The 2008 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 was the twelfth running of the Australian 1000 race, first held after the organisational split over the Bathurst 1000 that occurred in 1997. It was the 51st race tracing its lineage back to the 1960 Armstrong 500 held at Phillip Island.
Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup driving a Ford BF Falcon for TeamVodafone, won the race for the third year in succession, the first 'three-peat' of Bathurst 1000 wins since 1984 when it was achieved by Lowndes' mentor, Peter Brock and present day Jack Daniel's Racing team principal, Larry Perkins for the Holden Dealer Team.
Twenty-nine cars were entered into the event – 16 Holden Commodores and 13 Ford Falcons. At the time it was the lowest field size since the race moved to Bathurst in 1963. Seven drivers made their debut in 2008 – Chris Pither, Dale Wood, Boris Said, Fabrizio Giovanardi, Marc Hynes, Michael Patrizi and Karl Reindler. The three non-Antipodean drivers (Said, Giovanardi and Hynes) would be making their only appearances in the race. Kayne Scott, Adam Macrow and Steven Ellery made their last starts in 2008, whilst Paul Radisich and Paul Weel were entered for the final time but did not make the start of the race.
The following driver changes were made following the 2008 L&H 500:
Karl Reindler replaced Grant Denyer at Ford Rising Stars Racing. Denyer suffered a spinal injury while competing in the NSW Monster Truck Championships at the Dapto Showgrounds and was sidelined for the rest of the season.
Free practice began on Thursday 9 October when three sessions were held. The first session, (in which the top 15 placegetters from the 2007 V8Supercar Championship Series are not allowed to take part), was topped by Warren Luff in the second Jim Beam Racing Falcon with a 2:10.7158 ahead of Tony D'Alberto in the Rod Nash Racing Commodore and Alex Davison in the Glenfords Racing Falcon.
Garth Tander topped the second session, recording a 2:09.3700 in the Holden Racing Team Commodore ahead of Craig Lowndes in the Team Vodafone Falcon and Greg Murphy in the Sprint Gas Racing Commodore. Jason Bargwanna continued D'Alberto's form from the first session to be fourth fastest in a session marred by a crash for Jack Perkins who backed the Jack Daniel's Racing Commodore into the wall across the top of the Mountain, putting the car out of action for the day.
A second red flag emerged in the longest third session, for the Sprint Gas Racing Commodore shared by Mark Noske and Dale Wood. After the resumption Jamie Whincup recorded the fastest time of the day, a 2:07.5975 in the Team Vodafone Falcon, to be two hundredths quicker than Greg Murphy (Sprint Gas Racing Commodore). Mark Winterbottom was third fastest for Ford Performance Racing ahead of Rick Kelly (HSV Dealer Team Commodore), Russell Ingall (Supercheap Auto Racing), Steve Owen (Jim Beam Racing), Paul Dumbrell (HSV Dealer Team), Lee Holdsworth (Garry Rogers Motorsport), Shane van Gisbergen (Stone Brothers Racing) with Garth Tander completing the top ten fastest cars.
In the first practice session on Friday morning a major accident occurred at Sulman Park when Chris Pither struck a stationary Paul Weel. Weel had to be cut from the wreckage, but neither driver was seriously hurt. Both cars were withdrawn suffering from extensive damage. With both cars belonging to single car teams, Paul Weel Racing and Team Kiwi Racing appeared to be eliminated from the meeting. However the Team Kiwi Falcon was repaired and did in fact start in Sunday's race.
Garth Tander topped the morning's practice sessions with a 2:06.9922, with Jamie Whincup recording a 2:07.1371 in the second Friday session. Combined times saw Craig Lowndes third fastest ahead of James Courtney, Jason Richards, Steve Owen, Greg Murphy, Will Davison, Steven Richards all under 2:08 with Mark Winterbottom completing the fastest ten drivers.
In Saturday morning practice Jason Richards recorded the fastest lap of the weekend, a 2:06.9076. Paul Radisich had a major accident at McPhillamy Park Corner when a stuck throttle pushed the HSV Dealer Team Commodore into the wall. Radisich broke his right ankle in the accident. The car sustained heavy damage and was subsequently withdrawn. Later in the day it was announced that David Reynolds would step out of his drive in the second HSV Dealer Team Commodore in order to allow Rick Kelly to start the race.
Mark Winterbottom took provisional pole position during qualifying on 10 October, snatching it in the final lap of leg two to secure the tenth and final Top 10 Shootout position with a 2:07.1920 lap. Jason Richards had held top spot for the final ten minutes of the session, finishing second fastest. Jamie Whincup was third fastest ahead of James Courtney. Garth Tander was fifth fastest in the Holden Racing Team Commodore ahead of arms-length teammate Rick Kelly. Will Davison and Paul Dumbrell were next with Fabian Coulthard climbing into the top ten towards the end of the session in the Paul Cruickshank Racing Falcon. Tenth fastest and first Shootout position was claimed by Russell Ingall, with Max Wilson spinning at Murray's Corner on the last lap chasing a top ten position.
