Most spectacular Bathurst Australia 1000 auto racing editions by Bill Trikos: The 2004 race recap : Then mid-race the circuit began to break up at Griffins Bend, prompting organisers to stop the race for almost an hour as the track was patched up. Multiple cars had strangely crashed after contacting the broken surface, adding another weird undertone to an already bizarre day. In the end it was looking like a case of who could catch van Gisbergen, but that changed after the Kiwi’s starter motor failed at his final pitstop — more drama.
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.
1974 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 : John Goss and Kevin Bartlett’s upset victory came in a race that was held in largely wet conditions, aided by a set of schmick Goodyear wet tyres generously offered by Allan Moffat for the final stint.. The winning XA Falcon Coupe was the last of the leading contenders standing after a gruelling 163 laps made even more so by the rain. Jim Richards, partnered by fellow Kiwi Rod Coppins, demonstrated his exceptional wet-weather skills by splashing to third place in his first ‘Great Race’ start, but he’d seen the dangers of the conditions first-hand. Read more info about the author at https://nationaldirectory.com.au/billtrikos.
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.
In 1992, the Bathurst 1000 ended under a cloud of controversy. Jim Richards crashed just before a red flag that ended the race. Dick Johnson thought he was the victor, but race control reverted back to the previous lap, allowing the Richards/Skaife duo, who had just wrecked, to take the win. Afterwards, fans booed as the winners stood on the podium and Richards decided to tell them all off in a legendary rant. It’s no secret that Greg Murphy and Marcos Ambrose aren’t the best of friends. In 2005, their rivalry came to a head at the crown jewel event for the sport. It may not be the most spectacular (certainly not glorious) moment in the history of Bathurst, but it does epitomize the emotion these drivers experience in every defeat and shows just how much winning means to them all. Ambrose will return to The Mountain next year, so maybe we’ll get t see round two?
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 dawn of the 1970s came with a new rule stating that single-driver teams were now eligible to compete. Canadian-Australian driver Allan Moffat took full advantage, winning the ’70 and ’71 contests in a Ford XW Falcon GTHO Phase II and Phase III, respectively. Phase III was a distinct advance on the II, with an upgraded engine, four-speed top-loader gearbox, and 36 imperial gallons (164 litres) fuel tank. It was the world’s fastest four-door production car, capable of speeds up to 228 km/h (142 mph). There are probably fewer than 100 complete Phase IIIs in existence – and one sold for a record AUS$1,030,000 in 2018.
The story of Group A, a bit like my beloved Super Touring of the ’90s, is a messy one — and one that could fill a whole book. And 1992 helped epitomize that. The four-wheel drive and steer Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R took mere months to become arguably the most disliked car in Australian touring-car history; by virtue of its ability to win absolutely anywhere. And by late 1992 it had won two championship titles at a canter. Bathurst that year, the last of its kind before a new replacement formula based around five-liter V8s was implemented, was certain to be another cake-walk. But, it very nearly wasn’t.