ANALYSIS: Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 line-up
Twenty-nine cars, 58 drivers and 12 teams will tackle Mount Panorama this weekend for the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The event, which marks 50 years of the endurance event at Mount Panorama, features the youngest ever driver pairing, five Bathurst rookies and 11 former winners, in what is the final Bathurst of the current generation cars and Ford and Holden exclusivity before the Car of the Future regulations come in from 2013.
Here is the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 line-up (in pitlane order):
#1. Jamie Whincup – Paul Dumbrell. TeamVodafone/Triple Eight (Holden).
#888. Craig Lowndes – Warren Luff. TeamVodafone/Triple Eight (Holden).
#33. Alexandre Prémat – Jack Perkins. Fujitsu Racing/GRM (Holden).
#34. Michael Caruso – Greg Ritter. Fujitsu Racing/GRM (Holden).
#7. Todd Kelly – Tim Blanchard. Jack Daniel's Racing/Kelly Racing (Holden).
#15. Rick Kelly – David Russell. Jack Daniel's Racing/Kelly Racing (Holden).
#51. Greg Murphy – Owen Kelly. Pepsi Max Crew/Kelly Racing (Holden).
#11. Karl Reindler – Daniel Gaunt. Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing/Kelly Racing (Holden).
#5. Mark Winterbottom – Steven Richards. Orrcon Steel Racing/Ford Performance Racing (Ford).
#6. Will Davison – John McIntyre. Trading Post Racing/Ford Performance Racing (Ford).
#52. David Reynolds – Dean Canto. The Bottle-O Racing/Rod Nash Racing (Ford).
#47. Tim Slade – Andrew Thompson. Lucky 7 Racing/JR Racing-Stone Brothers Racing (Ford).
#4. Lee Holdsworth – Craig Baird. IRWIN Racing/Stone Brothers Racing (Ford).
#9. Shane van Gisbergen – Luke Youlden. SP Tools Racing/Stone Brothers Racing (Ford).
#19. Jonathon Webb – Scott McLaughlin. Tekno Autosports (Holden).
#91. Michael Patrizi – Jonny Reid. Tekno Autosports (Holden).
#2. Garth Tander – Nick Percat. Toll Holden Racing Team/Walkinshaw Racing (Holden).
#22. James Courtney – Cameron McConville. Toll Holden Racing Team/Walkinshaw Racing (Holden).
#66. Russell Ingall – Christian Klien. Supercheap Auto Racing/Walkinshaw Racing (Holden).
#21. David Wall – Chris Pither. Wilson Security Racing/Brad Jones Racing (Holden).
#8. Jason Bright – Andrew Jones. Team BOC/Brad Jones Racing (Holden).
#14. Fabian Coulthard – David Besnard. Lockwood Racing/Brad Jones Racing (Holden).
#18. Steven Johnson – Allan Simonsen. Jim Beam Racing/Dick Johnson Racing (Ford).
#17. James Moffat – Alex Davison. Team Norton/Dick Johnson Racing (Ford).
#49. Steve Owen – Paul Morris. V.I.P. Petfoods/Dick Johnson Racing-Nemo Racing (Ford).
#12. Dean Fiore – Matthew Halliday. Jim Beam Racing/Dick Johnson Racing-Triple F Racing (Ford).
#3. Tony D'Alberto – Dale Wood. Team Hiflex/Tony D'Alberto Racing (Ford).
#30. Taz Douglas – Scott Pye. iSelect Racing/Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (Holden).
#23. Cameron Waters – Jesse Dixon. Shannons carsales.com.au Racing/Minda Motorsport (Holden).
- Dick Johnson Racing has swapped around the numbers of two of its entries. Jim Beam Racing's Steven Johnson and Allan Simonsen will compete in #18 as opposed to #17, which has been taken by the Norton entry of James Moffat and Alex Davison as part of its Tru-Blu retro livery.
- The Bottle-O Racing entry will change numbers from #55 to #52 as part of its retro livery, which recreates the 1967 race-winning Falcon of Harry Firth and Fred Gibson.
- Cameron Waters (18 years of age) and Jesse Dixon (20 years of age) become the youngest-ever combination in the history of the race. The Waters/Dixon car is the only wildcard entry at the event. The entry is run by Minda Motorsports with technical support from Kelly Racing.
- Eleven drivers in the field are previous Bathurst 1000 winners – Craig Lowndes, Greg Murphy, Steven Richards, Garth Tander, Jamie Whincup, Russell Ingall, Rick Kelly, Jason Bright, Todd Kelly, Will Davison, Nick Percat.
- Five drivers are making their Bathurst 1000 debuts – Scott McLaughlin (#19 Tekno Autosports), Christian Klien (#66 Supercheap Auto Racing), Alexandre Prémat (#33 Fujitsu Racing/GRM), Scott Pye (#30 Team iSelect), Jesse Dixon (#23 Shannons carsales.com.au Racing).
- Thirteen of the co-drivers will be on double duty over the weekend. Seven will also compete in the second tier Dunlop Series – Scott McLaughlin, Nick Percat, Dale Wood, Tim Blanchard, Andrew Jones, Luke Youlden, Scott Pye – five in the Porsche Carrera Cup – Craig Baird, Steve Richards, Daniel Gaunt, Alex Davison, Jonny Reid – and one in the V8 Utes – Cameron McConville.
- Paul Morris and Steve Owen will be the most experienced combination with 32 starts. The next most experienced combination is Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff with 30 starts followed by Greg Murphy/Owen Kelly (29 starts), Mark Winterbottom/Steve Richards (28 starts), Steven Johnson/Allan Simonsen (26 starts), James Courtney/Cameron McConville (26 starts), Lee Holdsworth/Craig Baird (25 starts), Jason Bright/Andrew Jones (25 starts) and Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell (23 starts).
- Six partnerships remain the same from Bathurst 2011 – Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards at Ford Performance Racing, Garth Tander and Nick Percat at Walkinshaw Racing, James Courtney and Cameron McConville at Walkinshaw Racing, Jason Bright and Andrew Jones at Brad Jones Racing, Steve Owen and Paul Morris at Nemo Racing (run by Dick Johnson Racing), Tony D'Alberto and Dale Wood (Tony D'Alberto Racing).
- Eight co-drivers have switched teams from Bathurst 2011 - Jack Perkins from Paul Morris Motorsport to Garry Rogers Motorsport, Daniel Gaunt from Stone Brothers Racing to Kelly Racing, John McIntyre from Stone Brothers Racing to Ford Performance Racing, Andrew Thompson from Triple Eight to Stone Brothers Racing, Craig Baird from Walkinshaw Racing to Stone Brothers Racing, Luke Youlden from Ford Performance Racing to Stone Brothers Racing, David Besnard from Dick Johnson Racing to Brad Jones Racing, Allan Simonsen from Kelly Racing to Dick Johnson Racing.
- Five co-drivers have stayed with the same team but switched seats within that team from Bathurst 2011 – Greg Ritter from #33 to #34 at Garry Rogers Motorsport, Tim Blanchard from #16 to #7 at Kelly Racing, David Russell from #7 to #15 at Kelly Racing, Owen Kelly from #15 to #51 at Kelly Racing, Matthew Halliday from #18 to #12 at Dick Johnson Racing.
- Two drivers return to Bathurst after extended periods away from V8 Supercars – Chris Pither at Brad Jones Racing, who last competed in 2008, Jonny Reid at Tekno Autosports, who last competed in 2003.
CLICK HERE for details of V8X Magazine's collectors' Bathurst edition (#71), which contains a full preview of the event and celebrates its 50-year history.