Layout of the Mount Panorama Circuit (1938-1986)

The 1984 James Hardie 1000 was the 25th running of the Bathurst 1000 touring car race. It was held on 30 September 1984 at the Mount Panorama Circuit just outside Bathurst in New South Wales, Australia and was Round 4 of the 1984 Australian Endurance Championship. This race was celebrated as 'The Last of the Big Bangers', in reference to the Group C touring cars, which were competing at Bathurst for the last time.

The race winning Brock/Perkins Holden Commodore

The race was won by Peter Brock and Larry Perkins driving a Holden VK Commodore for the Holden Dealer Team, the third consecutive victory for Brock, Perkins and the HDT. It was the most dominant team performance for the HDT in the history of the race as the team claimed a 1-2 finish with John Harvey and David Parsons backing up their team leaders by finishing second. Third place was taken by the Mazda RX-7 of Allan Moffat and Gregg Hansford. Moffat privately disputed the Harvey/Parsons Commodore finishing second as it had spent almost 3 laps in the pits mid-race with a gearbox problem, but saw little value in protesting as it would not win him the race so decided to settle for third.

The race also saw the first appearance of the international Group A cars at Bathurst (the category had made its Australian debut in the Castrol 500 at Sandown 3 weeks earlier). The Group A class was won by the TWR Mobil Rover Vitesse V8 of race rookies Jeff Allam from England and Armin Hahne from West Germany who finished 12th outright. Second in class and 15th outright was the JPS Team BMW 635 CSi of 1967 Formula One World Champion Denny Hulme and Bavarian Prince Leopold von Bayern. Third in Group A and 20th outright was the Barry Seton / Don Smith V8 Ford Mustang. For Seton, who had won the race outright in 1965, it would be his final start at Bathurst as he quietly retired from race driving at the end of 1984. Dick Johnson Racing, who started 4th on the grid with their Group C Ford XE Falcon, also entered a Mustang in the Group A category and although 1984 Australian Touring Car Champion Dick Johnson qualified the underpowered car in 48th, it was only there as insurance should there be a repeat of 1983 where he destroyed his Falcon in a famous Hardies Heroes crash and the Mustang, which Johnson had purchased from the German Zakspeed team, was officially withdrawn the day before the race.

Class structure

Group C

This was the last Bathurst 1000 to include Group C Touring Cars, which had first contested the Bathurst 1000 in 1973. While a production based category, continual parity adjustments to keep the leading vehicles roughly at the same pace had seen the cars become wildly over-specified. That led to a decision by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) in mid-1983 that Australian touring car racing would abandon its locally developed Group C rules and would be run under regulations based on the FIA's international Group A rules from 1 January 1985.

The major contenders in Group C were the V8-engined Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores, the lone V12 Jaguar XJ-S and 6 cylinder BMW 635 CSi, the rotary Mazda RX-7's, and the Nissan Bluebird turbos. Also running in Group C were the now outdated Chevrolet Camaro Z28s.

It would be the final Bathurst appearance for the Bluebird turbo which would be replaced in Group A in 1986 by the Nissan Skyline DR30 RS. After the car made its debut in the inaugural 500-mile race at Phillip Island in 1960, it would be the final Bathurst 1000 for the Ford Falcon until 1992. The Commodore (in various models), Jaguar, BMW and Mazda all saw action during the Group A years in Australia (1985–1992).

Group A

The international Group A formula was allowed to enter for the first time as a prelude to their adoption for Bathurst and the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1985. The Group A cars were closer to pure bred racing cars in concept (notably the allowing of the cars interior to be removed, as well as the cars having a lower ride height), but without the extensive performance modifications allowed for Group C. Without the performance upgrades, aerodynamic aids and larger tyres of the Group C cars, the Group A cars were much slower (the lead 3.5L V8 Rover Vitesse of Jeff Allam and Armin Hahne qualified 10 seconds slower than the pole time set by George Fury in the Nissan Bluebird turbo), and thus formed their own class. The low slung V8 Rovers did prove to be sensationally quick in a straight line though, with both cars being regularly recorded at over 240 km/h (149 mph) on Conrod Straight, putting them on par with many of the lower ranked privateer Commodore's, Falcons and RX-7's. The Rover's main Group A challenger would be the BMW 635 CSi run by JPS Team BMW.

The other contenders in the Group A class included the Ford Mustang, Ford Capri Mk.III, Alfa Romeo GTV6, Toyota Sprinter AE86, Mitsubishi Starion, Audi 5+5, and Toyota Celica Supra.

Hardies Heroes

Conditions on Mount Panorama were bitterly cold for the 1984 edition of Hardies Heroes with snow having fallen at the top of the circuit early in the morning. This saw a number of cars, notably the lighter (980 kg (2,160 lb)) Mazda RX-7's struggle to get sufficient heat into their tyres.

