No one who watched the last fifteen laps of the 2012 Supercheap Autos Bathurst 1000 will deny that it was the most nailbiting, gripping, enthralling, brain burning finish to The Great Race since….last year.
Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell, with Whincup at the wheel in the final stanza, held off a determined, a grimly determined David Reynolds and Dean Canto with Whincup on fumes, Reynolds on adrenalin and Craig Lowndes (partnering with Warren Luff) performing a drive that’s become his trademark, hunting down the opposition to eventually claim a gutsy podium.
With 161 laps completed with a race time of 6 hours, 16 minutes and 1 second, the attrition rate of just four cars was fantastic and only one was a major spectacle, with Steve Owen piloting the VIP Petfoods #49 into the wall.
Last years winners, Nick Percat and Garth Tander, especially Tander, will rue Percat’s mistake which cost them twenty laps and the chance to repeat their 2011 win. Pole sitter Will Davison had a nightmare ride, after a broken Watts linkage ripped a brake line, leaving the Ford Falcon looking like it was a curling stone.
History will record Whincup won by just 0.3 seconds with Lowndes 8.5 seconds behind, with The Great Race surpassing itself and on its fiftieth anniversary, confirming beyond doubt that it stands head and shoulders with the world’s great motorsport events.