Auto Action #1846

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ISSUE #1846 October 6 to October 19, 2022 $9.95 INC GST ISSN 2204-9924

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The VALO Adelaide 500 blasts back onto the streets of Adelaide with 4 days of world-class motorsport. Catch the final round of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, plus the S5000 Tasman Series, the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters, and heaps of other on-track excitement. After a huge day of action, stay for the party with 3 nights of epic concerts featuring local and international superstars, with non-stop entertainment for the whole family!


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RED BULL, Ferrari and Mercedes got into a war of words in the lead-up to the Singapore Grand Prix last week, after Mattia Binotto and, to a lesser degree, Toto Wolff, revealed that Red Bull was allegedly one of two teams to have broken the budget cap last year. All teams made their submissions prior to the March 31 deadline and the FIA forensic accountants were planning to have all the documentation checked and certified by the end of July. But, this being the first time the Financial Regulations are being implemented and with the inevitable grey areas leading to many discussions with the teams, things were delayed by two months. According to sources from the other teams, Red Bull and Aston Martin are still being investigated, while everyone else’s accounts are clear – with both Binotto and Wolff going as far as calling several journalists to let them know what is happening, something unheard of in recent times. The word in the paddock is that Red Bull went way over the 5% margin that the FIA conceded in this first year of the Financial Regulations – and, if that’s the case, the penalty could go as far as exclusion from last year’s World Champion results.

Toto Wolff added that, “The cost cap is probably the most important evolution of regulations in order to keep a level playing field – and to allow teams that haven’t got the full budget to catch up and to put the ceiling onto the spending of the top teams. So, it is of huge importance for a demonstration that these regulations are policed. And I have no reason to believe otherwise. The FIA, particularly Mohammed, have shown a pretty robust stance on enforcing all kinds of regulations. “So, I think if we’re talking now about something big, he will show the same integrity and leadership that he’s done before.” The Federation issued a short statement on Thursday, explaining that, “the FIA is currently finalising the assessment of the 2021 financial data submitted by all Formula 1 teams. Alleged breaches of the Financial Regulations, if any, will be dealt with according to the formal process set out in the regulations. “The FIA notes significant and unsubstantiated speculation and conjecture in relation to this matter, and reiterates that the assessment is ongoing and due process will be followed without consideration to any external discussion.”

While Helmut Marko was lamenting that, “all this talk is damaging our reputation,” Christian Horner (above) came out fighting when asked about the accusations: “We were a little bit taken aback by comments that were coming from two of our rival teams yesterday. The submission between the team and the FIA is one that is confidential. I have no idea what the outcome of our rivals’ submissions are, or their accounting treatment, or so on. “So I would be intrigued to know where their source of information for these fictitious claims have come from. And I mean, they’re hugely defamatory. And, you know, we take umbrage to them, and one can only assume … it’s not coincidental that this is a point where Max has his first strike at the World Championship (this year). “And, you know, how on earth do they have this information? Where do they have this knowledge? The FIA have even stated they haven’t even completed their process. “So unless there is a clear withdrawal of those statements, we will be taking it incredibly seriously and looking at what the options available to us are, because

it is absolutely unacceptable to be making comments of the type that were made yesterday, that are totally, as I say, defamatory to the team, to the brands, and even to Formula 1 – and I’d be intrigued to know where their source of information has come from.” FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem opted to skip the Singapore Grand Prix to be close to his personnel as the final report is due to be published next Wednesday, before the Japanese Grand Prix, delegating vice-president Robert Reid all the appointments he had for the night race weekend. Sources close to the FIA believe that the target is to find a way to accept that Red Bull was below the 5% tolerance over the budget cap, but apply a sporting penalty on top of a financial one, to deter any repetition of such behavior. Lowering their budget cap allowance for 2023, cutting the number of hours of wind tunnel usage and CFD capacity and other measures could be applied, to make sure the extra money spent last year doesn’t bring a sporting advantage in the next few years. Luis Vasconcelos


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SANDOWN HAS been thrown a lifeline as a motorsport venue beyond the seven promised years, with ‘pro-Sandown’ forces recently taking over the Melbourne Racing Club Committee. Three of the four pro-Sandown candidates at the MRC Committee election were elected to the Committee. A fourth spot – a casual vacancy – was filled by incumbent candidate, Brooke Dawson, who finished fourth in the results and whose views on Sandown were not publicly declared during the election. Shanyn Puddy, Alison Saville, and Nick Hassett were the successful candidates, with Hassett also elected by the Committee as its new vice-chairman. The election was seen as an unofficial plebiscite on the future of Sandown Park, which the MRC owns. The message to review the redevelopment plans will be heard by what is now believed to be a pro-Sandown Committee with at least five of its nine members supporting its retention. It could see Sandown saved as a multi-purpose horse and motor racing, driver training and event centre beyond the seven years in the current plans. Controversial plans for the redevelopment were tabled earlier this year, and Greater Dandenong mayor Jim Memeti told the

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Dandenong Star he had concerns about those plans. In those plans, the MRC was looking at creating more than 7000 dwellings with buildings up to 12 stories high in the precinct while retaining the heritage-listed grandstand.

The plans submitted included: • At least 14% public open space. • A revitalised Mile Creek recreation corridor of parks, trails, fitness stations, playgrounds and sports courts. • A landmark hospitality and entertainment

SANDOWN HISTORY HORSE RACING activity at the venue started in 1888 as Oakleigh Park, and in 1892 it was renamed Sandown Park. In March 1904, Sandown Park hosted Australia’s first ever motor race, and the mingling of horsepower has been a feature of the venue ever since. The venue was abandoned in 1931 during The Great Depression and lay dormant until 1960, when the Victorian Amateur Turf Club merged with the Victorian Turf Racing Association

and Williamstown Turf Club and raised enough capital to buy the land and redevelop it. The Light Car Club of Australia built the car racing track and hosted its first race in 1962, three years before the first horse race at the new Sandown Park. The first Sandown endurance race was held in 1964, and the venue hosted its first Australian Touring Car Championship Race in 1965, making it the oldest venue on the calendar. Sandown has hosted 72 races in the

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Australian Touring Car Championship and has hosted the Sandown 500 (and forerunner endurance events) 49 times. Calls continue for the return of the Sandown 500, and it is likely to be revived on the calendar in 2023 which Supercars will unveil soon. Sandown also hosted the Australian Grand Prix six times during the pre-Formula One era, with winners including World Drivers’ Champions Sir Jack Brabham and Jim Clark.

venue near Princes Highway. • An active transport recreation loop path ‘echoing’ the current horseracing track. • A town centre between the grandstand and Sandown Park railway station. • A $46.7 million development infrastructure levy and a $1.7 million community infrastructure levy. Sandown Park has been a multi-purpose venue for more than 60 years in its current guise. Its facilities are used almost every day of the year, with either the track or car parks used for driver and rider training on 90% of the days the venue is not locked away for an event. In 2023 there will be 40 horse race meetings and five major car racing events with a 95dba noise limit, including the Supercars and Shannons Nationals rounds, Historic Sandown and two State meetings. A strict 75dba limit is imposed on track action for the rest of the year. Membership of the Melbourne Racing Club is open to anyone, including motor racing people, and all members of MRC will have a say in the future of Sandown with a vote among eligible club members required prior to any sale of the venue. Andrew Clarke I 5



Image by: GEOFF COLSON by THOMAS MILES EREBUS Motorsport has overcome the odds to field all three Holden ZB Commodores at this weekend’s 2022 Bathurst 1000. In addition to the team’s two full-time cars driven by Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki, comeback Kiwis Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway will be fielding a wildcard. But these plans were almost thrown into disarray when Brown suffered a 56G impact with the Pukekohe pit entry wall. Suddenly the fate of the #9 and #51 cars were up in the air, with fears Brown and co-driver Jack Perkins may need to use the spare set aside for Murphy and Stanaway. But Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan was pleased to report all three cars will be taking on Mount Panorama in new warpaint after a monumental effort

from the team to repair the damaged #9 chassis in a fortnight. “The rebuild process of car 9 was a huge task, but the boys did it like it was second nature to them,” he said. “We got into it straight after it was loaded off the plane from New Zealand, got it to Mount Gambier and spent six straight days there. “Jimmy (White) our fabricator did an awesome job. Basically, we had cut the whole back off the car, weld it all back together properly on the jig and painted it. “When it got back to the workshop, it only took another four straight days to turn it around and it is like a brand new car again for Bathurst.” The repaired chassis was given a shakedown by Brown and Perkins at last week’s Winton test, which was also a big moment for Murphy and Stanaway, being the pair’s final chance to drive ahead of their return to Mount Panorama.

