KINGS OF THE MOUN­TAIN

Inside Sport - - INSIDER - IN­SIDE STO­RIES OF THE LEG­ENDS OF BATHURST BY GOR­DON LO M AS, MICHAEL JOSEPH ,†ˆŠ.ŠŠ – James Smith

Yes, Aus­tralia’s Great Race is fa­mous be­cause of the dev­as­tat­ingly chal­leng­ing to­pog­ra­phy of the moun­tain-hug­ging course it­self, but ul­ti­mately it is the char­ac­ters who have made the Bathurst 1000 what it is to­day. Here, in a su­perbly il­lus­trated and put-to­gether cof­fee-ta­ble ef­fort, Gor­don Lo­mas gives each and ev­ery “king of the moun­tain” his due credit – via per­sonal in­ter­views, or trib­utes to de­parted he­roes by their hey­day peers. Lo­mas’s fo­cus on the per­son­al­ity of the driv­ers in­fuses a real, hu­man el­e­ment to a sport and event prob­a­bly known to out­siders more for the grunt of what’s be­neath the bon­net of these an­gry, cough­ing for­mer tour­ing cars-turned Su­per­cars. From Bob Holden, to Jim Richards, to Mark Win­ter­bot­tom, to the next-gen of Chaz Mostert and his young, ex­cit­ing ilk, all the char­ac­ters are here. But get­ting back to the moun­tain, per­haps it is the lure of Mt Panorama that brings out the lar­rikin­ism and des­per­a­tion of the chase af­ter all. This re­viewer par­tic­u­larly liked read­ing about Win Percy’s de­ci­sion to move from Eng­land to Aus­tralia specif­i­cally to plun­der Bathurst. And about how the pub­lic’s re­ac­tion a rock de­stroy­ing Dick John­son’s “boxy XD Fal­con” in 1980 even­tu­ally led to Dicky giv­ing away his Shell servo in in­ner Bris­bane to es­tab­lish his own full-pro­fes­sional rac­ing team. Char­ac­ters at ev­ery turn in this gem.

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