Just two of the same: Most wide open Bathurst ever?

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 25/11/2021
  • By James Pavey

Few Great Races have offered as much unpredictability than the upcoming Repco Bathurst 1000.

Next week’s 64th running of the Great Race will feature a 25-car grid. Of the 25 combinations, just two remain the same year on year.

Both come from Red Bull Ampol Racing, with Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander returning to partner Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen respectively.

James Moffat (Tickford Racing), James Golding (Team 18), Tony D’Alberto (Shell V-Power Racing Team), Warren Luff (Walkinshaw Andretti United) and Jonathon Webb (Team Sydney) are all at the same teams.

However, the five drivers will all have a new primary driver for next weekend’s race.

This year’s Great Race will also be held in December for the first time, and will feature the latest ever start for a Bathurst 1000.

For seasoned veterans such as Lowndes and Tander, next Thursday’s practice running will be their first competitive outing in a Supercar in 14 months.

Unlike 2020, however, the balance of the co-driving field will have competed in some form throughout 2021. There was also the pre-Bathurst test in Sydney last week.

In Porsche Carrera Cup alone, the likes of Lowndes, Luke Youlden (Kelly Grove Racing), David Wall and Dale Wood (both Brad Jones Racing) and David Russell (Erebus Motorsport) have all competed.

Thomas Randle (Tickford) and Kurt Kostecki (MSR) also turned laps as main game wildcards in three 2021 events.

2020 runners-up Waters and Davison will be rivals in 2021

Tander, Moffat, D’Alberto, Michael Caruso (Team 18), Lee Holdsworth (WAU) and Dylan O’Keeffe (Team Sydney) have all turned laps in the ongoing TCR season.

There will be five Super2 drivers on the grid; top two in the points Broc Feeney (Triple Eight wildcard) and Zak Best (Tickford), Jayden Ojeda (Matt Stone Racing), D’Alberto and Tim Blanchard.

Blanchard will race a Mustang Supercar for the first time for his own team, and will take to a car which took Bathurst by storm in February.

Tim Slade threatened to pull off the upset of a lifetime at the Repco Mt Panorama 500, only to crash fighting for the podium in Race 1.

The highest profile drivers with little driving to their names in 2021 are Alex Davison and Russell Ingall.

Teams and drivers tested in Sydney last week

Davison will race the #17 Shell Mustang with younger brother Will, while two-time Bathurst winner Ingall will share the Triple Eight wildcard with teenager Feeney.

Davison and Ingall will make their 17th and 26th Bathurst starts respectively.

Then, there is Andre Heimgartner’s co-driver Matt Campbell, who alone in 2021 has raced in the FIA World Endurance Championship, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, European Le Mans Series and GT World Challenge Europe.

For so much change, some combinations look stronger than ever. Of the 25 combinations, 15 feature at least one Bathurst podium, with 10 featuring at least one Bathurst winner.

The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship and Dunlop Series seasons will conclude at the Repco Bathurst 1000.

Foxtel’s coverage will start on Wednesday 1st December at 8:25 am AEDT on channel 503 and Kayo.

The Seven Network will provide live free to air coverage of the event. Tickets for the event and camping are on sale now.

2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 combinations

Co-driver Team
Will Davison/Alex Davison Shell V-Power Racing Team
Anton De Pasquale/Tony D'Alberto Shell V-Power Racing Team
Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander Red Bull Ampol Racing
Jamie Whincup/Craig Lowndes Red Bull Ampol Racing
Broc Feeney/Russell Ingall Triple Eight (wildcard)
Cameron Waters/James Moffat Tickford Racing
Jack Le Brocq/Zak Best Tickford Racing
James Courtney/Thomas Randle Tickford Racing
Bryce Fullwood/Warren Luff Walkinshaw Andretti United
Chaz Mostert/Lee Holdsworth Walkinshaw Andretti United
Will Brown/Jack Perkins Erebus Motorsport
Brodie Kostecki/David Russell Erebus Motorsport
Scott Pye/James Golding Team 18
Mark Winterbottom/Michael Caruso Team 18
Tim Slade/Tim Blanchard Blanchard Racing Team
David Reynolds/Luke Youlden Kelly Grove Racing
Andre Heimgartner/Matt Campbell Kelly Grove Racing
Nick Percat/Dale Wood Brad Jones Racing
Todd Hazelwood/Dean Fiore Brad Jones Racing
Jack Smith/David Wall Brad Jones Racing
Macauley Jones/Chris Pither Brad Jones Racing
Fabian Coulthard/Jonathon Webb Team Sydney
Garry Jacobson/Dylan O'Keeffe Team Sydney
Jake Kostecki/Kurt Kostecki Matt Stone Racing
Zane Goddard/Jayden Ojeda Matt Stone Racing
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