Murphy has not competed in a Supercars race weekend for eight years since he was wearing Holden Racing Team colours alongside James Courtney in 2014, while Stanaway has not been seen since 2019. The returning duo are brining back the famous #51, which Murphy used to win two of his four Bathurst 1000 crowns in 2003 and 04. Despite having been away from a Supercars seat for so long, 50-year-old Murphy said he feels prepared to turn back the clock and have another crack at Bathurst after a successful final test at Winton. “It has been going smoothly, which puts you in a good space heading up there next week,” he said. “This last test day has been awesome, I really enjoyed driving the car and it feels great. “Richie is quick and I got to do a really

long run as well, trying fine-tune a couple of idiosyncratic things on the driving side in these cars. “I cannot wait to actually get into the car and drive onto the track in this year’s 1000.” With Stanaway and Murphy bringing a combined total of 509 races of experience to the relatively inexperienced Erebus team, Ryan said their input will be crucial for their upcoming ‘Great Race’ campaign. “There is always a benefit of having more cars, especially when you have talented drivers like Richie and Murph,” he said. “There only needs to be one or two things they need to do better in a corner like a gear change that you can pick on to pick up some time around Bathurst. “We are going there confident and want three cars in the shootout and at least one of them ready to win the race.”

BRT ENTERS NEW ERA WITH TODD THE BLANCHARD Racing Team (BRT) enters a new chapter in 2023, with Todd Hazelwood (right) replacing Tim Slade as the lead driver of the CoolDrive Racing Ford Mustang for the 2023 Supercars season. The news had been widely expected within the Supercars paddock for a long time, as Hazelwood joins BLT after two stints at Matt Stone Racing, plus two years at Brad Jones Racing. It marks a return to the blue oval for Hazelwood, who started his Supercars career on board an ex-Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon FGX in 2018, before MSR switched camps Holden after 10 of the 16 rounds. The move marks a big change in the 27-year-old’s career, as he leaps away from familiar territory at MSR to being the main driver at a single-car setup for the first time. “I am very proud that I’ll be joining the Blanchard Racing Team in 2023 and I cannot wait to get behind the wheel of the CoolDrive Ford Mustang,” Hazelwood said. “The team at BRT has big ambitions for the future and I’m looking forward to the challenge of pushing myself to achieve the goals put in place. “BRT has an incredibly professional outfit

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which includes very experienced personnel with strong resources within the automotive industry. With all this combined, I have no doubt this will help the team and I achieve our goals in 2023 and beyond.” Coinciding with the confirmation of Hazelwood at the squad, is the announcement BRT will also have a

presence in the Super2 Series, with further details of that program to be announced in due course. The signing is also a big moment for the team, with Hazelwood being the Ford squad’s first new signing – with Tim Slade being behind the wheel across its maiden two seasons.

While Slade has enjoyed a consistent 2022 season, currently sitting 10th in the championship, BRT co-principal Tim Blanchard revealed the parties could not reach an agreement for the future, and hopes Hazelwood can take the team to even greater heights in the Gen3 era. “We would like to welcome Todd to BRT for the 2023 season, as we take on the challenge of the Gen3 era,” he said. “Todd has established himself in the series over recent years, and we are confident that in our environment working alongside Mirko De Rosa, he will be able to fulfil his potential that has been evident to date. “In 2023 we will enter our third season as a standalone team and continue to build on the foundations we have laid, we are investing in additional infrastructure, assisting Supercars with the Gen3 project, and we are excited to add a Super2 program to the business as an additional tool to develop talent within the team. “We would like to thank Tim Slade for his contribution to BRT in its foundation years, while it is disappointing we couldn’t reach an agreement for 2023, we wish him all the best for his future.” Thomas Miles

WET BATHURST NO DRAMA FOR DUNLOP DUNLOP’S KEVIN Fitzsimons is not concerned by this weekend’s weather forecast, saying he has the full allocation of wet weather tyres for all entrants in the Bathurst 1000 among the 2600 tyres in Bathurst, as well as tyres for Super2 and the Gen3 cars. Six days out from the race, the Bureau of Meteorology was predicting rain for each day, with Sunday an 85% chance of being wet with more than 20mm of rain, and the conditions listed as “cloudy and cooler with rain tapering to a couple of showers”. Saturday and Sunday are expected to have the worst of the weather, with thunderstorms expect on Saturday. The operations manual for Supercars lists 20 wet weather tyres as being available for Bathurst, but that may change to 28 to reflect previous years. Fitzsimons has catered for that possibility as well as other scenarios, including extra tyres required for practice. “We’ve got the full allocation here and available,” he said. “A few teams have ordered practice tyres, so we have additional wet weather tyres loaded too. The Super2 cars all purchased tyres for Sandown, but they didn’t get used during the event, so they’ve still got them, and I’ve

got their full allocation here as well. “We can cover whatever scenarios get thrown at us.” He said the durability of the Dunlop wet weather tyre would not be an issue either, with the tyre capable of easily lasting a full stint of 23-25 laps. “They are a very durable wet. It’s basically an aggressive intermediate. There are no queries about it doing a full tank of fuel run around here.” He also added they could do more than one stint by turning them on the rims and sending them out again. For Dunlop, Bathurst is a big operation. Fitzsimons has more than 2,600 tyres to manage and a staff of 16 tyre changers. From Thursday to Sunday the majority of the crew will run 12-hour days, with Saturday and the late start to the Shootout making that the longest of the days. He said it didn’t matter whether it was wet or dry, the workload is the same. This year he is expecting teams to push the envelope a little more as they try to leave a mark on the record books that could last a while. The Gen3 cars are not expected to be as fast as the current cars, and that means lap record could sit on the books for many years.

The ideal working conditions for the tyres will be a track temperature of between 28°C and 35°C, which will require some sunlight and no breeze which at the moment doesn’t look possible. “They’ll push the boundaries, that’s the nature of this place. There’s so much prestige in winning the race and being the fastest; with the end of this era, the track record might stand for a while. But they also understand they’ve got to be there at the end. You don’t want to be pushing the boundaries to the point where it creates problems, and you have extra pit stops because of it. They’ve got to be smart. “Last year for Chaz, it was a cut tyre,”

he added, looking at the tyre issue that afflicted the race winner. “Something cut it, whether it was the bracket for a camera at the top or something like that, we don’t know, but it was a clear cut and nothing else. “We’re not fussed about anyone pushing past what the tyre can do. The only thing that’s a bit more difficult this year is if it is wet during practice and they lose all the dry running time and then it is dry for part of the race. That can bite you a little bit, but the guys have been around long enough with these cars to have a bit of a handle on what you can and can’t do.” Andrew Clarke

PAYNE STEPS UP ALONGSIDE REYNOLDS FOR 2023 ONE OF the worst kept secrets in the Supercars paddock is finally out after Grove Racing confirmed the pilots, who will steer its two Gen3 Ford Mustangs in the 2023 season. As expected, incumbent David Reynolds will continue to drive his #26 Penrite Racing, and will be joined by rookie Matt Payne. Many believed it was only a matter of time for the announcement to be made, especially since 500-plus race veteran Lee Holdsworth announced his retirement and opened a door for Payne to step up. Although Payne is only 19 and yet to have a full Super2 season under his belt, he has raised enough eyebrows to become a Grove Junior Team graduate. The talented teen won his maiden Super2 round in Perth and also claimed victory in his last start at Sandown to currently sit third on the points table. As he prepares for his ‘Great Race’ debut, Payne told it was an enormous thrill to discover he will be the latest Kiwi on the 2023 Supercars grid. “It’s a nice feeling to announce this prior to heading to Mount Panorama for my first Bathurst 1000,” he said. “I would like to thank the whole Grove



Group especially Steve, Brenton and Tania for placing so much belief in my ability from a very early stage in my racing career, and to my personal crew for making it all fall into place so early on. “I feel ready for Supercars and the learning process that goes with it. Grove Racing is a team that has enormous potential and plenty of upside to succeed. “The new Gen3 era is going to be exciting, and I can’t wait to hit the track next year but first is Bathurst. “Lee and I have a job to do there, as well as my Super2 campaign, which we are still in

