in conditions that varied from bad to appalling. But it would also act as a stage for some of Australia’s finest motor racing talents as Mark Skaife, Glenn Seton, Brock, Larry Perkins, Alan Jones, Bowe and Brad Jones all showed off their skills. Later Perkins would rhapsodise the experience: “That’s how you’ve got to drive when you go to Europe. You’ve got to get on to a different level. I pressed-on on a limit I haven’t been at for a long time. The carrot to go quick was the world’s best track and the most treacherous conditions we’ve got…”
the test never happened – Lowndes thinks because Johnson was put off young drivers after Cameron McConville crashed #18 at Bathurst in 1993. Instead, HRT offered him a test, in which he clearly impressed team manager Jeff Grech. Then Lowndes picked up the co-drive alongside Brad Jones in car #015 at the Sandown 500 when Swedish import Rickard Rydell couldn’t make it for family reasons. They finished a competitive fifth and Lowndes set the fastest lap. He kept the drive for Bathurst. It looked a dud decision at first because Lowndes was slow in practice. But Bathurst-master Brock gave him an in-depth briefing and his pace improved. Then in the wet morning warm-up he spun on oil and hit the wall. The Chev engine ran without oil pressure for at least a minute, meaning there was no guarantee it would survive the 161-lap race. Of course, it did. In the race itself he spun at Reid Park and miraculously avoided the wall. But he did flat-spot four tyres and had to make a green-flag pitstop. When Jones exited the pitlane the car was 10 seconds from being lapped. But after a heroic double stint in which he drove brilliantly to the edge of exhaustion and the team worked the frequent safety-car periods brilliantly, he was right on leader Johnson’s tail as they both headed for pitlane for the final time. Jones rates that drive as one of the very best of his career, but it also has a bitter edge because it would be the last time he ever drove for HRT. His efforts had simply put Lowndes in a position to usurp him in the team pecking order. “I felt I had done everything I could possibly do to show them what I was capable of doing and I felt I was driving as well as I had ever done in my life,” says Jones. “But Grech was in love with Craig and it turned out he was right. He went on to do amazing things.” So Lowndes – despite all the dramas and the fact he wasn’t originally even meant to be in the car for the final stint – led Bowe out of pitlane the last time. But the Falcon quickly passed and built up a four-second gap. Then, unbelievably, Brock crashed the #05 Commodore at 170km/h at the top of the mountain. It triggered one last safety car and one last 18-lap showdown – in front of the category’s biggest TV audience of the year. They saw a fairytale take shape, a star born and then motor-racing reality intervene; the DJR Falcon was the quicker car when tyres were to pressure and when Lowndes was baulked, Bowe retook the lead and quickly pulled a gap. With three laps to go Lowndes had to go into fuel-conservation mode to ensure he made the finish. There was just one litre left in the tank after he crossed the line. But Lowndes reveals another twist to the tale. “What I didn’t know then and only found out later in life was that John was in the same predicament,” he says. “From what he told me he was about half-a-lap away from yielding from when I did. SUPERCAR XTRA
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Craig Lowndes burst on to the scene with his second place at Bathurst in 1994.
1994 BATHURST 1000 RESULTS Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 DNF DNF NC NC DNF NC DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF DNS DNS 64
