This morning’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 has begun with a fitting tribute to the King of the Mountain this morning.
Before another pair is crowned the 2016 Bathurst champions, some of the greats have taken to the wheel of some of Peter Brock’s most memorable race cars at the place he enjoyed tremendous success, acknowledging 10 years since he lost his life in a rallying accident.
Peter’s brother Phil Brock will present the Peter Brock Trophy to this evening’s winners after 161 laps around the brutal circuit, and also drove the 1983 Brock Commodore in the tribute.
Brock’s protégé and friend Craig Lowndes – who won the Bathurst 1000 in 2006 with Jamie Whincup just one month after his passing – again steered the 1972 Torana GTR XU1.
“It brought back a lot of memories, especially going across the top of the mountain,” Lowndes smiled.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Ford or Holden lover, going across there today the crowd was standing and cheering and it was an amazing feeling.”
Being back at Mount Panorama always remembers Lowndes of his friend and while he starts from 21st today, he has confidence the team can pull off a miracle win.
“You come to this place and it’s a special race track in itself. We all had a great opportunity to drive these great cars and realise what Peter went through,” he continued.
“This is a car before my time, I was born in ‘74 … the crowd got right behind the atmosphere, we’re about to start the greatest race of the year.
“Ten years ago driving around in this car was quite special – we’ve got a lot of work to do to pull off that result again.”
All drivers, other than Phil Brock, are Bathurst 1000 winners:
Mark Winterbottom – 1990 Mobil Ford Sierra
Garth Tander – 1986 Mobil VK Commodore
Jamie Whincup – 1969 Monaro GTS 350
Will Davison – 1977 Torana A9X
Mark Skaife – 1975 Torana L34
Chaz Mostert – 1956 Austin A30
Nick Percat – 1948 Holden 48/215
Steven Richards – 1974 Torana L34
Paul Morris 1988 Mobil BMW M3
Paul Dumbrell – 1996 Mobil HRT Commodore.
Whincup was proud to be part of the parade, speaking in the press conference after locking in ARMOR ALL Pole Position with Dumbrell for today’s race.
“It’s a great opportunity to be able to drive one of Peter’s cars, it’s a massive day already and that’s going to add to the day,” he said.
“It’s the biggest race of the year, the 10th anniversary of the great man we all owe so much to in the sport.”
However, Whincup didn’t make it the whole way around on his parade lap, running out of fuel at The Cutting with Mark Skaife passing the 1969 Monaro around the outside. The car has been retrieved but the four-time Bathurst winner did not make it down for the winners’ photo with the Peter Brock Trophy. He’ll hope to be photographed with it this afternoon instead.