Learn the Fascinating History of the Bathurst 1000

Introduction

The Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, hosts the annual Bathurst 1000 endurance event. The race, known as “The Great Race,” is fought over 1000 kilometers (620 miles) and is usually held in October. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious events on the Supercars Championship calendar. The competition is presently managed by Supercars Australia and was first conducted in 1960.

History

An annual endurance competition called the Bathurst 1000, sometimes known as the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, takes place at Australia’s Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales. Since the inaugural race in 1960, the occasion has had a long and illustrious history.

The Armstrong 500 Production Car Company organized the event, which was initially raced as the Armstrong 500, in 1960. Originally, the competition was accessible to sedans and coupes from the production line, but over time, it has changed to include race cars that are specifically designed for competition. Before 1973, when the event was moved to the present 6.213 km (3.861 mi) circuit, it was run on a shorter version of the track.

The Hardie-Ferodo 500 was the new moniker for the 1973 competition, which welcomed V8 touring cars. Up until 1977, the race was still conducted under this moniker. In 1978, the race’s name was changed to the Bathurst 1000, and it has been run under that name ever since.

The Holden and Ford brands dominated the market in the 1980s, which led to intense competition between the two manufacturers. New guidelines were added to the competition in the 1990s to level the playing field among various teams and manufacturers.

The Bathurst 1000 has grown to be one of Australia’s most renowned and well-attended racing occasions, drawing significant crowds and attention from around the world. It is frequently referred to as “The Great Race” and is regarded as the Supercars Championship’s signature event.

Rules and Regulations

The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), which oversees racing in Australia, has established the rules and regulations for the Bathurst 1000. The Supercars Championship rules, which are based on the global FIA touring car racing rules, are used to regulate the event.

Eligibility

A car must be built on a four-door sedan and adhere to the Supercars technical requirements to be eligible to race in the Bathurst 1000. Teams are limited in terms of horsepower and aerodynamic alterations, and the engines utilized in the vehicles must be 5.0-liter V8s.

Safety

In the Bathurst 1000, the drivers’ and teams’ safety is of the utmost importance. Before the race, the vehicles must pass a series of safety checks, and teams are required to have a specified number of pit crew members who have undergone particular safety training.

Qualifying

The top 10 quickest cars will battle for pole position during the first of two qualifying sessions for the Bathurst 1000. The remaining field will qualify during the second session. The quickest lap time of each vehicle throughout the qualifying sessions determines the starting grid.

Race format

The Bathurst 1000 is an endurance event that circles Mount Panorama Circuit 161 times for a total distance of 1000 kilometers. Typically, the race lasts for one day and includes a required pit stop for tires and fuel.

Penalties

Penalties for breaking the regulations may include drive-through fines or time penalties. Disqualification from the race is possible for more serious offenses.

Weather

In October, when the Bathurst 1000 is held, the weather may be erratic. The race may be halted or delayed owing to weather, therefore the teams and drivers must be ready for any condition.

Spectator

There are regulations for spectators as well, such as prohibitions on bringing food and beverages inside and guidelines for camping close to the track.

Overall, the Bathurst 1000 is a demanding and competitive race that necessitates thorough preparation from teams and drivers as well as rigorous adherence to rules and regulations to guarantee a fair and safe race.

Racetrack

The track’s length is 6.213 kilometers (3.86 miles), and it has a combination of fast straightaways and challenging bends. The track stands out because, when not used for racing events, it is a public road circuit that is accessible to ordinary traffic.

There are several well-known sections on the circuit, including:

  • “The Dipper” – A steep decline is followed by a sharp left turn that is narrow and downward.
  • “The Chase” – A long, fast straight that enters a challenging, complex chicane.
  • “Conrod Straight” – The circuit’s longest straight, which gives drivers a strong opportunity to overtake.
  • “The Esses” – A sequence of sharp turns that are swiftly followed by the “Chase.”
  • “The Cutting” – A difficult for drivers and may be the best place for overtaking the stretch of the track.
  • “Murray’s Corner” – The last bend before the start/finish line is a sharp left turn.

With its high speeds, narrow turns, and elevation changes, the Bathurst 1000 is regarded as one of the toughest courses in the world. The track is renowned for being difficult for both drivers and automobiles, making it a genuine test of endurance.

Teams and drivers must carefully balance speed with tire wear and fuel economy since the course demands a special driving style. It is one of the most challenging courses in the world for teams and drivers since it calls for the ideal balance of power and handling.

Famous Race Winners

The Bathurst 1000 has been won by some of the most well-known and successful drivers in racing history. These famous race wins include:

Peter Brock

Peter Geoffrey Brock, an Australian racing driver often known as “Peter Perfect,” “The King of the Mountain,” or just “Brocky,” competed in motorsports. He sets a record nine times in the Bathurst 1000, including a run of four straight victories from 1982 to 1985.

Dick Johnson

Australian touring car racing veteran and team owner with five Bathurst 1000 victories, as well as his memorable crash in 1980 and the subsequent restoration of his vehicle, known as “the Bathurst Phoenix.”

Mark Skaife

Mark Skaife, an Australian racing driver, has given up the sport. Skaife has won five times in the V8 Supercar Championship Series and six times in the Bathurst 1000, as well as the Australian Touring Car Championship, which preceded the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Allan Moffat

One of the most recognizable vehicles in the event’s history was the Ford Mustang GTHO driven by Canadian-Australian team owner and four-time race winner.

Jim Richards

A New Zealander who finished the season with seven victories, including six when teaming up with Peter Brock.

Craig Lowndes

The most successful active driver, with seven victories, including three straight victories from 1996 to 1998.

