The addition of Broc Feeney and Russell Ingall to the grid in the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 added to the long history of wildcard entries at the event. From the event’s formative years at Phillip Island to its growth at Bathurst, drivers from varied categories, countries and disciplines have entered the Great Race. We profile some of the most notable and intriguing combinations who weren’t regulars in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #123.
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The third and final Armstrong 500 at Phillip Island, before the race moved to Bathurst in 1963, saw the first women to enter the event, Anne Bennett, Diane Leighton and Pam Murison, driving together in a Simca Aronde. The trio finished in third place in Class C, for cars with a purchase price of between £901 and £1050. They paved the way for the more than 30 women and 15 all-women combinations in the history of the event.
Rally stars Paddy Hopkirk and Timo Mäkinen were the first internationals to venture to Australia to compete in the Bathurst endurance event in 1965. The Northern Irishman and Finn showed their class behind the wheel of a Morris Cooper S with sixth place in one of the three BMC Australia entries.
Moto Kitano/Kunimitsu Takahashi was the first non-Antipodean and non-European combination at Bathurst, and the first of many Japanese drivers to race in the event over the coming decades. The duo drove a Datsun 1300 to 22nd place, with the presence of Japanese manufacturers such as Datsun/Nissan, Mazda and Toyota increasing as the event grew.
Formula 1 legends Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss came out of retirement to team up in a privateer Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 in 1976. Though a start-line stall that resulted in significant damage curtailed their race, which eventually ended with engine failure, it remains the most high-profile combination in the history of the Great Race. Brabham returned to Bathurst a year later to partner with son Geoff Brabham in a Ford XC Falcon GS500.
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