|Venue||Mount Panorama Circuit|
Mount Panorama Circuit
|- Distance||1,000 km|
|Last Race (2013)|
|Winning Driver||Mark Winterbottom / Steven Richards|
|Winning Team||Ford Performance Racing|
The Bathurst 1000 (currently called the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000) is a 1,000-kilometre (620 mi) touring car race held annually at Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. The race was traditionally run on the first Sunday in October but in recent years has been held on the second Sunday; the 2012 V8 Supercars race calendar returned the race to its traditional first Sunday of the month. The race traces its lineage to the 1960 Armstrong 500. Since then 52 races have taken place under the combined history of two events at two venues in two states. It is known among fans and broadcasters as "The Great Race", and is widely regarded as the pinnacle of Australian motorsport. Since 1999, the race has been run exclusively for V8 Supercars and is now a round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The race winners receive the Peter Brock Trophy which was introduced at the 2006 race in honour of the late, nine-time Bathurst winner, Peter Brock who is the most successful driver in the history of the race.
- 1 Mount Panorama
- 2 Race history
- 3 Famous winners
- 4 List of winners
- 5 Records
- 6 Deaths
- 7 Peter Brock Trophy
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The start line for the race is located sufficiently far down the start-finish straight (toward the first corner) such that cars at the rear of the starting grid are not too far around the final corner for the standing start. The finish line is located further up the straight than the start line so that it is before all of the pit garages, ensuring that all cars that pit are recorded as having completed that lap.
The first turn, Hell Corner, is a 90 degree left-hander. Mountain Straight, a 255 km/h (158 mph) gentle climb, leads into Griffin's Bend, an off-camber right-hander which then leads into The Cutting (a sharp left-handed and steeply inclined corner). Reid Park follows, a complex corner where a number of drivers have spun after not short shifting at the apex. The course continues down to Sulman Park and McPhillamy. Drivers are unable to see the descending road and enter Skyline and the first of The Esses at 220 km/h (140 mph) before The Dipper, one of the best corners in Australian motorsport. Cars then negotiate Forrest's Elbow and open out through The Kink before powering down Conrod Straight, which at 300 km/h (190 mph) is the fastest section of the track. The Chase is a long sweeping chicane where cars are on the rev limiter turning at 300 km/h before an intense braking effort to exit at 130 km/h (81 mph). Murray's is the 23rd and final turn, and also the slowest part of the circuit, before cars return to the start-finish straight.
The Bathurst 1000 was run by just two marques, Ford and Holden from 1999 to 2012. Holden has the most victories at Bathurst with 29 wins, while Ford has 18 (19 including the victory in the 1962 Phillip Island event).
The Armstrong 500, as the race was originally known, was first held on 20 November 1960 at Phillip Island in Victoria, over a 500-mile (800 km) course, to determine which production car had the best combination of speed, performance and reliability. It was also a tool for the Armstrong company to promote its products such as shock absorbers. Entry was limited to standard, unmodified production saloons built or assembled in Australia. The race was won by Frank Coad and John Roxburgh in a Vauxhall Cresta, the only Vauxhall in a field of 45 cars.
In 1963 the race moved to the 6.2-kilometre (3.9 mi) Mount Panorama track at Bathurst in New South Wales because, after only three years, the surface of the Phillip Island track had broken up and became unsafe for production car racing. The event kept the Armstrong 500 name and its popularity grew rapidly, chiefly because it became a means for car manufacturers to showcase their products, with the rules stating that the cars in the race had to be identical to those available in the showrooms of Australia. The first years on the Mount Panorama circuit were dominated by small cars, such as the Ford Cortina GT 500 and Mini Cooper.
In 1967 the rules of the race were changed to mandate a certain number of pit-stops. This took away the advantage the small cars had of being economical on brakes and fuel, and seemed designed to favour the larger Fords and Holdens because everyone had to have as least as many pit-stops as the minimum number required by the big cars. The Minis handled the corners brilliantly and could run the entire race on a single tank of petrol, but the larger-engined cars were faster in a straight line. Ford's later development and introduction of the 289 cubic inch V8 Ford Falcon GT signalled the end of these small cars as outright contenders.