List of winners

Here is a list of the winners of the Bathurst 1000, organized by year until the year 2021:

  • 1962: Lex Davison and Bob Jane
  • 1963: Bob Jane
  • 1964: Ian Geoghegan and Bob Jane
  • 1965: Norm Beechey and Barry Seton
  • 1966: Ian Geoghegan and Bob Jane
  • 1967: Fred Gibson and Harry Firth
  • 1968: Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland
  • 1969: Colin Bond and Tony Roberts
  • 1970: Allan Moffat and Ian Geoghegan
  • 1971: Allan Moffat and Ian Geoghegan
  • 1972: Allan Moffat and Ian Geoghegan
  • 1973: Allan Moffat and Ian Geoghegan
  • 1974: Allan Moffat and Ian Geoghegan
  • 1975: Allan Moffat and Ian Geoghegan
  • 1976: Allan Moffat and Jacky Ickx
  • 1977: Allan Moffat and Jacky Ickx
  • 1978: Peter Brock and Jim Richards
  • 1979: Peter Brock and Jim Richards
  • 1980: Peter Brock and Jim Richards
  • 1981: Peter Brock and Jim Richards
  • 1982: Peter Brock and Larry Perkins
  • 1983: Peter Brock and Larry Perkins
  • 1984: Dick Johnson and John French
  • 1985: Dick Johnson and John French
  • 1986: Allan Grice and Graeme Bailey
  • 1987: Dick Johnson and John Bowe
  • 1988: Dick Johnson and John Bowe
  • 1989: Dick Johnson and John Bowe
  • 1990: Dick Johnson and John Bowe
  • 1991: Jim Richards and Mark Skaife
  • 1992: Larry Perkins and Gregg Hansford
  • 1993: Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall
  • 1994: Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall
  • 1995: Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy
  • 1996: Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy
  • 1997: Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy
  • 1998: Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy
  • 1999: Steven Richards and Greg Murphy
  • 2000: Garth Tander and Jason Bargwanna
  • 2001: Mark Skaife and Tony Longhurst
  • 2002: Mark Skaife and Tony Longhurst
  • 2003: Marcos Ambrose and Greg Ritter
  • 2004: Rick Kelly and Greg Murphy
  • 2005: Rick Kelly and Greg Murphy
  • 2006: Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup
  • 2007: Garth Tander and Will Davison
  • 2008: Garth Tander and Will Davison
  • 2009: Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes
  • 2010: Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes
  • 2011: Garth Tander and Nick Percat
  • 2012: Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell
  • 2013: Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell
  • 2014: Chaz Mostert and Paul Morris
  • 2015: Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen
  • 2016: Will Davison and Jonathon Webb
  • 2017: David Reynolds and Luke Youlden
  • 2018: Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Premat
  • 2019: Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander
  • 2020: Chaz Mostert and Warren Luff
  • 2021: Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander

Deaths

Several fatalities have occurred in the Bathurst 1000 throughout the years because it is a high-speed motorsport competition.

  • Jim Clark, a spectator, was killed in 1961 when a vehicle veered off the track and hit him.
  • While practicing for the race, driver Greg Cusack was killed in a collision in 1962.
  • Des West, a race driver, perished in a collision in 1974.
  • During the race in 1977, driver Graham Hoinville was killed in a collision.
  • Peter Williamson, the driver, died in the race in 1983.
  • During the race in 1986, driver Mike Burgmann was killed in an accident.
  • Driver Jason Richards perished in a race collision in 2000.
  • In a support race in 2014, spectator Graham Beveridge was killed when a vehicle veered off the road and hit him.

It should be emphasized that safety precautions in racing have substantially increased over time. and there have been very few deaths in recent years.

Every racing event has a certain amount of risk, thus it is crucial to constantly abide by safety precautions and rules.

Race Dates

Every year, the first weekend in October marks the racing of the Bathurst 1000. The dates for the upcoming Bathurst 1000 races are as follows:

  • 2022: October 7-10
  • 2023: October 6-9
  • 2024: October 4-7
  • 2025: October 3-6

Keep in mind that these dates might change, so it’s best to check the official website or a press release for the most recent information.

Interesting Facts

Here are some interesting facts regarding the Bathurst 1000:

  1. One of the world’s longest continually operating racing competitions, the Bathurst 1000 debuted in 1960.
  2. At the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, the competition is held. One of the most difficult courses in the world is the 6.213 km long circuit with steep inclines and tight turns.
  3. One of the most renowned races in Australian racing, the Bathurst 1000 is often known as the “Great Race” or the “Race to End All Races.”
  4. The race’s original distance was 500 km, but in 1973 it was raised to 1000 km.
  5. The Bathurst 1000 has been dominated by the Holden and Ford brands, with Holden winning the most races (37) and Ford coming in second (24).
  6. With nine victories between 1974 and 1987, Peter Brock holds the record for the most Bathurst 1000 victories as a driver.
  7. The Bathurst 1000 is famed for its intense battles on the course and tight finishes, with numerous races decided by less than one second.
  8. The Dunlop Super2 Series and the Bathurst 12-Hour endurance race are two of the support events for the Bathurst 1000.
  9. Except for the years of World War II, when the race was postponed for safety reasons, the Bathurst 1000 has been conducted each year since it started in 1960.
  10. One of the most viewed racing events in Australia is the Bathurst 1000, which draws sizable crowds to the track and millions of spectators on television.

Conclusion

Among the biggest competitions in Australian racing, the Bathurst 1000 is recognized as one of the hardest and most difficult races in the world. The race has a long history, with the inaugural edition taking place in 1960. It continues to draw sizable audiences and a top-level field of competitors. Additionally, if you are a racing enthusiast, knowledge about the Bathurst 1000 might boost your enthusiasm and comprehension of the sport.