IT was a chaotic race, let alone four days of Repco Supercars Championship action at the 2022 Bathurst 1000.
V8 Sleuth recaps how the event unfolded for every entry and their path to the chequered flag (if they indeed made it that far).
#2 Nick Percat/Warren Luff (Walkinshaw Andretti United)
The one that got away.
Aside from a tyre puncture which sent Luff into the gravel at The Chase, the pair had been building nicely all event and qualified for the Top 10 Shootout.
Luff started well but was twice forced to double-stack behind the sister #25 car. However, pace and strategy had them right in the mix until Percat came unstuck on the run to Forrest’s Elbow just before half-distance.
Lengthy repairs in the garage followed and they ultimately finished 13 laps down in 22nd.
#3 Tim Slade/Tim Blanchard (Blanchard Racing Team)
Not a lot went right for the CoolDrive car after Slade had flashed its pace with fourth in Practice 3.
The departing driver found the wall in a wet Practice 4, and lingering damage left him with a car incapable of qualifying any better than 28th and last. Further woes hit on race eve, an airjack issue causing damage and forcing it out of final practice.
Slade navigated a chaotic race start to gain 18 positions in the first 12 laps but they were left to play more catch-up after contact with Percat saw Blanchard find the tyre barriers at the Elbow.
Final result: 19th.
#4 Jack Smith/Jaxon Evans (Brad Jones Racing)
The SCT Commodore did a fine job staying out of trouble… until race day.
Evans was innocently caught up in the opening lap mayhem, one of several drivers to sustain front-end damage as the field unexpectedly concertinaed.
Smith was running 13th when he crashed at Sulman Park on Lap 138, joining the DNF list.
#5 James Courtney/Zane Goddard (Tickford Racing)
The good news? Courtney made the Top 10 Shootout.
The bad news? No one remembers that, because of Goddard’s well-documented role in the Lap 5 crash.
Such was the damage sustained that Courtney will switch to a spare car for the Gold Coast 500 later this month.
#6 Cam Waters/James Moffat (Tickford Racing)
Waters was the first of many to trigger a red flag when he beached the Monster Mustang at Murray’s Corner in the opening session but from there it was relatively smooth sailing.
For the second successive year, Moffat made a poor getaway but he and Waters were back in the thick of it until Moffat was spun by Brodie Kostecki at The Cutting on Lap 46.
From there, it was a mega recovery drive from 21st on the road to third at the chequered flag.
#8 Andre Heimgartner/Dale Wood (Brad Jones Racing)
The BJR Bathurst heartbreak extended another year, with Wood taken out by Goddard early in the race.
The team had been disappointed to qualify just 12th, although Wood did show strongly in Saturday’s co-driver session to finish atop the timesheets.
#9 Will Brown/Jack Perkins (Erebus Motorsport)
It’s been a tough run for chassis EMH02, which required a rebuild following a mammoth Pukekohe crash last month.
More repairs were required after Brown struck trouble at Reid Park in Practice 4.
A final result of 10th proved respectable given Perkins was spun and bogged on the opening lap of the Great Race, forcing them down a lap as the crew fixed suspension and steering damage.
#10 Lee Holdsworth/Matt Payne (Grove Racing)
One of the real surprise packets of the weekend.
Holdsworth’s late-career love affair with Bathurst continued, mastering treacherous conditions to qualify the Penrite Mustang on the front row of the grid.
He led the opening stanza of the race, and they were solid all day, albeit eventually drifting to sixth.
Payne didn’t put a foot wrong either in a promising Repco Supercars Championship debut.
#14 Bryce Fullwood/Dean Fiore (Brad Jones Racing)
Another of the rare cars to enjoy a trouble-free four days.
Fullwood was left to lament a qualifying shocker, but he and Fiore executed when it mattered to be BJR’s best finisher in ninth.
#17 Will Davison/Alex Davison (Dick Johnson Racing)
No driver topped more sessions than Will Davison, who took the honours in Practice 1, Practice 3 and warm-up.
STATS INSIDER: Bathurst 1000 curses strike with a vengeance
However, that amounted to zero, the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner crashing out from (net) fifth at Griffins Bend late in the piece.
That they had got that far back up the pecking order was a feat in itself after Alex Davison went a lap down when he went off at The Chase and required a tow back onto the tarmac.
#18 Mark Winterbottom/Michael Caruso (Team 18)
Both Team 18 cars lacked pace. Like Evans, Winterbottom sustained front-end damage on Lap 1 – actually running into back of his own teammate.
Winterbottom was then spun on Lap 5 as Tony D’Alberto sought to dodge the three-car pile-up.
Somehow, still, the Irwin car was running back inside the top 10, only for a pitstop drama to intervene when it came time to change brakes (impacted by the early-race wounds). They finished 15th.
#20 Scott Pye/Tyler Everingham (Team 18)
Similar story to Car #18: started back in the pack, picked up early damage (most notably a broken rear roll bar), recovered, but had to settle for 16th.
The setback for them was a mid-race excursion at McPhillamy for Everingham, necessitating an unscheduled stop for fresh tyres.
#22 Chris Pither/Cameron Hill (PremiAir Racing)
Pither and Hill did exactly what they needed to do, running a circumspect race to be 12th entering the home stretch.
Unfortunately, a late power steering drama had other ideas, forcing them to finish eight laps down in 21st.
#25 Chaz Mostert/Fabian Coulthard (Walkinshaw Andretti United)
Car #25 was a contender all week, even if not quite as dominant as in 2021.
