1980 Bathurst  Go 1982 Bathurst 
Back to index page

James Hardie 1000 Bathurst 1981

Mount Panorama, Bathurst, Australia

Date: 4/10/1981
Track length: 6.172 m
Attendance: unknown
Entries accepted: 71
Starters: 60
Finishers: 28

Pole position: Bartlett in 2.36,432
Fastest lap: Johnson in 2.20,98

Distance: 1006 km, redflagged at 740 km
Average speed: 151,21 kmh
Weather: Cool and windy
Ruleset: Group C (CAMS)
Car info:  


Crowd favourites Dick Johnson and John French were declared winners of the James Hardie 1000 race at Bathurst on Sunday, October 4, following a high speed pile-up involving many of the leading contenders.
The race was stopped on the 121st lap, well short of the usual 163 laps that make up the 1000km. The track was completely blocked by a six-car pile-up and the organisers had no choice but to declare the race over, following the completion of more than two thirds distance. It was the first time the race has been cut short in its long history. French, 50, was driving the Johnson Ford Falcon V8 at the time of the accident. He was well clear when the melee happened and had been gradually increasing his lead on the second placed Falcon of Sydney driver Bob Morris/John Fitzpatrick. Allan Moffat/Derek Bell were lying third in the works Mazda RX7 at that stage, but were one lap down. The accident happened at a 100mph sweeper leading up the Mountain and initially involved only second placed Morris, who was attempting to cutback French's 36s lead and the Falcon of Christine Gibson, lying sixth. The two cars touched and spun into the path of an approaching group of cars. The fourth placed Commodore of Melbourne's Garry Rogers, the fifth placed Commodore of National Sports Sedan Champion Tony Edmondson, the 13th placed Camaro of Kevin Bartlett, and David Seldon's Holden Gemini, all slammed into the first two cars. Most of the drivers suffered shock and bruising. Only former Bathurst winner Bartlett and Sports Sedan driver Rogers were taken to hospital with slight injuries. Most of the cars were destroyed in the accident.
The race organisers declared the finishing order at the lap before the accident to the delight of 36 year old Johnson, who fulfilled a promise he made to race fans last year when he crashed out of the event while comfortably in the lead. Last year, Johnson came from racing mediocrity to lead the race until his Falcon crashed into a large boulder which had mysteriously rolled onto the track on the 17th lap. Race fans pledged money to save the Queensland privateer from financial ruin, and with that money he built a new Falcon. Johnson had promised he would win Bathurst in 1981.
There is little doubt that Johnson/French would have won easily had the race gone the full distance. Their Falcon ran faultlessly throughout.
The big disappointment in the race was the performance of World Champion Alan Jones in the Warren Cullen team. The team ran into minor problems from their first day at the circuit, west of Sydney, and that ate into their testing time. Cullen was forced to use the race tested back up car fitted with the new car's engine. The team's Commodore scraped into the top 20 qualifying, but performed better early in the race with Cullen driving. When Cullen came in to refuel and hand over to Jones, the car was overheating. Jones did one lap before pulling in with a "lunched" engine.
The race was run at insane pace for the first hours. Johnson and Bartlett shared the front row for the second year running, but while Johnson got the jump at the start it was Bartlett who took the lead on the first lap. Then Marlboro Holden Dealer Team driver Peter Brock, who has won the last three Bathurst races, joined in the fray and took the race lead at the fourth circuit. It was a surprising tactic for Brock, whose Commodore had less power than the Falcons and Camaros.
His lack of punch, however, was apparent on the climb up the Mountain and on one fateful early lap Bartlett reeled him in and took the five times Bathurst winner by surprise. Bartlett was driving very aggressively and a bumping duel resulted as the Camaro pushed its way to the front. The force of the impact bent the Commodore's rear axle assembly. Brock's run of Bathurst wins had come to an end and he pulled behind the pits the following lap to spend 20 minutes out of the race, having a new axle assembly fitted. Fastest lap later in the race was a small consolation. After Brock pitted, Bartlett continued his first hour battle with Johnson until the big Kerry Packer financed Camaro bounced off a lapped Commodore and glanced the trackside barrier. Bartlett nursed the Camaro into the pits for a 20 minute stop to rebuild the lefthand front corner. His challenge had ended.
Significantly, 1976 Bathurst winner Morris, John Harvey in the second MHDT Commodore and Rogers all held back from the frantic pace of the leaders to run controlled races. But for Harvey, who was to share his car with Vern Schuppan, it was another heartbreaking Bathurst. Going up the Mountain a stone punctured a tyre and his race ended with the Commodore buried into the barrier. Even more unfortunate was that the team had put Brock down as relief driver in the Harvey/Schuppan car following Brock's demise early in the race. The poor reliability of the big cars and the rash of crashes was just what Moffat and also Allan Grice/David Hobbs were hoping for. By half distance Moffat's Mazda and Grice's JPS Team BMW 635 moved into outright contention. Grice was fourth in the BMW fitted with a TV camera until a slip of concentration put the BMW into the sand trap at the end of the main straight for 12 minutes. Once officials dug out the black and gold BMW, David Hobbs was left with the unenviable task of fighting up through all over again. Following the major pit stops in the first half of the race, Morris inherited the lead. The Johnson team had been slow out of the pits and French was given the job of catching the Morris car, now driven by Fitzpatrick. In a superb driving display, veteran French gradually pegged back and swept past Fitzpatrick. When Fitzpatrick pitted for tyres and a driver change soon after, it was left to Morris to do the chasing. His new tyres allowed him to make some impression on French until the veteran put his car's superiority beyond doubt by increasing the pace. French was more than 30s clear and coming down the Mountain on the other side of the track when Morris crashed and the race was stopped. Race officials are still investigating the crash and an inquiry will be held on October 19, but they have declared the provisional results on cars running at lap 120, just before the crash. (MN)

