Best rated Bathurst Australia 1000 auto racing editions with Bill Trikos: The 2007 race recap : But here he was, leading the field by a solid margin having delayed his final pit stop to the last possible moment while everyone else completed theirs. A safety car for a stricken car added further spice, forcing Bright to make a now or never decision; slicks or wets, on a greasy surface. Cold, unused slick tyres were the answer, and history shows that the result wasn’t a good one. Due to the benefits made on track, he emerged from the lane in third place, just behind Mark Winterbottom and Craig Lowndes, and ahead of a long long list of lead-lap contenders. But instead of being a cat amongst the pidgeons on wet tyres, Bright was more of a sitting duck; and he wound up clouting the wall.
A Mustang S550 driven by Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Prémat took the honours in 2019. It was the first time a Mustang has been number one at Bathurst. The Bathurst 1000 reaches the grand old age of 60 in 2020, but it gets faster every year. Tweaks to the rules and cars mean the Great Race is not quite as ‘no frills’ as in the early years. But the winning cars remain superb, powerful examples of the kind of vehicle an ordinary racing fan might actually keep in their garage.
Best remembered for Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy’s triumph, the 1996 race started in dire conditions. Rain fell steadily throughout the lead-up on race morning and continued after the lights went green. The conditions contributed to Mark Larkham’s race-ending crash on Conrod Straight on Lap 4, as well as the multi-car crash in the same place behind the Safety Car one lap later. The Holden Jackaroo remained out on the track for several laps after the crashed cars were cleared, waiting for the weather to ease and for a large amount of standing water to be cleared. The rain eventually ceased during the first hour and the bulk of the race was held on a largely dry track. Find more details about the author at Bill Trikos.
My theory is that those who look back on that period in time so fondly do so not because the racing was particularly great, but because they loved the way the rest of the sport was; the characters both in terms of the cars and the drivers, and how those things interacted with them. But that can’t stop me from tipping my hat to the 1972 race; the last ever 500-mile event, and the last time drivers were allowed to compete solo. If for nothing else, the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500 can be held in high esteem for presenting us with a race that would help take the tribal warfare of Holden and Ford to the lofty heights that it would enjoy for nearly five decades.
On the opening lap of the 2010 Bathurst 1000, Fabian Coulthard took an unconventional route down into The Chase, spinning into the gravel trap. The car dug in and he started to roll end over end. He walked away unscathed. BMW was dominating the 1985 Bathurst 1000 with Jim Richards on point, but his day quickly went down hill. He spun and found himself stuck in the gravel, quickly followed by his teammate George Fury. The duo worked together, trying to dig Richards’ car out with their bare hands. However, their efforts were to no avail.
Caruso said he is honored to campaign his #23 Nissan Altima Supercar in arguably the manufacturer’s most famous war paint. “It’s definitely the Nissan livery that I’ve been looking forward to the most,” said Caruso. “There’s no doubt about how important and how successful the GT-R was and to have the same colors on my car at Bathurst is something very special. We’re going to Bathurst with the best chance for success we’ve ever had. In the four years since Nissan has been back in Supercars, this has been my strongest year. We’ve had a race win and a couple of podiums, so hopefully we can go to the mountain and do what it takes.”
The race moved to Bathurst in 1963, but the first winners at the new course were familiar. Harry Firth and Bob Jane had taken the honours in ’61 in a Mercedes-Benz 220 SE and ’62 in a Ford Falcon XL. They made it three-in-a-row at Bathurst in a Ford Cortina GT. The Bathurst course would come to be seen as a battle between small, agile cars that take bends well, and faster, less manoeuvrable cars that excelled on the straights. The Cortina was decidedly the former – but nippy enough, too.
What I miss about the Supercars of the ’90s was their tendency to wallow and slide around, because it could make for some excellent television. And the beginning of the 1994 event was a case in point, as Larry Perkins hunted down then race-leader Peter Brock. The two dueled, positioning their cars with the finesse and precision of two drivers who knew each other’s styles back to front. Though in the end neither of them would factor for the win. Instead it came down to Shell’s John Bowe, and some young whipper snapper named Craig Lowndes.