Date, time, how to watch, best moments, Jamie Whincup, Chaz Mostert, Supercars news, preview

For the first time ever, the Bathurst 1000 will be held in December and even still, that is just one added mystery to what shapes as an unpredictable weekend.

Supercars icon Neil Crompton put it best when listing the kind of surprises the mountain can throw up.

“161 laps of racing, kangaroos, weather, snow, hail, wind, rain, one-tenth of a second separating first and second,” he said on Fox Motorsport’s ‘Bathurst 1000 Preview Show’.

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Two brother combos to drive at Bathurst | 03:31

“It’s fantastic.”

It is not just this year though and it what makes the ‘Great Race’ must-watch television.

“You’ve only got to go back to last year,” Crompton added.

“The margin [between] first to second [was] 0.8 of a second. If you look at the history of event in the last 10-15 years, the number of times it is determined by less than a second is genuinely freaky.”

Adding an extra layer of complexity to this year’s instalment is the mystery of just what a December start will mean.

“The conditions are going to be a big talking point for this year,” Crompton said.

“In fact, when you look at the history of the race we see all that spring weather affecting the outcome. It throws up a big question as to what happens this year because we’ve never ran the race this late before.

“Will it be hot? Will we still have mixed conditions? What impact will it have on impact on fitness? Bearing in mind the cars have been worked and fatigued extremely hard at Sydney Motorsport Park. Will that throw up a reliability question?”

A host of questions that likely will not be answered until the day itself.

But even then, the day’s drama can appear to be over before another twist presents itself in the dying stages.

You only have to look at the history of the Bathurst 1000 to understand just how unpredictable it can be.

With that in mind, has looked back at some of the most dramatic and wild moments from previous editions of the ‘Great Race’.

ULTIMATE GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of the 2021 Bathurst 1000

SVG fully focused on Bathurst win | 00:55


Scott McLaughlin’s triumph at the 2019 Bathurst 1000 dominated news cycles long after the race was complete but it was not his brilliant driving that had everyone talking.

Rather, McLauglin and co-driver Alex Premat’s win was overshadowed by a team orders controversy that even last year again reared its ugly head.

Speaking to News Corp in the lead-up to last year’s race, Erebus Motorsport boss Barry Ryan said McLaughlin’s victory still remains “tainted” by the drama.

That drama came after McLaughlin’s teammate Fabian Coulthard was ordered to slow down while in second place under the safety car in the latter stages of the race.

It helped McLaughlin maintain a comfortable lead ahead of the rest of the field but sparked a later investigation, which saw the DJR team found guilty of an engine breach.

The team was stripped of 300 championship points and fined a total of $280,000 while McLaughlin had qualifying and top-10 shootout victories taken off him.

The race victory though remained his despite claims at the time from Ryan that DJR Team had “blatantly cheated”

Supercars legend Larry Perkins described Coulthard’s actions as “disgraceful”, although Shane van Gisbergen was more empathetic to the situation.

He called Coulthard a “sacrificial lamb” in the situation, adding it was “pretty obvious what happened”.

Scott McLaughlin took out the win in 2019 in controversial circumstances. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Scott McLaughlin took out the win in 2019 in controversial circumstances. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images


The unpredictable nature of Bathurst can be both a blessing and a curse.

For Craig Lowndes, 2018’s ‘Great Race’ was the fairytale sendoff he had hoped for in his final Bathurst 1000 as a full-time driver.

For defending champion David Reynolds, it was agony and heartbreak that left the former king of the mountain shattered.

Reynolds looked certain to take out the crown again only for a devastating cramp in his leg to spark a brutal downfall that saw co-driver Luke Youlden finish 13th after taking over.

The then 33-year-old was forced to depart the race with 27 laps remaining, with dehydration from the searing heat proving his undoing as the cramp set in and only got worse.

“I’ve got the biggest cramp in my leg in my life,” Reynolds said over the radio as Lowndes took over.

David Reynolds had a heartbreaking end to the race. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

It left the Erebus garage with two choices – they could either give Reynolds electrolytes in the hope it would give him a much-needed energy boost or sub him out for Youlden.

They opted for the former but Reynolds could not overcome the cramps even in the pits.

Reynolds had been setting the pace for much of the race but his body quickly started to give up on, with a lack of sleep also taking its toll.

The 2017 winner described how his “mind started to go” as the race dragged on.

“I’ve had a very big lead-up, we’ve had terrible sleep, and I just haven’t looked after myself that well,” Reynolds said at the time.

“Yesterday I was probably running on 70 per cent, this morning I was probably 50 per cent, [during] the race I was pretty much at zero.”

Lowndes reflects on ‘fight of my life’ | 01:07


To this day, it is the one that got away.

The controversy still bothers Triple Eight boss Roland Dane, who told News Corp earlier this week that Jamie Whincup had his crown “stolen off him”.

Dane, of course, is referring to the 2016 edition of the ‘Great Race’ which looked like being one of the most straightforward results in years.

What transpired was anything but, with Whincup at the centre of the drama after crossing the line first after dominating the race.

