Bathurst 1000 is an endurance motor race of 1000km, held at Mount Panorama near Bathurst in New South Wales. The race was first held, at this location, in 1963 after superceding an earlier race held at Phillip Island in Victoria. The 161 lap race is held on a a 6km anti-clockwise track, that is normally used as a public road.
While many car makes have made appearances at Bathurst over the years, the most popular rivalry that takes place is that of Holden and Ford. Holden has won the most races of all the car makes (25) and Ford is the second most successful with 14.
The Bathurst 1000 race was intially intended for small vehicles, as it was thought V8s would struggle due to the conditions and the required driving techniques. However, a Mini Cooper S' outright win in 1966 was the last time a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder car won at Bathurst. From then on V8s and V6s have dominated the winners table.
Bathurst became synonymous with the theory "What wins on Sunday, sells on Monday." Vehicle Manufacturers would enter their best cars for the ultimate test of reliability. Early on in Bathurst's history the vehicles raced were not too different to those the public could buy from their local showroom.
The race was broken into numerous vehicle classes for years. Initially these classes were based upon car price but went on to be assessed according to engine capacity. After many changes and much confusion, in the early 1990's, the format was amended to include only Super Tourers and V8 Supercars.
The track itself is the most famous landmark in the small inland city of Bathurst. In total the track drops 174m from top to bottom. The race begins at the bottom of Mount Panorama and follows a series of sharp turns, steep straights and huge drops. The cars can reach up to 300km/hour near the end of the track, on the longest racing straight in Australia (1.9km in length).
Bathurst 1000 continues to draw crowds of thousands and will no doubt remain Australia's most popular racing event for many years to come.