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with a shot of winning in our first year.” For Reynolds, it is also a nice feeling to find out he will continue to be one of the biggest stars in the paddock. A contract extension was an easy decision for Reynolds, who is enjoying a strong return to form in 2022. Despite not winning since Newcastle 2018 and finishing 18th in the championship last year, the #26 Mustang has been a regular in the top 10 across 2022. Reynolds has recorded six podium finishes and showed some express pace at Albert Park and Winton. With his form returned and future sealed, Reynolds told he is in a good space as he prepares for his 400th race start at Mount Panorama this weekend. “I’m really happy to have the next stage of my career locked in,” said Reynolds on “I really feel like we’re moving in the right direction together ahead of Gen3 and we’re all on the same page as a team as we continue to grow. “We’ve had some strong results this year and we can continue to get better.” Thomas Miles

2023 SUPERCARS DRIVER LINE-UP Car Primary driver Team 2 Nick Percat Walkinshaw Andretti United 3 Todd Hazelwood Blanchard Racing Team 4 Jack Smith * Brad Jones Racing 5 James Courtney Tickford Racing 6 Cameron Waters Tickford Racing 8 Andre Heimgartner * Brad Jones Racing 9 Will Brown Erebus Motorsport 10 Matt Payne Grove Racing 11 Anton De Pasquale Dick Johnson Racing 14 Bryce Fullwood * Brad Jones Racing 17 Will Davison Dick Johnson Racing 18 Mark Winterbottom Team 18 20 Scott Pye Team 18 22 TBC PremiAir Racing 25 Chaz Mostert Walkinshaw Andretti United 26 David Reynolds Grove Racing 31 James Golding PremiAir Racing 34 Jack Le Brocq Matt Stone Racing 35 TBC Matt Stone Racing 55 Thomas Randle Tickford Racing 56 Jake Kostecki Tickford Racing 88 Broc Feeney Triple Eight Race Engineering 96 Macauley Jones * Brad Jones Racing 97 Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering 99 Brodie Kostecki Erebus Motorsport Brad Jones Racing is expected to remain with the same driver line-up in 2023. Drivers are yet to be confirmed for #22 and #35 I 7




BJR GIVES MACAULEY ANOTHER NEW LOOK BRAD JONES Racing has released a new look for the Macauley Jones and Jordan Boys #96 entry ahead of the 2022 Bathurst 1000. Wet & Forget is the latest backer for Jones, who receives his sixth unique livery this season. The new livery closely resembles the look Jason Richards raced in his final full-time Supercars campaign for BJR in 2010. BJR team principal Brad Jones said having Wet & Forget and Joss Group on board was particularly special for the team. “We have a long-standing relationship with Wet & Forget – they have supported us for a number of years and Joss Group supporting Macca and Jordan is also fantastic,” he said. “Two Albury boys in an Albury based team with the backing of an Albury based business does not happen very often, so we want to do them proud.”

TEAM 18 GOES GREEN TEAM 18 has revealed the new look Scott Pye and Tyler Everingham will carry at the 2022 Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 500. The #20 Alspec Racing Holden ZB Commodore will carry a striking green livery, which will be Pye’s second livery of the season. Pye currently sits 16th in the championship, but arrives at the Mountain in hot form, with six straight top-10 finishes at Sandown and Pukekohe. “The car looks fantastic and the green works well,” Pye said. “One of my most successful karts was bright green, so I am excited to have that on board and just can’t wait to get it on track at the mountain.”

BROWN’S REPAIRED CAR GETS MAKEOVER WILL BROWN’S #9 Erebus Motorsport car has not only been repaired from its scary Pukekohe shunt, but it has also received a new look. The car Brown will share with Jack Perkins at the ‘Great Race’ has switched from a predominately white look to an all black theme that is a near replica of Fabian Coulthard’s 2011 Walkinshaw Commodore. Brown paid credit to the monumental effort his team has put in to get his car ready for the Mountain. “It is exciting to roll out a new livery for Bathurst, particularly after what’s been a massive team effort to get the car back together,” Brown said. “I am really impressed by what they have been able to achieve in such a short time – this team is incredible, and I can’t wait to get to Bathurst.”

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DICK JOHNSON Racing (DJR) will fittingly celebrate its 1000th race at the 2022 Bathurst 1000 and revealed a special retro livery in honour of the milestone. Will Davison and Alex Davison will race the look in the traditional #17, while Anton De Pasquale and Tony D’Alberto will drive car #100 marking the team’s 1000th race. The livery itself is a nod to the 1998 EL Falcon driven by the legendary hall of fame duo Dick Johnson AM and John Bowe, and is the latest of a long list of the team’s retro schemes. The car is still fondly remembered by DJR co-owner and founder Dick Johnson, who said he is proud to see the livery he drove 24 years ago on the current Ford Mustang GT bringing back memories of his first ‘Great Race’ with son Steven. “To celebrate 1000 races at the Bathurst 1000 is something that Jillie and I are incredibly proud of after all these years,” said Dick Johnson. “We had no idea what would come of DJR in 1981 and

celebrating all of the ups and downs with a tribute livery at the biggest event of the year is incredible. “The 1998 EL Falcon livery is very special to me as it was the first year I drove the Bathurst 1000 with my son Steven. “It’s fantastic to see the livery on the current Ford Mustang, it looks incredible. I can’t wait to see it take on the Mountain.” The highlight of the 1998 season was a dominant round win at Winton for Bowe, who also secured victories at Sandown and Lakeside. DJR executive chairman Ryan Story said he was excited to unveil the team’s tribute livery which he remembers fondly. “Dick Johnson Racing is the first Australian motor racing team to reach the 1000 races milestone and to do it at the Bathurst 1000 makes it even more special,” Story said. “The 1998 Shell Helix EL Falcon was my favourite livery growing up and what better way to celebrate 1000 races with one of the most iconic liveries from the 1990s.” Thomas Miles

SUPERCARS GO BETTER WITH COKE THE #22 PremiAir Coca-Cola Racing Commodore ZB to be driven by Chris Pither and Super2 regular Cameron Hill (right) in this year’s Bathurst 1000 will carry a striking livery that celebrates the iconic brand’s past Bathurst assaults. The new livery is a tribute to the Coca-Cola Commodore VR that Wayne Gardner and Neil Crompton took to a podium finish in the Great Race in 1995. Gardner and Crompton were teammates across four seasons, pairing up for the Bathurst 1000 in Coca-Cola Commodores each year from 1994 to 1997. The pairing finished third together in 1995, fourth in 1996 and were leading the race in 1997 when the engine in the #7 Commodore let go at Forrest’s Elbow. “When it came to deciding what car and team to honour for this year’s Bathurst, we couldn’t go past Wayne Gardner and Neil Crompton’s #7 Coca-Cola car,” Chris Pither said. “It is a truly iconic car, instantly recognisable, and of course, it obviously has a lot of synergy for us being backed by Coca-Cola. “I am very happy with the look, and I can’t wait to see what we can do while flying these colours at the Great Race this year.” “The livery is equal parts striking and nostalgic and is a very fitting tribute to the #7 Coca-Cola that we saw flying around Mount Panorama in ’95 with Wayne Gardner and Neil

Crompton behind the wheel,” Pither concluded. While Pither has competed in several Bathurst enduros it will be the first Great Race start for rookie Cam Hill. Hill has been a front runner in this year’s Dunlop Super2 Series with 888 Race Engineering. “We can’t wait to see it in action this October,” Lyndon Hunter, National Partnerships Manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners said in the media release. 1987 World 500cc Motorcycle Champion Wayne Gardner established his own Coca-Colabacked Commodore touring car team in Mona Vale, Sydney in 1994, after purchasing Bob

Forbes’ existing team that had run a single GIObacked car for Neil Crompton in 1993. Gardner closed WGR at the end of that season and sold off most of the cars and equipment, although he retained a single Commodore run under the Coca-Cola banner in selected events in 1998. He drove a Coca-Cola-backed, Perkins Engineering-prepared VT Commodore in marque V8 Supercar events in 1999, the last of which was Bathurst that November. Pre-race preparations for the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 are in full swing in PremiAir Racing’s new state-of-the-art headquarters on the Gold Coast in Queensland. BW




WILDCARD UNLEASHES FAN THEMED LOOK THE TRIPLE Eight Race Engineering Supercheap Auto-backed wildcard will race a unique fan-themed livery at the 2022 Bathurst 1000, following a reveal in front of hundreds of fans at the sponsor’s Bathurst store. The striking livery adorns the faces of thousands of race fans who submitted via a competition to feature on the #888 Holden Commodore ZB driven by Craig Lowndes and Declan Fraser. The ‘heartbeat’ emblazoned on the supercar is reference to the fans and their passion behind the sport, and the mountains featured on the rear-quarter panels of the car are a nod to the iconic Mount Panorama landscape. Lowndes is one of the most iconic names associated with the Bathurst 1000, having claimed the coveted Peter Brock Trophy a staggering seven times, with his most recent win coming in 2018 with Steven Richards, the same year he retired from full-time Supercars racing. Lowndes will also become the first driver ever to record 300 ATCC/Supercars round starts this weekend and said he will feel the fans’ support when he races the livery around the Mountain. “It’s the biggest race of the year and to be able to share it with our fans and literally take them on the ride around The Mountain is truly memorable,” he said. “We are really excited to hit the track. We have had three successful test days, and Declan has shown some great speed and composure throughout. We have every intention of being right in the mix and giving the fans something to cheer about.”