Whincup though had earned himself a 15-second time penalty for an incident with Scott McLaughlin which then became a three-way clash with Garth Tander.

Whincup had been battling with McLaughlin for the effective lead when the pair touched at The Chase.

The Triple Eight driver had been trying to pass on Lap 150 but caused McLaughlin to leave the road, with Whincup then slowing in a bid to redress the accident.

That only led to more carnage with Tander trying to pass McLaughlin but instead the duo collided.

Jamie Whincup looked destined for victory. Picture: Mark HorsburghSource: Supplied

One year later and with the dust far from settled, McLaughlin called the accident the “most gut-wrenching moment of my life” in an interview with

The penalty saw Whincup relegated to 11th place as Will Davison and Jonathon Webb were instead crowned winners.

The controversy was far from finished, with Triple Eight’s appeal against the time penalty dismissed by the Supercars National Court of Appeal nine days later.

Whincup was penalised for “careless driving” in the initial incident with McLaughlin.

“It did hurt, it’s the biggest race of the year and we did everything we absolutely could to finish on top,” Whincup told, reflecting on the drama in 2017.

“There’s certainly nothing I would’ve done differently and I won’t do in the future.

“The day a racing driver doesn’t take an opportunity is the day they should probably hang the helmet up and give their position to someone that will take the opportunity.

“That move [on McLaughlin] was on, every day of the week. It doesn’t matter if it was the biggest race of the year or the smallest race, it doesn’t really matter.”

What it did do was prove the inherently unpredictable nature of Bathurst, a heartbreaking reminder for Whincup.

Jamie Whincup arrives at the County Court with Larry Perkins to contest his Bathurst Suspension. Picture: Jake NowakowskiSource: News Corp Australia


If you want proof of just how wide-open the Bathurst field can be, look no further than Chaz Mostert’s triumph in 2014.

Mostert’s miracle race saw him start from last place in the grid and finish in first, four seconds in front of James Moffat.

It was just Mostert’s second start in the classic race and he did not have the lead until the final lap, when he overtook Whincup.

The Holden star himself had quite the drive, making his way to the front from 23rd on the grid but could not get over the line in the end.

The same could not be said for Mostert, who made history in his maiden triumph at Bathurst – no driver had previously won the event from further back than 19th.

“From 26th to first, it’s unbelievable. Everything went our way,” Mostert said after the race.

It was a drama-filled race that year with a total of eight retirements and a record-equalling 10 safety car interventions.

One of the safety cars was triggered after Luke Youlden’s Holden Commodore clipped a kangaroo while travelling along Mountain Straight.

A one-hour stoppage was even needed to repair a damaged part of the track surface.

Kangaroos have made plenty of escapes over the years, others have not been as lucky. Picture: Channel 7Source: News Limited


This was a rivalry so heated that it almost came to blows back in 2005.

Marcos Ambrose and Greg Murphy were caught in a tense confrontation halfway up Mount Panorama after their cars came together on lap 144.

Ambrose had attempted to pass the Kiwi on one of the tightest sections of the track but the two collided.

With both drivers trying to close in on the leaders and an existing rivalry already there, tempers flared as the clash threatened to turn physical.

Fortunately both walked away before that could happen, although Murphy was not afraid to launch a few verbal blows later, calling out his rival for having an “ego problem”.

Greg Murphy and Marcos Ambrose clashed. Pic Channel Ten Network. Motor Racing / AccidentSource: News Corp Australia

“We were racing for it and I expected he would do a proper job and give me racing room to go around the corner together,” he said at the time.

“He decided that I should have to give way and that is what happened. He pegged me into the wall and I catapulted him around. Bloody stupid if you ask me.

“I’m pretty angry. The whole thing is just typical and he thinks it is never his fault.

“He has got an ego problem, we all know about it and it’s reared its ugly head again today.”

Ambrose was not as heated in his response, refusing to engage in a war of words, but added: “As usual, nothing is Greg’s fault”.

Video still of V8 Supercars getting caught up behind the spectacular Ambrose – Murphy crash at Mt (Mount) Panorama during the Bathurst 1000. CREDIT: NETWORK TEN (10).Source: News Corp Australia


18 years on, Greg Murphy’s incredible Bathurst Lap remains one of the most memorable moments in motorsports history.

The Mount Panorama course is challenging for both man and machine, pushing drivers to the limit and, in the case of Murphy, to immortal status.

Murphy is considered the Mountain Messiah, a revered figure for his Bathurst heroics which saw the Kiwi put up a record qualifying time of 2.06.8794s.

He shaved a whole second off the previous best time and in those 126 seconds time stood still, right until Murphy came down the finishing straight to a standing ovation.

“I can’t believe the time, I’m just shaking,” Murphy said at the time.

“The car was good and I knew I had to push hard to beat Mark (Skaife) and JB, especially when I heard the roar at the end of pitlane when he had done his lap.”

Almost two decades later, Murphy’s remarkable lap still maintains its legendary status and fascinates fans in a testament to its longstanding importance.

Kmart Holden Commodore driver Greg Murphy celebrates. Pic Cameron Tandy. Motor Racing P/Source: News Corp Australia

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