The Great Race Disqualifications
Over the years for a whole range of reasons, teams have been struck from the results sheet of The Great Race.
From driving infringements to downright cheats, the beaches resulting in a dreaded DSQ have been many and varied.
Here, we delved into the reasoning behind the various disqualifications from the Bathurst 1000 and its different 500-mile forerunners.
If you know any further details to the below, drop us a line via the socials @theracetorque, we’d love to add to the story!
- Hoot Gibson/Paul England – Triumph Herald
- Ian Strachan/John Lanyon – Holden EK
The first ever disqualification from The Great Race appears to be the Gibson/England Triumph Herald.
In the earliest days of the event, outside interference with the car in the opening stages of the race was expressly outlawed.
When Gibson rolled into the pits after 12 laps, a crew member eagerly sprang into action, opening the bonnet, which saw the team eliminated on the spot.
Adding insult to injury, the issue would have been a simple fix for the driver…
John Lanyon meanwhile was in contention in his EK Holden, until a wheel departed the car at Siberia Corner on the Phillip Island Circuit.
He managed to fit the spare by borrowing a wheel nut from each of the remaining wheels, but back in the pits, by fitting spare parts that weren’t already positioned at the pit lane, the outfit was disqualified.
- Rex Emmett/John Connelly/Brian Sampson – Renault Gordini
- D. Hooker/Terry Allan – Mini Morris 850
The Gordini originally won class C, but was stripped of its result after the car was found to be non-standard, while the Mini was sent packing, after what the legendary Bill Tuckey described as a “cheater manifold”.
Later versions of The Great Race history books noted that both of these cars were reinstated into the results – many times over the years disqualified cars were able to argue their way back into the finishing order – the truth is out there…
- Bill Coe/Syd Fisher – Peugeot 404
Disqualified post-race for a carburettor infraction, thus becoming the first car to be stripped of a Great Race result at Mount Panorama.
- Ian Grant/Peter Mitchell – Holden EH
The EH Holden was disqualified for using tools that were not standard fitment to the car within the first 26 circuits of the 130-lap race, one of the quirky rules of the time which was aimed at proving the stock production credentials of the cars.
- Ian Geoghegan/Leo Geoghegan – Ford Cortina Mk1 GT500
The race favourite Geoghegan brothers, looking dapper in their suits and ties, rode a rollercoaster of a day on The Mountain.
After losing ground thanks to an unscheduled spark plug swap, the car was adjudged to have started its engine before refuelling was complete.
The pair raced on under protest pending a post-race investigation, but it was to no avail.
In subsequent years, time penalties were issued for similar breaches, before engines were allowed to stay on during services.
For instance, in 1972, Peter Brock, Murray Carter, Leo Geoghegan and Allan Moffat all received various penalties for restarting during refuelling or receiving push-starts.
- Bob Beasley/Des West – Ford Falcon XR GT
- Barry Ferguson/Brian Sampson – Toyota Corolla
- Bruce Hindhaugh/Peter Macrow – Toyota Corolla
- Peter Williamson/Alex Macarthur – Toyota Corona
The year the scrutineers swung into action.
In post-race inspections, the three works Corollas, the Corona and the Beasley/West Falcon were all stripped of their finishing positions due to various irregularities. However, the Dick Thurston/Bill Buckle Corolla was reinstated and was officially classified second in Class A.
- Des West/Ron Marks – Holden Monaro HK GTS 327
- John French/Frank Gardner – Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV
- Paul Hawkins/Bill Brown – Holden Monaro HK GTS 327
- Bill Evans/John Colwell – Datsun 1000
- Dick Sorenson/Bevan Gibson – Datsun 1000
- Bill Evans/John Colwell – Datsun 1000
The factory Holden Racing Team entry of West and Marks initially finished second, but were disqualified due to illegal engine mods, while the two Datsuns were sent packing after being found out with illegal carburation tweaks.
Gardner was listed as a disqualification from his Bathurst debut, although it was a moot point, as his Alfa lost a wheel at The Cutting, and was never going to see the finish.
Meanwhile, the Hawkins/Brown Monaro was judged to have oversized valves.
- Barry Ferguson/Jim Laing-Peach – Toyota Corolla
The works-backed entry spent an extended stint in the pits to rectify a jammed starter motor, with the replacement unit resulting in the car’s exclusion from the results.
- Alan Cant/Herb Taylor – Ford Escort Twin Cam Mk1
- John Roxburgh/Jon Leighton – Datsun 1600
- Jim Laing-Peach – Datsun 1200
For the second time in three years, motoring journalist Jim Laing-Peach was disqualified, this time from the Class A victory in his Datsun 1200, with his camshaft out of tolerance.
Similarly, the Class B winning Datsun 1600 failed scrutineering too, with the car found to have a trick camshaft.
The Cant/Taylor Escort meanwhile were disqualified for having air bleeds in the carburettor.
- Geoff Perry – Datsun 1300
The baby Class A from 1972 featured a heated battle on track on Sunday, that boiled over into the scrutineering shed on Monday.
Geoff Perry originally won the race in his Datsun 1300, but was pinged for inlet manifold and carburation issues, while the Bill Evans Datsun 1200 was done for non-standard cylinder heads, manifold and camshaft, although the works Datsun squad were able to overturn the ruling, and ultimately claim the class honours.
- Jim Murcott/Mal Robertson – Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV
This entry had a real rollercoaster ride post-event, after claiming a class win.