Image: Geoff Colson


Lowndes will team up with Triple Eight’s Super2 championship leader, Fraser, who makes his Supercars debut at the famous Mount Panorama Circuit. “Revealing our Supercheap Auto wildcard livery in front of fans at Bathurst was one of the best experiences I’ve ever been a part of,” Fraser said. “I am incredibly thankful for all their support as I embark on my first Bathurst 1000 and I can’t wait to hit the track.” Supercheap Auto first became involved in Australian motorsport as a team sponsor 25 years ago and were the naming rights sponsor of the Bathurst 1000 from 2005 to 2020. Supercheap Auto managing director Benjamin Ward said it was a thrill to showcase the wildcard entry. “From Peter Hughes (livery designer) to Triple Eight Race Engineering, everyone has done a superb job of bringing this concept to life with the details of the heartbeat and mountain theme,” he said. “Supercheap Auto has had a long and proud history at Bathurst for over two decades. We are delighted to be back here at the Great Race with the fans and our #888 Wildcard entry of Lowndesy and Decca.” Thomas Miles


THE #118 Matt Chahda Motorsports wildcard has named Caltex with Techron as their major sponsor, giving the debutants a classically designed livery for the ‘Great Race’. For their main game introduction, it means that Matt Chahda and Jaylyn Robotham will compete under the Caltex Young Stars banner. Jack and Co local stores will also feature as branding support, as the two young Super2 stars revealed their livery at the Caltex/Jack and Co local store in Sydney’s Lane Cove. In one the great stories for this year’s Supercars assault on The Mountain, the Chahda team has evolved from their family-run mechanic store in Aubury, NSW, to entering Bathurst with one of the sports major sponsors, after working hard to get Matt into a strong Super2 position. Whilst Caltex have backed drivers



of the ilk of Colin Bond, Russell Ingall and Craig Lowndes to name a few, the Super2 pair will enter the Bathurst 1000 full of confidence. “To have the support of a global brand like Caltex is a huge boost for our first Bathurst 1000 campaign,” Chahda said of the sponsorship boon. “The car looks fantastic and knowing that we’re carrying the same branding as some of the most famous names of this race is exciting. “It’s an honour for us to represent Caltex, giving us the best possible opportunity to take on the challenge ahead of us this week. Our preparation has been fantastic, and Jaylyn and I are as ready to go as we can be. We can’t wait to get on track.” For Robotham, whose family runs a small bakery in Lancefield, Victoria, the meteoric rise to a main game ride after a consistent Super2 season is

the stuff made of dreams for the 19 year-old. “It’s surreal that we have the support of a brand like Caltex for our Bathurst campaign this year,” Robotham said. “I’m excited to be representing the Caltex Young Stars as Matt, the team and I go to Bathurst to tackle the Great Race for the first time. “The build-up, testing and preparation have already been great, but to see the car in its Caltex with Techron livery, alongside all our great supporters, makes it seem much more real. I couldn’t be more ready to go.” They go into the race with a strong team, having enlisted Wally Storey as their team manager, as well as taking two mechanics from WAU with the car deal, Matt’s brother JC Chahda as another mechanic, and father Amin Chahda, and ex-driver himself, as the team principal. Amin Chahda spoke to Auto Action, saying that it was a dream come true for Matt and the family. “I just said to Matt, that if you want something bad enough, it can happen,” Chahda said. “This is a massive moment for our family. We’ve wanted this for a long time … and to enter Bathurst on our terms, it’s exactly how we wanted it to materialise.” TW Neal

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HMO CUSTOMER Racing is set to christen the newgeneration Hyundai i30 Sedan N TCR in the season finale of the 2022 Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Championship. The Hyundai outfit last week received the brandnew four-door sedan at its Campbelltown facility in South-West Sydney and gave the car its first shakedown test at Winton last Friday. Nathan Morcom and Josh Buchan shared the responsibility behind the wheel during its Australian track debut to gain a better understanding of its performance potential ahead of its competitive debut at Mount Panorama. The 2022 Bathurst International will be held on November 11-13.

FRENCH PEUGEOT STAR SET FOR BATHURST INTERNATIONAL FRENCH PEUGEOT star Teddy Clairet has been confirmed as the first international driver to compete at the inaugural Supercheap Auto Bathurst International on November 11-13. Clairet is a two-time winner of French touring car titles and currently races in TCR Europe with his family-run Team Clairet Sport in a Peugeot 308 TCR. He will join another family-based race team, Garry Rogers Motorsport, in what will be the team’s fifth Peugeot entry for the final round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series. “I’m really excited to come to Australia and race at a mythical track,” said Clairet.

MSR CO-OWNER TAKES A STEP BACK MATT STONE Racing announced co-owner Jason Gomersall will take a step back from his advisory position within the team less than a week before Bathurst. Despite the news, Gomersall will remain an equity partner within the team, and maintain his racing exploits in the Super3 Series with his son, while the team will still be spearheaded by founder and CEO Matt Stone. Stone thanked Gomersall for his contribution. “Jason has been and remains an excellent partner in the business and will always remain a personal mentor of mine” said Stone. “These changes won’t see any fundamental changes within the team’s operations.” I 9


AUSSIE STARS DOMINATE FERRARI ACADEMY SUPER SIX SIX OF the best young Australians have reached the final stage of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) Asia Pacific and Oceania Selection Program. Earlier this month, 23 of the most talented youth prospects from the Asia, Pacific and Oceania regions aged between 14 and 17 were selected as finalists. While all 23 drivers hailing from seven different countries were impressive in their efforts, only six were able to progress through to Wednesday’s final stage and they are all Australian. Being chosen for the finale were Christian Cowie, Gianmarco Pradel, James Piszcyk, Alex Gardner, Patrick Heuzenroeder and Jack Beeton – all of whom were impressive both in and out of the car. The Australians showed their skills at the Sepang International Circuit over a recent two day program, where the 23 young drivers were put through their paces in rigorous testing to determine the six finalists for the regional program. From spending time in the Formula 4 cars cutting laps around the former Formula 1 circuit, to testing their fitness and media

skills, the assessment has not been purely based on the best lap times. Drivers also spent much of the program working through data analysis, sponsorship advice and nutrition information. The six Australian finalists were set to spend all of Wednesday this week going through a replication of a standard international Formula 4 weekend, where they would complete practice and qualifying sessions in the morning and a race simulation in the afternoon.

The day took place under the watchful eye of Ferrari Driver Academy representatives Marco Matassa and Alessandro Vantini, who have the task of picking the top pair to compete in the World Scouting Finals in October. Director of the FDA in Maranello, Matassa said he was impressed with the performances and the efforts of all young teenagers and believed the top six was a great reflection of the group’s overall talent.

McCARTHY MAKES SUPER2 DEBUT IN BATHURST RETURN THE EREBUS Academy has announced that Reef McCarthy will return to Bathurst, with the 18-yearold making his Super2 debut with Image Racing at this week’s Bathurst 1000 support event. With Jaylyn Robotham now fully focusing on his Bathurst 1000 ‘Wildcard’ drive alongside Matt Chahda, McCarthy will take over the #999 Image Racing VF Commodore. For McCarthy it will be a return to Image Racing following a season of Super3 with the Korumburra-based team. Image Racing Team owner Terry Wyhoon was full of praise for McCarthy following his Super3 stint with the team in 2021. “Reef drove for us last year in Super3 last year in our FG Falcon and did a good solid job. “It’s great to see Reef stepping up into the Super2 field. He’s a great kid, he’s really passionate about his racing, so I’m happy to see him back. “The last time he raced at Bathurst was in our Super3 Falcon and he won the final race, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he will go this time around and I have no doubt he’ll give it all he’s got.” Wyhoon confirmed. After a successful run throughout last year’s Super3 season which resulted in four podium finishes and a win at the Bathurst 1000 event, McCarthy is looking forward to making the step forward and spoke to Auto Action: “I’m really stoked, although it’s a lastminute deal it’s all come together and I’m excited to be back with Terry, Dana and

the team. I like working with them and I know the guys, so it’s great to be back. “We have been trying to put together a deal to run Super2 with Image Racing for a while and when this opportunity came up and we went for it. “I’m going into Bathurst without too many expectations on myself, but I want to be positive about the move up. “The Super2 field is a strong category and I’m looking forward to testing my skills amongst some of the best up and coming drivers. “To have a great group of people behind me that will do whatever they can to get me out on track and give me the best car that they can is really fantastic of them.” McCarthy said. Although McCarthy has not raced in the Super3 car for nearly 12 months he has kept his eye in with regular appearances in the Victorian Formula Vee Championship which he ended the season with second place.

