BOB JANE RETURNS AS GRAND MARSHALL FOR 2009 WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR Australian motor racing icon Bob Jane will return as the Grand Marshall of the 2009 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour, to be held at Mount Panorama February 20-22. Jane, who grew up in the ...
BOB JANE RETURNS AS GRAND MARSHALL FOR 2009 WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR
Australian motor racing icon Bob Jane will return as the Grand Marshall of the 2009 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour, to be held at Mount Panorama February 20-22.
Jane, who grew up in the inner Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, was the Grand Marshall for the 2007 Event and had a passion for cars at a young age, starting his competitive career in 1956. By 1960 he was rated as one of Australia's top sedan drivers.
With a rich history in production cars, Jane said he was happy to be a part of an Event such as the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour, with its strong links to production sedan racing.
"I am honoured to be Grand Marshall for the February production car race at Bathurst," said Jane.
"I am very pleased to be involved in the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour because it is a production car based event, and that reminds me of my first win at Bathurst in 1963, when what is today's Bathurst 1000 was in fact a 500 mile event for production cars.
"Production cars are a low cost and more affordable segment of motorsport which can exist in the current financial environment the world is facing, and so I am happy to support this kind of racing in any way that I can."
Jane's first major victory came in 1961 when he raced to his first victory in the Armstrong 500 alongside Harry Firth at Phillip Island, Victoria, aboard a Mercedes Benz 220SE.
Jane also partnered Firth to win the race again the following year, the last before the event moved to Mount Panorama at Bathurst, New South Wales.
Jane won the first two of these races at the Mount Panorama circuit in 1963 and 1964, the first with Firth and the second with George Reynolds as co-driver.
His record of four successive wins remains unchallenged, as while some drivers have surpassed the number of victories achieved by Jane, none have been able to string together four successive back-to-back wins.
Jane also had success in the Australian Touring Car Championship (now known as the V8 Supercar Championship Series), taking out the title in 1962, 1963, 1971 and 1972. Amazingly, from 38 race starts in the ATCC, he would finish on the podium 21 times.
When not competing on the track, Jane has been able to concentrate on his business interests.
In 1965 Bob Jane opened the first "T-Marts" store in Melbourne, and to this day it has remained an independent, family-owned business importing parts, and most particularly tyres, earning him a strong reputation in the industry along the way. Most popular were the high performance race tyres imported from Germany.
From 1980 to 1984 he attracted some of the best Formula 1 drivers to the Australian Grand Prix held at Calder Park Raceway (The "Thunderdome"), this event being a precursor to the Australian Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix held in Adelaide in 1985.
Jane retired from racing in 1986, although his many contributions to motor sport would continue.
Being a passionate follower of NASCAR, Jane constructed the $54 million "Thunderdome" on the grounds of the Calder Park Raceway. The new venue would open in February 1988 and its success was assured when the likes of Bobby Allison, Neil Bonnett and others from the Winston West Series all attended.
From 2002 to 2004 Bob Jane T-Marts held the naming rights sponsorship for the Bathurst 1000, the race Jane dominated early in his career.
"There is no doubt Bob Jane is one of the Father figures of Australian motorsport and we are delighted he has accepted the opportunity to join us again as the Grand Marshall of the 2009 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour," said Event Director James O'Brien.
"He is one of the most recognizable names and faces in Australian motorsport, and his records both on the track and in the business arena over the past 40 years are nothing short of impressive - we are certainly looking forward to having him as our special guest next month."
The 2009 WPS Bathurst Showroom Enduro will be held at Mount Panorama on February 20-22.
The 2008 WPS 12 Hour Showroom Enduro attracted in excess of 100 drivers across 37 entries from various parts of Australia and New Zealand with the Mitsubishi Evo 9 of Damien White, Graham Alexander and Rod Salmon taking the victory.