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4 October 2018

Bathurst: the Falcon's memorable moments

By Mitchell TulkMitchell Tulk
The moment that made all grown men cry.

Ford has claimed 19 wins at The Mountain and 14 of those were achieved by the Falcon.

Its first victory was delivered in 1967, with Harry Firth and Fred Gibson claiming the win in an XR GT. 

This year is the 45th and last time the Ford Falcon will line up on the grid at the Bathurst 1000 with the Mustang taking over Supercar duties in 2019.

To honour an Aussie legend, we have put together six (because five wasn't enough) of the most memorable Mountain moments the Falcon has gifted us.

Frosty launches through The Chase: 2007

The race looked to be in the bag for duo Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards, but when it began to rain, Frosty lost control and fired through The Chase.

He narrowly missed Craig Lowndes when re-joining the race and fell back in the pack before finishing 10th.

The podium was still a Ford lockout with Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup, James Courtney/ David Bernard and Steven Johnson/Will Davison taking the top three spots.

XY GT-HO Phase III domination: 1971

First On Race Day. First On Race Day.

After winning the 1970 Bathurst 500 in an XW GT-HO Phase II, Allan Moffat returned the following year in a Phase III and blew away the competition.

Moffat improved his qualifying time by just over 10 seconds and his race time by around 24 seconds. The first Holden home was in 4th while five Falcons filled the top six spots.

The '71 race is also well remembered for Bill Brown's rollover, which almost cut his GT-HO in-half.

Scott McLaughlin eclipses the Lap of the Gods: 2017

Regarded as the 'Lap of the Gods II', Scott McLaughlin was the last driver to complete a one lap dash with David Renyolds' 2:04.27 time to beat.

Scotty pulled out all the stops in last year's Top 10 shootout, to achieve a new qualifying lap record of 2:03.83.

No other lap has caused such emotion and excitement since the original Lap of the Gods perform by Greg Murphy back in 2003.

The Rock: 1980

With Peter Brock and Kevin Bartlett running into problems early in the race, Dick Johnson was unchallenged for the lead until lap 17 when he came into contact with 'The Rock'.

After expressing his frustrations on live TV, the public began donating money, which was then matched dollar-for-dollar by Edsel Ford II, giving Dicky over $70,000 to build a new car.

Johnson repaid his fans by winning the ’81 and ’82 Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC), plus the race-shorten Bathurst 1000. Thus, establishing him as Ford’s racing hero.

Mostert vs Whincup: 2014

In 2014 the fight between Ford Performance Racing and Triple Eight Racing was intense and on the last lap of Bathurst the two teams were out in front fighting for the lead.

Mostert started from last position before Paul Morris put their FG Falcon into the wall, but somehow Chaz found himself in second position and gaining on Whincup.

Ultimately, Whincup ran out of fuel and Mostert made his move at Forest Elbow, taking the lead and the win.

This was the last time the Falcon took an outright victory at the Bathurst 1000.

The 1-2 form finish: 1977

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Ford or Holden fan, the image of Allan Moffat and Colin Bond driving side-by-side down Conrod Straight on the last lap of the Bathurst 1000 is burnt into most Aussie motorsport fan's minds.

This was the perfect end to the year for Moffat’s team, having dominated the '77 ATCC and defeating a horde of Holden Torana A9Xs .

It could have been a different story with Moffat’s Falcon ailing near the end of the race, but he nursed it home and the rest is history. 

What’s your favourite Falcon moment at The Mountain? Let us know in the comments.