Drivers Dick Johnson/John Bowe Brad Jones/Craig Lowndes Larry Perkins/Gregg Hansford Tony Longhurst/ Charlie O’Brien Win Percy/Russell Ingall Colin Bond/Anders Olofsson Allan Grice/Steven Johnson Andrew Miedecke/Jeff Allam John Trimbole/Garry Waldon Paul Morris/Altfrid Heger Craig Baird/Brett Riley Warwick Rooklyn/John Blanchard Chris Smerdon/Cameron McConville Ian Palmer/Brett Peters Neil Schembri/Rodney Crick Bob Jones/Troy Dunstan Ed Lamont/Graham Gulson Alan Taylor/Roger Hurd/Stephen Bell Peter Doulman/John Cotter Barry Graham/Brian Callaghan Jr Richard Wilson/Troy Nicholson/Ric Shaw Stuart McColl/Peter Gazzard Greg Murphy/James Kaye Steve Reed/Trevor Ashby Peter McKay/Jamie Miller Mike Conway/George Ayoub/Kevin Heffernan Tony Scott/Greg Crick Peter Brock/Tomas Mezera Garry Willmington/Jeff Barnes Phil Ward/Steven Ellery Wayne Gardner/Neil Crompton Greg Fahey/Dennis Cribbin Terry Finnigan/Steve Williams Ryan McLeod/Peter McLeod/Kevin Burton Glenn Seton/Paul Radisich Wayne Russell/Bernie Gillon Bill Sieders/Allan Letcher Alan Jones/David Parsons Mark Skaife/Jim Richards Peter Hills/Dennis Rogers Steve Hardman/Geoff Full Brett Youlden/Malcolm Stenniken Kevin Waldock/Mike Preston Ken Mathews/Matthew Martin Andrew Reid/Melinda Price/Garry Jones Don Watson/Ian Love Gregg Easton/Kevin Heffernan
Car Ford EB Falcon Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Ford EB Falcon Ford EB Falcon Holden VP Commodore BMW 318i BMW 318i BMW 318i Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Holden Commodore VL SS SV BMW M3 Holden Commodore VL SS SV Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Toyota Carina Holden VP Commodore Mercedes-Benz 190E Holden Commodore VL SS SV Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Ford EB Falcon Holden VP Commodore Holden VP Commodore Holden Commodore VL SS SV Holden VP Commodore Holden Commodore VL SS SV Ford EB Falcon Holden Commodore VL SS SV Peugeot 405 Mi16 Ford EB Falcon Holden VP Commodore Ford Sierra Hyundai Lantra Holden Commodore VL SS SV Ford EB Falcon Peugeot 405 Mi16 Toyota Corolla Seca Holden VP Commodore Holden Commodore VL SS SV
“When I ceased the attack and just had to bring the car home, about another half a lap he got the same alarm and he was thankful that I had stopped so he had enough breathing space to bring it home.” In the end Johnson/Bowe won by 5.7 seconds, with Jones/Lowndes six seconds ahead of 1993 winners Larry Perkins and Gregg Hansford in a Perkins Engineering Commodore, who shaded Tony Longhurst and Charlie O’Brien in a Perkins customer car. Win Percy and Russell Ingall and Bond and Anders Olofsson completed the top six. And they were all on the lead lap, something unheralded and eulogised at the time. Nowadays, the racing is closer than anyone could have imagined then; winning margins are measured in tenths and there are less cars on the grid but almost all finish. “I think it is the most magnificent formula you have ever seen in your life,” said Johnson as the sun set on that momentous October day. And he was right. And that’s one last and perhaps most important trend that Bathurst 1994 pointed to; the decision was right to abandon international Group A and go it alone with Australian-developed regulations for a category based on Holden and Fords built and sold locally and powered by V8 engines. “I certainly think that is when the brand got traction,” says Cattach. “It signalled it was all coming together after a pretty modest start when we were struggling to get enough cars on the grid and so on and so forth. “This whole concept of this tribal support for the V8s seemed to be working. The closeness of the racing gave us enormous confidence to keep pushing.” In the wake of the introduction of the V8 formula and before the Super Touring split, there was also a Class B in the field at Bathurst in 1994 – the last time there would be different classes in the Great Race. Amongst the Class B two-litre and non-V8 cars was the BMW 318i, BMW M3, Hyundai Lantra, Peugeot 405, Toyota Carina, Toyota Corolla, Mercedes-Benz 190E and Ford Sierra. Paul Morris and Altfrid Heger won the class in their BMW 318i, taking 10th outright. Also amongst the Class B entrants was a young Kiwi called Greg Murphy, who like Lowndes was making his first Bathurst start. While Lowndes was fighting for the lead in his V8 Commodore, Murphy was keeping out of trouble in his Carina. Two years later, they would win Bathurst together. There were 17 past or future Great Race winners on the grid at Bathurst in 1994; one of the most talented and diverse grids doing battle in changeable conditions. It is what makes the 1994 Bathurst 1000 one the greatest races in the event’s history, highlighted by a moment of generational change. “I am hoping there is some young bastard that will do to Lowndes what he did to Bowey,” says Stone of Bathursts to come. “It would be good. It would show that it’s always onwards and upwards.”
