Mount Panorama inaugural Legends Lane to honour former drivers

Some of the greatest drivers to ever grace Mount Panorama were honoured on Friday morning, with thirteen former drivers inducted into the inaugural Legends Lane. 

HONOURED: The first Bathurst Legends Lane inductees John Gross, Jim Richards, Bob Morris and Kevin Bartlett. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 100617pblegends2

HONOURED: The first Bathurst Legends Lane inductees John Gross, Jim Richards, Bob Morris and Kevin Bartlett. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 100617pblegends2

A permanent tribute, which has been jointly created by Supercars and Bathurst Regional Council, is to be located near the circuit’s main entry gate.

Ten of the thirteen legends were present and some shared their stories and experiences from Bathurst 1000s gone by.

The inaugural inductees include Ken Bartlett, Colin Bond, John Bowe, the late Peter Brock, Fred Gibson, Allan Grice, John Gross, John Harvey, Dick Johnson, Allan Moffat, Bob Morris, Larry Perkins and Jim Richards.

Former Holden driver John Harvey was emotionally moved by his induction.

“As far as Bathurst was concerned, it was always my favourite circuit,” he said.

“I’ve always loved coming back here but Bathurst is something special, as far as I’m concerned. I’m very happy to be invited this weekend.

“It’s one [circuit] I enjoyed going to and I got on quite early in the piece, long before touring car was as popular as they were today.

“I drove Formula One cars. I had a huge crash back then and had a mechanical failure that put me in the Bathurst Hospital for a couple of weeks.

“I learnt a lot about Bathurst, its doctors, nurses and a lot of people that were sensational and helped me through the whole thing.”

Bob Morris discussed the 1981 James Hardie 1000, which saw a six car accident block the track at McPhillamy Park Corner. 

The race was eventually won by Dick Johnson.

Morris was driving a brand new car that particular Bathurst 1000. 

“I don’t think it turned a wheel until we got to Bathurst on the Wednesday,” he explained.

“We built the car and we running really well in the race. That was probably the race that got away. It was one of those Bathurst incidents that two fast cars wanted to be in the one spot in the road.

“You just can’t predict at Bathurst. Anything can be going well and everything can turn to mud.”

Morris also spoke about his experience driving with Peter Brock.

Supercars announced the Legends Lane concept last month and CEO James Warburton said the recreation from the Supercars community has been overwhelming.

“This mountain is truly a special place and there is absolutely no better way to honour the legends, and many in the future, who have created those memorable moments that are etched in our history,” he said.

“As a sport, we haven’t done the best to honour our legends. That all changes. This is not a one-off. This will happen every Friday, during Bathurst.

“Today, and this weekend, is all about them.”