The victory of the V8 Falcon over the smaller Alfa GTVs and Mini Coopers came as a surprise, because the Falcon GT was unproven, whereas the Alfas were seen as picking up from where the Minis left off. The new, highly regarded Alfa GTV had been regarded as the emerging force in touring cars. However, the Falcon GT won due to the fact that the GT's V8 power was well suited to the Mount Panorama circuit, particularly on the long uphill and downhill straights on the course. This led to the birth of the widely-accepted adage that "there is no substitute for cubic inches on the Mountain", which became synonymous with, and changed the face of, racing at Bathurst for many years.
The popularity of the race continued to grow so rapidly during the 1960s that by 1966 most major manufacturers operating in the Australian market became heavily involved in what became known as the "Great Race". This was because an outright win in the long and tough race would add great credibility to the car and its brand, especially in proving the winning car-brand offered the best overall package in terms of performance, durability and reliability. This proved to be a significant opportunity to increase sales and market share. It was during this period that the famous Holden-Ford-Chrysler rivalry originated. This Series Production battleground between the "Big Three" was fought at Bathurst, and soon spawned the introduction and development of Australia's most famous muscle cars which became affectionately known as "Bathurst specials". These included Ford's Falcon GT and later GT-HO, Holden's Monaro and Torana, and Chrysler’s Pacer and Charger models.
In 1966 and 1967 a tobacco company sponsored the race, which became the "Gallaher 500". Then in 1968, sponsorship was taken over by a brake-parts manufacturer and the race was renamed the Hardie-Ferodo (H-F) 500. In response to Ford's successful 1967 Bathurst victory in a V8-powered Falcon GT, Holden entered the all-new Monaro GTS. It was based on the HK-model four-door Kingswood family car of the time, yet was developed as a high-performance, two-door, V8 coupé. It was affordable and fun to drive, whilst being engineered with the ability to win Bathurst. The Bathurst-bound Monaro GTS 327 had a 327 cubic inch Chevrolet-sourced V8 (as the "GTS 327" name implies) which enabled the new "hi-po" coupé to outperform the updated, yet comparatively smaller-engined, 302 cubic inch Falcon GTs. In the process the Monaro claimed a popular maiden victory on its début, as well as Holden's first ever Bathurst win.
In the following year, the Hardie-Ferodo 500 saw the first of the three Ford Falcon GT-HOs. This Phase One GT-HO Bathurst special Falcon was powered with a 351 cubic inch V8 sourced from Ford America, and with its 'HO' option including upgraded suspension and handling, such as front and rear stabiliser bars and special race tyres. Holden, on the other hand, upgraded the GTS 327 Monaro to the GTS 350, which included better race-style handling and a more powerful Chevrolet V8 engine of 350 cubic inches. The new GTS 350 Monaro, in the hands of Colin Bond and Tony Roberts, was once again able to hold out Ford to claim another famous victory for Holden, after the Phase One's special tyres failed due to the Falcon's heavy weight and great V8 power.
The 1969 race also saw the début of Peter Brock, who would soon forge his own piece of history in the Great Race as "King of the Mountain". Brock and Bond were drivers for the Holden Dealer Team (HDT), which had been formed earlier in the year to take the fight to the factory Ford Special Vehicles division that was turning out the ever-evolving, race-ready GT-HO Falcons. The "Old Fox", Harry Firth, was the head of the HDT and would prove to be just as much of a thorn in Ford's side as he had been in Holden’s when he had earlier founded and led Ford's Bathurst-bred Cortina and Falcon program.