A power steering leak took Lee Holdsworth out of qualifying by pitching him into the wall at the Dipper, leaving him in 14th, while Fabrizio Giovanardi damaged the second Triple Eight Race Engineering Falcon, bringing out red flags during leg one of qualifying.
After the withdrawal of the damaged Kelly/Radisich car, the Wilson/Jones entry was promoted into the Top 10 Shootout.
Top 10 Shootout
The Top 10 Shootout was held on Saturday 11 October 2008. Max Wilson and Fabian Coulthard were rapidly consigned to the bottom spots, handicapped by a lack of fresh tyres for the Shootout. Paul Dumbrell was quick jumping into a high 2:07 lap. Will Davison was untidy on his lap. Garth Tander was very quick, recording what become pole position, a 2:07.2963. James Courtney was quick, but half a second behind Tander. Jamie Whincup's car appeared unsettled and Jason Richards had a big moment at Reid Park, losing him two tenths of a second that he never recovered. Mark Winterbottom was ahead of Tander at the second sector split but was slower down the hill, finishing second fastest, 0.12s behind Tander.
From pole position Garth Tander stalled allowing Steven Richards to lead early. Later Tander was also assigned a ten-second penalty for jumping the start as well. The Penalty was served at the car's first pitstop. Into Griffins Bend on the opening lap Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy touched, giving the Holden slight damage which caused Murphy to pit on lap four. James Courtney raced through to dominate the opening stint. Craig Lowndes gave chase with Will Davison settling in to chase with Max Wilson and Russell Ingall leading the Holden charge while Steven Richards and Rick Kelly (starting Paul Dumbrell's Commodore) slid backwards.
Starting with Jack Perkins on lap 15 cars started to appear in the pits with a failed left rear tyre. Delaminations were to strike the entire field throughout the day, with the cars of Will Davison, Todd Kelly and Lee Holdsworth worst affected of the front runners. Kayne Scott was the first retirement on lap eight, the hastily repaired Team Kiwi Racing Falcon was four-five seconds behind the pace and effectively unraceable. The second retirement was on 40 when Andrew Jones spun the Brad Jones Racing Commodore into the wall at Griffin's Bend. Jones limped the car back to the pits without bothering the safety car. By this stage Rick Kelly was out of contention, with the same sticking throttle that caused the #15 car to crash on Saturday starting to blight the #16 car.
A slowly deflating tyre (originally diagnosed as a damaged anti-roll bar) slowed David Besnard's stint in James Courtney's car allowing Jamie Whincup to assert dominance over the field in the second stint. The first safety car occurred on lap 73, after Todd Kelly spun his Jack Daniel's Racing Commodore across the Chase dumped sandtrap debris across the most delicate corner of the circuit. Marshals worked to clean the corner and get the race quickly back under way. The third safety car was called about 15 laps later when Michael Patrizi spun the Ford Rising Stars Falcon at Murray's Corner. Just after the restart Jonathan Webb put the second Stone Brothers Racing Falcon into the sandtrap at McPhillamy Park after striking the wall exiting the previous corner, becoming the race's third retirement. Lowndes pitted for Whincup's second stint at this point. With a safety car having s recently occurred Whincup was buried, emerging back into the field in 17th position. Will Davison moved into the lead at this point that he would hold until lap 98 when he pitted. Greg Murphy led for a single lap before pitting for Jason Richards, handing the lead to Max Wilson. Wilson lead until the next safety car on lap 106 when he pitted for Brad Jones and Jamie Whincup resumed the lead.
By this stage Mark Skaife had removed the lead Holden Racing Team Commodore from contention, wiping the car's nose across the Forrests Elbow wall. A safety car on lap 128 caused the majority of the field to pit, putting David Besnard back into the lead until his final stop for James Courtney on lap 137. Two rapid safety cars occurred shortly afterwards, first after Lee Holdsworth's Commodore stopped in the Cutting, then at the restart a touch between Craig Baird, who had just been unsettled by another car passing him at Griffin's Bend, and Warren Luff in the second Jim Beam Racing Falcon, put Baird into the wall. Luff was given a drive-through penalty for his part in the incident. Russell Ingall also dropped out at roughly this point with power steering failure.
At the lap 147 restart Lowndes led from Steven Richards and Greg Murphy. Tucked in behind were Max Wilson and James Courtney ahead of Tony D'Alberto, Fabian Coulthard, Warren Luff (about to pit for his penalty), Jason Bright and Luke Youlden. Courtney, on fresh tyres and cut through the pack and on lap 153 ducked under Max Wilson at Forrests Elbow for fourth place. Murphy, while faster than Richards was unable to get by, allowing Lowndes to build a comfortable buffer. On lap 158 Murphy finally moved into second position at Hell Corner and set off after Lowndes. Two laps later, Richards, fading badly on rear tyres was unable to stop Courtney move into third place. The gaps stabilised over the final laps and Lowndes took a two-second victory, earning himself and Jamie Whincup their third consecutive victory, a feat not managed since Peter Brock and Larry Perkins took their third consecutive win in the 1984 James Hardie 1000.
