THE SAFETY CARS OF THE BATHURST 1000

The Kayo Mustang heads the pack at Bathurst in 2020. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

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.

The cover of the new V8 Sleuth-produced book focused on the Bathurst 1000 in the 1990s.

ORDER NOW: Our 1990s Bathurst book features a photo of every Bathurst 1000 car from 1990 to 1999, pre-order here now so you don’t miss out.

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.

The XXXX Gold/Pedders Audi heads the pack in 2009. Photo: an1images.com / Justin Deeley

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 Monroe Commodore heads the pack in the wet early stages of the 2000 FAI 1000. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.

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)

With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.