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IMAGES Justin Deeley
There have been quicker laps around the Mount Panorama Circuit but there’s only one ‘Lap of the Gods’ – Greg Murphy’s Shootout lap in 2003. Murphy recounts the most memorable qualifying lap in Bathurst history.
he Saturday morning of the Bathurst 1000 in 2003 dawned with no real hint about what was to come. The 10am practice session was run more than two hours before the Shootout, and it did little to inspire the notion that something special was to come. Qualifying the day before was memorable with three cars bettering the previous qualifying record. Greg Murphy headed the field with a last-gasp lap that stopped the clocks at 2:07.9503s, with Mark Skaife and John Bowe both within five-hundredths of a second and also under the 2:08s. It was seen as a landmark time. “We didn’t blow everyone away the day before; qualifying was an amazing battle with Bowe, Skaife and myself,” remembers Murphy. “That was the first time anyone had been in the sevens; no-one had been anywhere near that before. “The circuit had been resurfaced that year and it was just beautiful, it was the smoothest and fastest it had ever been. “The conditions for qualifying weren’t as good as we had a shower of rain and I was quickest on an eightsomething - 2:08.2583s. “I’d actually climbed out of the car because I thought,
‘That’s it, we’re not going to get any faster because of the weather!’ “Then the sun came out and there was still a long time to go in the session. The cars started going back out again on slicks and we had to get our act together. People started going quite fast and all three of us obviously went back out and I set my time as the chequered flag came out. “I didn’t know at that time that Bowe and Mark had done a 7.9 and my last lap was also a 7.9 – we were all on the same tenth of a second. And that in itself was a big deal, that was the first time in the sevens.” Murphy did his time on the second of two quick laps (both were under the lap record), which in some ways wasn’t a good omen for the Shootout the next day, while Skaife and Bowe both did theirs on the first of two quick laps. Practice on Saturday teased and showed little. Skaife still had speed but couldn’t drop into the sevens again as he topped the times with a practice Shootout run, and Murphy was nowhere, relatively speaking, at more than a second off the pace. “I was really calm because I was really relaxed about it because I was just so confident in the car,” says Murphy.
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Scan to watch Greg Murphy’s ‘Lap of the Gods’ from 2003.
“I knew that we were in with a really good shot of getting the thing on pole. Rob Crawford (team manager) was really flustered after practice because we didn’t do a practice Shootout run; I think it was the first session that we weren’t quickest. He was worried. “I don’t think we even put new tyres on or anything. The engine had been changed the night before, which was scheduled, and we went and got ready for the Shootout. And I was really pretty relaxed about the whole thing; we went and did our thing.” As the Shootout was working its way towards Murphy, the times were tumbling and the upsets were happening. Murphy watched part of Skaife’s lap from the end of pitlane, though he had little idea it was only sixth fastest and in the mid-eights. Bowe, though, had already set a good time and Murphy needed a super lap to grab pole. The ever emotional Murphy knew this was as good a chance as any to right a wrong from 12 months before. “Subliminally, it was 12 months since I’d been shoved in the portaloo for five minutes and I was still so furious about that,” he admits, remembering his infamous pitlane penalty from 2002. “I don’t think I’d actively stored it away to use it, but we got robbed that year and I held it deep.” As he sat in the car waiting for his shot that perceived
injustice didn’t figure in his mind. He was calm and ready. Bowe’s benchmark time was 2:07.9556. “I went into pitlane and I was sitting there waiting,” says Murphy. “I’m usually pretty late to get in the car, but that day I was in very early and I was just sitting there. I never ask for information, I don’t want to know what’s going on; it doesn’t matter in the Shootout. “So I went down to pitlane and sat there and I remember the crowd, from where you sit at the end of pitlane, you could see the crowd over the other side of the track at the outside of turn one, and Bowe crossed the line and I heard the roars go up. So I just assumed it was a seven, which was going to be hard to beat. “I just knew I had to brake later, get on the power earlier and drive it harder everywhere – I knew what I had to do and I was prepared to do it. I’m not going to leave anything on the table. “In turn one I knew it was hooked in but it didn’t feel any more than what it did the day before,” he recalls. “I went deep; I went so deep everywhere. I like listening to Neil (Crompton)’s commentary of the lap. He pinpoints it really well, he got everything that happened on that lap – except the missed gear coming out of the Dipper because the camera changes… it doesn’t stay in-car and it goes to a long shot and you don’t see it. “At turn two I went in so deep but I carried