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McCarthy jumped into the driver’s seat for a test day with the team at Winton last week and feels he has what it takes to move to Super2 competition. “It’s been a while since I’ve raced a ‘Supercar’ and I still have a lot to work on, but I really hope I can get my consistency up and hopefully put together a full weekend without any dramas.” McCarthy attended a Winton test earlier this year with the Erebus Academy and drove the ex-Erebus Mecedes-Chev Supercar. “The closest thing to a Super2 I’ve driven is the Erebus Mercadore. It was great to get a few laps in and brush out the cobwebs and I think I’m really going to enjoy adapting to the VF Commodore. “Supercars is definitely the ultimate goal for myself and any way that I can get myself amongst the category is great. I’m doing everything I can to continue moving forward,” he concluded. BW

“A big ‘well done to all the drivers who came to this famous circuit and did a wonderful job over two busy days of testing,” Matassa said. “Of course, there is still a lot of work to do for the top six drivers who must remain focused as it will be extremely tough. “At the Academy, we are very keen on ensuring that the most talented drivers from these regions get a chance to try for a place in the FDA Scouting World Finals in Italy.


“I wish all those who took part in this program, the best of luck for their future and I look forward to seeing how the top six handle the difficult conditions tomorrow. “We are excited to see who will be selected to take part in the FDA Scouting World Finals.” Also involved in the selection of the top six was Motorsport Australia’s Director of Motorsport and Commercial Operations Michael Smith, who praised all participants. “First of all, a big congratulations must go to all the drivers for being invited to take part in the program and doing a fantastic job in all components of the event,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, only six can progress through to the next stage and these six drivers were selected as the strongest candidates for Wednesday’s final, before two are selected for October’s World Scouting Finals. “I wish the 17 talented young drivers who were unable to reach the next stage all the best in the next phase of their motorsport career’s and look forward to following their progress over the next couple of a years.” Thomas Miles

“I am honoured and humbled to give Holden the send-off they deserve in Adelaide, where they have seen so much success over the years both on and off the track.” The South Australian Premier, who has done much to lift the profile of motorsport in SA since his election, is pleased for the befitting nature of the tribute; “this is an outstanding way to pay tribute to a South Australian icon, as the Holden brand bids farewell to Supercars,” said Malinauskas. “It is fitting Holden’s final race will be at the Adelaide street circuit and the Holden Tribute Cruise will give Holden fans a chance to commemorate this historic occasion.” Holden car owners that have already purchased tickets to the VALO Adelaide 500, and want to be part of the Holden Tribute Cruise, are directed to upgrade their ticket once tickets are released tomorrow (Tuesday, September 27). In addition to taking part in the motorcade, participants will gain access to convenient display parking inside the event precinct on Saturday and Sunday, giving them pole position for a jam-packed day of on and off-track entertainment at the VALO Adelaide 500. For more information about the Holden Tribute Cruise at the VALO Adelaide 500, visit

THE VALO Adelaide 500 will feature a Holden Tribute Cruise for the outgoing Supercars manufacturer, with several hundred cars to form a cavalcade starting from the former Elizabeth Holden factory. The Cruise will be on Saturday December 3 during the 500, and will end up at the Victoria Parkland Street Circuit. Tickets for the Holden Tribute Cruise were released on September 27, with Holden owners encouraged to secure their place in the convoy in commemoration of the brand’s last Supercars race around the streets of Adelaide. There will also be a display at the VALO 500, with 33 special Holden vehicle’s on show, representing a timeline of the famous Aussie manufacturer. With the parade culminating with a lap of the circuit, Holden legend Craig Lowndes will be behind the wheel of a vehicle (yet to be named), with the Honourable Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas, as his passenger. Lowndes holds a special place in the hearts of Adelaide motoring fans due to his heroic drive in 1999 when he won the inaugural Sensational Adelaide 500. Lowndes won from the back of the grid for Holden in Race 2 after being penalised in the first race. “Holden has been such a strong, iconic brand in Australia, I’m very proud to have won all three of my Supercars Championships in a Holden, as well as four Bathurst 1000s,” Lowndes commented. “The Lion has been a huge part of my life in both my career and personally. Image by: DANIEL KALISZ

CIVIL WAR COST KARTING AUSTRALIA IN EXCESS OF $2M A BITTER round of court cases and subsequent appeals between Karting Australia and Karting NSW has legal bills and costs soaring past $2m, with Karting Australia wearing all the debt for the original court case and the subsequent appeal. It is not known if Karting Australia will appeal the recent judgment. The legal battle centres around Karting Australia’s expulsion of Karting NSW as an ordinary member of Karting Australia in January 2019, which meant the principal sum of three loans from the AKA Track Development Fund were immediately due, along with the interest that was not normally applied to the loans. Karting Australia subsequently commenced legal action against Karting NSW to try and recover the loans, and the courts have so far sided with Karting NSW in both the hearing and the appeal by Karting Australia. In the original judgement, Justice Adamson said Karting Australia’s behaviour was unconscionable. “Karting Australia obviously regarded Karting NSW as a troublemaking dissenter and appeared to want to make an example of it to other Ordinary Members so that others would not follow,” she said in her



judgment. “Karting Australia’s desire to ostracise and punish Karting NSW so as to deter others can be inferred from… Karting Australia’s letter of 17 September 2018. “By expelling Karting NSW as an Ordinary Member (whether the expulsion was valid or not), Karting Australia was using its powers to get rid of the one voice which was challenging its legal errors. “By persistently misrepresenting the legal position to Karting NSW, Karting Australia behaved in a manner which I am satisfied was unconscionable.” A statement by Karting NSW Chair Paul Brennan indicated that Karting NSW’s legal fees had exceeded $700,000 and came about following the concerns of Karting NSW in 2018 when it was ‘seeking greater transparency and improved governance and standards on the part of Karting Australia and its officers’. It appears the raising of these concerns led to its expulsion. In the Headnote of its citation on the appeal handed down recently, the Court said: “Karting NSW was expelled as an ordinary member of Karting Australia on 21 January 2019, which Karting Australia relied upon as an event of default under the three loans. By the time of the hearing below

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Image by: THOMAS MILES [21 August 2021], the principal sum of the first two loans had been repaid by Karting NSW. The primary judge held that the accelerated payment provisions of the loan agreements were a penalty and therefore unenforceable. “Australian Karting Association Ltd (Karting Australia) appealed from a decision of Adamson J dismissing its claim against Karting (New South Wales) Incorporated (Karting NSW) to recover principal and interest on three loans and upholding Karting NSW’s cross claim for unpaid distributions to Karting NSW as a beneficiary of a trust totalling $616,065.06 as at 31 December 2018.” The cross claim argument centred on distributions from Karting Australia to Karting NSW, which the latter alleged were not paid and the former said were not due. The Court held that by its actions,

Karting Australia acknowledged the dues were payable by crediting distributions to “Karting NSW’s loan account from 2005 to 2012 and acknowledging the debt owing to Karting NSW in its audited accounts”. The appeal was dismissed, and Karting Australia was ordered to pay Karting NSW’s costs of the appeal. In addition to the $2m loss, Karting Australia has needed to form a new body to administer karting in NSW, Karting Australian NSW, which runs alongside Karting NSW. KA NSW has six member clubs, while Karting NSW has 23 clubs on its books. When contacted for comment, Motorsport Australia said, “unfortunately, we’re not in a position to discuss Karting Australia’s matters at the time being”. Karting Australia hasn’t responded to requests for comment as we closed for press. Andrew Clarke I 11



