A TOTAL of 17 ZB-model Commodores will represent Holden in its last Bathurst 1000 as an active brand.
Although the Commodore will race on into the 2021 Supercars Championship season, parent company General Motors announced in February that the Holden brand will be retired from use at the end of 2020.
Here at V8 Sleuth we’ve commemorated the marque’s history on the racetrack with our new book Racing the Lion: An Illustrated History of Holden in Australian Motorsport, a 400-page hardcover book paying tribute to the marque’s rich competition history spanning over seven decades.
It’s now in stock in the V8 Sleuth Bookshop – click HERE to order!
Five of the Commodores entered for the 2020 race – click HERE for the full rundown of those chassis – have no previous Bathurst 1000 history and will open their first Mount Panorama chapter as the Holden brand writes its last.
ENTRY LIST: Every car and driver for the 2020 Bathurst 1000
Matt Stone Racing has the oldest car in the 2020 Bathurst 1000 field among its two-car lineup, with the #34 Zane Goddard/Jake Kostecki Commodore ZB having made its first trip to Mount Panorama six years ago.
Back in 2014 it was Triple Eight’s #888 Red Bull Commodore VF for Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards, and carried a one-off camouflage livery in a partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force.
Since then it has started just one more Bathurst: last year’s, when it served as Kostecki Brothers Racing’s wildcard entry.
MSR’s other car, the #35 Commodore ZB to be driven by Garry Jacobson and David Russell, also has Bathurst history with its maker, Triple Eight: it was the team’s #1 entry in 2018, which had a wheel fall off when Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell were battling for the lead…
The car that will serve as #888 this weekend has a similar tale of woe: Whincup and Craig Lowndes line up in the same car they raced in 2019, when Whincup led in the closing laps until pitting for a splash of fuel.
Four other Triple Eight-built Commodores will join them on the grid, led by the two Team 18 Commodores.
Joined this year by James Golding, Mark Winterbottom will line up in the same #18 Commodore ZB that he drove to sixth place in last year’s race – the car’s first at Mount Panorama – while the #20 of Scott Pye and Dean Fiore has achieved the most Bathurst 1000 success of any car on this year’s grid.
The Team Sydney TEKNO cars are also among the most experienced at Mount Panorama on the grid.
The #22 Chris Pither/Steve Owen car made its three previous Bathurst 1000 starts with Team 18 between 2016 and 2018, while the #19 Alex Davison/Jonathon Webb machine is the same one raced by TEKNO in the previous two editions of the ‘Great Race’.
Three out of Brad Jones Racing’s four Holdens have seen action at Mount Panorama before – with an emphasis on action!
The #3 Commodore ZB that Macauley Jones and Tim Blanchard will share is a car they’ve both driven at Mount Panorama previously – but not together!
It has been the team’s #8 entry for the last two Bathursts; in 2018, Nick Percat overcoming hitting a kangaroo in Thursday practice and persistent power steering problems to finish in seventh place with Jones, while he and Blanchard came home 14th in last year’s race.
The #4 Jack Smith/Jack Perkins Commodore ZB has also had a chequered history at the Mountain: in 2016 it was the car Andrew Jones crashed at Sulman Park after a mechanical issue, while Percat briefly led the race aboard it during the wet/dry 2017 event’s closing stages.
Meantime, Todd Hazelwood and Jordan Boys will be hoping all the bad Bathurst luck has been exorcised from their #14 Commodore ZB in its previous two starts: a last-lap puncture in 2018 saw Tim Slade and Ash Walsh finish down in 17th, while last year contact on the exit of the Cutting put Slade into the fence and out of the race on the opening lap.
We covered the two Walkinshaw Andretti United Commodore ZB in articles recently, while the last Commodore ZB on this list is one that had a hard time getting approval to even take part in this year’s race.
The chassis Garry Rogers Motorsport is using in its one-off, wildcard return to Supercars is the same one Richie Stanaway and Chris Pither drove to 12th place in last year’s race despite a heavy crash during Friday practice.