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Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:00

The Great Race: How we got here…


The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 has come a long way since the first Armstrong 500 was held at Phillip Island Circuit in 1960.

Fifty-six years on, V8X Supercar Magazine looks back at the evolution of the event from its humble beginnings to its Great Race status.

V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94 is a special Bathurst 1000 edition featuring the key developments over the history of the event, preview of the 2016 race, the honour roll, records and facts from the Great Race and more.

Issue #94 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94

Key developments:

1960. First Armstrong 500 held at Phillip Island Circuit.

1963. Event moves to Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst.

1967. First win for a V8-powered car (Ford XR GT Falcon).

1969. Factory-backed Ford and Holden entries face off for the first time.

1969. Live timing included in the race coverage.

1970. Grid line-up changes from 'three-two-three' to 'two-by-two'.

1972. Last 500-mile event and last time drivers could go solo in the event.

1973. Event expands to 1000 kilometres.

1973. Rulebook changes to 'Production Touring' (Group C), same regulations that applied to the Australian Touring Car Championship.

1975. Race is televised in colour for the first time.

1976. Event expands to include a Friday unlimited practice day.

1978. Event again expands with unofficial testing getting underway on the Wednesday.

1978. Shootout qualifying format to determine the top 10 of the grid debuts.

1979. Channel Seven gives us in-car cameras for the first time.

1980. Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons face off for the first time.

1984. Final event run to the Group C rulebook.

1985. First event run to the international Group A rulebook.

1986. Shootout qualifying format simplifies to one run per entry.

1987. 'The Chase' installed on safety grounds, breaking up Conrod Straight and increasing the circuit length from 6.172km to 6.213km.

1987. The event is included as a round of the 'World Touring Car Championship'.

1987. Official practice gets underway on the Thursday for the first time.

1987. The safety car is used during the race for the first time.

1988. The event comes under the banner of the 'Pacific-Asia Touring Car Championship'.

1988. Shootout runs as a promotional event and doesn't count towards setting the grid.

1988. Rolling start used for the only time in the event's history.

1989. Shootout qualifying format and standing start return.

1992. The final event run to the Group A rulebook.

1993. Group 3A rules applied to the event, featuring V8-powered Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores.

1994. Final Bathurst 1000 to include different classes (Group 3A V8s and two-litre Super Touring cars).

1997. Two Bathurst 1000s held, one for two-litre Super Touring cars and the other for the V8 Supercars.

1998. Once again the Super Touring and V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000s held separately.

1999. Super Touring event loses Bathurst 1000 status, reduced to a 500km race.

1999. Sole Bathurst 1000 included in the V8 Supercars championship for the first time.

1999. Control tyre introduced for the first time to match championship rules.

2001. Shootout expands from 10 entries to 15 entries.

2003. Project Blueprint regulations introduced, designed to achieve better parity between the Falcons and Commodores.

2003. Shootout reverts back to 10 entries.

2004. Entries not running in the championship not permitted to enter Bathurst.

2006. Peter Brock Trophy awarded to winners for the first time.

2009. Wildcard entries once again permitted to compete at Bathurst only.

2012. Final Bathurst 1000 for Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores exclusively.

2013. Event opens up to non-Ford and Holden entries with the introduction of the Car of the Future-generation cars.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94.


Event Date
Adelaide 500 1-4 March
2018 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 22-25 March
Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint 6-8 April
WD-40 Phillip Island 500 20-22 April
Perth SuperSprint 4-6 May
Winton SuperSprint 18-20 May
CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown 15-17 June
Watpac Townsville 400 6-8 July
Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint 20-22 July
Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint 4 August
The Bend SuperSprint 24-26 August
Sandown 500 14-16 September
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 4-7 October
Vodafone Gold Coast 600 19-21 October
ITM Auckland SuperSprint 2-4 November
Coates Hire Newcastle 500 23-25 November







 Jamie Whincup



 Scott McLaughlin



 Fabian Coulthard



 Shane van Gisbergen



 Chaz Mostert



Mark Winterbottom 



 David Reynolds



 Cameron Waters



 Garth Tander



 Craig Lowndes


 Full points table