The Bathurst 1000 this weekend marks the 50th running of Australia’s greatest race.
Aussie racing doesn’t get a huge amount of press in Europe, so it is sometimes difficult to convey to a lot of fans in our part of the world just how important Bathurst is. For a start there’s the fiery Ford-Holden rivalry, spiced up on occasion by foreigners turning up to try their hand. Like when Tom Walkinshaw turned up with his Jags in the mid-’80s. Nissan were an intimidating prospect in the early ’90s, with their technologically advanced Skylines dancing around the comparatively agricultural Holdens.
During the latter period, Peter Brock struggled to keep up. For a long time he was Holden’s main challenger, winning at Mount Panorama nine times to claim the title of King of the Mountain. His style was simultaneously workmanlike and extravagant, brutally throwing his huge cars into the Mountain’s tight esses before gliding out sideways, as wide as the track would let him. In 1991, in a fruitless effort to qualify ahead of the Nissans, he produced this lap, summing up why he was so loved in his native country.