Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Aug Sep 2016 Issue 94 Contents 72
Bathurst 1000 Edition
▲1974 Ford favourite and Sandown 250
winner Allan Moffat is in trouble all
weekend and Peter Brock and HDT self-destruct in a
cloud of engine smoke after building a six-lap lead.
That paves the way for Ford drivers John Goss and
Kevin Bartlett to take the glory in one of the wettest
▲1976 Polesitter Allan Moffat takes up the
front-running in his Falcon ahead of
star Holden privateer Peter Brock early on, but both
fall prey to mechanical niggles. That leaves HDT’s
Colin Bond and John Harvey in a battle for the lead
with Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick in their Ron
Hodgson Motors-entered Torana. The latter duo look
to have it when the factory Holden pits with a broken
fan belt with 14 laps to go, but then, with four laps
to go, the Morris/Fitzpatrick car starts to smoke. Now
it’s Bond closing on Fitzpatrick, who has chosen
a win-or-bust strategy rather than pitting. Morris
paces the pits in despair, fingernails in the crowd
are chewed down to a fine powder, but the privately-
entered Torana survives to take the flag ahead of its
1985 A Jaguar was going to win Bathurst in
1985 but few would have predicted the
failure of the two leading cars and good old Gossy
– driving the third Jag with German Ahmin Hahne –
coming through to grab his second Bathurst crown
and save face for the big-buck British invaders.
1988 Dick Johnson Racing’s Ford Sierra RS500s
dominated the championship, so few
expected the Sierra of Tony Longhurst and co-driver
Tomas Mezera to prevail at Mount Panorama.
▲1998 Holden Racing Team star Craig
Lowndes had convincingly won his
second championship. With co-driver Mark Skaife bag-
ging the pole, surely Bathurst would follow? Err, no.
Rather, it was Ford duo Jason Bright and Steven Rich-
ards coming through at the end of a chaotic and crash-
filled day, despite their own practice accident.
1999 Richards, now driving a Gibson Motorsport
Holden with Greg Murphy, strikes again,
pushing the mighty Holden Racing Team to the lower
▼2000 Another one for the kids, with Garry
Rogers Motorsport’s Garth Tander
and Jason Bargwanna taking their Commodore to
victory in a wet and wild race while the factory teams
and other fancied contenders falter.
handed back to Grice, making for a long
stop. Also, Bailey had lost time with a spin
late in his single stint.
That allowed the second HDT car of
John Harvey and Neal Lowe – by now the
leading HDT challenge after the Brock/
Moffat car lost six minutes in the pits
having a cracked oil cooler fixed – to close
in and briefly muscle past.
The time gained from the ripper opening
stints, however, had taken the pressure off.
The Harvey/Lowe challenge wasn’t quite as
threatening as it appeared (they were due to
pit soon and would drop back again) and the
diff problem wasn’t fatal.
As for Grice, he never doubted he’d be
able to bring it home.
“You’re saving time by putting it in the
bank and that means you’ve got time to fix
something, which we needed,” he says.
“We had to top the diff up and Graeme
had a little whoopsie, as he called it. But I
was never really worried on the day, I knew
we had the pace to win it.”
He wasn’t wrong. The Chickadee car kept
on circulating at the head of the field – far
enough ahead of its competitors for Grice
to treat the crowd to one of the longest,
most leisurely victory waves in Bathurst
history – and still had nearly one minute
20 seconds over the Harvey/Lowe car
when it crossed the line.
Grice would follow up his memorable
maiden win with another celebrated,
against-the-odds victory for the Holden
Racing Team in 1990.
But 1986 is the one that is closest to his
heart: “The first win’s always the go,” he
With Chickadee Commodore still kicking
around the traps – it was retired soon after
its 1986 success, remained in Bailey’s pos-
session and underwent an extensive res-
toration a few years back, by Les Small no
less – has he had a reunion?
Car Masters a few years back, they had it
there – but I haven’t driven it,” he says.
“It was good to see it again, we’re good
“Interestingly, according to some mar-
ket-survey mob who told me this, it’s the
second most recognisable Australian race
“The first one is Moffat’s Coca-Cola
Mustang, then the Chickadee car.
“The reason the red, white and black
Marlboro HDT cars didn’t get a look in is
that nobody remembers a particular one
because they all had similar-but-different
V8X94 p68-72 Underdogs.indd 72
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