TEN MONTHS after S5000 raced at Australia’s iconic race track, Motorsport Australia has initiated a ‘Safety Review’ which it says cannot be completed in time for the category’s scheduled event at the end of November. Australian Racing Group (ARG) announced the cancellation last week – which takes the second planned event out of S5000’s upcoming Tasman Series, now scheduled for the Gold Coast (October 2823) and the Adelaide 500 (December 1-4). There will, however, be some S5000 ‘demonstration runs’ at the Bathurst event – with the cars reportedly allowed to run in their normal ‘unrestricted’ 560hp spec … AA understands that the decision to remove S5000 from Bathurst came from within what is known as the ‘Risk Management Committee’ at Motorsport Australia, made up of Board members and others, including Supercars identity Roland Dane. Why it came so late – when ARG had been marketing a three-race series, including Bathurst, for months – is not clear. ARG’s Development Manager for S5000 (and originator of the concept) Chris Lambden is among those frustrated by the decision: “It’s a shame ... This came out of the blue … but the whole S5000 Bathurst thing has been a drama from the start. The (80hp) power reduction last November was required to satisfy an outdated FIA circuit grading rule, based solely on power-toweight ratio. There are, as we all know, other

Image by: DANIEL KALISZ / ARG factors in the modern motorsport world that govern car speed … the fact that we had, by design, reduced the aero downforce on the cars and run something of an ‘endurance’ tyre wasn’t considered. “Had we ramped the aero back up and run a soft tyre, which we could quite legally have done, S5000s would have been 10 seconds a lap faster at Bathurst. And that gain would be in corner speed – then you might have something to think about! “As it was, with the artificially reduced power, the cars were slower than Supercars, Super2, and even a couple of Touring Car Masters cars at the end of Conrod … With

the reduced power, they were hitting a terminal speed half-way down the straight and sitting there looking at each other like a pack of Formula Fords – and that is a scenario that can contribute to incidents like the couple that happened at The Chase. “I’d point out that the cars did their job; no driver had a scratch – unlike other categories racing that same weekend … I don’t know why S5000 is being singled out for attention – everything is to FIA standard and it has an impeccable safety record ...“ CHANGES IN ARG MANAGEMENT IN THE meantime, S5000 goes to the Gold Coast with some significant changes having

been announced at management level within ARG. CEO Matt Braid has stepped down to pursue an opportunity outside of motorsport – although reportedly retaining an advisory role. Previously overseeing ARG’s categories, Liam Curkpatrick will take over most of Braid’s role, under the Chief Operating Officer title, reporting to the ARG Board and Executive Chairman John McMellan. Ken Collier will now concentrate entirely on events, as Head of Event Operations, and Ben McMellan assumes the role of Head of Category Operations. Timothy W Neal

S5000 UGRADES PASS THE BEND TEST ALONG WITH the successful open test day program at The Bend, the S5000s saw several cars equipped with new upgrade packages to enhance the handling and car capabilities. The biggest new feature could be the push-to-pass function, a system programmed into the cars existing ECU that will be operated via the drive-bywire throttle system. Once the system is activated, there will be additional power to be accessed. A new conctruction Hoosier tyre has been trialled at Phillip Island, giving the car improved mechanical front grip, whilst also being a few steps softer than the tyres currently in competition use. AUTO ACTION spoke with Stefan Millard, GRM Team Manager, for feedback on the new upgrades. “The push-to-pass works really well, and we were testing the logic, making sure the function works as expected on track and just tuning the effectiveness of it,” Millard said. “It was all about understanding the time difference on any given straight, of what we can and can’t achieve, and it

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Image by: DANIEL KALISZ / ARG was very positive. It’ll be a really great feature for the category.” In terms of the speed difference and the give and take around the track, Martin explained how the function will look, and the amount of access drivers will have to the feature on a race day, which is expected to debut in the Tasman series at the Gold Coast on October 29-30. “So really, the setting allows the driver to operate at full power, which

means the normal race setting will be slightly reduced. We couldn’t obviously magically make more horsepower because these machines are already tapped out with what they’ve already got,” Milliard explained. “In terms of speed, we’re seeing about an extra 5 to 6 kmh by the end of the Tailem Bend straight, so about threetenths in the time difference down the straight, but there’s still some fine tuning room within that to work with.

It now remains to be seen, just how many activations a driver will have per race. “The thing to remember, with the way the logic is set-up in the ECU, it’s quite different to the DRS function in F1. Ours can also be used for defending, not just in attacking,” Millard continued. “We’re thinking that after discussions with drivers, that maybe a third of the race-to-lap ratio would be a good balance. So if it’s 15 laps, you can have five presses. Because of the defence and attack nature of it, it will be interesting to see the battles that evolve strategy-wise. “We’ve also implemented some improved mirrors, which will help in giving the drivers more confidence with the ability to turn in and just know the exact position of the car behind. All this will just give them confidence to race harder. “And in terms of the new Hoosier, effectively what we are looking for is to make the car switch on quicker to its tyres, improving the overall handling, making it more predictable and consistent for the drivers.” TN




A PRO-AM category will be added to the S5000 Tasman Series and 2023 S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship. The dedicated class, for non-professional drivers will be known as S5000 Pro-Am in the Tasman Series, while in the 2023 S5000 Australian Drivers Championship ‘Silver Star’ nomenclature will return to define the class. The ‘Silver Star’ was introduced in the Formula Holden / Brabham era of the Australian Drivers’ Championship competition with its return a further nod to the history of Australian Open Wheel racing. “S5000 has to this point operated as one of the few major national categories without a defined category or class for semiprofessional drivers to compete against each other,” S5000 Category Administrator Ben McMellan said. “It was the logical next step in the evolution in the category and comes off the back of feedback from our teams and potential competitors in a Pro-Am category.



Adelaide-based GT World Challenge racer Mark Rosser is the first entry to the new ‘race within a race’ Pro-Am category. Rosser will enter the Tasman Series driving for Team BRM when he makes his ‘wings and slicks’ racing debut at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500. The South Australian has proven highly competitive in his GT World Challenge Audi R8 GT3, including a strong campaign in the Bathurst 12 Hour earlier this year – with S5000 Gold Star champion Joey Mawson part of the line-up. “I’m looking forward to jumping in the S5000 for the Tasman Series,” Rosser said. “The Gold Coast looks like a good challenge so I’m excited for that, but mostly I am excited for the Adelaide 500 as my fascination with motorsport started there back in the 1980s, seeing the F1 cars flying around the streets of my home city. To get to drive an open-wheel car on that circuit will be an amazing experience.” TN

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Image by: MOTORSPORT IMAGES THIS YEAR’S tearaway Supercars leader, Shane van Gisbergen, has confirmed he’s held preliminary talks with Trackhouse Racing for a NASCAR cameo next season. Trackhouse owner Justin Marks has in turn confirmed the rumour via his social media, as van Gisbergen would race under the same scheme that saw F1 legend Kimi Raikkonen take part in a NASCAR round at Watkins Glen. The Project 91 programme was designed by Trackhouse to introduce NASCAR to a wider global audience by enticing some of the sports legends and current superstars to take part. With the schedule for next year’s NASCAR to be introduced the week prior to this year’s Bathurst 1000, van Gisbergen told Wide World of Sports that it all depends on 2023’s Supercars schedule. “Well it all depends on our calendar,” said van Gisbergen. ”Our calendar comes out so late these

days, so I just need to wait and see what our calendar does. But yeah, I would love to do it. “We did speak, but it’s all dependent on our calendar and what races I can do and if there’s time to get over there and back without upsetting Supercars. “I’d love to do a road course and have a go, for sure – it’s just getting the right opportunity. Obviously, they’ve got great equipment – the TrackHouse cars and team have been going really well. “I’d love to have a go. It was cool watching Kimi [Raikkonen] do it as well.” This year, Trackhouse operated its Project 91 at the Watkins Glen, just outside of New York, but with a Chicago street circuit being flagged as a venue next year, van Gisbergen has his eye on that as his potential debut. “I’ve raced Watkins Glen before, so I know that one. All the other tracks are pretty good,” he continued. “I think they’ve got the Chicago street circuit for the first time next year as well. A street circuit would suit me, I reckon. “That would be good as well because it’s a new track for everyone, so certainly that would help me get up to speed if everyone else is learning as well. That would be a good one, but let’s see.” TN I 13



GROVES UNVEIL TEAM AUSTRALIA CHALLENGER STEPHEN AND Brenton Grove have taken the wraps off their 2022 FIA Motorsport Games livery – the duo will chase another medal in the GT category at Circuit Paul Ricard in October. This year will see Stephen Grove captaining the Australian team at the major international event in what will be an all-star line-up. Australian Porsche factory star Matt Campbell will join Stephen and his son, Brenton in the GT Sprint category. The squad will aim to go one better after finishing second to Russia in 2019.