it, I just got off the brakes and carried so much speed I ran a little wide, but the thing was stuck to the road and I used every bit of it. “Then exactly the same at the Cutting. The car was so hooked up there – I remember it railing through there all weekend, and I just stood on the gas so early it had to reset ever so slightly, but when you carry that much speed, you reset the throttle a little bit, it doesn’t matter. And then it was just smack on the limiter everywhere earlier than it had. And so I knew it was good, but I couldn’t tell.” In pitlane they were getting little sniffs of how good. He was four-tenths up on Bowe in the first sector. It looked good, but four-tenths? “I don’t get plus and minuses on the dashboard, I just never have, I hate it, I just can’t deal with that,” admits Murphy. “I just smashed it into Reid Park and it was just so fast through there. It left the ground at McPhillamy but it landed good… and then I was just on it. I almost went to fifth gear coming into Skyline because it was on the limiter for so long and I’m glad I didn’t because I reckon I would have stuffed it. It locked a brake here and there down through the Esses, but it was fast.” With flames licking the side of the #51 Kmart Commodore, he wound his way down through a part of the track that could have led to disaster, the drop from Skyline to the Dipper, where he thought he had ruined his lap when he slammed the car into first gear instead of third. “It was a bit of an awakener,” he says. “We were using a H-pattern gearbox and I was flatshifting all the way through the box, and I went to
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smash it through to third and had a bit of lock on and I smashed it straight into first gear. “It opened my eyes big time. I was angry and because there’s so much load on it at that speed and RPM, I had to go back to second to get it back into third. The data shows I lost twotenths. Fortunately, the braking point for the next corner was close or it could have been worse. If I’d missed it anywhere else, it would have been a disaster. “I thought at that stage it was a disaster, so I got round the Dipper and into Forrest Elbow and it had carried a heap of speed and I was pissed. I got through the Elbow really good – luckily, because I just wanted to recover as best I could, and the car was hooked up so good, had a bit of a squeal on the inside wheel, got on the gas and it was on the limiter for what seemed like an eternity down Conrod. “It’s on the limiter, there’s no more speed there to be had, it’s just going as fast as it’s going to go.” What Murphy didn’t know was that his final split, coming out of Forrest’s Elbow was just under seven-tenths faster than Bowe, who was standing in the pits shaking his head and laughing as the final split revealed something special. “It’s cool watching the splits come up now when you watch that lap,” says Murphy. “Seeing Bowe’s face is a great bit of video to watch. But I thought I’d lost time and I had to try and make it up. I went in hard and deep and it worked, it hooked, it stayed, and then coming out of the Chase it was good, and then down into the last corner it went so late. Watch the car, it has a bit of a squirm on the brakes down there, I was in fifth gear and so late on the brakes. Then you’re looking at the dash and the number comes up. It was like, ‘What does that mean? What is that?’ It just
didn’t register; you’re looking for a seven and this had a six!” A 2:06.8594, to be exact, over a second quicker than Bowe. “At that split moment, your brain’s going tick-tick-tick-ticktick… what does that mean? What does this mean? And then all hell broke loose, so it was for real. One of the best parts of that video was seeing Eric Pender’s face; it’s great seeing the reaction on people’s faces… dumbfounded. And I was dumbfounded, completely dumbfounded.” With his brain pumping as hard as the adrenalin in his veins, he did his three-point turn to drive down pitlane and for the first time in living memory teams started spilling into pitlane to let Murph know what he had just done. He hadn’t just set a record and won pole, he had done something amazing. “That’s the bit that makes it special to me,” he says. “Doing the lap was fantastic and exciting for me, but at that point I didn’t register how other people would take that, so to come down pitlane and see that, that’s the bit that is quite staggering – and the bit I’m proud of. That was the bit that I will never forget.” Murphy was on top of the world and took a dominant win with Rick Kelly the next day, and backed it up the following year as well. But it was that lap that sticks deeper and longer in people’s memories. And then for year after year we asked Murphy about the fastest-ever lap of Bathurst... right up until 2010 when Craig Lowndes finally went faster. And it wasn’t until Shane van Gisbergen in 2014 that there was a faster time in the Shootout. What made Murphy’s lap so special, though, was that it was the best by a staggering second. It had been done on the biggest qualifying stage in the nation and no one believed that someone could do a 2:06… not even the man who did it!
Greg Murphy and Rick Kelly converted pole position into the first of two consecutive Bathurst 1000 wins.
