Layout of the Mount Panorama Circuit (1938-1986)

The 1981 James Hardie 1000 was the 22nd running of the Bathurst 1000 touring car race. It was held on 4 October 1981 at the Mount Panorama Circuit just outside Bathurst. The race was open to cars eligible to the locally developed CAMS Group C touring car regulations with three engine configuration based classes, a system used uniquely for this race.

For the first time the race did not go the full race distance as on lap 121, a six car accident blocked the track at McPhillamy Park Corner. The Ford Falcon of Dick Johnson and John French were leading the race at the time of the accident and were declared the winners, becoming the first Queenslanders to win the race. Bob Morris and British endurance racer John Fitzpatrick, also driving a Falcon finished second. A lap down in third was Allan Moffat and British endurance racing great Derek Bell driving a Mazda RX-7, the best ever result to that point for a Japanese built car.

History was made at Bathurst in 1981. For the first (and as of 2020, the only) time in the races history, a reigning Formula One World Drivers' Champion drove in the Bathurst 1000. This honour fell to Australia's own 1980 World Champion Alan Jones who co-drove with Warren Cullen in Cullen's V8 Holden Commodore.

After 8 wins in the race dating back to Bob Jane and Harry Firth's win in a Ford Falcon XL at Phillip Island in 1962, this would prove to be the last Bathurst 1000 win for the Ford Falcon until 1994. It would also be the 5th and last Bathurst win for the 5.8 L 351 Cleveland V8 engine.

Class structure

Dick Johnson and John French won the race driving a Ford XD Falcon (image from 1991)
Alan Browne and Tony Edmondson placed fifth in a Holden VC Commodore (image from 2015)
Colin Bond and Don Smith placed eighth in a Ford Capri (image from 2005)
Kevin Bartlett and Bob Forbes placed 13th in a Chevrolet Camaro (image from 2010)
Bob Muir and Ian Geoghegan placed 28th driving a Ford XD Falcon (image from 2009)
Terry Finnigan and Ross Wittig failed to finish in an Isuzu Gemini (image from 2005)

Class : 8 Cylinder & Over

This class was almost exclusively for V8s; Holden Commodores, Ford Falcons and Chevrolet Camaros. The exception being a V12 Jaguar XJ-S.

Class : 6 Cylinder (Includes Rotary Engines)

The class for six-cylinder and rotary-engined cars was contested mostly by Ford Capris, with a single factory supported BMW 635CSi and those Mazda RX7s entered, powered by Rotary engines.

Class : 4 Cylinder

The class for cars with four-cylinder engines included Alfa Romeo Alfasud, Alfa Romeo Alfetta, Ford Escort, Isuzu Gemini, Mitsubishi Colt, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Bluebird Turbo, Toyota Celica, Toyota Corolla, Triumph Dolomite and Volkswagen Golf.

Hardies Heroes

Pos No Team Driver Car Time
Pole 9 Nine Network Racing Team Australia Kevin Bartlett Chevrolet Camaro Z28 2:36.432
2 17 Palmer Tube Mills Australia Dick Johnson Ford XD Falcon 2:38.813
3 05 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Australia Peter Brock Holden VC Commodore 2:39.043
4 7 Bob Morris Motor Sport Australia Bob Morris Ford XD Falcon 2:39.339
5 43 Peter Stuyvesant International Racing Canada Allan Moffat Mazda RX-7 2:39.443
6 11 Soundwave Discos Australia Garry Rogers Holden VC Commodore 2:41.315
7 3 Cadbury Schweppes Racing Australia Larry Perkins Holden VC Commodore 2:42.621
8 25 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Australia John Harvey Holden VC Commodore 2:43.018
9 21 Ron Dickson Australia Ron Dickson Chevrolet Camaro Z28 2:44.505
10 27 Roadways Racing Australia Garth Wigston Holden VC Commodore 2:46.248

* This was the first Top 10 shootout to be held in wet conditions, though conditions were damp for the first ever shootout in 1978.[1]
* For the 2nd year running, Kevin Bartlett was fastest qualifier and won Hardies Heroes in his Channel 9 sponsored Chevrolet Camaro. It was also the second year in a row that Dick Johnson would equal Bartlett's time in qualifying, but would be slower in the shootout. Due to the extremely wet conditions, Bartlett's runoff time was almost 16 seconds slower than his time in qualifying.
* This was the first time a car powered by something other than a V8 engine had contested Hardies Heroes. The honor went to the 12A Rotary powered Mazda RX-7 of Allan Moffat who ended up 5th on the grid.
* The gap of 2.381 seconds between Bartlett and Johnson broke the 1979 record of 1.966 seconds between Peter Brock and Bob Morris. As of the 2018 race, Bartlett's shootout record remains unbeaten.


