Race fans at this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000 will be treated to a smorgasbord of Australian motorsport history in the Heritage Revival category, series organisers confirming a blockbuster 40 car field for the weekend’s three races.
Designed to showcase the finest examples of Australia’s motorsport heritage from the 1960s through to the 1990s, the feature category for this year’s Bathurst Heritage Revival races is Group C: a memorable chapter of the sport that spanned the period from 1973-84.
The Group C era was a period of many unforgettable Mountain moments, including Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick’s emotional 1976 victory, the crushing Moffat Ford Dealers 1-2 finish in 1977, Peter Brock setting the lap record on the final lap of the 1979 race and Dick Johnson’s infamous altercation with the rock in 1980.
The Group C period was also home to cars that will bring back fond memories for many motorsport fans, including Holden’s L34 and A9X Toranas, VC, VH and VK Commodores, Ford’s XA, XB and XC Falcon hardtops and XD/XE sedans, the Mazda RX7 and the Nissan Bluebird.
Indeed, the very Bluebird that George Fury qualified on pole position for Bathurst in 1984 will be on the grid next weekend, in the hands of Brian Henderson.
The Heritage Revival field consists of 21 Group C cars, with the balance of the field consisting of invited Group A touring cars (1985-92), Group N (historic touring cars representing the Series Production and Appendix J era from the 1960s and early 70s) and Group S (historic production GT sports cars), ensuring there will be a diverse array of historic machines to whet the appetite of every motorsport enthusiast.
Among the Group A entries, Mike Roddy’s Jaguar XJS – which won Bathurst in 1985 with Armin Hahne and John Goss – will undoubtedly turn heads. The Group N field includes an assortment of Torana XU1s, Mustangs and Chargers while Group S is represented by a trio of Porsche 911s and a Shelby GT350.
The man behind the Heritage Revival concept is Ed Singleton, himself a passionate historic racer who said the category is geared towards creating a fun experience for the competitors while maximising appreciation for the spectators.
“We encourage all our competitors to race closely and show off the relative strengths of their cars, while obviously showing respect for one another, bringing the cars home in one piece” Singleton said.
“In doing so, it ensures everyone watching trackside or at home on TV can soak up the sights and sounds of these classic machines going flat out around the Mountain.
While the on-track spectacle will provide entertainment aplenty, Singleton said fans are also encouraged to wander through the paddock and have a closer look at the cars.
“In between our races, we welcome all the fans to come for a walk through our pit area, talk to the drivers and car owners, reminisce, share stories and of course take plenty of photos,” he said.
The Heritage Revival races will stage three races across the weekend, with all the on-track action to be shown live as part of the event television coverage on Fox Sports across the event, and Channel 7 on Saturday.
Heritage Revival Bathurst Schedule
Thursday, 6 October
7:25am – Practice 1 (20 min)
1:05pm – Practice 2 (20 min)
5:40pm – Qualifying (20 min)
Friday, 7 October
8:20am – Race 1 (20 min)
5:25pm – Race 2 (20 min)
Saturday, 8 October
11:40am – Race 3 (20 min)