When it comes to tin-top racing the Australian V8 Supercars take some beating. Other touring car series may be able to boast greater use of technology in their cars over the years, but as a spectacle these powerful, five-litre monsters often serve up some of the world’s finest racing action.
Having said that, today’s celebration of ‘Flat-Out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge’ is actually from a qualifying session for the 2003 Bathurst 1000 race, and is considered by some to be one of the greatest qualifying laps ever.
To understand the true magnitude of New Zealander Greg Murphy’s achievement at Mount Panorama 12-years ago, we need to look closely at the other qualifying times. Mark Skaife, Craig Lowndes, Marcos Ambrose and Garth Tander (all of whom had either been champions at this point, or were to become champions) were in the mid 2:08s. Multiple champion Jim Richards managed a 2:08.146 whilst another Aussie racing legend John Bowe was on a different level that day and achieved an incredible 2:07.955.
It’s important to let this sink in: The majority of the top boys were somewhere in the 2:08s, with Bowe just ducking under the 2:08 barrier. As Murphy starts his lap the commentator says ‘…that time of John Bowe’s will look as big [to Murphy] as the mountain he’s about to try and tame’.
Assuming that you don’t know what happened next, beating John Bowe’s time would surely be a very neat trick. Knocking a few tenths off it would be incredible and getting into, say, the low 2:07s would be utterly astonishing. All we’ll add about the clip is that the following lap time stood for seven years, and even then was only beaten by a few hundredths of a second.
With this in mind, fasten your proverbial seat belt and click the play button.
The great news for anybody attending FoS this June is that you’ll be able to see Greg Muphy’s 2009 Holden Commodore running in the Touring Icons category along with a Zakspeed Capri similar to the one we shared yesterday and the usual diverse selection of touring cars dating back to 1970. Just seven weeks to go!