COFFS COAST FESTIVAL OF MOTORSPORT COME NOVEMBER 5-27, the biggest motorsport festival in the history of Coffs Harbour will take place, with a month-long series of events held over every weekend in the lead up to the ARC and the FIA Asia Pacific Rally finale. The Massive Motor Show kicks off on Nov 5, with the Massive Bike show on Nov 12, along with Motocross events, Hill Climb competitions, Speedway, Rally-cross, Burnout comps, flat track racing, karting, and off road races. The festival will take place over the entire Coffs Coast region, incorporating the Raleigh, Grafton and Kempsey areas.

AMERICAN LEGEND CONCLUDES FULL-TIME CAREER AMERICAN RACING legend Jimmie Johnson has announced his retirement from full-time racing, citing a desire to spend more time with his family. The news marks the end of an era for one of the biggest names in the sport. While Johnson will still be seen behind the wheel, his appearances will be limited to no more than 10 ‘bucket list’ races around the world. The news did not stop him from competing at the Petit Le Mans last weekend, where he showed no signs of slowing down, finishing third. Johnson told The Associated Press he is looking forward to taking on some new challenges in 2023, keeping fans guessing as to where he will race next. “I have got a blank sheet of paper, and we can now see what opportunities exist and start making a calendar,” he said. Johnson said the decision to scale back was not one that took a lot of time, with personal priorities starting to take precedence. “It has been an interesting experience to feel so fulfilled with the experience and then also try to make a decision,” he said. “In the big scheme of things, there is so much life planning going on with the kids. We have always had an idea of trying to live abroad for a year or two. “We love Colorado and want to spend more time there, and there is just so much swirling personally and professionally that I just wanted to take some time and make the decision not on the back of a positive or negative experience on the race track.” The 47-year-old started his NASCAR career in the second-tier series in 1998, before graduating to the Cup Series in 2002, and became a winning machine in the famous #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He won seven NASCAR Cup Series championships, the equal most ever alongside icons Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt, with the first five all back-to-back from 2006-10. After the record setting streak, Johnson returned to the top in 2013 and 16 to change his nickname from “five time” to “seven time”.

Image by: MOTORSPORT IMAGES But after 83 wins, Johnson recently switched a Stock Car for an IndyCar last year, but has only recorded one top five finish while racing on a part-time basis for Chip Ganassi Racing. So, now the question on everyone’s lips is where will Johnson race next? The famous 24 Hours of Le Mans appears to be at the top of the bucket list, with the American star previously declaring he wants to be one of the three drivers racing the joint Garage 56 project between NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports. Other options could include racing in the IMSA series, which wrapped up at last weekend’s Petit Le Mans, where Johnson jumped on the podium after finishing third overall in a Cadillac DPi. He also revealed he does “have a desire to go back” to IndyCar, but there is one endurance challenge that could loom large. Johnson has always admired drivers, who have attempted ‘The Double’ – racing the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day – and said it could become an option. “The double sounds awesome,” he said. “I have always had respect for the guys who have done the double. “I would say it is more of a respect thing than a bucketlist item, and I would love to put some energy into that idea and see if I can pull it off.” While Johnson will still be seen on the track possibly making some Fernando Alonso style cameos around the world, his full-time retirement closes one of the most successful chapters in American motorsport. Thomas Miles


NO IMPROVEMENT REQUIRED FOR HUDSON LOCALS TOOK the top three spots in the Midas Improved Nationals, supported by Yokohama, at Morgan Park on October 2. Returning to the category after racing elsewhere, Zack Hudson was the winner in his Mazda RX7 ahead of Jason Clements (BMW) and David Waldon (Mazda RX3). Title contenders Jordan Cox (Suzuki Swift Turbo) and Treven Spiteri (Mitsubishi EVO) clashed in the final, which put both out. The separate Under 2.0 Litre title went to Kurt Macready (Nissan Silvia) over Matt Dwyer (Toyota Corolla) and Khan Noack (Honda Civic). Also on the program was the X3 Excels Nationals – Victorian Ethan Grigg-Gault edged out Queenslander Ryan Casha with Brock Giblin third. Full reports next issue.

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THE ROSE City 10000 is back, sponsored by AUTO ACTION, with the Formula 5000s headlining the Winton Formula Festival on October 15-16, put on by the Benalla Auto Club. It’s already the biggest assembled field of Formula 5000 cars for a Rose City running ever, with 16 entrants already confirmed, with the National Formula Ford and Formula Vees as the supporting acts. More than half of the confirmed vehicles took part in the actual 1978 running, with participating cars ranging from 1969-1977 taking part. Chas Talbot is the only pilot contending who actually raced in ‘78 – driving a similar Lola T332 as he did in that year, when he finished in P5. The Elfin MR8B that Formula 1 champion James Hunt drove in that year, beating Alfredo Costanzo to the chequered flag, will also be taking part; as will John Goss’ 1976 Australian Grand Prix winning Matich A53. TCR Australia front runner Josh Buccan will be competing, and is expected to be pushing out front with drivers like Paul Zazryn and Tim Berryman, both driving Lolas, and Tom Tweedie in a Chevron B24/28. The last Rose City 10000 title holder was four time Australian Drivers Champion Costanzo, in 1979, winning over the likes of Larry Perkins and John Bowe. With 40 known Formula 5000s from the era, owners are encouraged to get in touch with the organisers. “I’d implore anyone with one of these vehicles to get in touch with the

Image by: PETER ELLENBOGEN organisers, and get them in the hands of someone who’ll race them,” Formula 5000 race director, Peter Brennan said. “It’s astounding that more than half of these cars took part in the actual race – some absolute legends of Australian Motorsport went around in these things. “Historically it’s a special occasion, with the front runners keen to put some rubber down in trying to actually be Rose City 10000 champions.” TW Neal

INDYCAR ANNOUNCES 17 RACE SCHEDULE FOR 2023 FRESH OFF one of the most exciting racing seasons in recent memory, the IndyCar body has moved fast to announce a bumper 17 race schedule for 2023. Australia’s Will Power defends his 2022 crown over a similar but slightly revised schedule, with an added new circuit. The current Detroit race which was at Belle Isle Park will stay in the Motor City, but will be moved to a brand new site: the Streets of Detroit circuit – a nine turn 2.7km race which will follow the Indy 500. The new circuit is a welcome return to the downtown streets of the Motor City for the first time since 1982. 2023’s season will once again launch on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, but will be pushed back a week to March 5. The North American Spring and Summer will then host the bulk of the schedule, including the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, which this season hosted over 300,000 attendees. The season ending stretch, on the back of a frantic seven driver title chase in 2022, will culminate with eight races in nine weeks; starting worth the usually chaotic Streets of Toronto on July 16, with the finale for the Astor Cup once again being held at the newly repaved Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on September 10. The evenly spread event diversity of the IndyCar series continues in 2023, with next year incorporating seven road races, five streets circuits, and five oval races. President and CEO of the Penske Entertainment Corp, Mark Miles, is excited



2023 INDYCAR Schedule

The Indy 500 is, as usual, on Memorial weekend – May 28. Image by: MOTORSPORT IMAGES for the global impact of next season. “The IndyCar series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Miles said. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households, reaching new consumers across the globe.” IndyCar President Jay Frye also spoke

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about some highlights for the coming year. “We have worked hard to achieve date and venue equity, which has been an ongoing goal at INDYCAR,” Frye said. “We are excited to return to downtown Detroit, and the repaves at Road America and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca will add new challenges for the drivers and teams. The intensity level will also be at an all-time high as we conclude the season with three weekends in a row.” TW Neal

Streets of St. Petersburg FLORIDA – MARCH 5 Texas Motor Speedway TEXAS – APRIL 2 Streets of Long Beach CALIFORNIA – APRIL 16 Barber Motorsports Park ALABAMA – APRIL 30 Indianapolis Motor Speedway INDIANA – MAY 13 (Road Course Race 1) Indianapolis Motor Speedway INDIANA – MAY 28 (Indy 500 – Oval) Streets of Detroit MICHIGAN – JUNE 4 Road America WISCONSIN – JUNE 18 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course OHIO – JULY 2 Streets of Toronto TORONTO, CANADA – JULY16 Iowa Speedway IOWA – JULY 22 (Race 1) Iowa Speedway IOWA – JULY 23 (Race 2) Streets of Nashville TENNESSEE – AUG 6 Indianapolis Motor Speedway INDIANA – AUG 12 (Road Course Race 2) World Wide Technology Raceway ILLINOIS – AUG 27 Portland International Raceway OREGON – SEPT 3 Laguna Seca CALIFORNIA – SEPT 10 I 15



