The Clay­ton Com­modores

Con­tin­u­ing of our se­ries on the cars that have won the Bathurst clas­sic, this is­sue we fo­cus on five Com­modores from the Kmart/HRT/ Walkin­shaw fam­ily that con­quered the Moun­tain

Australian Muscle Car - - Cars That Won Bathurst -

Through­out the 12-year pe­riod cov­er­ing 2001 to 2012, it’s hard to be­lieve that only two ‘teams’ won the an­nual Bathurst 1000-kilo­me­tre V8 Su­per­car race. We say dif­fer­ent ‘teams’ given the fact that the 2003 and 2004-win­ning Kmart Rac­ing team was based in the same Clay­ton, Mel­bourne, busi­ness park as the 2005, 2009 and 2011-win­ning Holden Rac­ing Team, though run as a sep­a­rate oper­a­tion util­is­ing a com­mon equip­ment provider in Holden Mo­tor Sport – later to be­come Walkin­shaw Rac­ing.

And, of course, it was the Bris­bane-based Triple Eight Race En­gi­neer­ing team who claimed suc­cess in 2006, 2007 and 2008 with Fords (which we’ve cov­ered in re­cent is­sues) and with Hold­ens in 2010 and 2012.

Re­gard­less of the finer de­tails of team struc­tures, the fact those 12 con­sec­u­tive years of Bathurst win­ners came from such a limited pool of teams is quite amaz­ing and un­der­lines a unique era of dom­i­nance of the race.

In the case of ‘Clay­ton Com­modores’, two were won un­der the Kmart ban­ner, one dur­ing Mark Skaife’s own­er­ship of HRT and two when the fac­tory team was fully owned again by the Walkin­shaws.

If Clay­tons was ‘the drink you had when you’re not hav­ing a drink’ (re­mem­ber the 1970s ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign?), the Kmart Com­modores were the fac­tory Hold­ens that Greg Mur­phy and Rick Kelly drove to re­peat vic­to­ries when they weren’t driv­ing fac­tory-backed cars!

Murph’s 2003 mount was very much the real deal when it comes to fa­mous Bathurst win­ners, as it’s the car in which he com­pleted his 2:06.8594 ‘Lap of the Gods’.

In is­sue #70 we out­lined the life story – and where­abouts to­day – of the Mark Skaife-driven ‘Golden Child’ Com­modore (chas­sis HRT 045) which took vic­tory in 2001 and 2002.

This edi­tion we put the spot­light on the five cars from the same sta­ble that have since added to the Clay­ton oper­a­tion’s im­pres­sive tally of Bathurst wins

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