Class A, B and C
Pos Pos in class # Team / Entrant
Car- Engine
Drivers, Nationality Engine
vol. (cc)
Group Distance,
Qualifying position Qualifying time Fastest lap Reason out,
1 1 17 Palmer Tube Mills
Ford Falcon XD
Dick Johnson, AUS
John French, AUS
5760 V8 Class A 120 laps, 4:53.52,7 HH2 2.38,813    
2 2 7 Bob Morris Motor Sport
Ford Falcon XD
Bob Morris, AUS
John Fitzpatrick, GB
5760 V8 Class A 120 laps, 4:54.37,6 HH4 2.39,339    
3 1 43 Peter Stuyvesant International Racing
Mazda RX-7
Allan Moffat, CDN
Derek Bell, GB
2292 eq R2 Class B 119 HH5 2.39,443    
4 3 11 The Launceston Hotel Pty Ltd
Holden VC Commodore
Garry Rogers, AUS
Clive Benson-Brown, GB
5044 V8 Class A 118 HH6 2.41,315    
5 4 4 Re-Car Consolidated Industries
Holden VC Commodore
Alan Browne, AUS
Tony Edmonsson, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 117 11 2.25,1    
6 5 20 King George Tavern
Ford Falcon XD
Joe Moore, AUS
Christine Gibson, AUS
5760 V8 Class A 115 25 2.29,9    
7 2 44 JPS Team BMW
BMW 635 CSi
Allan Grice, AUS
David Hobbs, GB
3475 L6 Class B 113 12 2.26,2    
8 3 32 Masterton Homes Pty Ltd
Ford Capri 3.0S
Colin Bond, AUS
Don Smith, AUS
2993 V6 Class B 113 32 2.33,0    
9 6 8 Garry Willmington
Ford Falcon XD
Garry Willmington, AUS
Mike Griffin, AUS
5760 V8 Class A 113 18 2.27,3    
10 7 15 Valley Meat Hall
Ford Falcon XD
John English, AUS
John Donnelly, AUS
5760 V8 Class A 112 22 2.29,0    
11 4 33 Masterton Homes Pty Ltd
Ford Capri 3.0S
Steve Masterton, AUS
Bruce Stewart, AUS
2993 V6 Class B 111 34 2.33,7    
12 1 77 Toyota Dealer Team
Toyota Celica
Peter Williamson, AUS
John Smith, AUS
1968 L4 Class C 111 36 2.34,9    
13 8 9 Nine Network Racing Team
Chevrolet Camaro
Kevin Bartlett, AUS
Bob Forbes, AUS
5736 V8 Class A 111 HH1 2.36,432    
14 9 29 Brian Callaghan Racing P/L
Ford Falcon XD
Brian Callaghan, AUS
Peter MacKay, AUS
5760 V8 Class A 111 24 2.29,4    
15 10 26 Scotty Taylor Holden
Holden VC Commodore
Alan "Scotty" Taylor, AUS
Kevin Kennedy, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 109 29 2.32,2    
16 11 21 Ron Dickson
Chevrolet Camaro
Ron Dickson, AUS
Bob Stevens, AUS
5736 V8 Class A 108 HH9 2.44,505    
17 5 39 Capri Components
Ford Capri 3.0S
Lawrie Nelson, AUS
Peter Jones, AUS
2993 V6 Class B 108 41 2.36,6    
18 6 46 Hulcraft Autos
Ford Capri 3.0S
John Gates, AUS
John Craft, AUS
2993 V6 Class B 108 40 2.35,7    
19 2 50 Cinzano Team
Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV
Gary Leggatt, AUS
Phil McDonnell, AUS
1962 L4 Class C 107 45 2.42,1    
20 3 60 Isuzu Dealer Team
Isuzu Gemini
Jim Faneco, AUS
Allan Gough, AUS
1584 L4 Class C 103 52 2.47,9    
21 12 05 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team
Holden VC Commodore
Peter Brock, AUS
Jim Richards, NZ
5044 V8 Class A 103 HH3 2.39,043    
22 13 6 John Sands 3MP Racing
Ford Falcon XD
Rusty French, AUS
Leo Leonard, NZ
5760 V8 Class A 100 30 2.32,4    
23 4 68 Dandenong Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi Lancer