A protest over the car’s cylinder head saw the outfit excluded, then reinstated by a CAMS tribunal later the same month, while in the end it was sent packing by the AMSAC.
- Lynn Brown/Ron Gillard – Mazda RX3
The Brown/Gillard RX3 was stripped of its second in class for an illegal exhaust manifold.
The Colin Bond/Johnnie Walker HDT entry was initially disqualified by the stewards, but reinstated to third place outright on appeal.
- Terry Shiel/Don Holland – Mazda RX3
The Shiel/Holland RX3 was nicked for not having the required emissions controls in place, and was relegated from second in Class B.
- Lynn Brown/Brian Boyd – BMW 3.0Si
- Allan Gough/Kel Gough – Holden Gemini
The final run for the BMW New Six at the Mountain resulted in a disqualification for a transmission issue, while the Gemini lost its class win when it was discovered to have an oversize bore.
The other Geminis were reportedly also of varying dimensions, but they held their positions on the final result sheet.
- Dick Johnson/John French – Ford Falcon XE
- Brian Callaghan/Bob Muir – Ford Falcon XE
Both of the big Falcons fell afoul of illegal cylinder heads, with the result a spectacular reversal of fortunes from the defending Bathurst champions, who experienced a tough week at the Mountain with a recalcitrant car that lacked outright pace, and provisionally finished fourth.
- Steve Soper/Pierre Dieudonne – Ford Sierra RS500
- Klaus Ludwig/Klaus Niedzwiedz – Ford Sierra RS500
- Inky Tulloch/Trevor Crowe/Jim Keogh – BMW M3
- Murray Carter/Steve Masterton/Denis Horley – Nissan Skyline RS Turbo DR30
The arrival of the World Touring Car Championship to Bathurst in 1987 kicked off a period of incredible protests, counter-protests, and general off-track nastiness.
Perhaps the most notable double-disqualification in the history of the Bathurst 1000 is those of the Texaco Sierras, which survived illegal fuel claims during the race, but were booted on wheel arch irregularities after the event, with the unsuccessful appeals process dragging out into 1988.
The cheat allowed the cars to run bigger tyres than the competition, with the amended results seeing Peter Brock claim his ninth and final Great Race win.
Elsewhere, the scrutineers were kept busy with the Viacard Services BMW pinged for an illegal spoiler from ninth position, while the Nettcomm Skyline was done for illegal tyres.
Forgotten by time, the pair of DJR Sierras were actually booted from the top-ten shootout results after running an illegal, inferior grade of fuel, which had been put in churns filled at the team’s base rather than at the track.
- Larry Perkins/Denny Hulme/Tom Walkinshaw – Holden Commodore VL SS Group A SV
- Tom Walkinshaw/Jeff Allam – Holden Commodore VL SS Group A SV
The politicking from the previous year continued, as the northern hemisphere’s presence in the race continued.
Colin Bond was initially docked third place for his Sierra because of his turbo, however, the decision was overturned.
Despite not making the finish, the two factory Holdens were retrospectively pinged for illegal steering racks, with the Australian-developed car also having an out-of-spec front air dam.
- Tony Mulvihill/Glenn McIntyre/Dave Barrow – Holden Commodore VL SS Group SV
Mulvihill’s early disqualification was a moot point – the car’s transmission and clutch issues were tended to by outside assistance, but the car retired regardless.
- Charlie O’Brien/Gianfranco Brancatelli – Ford Sierra RS500
Allan Moffat’s fourth-place finishing car was initially booted for having a non-homologated diff component, which was successfully overturned following testimony from the likes of Larry Perkins and Tony Longhurst.
However, the tribunal later reconvened and reinstated the disqualification.
- Paul Morris/Craig Baird – BMW 330i
- Terry Skene/Aaron McGill/Jenni Thompson – Ford Mondeo
The first of the two Super Touring Bathurst 1000s was resolved in the stewards’ room, with the winning BMW of Paul Morris and Craig Baird stripped of its result when Baird over-ran the maximum three hours of continuous driving time.
With the encounter being a close-run thing, the Diet Coke crew elected to save time at the final pit stop and leave Baird in the car for the run home, with the team subsequently not appealing the call after the sister car of the brothers Geoff and David Brabham were elevated into P1.
That said, the winning BMW had a scare of its own, when it was accused of overtaking under yellow flags, however, it didn’t warrant sanction.
The other disqualification from the race was fairly understandable.
When Terry Skene’s Mondeo spluttered to a halt near The Cutting, the Queenslander simply let gravity take over, and rolled backwards down the hill, against the traffic, through Griffins Bend, over the Mountain Straight hump, and neatly into his pit stall.
In addition to the disqualification, Skene was awarded a $5,000 fine and a five-year ban.
Later in the race, the same car, with Aaron McGill behind the wheel, did the same thing, earning the driver another $5,000 fine and a three-year ban.
Adding insult to injury, the car also suffered a loose bonnet that flicked up into the windscreen leaving the pits.
Finally, the car owner Peter Hills had “altered the recognition documents” for the car, further cementing its disqualification.
Ultimately, the bans would be wound back.
- Greg Crick/Dean Crosswell – Holden Commodore VS
The Crick Commodore was at the root cause of the massive pile-up at Forest Elbow that would involve no less than six cars, with officials placing the blame for the initial contact with Alan Heath’s Falcon on the Tasmanian.
The combination had provisionally finished in 11th.