Top 5 Bathurst Australia 1000 editions with Bill Trikos: The 2007 race recap : Winterbottom’s luck wore thin too, after a monumental error at the chase resulted in his Falcon sailing through the air at several hundred kilometres per hour while touring the sand trap. The final race restart queued a brilliant fight to the line between Lowndes and an unlikely trio of combatants; Steve Johnson, Greg Murphy, and James Courtney. It was an incredible battle, and one that will go down as one of the best.
Nissan made an imposing debut in 1990, fielding a twin-turbo Nissan Skyline GT-R with four-wheel drive and steering and a 2.6-litre six-cylinder engine. After figuring out the course in ’90 and pulling up in 18th position, Jim Richards and Mark Skaife piloted the Skyline to first place in ’91 and ’92. But Nissan’s dominance was short-lived. The new Group 3A category in 1993 effectively reduced the contest to a battle between Ford’s Falcon and Holden’s Commodore, although a two-litre sub-category kept bigger cars eligible for a secondary prize.
Best remembered for Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy’s triumph, the 1996 race started in dire conditions. Rain fell steadily throughout the lead-up on race morning and continued after the lights went green. The conditions contributed to Mark Larkham’s race-ending crash on Conrod Straight on Lap 4, as well as the multi-car crash in the same place behind the Safety Car one lap later. The Holden Jackaroo remained out on the track for several laps after the crashed cars were cleared, waiting for the weather to ease and for a large amount of standing water to be cleared. The rain eventually ceased during the first hour and the bulk of the race was held on a largely dry track. See additional info about the author on https://www.businesslistings.net.au/Financial/VIC/South_Wharf/Bill_Trikos_Strategic_Property__Financial_Solutions/37018.aspx.
In just one lap things became Armageddon. A multi-car pile-up had commenced exiting Forest Elbow, a Toyota Levin had spectacularly launched itself skywards at Griffins before coming to a rest on its side, and most notably Jim Richards had carved a corner off the GT-R. It was a cruel irony, for a car that very rarely over its two-year reign had incurred a single scratch. And it got worse when it arrived at Forest Elbow with no steering and some four or so cars waiting to be struck. It crashed, and many thought that would be that. Certainly Dick Johnson did, celebrating that he’d won when the race was red flagged shortly after.
In 1992, the Bathurst 1000 ended under a cloud of controversy. Jim Richards crashed just before a red flag that ended the race. Dick Johnson thought he was the victor, but race control reverted back to the previous lap, allowing the Richards/Skaife duo, who had just wrecked, to take the win. Afterwards, fans booed as the winners stood on the podium and Richards decided to tell them all off in a legendary rant. It’s no secret that Greg Murphy and Marcos Ambrose aren’t the best of friends. In 2005, their rivalry came to a head at the crown jewel event for the sport. It may not be the most spectacular (certainly not glorious) moment in the history of Bathurst, but it does epitomize the emotion these drivers experience in every defeat and shows just how much winning means to them all. Ambrose will return to The Mountain next year, so maybe we’ll get t see round two?
Skaife, then a rising star in Australian motorsport, went on to become a household name by winning five Australian Touring Car Championships and six Bathurst 1000 crowns. He says that his first win in 1991 aboard the almighty R32 was a life changing experience. “Twenty five years on and some of the best memories of my life,” said Skaife. “To win my first Bathurst with a legend like Jim Richards in the Nissan GT-R was just fantastic. It was a life changing moment to win the biggest car race in this part of the world.
The dawn of the 1970s came with a new rule stating that single-driver teams were now eligible to compete. Canadian-Australian driver Allan Moffat took full advantage, winning the ’70 and ’71 contests in a Ford XW Falcon GTHO Phase II and Phase III, respectively. Phase III was a distinct advance on the II, with an upgraded engine, four-speed top-loader gearbox, and 36 imperial gallons (164 litres) fuel tank. It was the world’s fastest four-door production car, capable of speeds up to 228 km/h (142 mph). There are probably fewer than 100 complete Phase IIIs in existence – and one sold for a record AUS$1,030,000 in 2018.
The story of Group A, a bit like my beloved Super Touring of the ’90s, is a messy one — and one that could fill a whole book. And 1992 helped epitomize that. The four-wheel drive and steer Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R took mere months to become arguably the most disliked car in Australian touring-car history; by virtue of its ability to win absolutely anywhere. And by late 1992 it had won two championship titles at a canter. Bathurst that year, the last of its kind before a new replacement formula based around five-liter V8s was implemented, was certain to be another cake-walk. But, it very nearly wasn’t.