(Australian Associated Press)
BATHURST 1000 ROLE OF HONOUR – MOST WINS
Nine – Peter Brock (1972, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987)
Seven – Jim Richards (1978, 1979, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2002)
Six – Craig Lowndes* (1996, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2015); Larry Perkins (1982, 1983, 1984, 1993, 1995, 1997), Mark Skaife (1991, 1992, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2010)
Four – Jamie Whincup* (2006, 2007, 2008, 2012); Steven Richards* (1998, 1999, 2013, 2015); Greg Murphy (1996, 1999, 2003, 2004); Allan Moffat (1970, 1971, 1973, 1977); Harry Firth (1961, 1962, 1963, 1967); Bob Jane (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964).
Three – Garth Tander* (2000, 2009, 2011); Dick Johnson (1981, 1989, 1994)
Two – Will Davison* (2009, 2016); Rick Kelly* (2003, 2004); Tony Longhurst (1988, 2001); Russell Ingall (1995, 1997); John Bowe (1989, 1994); Allan Grice (1986, 1990); John Goss (1974, 1985).
* denotes active driver
DRIVERS TO WATCH AT THE BATHURST 1000
JAMIE WHINCUP (Holden)
The seven-time series champion may have claimed four Bathurst titles but he has been ruing his luck at the mountain since his last win back in 2012. Arguably the cruellest result was in 2016 when Whincup crossed the line first, only to be relegated to 11th after a post-race penalty for causing a late crash. Has won the last two races including Bathurst warm-up Sandown 500. Co-driver is Paul Dumbrell.
CRAIG LOWNDES (Holden)
Crowd favourite Lowndes promises a fitting finale in what will be his last Bathurst as a full-time driver. In his 25th crack at the Great Race, the 44-year-old Holden driver is aiming to move his Bathurst victory tally to seven – equal second with Jim Richards behind King of the Mountain Peter Brock’s nine. Returns next year as an enduros co-driver. For the fifth-straight year Steven Richards will be Lowndes’ Bathurst co-driver.
SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN (Ford)
The Kiwi will arrive at Mount Panorama in need of some self confidence after letting his Supercars series lead slip in the past month. At one stage appearing unstoppable with five wins in seven races this year, McLaughlin now must try to reel in Holden’s Shane van Gisbergen’s 55-point series lead with a maiden Bathurst victory. The 25-year-old has never made a Bathurst podium in six attempts. Co-driver is Alexandre Premat.
SHANE VAN GISBERGEN (Holden)
Best finish is second in 2016 but few are discounting the series leader’s challenge at Mount Panorama this year. The Kiwi won’t assess his hopes of a second Supercars championship until after the enduros but can blow out his series lead with a whopping 300 points on offer for the Bathurst winner. Co-driver is Bathurst rookie Earl Bamber, a two-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner.
DAVID REYNOLDS (Holden)
Once more famous for making the “shoey” popular, Supercars funny man Reynolds was taken seriously when he claimed his maiden Bathurst crown last year. A controversial figure off track thanks to his infamous description of an all-female team back in 2015, Reynolds is now considered the real deal on it. Currently fifth, Reynolds will hope to make a play for a maiden championship by becoming the first back-to-back Bathurst winner since Whincup-Lowndes in 2008. Co-driver is again Luke Youlden.