October 11, 2006
Horse 640 - I Bished
1996 - Lowndes/Murphy - Number 1 plate
Craig Lowndes as the 1996 ATCC Champion won the right to wear the number 1 plate on his car until the next time the championship was run. The usual numbers of 05 and 15 were changed to reflect Mobil's wishes and for a better asthetic look on the side of their cars. So for Bathurst 1996, the Lowndes/Murphy car wore the number 1 plate.
This was not an altogether odd thing to do either. For the 1973 running of the Bathurst 1000, the Brock/Chivas car wore the number 1 after Brock had been running 28 for the 1973 ATCC Season.
For 1997 the organisation had been taken over by AVESCO, and so the Lowndes/Murphy car wore 15 which Murphy had campaigned to a very respectable 4th in the championship. The 05 car which was touted at the time as Brock's last Bathurst came nowhere in the great race with co-driver Skaife.
The rules on who had the right to take the number 1 plate had also changed. Since Bathurst was now a championship event, one had to wait until the next year before they could take over. Strictly speaking, could Lowndes/Murphy had worn 1 in 1997? Probably maybe.