The 1983 James Hardie 1000 was the 24th running of the Bathurst 1000 touring car race. It was an endurance race for Touring Cars complying with CAMS Group C regulations. It was held on October 2, 1983, at the Mount Panorama Circuit just outside Bathurst, New South Wales, and was Round 4 of the 1983 Australian Endurance Championship. The race distance was 163 laps x 6.172 km = 1006.036 km.
The Holden Dealer Team took a controversial, but legal victory with the team's second Holden VH Commodore SS driven by John Harvey, Peter Brock and Larry Perkins. Harvey and Phil Brock qualified the car but after the #05 car blew its engine on lap 8, Peter Brock and Perkins transferred themselves into Harvey's car. Phil Brock never drove the car on race day as was forced to spectate as his three team-mates won the race in the car he qualified in, a decision he claimed was made by Perkins as team manager despite Perkins being the slowest qualifier of the quartet and despite it also being legal for four drivers to drive one car (something Perkins refutes claiming the rules only allowed a maximum of three drivers per car). The car was also the car which Peter Brock and Larry Perkins had won the race in 1982 and updated to 1983 specs, meaning this Holden Commodore became the first and only race car to win the Bathurst 1000 twice. The Holder Dealer Team Commodore finished a lap ahead of Allan Moffat and Japanese driver Yoshimi Katayama in their Peter Stuyvesant sponsored Mazda RX-7. It would be the closest Mazda would get to winning the race. Third was the STP Roadways Racing Commodore driven by 1982 pole sitter Allan Grice and 1969 winner Colin Bond.
Only three cars in the race featured both nominated drivers who had previously won the race. The #05 HDT Commodore of defending race winners Brock and Perkins, the #17 Ford XE Falcon of Dick Johnson and Kevin Bartlett, and the #16 Nissan Bluebird Turbo of Fred Gibson and John French. Ironically, sitting next to the Gibson/French Bluebird on the starting grid was the #50 Mazda RX-7 of future winners Peter McLeod and Graeme Bailey.
1983 James Hardie 1000 Wikipedia
Entries were divided into two, engine capacity based classes.
Class of cars of over 3000cc engine capacity, it featured BMW 635 CSi, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore, Mazda RX-7 and Nissan Bluebird.
For cars of under 3000cc engine capacity, it featured Alfa Romeo Alfetta, Audi 5+5, Ford Capri, Isuzu Gemini and Nissan Pulsar.
* This was Peter Brock's record 5th pole position at Bathurst having previously taken pole in 1974, 1977, 1978 and 1979. This saw him move one clear of Allan Moffat who had been on pole four times. It was also the last time he would set pole driving a Holden, though he did sit on pole in 1997, but it was his co-driver Mark Skaife who had set the time in the runoff
* Dick Johnson crashed in Hardies Heroes destroying his Greens-Tuf Falcon. In a show of goodwill no other teams in the race objected to the replacement #17 car starting the race from 10th position.
* 1983 saw the first appearance by BMW in Hardies Heroes with Jim Richards qualifying his JPS Team BMW 635 CSi in 4th place. BMW became the 6th manufacturer to appear in Hardies Heroes following Holden, Ford, Chevrolet, Mazda and Nissan. The BMW was also the first 6 cyl engined car to appear in the runoff.
* 1983 Australian Touring Car Champion and winner of the recent Castrol 400 at Sandown Allan Moffat was expected to easily make the top ten with his 13B powered Mazda RX-7, but could only qualify the car 14th, two places behind team mate Gregg Hansford whose car was running the less powerful 12A engine. This led to accusations of sandbagging by other leading teams, especially the Holden Dealer Team who believed Moffat was deliberately holding the car back in qualifying rather than showing its real speed.
* The 4cyl Nissan Bluebird Turbo driven by George Fury was the first non-V8 powered car to start on the front row at Bathurst since Peter Brock started second in 1973 in a 6cyl Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1.
* With seven VH Commodore's in the top 10 this was Holden's greatest representation ever in the runoff. On the other side of the coin, Johnson's Falcon was the only Ford in the top 10, the lowest ever number for the Blue Oval.
Full results of the 1983 James Hardie 1000 were:Provisional Pole Position - #05 Peter Brock - 2:15.3
Pole Position - #05 Peter Brock - 2:16.270
Fastest Lap - #25 Peter Brock - 2:18.5 (lap record)
Average Speed - 158 km/h
Race Time - 6:28:31.6