The race was stopped on lap 122 because of a multiple-car incident that blocked the track at McPhillamy Park Corner. The accident began with a collision between the Ford Falcons of Bob Morris and Christine Gibson. Garry Rogers and Tony Edmondson (both driving Holden Commodores) and the Isuzu Gemini of David Seldon collided with already crashed cars with the Chevrolet Camaro of Kevin Bartlett being the final car to be involved.

According to the regulations, the race was declared based on the timesheets as the race leader, at the time John French, completed lap 120. This is done so that crashed vehicles can be included in the results. This was particularly significant in this instance as a significant number of the vehicles involved held high race position. Morris was second, Rogers fourth, Edmondson fifth and Christine Gibson sixth.


Pos Class No Team Drivers Car Laps Qual
1 8 Cylinder & Over 17 Palmer Tube Mills Australia Dick Johnson
Australia John French
Ford XD Falcon 120 1 2
2 8 Cylinder & Over 7 Bob Morris Motor Sport Australia Bob Morris
United Kingdom John Fitzpatrick
Ford XD Falcon 120 4 4
3 6 Cylinder & Rotary 43 Peter Stuyvesant International Racing Canada Allan Moffat
United Kingdom Derek Bell
Mazda RX-7 119 9 5
4 8 Cylinder & Over 11 Soundwave Discos Australia Garry Rogers
United Kingdom Clive Benson-Browne
Holden VC Commodore 118 7 6
5 8 Cylinder & Over 4 Re-Car Racing Australia Alan Browne
Australia Tony Edmondson
Holden VC Commodore 117 11
6 8 Cylinder & Over 20 King George Tavern Australia Joe Moore
Australia Christine Gibson
Ford XD Falcon 115 25
7 6 Cylinder & Rotary 44 JPS Team BMW Australia Allan Grice
United Kingdom David Hobbs
BMW 635 CSi 113 12
8 6 Cylinder & Rotary 32 Masterton Homes Australia Colin Bond
Australia Don Smith
Ford Capri Mk.II 113 32
9 8 Cylinder & Over 8 Garry Willmington Performance Australia Garry Willmington
Australia Mike Griffin
Ford XD Falcon 113 18
10 8 Cylinder & Over 15 Valley Meat Hall Australia John English
Australia John Donnelly
Ford XD Falcon 112 22
11 6 Cylinder & Rotary 33 Masterton Homes Australia Steve Masterton
Australia Bruce Stewart
Ford Capri Mk.II 111 34
12 4 Cylinder 77 Peter Williamson Toyota Australia Peter Williamson
Australia John Smith
Toyota Celica 111 36
13 8 Cylinder & Over 9 Nine Network Racing Team Australia Kevin Bartlett
Australia Bob Forbes
Chevrolet Camaro Z28 111 2 1
14 8 Cylinder & Over 29 Brian Callaghan Racing Australia Brian Callaghan
Australia Peter McKay
Ford XD Falcon 111 24
15 8 Cylinder & Over 26 Scotty Taylor Holden Australia Alan Taylor
Australia Kevin Kennedy
Holden VC Commodore 109 29
16 8 Cylinder & Over 21 Ron Dickson Australia Ron Dickson
Australia Bob Stevens
Chevrolet Camaro Z28 108 10 9
17 6 Cylinder & Rotary 39 Capri Components Australia Lawrie Nelson
Australia Peter Jones
Ford Capri Mk.III 108 41
18 6 Cylinder & Rotary 46 Hulcraft Autos Australia John Gates
Australia John Craft
Ford Capri Mk.III 108 40