1970 saw a change of pace as Holden decided to retire the well-proven V8 powered Monaro in favour of the smaller and more nimble Torana GTR XU-1, which was a specially developed Bathurst version of the new and popular six-cylinder LC Torana mid-size car. Rather than continue the V8-power war with Ford, Holden adopted a more scientific and viable approach that would prove to be safer and cheaper, and just as effective and fast as the GT-HO V8 steam roller. With triple carburettors and an excellent power-to-weight ratio, the new Torana XU-1 was designed to be easier on brakes, tyres and fuel, thereby enabling it to minimise the number of pit stops, whilst also having superior handling and braking to the big and thirsty V8 Falcon GT-HOs. However, Ford refined the GT-HO to Phase Two specification, which included an even more powerful and better breathing 351 V8 and better-suited tyres. With so much power and torque, the GT-HO further proved the adage that "there is no substitute for cubic inches on the Mountain" by winning the 1970 H-F 500. The small yet mighty Torana just could not compensate for the major power advantage that the Falcons had on the Bathurst straights.
The 1971 was a repeat Ford victory, which notably included the peak of the GT-HO development program. The XY-model Falcon GT-HO Phase Three featured further upgrades to engine power and aerodynamics, which made it the world’s fastest four-door production car. To raise the stakes in the Great Race, Chrysler also introduced its new two-door Charger, which was powered by a 265 cubic inch in-line HEMI six-cylinder engine, with triple Weber-carburettors, similar to the engine layout of the Torana XU-1. The Charger was Australia’s fastest-accelerating car at the time.
1972 was the "year of pressure". A media-driven "Supercar scare" had accumulated enough political pressure to force Holden to postpone its introduction of the new V8 Torana by two years. Ford abandoned its newly developed Phase Four GT-HO based on the new XA-model Falcon, while Chrysler also followed by not going ahead with its V8-powered Charger. Adding to that, the 1972 H-F 500 was the first Great Race to be run in wet weather. Allan Moffat, who had won the Hardie-Ferodo 500 in the previous two years, was unable to withstand the immense pressure placed on him by Brock in his XU-1. The Torana proved more than a match for the ultimate Phase Three GT-HO in the atrocious conditions. After being challenged furiously by Brock’s superbly handling XU-1, Moffat was unable to fully exploit the Phase Three’s V8 power and spun early in the race, also suffering two one-minute penalties for starting the engine while refuelling. He never really recovered. Brock, meanwhile, was able to hold off the Phase Three GT-HO of John French and the E49 Charger of Doug Chivas to win the 1972 H-F 500, thus exposing the "no substitute for cubic inches" idea as a myth. At the wheel of the new, upgraded LJ-model Torana GTR XU-1, Brock had successfully exploited the car to its maximum effect to claim a victory significant for a number of reasons, the major one being that it proved to be the first of Brock’s nine Bathurst wins, a record which would lead to him being dubbed the “King of the Mountain” and becoming known as “Peter Perfect”. Brock's win also signalled the first Bathurst victory for a six-cylinder-engined car, an achievement that would not be repeated until the maiden win of the Nissan Skyline GT-R "Godzilla" many years later in 1991. The race also began the Torana legend, which would enable this innovative and unique muscle car to become one of Australia’s most successful touring cars.