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THE SPLIT IMAGES Autopics.com.au
THE GREAT DIVIDE An anomaly in the history of Bathurst is the fact there were two Bathurst 1000s in both 1997 and 1998. Mount Panorama became a critical battlefield in the war between the newly rebadged V8 Supercars and the international Super Touring formula – Ford and Holden V8s on one side and a number of highprofile European two-litre powered manufacturers on the other. A clear winner soon emerged. 70
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t was the brash big talking Tony Cochrane with the support of all the local heroes versus the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club (ARDC), Channel Seven and a brace of internationals. Ego was on the line, the future of motorsport in Australia was up for grabs, and the jewel in the crown was then, as it is now, Bathurst. Games were being played and positioning was a term uttered in pitlane that had nothing to with the grid. It was about a perceived right and wrong, a fair deal and no longer being taken for granted. As 1996 drew to a close, the Touring Car Entrants Group of Australia (TEGA), sports promoters IMG and the Australian Motor Sports Commission formed a joint venture known as the Australian Vee Eight Super Car Company (AVESCO). Sitting at the head of this body was executive chairman Cochrane. He started looking for better deals across the board. At the Sandown 500, Cochrane announced the plans for AVESCO and declared famously that there “were no sacred sites”, referring to Bathurst. “I addressed the major team owners, the main players in TEGA in May of 1996, at John Crennan’s boardroom at HSV in Melbourne,” said Cochrane in V8 Supercars: The First Decade. “I addressed them about what my ‘White Paper’ had thrown up. I guess the main thing, looking back, was that no-one seemed to have control over their TV rights; the TV contract was very flaky. The then TV company was the Seven Network. They were very keen on Bathurst but singularly disinterested in the rest. The sport had no marketing per se to it and it didn’t really have a structure that would enable it to potentially blossom. TEGA was headed by Ken Potter, who did a great job in making sure the nuts and bolts were in place in terms of running that organisation. But that was it.” Out of that meeting essentially came the agreement to form AVESCO, and while the final details took a little while to bed down, the ball had started rolling. Cochrane and his small team started to look into the sport and quickly developed plans to move it from a cottage industry supporting a series of old boys clubs into a profitable business for his stakeholders. One of his first steps was to rebadge the Group 3A touring cars as V8 Supercars, and that was announced in November 1996 for a start in 1997. The next was to start a war he planned to win, even if he knew he could lose the first battle. Seven was the host telecaster for the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) and he felt the network was not giving the class a fair deal. To get a better deal for the series, he cut a deal with Network Ten. Only problem was that the annual Bathurst race was not in the series, and that decision put V8 Supercars’ hold on the race under threat for 1997. Seven was a stakeholder in the annual Bathurst race run by the Australian Racing Drivers Club and that relationship wasn’t going to be broken easily. Without Cochrane at the helm, the rabble of team owners would have buckled and just given Seven what it wanted so it could keep the race. Not Cochrane, he had a bigger and broader vision. He didn’t like the main show paying to enter the race, paying for garages in what was really a paddock, paying for any extra tickets over above the they were given. In short, he didn’t like paying when there was so much already invested in putting on the show. But most of the V8 Supercar teams were still little more than backyard operations, and the Super Touring two-litre class was coming on strong. With AVESCO at war with Seven and jumping into bed with Ten, the Super Touring class cut a deal to steal the Bathurst race from Australia’s top category. Audi, BMW, Nissan and Volvo, who were shut out of the Ford/Holden-only Australian Touring Car Championship, were investing heavily in the series, at a time when the two-litre formula was booming in Europe, particularly the British Touring Car Championship. Seven and ARDC were happy to have these guys race an ‘international’ Bathurst 1000. But Cochrane dug his heals in and pushed back. Ever the tactician, he had a back-up plan. “We were sitting in Seven’s boardroom in November of 1996 and there was a big contingent from the ARDC , headed by then president Colin Bond, reps from the Bathurst City Council and a big contingent from Seven,” reflected Cochrane. SUPERCAR XTRA
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“James Erskine [also from IMG] and I had walked in there to up sell them on a deal, but before I got the chance to get into my presentation they informed us that we were ‘dinosaurs’ and there was no future for V8 racing. “Looking back at that decision, and their commentary that we were ‘dinosaurs’, I don’t think they realised that day that they couldn’t have inflamed my passion harder if they had belted me over the head with a 20-foot baseball bat. That just made me more determined to do what we’ve managed to achieve.” As a sacred site to touring car racing in Australia, Bathurst was the key to it all. Ten wanted to do a better coverage of the series than Seven but it wanted Bathurst too. Seven clearly wasn’t going to hand over that ratings winner which it had helped build over 30 years, and Cochrane needed to move the series, so he decided to sit down with the Bathurst City Council and organise his own 72