19 4 Cylinder 50 Gary Leggatt Australia Gary Leggatt
Australia Phil McDonnell
Alfa Romeo GTV6 107 45
20 4 Cylinder 60 Country Dealer Team Australia Jim Faneco
Australia Allan Gough
Isuzu Gemini 103 52
21 8 Cylinder & Over 05 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Australia Peter Brock
New Zealand Jim Richards
Holden VC Commodore 103 3 3
22 8 Cylinder & Over 6 John Sands Racing Australia Rusty French
New Zealand Leo Leonard
Ford XD Falcon 100 30
23 4 Cylinder 68 Dandenong Mitsubishi Australia Rod Stevens
Australia Craig Bradtke
Mitsubishi Lancer 100 53
24 4 Cylinder 59 Bathurst Light Car Club Australia Tony Mulvihill
Australia Brian Nightingale
Ford Escort Mk.II RS2000 97 56
25 8 Cylinder & Over 31 Ron Dickson Australia Graham Moore
United States Steve Dymand
Chevrolet Camaro Z28 96 28
26 6 Cylinder & Rotary 40 Peter McLeod Australia Peter McLeod
Australia Peter Dane
Mazda RX-7 96 28
27 4 Cylinder 64 Bob Holden Motors Australia Phillip Revell
Australia Ron Barnacle
Ford Escort Mk.II 1.6 93 59
28 8 Cylinder & Over 24 Army Reserve Racing Team Australia Bob Muir
Australia Ian Geoghegan
Ford XD Falcon 92 13
DNF 8 Cylinder & Over 18 Murray Carter Racing Australia Murray Carter
New Zealand Graeme Lawrence
Ford XD Falcon 109 16
DNF 4 Cylinder 62 Alexandra Surplice Australia Alexandra Surplice
Australia Doug Clark
Toyota Corolla Levin 88 47
NC 8 Cylinder & Over 14 Fred Geissler Australia Fred Geissler
Australia Graham Watson
Holden VC Commodore 85 14
NC 4 Cylinder 66 Scottune Australia Ian Burrell
Australia Rob Shute
Mitsubishi Colt 83 57
NC 4 Cylinder 49 Jagparts Australia Martin Power
Australia Brian Winsall
Triumph Dolomite Sprint 80 55
DNF 8 Cylinder & Over 16 Re-Car Racing Australia Ron Wanless
Australia Ralph Radburn
Holden VC Commodore 79 15
NC 4 Cylinder 70 Colin Spencer Australia Colin Spencer
Australia John White
Isuzu Gemini 75 60
DNF 8 Cylinder & Over 30 Everlast Battery Service Australia Bill O'Brien
Australia Gary Cooke
Ford XD Falcon 74 17
DNF 6 Cylinder & Rotary 41 West End Mazda Australia Barry Jones
Australia Geoff Leeds
Mazda RX-7 74 26
DNF 4 Cylinder 61 Rex Monaghan Australia Ray Cutchie
Australia Ray Farrar
Ford Escort Mk.II 1.6 73 58
NC 8 Cylinder & Over 10 John Goss Racing Australia John Goss
Australia Barry Seton
Jaguar XJ-S 73 19
NC 4 Cylinder 63 Cherry City Ford Australia John Faulkner
Australia Gary Dumbrell
Ford Escort Mk.II 2.0 GL 72 51
NC 4 Cylinder 57 Sutton Motors P/L Australia David Seldon
Australia Gary Rowe
Isuzu Gemini ZZ 70 46
DNF 8 Cylinder & Over 3 Cadbury Schweppes Racing New Zealand Peter Janson
Australia Larry Perkins
Holden VC Commodore 67 8 7
DNF 4 Cylinder 56 Nissan Motor Co. Japan Masahiro Hasemi
Japan Kazuyoshi Hoshino
Nissan Bluebird Turbo 66 31
DNF 6 Cylinder & Rotary 37 Trend Windows P/L Australia Terry Daly
Australia Peter Hopwood
Ford Capri Mk.II 56 37
DNF 6 Cylinder & Rotary 45 Precinct Performance P/L Australia Allan Bryant
