HE might have started the Great Race from outside the top 10, but Will Davison crossed the finish line to win the Bathurst 1000 for the second time on Sunday.
As dark clouds threatened rain for the final few laps, Supercars drivers battled to stay on the track amid tension and fuel shortages in front of the second largest crowd ever for the event.
Along with co-driver Jonathon Webb in the team Darrell Lea STIX Holden Commodore VF, Davison started the race in position 17.
But, the duo held off stiff competition and dwindling fuel levels during the last few laps to finish the 161 lap race just 0.143 seconds ahead.
In second for the Great Race was Shane van Gisbergen and Alexandre Premat for Red Bull Racing Australia, followed by Nick Percat and Cameron McConville for LD Motorsport in third.
It may have taken 92 laps for the safety car to make its first appearance on Sunday, but as drivers sped towards the chequered flag the yellow flags kept being waved.
As pressure increased, cars sped into side barriers, onto the grass and each other, forcing numerous safety cars in the last 10 laps.
Among the crashes was when car 33, being driven by Scott McLaughlin, speared off onto the grass and crashed into Garth Tander’s car two upon entry.
A post race investigation will be conducted on car 33 for the dangerous re-entry that sent Garth Tander’s car spearing into the barriers.
It was the second year in a row the winner of the Bathurst 1000 has come from outside the top 10.
This year’s Bathurst 1000 marked the 10th year since racing legend Peter Brock was killed while competing in Western Australia and organisers expected that crowds would be big.
And they were right, the four-day attendance of 204,512 people was the highest since 2012 when 207,205 fans came for the 50th anniversary of the race.
Supercars drivers took part in a special parade in some of Peter Brock’s famous race cars before the start of Sunday’s race.
Singer Natalie Bassingthwaite performed the national anthem before a flyover of the famous circuit.
Fans around the circuit gave Brock, whose car carried the number 05 during his career, a standing ovation on lap five of the race.
Brock’s brother Phil Brock was among the crowds to watch the race and said he felt honoured that crowds gave his brother a standing ovation.
Phil said he heard so many positive comments about his brother during this year’s Bathurst 1000.
“I found it totally uplifting,” he said.
I found it totally uplifting.Phil Brock, brother of Peter Brock
Phil said he is not surprised that his brother is still remembered so fondly 10 years after he was killed.
He said the King of the Mountain was remembered for his racing skills and the way he treated his fans.