SINCE it was introduced to Bathurst for the World Touring Car Championship’s one and only appearance at Mount Panorama in 1987, Safety Cars have always provided a huge talking point at the ‘Great Race’.
Whether it be the timing of their appearances, their presence forcing cars to be stuck in pit lane or drivers – including Jamie Whincup – passing when they shouldn’t have – Safety Cars have written their own chapter in Bathurst 1000 history.
Over the years the race has seen a range of brands represented in the Safety Car role: Nissan, Mazda, Holden, Volvo, HSV, Ford, Audi, Chrysler, Lexus and Porsche have all paced the field in the ‘1000.
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Since its introduction there have only been two years that the Safety Car hasn’t been called upon within a Bathurst 1000 – 1989 and 1991.
For the first few years at Bathurst there were two pace cars (as they were known back then), a practice last seen in the race in 1990.
Over the years there have been some unique Safety Cars for the Bathurst 1000.
In 1992 a black Nissan GT-R filled the role and just months later the very same car was back at the Mountain competing in the Bathurst 12 Hour in Falken Tyres colours!
In 1993 that year’s Bathurst 12 Hour-winning BP Mazda served in the Safety Car role for the ‘1000 in October.
Nissan and Mazda supplied the Safety Car for the race from 1987 to 1994 until Holden first got involved for the 1995 race with a Jackaroo.
A Ford didn’t serve as Safety Car for the Bathurst 1000 until 2001, a year after Monroe came on board as V8 Supercars’ Safety Car sponsor.
Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500 pace cars are celebrated in the United States, however here in Australia they haven’t really been treated as collectables or been given much time in the collector car sun – if you have a car that’s acted as a Safety Car for V8 Supercars or the Bathurst 1000, we’d love to hear from you!
THE BATHURST 1000 SAFETY CARS
1987 Nissan Skyline
1988 Mazda RX-7
1989 Mazda MX-6
1990 Nissan 300ZX
1991 Nissan NX Coupe
1992 Nissan GT-R
1993 Mazda RX-7
1994 Mazda MX-6
1995 Holden Jackaroo
1996 Holden Jackaroo
1997 AMP Holden Jackaroo
1997 Primus Holden Commodore VT SS
1998 AMP Volvo S80
1998 FAI HSV GTS
1999 Holden Commodore VT SS
2000 Holden Commodore VT SS (Monroe)
2001 Ford Falcon AU XR8 (Monroe)
2002 Ford Falcon BA (Monroe)
2003 Audi A6 quattro
2004 Audi (WPS)
2005 Chrysler 300 (WPS)
2006 Chrysler 300 (WPS)
2007 Chrysler 300 (WPS)
2008 Chrysler 300 (Jim Beam)
2009 Audi A4 (XXXX Gold Pedders)
2010 Holden Commodore (Pedders)
2011 HSV GTS (Pedders STP)
2012 Nissan GT-R (Pedders)
2013 Chrysler 300 (Pedders STP)
2014 Chrysler 300 SRT8 (Pedders)
2015 Lexus RC F
2016 Lexus RC F
2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (Vodafone)
2018 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S (Vodafone)
2019 Ford Mustang GT (Vodafone)
2020 Ford Mustang GT (Kayo)