Australia Dean Gall
Mazda RX-7 54 39
DNF 8 Cylinder & Over 27 Roadways Racing Australia Garth Wigston
Australia Steve Harrington
Holden VC Commodore 53 6 10
DNF 4 Cylinder 47 Walter Scott Australia Walter Scott
Australia Peter Walton
Toyota Celica 50 48
DNF 8 Cylinder & Over 12 Warren Cullen Australia Warren Cullen
Australia Alan Jones
Holden VC Commodore 48 20
DNF 6 Cylinder & Rotary 35 Alexander Rotary Engines Australia Phil Alexander
Australia Ron Gillard
Mazda RX-7 46 38
DNF 4 Cylinder 52 Bob Holden Motors Australia Bob Holden
Australia Wally Storey
Ford Escort Mk.II 2.0 GL 44 49
DNF 8 Cylinder & Over 23 Great Eastland Television Australia Paul Gulson
United States Rodney Combs
Holden VB Commodore 42 21
DNF 8 Cylinder & Over 25 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Australia John Harvey
Australia Vern Schuppan
Holden VC Commodore 37 5 8
DNF 4 Cylinder 65 HDT Special Vehicles Australia Phil Brock
Australia Gary Scott
Isuzu Gemini ZZ 36 44
DNF 4 Cylinder 51 Chickadee Chicken Australia Graeme Bailey
Australia Steve Land
Toyota Celica 34 42
DNF 4 Cylinder 58 Graham Mein Australia Graham Mein
Australia Geoff Russell
Ford Escort Mk.II RS2000 34 50
DNF 4 Cylinder 55 Nissan Motor Co. Australia George Fury
Australia Fred Gibson
Nissan Bluebird Turbo 30 43
DNF 4 Cylinder 54 Terry Finnigan Australia Terry Finnigan
Australia Ross Wittig
Isuzu Gemini 29 54
DNF 8 Cylinder & Over 2 Citizen Watches Australia P/L Australia Charlie O'Brien
Australia Mike Quinn
Holden VC Commodore 16 23
DNF 6 Cylinder & Rotary 34 Penrith Mazda Centre Australia Terry Shiel
Australia Don Holland
Mazda RX-7 13 27
DNF 6 Cylinder & Rotary 42 Mazcars Croyden Australia John Duggan
Australia Michael O'Hehir
Mazda RX-7 1 35
DNQ[2] 8 Cylinder & Over 19 Neil Cunningham New Zealand Neil Cunningham
New Zealand Rod Coppins
Holden VC Commodore
DNQ[2] 8 Cylinder & Over 22 John Sands 3MP Racing Australia Jim Keogh
Australia Andrew Newton
Ford XD Falcon
DNQ[2] 6 Cylinder & Rotary 38 Les Grose Australia Les Grose
Australia Alan Cant
Ford Capri Mk.III
DNQ[2] 8 Cylinder & Over 1 Warren Cullen Australia Warren Cullen
Australia Alan Jones
Holden VC Commodore
DNQ[2] 4 Cylinder 53 Chris Heyer Australia Chris Heyer
Australia Peter Lander
Volkswagen Golf
DNQ[2] 4 Cylinder 71 Ken Harrison Australia Ken Harrison
Australia Ian Wells
Ford Escort Mk.II 1.6
DNQ[2] 4 Cylinder 48 Douglas B. Rutter Australia Ken Price
Australia Steve Jonas
Isuzu Gemini
DNQ[3] 4 Cylinder 67 Ray Gulson Australia Ray Gulson
Australia Gordon Mackinlay
Alfa Romeo Alfasud


  1. ^ 1981 Hardies Heroes,
  2. ^ a b c d e f g James Hardie 1000 Bathurst 1981,
  3. ^ James Hardie 1000, Australian Motor Racing Yearbook 1981/82, page 202


  • Provisional Pole Position - #9 Kevin Bartlett - 2:18.7
  • Pole Position - #9 Kevin Bartlett - 2:36.432
  • Fastest Lap - #17 Dick Johnson - 2:20.98 (lap record)
  • Average Speed - 151 km/h
  • Race Time - 4:53:52.7

External links