Yes, it’s time for the Bathurst 1,000 at the fabulous Mount Panorama. Since the early 1960s, touring car aces from around the world have fought tooth and nail to add a Bathurst win to their CVs. It’s is as tough as they come – a six-hour sprint on a fast and narrow layout with steep climbs and big drops. In fact, that could almost be a euphemism for the emotional suffering the place readily dishes out.
A total of 56 drivers from eight different nations have scaled ‘The Mountain’, 19 of them on more than one occasion. But who, we wondered while getting excited about the latest instalment of on-track scrapping, off-track banter, stunning onboard footage and pin-sharp commentary, has the best record? These five men top the league table, each one of them a Bathurst Big Gun.
Peter Brock – 9 wins
‘Brocky’ or ‘Peter Perfect’, as this Australian sporting hero became known, was Bathurst. He finished third on his debut in the Great Race in 1969, aboard a Holden Monaro, and thereafter this smiling, engaging and ever-enthusiastic Victorian made the 1,000km his own, taking a nine-win scalp that’s going to take some matching, let alone beating. The man who made 05 one of the most globally recognised race numbers had a cult following, wherever he went and whenever he drove. When he died, in a historic rally in 2006, a bit of the Bathurst magic died with him.
1972 – Holden Torana XU1 (solo, 500km race)
1975 – Holden Torana L34 (Brian Sampson)
1978 – Holden Torana A9X SS (Jim Richards)
1979 – Holden Torana A9X SS (Jim Richards)
1980 – Holden Commodore VC (Jim Richards)
1982 – Holden Commodore VH (Larry Perkins)
1983 – Holden Commodore VH (John Harvey/Larry Perkins)
1984 – Holden Commodore VK (Larry Perkins)
1987 – Holden Commodore VL (Peter McLeod/David Parsons)