1. Volvo makes its return to the Bathurst 1000 this year for the first time in 16 years. Swede Rickard Rydell and Jim Richards won the great race in 1998 from pole position in a five-cylinder S40. This year, the marque will have two V8-powered S60s driven by drivers from four different nations – Scott McLaughlin (New Zealand), Alex Premat (France), Robert Dahlgren (Sweden) and Greg Ritter (Australia).
2. Last month, Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell (pic- tured) became the first combination to win the Sandown 500 from pole position in 18 years, but history suggests it will be difficult for the pole-sitter at Bathurst to claim victory. The car starting from pole has won the race just three times in the last 15 years. Garth Tander and Will Davison (HRT), were the last drivers to do it back in 2009.
3. Holden is aiming for an unprecedented 30th win at Bathurst this year. No other manufacturer has won more Bathurst classics than Holden. Should it claim victory at Mount Panorama this year, it would also be the 50th V8 Supercar Championship race win for the VF Commodore since it was introduced at the start of the 2013 season.
4. Russell Ingall is the most experienced driver in this year’s Bathurst 1000, set to line up for his 23rd start in the race, which he won in 1995 and 1997 with Larry Perkins. Only 15 drivers have more starts in the history of the race than Ingall (pictured), who has finished 20 times from 22 starts.
5. Jason Bright (pictured) will tie the late Peter Brock for sixth on the all-time Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercar Championship starts list at Bathurst. Bright will line up for the 212th time, and his 18th at Mount Panorama. He won with Steve Richards in 1998, but hasn’t been on the podium since 2002 when he finished third with Tomas Mezera.
6. Just four rookies will line up this year, and all are from overseas. Brits Oliver Gavin and Alex Buncombe join Swede Robert Dahlgren and New Zealander Andre Heimgartner as the rookie class of 2014. All bar Dahlgren has previous Mount Panorama (pictured) experience – Gavin and Buncombe competed in this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour, while Heimgartner has raced in the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Dunlop Series.
7. The most experienced combination this year will be the Commodore of Craig Lowndes (pictured, left) and Steve Richards (pictured, right) – they have a combined 41 Bathurst starts to their credit. Surprisingly, in 12 of the combinations the primary driver has less experience at the circuit than the co-driver. The biggest gap in experience is the combination of Chaz Mostert (one drive) and co-driver Paul Morris (21 starts).