KINGS OF THE MOUNTAIN: INSIDE STORIES OF THE LEGENDS OF BATHURST
Gordon Lomas Published 2017 by Penguin, reviewer’s own copy ISBN 978014379203 Reviewed by: Mark Holman
In this well-illustrated 242-page hardback, author Gordon Lomas covers all aspects of Bathurst’s touring car races, through the drivers and their teams, as well as those who worked behind the scenes, such as long-term general manager Ivan Stibbard, the Stone Brothers, HRT supremo John Crennan, and the race commentators.
Starting with the Minis that took nine of the top-10 places in the Gallaher 500 in ’66, the book fills out many of the dramas over the following 50 years, up to Messrs Morris and Mostert, who started last and made 13 pit stops but still won in 2016. It’s not a race-by-race summary, but there are chapters on the Bathurst days of guys like Gibson, Brock, Grice, Johnson, Steven, and Jim Richards, Longhurst, and Winterbottom (who won for Ford in the year I was lucky enough to be at ‘The Great Race’).
No race at Bathurst, win or lose, is easy, and the book captures much of the drama that took place on the track, in the pits, and even before the race started. How the Winfield money was attracted to fund Nissan’s race teams, Brock’s Energy Polarizer, and the drastic impact on Holden’s racing future of Walkinshaw’s unsuccessful attempt to go Formula 1 racing are just three of the fascinating background stories, straight from the people involved.
Most of the book revolves around the V8s, but the earlier years of more varied fields of very production-looking cars, the rapid Sierras, and the two-litre super tourers haven’t been forgotten. All in all, Kings of the Mountain is a very enjoyable book at a decent price.