Pos No Team Driver Car HH Qual
Pole 15 Nissan Motor Co. Australia George Fury Nissan Bluebird Turbo 2:13.850 2:14.81
2 05 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Australia Peter Brock Holden VK Commodore 2:14.039 2:14.31
3 17 Palmer Tube Mills Australia Dick Johnson Ford XE Falcon 2:14.710 2:15.07
4 6 Roadways Racing Australia Allan Grice Holden VK Commodore 2:14.886 2:14.74
5 43 Peter Stuyvesant International Racing Canada Allan Moffat Mazda RX-7 2:16.411 2:15.54
6 31 JPS Team BMW New Zealand Jim Richards BMW 635 CSi 2:16.795 2:16.49
7 2 Masterton Homes Pty. Ltd. Australia Steve Masterton Ford XE Falcon 2:17.055 2:16.33
8 42 Peter Stuyvesant International Racing Australia Gregg Hansford Mazda RX-7 2:18.051 2:15.85
9 41 Chequered Flag Magazine Australia Bob Morris Mazda RX-7 2:18.107 2:16.05
10 12 John Goss Racing Pty. Ltd. United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Jaguar XJ-S 2:18.960 2:16.09

* Nissan scored the first ever Bathurst 1000 Pole Position by a car fitted with a turbocharger when George Fury recorded a time of 2:13.85 in his Nissan Bluebird Turbo. Fury's time in the runoff would not be beaten until 1991, ironically by another Nissan, the R32 GT-R. As it was the last year of Group C, Fury's time remains the fastest ever at Mt Panorama by a Group C touring car. Early morning snow on the mountain and the cold conditions were thought to favour the turbo over the V8 powered cars. Almost 20 years later Fred Gibson, who was by 1986 the Nissan team manager, confirmed that the Bluebirds had a turbo boost adjuster on the dashboard, used to tune boost pressure once track conditions were better understood in order to preserve the turbocharger.[citation needed]
* It was the first time in the seven-year history of Hardies Heroes that a V8 powered car did not claim Pole Position at Bathurst, and the first time since qualifying first counted for grid positions in 1967 that a V8 had not been on pole. It would be the start of a run of 8 pole positions in 9 years for turbo powered cars at Bathurst and a V8 powered car would not sit on pole again at Bathurst until 1993.
* The 1984 Hardies Heroes holds the Top 10 shootout record for the most number of marques competing with six with (in order) Nissan, Holden, Ford, Mazda, BMW and Jaguar represented. The record was equaled in both Super Touring races in 1997 and 1998.
* Jaguar became the 7th marque to represent in Hardies Heroes, making the first of only two appearances in the top ten runoff with Bathurst rookie driver Tom Walkinshaw (a Bathurst rookie despite having already won the 1984 European Touring Car Championship) qualifying John Goss' V12 Jaguar XJ-S in 10th place. During qualifying the Jaguar (using one of TWR's more highly developed Group A engines) had been recorded at 290 km/h (180 mph) on Conrod Straight, the fastest ever by a Touring Car before the addition of Caltex Chase in 1987. The next fastest cars were Dick Johnson's V8 Ford XE Falcon at 285 km/h (177 mph) and Peter Brock's V8 Holden VK Commodore at 280 km/h (174 mph).
* With three Mazda RX-7's in Hardies Heroes, 1984 was the only time Mazda had the greatest representation of cars in the Top Ten runoff. Not surprisingly the factory backed Peter Stuyvesant RX-7 of Allan Moffat was the quickest of the trio ending up 5th on the grid.

