Watching an underdog take on more fancied opponents and triumph is one of the great pleasures of sports.
So on the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest underdog victories at Mount Panorama, V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94 looks back at the biggest upsets in the history of the Great Race.
V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94 is a special Bathurst 1000 edition featuring the key developments over the history of the event, preview of the 2016 race, the honour roll, records and facts from the Great Race and more.
Issue #94 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.
CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94.
In one corner in 1986, factory-supported outfits from Nissan and Volvo that had fought out that year's Australian Touring Car Championship, plus the omnipotent (though soon not to be) Holden Dealer Team (HDT) and strong privateers with proven Bathurst-bagging credentials (Dick Johnson and Larry Perkins, fielding the first iteration of his own team).
In the other, a comparatively rag-tag grouping of motorsport souls who had pooled comparatively meager resources into a serious Bathurst assault – privateer star Allan Grice, his long-time race-car preparer Les Small and chicken-processing czar/part-time racer Graeme Bailey.
History favoured the first group. Peter Brock and his surprise HDT teammate of 1986, Allan Moffat, had 12 Bathurst wins between them, Perkins a trio and Johnson one.
The Nissan team had 1967 Bathurst-winner Fred Gibson at the helm, while Volvo was headed by the man who taken HDT to dominant wins in 1978 and 1979, John Sheppard.
The Grice crew's Bathurst credentials were rather more modest. Small had spannered Brock's Gown-Hindhaugh-winning Torana in 1975 and Bailey had won the two-litre class in 1980.
Grice, so famously at the time, had never cracked the winning formula in more than a decade of trying.
By the Sunday evening, however, the status quo was in tatters. The big-dollar factory teams wilted – actually, they never got a serious look in – and Grice's reputation as the guy who didn't have what it took to win at Bathurst was extinguished with a crushing lights-to-flag (figuratively, if not quite literally) victory.
It was a Bathurst win for the books – the last on the original pre-Chase layout and the last win of the pre-safety-car era. Grice's record of 16 starts before winning remains the record for a Bathurst-winning driver even today.
CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of V8X Supercar Magazine issue #94 to read the full feature.