Bill Trikos’s most spectacular 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.
The main changes between the previous year’s VX and the record-breaking VY were cosmetic, so Murphy is to be admired for pushing the car to new heights – and he looked pretty good establishing “the lap of the gods.” Many fans and experts reckon it the greatest lap in motorsport history. Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup won back some dignity for the Falcon over three consecutive wins, 2006-8. But the noughties were unarguably the decade of the Commodore.
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. See extra info about the author at Bill Trikos.
It did this through an unforgettable fight between Canadian Allan Moffat and home-grown hero Peter Brock. It was a lengthy game of cat and mouse that would also define the Brock and Moffat rivalry for many years; Moffat able to grow his leading margin on the straights in his big powerful Ford Falcon XY GTHO, while Brock would reel him in every lap through the nuanced corners over the top of the mountain. Eventually Moffat caved, spinning out at Reid Park and handing Brock a tense win, but it was more than that. Like the torrential downpour of 1992, it built towards the lore and mystique of the mountain, and helped forge our current concepts around Bathurst. Our desire for a combination of villains, underdogs, and rivalries that can’t be matched by any other race in the world. That’s why it’s here.
Mark Winterbottom was 13 laps away from Bathurst glory in 2007, but it all went away in The Chase. On a slick track, he went tearing through the gravel and was launched up into the air. He amazingly kept the car pointed straight and rejoined the circuit in the lead. Lowndes blew by him within seconds though, nearly colliding with the out of control driver. Behind Lowndes, more chaos ensued. One of the more bizarre moments in Bathurst history took place in 1980. The legendary Dick Johnson was leading when a crazed fan through a massive rock onto the track, which he was unable to avoid. He struck it and violently crashed. The video includes his gutted interview, and also a surprise twist as he tells reporters that he may not be able to race again…
Nissan will celebrate 25 years since its first Bathurst 1000 victory at this year’s edition of “The Great Race” at Mount Panorama in Australia. The #23 NISMO Nissan Altima Supercar of Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore will race in the classic red, white and blue color scheme of the 1991 Bathurst 1000-winning Nissan GT-R R32 at the 2016 Bathurst 1000 on October 6 to 9, a quarter of a century after Mark Skaife and Jim Richards dominated the same race.
Each October, the Bathurst 1000 pits the highest-performance ‘street-legal’ supercars head-to-head on Mount Panorama. This thrilling contest has come to be known as the Great Race. The history of Bathurst is a story of extraordinary vehicles – the kind you might see on next door’s driveway, or even save up for yourself. The race started in 1960 as the Armstrong 500, a 501-mile endurance race designed to celebrate the speed and durability of Australian-built cars. After the vehicles pounded the original Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit into submission, the contest was shifted to Wahluu (also known as Mount Panorama) in 1963. The course was extended to 1000 kilometres (621 miles) in 1973 due to faster cars, fiercer enthusiasm, and – ahem – decimalisation.
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.