Official results

Christine Gibson & Glenn Seton drove a Nissan Pulsar EXA (image from 2015)
Garry Willmington & Mike Griffin drove a Ford XD Falcon (image from 2015)
Pos Class No Team Drivers Car Laps Qual
1 C 05 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Australia Peter Brock
Australia Larry Perkins
Holden VK Commodore 163 1 2
2 C 25 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Australia John Harvey
Australia David Parsons
Holden VK Commodore 161 12
3 C 42 Peter Stuyvesant International Racing Australia Gregg Hansford
Canada Allan Moffat
Mazda RX-7 161 6 8
4 C 8 K-Mart Auto Racing Australia Warren Cullen
Australia Alan Jones
Holden VK Commodore 161 13
5 C 28 Bayside Spare Parts Australia Barry Lawrence
Australia Alan Browne
Holden VH Commodore SS 158 17
6 C 10 John Sands Racing Australia Rusty French
Australia Geoff Russell
Holden VH Commodore SS 154 31
7 C 47 Brian Callaghan Australia Barry Graham
Australia Brian Callaghan
Ford XE Falcon 154 21
8 C 33 Michael Burgmann Australia Mike Burgmann
Australia Bob Stevens
Mazda RX-7 153 39
9 C 35 Goodyear Car Owners Club Australia Ron Gillard
Australia Mark Gibbs
Mazda RX-7 153 19
10 C 27 Bryan Byrt Ford Australia Alf Grant
Australia Craig Harris
Ford XD Falcon 153 42
11 C 52 Fred Geissler Australia Fred Geissler
Australia Ralph Radburn
Holden VH Commodore SS 153 27
12 A 61 Mobil Rover Racing United Kingdom Jeff Allam
West Germany Armin Hahne
Rover Vitesse 152 36
13 C 19 Ken Mathews Prestige Cars Australia Ken Mathews
Australia Greg Toepfer
Holden VH Commodore SS 151 32
14 C 21 Lusty Engineering Pty. Ltd. Australia Graham Lusty
Australia John Lusty
Holden VH Commodore SS 148 35
15 A 62 JPS Team BMW New Zealand Denny Hulme
West Germany Leopold von Bayern
BMW 635 CSi 148 49
16 C 15 Nissan Motor Co. Australia George Fury
Australia Gary Scott
Nissan Bluebird Turbo 146 2 1
17 C 7 Qld Highway Patrol Racing Team Australia Lester Smerdon
Australia Wayne Park
Holden VK Commodore 145 53
18 C 51 Tokico Australia Tony Mulvihill
Australia Brian Nightingale
Mazda RX-7 140 44
19 C 37 Graham Stones Australia Graham Stones
Australia Ian Stones
Mazda RX-7 138 47
20 A 69 Nu-Truck Spares Australia Barry Seton
Australia Don Smith
Ford Mustang 136 56
21 A 65 Hulcraft Autos Australia John Craft
Australia Les Grose
Ford Capri Mk.III 135 60
22 A 67 Ray Gulson Australia Ray Gulson
Australia Grant O'Donnell
Alfa Romeo GTV6 131 58
23 C 24 Scotty Taylor Holden Australia Alan Taylor
Australia Kevin Kennedy
Holden VH Commodore SS 130 33
24 C 45 James Keogh Australia Bernie Stack
Australia Wayne Clift
Australia Terry Shiel
Holden VH Commodore SS 130 23
25 C 38 Bayswater Auto Wreckers Pty. Ltd. Australia Colin Campbell
New Zealand John Faulkner
Holden VH Commodore SS 130 23
26 A 73 Racing Car News Australia Bob Holden
Australia Alexandra Surplice
Toyota Sprinter AE86 125 63
27 C 32 Berklee Exhausts Australia Chris Clearihan
Australia David Grose
Mazda RX-7 123 50
28 A 63 Chris Heyer's Kingswood Import Centre Australia Chris Heyer
Australia Gerard Murphy
Audi 5+5 117 64
29 A 60 Mobil Rover Racing United Kingdom Steve Soper
Australia Ron Dickson
Rover Vitesse 116 38
DNF C 13 Bruce Keith Smith Australia Bruce Smith
New Zealand Graeme Waswo
Holden VH Commodore SS 123 37
NC C 49 Kenmar Agency Pty. Ltd. Australia John Donnelly
Australia Simon Harrex
Ford XD Falcon 122 55
DNF C 22 P.F. Motor Racing Australia Bryan Thomson
Australia John Mann
Chevrolet Camaro Z28 121 45
DNF A 75 Laurie Hazelton Australia Laurie Hazelton
Australia Jerry Strauberg
Ford Capri Mk.III 119 62
NC C 30 Tony Kavich Australia Tony Kavich
Australia John Duggan
Mazda RX-7 117 43
DNF C 44 Chequered Flag Magazine Australia Graham Moore
Australia Peter McKay
Mazda RX-7 116 30
NC A 70 Network Alfa Australia Colin Bond
Australia Alfredo Costanzo
Alfa Romeo GTV6 111 52
DNF C 40 King George Tavern Australia Joe Moore
Australia Bob Muir
Ford XE Falcon 110 24
DNF C 3 Cadbury Schweppes Pty. Ltd. New Zealand Peter Janson
Australia Garry Rogers
Holden VH Commodore SS 109 16
DNF C 17 Palmer Tube Mills Australia Dick Johnson
Australia John French
Ford XE Falcon 107 3 3
DNF C 26 Everlast Battery Service Australia Bill O'Brien
Australia Gary Cooke
Ford XD Falcon 104 28
DNF A 72 Toyota Team Australia Australia John Smith
Australia Stephen Brook
Toyota Sprinter AE86 100 57
NC C 41 Chequered Flag Magazine Australia Bob Morris
Australia Barry Jones
Mazda RX-7 97 7 9
NC A 68 Greville Arnel Australia Greville Arnel
Australia Lyndon Arnel
Mitsubishi Starion Turbo 95 54
DNF C 29 Freedom Fence Australia Paul Jones
Australia Peter Hopwood
Ford XE Falcon 88 20
NC C 39 John Bundy Australia John Bundy
Australia Norm Carr
Mazda RX-7 83 34
DNF C 16 Nissan Motor Co. Australia Christine Gibson
Australia Glenn Seton
Nissan Pulsar EXA 76 26
DNF C 6 Roadways Racing Australia Allan Grice
Australia Steve Harrington
Holden VK Commodore 70 2 4
DNF C 9 K-Mart Auto Racing Australia Andrew Harris
Australia Ron Harrop
Holden VH Commodore SS 51 18
DNF C 4 Terry Finnigan Australia Terry Finnigan
Australia Geoff Leeds
Holden VH Commodore SS 48 14
DNF C 31 JPS Team BMW New Zealand Jim Richards
Australia Tony Longhurst
BMW 635 CSi 39 10 6
DNF C 50 Petrolon Slick 50 Australia Peter McLeod
Australia Graeme Bailey
Mazda RX-7 39 15
DNF C 11 Magic Eleven Australia Garry Willmington
Australia Mike Griffin
Ford XD Falcon 37 41
DNF C 14 John English Australia John English
Australia Paul Gulson
Ford XD Falcon 34 29
DNF A 66 Equipe Sixty Six (Hong Kong) Australia Kevin Bartlett
Australia Peter Fitzgerald
Mitsubishi Starion Turbo 27 61
DNF C 20 Jim Keogh Australia Jim Keogh
Australia Terry Shiel
Holden VH Commodore SS 17 25
DNF C 2 Masterton Homes Pty. Ltd. Australia Steve Masterton
Australia Bruce Stewart
Ford XE Falcon 16 9 7
DNF C 43 Peter Stuyvesant International Racing Canada Allan Moffat
Australia Gregg Hansford
Mazda RX-7 15 5 5
DNF C 36 Roadways Racing Australia Steve Harrington
Australia Allan Grice
Holden VH Commodore SS 7 11
DNF A 64 Capri Components Australia Lawrie Nelson
Australia Peter Jones
Ford Mustang 1 59
DNF C 18 Valentine Greetings Australia Murray Carter
Australia John Murdern
Mazda RX-7 0 22
DNF C 12 John Goss Racing Pty. Ltd. Australia John Goss
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw
Jaguar XJ-S 0 8 10
DNF C 34 Pennant Hills Suspension Centre Australia John Tesoriero
Australia Bob Tindal
Chevrolet Camaro Z28 0 46
DNF A 77 Peter Williamson Toyota Australia Peter Williamson
Australia Charlie O'Brien
Toyota Celica Supra 0 51
DNS A 71 Palmer Tube Mills Australia Dick Johnson
Australia John French
Ford Mustang 48


