Bathurst made Peter Brock a household name as “King of The Mountain,” winning a record nine times. Brock is considered an Australian sporting legend and was much-loved by fans, helping to popularise the race throughout the late 1970s through to the 2000s.
Brock has a connection to the district, learning to drive in an Austin A7 in the paddocks of Hurstbridge as a child and attended Eltham High School.
Began by Australian motor car manufacturers to showcase their products the event soon grew into a major battle between Holden and Ford, with Nissan, Volvo, Chrysler, Toyota among other manufacturers also participating.
“Win On Sunday, Sell on Monday,” was the motto as car manufacturers spent thousands -if not millions- of dollars to be successful at Bathurst.
Until 2001, the rules required that cars entered in ‘The Great Race’ were manufactured in Australia with a minimum of 200 sold. These rules gave Australia Ford’s GT-HO Phase III Falcon, Holden’s SL/R 5000 A9X Torana and Chrysler’s Valiant Charger.
The race was traditionally run on the Labour Day long weekend in New South Wales, in early October. Since 2001, the race is run on the weekend after the long weekend, normally the second weekend in October.
Yesterday (Sunday, October 8) marks the end of an era as 32 year old David Reynolds and co-driver Luke Youlden won the Bathurst 1000 in their Erebus Motorsport Commodore for the first time and collected the Peter Brock Trophy.
They are the last winners to compete in a locally built and designed Holden Commodore.
Rain fell just as racing commenced making for a slippery track, leading to many safety car periods. The annual appearance of a kangaroo on the track also causing a safety car period.
- David Reynolds (Erebus Motorsport/Holden)
- Scott Pye (Mobil 1 HSV Racing/Holden)
- Fabian Coulthard (Shell V-Power/Ford)
- Dale Wood (Erebus Motorsport/Holden)
- Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull/Holden)
- Michael Caruso (Nissan)
- Todd Kelly (Sengled Racing/Nissan)
- Jason Bright (MEGA Racing/Ford)
- Andre Heimgartner (Brad Jones Racing/Holden)
- Chad Mostert (Supercheap Auto Racing/Ford)
Holden shuts its Adelaide factory in a fortnight, Toyota closed last week and with Ford already closed, it’s the last time since the inception of Bathurst that an Australian built car will be victorious on Mount Panorama.
A great, yet sad day for Australian manufacturing and Australian motorsport. Will Bathurst 2018 be the same? Will the Holden vs Ford rivalry live on? Only time will tell.
Whilst we here about the car manufacturers closing, we don’t hear much about how many component makers will -or have already- being forced to close.
Ashley Geelan was a motor mechanic at Costanzo Ford (now BayFord), Grimshaw St, Bundoora in the late 1990s and converted a 1977 XC Falcon from an inline six-cylinder automatic into a 302cc V8 4 speed manual, using only hand tools and also owned a genuine 1974 LH L34 SL/R 5000 Bathurst Torana.
Text & Images ©COPYRIGHT 2017 Kinglake Ranges News.