Group C era
In 1973, the race distance was changed from 500 miles (800 km) to 1,000 kilometres as Australia shifted towards the adoption of the metric system. That same year, a new rule was implemented allowing modifications to be made to the cars, which meant that the Series Production racing category became replaced by the new Group C category. Holden and Chrysler entered their XU-1 and Charger respectively, while Ford entered its new XA-model two-door, hard-top Ford Falcon GT. This was not a GT-HO Phase Four officially, yet most hard-top GTs that raced incorporated many of the Phase Four’s components such as the specially built four-bolt 351 V8 engine. Brock and teammate Chivas were far out front in the lead and on track to score yet another victory for Holden’s ‘pocket rocket’ Torana XU-1, only to be beaten by Moffat’s hard-top GT after Chivas at the wheel of the XU-1 ran out of fuel. This was due to a miscalculation that originated from a broken fuel gauge and the team order to get maximum laps out of the little XU-1 before pitting. The XU-1 came to a halt just before pit straight, with Chivas pushing the XU-1 into the pits unable to be assisted by his pit-crew which under the rules would have resulted in the Brock/Chivas XU-1 being disqualified. By the time the XU-1 was refueled, Moffat had passed the stricken XU-1 and was gaining a sizable lead. After being released from pitlane, Brock set off in hot pursuit of the Moffat's Falcon GT. But Brock’s heroic effort, equal to that of Chivas’ pit-lane adventure, proved too little, too late. Brock’s XU-1 suffered a deflating tyre, thus enabling Moffat to hold on and claim yet another Falcon victory, his third in only four years. 1973 would also be the last competitive appearance for Chrysler, with the marque soon disappearing from the Group C category almost entirely.
For the remainder of the 1970s, Holden’s new 308 cubic inch V8-powered Toranas would score Bathurst victory another four times in 1975–76, and 1978–79, and Ford’s venerable 351 V8-powered Falcon GTs taking out the two remaining Bathurst wins in the rain-soaked 1974 H-F 1000, and its famous 1–2 form finish in 1977. Group C would also see in the new decade, but would soon be replaced by the new International Group A Touring car rules in 1985. Till then, Holden and Ford dominated the Great race and shared victories between them. However, both Australian manufacturers were facing increased foreign competition, notably from the new Mazda RX-7 that was adopted and affectionately raced by Moffat, and Kevin Bartlett's 350 V8 powered Chevrolet Camaro. The turbo powered Nissan Bluebird piloted by George Fury also threatened the V8 'Big Bangers', and signaled a sign of things to come during the soon-to-be-adopted Group A era. During the 1980s the Group C category was dominated by Peter Brock, having scored victories in 1980/82/83/84. Dick Johnson was the only winner for Ford during the 1980s Group C, with a victory in 1981 whilst at the wheel of the all-new XD-model Falcon. Ultimately, Peter Brock would prove to be the ace of the Group C era, by having achieved an incredible two Bathurst hat-tricks (three consecutive Bathurst wins twice) while at the wheel of both the Holden Torana and soon-to-be-released all new Commodore, in 1978–1980 and again in 1982–1984.
Group A era
From 1985 to 1992, the Great Race was run under international Group A touring car rules. Imported turbocharged cars, most notably Ford Sierra RS Cosworths and Nissan Skyline GT-R, dominated the racing during this period, with the Holden Commodore managing to claim three wins during this era. Under the new Group A rules, local race teams in Australia could now compete against foreign racing teams and cars, both domestically and overseas. Holden-based race teams would continue to develop and race the 304 cubic inch V8-powered Commodore, with the HDT and later the Holden Racing Team (HRT) being at the forefront of the Commodores Group A development and race program. Ford-based teams had almost no factory support from Ford Australia, and without this vital financial and technical assistance, the development program of a competitive Group A Ford Falcon never eventuated. As a result Ford teams, such as Dick Johnson Racing, quickly switched from V8 Falcon to the US-sourced V8 Mustang for Group A racing. This was later followed by the adoption of the powerful Cosworth-turbo Ford Sierras, which were race-developed and available directly from Europe.
1985 would be the first year of the Bathurst 1000 being raced under Group A rules. This race was dominated by Tom Walkinshaw Racing's V12 Jaguar XJ-S, with 1974 winner John Goss and West German ace Armin Hahne claiming Jaguar's first and only Bathurst win. The following year, the Group A VK-model Commodore V8 of privateer racer Allan Grice claimed the Bathurst honours, after enjoying an exciting racing campaign in Europe, alongside other Commodore drivers Peter Brock and his newly recruited HDT team mate, Allan Moffat.