Behind Murphy and Courtney, Steven Richards hung onto fourth position ahead of Max Wilson. Tony D'Alberto spun into the Griffins Bend wall on the second last lap, becoming the races final retirement. Will Davison climbed back into sixth position after a late race tyre delamination had removed him lead battle. Luke Youlden completed a good team result for Ford Performance Racing in seventh ahead of Jack Perkins and Jason Bright. Fabian Coulthard dropped to tenth after having to make a pitstop for fuel with two laps to go. Warren Luff was the final car to complete full race distance in eleventh.
Garth Tander limped home in twelfth place ahead of Mark Noske, Marcus Marshall and Fabrizio Giovanardi. Two of the hardest hit by tyre delaminations, Steve Ellery and Todd Kelly finished 16th and 17th and were the last fit cars home. Ingall limped his car home for some championship points ahead of Patrizi, while Rick Kelly and Dumbrell were classified in 20th position after the team rebuilt the throttle linkages, having lost 34 laps.
The race victory vaulted Whincup back into the championship lead he lost after crashing out of the Hamilton 400 in April. Tander's twelfth-place finish helped to minimise the points loss but dropped to third place behind Mark Winterbottom.
Top 10 Shootout
|Pole||1||Garth Tander||Holden VE Commodore||Holden Racing Team||2:07.2963|
|2||6||Mark Winterbottom||Ford BF Falcon||Ford Performance Racing||2:07.4206|
|3||4||James Courtney||Ford BF Falcon||Jeld-Wen Motorsport||2:07.7025|
|4||16||Paul Dumbrell||Holden VE Commodore||Autobarn Racing Team||2:07.8022|
|5||888||Jamie Whincup||Ford BF Falcon||Team Vodafone||2:07.9513|
|6||3||Jason Richards||Holden VE Commodore||Sprint Gas Racing||2:07.9876|
|7||18||Will Davison||Ford BF Falcon||Jim Beam Racing||2:08.2511|
|8||39||Russell Ingall||Holden VE Commodore||Supercheap Auto Racing||2:08.7800|
|9||111||Fabian Coulthard||Ford BF Falcon||Glenfords Racing||2:08.8051|
|10||14||Max Wilson||Holden VE Commodore||WOW Racing||2:09.1940|
The following table represents the final starting grid for the race on Sunday:
^1 - David Reynolds practiced the #16 HSV Dealer Team, before stepping aside for Rick Kelly after his car was withdrawn after a crash on Saturday.
Fastest race lap: #4 James Courtney - 2:09.2775
After Round 10 of 14, the top five positions in the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series were as follows:
|1||88||Jamie Whincup||Team Vodafone||2316|
|2||5||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Performance Racing||2283|
|3||1||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||2234|
|4||888||Craig Lowndes||Team Vodafone||1923|
|5||18||Will Davison||Jim Beam Racing||1865|
- "Karl Reindler Joins Ausdrill Ford Rising Stars Racing Team for Bathurst". fordrisingstarsracing.com.au. 25 September 2008. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
- Joshua Dowling (17 September 2008). "Grant Denyer hurt in 'monster' crash". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
- "Supercheap Auto 1000 - 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Rd10 Mount Panorama - Bathurst V8 Supercars - Practice Part 1". National Software. 9 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- "Supercheap Auto 1000 - 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Rd10 Mount Panorama - Bathurst V8 Supercars - Practice Part 2". National Software. 9 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- Briar Gunther/Allan Edwards (9 October 2008). "Number 11 Commodore out for the day". Official site of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- "Supercheap Auto 1000 - 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Rd10 Mount Panorama - Bathurst V8 Supercars - Practice Part 3". National Software. 9 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- "Drivers okay after accident". Official site of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. 10 October 2008. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
- "Supercheap Auto 1000 - 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Rd10 Mount Panorama - Bathurst V8 Supercars - Practice 2". National Software. 10 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
- "Supercheap Auto 1000 - 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Rd10 Mount Panorama - Bathurst V8 Supercars - Practice 3". National Software. 10 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
- Allan Edwards (11 October 2008). "Big crash for Radisich". Official site of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- Briar Gunther (11 October 2008). "Rick Kelly still in Great Race". Official site of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- "Supercheap Auto 1000 - 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Rd10 Mount Panorama - Bathurst V8 Supercars - Qualifying". National Software. 10 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
- "Supercheap Auto 1000 - 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Rd10 Mount Panorama - Bathurst V8 Supercars - Top 10 Shoot Out". National Software. 11 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- "Supercheap Auto 1000 - 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Rd10 Mount Panorama - Bathurst V8 Supercars - Supercheap Auto 1000". National Software. 12 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
- "Supercheap Auto 1000 - 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Rd10 Mount Panorama - Bathurst V8 Supercars - Supercheap Auto 1000 Series Points Report". National Software. 12 October 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
2008 L&H 500
|2008 Supercars Championship||Next race:|
2008 The Coffee Club V8 Supercar Challenge
2007 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000
|Bathurst 1000||Next year:|
2009 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000