TOP FIVE: DRIVERS OTHER THAN BROCK TO RACE #05

Many drivers other than Peter Brock made touring car race starts in cars carrying #05. Pic: an1images.com / Dale Rodgers

PETER Brock is inextricably linked to the racing number 05.

The ‘King of the Mountain’ made 265 of his 296 Australian Touring Car Championship race starts in cars carrying that number, while five of his ‘Great Race’ triumphs came aboard Holdens carrying #05.

Brock effectively had a mortgage on the digits from 1975 through to the end of his career but he wasn’t the only driver to race a touring car under that number, prompting a query we received for our latest Q&A episode of the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Repco.

Adam Hudson asked: “Besides Peter Brock, who has had the most race starts in #05?”

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The answer is easy when it comes to ATCC/SC race starts: only four other drivers have raced #05 in championship events.

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John Harvey made three championship race starts in Brock’s #05 Commodore across the 1984 and 1985 seasons, while BTCC hero Jason Plato is next with his two starts with Brock at the 2004 V8 Supercars endurance races.

Kiwis Neal Lowe and Craig Baird each made a solitary race start aboard an #05 Commodore in 1986 and 2002 respectively.

But a lot more drivers join the list when you include touring car events beyond the ATCC/SC like every Bathurst 1000 prior to 1999, AMSCAR Series rounds, and other major races across the period.

After a deep dive into these races, here are the top five drivers (top six, in fact, as there is a tie for fifth) to make race starts in #05.

The 1986 Castrol 500 at Sandown was one of just three races on Australian soil where Allan Moffat raced the #05 Commodore. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

EQUAL No.5 – ALLAN MOFFAT, TOMAS MEZERA
7 race starts each

The union of Moffat and Brock was unthinkable in the 1970s, but their partnership between 1986 and 1987 delivered a pair of triumphs.

They won their first race together in the 1986 Nissan-Mobil 500 at Wellington and marked the one-year anniversary with another Wellington victory in 1987.

Moffat also tackled the corresponding Pukekohe 500s each year, plus the 1986 Surfers Paradise, Sandown and Bathurst enduros in #05.

Tomas Mezera’s final endurance campaign in #05 came in 1996. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Mezera’s first race in #05 preceded his six Sandown and Bathurst enduros with Brock between 1994-1996.

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He was slated to co-drive with Larry Perkins at the 1991 Sandown 500 but mechanical issues with his car prompted Brock to take over the #11 Holden at its first pit stop, leaving Mezera to hop into the delayed #05.

John Harvey’s final appearance in #05 at the Calder Park round of the 1985 ATCC. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

EQUAL No.3 – JOHN HARVEY, DAVID PARSONS
8 race starts each

Unlike any other driver on this list, most of Harvey’s race starts in #05 came without Brock as co-driver.

He only shared a car with Brock on two occasions – when they won Amaroo Park’s 300-kilometre enduro in 1980 and 1981 – and shared #05 with ‘Skippy’ Parsons at the Oran Park 250 in 1984.

Four more race starts came while deputising for Brock, who skipped Round 3 of the 1982 AMSCAR Series and missed the Surfers Paradise and Lakeside rounds of the 1984 ATCC while racing overseas.

Harvey’s other start in #05 came at the Calder round of the 1985 ATCC when Brock decided he preferred the team’s brand new #7 car.

David Parsons steers the #05 Commodore off the Thunderdome during practice for Calder Park’s round of the 1987 WTCC. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Parsons’ other starts in #05 all came following Brock’s February 1987 split with Holden, taking in the Oran Park and Sandown enduros that year, along with the World Touring Car Championship rounds at Bathurst, Calder and Wellington.

His final two races came through cross-entering at the 1988 and 1990 Sandown enduros when Brock replaced him in the team’s other car after #05 struck trouble.

Jim Richards raced Brock’s #05 Volvo 850 at Bathurst in 1996 when HRT insisted Brock focus on the 1000. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

No.2 – JIM RICHARDS
9 race starts

Richards is unique on this list as he piloted #05 to race wins both with and without Brock.

The legendary Kiwi only made five starts in Holden Dealer Team Commodores carrying the #05: three ‘Great Race’ victories on the bounce between 1978-1980, plus the 1978 Rothmans 500 enduro at Oran Park and the 1981 Bathurst 1000, his last race with the squad.

He reunited with Brock in 1988 and they shared a #05 BMW at the Oran Park 250 – which they won – and the Sandown 500, before FIA rules forced the adoption of #56 for Bathurst and Wellington.

Almost a decade later, Richards added two more race starts aboard the #05, this time deputising for Brock in the Super Touring support races at the 1996 Bathurst 1000; Richards won the Sunday race.

Larry Perkins pilots the #05 Commodore through Amaroo Park’s Lake Corner during the 1983 Silastic 300 enduro. Pic: an1images.com / Dale Rodgers

No.1 – LARRY PERKINS
11 race starts

It’s strangely fitting that Perkins tops the list with a tally of starts that matches the number that Perkins himself became synonymous with.

Ironically, Perkins’ first race with Brock’s number came without Brock as co-driver: Perkins and Gary Scott shared the #05 Commodore at the 1982 CRC Chemicals 300 enduro at Amaroo Park.

Perkins helped pilot the #05 to victory in three races (1982 and 1984 Bathurst 1000s, 1984 Sandown 500), and drove it in the 1983 Amaroo, Sandown and Bathurst enduros, as well as the 500-kilometre races at Wellington and Pukekohe in both 1985 and 1991.

Will Dale is V8 Sleuth's Head of Content - Digital. He began his media career as a breakfast radio newsreader before joining SPEED TV Australia and FOX SPORTS Australia in 2012 as its Digital Editorial Lead - Motorsport, covering all forms of motorsport both in Australia and internationally. He became part of the V8 Sleuth team in 2018.