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The Mount Panorama Legacy: 60 Years of Bathurst 1000 Legends

The Mount Panorama Legacy: 60 Years of Bathurst 1000 Legends

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Bathurst 1000 legends reflect on 60 years of iconic Mount Panorama motor race

Dick Johnson: A Bathurst Battler

In 1963, a young man named Dick Johnson stood by the track at Mount Panorama to witness the inaugural Bathurst 1000. Little did he know that he would go on to become one of the most iconic figures in the history of the race. Johnson made his debut at Mount Panorama a decade later, and over the course of his career, he raced 27 times at this legendary track. He holds the record for victories in 1981, 1989, and 1994.

Johnson’s battles with the “King of the Mountain,” Peter Brock, are etched into the memory of motor racing fans. The two legendary drivers engaged in fierce competition, creating many memorable moments at Bathurst. One such instance occurred in the 1980 event when Johnson, leading the race, collided with a rock that had rolled onto the track. Although this incident ended his race, it cemented his reputation as the Bathurst battler.

After retiring from driving in 1999, Johnson continued to contribute to the sport as the owner of Dick Johnson Racing, which won its first Bathurst title in 2019. Johnson reflects on the changes he has witnessed in the sport over his 50 years of involvement, from building cars at midnight to the transformation of Bathurst into a glamorous sporting event.

Craig Lowndes: 30 years of passion

Craig Lowndes, a seven-time Bathurst champion, will be making his 30th appearance at the event this year. Lowndes first competed at Mount Panorama in 1994 and has been captivated by the track ever since. As a young teenager, he dreamt of being part of this grand event, and now, after three decades, he still feels the thrill of competing at Bathurst.

For Lowndes, Bathurst is the grand final of racing, the race that every driver aspires to win. He acknowledges the uniqueness of the track and the significance of being a part of its rich history.

Garth Tander: The pinnacle of Australian sport

Five-time winner Garth Tander describes racing at Bathurst as one of the pinnacles of Australian sport. He understands that this iconic race captures the imagination of the entire nation, much like other major sporting events such as the Melbourne Cup, AFL Grand Final, Boxing Day Test, and State of Origin.

Tander highlights the special feeling he experiences when he arrives in Bathurst and sees the Mount Panorama sign. It sends shivers down his spine, reminding him of the history and success associated with this race. Being a small part of that history is a true honor for Tander.

Mount Panorama: From scenic drive to motorsport mecca

Mount Panorama was opened in 1938 and was originally designed as a scenic drive. Little did anyone know that it would transform into one of the world’s top three tracks known for its spectacular scenery, speed, difficulty, and danger. Motorsport historian Steve Normoyle recounts the origins of the track and how it became a mecca for motorsport.

Over the course of 60 years, the Bathurst 1000 has witnessed significant changes, both in terms of the cars and the event itself. Originally meant as a test of everyday vehicles, the race has evolved into a large-scale, extravagant sporting event. The cars bear no resemblance to road vehicles, and the focus now is on entertainment and excitement.

Editorial: The Legacy of Bathurst 1000

The Bathurst 1000 holds a special place in the hearts of Australians. It is more than just a race; it is a celebration of the love and passion for motorsport that runs deep in the veins of this nation. For 60 years, Mount Panorama has been the battleground of legends, where rivalries were born, dreams were realized, and heroes were made.

The stories of Dick Johnson, Peter Brock, Craig Lowndes, and Garth Tander serve as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Bathurst 1000. These drivers have embodied the spirit of the race, showcasing their skill, determination, and resilience in the face of adversity.

But Bathurst is not just about the drivers; it is also about the fans who gather every year to witness the drama unfold. Each year, thousands of passionate enthusiasts descend upon Mount Panorama, creating an electric atmosphere, cheering for their favorite teams, and embracing the camaraderie that comes with being part of something extraordinary.

As Bathurst celebrates its 60th anniversary, it is important to reflect on the history and heritage of this iconic event. It is a reminder of the significant role motorsport plays in Australian culture and how it brings people together, transcending boundaries and creating lifelong memories.

Advice: Embrace the Spirit of Bathurst

If you find yourself in Bathurst during the race weekend, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in this unique experience. Feel the excitement as the cars thunder past, witness the determination on the faces of the drivers, and engage in conversations with fellow fans who share your passion.

Remember the legends who have left their mark on Mount Panorama and appreciate the heritage and history of the race. Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices, the triumphs, and the enduring spirit that defines the Bathurst 1000.

And finally, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Celebrate the joy and thrill of motorsport, cheer for your favorite team, and embrace the sense of community that exists among the fans. Whether you are a die-hard motorsport enthusiast or a casual observer, the Bathurst 1000 is an event that should not be missed.


The Mount Panorama Legacy: 60 Years of Bathurst 1000 Legends
<< photo by Alex Andrews >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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