1986 saw the race's first fatality when Sydney driver Mike Burgman was killed after his Holden Commodore hit the base of the bridge at the bottom of Conrod Straight at over 250 km/h (155 mph). Bergman's death would result in the circuit being altered before the 1987 race with the introduction of The Chase some two-thirds of the way down Conrod which lengthened the circuit by 41 metres and reduced the speed the cars would approach the braking area for Murray's Corner by approximately 100 km/h (62 mph).
In 1987, the race was a round of the short-lived World Touring Car Championship, and competitors in that championship raced against local teams. The resulting culture clash was considerable; local scrutineers, who had been applying the Group A regulations as written, repeatedly disagreed with European teams (notably that of Rudi Eggenberger) and the global organising body (FISA, the ancestor of the FIA) that were considerably more liberal with their interpretations. With the race run, it was still unclear as to who actually won. Although the Eggenberger's cars finished first and second, they were soon to be disqualified months later due to bodywork irregularities. The race win was eventually awarded to third-placed Peter Brock, who drove two of his VL-model Group A Commodore's in wet conditions to ultimately claim a ninth and final Bathurst victory. During the race, Brock's number '05' HDT Commodore had broken down early on, so he and his co-driver David Parsons switched to the team's second car, the #10 Commodore of Peter McLeod, to finish third behind the two Eggenberger Sierras.
Local Sierra teams dominated and won the next two Bathurst 1000s, in 1988 and 1989, with the 1989 race seeing Peter Brock claiming pole while racing a Ford for the first time in one of the all-powerful Sierra's. In 1990 however, the Sierras were again looking strong but lost to the HRT Holden Commodore of Allan Grice and Win Percy. The winning VL-model 'SS Group A SV' Commodore was able to set a fast pace early on in the race which the turbo Sierras could not maintain, due to the high turbo boost pressures that gave the Sierras their power, but resulted in extreme engine heat that hindered engine reliability. The HRT's strategy had claimed a popular and long-awaited Bathurst victory for Holden, after three seasons of Sierra domination.
However a new and much more fierce opponent was awaiting both cars. Also in 1990, Nissan and team manager Fred Gibson, had previously been running and developing its Skylines in Australian touring car competition for a few years, and that year introduced its new R32 four-wheel drive GT-R. While it suffered from mechanical problems in the 1990 race, the R32 GT-R Skyline went on to win both the 1991 and 1992 races and dominated Group A racing worldwide, earning its nickname 'Godzilla'. With four-wheel drive, four-wheel steer, and a powerful turbo 2.6-litre six-cylinder engine producing almost 600 horsepower (450 kW), the RWD Sierras and Commodores simply could not equal or compensate for the Skyline's superior handling and power output.
The Skyline's 1992 victory was particularly controversial. Already disliked by a section of the parochial Bathurst crowd, who preferred the race to be a contest between the traditional V8 touring car marques of Holden and Ford, the leading Skyline of Jim Richards and Mark Skaife was awarded victory after the race was stopped following a huge rainstorm that caused a number of crashes, including that of the winning car. In the event of a red flag results are declared at the last completed lap. As Richards had been leading the race in that lap his team was declared the winner. This was an unpopular decision with some race fans, who voiced their opinions loudly. Race winners Mark Skaife and Jim Richards were met with a large booing crowd on the winner's podium, prompting Richards to proclaim to the crowd "This is bloody disgraceful" and "You're a pack of arseholes".
Super Touring and the Australia 1000
Group A as an international formula had ceased to exist at the end of 1988, and over the next few years all the major national touring car championships had dropped these regulations for something new. CAMS had originally planned to replace Group A at the end of 1991, but this was pushed back to the end of 1992 as they awaited FISA's new set of touring car regulations. These were very long in coming, and were unlikely to prove favourable (if they even fell within the regulations) for big-engined cars, and it was decided that for 1993 Australia would go their own way. A new set of touring car regulations would be created that would later be renamed to V8Supercar, with entry limited to only V8-powered Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores (with one exception for 1993 only; weight limited normally aspirated Group A cars like the BMW M3 run by the works BMW team run by Tony Longhurst and Frank Gardner. The new set of regulations also featured a second class for 2-litre cars, based on the BTCC's regulations of the time. This class banned turbocharging along with four-wheel-drive, and effectively banned Nissan's GT-R from competition. Almost immediately, Nissan pulled out of Australian motorsport for twenty years.
