So what makes the annual Bathurst endurance classic so special?
Is it the history, or the accolades that come from winning this special event? When I think about the great wins, they are the ones that come with great drama rather than sheer dominance. I can’t help thinking that the 2006 win of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup was the best.
This great win also coincides with one of the most tragic events of 2006, the passing of the legend Peter Brock. Brock’s sudden passing happened about one month prior to Bathurst. In a wonderful tribute, Supercars commissioned the “Peter Brock” trophy.
It was a race that everyone wanted to win, to have the honour of being the first recipient and to pay respect to Brock. In a cruel blow, HRT was to bow out of the race from pole position on the very first lap. Skaife says “it’s the most disappointing thing to ever happen in my career”.
Lowndes started in 6th position and worked hard all day to be where it matters when the twilight of the race comes around. In a tense battle with Rick Kelly, the two had a monumental battle to the end. A few late safety cars added to the drama, and I remember sitting on the edge of my couch willing the Betta electrical Falcon on.
To see the tears in Craig’s eyes after crossing the line made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It just felt right, it was meant to be. Brock’s legacy had the perfect start. I can’t imagine too many Holden fans caring that a Ford had won, as Brock’s protégé had claimed the victory.
As a model car collector, I could not wait to add this special winner to my collection. I still hold it up as my favourite model car. Classic Collectables produced a highly detailed model and included a scale replica of the “Peter Brock’ trophy which sits right next to my model.
These models are now very rare to find for sale, and can fetch around $700. No mine is not for sale! But if you don’t have one, you can hunt one down and have what I say is the greatest Bathurst winner to date.
If you are a fan of Craig Lowndes then check out the Craig Lowndes model cars below
If you love Craig Lowndes have a look at the car below. It was the one that he won his last Bathurst in. It’s the Craig Lowndes / Steve Richards Autobarn Lowndes Racing Holden ZB Commodore which they won the 2018 Bathurst 1000.