1000km race at Bathurst – the Australian 1000 Classic. With that all in place, the planning had been done and negotiations had failed, the chest beating had begun and the war was on. On October 5, 1997, the official race (the Super Touring race), the AMP Bathurst 1000, was run and won by BMW’s Paul Morris and Craig Baird, but they were disqualified because Baird breached the three-hour stint rule and brothers Geoff and David Brabham in another BMW were handed victory. It was run as the traditional race on the first Sunday in October – NSW’s Labour Day weekend. Two weeks later, the V8 Supercars fronted up for the Primus 1000 Classic with all the big guns in the seats of the Commodores and Falcons – Johnson, Brock, Seton, Bowe, Perkins, Skaife, Lowndes and co – and proved more captivating to the local fan, especially as it was Peter Brock’s swansong in his full-time retirement year. Officially, though, it wasn’t the Bathurst 1000, it was the Australia 1000 and just happened to be at raced at Bathurst. That second Bathurst race in 1997 was V8 Supercar racing’s first season’s pivotal event. Until that Bathurst, many pundits were uncertain which of the nation’s two touring car categories would ultimately prevail. It’s easy to forget that Super Touring was a formidable rival to the V8 Supercars back then, but race fans voted with their feet and flocked to the V8 1000, having stayed away in droves from the Super Touring event two weeks earlier. Television ratings were equally conclusive. “The other Bathurst, by comparison to our event, was a flop and cost them a lot of money,” boasted Cochrane, knowing he was well on the way to winning his war. So from 1997 on, Super Touring began its slow downward slide and the industry’s focus increasingly swung towards V8 Supercars. Super Touring’s professional teams – including Brad Jones Racing, Paul Morris, etc – eventually joined the V8 Supercar circus. The split remained for 1998 and Volvo’s Rickard Rydell and Jim Richards won the official Super Touring race (4 October), while Ford’s Jason Bright with Steve Richards won the V8 Supercar one (15 November). Seven and the ARDC were losing the war and in 1999 their race was cut to 500km (so not recognised as a Bathurst 1000), yet most people do not even remember it happening. For the record, Morris won the weather-shortened race with a solo drive. Cochrane was probably sitting at home on the Gold Coast thinking even God was on his side. His sport had delivered a conclusive blow in the first battle, followed up with wins during the season as the smaller races started to work better too. He then delivered another big hit at Bathurst in 1998 before the knock-out blow in 1999, a year in which the Bathurst 1000 was included in the championship for the first time. Unlike previous years, the championship was on the rise and bringing Bathurst into the title race was as controversial as declaring a couple of years earlier they wouldn’t do the traditional race. The race eventually returned to October, one week later than the traditional date so it fell outside of football finals, and had officially taken over from Super Touring. One Bathurst remained, the V8 Supercars ruled, the Australian Super Touring Championship soon disappeared, as did the Super Touring formula internationally. V8 Supercars became Supercars with the Bathurst 1000 its marquee event, by which time Super Touring had long gone. What’s left is the records and memories of two Bathursts in 1997 and 1998.
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SHOOTOUT ON THE MOUNTAIN IMAGES Peter Norto n
It is the 60th anniversary of the Bathurst 500/1000 at Mount Panorama and the 45th anniversary of the introduction of the Shootout qualifying format in 2023. To celebrate the milestone, we look back at the evolution of the Shootout and the highs and lows from the dash for pole position. 74
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t is driver and car versus Mount Panorama in a race against the clock to claim pole position at Bathurst – the top 10 Shootout, a compelling drama that is 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. The 2023 edition of the Great Race will be the 47th time there will be a Shootout at Bathurst – with the two Shootouts for the Super Touring Bathurst 1000s in 1997 and 1998 counting and after heavy rain forced the cancellation of the session for the first time in the format’s history in 2022. But not all Shootouts have counted for the grid, with the format varying since its introduction. There was no official Shootout for pole position 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. 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 in the Shootout. This controversially ensured Allan Moffat was promoted into the Shootout at the expense of an unhappy John Harvey in 1979. 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 Chaz Mostert earned for his Shootout pole
position in 2021 ($5000). It was a star-studded line-up in 1978 that included iconic names in Australian motorsport, including Brock, Moffat, Grice, Johnson, Jack Brabham, Colin Bond, 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. 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 Nine-backed 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 1.1-second margin over John Bowe, a stunning result that drew plaudits from his rivals in 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 campaign, Stone Brothers Racing’s Marcos Ambrose claimed pole in the expanded top 15 Shootout of 2001. He is one of two rookies to win pole at Bathurst, along with German Klaus Ludwig in 1987. Internationals have often shone in Shootouts, highlighting how quickly some of the best can come to grips with Mount Panorama. Scotsman Tom Walkinshaw
Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert claimed pole position in the most recent Bathurst Shootout in 2021.
