On this day: Murphy takes out record-setting Bathurst classic

10 Oct 2021
The returning Greg Murphy claimed his fourth Bathurst win 17 years ago
3 mins by James Pavey

At December’s Repco Bathurst 1000, Greg Murphy will make his 23rd Great Race start and first since 2014.

The New Zealander will share a Boost Mobile-backed Erebus Motorsport Commodore with countryman Richie Stanaway in December.

Murphy claimed the last of his four Bathurst wins today 17 years ago, combining with Rick Kelly to win consecutive Great Races.

The 2004 Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst 1000, held on October 10, set several new benchmarks, some which still exist to this day.

It was also a day for key milestones and final moments for some of Bathurst’s greatest names.

  • October 2: Old hands tame Bathurst, but a new star is born

  • October 3: Perfect Perkins' historic mountain triumph

  • October 4: Johnson's first Bathurst win

  • October 6: Skaife, Richards and Godzilla attack the mountain

  • October 7: Skaife's Bathurst breakthrough for Holden

  • October 8: The Bathurst classic that inspired a nation

  • October 9: Tander beats Lowndes by 0.29s in Bathurst epic

It was Holden’s record-extending sixth straight Bathurst win, a streak which ended at seven following the 2005 race.

Murphy and Kelly became just the fourth pairing to win consecutive Bathursts.

Murphy and Kelly joined the likes of Peter Brock and Jim Richards (1978-80), Brock/Larry Perkins (1982-84) and Richards/Mark Skaife (1991-92).

Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup became the fifth and latest pairing with their hat-trick of wins between 2006 and 2008.

It was the 32nd and final Bathurst appearance of nine-time winner Peter Brock, who didn’t even turn a lap in the race after co-driver Jason Plato crashed early.

Steven Richards combined with father Jim to launch from pole. Richards junior beat Jason Bright to pole in the shootout by just 0.0012s.

It remains the smallest gap between first and second on the grid in Bathurst. The closest since is 2018, when David Reynolds beat Whincup to pole by 0.0094s.

Ford Performance Racing's Lowndes and Glenn Seton were second, with John Bowe and Brad Jones third in the Ozemail Falcon.

It was the seventh and final Bathurst podium for Bowe, and sixth and final rostrum visit for Jones.

As of 2021, no driver has claimed as many Bathurst podiums without recording victory than Jones.


Murphy joined Skaife and Allan Moffat in registering four Bathurst victories.

At the time, only Perkins (six), Jim Richards (seven) and Brock (nine) had won more times in Bathurst.

In the years since, Steven Richards jumped his tally to five, Lowndes to seven, and Whincup and Garth Tander to four.

The margin between winner Murphy and second-placed Lowndes was 9.5738s.

Of the next 16 Bathursts, 10 were decided by less than a second. The average winning margin of the 16 races between 2005 and 2020 is 1.6s.

The race itself was unforgettable from the get-go, with Richards and Bright clashing on the first run up Mountain Straight.

The Richards/Richards Castrol Commodore would later strike grief, with with Jim finding the Griffins Bend tyres, before hitting a kangaroo.

Plato ended Brock’s hopes of an unprecedented 10th Bathurst win after he found the wall at the exit of Murray’s Corner early on.

The Briton was traveling at low speed trying to nurse his car back to pit lane, and was struck by John Cleland at the exit of The Chase.

Cleland sensationally flipped, dramatically ending his and Plato’s races.

As of 2021, the 2004 podium of Murphy/Kelly, Lowndes/Seton and Bowe/Jones combine for 15 wins and 44 podiums.

"It's total disbelief almost," Murphy said after the race.

"To go back to back is an incredible feeling.

"There was a lot of expectation to perform which added pressure so this is an unbelievable result."

Murphy will make his 23rd Bathurst appearance when the Repco Bathurst 1000 gets underway on November 30, with race day on December 5.

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