The October race is held on the first Sunday of the month in the inland NSW city of Bathurst, and as many as 200,000 people attend this major event every year.
Located in Bathurst, the 6.213km Mount Panorama Circuit is considered to be one of the great courses worldwide. It was first built in 1938 to offer citizens and tourists a scenic drive. Mount Panorama also hosts the annual 12-hour GT race, and it has been the site of the Australian Grand Prix in the past. The race requires 161 laps around the Mount Panorama course to cover the 1000km distance.
Top 10 Cars in the Bathurst 1000
From 1999 to 2012, only racing teams from Holden and Ford were able to compete. In recent years, teams from Mercedes, Volvo, Nissan have become eligible to enter as well, thanks to modified regulations and restrictions. Racing teams seek slight advantages in a variety of ways, including the selection of wheel and tyre sets. All competing V8 Supercars are powered by Australian-manufactured 5.0-litre, eight-cylinder engines.
Here are 10 of the top performers during a half-century's worth of races at Mount Panorama, with regard to record-setting and repeat performances.
When the race was known as the Armstrong 500, the Ford Cortina swept the first three events held at Mount Panorama in 1963, 1964 and 1965.
Holden got its first victory in the race in 1968 when the new Monaro GTS was first entered. The powerful 327 cu-in V8 powered the Monaro to first place in its inaugural appearance in the race. The Monaro also won in 1969 with a 350 cu-in V8 Chevrolet engine.
The versatile Torana XU-1 is known as the "pocket rocket" as it won the Bathurst in 1972. Other racing versions of the Torana would enjoy quite a run from 1975-1979, when Holden's Toranas won four of five races.
The XJ-S was a well-known British grand tourer that was produced from 1975 to 1996. The 1985 victory in the Bathurst 1000 by a Jaguar XJ-S is noteworthy because the European brand managed to end years of near-continuous dominance by Ford and Holden.
Racing versions of the RS500 won many races worldwide in the late eighties, including the 1988 and 1989 Bathurst races at Mount Panorama.
In 1991, Mark Skaife and Jim Richards set a new race record in a Nissan Skyline GT-R. Their time of 6 hours, 19 minutes, 14.80 seconds was the fastest recorded since the race had been lengthened to 1000km in 1973. In 1992, the Skyline GT-R prevailed again to record back-to-back wins. The capabilities of the turbocharged GT-R were such that the rules were changed so that it could no longer compete after 1992.
From 1993-1999, Holden and Ford dominated the race, except in 1997 and 1998. The 320i became the only BMW to ever win the Bathurst 1000 when it took home the trophy in 1997.
The S40 continued the brief two-year reign of European models when it won the Bathurst 1000 in 1998. Holden's Commodores would put a quick end to this European surge in 1999. Holden would go on to take home the trophy every year through 2005.
Ford enjoyed a quite a run from 2006 to 2008, when it won three straight victories. The 2006 victory involved a Ford BA Falcon, while BF Falcons won the event the next two years.
The Holden Commodore VE was the fourth-generation of the full-size sedan that was built from 2006-2013. The racing version of the rear-wheel drive vehicle won the Bathurst 1000 every year from 2009 to 2012.
ConclusionToday, the high-powered V8 Supercars compete in a true test of endurance and sustained skill in the Bathurst 1000. The title of "King of the Mountain" is coveted by top drivers. The words "King of the Mountain" are inscribed on what is now known as the Peter Brock Trophy, to pay homage to a nine-time victor in the event.
Given the 2013 rules changes that now expand the competition beyond Holden and Ford, it is possible that the trophy emblazoned with the words "King of the Mountain" could eventually go to a Mercedes, a Volvo, or a Nissan in the years to come. Stock versions of the cars that have won at Mount Panorama are easily located on eBay.