Coulthard nailed his role while Mostert was left frustrated through large chunks of the race, rarely able to enjoy clear air, stuck behind the likes of Brodie Kostecki for quite some time.
A problem with the rear roll bar adjuster was fixed mid-race, helping Mostert move forward to join Waters on a three-race streak of Bathurst 1000 podiums.
#26 David Reynolds/Matt Campbell (Grove Racing)
Reynolds was arguably one of the biggest shocks in qualifying, himself and Grove Racing having previously proven a formidable combination in the wet.
Buried in the pack, starting 18th, Campbell had nowhere to go when Goddard’s out-of-control Mustang swung across the track on Lap 5.
#31 James Golding/Dylan O’Keeffe (PremiAir Racing)
Golding was a standout throughout practice.
Just when it looked like that form might translate to a mighty result for debutants PremiAir Racing, a front splitter delamination forced them into making pitstops on both Lap 75 and Lap 76.
They had been sixth, just behind Holdsworth/Payne, prior to that. All told, 12th was the end result.
#34 Jack Le Brocq/Aaron Seton (Matt Stone Racing)
This pairing’s campaign hit a hitch when Seton clobbered the wall at The Esses in Practice 5.
A big repair job meant they sat out final practice, and a late scare (power steering) popped up on race morning.
Fourteenth is what they were good enough for at the end of a day in which they had to deal with rear damage and a front splitter failure.
#35 Todd Hazelwood/Jayden Ojeda (Matt Stone Racing)
A troublesome last Bathurst 1000 for the Hazelwood/MSR combination.
The BRT-bound driver twice ended up in the Griffins Bend barriers – early in Practice 4 and then again on Lap 118 of the race.
They did manage to get back to the pits and circulated to be classified 20th.
#51 Richie Stanaway/Greg Murphy (Erebus Motorsport)
One of the big stories.
Murphy drove smart and within himself. Stanaway flashed his supreme talent, in between a couple of minor errors.
To start the Great Race fourth was remarkable. To finish it 11th was respectable (even after Murphy was spun by Jake Kostecki, not to mention some strategic curveballs and communication problems).
#55 Thomas Randle/Zak Best (Tickford Racing)
Sunday’s first victim at The Mountain.
Best’s race was over within seconds, clattering the left-side wall on Mountain Straight as he took avoiding action of the spinning Perkins and Whincup.
#56 Jake Kostecki/Kurt Kostecki (Tickford Racing)
The Tradie Mustang was never too far away from the cameras, but not necessarily for good reasons.
The brothers brought out three red flags between them during practice, and Jake was the cause of a Safety Car when he got bogged at The Chase (on his 16th lap).
That, combined with damage sustained avoiding the Lap 1 carambolage and a penalty for spinning Murphy, made for a tricky race. They did however come from two laps down to take 17th.
#88 Broc Feeney/Jamie Whincup (Triple Eight Race Engineering)
Fifth place was a solid result for what was anything but a steady run.
Whincup was fast but incident-prone. He was controversially handed the qualifying duties over Feeney but failed to make the Shootout and then crashed in Practice 5.
The seven-time champion was a protagonist in the Lap 1 incident, suffering aquaplaning and ending up spinning.
They recovered from that, and multiple double-stacks, and a Feeney off at The Chase which cost nine positions, to be running ahead of Mostert/Coulthard on merit at one point.
#96 Macauley Jones/Jordan Boys (Brad Jones Racing)
There was no shortage of work for this crew.
Jones lost control at The Chase and crashed in Practice 4. He was then punted into the fence by Shane van Gisbergen during qualifying later that same day.
Their final preparations took another hit when Boys found the wall at The Grate at the very end of Practice 6.
Jones was back in the wars on race day, beached in the gravel near pit entry. For all those problems, they brought the Wet & Forget-backed Holden home in 13th.
#97 Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander (Triple Eight Race Engineering)
As is often the case, van Gisbergen didn’t quite seem to have the ultimate one-lap pace, although Tander did record the fastest lap of the week, set in Practice 2.
Car #97 was penalised both in qualifying (three-place grid drop for the aforementioned Jones clash) and in the race (five-second time penalty for an unsafe release) and yet still came out on top.
#99 Brodie Kostecki/David Russell (Erebus Motorsport)
Another excellent showing by Kostecki and Russell.
Their biggest issue was an engine problem of sorts which left them down on top speed during the race. They soldiered on to be a contender and finished fourth.
#100 Anton De Pasquale/Tony D’Alberto (Dick Johnson Racing)
Flew under the radar for the most part.
It was a wild ride early in the race for D’Alberto, involved in the Lap 1 and Lap 5 melees.
Their podium hopes ended with a pitlane disaster when it came time for their mandatory brake rotor change, leaving them with nothing more than seventh place to show.
#118 Matt Chahda/Jaylyn Robotham (Matt Chahda Motorsport)
The Caltex wildcard and its two rookie drivers can be pleased with their week’s work.
There were few issues other than a lengthy delay in their brake rotor change. Final result: 18th.
#888 Craig Lowndes/Declan Fraser (Triple Eight Race Engineering)
The inclement conditions seemed to lead Lowndes to take on more responsibility throughout the event, including in qualifying.
He responded like the legend he is, matching up well enough against the regular full-timers.
Their biggest scare came in Practice 4 when Lowndes burrowed through a giant puddle of water near pit entry.
They never looked like missing the top 10 on race day and indeed placed eighth.