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Bathurst’s Biggest Crashes – Part 2

Racing at a challenging circuit like Mount Panorama and crashing comes with the territory, with some of the sport’s legends coming a cropper on this legendary piece of tarmac.

The Repco Garage highlights some of the most spectacular incidents to take place at Mount Panorama. Remember to voice your opinion on the Repco social media platforms on your most memorable crashes.

In Part 2 the Repco Garage covers the biggest of the last 30 years.

Dick Johnson and Bill O’Brien – 1993 Tooheys 1000

Veteran Bill O’Brien lost control at Reid Park in his slower Holden Commodore while moving out of the way of Dick Johnson, leading to a massive collision between the two and more questions being asked about the drivers taking part in the event. The Shell Falcon was heavily damaged in the crash at one of the fastest parts of the circuit.

Jason Bargwanna – 1997 Primus 1000 Classic

Another one not from the race, but instead occurred during the morning warm up. After qualifying a stunning fifth in the Holden Young Lions Commodore, Jason Bargwanna was setting a rapid pace in the warm up and crashed heavily on the outside of Forrest’s Elbow, with the entry he was to share with Mark Noske scrubbed.

Tomas Mezera – 1997 Primus 1000 Classic

The Chase is regarded as the fastest corner in Australian motorsport and is probably the worst place to endure a tyre failure. Tomas Mezera experienced this ride on the wild side in 1997 when a tyre on his Bottle Magic Holden Commodore delaminated and ripped the brake lines out leading to the entry rolling multiple times through the sand trap.

Alan Heath – 1998 FAI 1000

An impatient faster entry led to this massive pile up at Forrest’s Elbow. Alan Heath was tapped by the Trust Bank Commodore sparking a massive incident as Simon Wills, Steve Johnson, Tony Longhurst, John Faulkner, Alan Jones and Robert Smith also became involved.

Max Wilson and Jason Bargwanna – 2003 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000

Another crash to block the track, but only temporarily. Jason Bargwanna attempted a pass into The Esses, but made contact with Max Wilson leaving both Falcons spread-eagled across the circuit as the Bates brother’s AU Falcon and the Garry Rogers Motorsport VX joined due to being unable avoid the incident ahead.

Jason Plato and John Cleland – 2004 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000

Infamous due to it preventing Peter Brock from driving in his final Bathurst 1000. The two British Touring Car Championship stars made contact at The Chase as Jason Plato in the Holden Racing Team Commodore limped to the pits following an earlier incident. The contact sent Cleland into a roll and both into retirement.

Greg Murphy and Marcos Ambrose – 2005 Bathurst 1000

One of the most controversial incidents in the race’s history. Marcos Ambrose attempted a pass on Greg Murphy approaching The Cutting, resulting in the Pirtek Racing Falcon nearly being launched down the side of the Mountain. Also remembered for the fisticuffs afterwards.

Mark Skaife and Jack Perkins – 2006 Bathurst 1000

The pre-race favourite endured clutch slip off the line as Mark Skaife struggled, an unsighted Jack Perkins in his debut race collected the crawling Holden Racing Team Commodore to render both into retirement. It proved a disappointing day as the factory Holden squad aimed to honour Peter Brock following his death.

Paul Radisich – 2006 Bathurst 1000

One of two incident in the same amount of years for Paul Radisich, which ended his career. A slight tap exiting The Chase pushed the New Zealander wide and into the angled wall, which has since changed now. The impact sent the Team Kiwi Racing Commodore on its side. The next incident was another severe impact due to a stuck throttle at McPhillamy Park.

Jason Bright, Mark Skaife and Russell Ingall – 2007 Bathurst 1000

A thrilling race was entering its finale and rain was starting to fall. It proved tricky at the top as Jason Bright, Mark Skaife, Russell Ingall and even a young Shane van Gisbergen were all caught out approaching McPhillamy Park, hitting the outside wall in the slippery conditions.

Paul Weel and Chris Pither – 2008 Bathurst 1000

Occurring during practice, Paul Weel had already crashed and was side on at a blind, fast section of the circuit at Reid Park. On a flying lap, Chris Pither encountered the stricken PWR Commodore and hit it with massive force.

Fabian Coulthard – 2010 Bathurst 1000

Another infamous crash. Fabian Coulthard’s Bundaberg Racing Commodore suffered a delaminating tyre on the opening lap at The Chase on lap 1. Much like Tomas Mezera 13 years prior, Coulthard was sent into barrel rolls as the Commodore hit the sand trap.

David Besnard – 2011 Bathurst 1000

Following a pit stop for new tyres and brakes, Dick Johnson Racing driver David Besnard spun at Griffin’s Bend as the Ford Falcon burst into flames. Backing into the wall and spinning onto the track, the Falcon was severely damaged in the incident.

Russell Ingall and Lee Holdsworth – 2014 Bathurst 1000

A mistake from veteran Russell Ingall while making a move into Griffin’s Bend led to contact with Lee Holdsworth sending his Erebus Motorsport Mercedes E63 AMG to hit the tyre wall and land on its side.

Chaz Mostert – 2015 Bathurst 1000

A year after taking a last-to-first victory, Chaz Mostert hit the inside wall approaching Forrest’s Elbow during practice sending his Pepsi Max Ford Falcon FGX into a frightening version of pinball where it oh so nearly went over the fence, though it did collect a flag post.

James Moffat – 2017 Bathurst 1000

James Moffat and Richard Muscat’s Garry Rogers Motorsport VF Commodore had already been in the wars many times during the weekend, but the biggest was the last. During the final stint, changeable conditions caught out Moffat approaching McPhillamy Park and he clouted the outside wall heavily.

Anton De Pasquale – 2019 Bathurst 1000

A strange one this. At Reid Park, an object became stuck underneath the pedals of Anton De Pasquale leaving him unable to brake. The extra pace sent him hard into the outside wall compounding a difficult day for Erebus.

Matt Campbell, Zane Goddard and Dale Wood – 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000

Last year’s start chaos began when Zane Goddard in the Snowy River Racing Ford Mustang ran wide at The Chase and was unable to control his re-join due to the wet conditions off-track. Goddard entered the track out of control hitting Dale Wood and Matt Campbell in disastrous circumstances.

Of course, there are a few omitted from this list including the qualifying crash between Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff in 2014, John Keran’s massive impact in 1970, and Garry Leggatt’s frightening incident in 1982.

Head to Repco’s socials to comment your most memorable Mountain incident.