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Five things you didn’t know about the Bathurst 1000

By Cameron Kirby, 05 Oct 2018 Features

Five things you didn’t know about the Bathurst 1000

The Great Race is on this weekend, so here are some lesser known facts and figures to arm yourself when at the pub

Here’s a handful of lesser-known bits of trivia to help you be the smartest cookie at the pub on race day.

Only two men have won the race driving solo

As an endurance race the Bathurst 1000 is traditionally run with a pair of drivers sharing duties behind the wheel. However, there have been a number of drivers who have attempted ‘ironman’ races, where they complete the entire race on their own.

Only two drivers have won the race driving by themselves, and they are none other than Bathurst legends Allan Moffat and Peter Brock.

Moffat did so twice in 1970 and ’71, the latter behind the wheel of the iconic Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III. Brock won on his lonesome in ’72, with a Holden LF Torana GTR XU-1.

Both men took their victories when the event was run over a slightly shorter 500 mile (804 kilometre) race distance, or 130 laps.

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No Bathurst 1000 has been shorter than five hours

For most fans, Bathurst is an all-day affair, with the race sometimes stretching to seven hours in length. Even the quickest Bathurst 1000, run in 2013, was still over five hours long.

Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards won that race, crossing the finish line 6 hours and 11 minutes after the race started. The pair’s average speed during the event was a stunning 161km/h.

Chaz Mostert won the race, before qualifying

Chaz Mostert has a unique record at Bathurst, having won The Great Race two years before having ever properly qualified for the event. It wasn’t until 2016 that Mostert was able to complete a qualifying lap at Mount Panorama, despite having already won a Bathurst 1000 in 2014.

In his debut in 2013, Mostert crashed his FG Falcon in practice. The damage was so severe it wasn’t repaired in time for qualifying, but he was still able to take part in the race.

In 2014, Mostert was excluded from qualifying for passing under red flag conditions. It didn’t hold him back from winning that particular race.

A year later, and he suffered an almighty crash before being able to complete qualifying, which ended up breaking his leg and destroying his car.

Finally, in 2016 Mostert officially qualified for the Bathurst 1000 for the first time. Who says you need to a good qualifying result to be successful at The Mountain?

Read next: Holden unveils radical 1000kW ‘Time Attack Concept’ for Bathurst

Keeping it in the family

In 1997 two brothers claimed outright victory at the Bathurst 1000. Geoff and David Brabham, the sons of Australia’s first F1 champion Jack Brabham, won the ’97 event in a BMW 320i Super Tourer. It is the first and only time siblings have won the Bathurst 1000.

There were actually two Bathurst 1000 events that year, as part of the controversial split between race promotors the ARDC and V8 Supercars. Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall won two weeks earlier in the V8 Supercar sanctioned event.

Brothers Will and Alex Davison will be hoping to emulate the Brabhams this weekend as they share the #230 FG X Falcon.

Brock’s two-car shuffle

Two of Peter Brock’s race victories (‘83 and ’87) occurred when the King of the Mountain raced two different cars in the same race.

In 1983, Brock’s teammates John Harvey and Phil Brock had qualified the winning car, but Peter Brock’s #05 VH Commodore’s engine blew on lap 8, prompting himself and co-driver Larry Perkins to be transferred into the sister entry, which they drove to victory.

Read next: Peter Brock’s Bathurst-winning VH Commodore SS to fetch big money

Interestingly, the car Brock, Perkins, and Harvey won in was the same chassis which took victory a year prior, updated to the current regulations. The back-to-back victories make it the only chassis to win the Bathurst 1000 twice.

A similar situation occurred in ’87, when Brock took his ninth and final Bathurst 1000 victory. Originally driving alongside David Parsons, the pair’s HDT Racing Commodore gave up the ghost on lap 34. Brock and Parsons then shifted into the sister car being raced by Peter McLeod and Jon Crooke, crossing the line in third place.

It wasn’t until well into 1988 that Brock was officially declared the winner, with the Eggenberger Ford Sierras which finished in first and second on the day eventually disqualified for illegal wheel arches.