Hardie-Ferodo 500 - Mount Panorama, Bathurst - 1st October, 1972

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Falcon XC Cobra
Bathurst 1960
Torana L34

Number of Laps: 130


Total Race Time: 6:0:99.1
Fastest lap: Allan Moffat, 2:36.5 (141.98 km/h)
Classes: Class A - Up to 3000 CP Units; Class B - 3001 to 9000 CP Units; Class C - 9001 to 18000 CP Units; Class D - Over 18000 CP Units

Bad Press



A short time before the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo, Australian motoring enthusiasts were shocked and angered with the treatment the new Chrysler, Holden and Ford cars for the race were getting from the daily press. The Chrysler Charger V8, the Holden Torana V8 and the Ford Falcon GTHO Phase 4 were set upon in editorials and articles, the journalists responsible (or perhaps irresponsible), applying the descriptive phrase "Supercar" to the new cars and making very loud noises about how such cars could all top 160 mph in road trim, and how, with homologation regulations requiring 200 of each to be built, a lot of the general public would certainly be either killed or injured if they were ever allowed to drive them.

A lot of newsprint was dedicated to the cause of ensuring these cars were never built, and unfortunately for the manufacturers and motor sport followers it didn't take very long for general public opinion to swing against the cars. The campaign was relentless, and the Government had it’s back to the wall, such was the growing condemnation from people who, arguably, didn’t really know what they were talking about.

In the end the manufacturers shelved their intended new cars and, in a hasty re-shuffling of plans, the main competitors for the 1972 Bathurst race remained similar to 1971, except for detail changes to the car. Holden had its 3.3 litre LJ XU-1 Torana, by now well developed and regarded as favourite for the race. Ford, after having the GTHO Phase 4 effectively banned, had to retain the Phase 3 which, although faster and no less reliable than in 1971, was no longer a current model - and in racing, anything that is not right up to date must be doubtful.

The Charger E49



Chrysler introduced a slightly modified Charger to Bathurst. Called the E49, it featured more power from its 4.3 litre 265ci motor (302 bhp at 5600 rpm), plus a four-speed gearbox, making it an extremely rapid motor car - its acceleration was actually slightly better than a GTHO Phase 3, although it was some 10 mph down in top speed.

A new system of classing was introduced for the 1972 race, replacing the familiar method of classing the cars according to their retail price. The new system divided the cars into four groups of Capacity/Price (CP) units. These CP units were simply the capacity of the car's engine, in litres, multiplied by the retail price. For example, a car of 1.5 litres capacity which cost $3000 would have a CP rating of 1.5 by 30001 which is 4500. The classes were: - A - up to 3000 CP units; B - 3001 to 9000 CP units; C - 9001-1800 CP units; D - over 1800 CP units. This put the Falcons and E49 Chargers in Class D, and the Torana XL1-1s and a lone E38 Charger in Class C.

Race practice saw Allan Moffat in the number one works car on pole position again, with an incredible 2:35.8, just 3.1 seconds faster than 1971. Beside him was John Goss, who, despite blowing a motor in practice, still managed to clock a best of 2:37.2. Behind them were John French and Fred Gibson, driving the number two works car. Race day was pouring with rain and the start was an incredible sight, with a huge cloud of spray blanketing the field, which looked more like a power boat fleet than a pack of cars.

This year, luck wasn't to be with the Falcons. The first trouble they struck was with Fred Gibson, who lost it at McPhillamy Park, hit the bank and rolled over a couple of times, about 50 yards short of an XU-1, which had also rolled a few seconds before. The driver of the XU-1 was none other than Bill Brown, who must be the unluckiest driver in the country as far as Bathurst is concerned.

Des West's Falcon retired because of a clutch failure and John Goss blew another engine. But it was also with Moffat's car, Ford's main hope for an outright win, that things weren't looking terribly bright. He had a spin at Reid Park, which cost him his lead, and when he pitted for fuel and tyres, he was penalised one minute for starting his engine while fuel was still being put aboard the Falcon. Meanwhile, John French was going very well, steering his Falcon into the lead on lap 54.

At the same time it was becoming obvious that Moffat was in a great deal of trouble, as his brakes were not working anywhere near as well as they should have been and he very nearly hit the fence at Murray's Corner at the end of Conrod Straight. From this point, Moffat's chances of victory became virtually nil. He drove desperately in an effort to make up time - with no effective brakes he was only just making it around some of the corners. In his second pit stop, he was penalised yet again for restarting the car before refuelling had been completed, and finally he had to have one of the front brakes disconnected.

