THERE will be a field of 25 cars in this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000 but a range of those cars will be making their ‘Great Race’ debut.
Seven cars in the 2021 field have never raced in the Bathurst 1000 before, all having made their racing debuts since the 2020 edition of the race.
One of those chassis has never been to Mount Panorama at all.
Kelly Grove Racing’s #7 Ford Mustang for Andre Heimgartner and Porsche GT star Matt Campbell was built during the 2021 season and debuted by the Kiwi at the first of the four Sydney Motorsport Park rounds.
That means it missed the season-opening Repco Mount Panorama 500, where the other six cars on this list made their race debuts.
Dick Johnson Racing’s move to build two brand new cars for the 2021 season – its first since the departure of Team Penske from the championship – means it is the only team that will tackle the Bathurst 1000 with all its cars making their event debut.
However, both chassis proved speedy in their race debuts in February.
Anton De Pasquale put his chassis on provisional pole for the Saturday 250-km race in making both Top 10 Shootouts, while teammate Will Davison also made both Shootouts and claimed a podium finish in the Saturday race.
Another team that debuted two brand-new Mustangs at Mount Panorama in February was Tickford Racing.
Cam Waters took pole position for his Monster Energy Ford’s debut race and led the opening laps before power steering pump failure forced a long stop for repairs; he led again for much of the Sunday race on the way to claiming second place.
Teammate Jack Le Brocq also debuted a new chassis at the Mount Panorama 500, piloting it to a season-best sixth place in the Saturday race.
One of the two Holden Commodore ZBs making their ‘Great Race’ debut already has two podium finishes at Bathurst to its credit.
Walkinshaw Andretti United built a new car for Chaz Mostert for the 2021 season, which he kicked off with second and third placings at the Mount Panorama 500.
The last car on this list will be the focus of a lot of attention throughout the event.
Jamie Whincup will start his last Bathurst 1000 as a full-time driver in chassis 888A-055, which is expected to be the last Car of the Future-era Supercar that Triple Eight will build.
Whincup gave the car its race debut at Bathurst in February with seventh and eighth-place finishes, and will retain his usual #88 when he pairs with Craig Lowndes for the ‘Great Race’.