What if we were to bring together some of the best and most intriguing combinations in the history of the Bathurst 500/1000 at Mount Panorama to form the greatest Bathurst grid of all-time?
SupercarXtra Magazine issue #130 celebrates 60 years of the Bathurst 500/1000, including a Bathurst super grid.
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Featuring every winner in the history of the event plus drivers who narrowly missed out, other notables from Australia and overseas and more, in addition to an even split of Fords and Holdens plus other manufacturers.
These are the rules we abided by to create the grid for what we call ‘The Greatest Race’: the combination must have teamed up in a Bathurst 500/1000 and a driver can only appear on this grid once, so no crossover between different combinations.
The aim is to form the deepest grid in terms of combinations, driver talent, teams and machinery, with grid positions based on not only their results as a combination but also the potential for results on the partnership strength and career achievements.
Sixty-four entrants have been included, equal to the largest grid recorded at Bathurst in 1984, to celebrate the talented drivers who have entertained us at Mount Panorama from 1963 to today.
In 64th place is Trevor Ashby and Steve Reed in their 1997 Holden VS Commodore. The long-time Lansvale Smash Repairs entrants of Trevor Ashby and Steve Reed hold the record for the longest-running partnership at Bathurst with 16 consecutive starts from 1986 to 2001, a record unlikely to ever be matched. The regular combination scored a best of eighth place in 1997; a standout amongst the privateer entrants in the history of the Great Race.
In pole position is Peter Brock and Jim Richards in their 1979 Holden LX Torana SS A9X. The two most experienced and successful drivers in the history of the Great Race were the first combination to claim a hat-trick of wins in a dominant spell from 1978 to 1980.
Brock had already won two Bathursts by the time the Holden Dealer Team hired Richards on its lead driver’s advice; the New Zealander having impressed at his debut at a wet Mount Panorama in 1974. The 1979 victory remains the most famous of their hat-trick. It was more of a demonstration than a race with the entry claiming pole position, leading every lap and winning by six laps, with Brock setting the fastest lap and new record on the final lap of the race.
Their third win in 1980 took Brock to the top of the all-time-wins list, a position where he remains with Richards right behind. Together they have 16 wins (Brock nine and Richards seven), 24 podiums (12 each) and 67 starts (Richards 35 and Brock 32). They are the undoubted greatest combination in the history of the Great Race at Bathurst.
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