Rod Stevens, AUS
Craig Bradtke, AUS
1600 L4 Class C 100 53 2.49,3    
24 5 59 Bathurst Light Car Club
Ford Escort RS 2000
Tony Mulvihill, AUS
Brian Nightingale, AUS
1993 L4 Class C 97 56 2.53,0    
25 14 31 Ron Dickson
Chevrolet Camaro
Graham Moore, AUS
Steve Dymand, USA
5736 V8 Class A 96 28 2.30,7    
26 7 40 Peter McLeod
Mazda RX-7
Peter McLeod, AUS
Peter Dane, AUS
2292 eq R2 Class B 96 33 2.33,2    
27 6 64 Bob Holden Motors Manly Vale
Ford Escort 1.6
Phillip Revell, AUS
Ron Barnacle, AUS
1599 L4 Class C 93 59 2.55,7    
28 15 24 Army Reserve Racing Team
Ford Falcon XD
Bob Muir, AUS
Ian "Pete" Geoghegan, AUS
5760 V8 Class A 92 13 2.26,4    
DNF   18 Murray Carter
Ford Falcon XD
Murray Carter, AUS
Graeme Lawrence, NZ
5760 V8 Class A 109 16 2.26,7   Stub axle
DNF   62 Alexandra Surplice
Toyota Corolla Levin
Alexandra Surplice, AUS
Doug Clark, AUS
1587 L4 Class C 88 47 2.43,1   Alternator
NC   14 Fred Geissler
Holden VC Commodore
Fred Geissler, AUS
Graham Watson, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 85 14 2.26,5   Insufficient laps completed
NC   66 Scottune
Mitsubishi Colt
Ian Burrell, AUS
Rob Shute, AUS
1597 L4 Class C 83 57 2.53,5   Insufficient laps completed
NC   49 Jagparts Racing
Triumph Dolomite Sprint
Martin Power, AUS
Brian Winsall, AUS
1998 L4 Class C 80 55 2.51,7   Insufficient laps completed
DNF   16 Re-Car Consolidated Industries
Holden VC Commodore
Ron Wanless, AUS
Ralph Radburn, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 79 15 2.26,7   Engine
NC   70 Colin Spencer
Isuzu Gemini
Colin Spencer, AUS
John White, AUS
1584 L4 Class C 75 60 2.55,7   Insufficient laps completed
DNF   30 Everlast Battery Service
Ford Falcon XD
Bill O'Brien, AUS
Gary Cooke, AUS
5760 V8 Class A 74 17 2.27,0   Piston
DNF   41 Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops P/L West End Mazda
Mazda RX-7
Barry Jones, AUS
Geoff Leeds, AUS
2292 eq R2 Class B 74 26 2.30,2   Apex seal
DNF   61 Rex Monaghan
Ford Escort 1.6
Ray Cutchie, AUS
Ray Farrar, AUS
1599 L4 Class C 73 58 2.54,4   Engine
NC   10 Goss Garages
Jaguar XJ-S
John Goss, AUS
Barry Seton, AUS
5344 V12 Class A 73 19 2.28,0   Insufficient laps completed
NC   63 Cherry City Ford
Ford Escort 2.0 GL
John Faulkner, NZ
Gary Dumbrell, AUS
1993 L4 Class C 72 51 2.47,7   Insufficient laps completed
NC   57 Sutton Motors Pty Ltd
Isuzu Gemini ZZ
David Seldon, AUS
Gary Rowe, AUS
(Phil Ward, AUS)
1817 L4 Class C 70 46 2.42,8   Insufficient laps completed
DNF   3 Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd
Holden VC Commodore
Peter Janson, NZ
Larry Perkins, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 67 HH7 2.42,621   Engine
DNF   56 Nissan Motor Company
Nissan Bluebird Turbo
Masahiro Hasemi, J
Kazuyoshi Hoshino, J
1770 tc L4 Class C 66 31 2.32,8   Gearbox
DNF   37 Trend Windows Pty Ltd
Ford Capri 3.0S
Terry Daly, AUS
Peter Hopwood, AUS
2993 V6 Class B 56 37 2.35,2   Engine
DNF   45 Precinct Performance Pty Ltd
Mazda RX-7
