10 years on: Bathurst pays respects to fallen legend with 2016 tribute
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship have announced that this year's Bathurst 1000 will pay respects to its greatest legend on the 10th anniversary of his death; Peter Brock.
The announcement will see several of Brock's machines, including former winners, on display at the circuit — though it's yet to be confirmed which of Brocks cars will be present at the venue.
Confirmed at the event's media launch at Luna Park in Sydney, the news was confirmed with the help of Brock's former partner Bev Brock and former on-track rival and current team owner Dick Johnson. Speaking to a room of drivers and media personnel, Bev Brock spoke about Peter's long and fruitful relationship with the mountain.
“All [of the wins] were exceptional. When you say that Bathurst is equal to the great tracks of the world; he didn't think that — he thought it was far superior. He certainly found it better than Spa and Le Mans, though he enjoyed those as well,” she said.
Bev Brock also spoke of Peter's most cherished wins at Bathurst out of the nine that he claimed over 30 years of competing at Mount Panorama.
“His ’72 victory proved to himself and to others that he could do it. He needed that confidence that he deserved to be amongst the best drivers at the time,” she said of his maiden win.
Photo / Ken Blechynden, Daily Post
But it was Brock's “against all odds” win in 1987 that Bev ranked as his most memorable. In the lead up to the race, the iconic driver had been the subject of internal disagreements at Holden, following the controversy surrounding the 'polarizer' that Brock had installed in his special edition Holden vehicles. This combined with lackluster on track results as turbo-charged cars started to dominate Group A saw Brock and Holden part ways at the end of the season.
But that wasn't before Brock grabbed another victory, doing so after his leading Mobil Commodore had an engine failure early in the race. After he and co-driver David Parsons took over the secondary car, they clawed back to take third; only for protests against the cars that finished first and second to hand Brock his ninth and final Bathurst win some months later.
“When everything that could've gone wrong did occur, and to know he had the support of the crowd, that victory in the end was a remarkable boost to his self esteem,” added Bev.
The launch day also confirmed that Renee Gracie and Simona De Silvestro would return to the mountain for a second time to pilot their 'Harvey Norman Supergirls' entry. Though it wasn't confirmed whether the pair would be competing with a Prodrive Racing-run Ford Falcon FG-X as they did in 2015.