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Grice, Janson Commodores join Bathurst celebration

A PAIR of Group C era Bathurst 1000 Commodores driven by two of the greats of the Mountain are making the trek to this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000.

The ex-Allan Grice Craven Mild Commodore VC and ex-Peter Janson Cadbury Schweppes Commodore VH will take up residence for race week in a special display marking the 45th anniversary of the first Bathurst Shootout in 1978.

The display, which will also include the 1990 pole-sitting ANZ Sierra (driven by German Klaus Niedzwiedz) and 2001 Pirtek Falcon AU put on pole position by Marcos Ambrose, will be in Harris Park on the outside of Pit Straight for fans to enjoy.

The Grice Commodore, now owned by Gary and Karen Chick, was driven by the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner in the 1980 ‘Hardies Heroes’ Shootout and started that year’s race fifth.

Grice and co-driver John Smith finished seventh after the latter spent time bunkered in the sand trap at Murray’s Corner.

The Janson Commodore, now owned by Jamie Hodgson, appeared in three Bathurst Shootouts – in 1980, 1981 and 1983 – though each time with the co-driver of ‘The Captain’ behind the wheel.

Allan Grice and the 1980 Craven Mild Commodore at Bathurst. Photo: Supplied.

Larry Perkins drove the car in the 1980 and 1981 Shootouts and David ‘Skippy’ Parsons qualified it a sensational third in 1983.

The very same car finished runner-up in the 1980 race with Perkins and Janson at the helm, their third straight podium finish from their first three ‘Great Race’ starts together as a combination (in 1977, 1979 and 1980).

A range of special cars will be on display at this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000, including a handful that will spend time on track on Saturday and Sunday.

The recently restored 1993 Bathurst 1000-winning Castrol Commodore VP will be driven by Larry Perkins, while Craig Lowndes will drive his 2006 race-winning Team Betta Electrical/Triple Eight Falcon BA.

James Brock will step behind the wheel of the Mobil Holden Dealer Team Commodore VK driven by Peter Brock and Allan Moffat in the 1986 James Hardie 1000.

2012 Bathurst 1000 winners Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell will re-unite and each turn laps in the very same #1 Vodafone Commodore that carried them to Mountain glory 11 years ago.

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