Allan Bryant, AUS
Dean Gall, AUS
2292 eq R2 Class B 54 39 2.35,6   Tailshaft
DNF   27 Roadways/Gown-Hindhaugh
Holden VC Commodore
Garth Wigston, AUS
Steve Harrington, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 53 HH10 2.46,248   Valve
DNF   47 W.J. Scott
Toyota Celica
Wally Scott, AUS
Peter Walton, AUS
1968 L4 Class C 50 48 2.43,8   Engine
DNF   12 Cullen Automotive Industries
Holden VC Commodore
Warren Cullen, AUS
Alan Jones, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 48 20 2.28,5   Oil pump
DNF   35 Alexander Rotary Engines
Mazda RX-7
Phil Alexander, AUS
Ron Gillard, AUS
(Makato Kamazuka, J)
2292 eq R2 Class B 46 38 2.35,6   Tailshaft
DNF   52 Bob Holden Motors Manly Vale
Ford Escort 2.0 GL
Bob Holden, AUS
Wally Storey, AUS
1993 L4 Class C 44 49 2.44,0   Engine
DNF   23 Great Eastland Television
Holden VB Commodore
Paul Gulson, AUS
Rodney Combs, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 42 21 2.28,5   Piston
DNF   25 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team
Holden VC Commodore
John Harvey, AUS
Vern Schuppan, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 37 HH8 2.43,018   Accident
DNF   65 Holden Dealer Team Special Vehicles Pty Ltd
Isuzu Gemini ZZ
Phil Brock, AUS
Gary Scott, AUS
1817 L4 Class C 36 44 2.41,3   Differential
DNF   51 Chickadee Chicken
Toyota Celica
Graeme Bailey, AUS
Steve Land, AUS
1968 L4 Class C 34 42 2.37,1   Accident
DNF   58 Graham Mein
Ford Escort RS 2000
Graham Mein, AUS
Geoff Russell, AUS
1993 L4 Class C 34 50 2.45,7   Accident
DNF   55 Nissan Motor Company
Nissan Bluebird Turbo
Fred Gibson, AUS
George Fury, AUS
1770 tc L4 Class C 30 43 2.37,4   Suspension
DNF   54 Terry Finnigan
Isuzu Gemini
Terry Finnigan, AUS
Ross Wittig, AUS
1584 L4 Class C 29 54 2.49,9    
DNF   2 Citizen Watches Australia Pty Ltd
Holden VC Commodore
Charlie O'Brien, AUS
Mike Quinn, AUS
5044 V8 Class A 16 23 2.29,2   Engine
DNF   34 Penrith Mazda Centre Pty Ltd
Mazda RX-7
Terry Shiel, AUS
Don Holland, AUS
2292 eq R2 Class B 13 27 2.30,5   Engine
DNF   42 Mazcars Croyden
Mazda RX-7
John Duggan, AUS
Michael O'Hehir, AUS
(Lynn Brown, AUS)
2292 eq R2 Class B 1 35 2.34,0   Accident
DNQ   19 Neil Cunningham
Holden VC Commodore
Neil Cunningham, AUS
Rod Coppins, AUS
5044 V8 Class A         Reserve
DNQ   38 Les Grose
Ford Capri 3.0S
Les Grose, AUS
Alan Cant, AUS
2993 V6 Class B         Reserve
DNQ   71 Ken Harrison
Ford Escort 1.6
Ken Harrison, AUS
Ian Wells, AUS
1599 L4 Class C         Reserve
DNQ   22 Jim Keogh
Ford Falcon XD
Jim Keogh, AUS
Andrew Newton, AUS
5760 V8 Class A          
WDN   36 Trend Windows Pty Ltd
Ford Capri 3.0S
Peter Hopwood, AUS
Terry Daly, AUS
2993 V6 Class B         Withdrawn
DNQ   48  
Isuzu Gemini
Ken Price, AUS
Peter Fitzgerald, AUS
(Steve Jonas, AUS)
1584 L4 Class C          
DNQ   53  
VW Golf
Chris Heyer, AUS
Peter Lander, AUS
1596? L4 Class C          
WDN   67  
Alfa Romeo Alfasud
Ray Gulson, AUS
Gordon Mackinlay, AUS
1499? B4 Class C         Withdrawn