Elder statesmen reunite at Bathurst

Bob Jane T-Marts to be a "reunion" for elder statesmen. This month's Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at Bathurst's Mt Panorama is set to be a bit of a reunion for some of Australia's most famous motor racing names. Peter Brock has already announced he is ...

Elder statesmen reunite at Bathurst

Bob Jane T-Marts to be a "reunion" for elder statesmen.

This month's Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at Bathurst's Mt Panorama is set to be a bit of a reunion for some of Australia's most famous motor racing names. Peter Brock has already announced he is coming out of retirement for the event and will team-up with Craig Baird in his own Team Brock Commodore in an effort to win his 10th Bathurst crown.

While Brock's return has created plenty of interest, there will be no shortage of "legends" lining-up in this year's 42-car grid.

Allan Grice has also announced he will be returning to Mt Panorama in an attempt to win his third "Great Race" after collecting the crown in 1986 and 1990.

Keeping his eye in with some ute racing this season, Grice will team-up with Ross Halliday in a Falcon.

"I certainly know my way around the place, I won't have to ask for street directions," joked Grice.

"We are going there with a car that is a couple of years old, so a bit of rain wouldn't hurt. Most of the country certainly needs it.

"I have always said that it doesn't matter what you do the miles in, as long as you are doing them and the utes have certainly helped me keep my eye in.

"Maybe I have a bit of career in this game."

This will be Grice's first start at Bathurst since he co-drove with Paul Romano in a Commodore in 1997.

Alan Jones, the 1980 world Formula 1 champion, returns to Mt Panorama in a Shell Helix Falcon he will share with talented youngster Greg Ritter.

The pair did a solid job to bring the car home in eighth place at the recent Queensland 500 and heads to Bathurst with a real chance.

Jones has been a regular at Bathurst in recent years with Anthony Tratt. Ironically, Jones' best result at Mt Panorama came in 1995, when he finished second in the Peter Jackson Falcon with Grice - also a regular golfing partner of his on the Gold Coast.

Larry Perkins is a six-time winner of the event and returns again this year with his Castrol Holden team. Perkins has announced he will retire from full-time competition next season, but has hinted he will return for the annual endurance races.

Jim Richards, also a six-time winner (including his 1997 2-litre win), returns to co-drive with Mark Skaife to form a combination, which will start as early race favourites.

John Bowe, another member of the 50-plus club, is also a two-time winner of the race and will return this year in what is shaping as a very competitive OzEmail Falcon with Albury's Brad Jones.

Probably the only high-profile driver missing from the starting grid from that 1980s era is Dick Johnson, but he will be standing trackside as team owner of Shell Helix Racing.

"I guess it is a personal choice and I have decided not to play anymore," said Johnson.

"If I thought I could do a better job than the guys I have in the car I would get in myself."

On top of all that, the race is being sponsored by Bob Jane T-Marts a company owned by the winner of the inaugural 1963 race, Bob Jane.

Jane was one of the pioneers of Australia's modern day formula and is a member of the V8 Supercar Hall of Fame.

Tickets for the event are already on sale and are available through Ticketmaster7 on 1300 136 122 or through the event's official website, www.bobjanetmarts1000.com.

-www.bobjanetmarts1000.com.

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