In 1994, the 2-litre Super Touring championship split off from the ATCC, though these cars ran at Bathurst that year alongside the V8s, with a top placing of 10th outright for the works BMW of Paul Morris/Altfrid Heger. In 1995, however, due to fears about the speed differences between the V8s and the 2-litre cars, the Bathurst 1000 for the first time in its history became a one-class race, with just 32 Ford and Holden V8s facing the starter in what was at the time the smallest grid in the history of the race. This format continued in 1996.
In 1997, TEGA (who had been awarded the rights to market V8 touring cars by CAMS back in 1994) signed a deal with International Management Group, for marketing the class (newly renamed as V8Supercars). One of the first steps of the new joint venture company (called AVESCO) was to sign a new TV deal with the Network Ten for a much expanded coverage of the championship over previous years. This was fine for the ATCC races, but the Bathurst 1000, run by the ARDC, had a TV deal with Seven Network (who had televised the race since in its inception at Bathurst in 1963) going forward into the 21st century. It was a stalemate, Seven was not prepared to lose the race, and AVESCO, with a freshly signed TV deal with the Ten which required a Bathurst race to be part of the deal, not prepared to go to Bathurst with Ten (a similar dispute has been in effect at V8 Supercar's round at Albert Park in Melbourne since 2007, where Ten holds rights to the Australian Grand Prix and Seven has the V8 Supercar rights; that race is non-championship because of the television dispute).
Despite talks, a resolution was not met, AVESCO announced V8 Supercars would not be competing in the traditional Bathurst 1000 held on the October long weekend, leaving the organisers without an entry field for the 1997 race. TOCA Australia filled the void with a 2-litre Super Touring field, featuring a number of British Touring Car Championship drivers and teams including Alain Menu, John Cleland and Rickard Rydell. The race was won by Paul Morris and Craig Baird in a BMW 320i run by BMW Motorsport Australia, however this team was disqualified as Baird had violated a race rule prohibiting drivers from driving more than three and a half hours consecutively in any one stint. The race was awarded to teammates David and Geoff Brabham.
In 1997 and 1998, the "Australian 1000 Classic" was run for V8Supercars after AVESCO came to an arrangement with the Bathurst City Council after AVESCO received a backlash for announcing they would not race at Bathurst. The 1997 edition was called the "Primus 1000 Classic" and held two weeks after the traditional race, whilst the 1998 "FAI 1000 Classic" was held in mid-November. Both races claimed to be the legitimate Bathurst 1000: the V8 Supercars' case was that they were the only truly Australian class of racing and the more popular of the two, while the Super Touring race was the official "Bathurst 1000" and was held on the traditional date of the first Sunday in October.
The fans voted with their feet and, due to a reducing number of competitors and spectators, the Super Touring class disappeared from Bathurst competition in 1999 and the race became exclusively for V8 Supercars.
In 1999 the ARDC race was embroiled in controversery after an attempt to combine Super Touring with V8 Future Touring Cars and obsolete super-speedway AUSCARs was prevented by court action. The race was then split in two with a 300-kilometre race for the mixed V8s which was won by Peter Brock's step-son James Brock and a 500-kilometre race for Super Touring won by Paul Morris. This would be the last ARDC race and the last race to ever be held on the traditional Labor Day holiday weekend.
V8 Supercars continues
From 1999 to 2005, Holden won all the V8 Supercar Bathurst 1000s. In 1999, Steven Richards and Greg Murphy became Bathurst champions in the Gibson Motorsport Holden VT Commodore. Garth Tander teamed with Jason Bargwanna became the Bathurst Champions in 2000 with Garry Rogers Motorsport.
