'Sad day': Australia rocked by tragic death of Bathurst 1000 champ

John Harvey, pictured here at the Peter Brock Memorial Service in 2006.
John Harvey speaks at the Peter Brock Memorial Service in 2006. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The Australian motorsport world is mourning the death of former Bathurst 1000 winner John Harvey.

Harvey’s family confirmed the tragic news on Sunday following the recent news that he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

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He was 82.

“Last night at 8:45 sadly our Dad, John Francis Harvey, passed away peacefully with his family by his side,” his family said in a social media post.

“Most people will have fond memories of Dad’s amazing racing career and the great memories of him will live on forever.

“To us he was much more, a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, supporting all of us whenever we needed his guidance and love.

“What a life he has lived travelling the world racing with and against the best in the business, always a true gentleman.

“We all know his most proudest achievement was us. We will dearly miss him but we know the time was right.”

Harvey was best known for winning the 1983 Bathurst 1000 for the Holden Dealer Team alongside Peter Brock and Larry Perkins.

He enjoyed a decade-long stint at the famous Holden squad, which he’d joined in 1976 off the back of a successful speedway career.

Peter Brock and John Harvey, pictured here in the Bathurst 1000 in 1983.
Peter Brock and John Harvey won the Bathurst 1000 together in 1983. (Photo by Gerrit Alan Fokkema/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

Motorsport world mourns John Harvey’s death

Australian motorsport legends Allan Moffat and Dick Johnson led the tributes for Harvey on Sunday.

“I just want to sit back and look at photos and remember the good times I had with John,” Moffat told

“He was such a lovely gentleman.

“I had so many good times with John and Beverly. This breaks my heart.”

Johnson added: “Slug (Harvey) was the backstop for HDT and Holden for so long.

“He should have won Bathurst more than once, but he copped it on the chin.”

Former teammate Perkins called it a “sad day” for Australian racing.

“I had the pleasure of working with and co-driving with John over a long period of time,” he told Speedcafe.

“John will be very missed by all, his easy going, no hassle style was a trade mark. RIP John, a true gentleman.”

Fans have also expressed their shock and sadness on social media.


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