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Wednesday, May 29, 2024


PETER Brock may be synonymous with the #05 but it’s not the only number he raced with.

The ‘King of the Mountain’ used a variety of numbers in the early days of his career, from #79 on his Holden-powered Austin A30 to the #28 carried by the Holden Torana XU-1 that he drove to victory in the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500.

A relationship with the Victorian Road Safety & Traffic led Brock to adopt the famous #05 in 1975, a move to raise awareness of the 0.05 blood alcohol limit for drivers in the state.

PODCAST: Peter Brock’s first #05 Holden

It took a couple of years for race organisers around the country to accept the leading zero (and there were many times here and overseas where he had to revert to #5) but Brock went on to use #05 for most – but not all – of the remainder of his career.

Here’s a rundown on some of the other numbers used in touring car races by Brock.

The name ‘Brock’ may be on the front guard, but Peter was not #25’s intended pilot at the 1983 Castrol 400. Pic: an1images.com / Dale Rodgers

The long-gone practice of cross-entering – where a driver was allowed to bail out of their car and hop into a team car during a race – accounts for most of the numbers on this list.

Arguably the most famous example is the #25, the digits carried on the car Brock drove to his seventh victory in the Great Race.

As has been recounted many times, Brock started the 1983 James Hardie 1000 in the Holden Dealer Team’s #05 car, but its retirement with an engine failure after a handful of laps saw he and co-driver Larry Perkins take over the team’s second Commodore.

The car went on to win the race, enshrining John Harvey (who’d driven the first stint) as a Bathurst winner, while Brock’s brother Phil missed out on a drive.

The 1983 Bathurst victory is depicted in a special chapter honouring all of Holden’s ‘Great Race’ triumphs in our 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!

It marked the second time in a handful of weeks that Brock had driven the #25 Commodore.

A similar early-exit for #05 at Sandown’s Castrol 400 saw Brock displace his brother in the #25, although on that occasion he and Harvey were disqualified from third place as Brock had not been entered to drive the car.

However, neither occasion marked the first time Brock used the number – that came at the Sandown and Bathurst enduros in 1977, where he ran the #25 on a brand new Holden Torana A9X.

Brock leading #05! The HDT chief heads Harvey at Calder in 1985. Pic: an1images.com / Dale Rodgers

Brock carried the #7 when piloting Bob Jane’s stunning Chevrolet Monza GT car – the digit was Jane’s preferred racing number – but he also used it on his touring cars on a couple of occasions.

The HDT rolled out a brand new VK Commodore for the Calder round of the 1985 ATCC, entered as #7.

After practicing the new machine and his usual car, Brock opted to run the former – complete with its original race number – while Harvey drove the #05 car instead.

Brock also raced a #7 car at Sandown’s Enzed 500 in 1988, hopping into the team’s second BMW after an early drama with #05.

Brock valiantly tried to hold off Jim Richards’ BMW M3 at Lakeside in 1987. Pic: an1images.com / Dale Rodgers

The tumultuous 1987 season saw Brock not only separated from Holden but also, briefly, his traditional #05!

Brock’s race car was badly damaged in a testing crash with teammate Gary Scott at the wheel on the eve of the Lakeside ATCC round, leaving Brock to campaign the HDT’s sole remaining car – carrying #6 – that weekend.

He drove the same car with the same number at Wanneroo and Adelaide International Raceway, before the debut of a new VL Commodore at Surfers Paradise round reunited Brock with #05.

Brock later used the number through cross-entering at the 1990 Sandown 500, a race where he drove his team’s #6 Ford Sierra to second place, and its #05 Sierra to fourth!

Graeme ‘Mort’ Brown stands at the front of #10 as Brock makes his famous final pit stop for slick tyres late in the 1987 James Hardie 1000. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

While Brock was never quite able to capture a 10th victory in the Bathurst 1000, he did claim a victory aboard a car carrying #10.

His ninth and final triumph in the Mount Panorama enduro came in 1987, and was his second victory earnt through cross-entering.

SATURDAY SLEUTHING: Brock’s last Bathurst 1000-winning car

On this occasion, the #05 car blew an engine soon after David Parsons took over for his first stint.

Brock and Parsons soon took over the team’s #10 car and finished in third place on the road with Peter McLeod, who’d driven the first stint.

That became first place following the subsequent exclusion of the Ruedi Eggenberger-run Ford Sierras that finished first and second.

Brock was a mid-race addition to the #105 Sierra at the 1989 .05-500. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

While Brock is best remembered for making the most of cross-entering rules at Bathurst, his use of them was far more prolific in the Sandown enduro.

In fact, he hopped into his team’s second car in four straight runnings of the event between 1988 and 1991!

In 1989 he traded his #05 Sierra for a #105 Sierra, joining scheduled drivers Brad Jones and Mark Larkham in posting a seventh place finish.

The number was a neat fit with the Brock organisation – along with its clear link to Brock’s own #05, the number represented the new FM frequency of Melbourne radio station Triple M, a team sponsor.

Once again Brock is leading #05! It’s clearly PB at the wheel of #11 while Andrew Miedecke trails in #05, which Tomas Mezera also drove. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Larry Perkins drove the #05 on several occasions alongside Brock during their years together at the HDT, but there was just one occasion where they raced Perkins’ signature #11.

The pair were reunited in 1991, the former’s Mobil sponsorship funding a two-car team of new VN Commodores built by the latter.

Brock led in the early stages of Sandown’s Drink Drive 500 before his #05 VN Commodore struck trouble, and he hopped into Perkins’ #11 at the first pit stop.

In the end, both Mobil Commodores retired from the race with engine failures.

Unable to use #05, Brock ran with the #56 at Bathurst in 1988. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Following his split with Holden, Brock changed manufacturers for 1988 and applied his signature #05 to the sides of a BMW M3.

Although the little M3 was not an outright-class car – its 2.3-litre engine slotted it into the 1601cc to 2500cc class – Brock was allowed to use his traditional number throughout the ATCC and in the endurance races at Oran Park and Sandown.

Bathurst however, as a round of the FIA Pacific-Asia Touring Car Championship, fell under international stewardship for the second year in a row, and rules around car numbers were strictly applied.

Brock’s #05 could only be allocated to a car in the outright class (#1 through #49), whereas the BMWs could only use numbers between #50 and #89.

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