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Ten drivers get the Mount Panorama Circuit to themselves in the race against the clock that is the Shootout.
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 lap 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 pole-winning 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 is the driver with the most Shootout appearances who is 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 Mount Panorama 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-to-back Shootout poles in 2008-2009. Mostert was the most recent driver to convert a Shootout pole position into the win alongside codriver Lee Holdsworth in 2021. Brock and Jim Richards did it twice in a row in 1978 and 1979, while Skaife and Richards also claimed the double in 1991 and 2002. Other Shootout and race winners include Larry Perkins and Gregg Hansford (1993), Rydell and Richards (1998), Murphy and Rick Kelly (2003) and Tander and Will Davison (2009). Scott McLauglin and Alexandre Prémat are also technically on the list having started from pole position and winning the race in 2019. However, after a post-race engine irregularity was discovered, the entry was stripped off its pole position but kept the race win. Following the cancellation of the 2022 Shootout due to heavy rain, the qualifying session will be eagerly anticipated to celebrate the anniversaries in 2023. Ten cars/drivers, one epic circuit and the crowd on the edge of its seat: it is what makes the Bathurst Shootout so special.
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23-26 NOV 2023 BUY NOW AT
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ADELAIDE THE GRAND FINALE
IMAGES Peter Norton
The VAILO Adelaide 500 is now established as the season finale for the Repco Supercars Championship, with the 2023 champion set to be crowned on the streets of Adelaide. 78
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he Adelaide 500 made a triumphant return to the Repco Supercars Championship calendar in 2022. After it was cancelled by the previous South Australian government, it was returned following the state election and slotted into the end of the 2022 calendar. Moving from what was its traditional spot at the start of the calendar, what’s now known as the VAILO Adelaide 500 will become Supercars’ season finale each year. The return of the Adelaide 500 was celebrated throughout Supercars, with an estimated four-day attendance of 258,200 in 2022 a 25 percent jump on the 2020 edition; a vote of confidence in the government’s decision to bring back the event. The 2023 VAILO Adelaide 500 will be the 24th time the Adelaide 500 is held, continuing the Adelaide Street Circuit tradition that began with the first Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix back in 1985. Adelaide had already set a new standard for Formula 1 with its successful hosting of the Australian Grand Prix between 1985 and 1995. When the circuit returned to host Supercars with the Adelaide 500 in 1999, it did it again and became the template for marquee street-circuit events.
In 1985, Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said Adelaide’s arrival onto the grand prix calendar was bad news for the series because it would force other circuits on the schedule to reach the unattainable lofty heights that had been set by the South Australian capital. In 1999, Supercars supremo Tony Cochrane could have made the same statement about the arrival of the Adelaide 500 on the shortened Adelaide grand prix track. The creation of the Adelaide 500 in 1999 was a key part of a coming of age year for Supercars, with the endurance events, including the Bathurst 1000, added into the championship for the first time. But outside of Bathurst, there was little in the way of marquee events, though the previous year Hidden Valley had debuted on the calendar, backed by the Northern Territory government in a deal that helped convince its South Australian counterpart of the ability of Supercars to fill the void left by Formula 1 in Adelaide. The Adelaide 500 became more than a motor race; it was an entertainment event with stuff happening all over the precinct with bands and the like pioneering the ‘race and rock’ combination in Supercars. The organisation was first class and the entertainment was at another level, but the killer punch was the track SUPERCAR XTRA
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itself and the racing that it produced. The layout was a perfect combination; a series of right and left bends that brought together street circuit elements with the fast parklands section. Even the new corner created by shortening the grand prix layout by cutting out Rundle Road, Turn 8, became an iconic fast sweeper that came to define the new circuit. Then there was the format: two 250-kilometre races, one each on the Saturday and Sunday, forming an action-packed weekend. The cars needed to be stronger to deal with the pounding on the kerbs, and the drivers needed to be fitter to deal with the recovery from Saturday to Sunday. Some races were fought in 40-degree heat, other days in monsoonal rain, and it was all inside a concrete cavern that didn’t allow heat or fumes to escape. It was gladiatorial; drivers were collapsing in cars, fatigued and making errors. And through it all we got some of the best racing we have ever seen. It was a