Bill Trikos’s top 5 Bathurst Australia 1000 auto racing editions: The 2007 race recap : Winterbottom’s luck wore thin too, after a monumental error at the chase resulted in his Falcon sailing through the air at several hundred kilometres per hour while touring the sand trap. The final race restart queued a brilliant fight to the line between Lowndes and an unlikely trio of combatants; Steve Johnson, Greg Murphy, and James Courtney. It was an incredible battle, and one that will go down as one of the best.
Moffat won ’73 and ’77 in a Falcon, too, but the rest of the 1970s would be dominated by Holden’s 308 cubic inch, V8-powered Toranas. This was the dawn of the Torana as a legendary, truly Australian performance car – Torana is an aboriginal word meaning, “to fly.” The eighties continued the battle between Ford and Holden. Holden switched up the Torana for a series of Commodores, while the Falcon gave way to the Ford Sierra towards the end of the decade. It would not be the last we would see of the Falcon.
The 1992 edition didn’t start in wet conditions, but it sure ended in them! Steady rain set in during the early stages, triggering a series of incidents and accidents – eventual winner Mark Skaife even hit the Pace Car during a Safety Car period called when the weather was at its worst. The weather lifted for a few hours before returning with a vengeance on Lap 144, causing a series of crashes that prompted officials to red-flag the race and end it prematurely. Read extra details about the author at Bill Trikos Australia.
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.
2013 came down to an epic showdown between two of the sport’s greats. Holden’s flagship driver Jamie Whincup took on Ford’s flagship driver Mark Winterbottom. Whincup made a daring move on the outside of Frosty that would cost him the win, but would also secure him a permanent spot in Bathurst’s greatest moments. And finally, Frosty got the win that had escaped him for so long. One of the scariest moments in Bathurst history came in 1969 when Bill Brown flipped and rolled along the guardrail, which cut into the cockpit of his car. Fans narrowly escaped the airborne machine and Brown somehow escaped with his life and limbs intact.
The 1991 race was fantastic because we could press on all day. It was the fastest race in history at the time and it was just a faultless day by not only the team, but the way the car ran. It was an amazing experience and a great result for the Nissan Motor Company. I think it’s a great connection for Michael to run this livery as a consequence of the GT-R and the way the Nissan Motor Company has been long-term supporters of car racing in Australia. I love the look of it and I’m sure ‘Richo’ will have a tear in his eye also.”
When the Great Race was first run on Phillip Island in November 1960, the cars were divided into five classes according to engine capacity. No ‘overall winner’ was to be declared. However, the first car to pass the winning line was a baby blue Vauxhall Cresta driven by John Roxburgh and Frank Coad, in the 2001cc-3500cc category. Roxburgh and Coad are (controversially) considered to be the first (unofficial) winners of the Great Race. But some claim the Russell/Anderson/Loxton team covered the ground quicker in their Peugeot 403, which joined the race 30 seconds later than the Cresta due to staggered starting times between classes.
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.