John French saved the day for Ford with his fine second outright; the Gulson car was the next Falcon home in seventh place, followed by Moffat in eighth and Murray Carter in 10th. The problem with the brakes on Moffat's car was found to be in the disc pads, which were literally disintegrating from the effects of heat. Upon examination of Fred Gibson's rolled car it was found that if he had continued, his brakes would have suffered the same fate as Moffat's. The winner was Peter Brock in his Holden Dealer Team LJ Torana XU-1, by the huge margin of five laps. His car ran without trouble all day and he thoroughly deserved his win.
Please Note: You can sort this listing by simply clicking on the column heading
DRIVER / CO DRIVER(S)
1
Peter Brock
Torana LJ XU1
C
130
0:2:38.2
2
John French
Falcon XY GTHO
D
129
0:2:37.5
3
Doug Chivas
Charger E49
D
128
0:2:41.1
4
Leo Geoghegan
Charger E49
D
127
0:2:39.1
5
Don Holland
Torana LJ XU1
C
125
0:2:42.6
6
Bob Forbes
Torana LJ XU1
C
124
0:2:42.8
7
Paul Gulson / Ray Gulson
Falcon XY GTHO
D
123
0:2:44.4
8
Ray Kaleda / Paul Pressler
Charger E38
C
122
0:2:53.8
9
Allan Moffat
Falcon XY GTHO
D
122
0:2:35.8
10
Murray Carter
Falcon XY GTHO
D
120
0:2:49.2
11
Tom Naughton / Tony Farrell
Charger E49
D
118
0:2:48.5
12
Geoff Leeds / Digby Cooke
Escort GT1600
B
117
0:2:57.9
13
Wayne Rogerson
Mazda RX2
B
117
0:2:55.7
14
Bernie Haehnle
Mazda RX2
B
116
0:3:01.1
15
Barry Seton / Herb Taylor
Escort GT1600
B
116
0:2:59.1
16
Lakis Manticas / Pat Hogan
Escort GT1600
B
116
0:2:56.8
17
Mal Robertson / Ray Harrison
Alfa 1750 GTV
C
115
0:2:58.6
18
Bob Holden
Escort GT1600
B
115
0:2:59.9
19
Ron Kearns
Fiat 124 Sport
B
115
0:2:59.7
20
George Giesberts
Torana LJ XU1
C
113
0:2:51.3
21
George Garth
Mazda RX2
B
112
0:2:57.8
22
Mal Brewster / Ray Strong
Torana GTR
B
112
0:3:2.9
23
Bob Wedd / Bob Cracknell
Torana GTR
B
111
0:2:59.7
24
Bill Evans
Datsun 1200
A
107
0:3:20.0
25
Gary Cooke
Mazda 1300
A
106
0:3:19.6
26
Jon Leighton
Datsun 1200
A
106
0:3:21.3
27
Lynn Brown
Mazda 1300
A
106
0:3:19.8
28
Mel Mollison / M. Hayson
Mazda 1300
A
105
0:3:15.4
29
Barry Bassingthwaite / Ray Hanger
Datsun 1600
B
105
0:3:5.2
30
Bruce Stewart
Datsun 1200
A
105
0:3:23.8
31
John Leffler
Mazda 1300
A
104
0:3:23.4
32
Don Smith
Datsun 1200
A
103
0:3:23.6
33
Doug Grimson / Morrie Miller
Datsun 1600
B
103
0:3:21.8
34
Ray Lintott
Datsun 1200
A
102
0:3:27.4
35
Gary Leggatt
Fiat 850 Coupe
A
101
0:3:20.3
DNF
Roger Bonhomme
Galant 1300
A
DNF
0:2:38.2
DNF
Doug Whiteford
Datsun 1200
A
DNF
not available
DNF
Barry Tapsall
Datsun 1200
A
DNF
not available
DNF
Geoff Perry
Mazda 1300
A
DNF
not available
DNF
Eric Olsen
Escort TC
B
DNF
not available
DNF
Alan Keith
Escort TC
B
DNF
not available
DNF
Christine Cole / Jan Holland
Torana 2850
B
DNF
not available
DNF
Max Grayson / Bill Gates
Escort TC
B
DNF
not available
DNF
Lyndon Arnel
Escort TC
B
DNF
not available
DNF
Jim Murcott
Escort TC
B
DNF
not available
DNF
Herb Vines / Chris Batger
Escort TC
B
DNF
not available
DNF
Gerry Lister / David Seldon
Torana LJ XU1
C
DNF
not available
DNF
Graham Moore
Torana LJ XU1
C
DNF
not available
DNF
Pat Peck
Torana LJ XU1
C
DNF
not available
DNF
Bruce McPhee
Torana LJ XU1
C
DNF
not available
DNF
Les Grose
Torana LJ XU1
C
DNF
not available
DNF
Wayne Negus / Neville Grigsby
Torana LJ XU1
C
DNF
not available
DNF
Bill Brown
Torana LJ XU1
C
DNF
not available
DNF
Colin Bond
Torana LJ XU1
C
DNF
not available
DNF
Lawrie Nelson / Tony Roberts
Charger E49
D
DNF
not available
DNF
Des West
Falcon XY GTHO
D
DNF
not available
DNF
Tony Allen / Len Searle
Charger E49
D
DNF
not available
DNF
John Goss
Falcon XY GTHO
D
DNF
not available
DNF
Fred Gibson
Falcon XY GTHO
D
DNF
not available
DNF
Graham Ryan
Charger E49
D
DNF
not available
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