Peter Brocks' first Bathurst crown came in the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500, the 14th running of the Bathurst touring car race. This was the last race to be held over the original distance of 500 miles and the last year drivers were able to race without the assistance of a co-driver. The race was held on October 1, 1972 at the Mount Panorama Circuit just outside Bathurst. It was open to cars eligible to the locally developed CAMS Series Production touring car regulations with four classes based on CP units, a combination of engine capacity (in cubic centimetres) and purchase price (Australian dollars) of the vehicle.
The main competitors for the 1972 Bathurst race remained similar to 1971, except for detail changes to the car. Holden had its 3.3 litre LJ XU-1 Torana that was powered by a giant killing 202 cubic inch (3310cc) inline-six, by now well developed and regarded as favourite for the race. Ford, after having the GT-HO Phase 4 effectively banned, had to retain the Phase 3 which, although faster and no less reliable than in 1971, was no longer a current model - and in racing, anything that is not right up to date must be doubtful.
Race qualifying saw Allan Moffat in the number one Ford XY Falcon GT-HO on pole position, with an incredible 2m35.8s, just 3.1 seconds faster than 1971. Beside him was John Goss, who despite blowing a motor in practice, still managed to clock a best of 2m37.2s. Behind them were John French and Fred Gibson, driving the number two works car, closely followed by Peter Brock driving his Holden LJ XU-1 Torana.
Race day was pouring with rain and the start was an incredible sight, with a huge cloud of spray blanketing the field, which looked more like a power boat fleet than a pack of cars.
This year, luck wasn't to be with the Falcons. The first trouble they struck was with Fred Gibson, who lost it at McPhillamy Park, hit the bank and rolled over a couple of times, about 50 yards short of an XU-1, which had also rolled a few seconds before. The driver of the XU-1 was none other than Bill Brown, who was considered to be the unluckiest driver in the country as far as Bathurst was concerned.
Des West's Falcon retired because of a clutch failure and John Goss blew another engine. But it was also with Moffat's car, Ford's main hope for an outright win recording the fastest race lap of 2m36.5s (141.98 km/h), that things weren't looking terribly bright. He had a spin at Reid Park, which cost him his lead, and when he pitted for fuel and tyres, he was penalised one minute for starting his engine while fuel was still being put aboard the Ford Falcon. Meanwhile, John French was going very well, steering his Falcon into the lead on lap 54.
Despite all of the problems encountered by his rivals, Peter Brock cruised to an astounding victory in his Holden Dealer Team LJ XU-1 Torana, by the huge margin of five laps. John French finished second outright with Doug Chivas and Leo Geoghegan third and fourth respectively in their E49 Chargers. Brock's car ran without trouble all day over the 130 lap race distance and he thoroughly deserved his win after a grueling 6hrs 1min and 53secs behind the wheel, without a break and the assistance of a co-driver. This would ultimately prove to be the beginning of an unrivaled legacy on The Mountain with Brock going on to dominate the race over the proceeding years, claiming many more Bathurst victories that still to this day has not been matched.