MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27: Touring car legend Peter Brock is heading back to Bathurst this week 30 years after his debut at Mount Panorama to watch his son race on the famous circuit for the first time on Sunday (October 3).
Brock, who won the nine 1000km races at Mount Panorama and retired in 1997, will be at the track as part of the Seven Network television commentary team for the Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst 99 meeting.
His 23-year-old son James Brock will race a VS Holden Commodore in a 300km endurance race for cars in the new Bathurst Tourers category for modified V8-powered Holdens and Fords.
Brock, 54, said that he would be following his son's progress at Bathurst with interest.
"I think I'll almost be in the car with him," said Brock Snr. "This is a fantastic opportunity for James on Australia's greatest race track, and not just for him, but for a lot of other young hopefuls as well. James gets in that car and just drives it as hard as it will go. He drives the door handles off it and that's a terrific thing to do. He'll certainly make his presence felt."
James Brock, a qualified mechanic who helped build the Commodore he will race at Bathurst with Dean Irwin, said he did not feel any pressure from following in the footsteps of his father.
"I don't take much notice of that - I don't think I could otherwise I wouldn't be doing this," said James Brock. "It opens a lot of doors having the Dad I do so I thought I might as well give it a go. I've been going to Bathurst for many years to watch the race, so now I'm really enthusiastic about getting out on that track and having a go myself."
The Bathurst format on the first Sunday of October, an annual ritual in Australian sport, has changed this year, with the traditional 1000km event replaced by two major races.
They are the 300km V8 event, followed by a 500km race for Super Touring 2-litre cars featuring six-times Bathurst winner Jim Richards in a Volvo S40 and Australian champion Paul Morris in a BMW 320i.
Support categories on the Bathurst programme include HQ Holdens, Group N, the one-make Lease Plan Mitsubishi Mirage series, Tracktorque Austin Healey Classic, Formula Vees, and Club Cars.
The SEVEN NETWORK'S Bathurst coverage begins with a two-hour program on Saturday from 3pm to 5pm. The following day the telecast starts at 8am and continues through to 6pm, and will include the V8 Bathurst Tourers event over 300km followed by the 500km Super Touring race. The telecast will be hosted by Melbourne-based sports presenter and journalist MARK BERETTA, and commentators will include PETER BROCK, dual Australian Super Touring champion BRAD JONES, and Sydney's DAVID TAPP. The Seven Network will have 31 cameras around the track, and one on the Goodyear Blimp, along with in-car RACE-CAM in selected vehicles.
The BATHURST TOURERS rear-drive Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores feature V8 5-litre engines generating about 400-horsepower, and have a minimum dry weight of 1,250kg. All cars have 4-speed Super-T10 gearboxes, 90-litre fuel tanks, and a control brake package. The front suspension on the Holden is a McPherson strut, and there is a double wishbone on the Ford. Rear suspension is live-axle production-based with fixed final drive ratio. Wheels are 17-inch by 9-inch, and all cars will race with a Dunlop Formula R control slick tyre. Top speeds are expected to be about 260km/h.
GAVIN HARVEY, son of 1983 Bathurst 1000 champion John Harvey, will make his debut on the Mount Panorama circuit this week in the one-make Lease Plan Mitsubishi Mirage Series. Harvey, 28, has starred in the inaugural Mirage Championship this year, recording five second placings and a fourth in the three rounds at Oran Park, Calder Park, and Wakefield Park. In 1998 he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and he completed chemotherapy only two months ago. Harvey said driving the Mirage was his first motorsports competition since racing karts as a child. "I've worked for race teams and as a driving instructor, but this is my first real go racing," said Harvey. "It's something I've always wanted to do and the Mirage series is a lot of fun." The Mirage cars have two five-lap races at Bathurst, the first on Saturday and the second the following day.