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HomeNewsTHE FATHER AND SON BATHURST 1000 DRIVER PAIRINGS

THE FATHER AND SON BATHURST 1000 DRIVER PAIRINGS

EVERY year the Repco Bathurst 1000 features a handful of second-generation drivers, each following in the footsteps of their father.

Of this year’s field, Jack Perkins, James Moffat, Macauley Jones and the race’s first third-generation driver, Aaron Seton, carry famous Bathurst legacies.

Others such as Tim Blanchard, Warren Luff and David Russell also have fathers who drove in the Great Race during their time behind the wheel.

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What was once a special part of the Bathurst 1000 but is missing from the modern era, however, is the presence of two generations competing in the same race, sharing a car.

It’s been 18 years since the last father-son Great Race driver pairing, as the increased professionalism in the Supercars era has changed the nature of the event.

V8 Sleuth celebrates Father’s Day with a look at the father-son duos to have shared Bathurst entries, and one father-daughter effort that didn’t quite make it.

We start our list with the most successful father and son in Bathurst history, both individually and as a pairing.

Jim and Steven Richards
1996, 1997, 2004

The Richards/Richards Commodore in 1997. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Jim and Steven Richards have seven and five Great Race victories to their respective names but fell just short of the remarkable feat of winning the race together.

They teamed up for the event on three occasions – twice at Garry Rogers Motorsport and once with Castrol Perkins Racing.

Second place in 1997 make them the only father-son to share a car to a Bathurst 1000 podium finish, while they scored pole in 2004 but struck a kangaroo during the race.

Dick and Steven Johnson
1998, 1999

Steven joined Dick at Bathurst before taking over full-time in 2000. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

After 10 consecutive Bathurst starts alongside John Bowe, three-time winner Dick Johnson tackled the final two Great Race appearances of his career with son Steven.

‘Junior’ had debuted in the race in 1994 aboard DJR’s second car and by 1998 boasted considerable V8 experience, including a handful of Australian Touring Car Championship round starts.

The Johnson/Johnson pairing was taken out in a multi-car accident in 1998 but returned to score fourth in 1999, narrowly missing the podium in DJ’s farewell Mountain drive.

Barry and Glenn Seton
1983

The Seton/Seton Capri, which remains in the family today. Pic: an1images.com / Dale Rodgers

Glenn Seton was born in 1965, the year his father Bo won the Great Race aboard a Ford Cortina GT500.

Eighteen years later Glenn made his debut in the fabled event driving alongside his father in a Ford Capri, and they were on course to win their class until late-race engine failure.

Widely regarded as the best driver never to win Bathurst, Glenn will this year watch on as his son Aaron makes his Great Race debut co-driving at Matt Stone Racing.

Jack and Geoff Brabham
1977

The Brabhams struggled home 18th in 1977, as the Moffat Fords dominated. Pic: an1images.com / Dale Rodgers

Three-time Formula 1 World Champion Jack Brabham famously endured a disastrous Bathurst 1000 debut alongside British star Stirling Moss aboard a Torana in 1976.

What’s less remembered is Brabham returned to the race for the following two years, including with then 25-year-old son Geoff in 1977 aboard a Falcon hardtop.

Geoff was later part of more family history at Bathurst, winning the Super Tourer race alongside brother David in 1997. They remain the only pair of brothers to win the Great Race together.

Peter and Ryan McLeod
1994, 1995, 1996

The McLeod/McLeod Commodore in 1996. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

The last three of 1987 Bathurst 1000 co-winner Peter McLeod’s 12 Great Race starts came alongside son Ryan.

Father and son were joined by production car racer Kevin Burton in a three-driver Commodore VL entry in 1994 before sharing their Enzed VR the following two years.

Unfortunately, the McLeods did not finish on all three occasions – their heartbreak included failing to get off the grid in 1995 due to tail shaft failure.

Ray and Bob Morris
1971

The Morris Falcon suffered overheating issues in the 1971 race. Pic: an1images.com

The very first father-son combination entered for the Great Race featured a future Bathurst winner and Australian Touring Car Champion, Bob Morris.

Bob’s fourth Great Race start in 1971 came in a Ford Falcon GTHO alongside his father Ray, although Morris Sr was only entered as a precaution and ultimately did not drive the car in the race.

Morris Jr went on to win Bathurst in 1976 aboard a Torana and made a total of 15 Bathurst starts, the last of which came in 1984.

Spencer and Matthew Martin
1993

Spencer Martin’s last three Bathurst starts came 23 years apart! Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Spencer Martin is best known for his racing exploits in the 1960s, where he won two Gold Star titles and twice drove factory-entered Falcon GTs at Bathurst.

He made a comeback to Bathurst in 1993 – 14 years after his previous Great Race start and 30 years since his first! – to share a Toyota Corolla with then Formula Ford racing son Matthew.

The Bob Holden-entered car was leased by the Martins for the event but sadly did not last the distance, its engine expiring with third driver David McMillan at the wheel.

Ray and Graham Gulson
1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993

Ray Gulson hoped to have his son and daughter join him in 1993. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Gulson may not be the most famous name on this list, but the father-son duo of Ray and Graham and their BMW 635CSi form a special part of Great Race history.

The Gulsons shared their BMW in the race on a record six occasions between 1987 and 1993 – a marker that would have been seven if they’d made the qualifying cut in 1988.

The final start for Ray and the car in 1993 was also to have included daughter Tania, but she failed to qualify and the Gulsons were thus denied forming a unique father-daughter line-up.

The rest

The Sieders Falcon finished 26th in Bill’s seventh and final Bathurst start. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

By our reckoning a total of 13 father-son duos have teamed up in the Great Race – the list filled out by an array of privateer racers.

They are Ron and David Grose (1983), Laurie and Mick Donaher (1991, 1993), Tim and Alf Grant (1990, 1991, 1992), John and Ken Mathews (1993) and Bill and Luke Sieders (2000).

The 1993 Tooheys 1000 stands as the Great Race with the most father-son entries thanks to the Gulson/Gulson, Martin/Martin, Donaher/Donaher and Mathews/Mathews efforts.

For completeness, father-son Lou and John Stoopman appeared at the event aboard a BMW 2002 in 1977 but were listed as reserves and did not get a start on race day.

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