In 2001, Mark Skaife teamed with Tony Longhurst won the Bathurst 1000 and continued dominating with the Holden Racing Team (HRT) for the following year in his Holden VX Commodore. During this time the race remained in November despite the lack of a clashing race. In 2000 the Sydney Olympics blocked out sport in October. In 2001 when the long weekend became available the National Rugby League shifted their grand final into the weekend, permanently denying V8 Supercar a return to the traditional weekend.
Despite having cooling problems in the closing laps of the Great Race due to plastic bags in the air intake, Mark Skaife won the Bathurst 1000 again in 2002 teamed with Jim Richards ten years after they were both 'booed' off the podium after winning the 1992 Bathurst 1000 in a Nissan Skyline GT-R. This time, Jim Richards jokingly said they were all a lovely bunch of people in contrast to his comments made on the podium ten years earlier after the Bathurst 1000 victory. Greg Murphy was given the biggest penalty (five minutes) in V8 racing history because of a pitlane infringement by his team. His car was released early, rupturing a refuelling hose and spilling fuel in the pit box.
In 2003, Greg Murphy set the fastest lap ever (later referred to as 'the Lap of the Gods') on the 6.213 km Mount Panorama Circuit during the Top 10 Shootout, with a time of 2:06.8594. Murphy won the Bathurst 1000 with Rick Kelly in 2003 and 2004 for K-Mart Racing.
In 2006, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup won the first race for Ford in eight years. They were also the first winners of the Peter Brock Trophy (so named following the passing of Peter Brock only the month before). Lowndes and Whincup then won the next two races to make the first three-peat since Peter Brock and Larry Perkins won the Bathurst 1000 from 1982 to 1984 (the 1983 win was also shared with John Harvey). Holden then started a run of four straight wins from 2009 to 2012. The 2009 race was won by Garth Tander and Will Davison. In 2011, Nick Percat became the first rookie to win the Bathurst 1000 since Jacky Ickx in 1977. The last winners of this era were Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell in 2012, in the second closest non-formation finish in Bathurst 1000 history, with David Reynolds and Dean Canto finishing 0.31 seconds behind the Triple Eight Race Engineering Commodore.
The introduction of the New Generation V8 Supercar regulations in 2013 saw manufacturers other than Ford and Holden return to the race for the first time since 1998. Nissan returned to the event with four Nissan Altimas run by Kelly Racing, while Mercedes-Benz also returned through Australian GT Championship team Erebus Motorsport with its three Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGs. Volvo, the last manufacturer other than Ford and Holden to win the race, will return in 2014 with Garry Rogers Motorsport announcing it will run Volvo S60s in 2014.
In 2013, the Bathurst 1000 was once again a nail-biting close finish between two competitors. This time it was Ford's factory team drivers from Ford Performance Racing, Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards, versus Triple Eight Race Engineering's Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell. It was the shortest race duration, with the full 1000 km completed, of six hours, eleven minutes and twenty-seven seconds.. This was Ford's first victory since 2008 and the first time since 1977 that a Ford manufacturer backed car won the Bathurst 1000.
The most successful driver at Bathurst is Peter Brock, whose nine victories (1972, 1975, 1978–80, 1982–84 and 1987) earned him the nickname King of the Mountain.
Bob Jane won the race four times in succession from 1961 to 1964. Jane's racing exploits assisted in the creation of his automotive businesses, originally with automotive vehicle dealerships, then later more prominently with a national chain of tyre retailers.
Jim Richards won the race seven times (1978–80, 1991–92, 1998 and 2002) and also holds the record for the most starts (35) at this event. Larry Perkins is the third most successful driver at Bathurst, with six victories (1982–84, 1993, 1995 and 1997). Both Richards and Perkins shared some of their victories as co-drivers with Brock.