  • Cars 12, 34 & 77 were involved in a start line accident when the #12 Jaguar XJ-S had clutch failure at the start. This caused the race to be stopped and for the first time in the races history there was a complete restart. All three cars failed to take the restart.[1]
  • Car 18 was involved in a separate accident during the first lap of the initial race being shunted off the track and into a fence on Conrod Straight by another car not heeding the red flags and was also unable to front for the second start.[1]
  • Cars 2 & 43 were also involved in a separate incident at the start with both cars bouncing off each other and the #43 also bouncing off the pit wall. #43 was out with engine failure after 15 laps, while #2 crashed at Forrest's Elbow one lap later.
  • Car 7 was a Holden VK Commodore which used Group C running gear including the engine and gearbox, but unlike the VK's from the Holden Dealer Team, Roadways Racing and K-Mart Racing, car 7 used the VK's Group A body which did not include the aerodynamic front and rear spoilers or the flared tyre guards.


  • Provisional Pole Position - #05 Peter Brock - 2:14.31
  • Pole Position - #15 George Fury - 2:13.850 (record)
  • Fastest Group A qualifier - #61 Jeff Allam - 2:23.41
  • Fastest Lap (Group C) - #05 Peter Brock - 2:15.13 (lap record)
  • Fastest Lap (Group A) - #60 - Steve Soper 2:24.87 (class lap record)
  • Winners average speed - 157.5 km/h[2] (record)
  • Race Time - 6:23:13.06 (record)[3]
  • Number of Entrants - 64 (record)


  1. ^ a b Barry Naismith, Bathurst 1984/85, pages 73 & 127
  2. ^ Australian Motor Racing Yearbook, 1984/85, page 309
  3. ^ 1984 James Hardie 1000

External links