Supercars

Skaife reflects on infamous 'a**eholes' Bathurst podium

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Mark Skaife says Jim Richards talked him out of taking cans of beer on the Bathurst podium to throw at the crowd during the wild aftermath of the 1992 race.

Skaife and Richards were unpopular winners of the Great Race in both 1991 and 1992, local fans unimpressed with a Nissan trumping traditional Bathurst brands Ford and Holden.

The finish of the 1992 race, the final run under the international Group A formula, sparked a particularly angry reaction from the crowd given that Skaife and Richards were declared the winners after their GT-R had crashed into the wall during a race-ending deluge.

That led to a wild podium presentation immortalised by Richards reacting to a chorus of boos by calling the crowd a "pack of arseholes".

By that point Neil Crompton, who'd finished third in the second factory GT-R, had already flipped off the crowd, while Ford hero Dick Johnson fanned the flames by quipping about being beaten by a crashed car.

“We knew the crowd probably wasn’t going to be overly in love with a Nissan win, especially a controversial Nissan win," said Skaife in a video for personal sponsor Thirsty Camel.

“We could hear the animosity, we could hear the uproar when Crompo gave them the bird. We also heard the uproar when Dick Johnson fired them up because he thought he should have won because his car was still in mint condition. He basically said 'we should have won the race'. He conveniently forgot that roughly 10 years earlier he'd won the race under similar circumstances...

"Everyone was blueing. The Ford fans were feral, as well as everyone else. I walked over to the bar and I said to the gentleman behind the bar, 'could you please pass me some beers?'. So I put all these Tooheys Draught cans in my pocket.

“Jimmy walks over to me and says, ‘what are you doing?’. I said, ‘I’m going to throw a few back’.

“I was serious, because I could hear cans being chucked at the wall – and he went, ‘nah mate, calm down, put those back’.

“It wouldn’t have been two minutes later that Richo has called the crowd a pack of arseholes and the joint just went mental.

“There were beer cans coming at us, we were ducking stuff.

“One of the funniest things was that the managing director of Nissan in the day, a guy called Leon Daphne… he and his beautiful wife Kerry were parked at the back of the crowd. Kerry got her Nissan umbrella and started whacking blokes! It was just fantastic.

“Fortunately for Richo, 10 years later Jimmy and I were able to win in 2002 in a Holden and he called [the crowd] a pack of wonderful people, so he was able to make amends 10 years on.

“But that 1992 podium was one of the ones that when we do have a beer these days, we have a laugh and a joke but at the time it was pretty wild.”

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About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers Jim Richards , Mark Skaife
Author Andrew van Leeuwen