forerunner to modern Supercars in many ways. The winner of the event was always the winner of the Sunday race regardless of the points for the weekend, which was the way back then. It fired the push for street tracks and government backing, paving the way for Canberra, Sydney, Hamilton, Townsville, Newcastle and the like. Some worked, others didn’t. But Adelaide remained as the template to follow. Off the track, the Adelaide 500 was a well-oiled machine. The crowd and corporate facilities were matched only by the impressive growth of the grandstands. Crowd numbers grew from an initial 162,000 over three days in 1999 to 291,4000 over four days a decade later in 2008. The event became the season opener in 2002 and increased to four days in 2003. It won Supercars’ best event of the year six times in a row between 1999 and 2004, leading to its induction into the Supercars Hall of Fame in 2005. As legendary Formula 1 commentator and regular visitor to the Adelaide 500 Murray Walker said, “It’s the best touring car event in the world.” The key to it all, of course, was the quality of the racing. The track worked, the format worked and the drivers loved it. On April 9, 1999, the Supercars hit the track for the first time with Glenn Seton topping the first ever session followed by qualifying, only for the Shootout to go to Jason Bright. Then it turned into the Craig Lowndes show. The format was theoretically one 500km race, with Saturday and Sunday each hosting a 78-lap leg in the afternoons. Lowndes won the first leg but copped a rear of the grid start for the second leg for contact with privateer Danny Osborne. He recovered from the penalty with a storming drive to work his way through for the race and round win. The track was hard, with the few hundred metres chopped off the grand prix track giving the drivers a shorter back straight to catch their breath. Compared to a couple of others, though, he was doing it easy. Paul Radisich and John Faulkner, who were both running inside the top 10, collapsed in their cars, thankfully pitting only to be carried out of the cars. The dynamics 80
of being a racing driver had to shift up a gear; suddenly there was a new level of fitness required. Moving forward, as athletes the drivers prepared better, and the engineers worked on the cars to make them a less hostile workplace and strong enough to cope with an extended pounding on the street track. Even so, it was and still is one of the greatest challenges in Supercars. Having such a big race on the Saturday meant driver recovery was critical on the Saturday night. Rehydrating after a tough race, ice baths to get rid of the lactic acid build-up, saline drips, commercial refrigeration units and pretty much anything else anyone thought of was tried. By Sunday morning, the limp drivers were fresh as daisies and ready for another challenge. The format evolved with two separate 250-kilometre races, with the winner of Sunday’s race now crowned as the Adelaide 500 round winner. So, no mistakes for 250 kilometres, sometimes in ambient temperatures of near 40 degrees or other times in rain. Then the pressure. You can be a hero or a zero, all in front of the Supercars’ biggest crowds. And now, there are championship positions on the line as the season finale. As Shane van Gisbergen showed with his tyresmoking celebration in 2022, crowning a champion at such a marquee event makes the festivities even greater. And, in contrast to 2022, the champion could yet to be decided by the time Supercars arrives in Adelaide. A championship-deciding finale would make the VAILO Adelaide 500 even more box office.
ABOVE & RIGHT: Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney celebrated championship and round wins respectively in Adelaide in 2022.
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ADELAIDE 500 HONOUR ROLL ROUND WINNERS Year
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2022
Craig Lowndes Garth Tander Jason Bright Mark Skaife Mark Skaife Marcos Ambrose Marcos Ambrose Jamie Whincup Rick Kelly Jamie Whincup Jamie Whincup Garth Tander Jamie Whincup Will Davison Shane van Gisbergen James Courtney James Courtney Nick Percat Shane van Gisbergen Shane van Gisbergen Scott McLaughlin Scott McLaughlin Broc Feeney
Holden Racing Team Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Stone Brothers Racing Stone Brothers Racing Triple Eight Race Engineering HSV Dealer Team Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Racing Team Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford Performance Racing Tekno Autosports Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering DJR Team Penske DJR Team Penske Triple Eight Race Engineering
Holden VT Commodore Holden VT Commodore Holden VX Commodore Holden VX Commodore Holden VY Commodore Ford BA Falcon Ford BA Falcon Ford BA Falcon Holden VE Commodore Ford BF Falcon Ford FG Falcon Holden VE Commodore Holden VE Commodore Ford FG Falcon Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Holden ZB Commodore Ford Mustang Ford Mustang Holden ZB Commodore
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REPCO BATHURST 1000 EVENT GUIDE AVAILABLE BOOST MOBILE GOLD COAST 500 EVENT GUIDE AVAILABLE Includes Team and Driver Profiles, Schedule and more! 82
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SUPERCARXTRA ISSUE 130
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