Canadian-born Allan Moffat is Ford's most successful Bathurst driver, winning the race four times (1970, 1971, 1973 and 1977). The 1977 race saw Moffat and team-mate Colin Bond cross the finish line side by side after opening up an indomitable lead in the early laps.
Dick Johnson first rose to fame during the 1980 race when his privately entered Ford Falcon hit a rock that had fallen (or been pushed; the subject is still debated to this day) onto the track. Thanks to public donations of over A$70,000 – and a matching donation from Ford Motor Company – Johnson was able to rebuild his car and win the Bathurst race the following year. He went on to win twice more, in 1989 and 1994.
In 2008 Craig Lowndes, who in many ways has become Australian touring car racing successor to Brock in terms of success and popularity, won the race for the fourth time, and with his co-driver Jamie Whincup joined Jane, Harry Firth, Brock, Richards and Perkins in an elite group of drivers to have won the race in three successive years. Only Jane went on to win a fourth. Lowndes won the race for the fifth time in 2010.
List of winners
* Denotes Australia 1000 races for V8 Supercars category
** First and second position finishers were disqualified post race
*** Race was stopped before full race distance
Multiple race winners
Number of victories by vehicle brand
- Outright race winner was not official recognised until 1965, with official results indicated four or five class races occurring simultaneously rather than a single race. The first car across the finish line has been retroactively recognised outright race winner since then.
The lap record for the race is the 2:08.4651 recorded by Jamie Whincup in his Ford BF Falcon in 2007, not to be confused with the fastest lap ever recorded, a 2:06.8012 set during practice in 2010 by Holden driver Craig Lowndes.
In the 50 years of racing, three drivers have died while competing in the Bathurst 1000.
In 1986, Sydney accountant and privateer entrant Mike Burgmann became the first fatality in the race's history when his car (Holden VK Commodore), travelling at 268 km/h (167 mph), struck the tyre barrier at the base of recently constructed Bridgestone Bridge (Then called John Player Special) on the high-speed straight known as Conrod Straight. "The Chase", a large three-corner chicane, added in 1987 to the straight was dedicated to Burgmann with a plaque embedded in the concrete barriers.
In 1992, former Formula One world champion Denny Hulme, after complaining of blurred vision, suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his BMW M3 whilst travelling along Conrod Straight. After veering into the wall on the left side of the track, he managed to bring the car to a relatively controlled stop on the opposite side of the course. When marshals reached the scene, Hulme was unconscious; he was pronounced dead at Bathurst Hospital after suffering a second heart attack.
Additionally the 2006 event was marred by the death of New Zealand driver Mark Porter in a Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series support race on the Friday of the meeting. Porter had been scheduled to compete in the 1000 as a driver for the Brad Jones Racing team.
Peter Brock Trophy
Following Brock's death in an accident during a rally (Targa West Event) in Western Australia, V8 Supercars Australia announced that from 2006 onwards, the drivers in the Bathurst 1000 would be racing to win the Peter Brock Trophy. The 2006 race also honoured Brock with special tributes, such as the front row of the starting grid being left vacant, all cars bearing an '05' number made famous by Brock, and a champions' lap of honour featuring Brock's past co-drivers parading cars that Brock won Bathurst in.
- List of Bathurst 1000 vehicles
- National Motor Racing Museum is a museum located adjacent to the racing circuit at Murrays Corner, exhibiting racing memorabilia
- Official 2006 Race Program, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, 5–8 October 2006, front cover
- [The Great Race 27]
- "Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – 2010 V8 Supercars – Race 18 Mount Panorama – Bathurst V8 Supercars – Practice 5". National Software. 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
- "Memorial trophy and champions lap to honour Peter Brock". V8 Supercars Australia. 12 September 2006.
- "Peter Brock Trophy to last a lifetime". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2006-10-06. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
- The official website for the 2013 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000
- V8 Supercars Australia
- National Motor Racing Museum — Bathurst
- All about Bathurst
- Chequered Flag Motorsport's Virtual Lap of Bathurst