THE passionate Holden fan who gave Shane van Gisbergen a Holden flag for his victory lap at yesterday’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 has been revealed and spoken exclusively to V8 Sleuth.
Dennis King is a huge Holden fan and has been attending The Great Race since way back in 1974 and says he simply had to get the flag into the hands of the first-time Bathurst 1000 winner.
The win marked the 34th victory in The Great Race for a Holden and the last factory Holden win at Mount Panorama.
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“A good mate I worked with for a lot of years retired and bought a property in 2000 on the track on Conrod and he’s been there 20 years so I’ve been staying with him for the race for that time,” Dennis told us this morning, making the trip back to his home in Yass.
“The flag was his wife’s! We watched the finish on TV inside and it occurred to me they were doing another (slow down) lap, so I raced down the front fence waiting for Shane to come around, stepped out behind the barriers and started madly waving the flag and next thing he steers the car at me.
“It was right opposite a flag marshal post so I thought I was in trouble. But the next minute he had the door open and his hand out and he’s waving me to come towards him. He said, ‘can I have your flag?’ I congratulated him and off he went. So being a Holden fan all my life, it was a fantastic finish to the whole weekend!
“My phone lit up afterwards! I was on the phone for the next three hours! It’s one of those opportunities and moments in life you just have to take!”
Dennis trekked back into the pits at Mount Panorama this morning and, just as he was at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team transporter seeking if any of the team were on-site, van Gisbergen and co-driver Garth Tander arrived for media commitments, posing for a photo with the ‘Holden flag man’.
“They asked me if I got the flag back, but I think it blew off on Mountain Straight and someone may have souvenired it!”
van Gisbergen and Tander claimed victory in the Bathurst 1000 yesterday, the win the first for the Kiwi and the fourth for the Aussie.
The flag Dennis gave van Gisbergen was also included in acclaimed artist Peter Hughes’ print depicting the 2020 Bathurst 1000-winning Red Bull HRT Commodore ZB – it was limited to just 888 and sold out fast!