"You're a pack of arseholes."
- Jim Richards, Winner Bathurst 1,000, 1992
The Bathurst 1000 is a 1,000 kilometre touring car race held annually at Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales. It is regarded as the pinnacle of Australian motorsport.
Historically there has been fierce competition and rivalry between manufacturers Ford and Holden, each with its own dedicated supporters and fans, but in 1990 Nissan challenged their superiority with their Skyline model. With the Skyline’s superior handling and power, it won in 1991.
The 1992 race was stopped 9 laps short after an extreme rainstorm cut visibility and caused a number of crashes. At the time that the race was stopped, the driver in the lead was crowd favourite Dick Johnson driving a Ford Sierra. The winners, however, were declared to be New Zealander Jim Richards and his co-driver Mark Skaife, even though they had crashed shortly prior to the race being stopped. This was because of the rule that where the race is stopped, the winner is declared to be the leader who has completed the last complete lap. It was not a popular result with the crowd
When Richards and Skaife went up to collect their trophies, the crowd booed.
Richards took the microphone and said:
"I'm just really stunned for words, I can't believe the reception. I thought Australian race fans had a lot more to go than this, this is bloody disgraceful. I'll keep racing but I tell you what this is going to remain with me for a long time. You're a pack of arseholes."
See the end of the race and Richards’ address to the crowd by clicking on:
He later apologised for the outburst and blamed his words on being stressed after hearing that his good friend and countryman Dennt Hulme had died from a heart attack which he suffered during the race.
Some years later Richards commented that:
"It wasn’t that they didn’t personally like Mark and I. It was a couple of VBs, Dick (Johnson) was revving them up and (MC) Derryn Hinch was on the podium, and that was another thing that probably wasn’t going down too well. It was all good fun, what I said was exactly what I felt at the time but five minutes later I was having a beer with Skaifey having a laugh and a joke about it."