THE TEAM Australia pairing of Paul Weel and Toby Price will tackle the Baja 1000 in a AWD truck, following on from their stellar fifth place effort at the Baja 400 in the 2WD Trophy Truck. They took to the Vegas to Reno and the Baja 400 in the 2WD Quad-Lock truck, but Paul Weel is trading up to tackle one of the world’s most intense endurance races with some more applicable, and competitive power. Weel has purchased a Mason AWD, and will turn to John Vance and the team at TSCO Racing to give him and Price the best chance to tackle the 1000. Price has had successful encounters with both Vance and TSCO, such as

his dominant back-to-back victories in the Finke Desert race (2021-2022) in his Australian Trophy Truck, with his ’22 outing smashing the all-time record. The legendary endurance racer is exited to get some four-wheel traction going into the Baja 1000; one of the few major enduro races he’s yet to win, with a career best P2 at the 2019 running. “Super excited to be able to say that Paul and I will be racing in an all new truck for the Baja 1000, we now have all 4 wheels getting traction in a Mason AWD,” Price explained. “We have shown great pace in our first couple of events and to now have this opportunity and chance to be in even

equipment should help in trying to get some competitive results. “It’s the way of the future, and to be able to run with the guys at the front in the same equipment, which should hopefully show soon enough in our results. AWD you can run a pace of 80% but still be doing the pace of a 2WD which is always a positive for long jeopardy of the race truck. “We are excited to have our sponsors onboard with this program and show them and the world we are taking this seriously and want to win races.” The Baja 1000 takes place on November 15-20 on the Baja Californian Peninsula in Mexico. TW Neal

MOMENTUM BUILDS FOR HISTORIC SANDOWN THOMAS MILES MOMENTUM IS building for the 30th Historic Sandown event, which is primed for a big comeback from the dark days of COVID-19. After a heavily restricted return last year, fans will be able to return to the famous circuit and enjoy some equally as iconic cars from by-gone eras from November 4-6. There may still be more than a month prior to the big three-day celebration of motorsport, but Victorian Historic Racing Register vice president Noel Robson said there is already plenty of hype surrounding the event, with entries pouring in. “We are already generating a lot of interest and excitement,” he said. “I think we have got about 220 entries with still a while to go. “A lot of people are still waiting because they have a state round and Winton race in the next few weeks, which is understandable. “But it is all looking good because all the categories are represented.”

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Image: Chris Carter The returning Historic Sandown has been labelled as ’30 Years of Thunder’ with many celebrations on show. In addition to three decades of the event itself, it is the 60th anniversary of the special MGB and Jaguar E-type cars, with a big range of display cars expected to be at Red Hill, while the Ford Capri GT V6 and Fiat X1/9 are also saluting half a century of racing. There will also be historic Formula Ford’s, F5000’s, Historic Touring Cars,

HQ Holden’s and many more vehicles flying around the high-speed circuit. As in previous years, hundreds of cars, drivers, and fans will head back to Red Hill after the racing is completed, where enthusiasts can inspect their favourite classic machines. But the 2022 edition will be more significant, with Robson conceding COVID-19 nearly killed the event saying, “we did not know whether we were going to survive or not.”

A COMBINATION of unseasonably bad weather and material supply issues have pushed back the completion date for South Australia’s brand new $35 million dollar Dragway complex build. With building underway at The Bend Motorsport Park Complex, the Dragway is slated to be the jewel in the crown of Australian drag racing. The venue will house a dual-lane strip over 1km long, with a 402m (1/4mile) long concrete timed length, and lighting for night events. Most Australian tracks, other than in Sydney, only have a concrete start line with bitumen lining the racing surface, whereas this strip will constitute an entire concrete racing surface. There will also be an auditorium style terraced seating arrangement for viewing, and viewing spectator mounds surrounded by over 30,000 square metres of paddock and staging areas, plus a 1200 square metre burnout pad. The first major event at The Bend’s drag strip was initially scheduled for January, where the 400 Thunder Aeroflow Drag Racing Series was set to open their 2023 calendar, an event that has now been moved back to March 25-26 - depending on test events to trial the timing systems. General manager of The Bend’s dragway, Steve Bettes, has commented on the constructions delayed progress. “Whilst work is progressing well, an unseasonably wet winter has delayed the construction timelines more than originally planned,” Bettes said today. “We are disappointed not to be able to open on the original timetable, but we need this venue finished to the highest level, and there will be no shortcuts taken on the quality of the build.” Events at the dragway are expected to attract well over 120,000 attendees annually, with 400 Thunder series expected to be a big draw card having signed a three year agreement to host its events. The 400 TADR General Manager, Jason Hedges, is excited for the future of the sport in the country with the addition of such a major venue. “I have personally visited the site and had discussions with the management of The Bend Motorsport Park complex, and I am absolutely blown away at the scale, quality, and vision of what they are building here,” Hedges commented. “Without a doubt, this will be a jewel in the crown of Australian Drag Racing and a welcome addition to our calendar for years to come. “I can’t wait to see the sport embrace The Bend as the new home for Drag Racing in South Australia.” TW Neal

Poster Design Terragrafix 0419 874 299 ~ Image courtesy Chris Carter


DICK JOHNSON TO CUT FIRST LAPS IN NEW PONY THE 2022 Bathurst 1000 was always going to be a big event for Dick Johnson, but he now has another reason to smile as he will be the first to drive the new Seventh-Generation Ford Mustang GT Supercar. The New Mustang GT Supercar will be revealed to all in pit lane at 12:30pm on Thursday afternoon, before Johnson takes to the famous Mount Panorama circuit in the afternoon. This will be the first in-person reveal of the seventh-generation Mustang in

racing form anywhere in the world. It will be a similar scene to 20 years ago when Johnson revealed the Ford BA Falcon at the Great Race, while the legendary driver and team owner was also the first to cut laps in the current ‘Gen2’ Mustang Supercar at the Adelaide 500 in 2019. Dick Johnson Racing is Ford’s homologation team, designing, developing and building the car in conjunction with Ford Performance across the last two years.

SUPER LOOK FOR WILDCARD TRIPLE EIGHT Race Engineering has revealed the unique livery that will feature on the team’s Supercheap Auto-backed wildcard for the 2022 Bathurst 1000 in front of a big group of fans on Tuesday. The striking livery includes the faces of thousands of race fans who submitted via a competition to feature on the #888 Holden Commodore ZB. The ‘heartbeat’ emblazoned on the car is reference to the

fans and their passion behind the sport, and the mountains featured on the rear-quarter panels of the car are a nod to the iconic Mount Panorama landscape. The ‘MAKE IT SUPER’ refers to the new Supercheap Auto brand - Whoever You Are, Whatever You Drive, MAKE IT SUPER! Fan favourite Craig Lowndes will be joined by Declan Fraser for the Great Race.

The squad is also celebrating its 1000th race this weekend, being the first team ever to reach the mark in Supercars history. The three-time Bathurst 1000 winner said that he was honoured to be the first driver of the prototype race car. “My team and I have been racing Fords for more than forty years, we are very proud representatives of and ambassadors for the Blue Oval,” said Johnson. “We have been working extremely

hard on making this car the best it can possibly be over the last couple of years, and to be the first person in the world to drive it after all of that work is fantastic. “Any chance to drive around Mount Panorama is incredible, but to do it in Ford’s latest race car is an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up. “I can’t wait to drive the Mustang and see the fans across the top of the Mountain, it’s going to be very special indeed.”


PREMIAIR RACING is not arriving at the Mountain this weekend to make up the numbers, the squad wants success at its first ever Bathurst 1000. The team fired to life at the start of this year when owner Peter Xiberras took over what was Team Sydney, and later moved the two-car operation into a purpose-built facility on the Gold Coast. The squad has had 10 rounds to get up to speed in its new environment, and now feels ready to chase success on the biggest stage of all, Mount Panorama. Leading the PremiAir assault is a man who had not planned on being a full-time driver in 2022, James Golding. Golding has only been steering the #31 Subway Holden ZB Commodore for four rounds, but has impressed since replacing Garry Jacobson. Since suddenly being thrown back into

the main game for the first time in two and a half years in Townsville, Golding has found his feet, pushing PremiAir Racing to new heights. He recorded a top-10 finish in the second race of the recent Pukekohe SuperSprint and backed this result up with an 11th place in the final ever dash around the historic venue. Golding was on track for another impressive finish on Saturday, only for his hopes to be dashed after getting tangled up with Macauley Jones. However, this strong form has the #31 driver in an aggressive mindset as he heads to Bathurst. “Come Sunday afternoon, getting up on that balcony is what I am aiming for,” Golding said. “I am going to be fighting for it and I will not be holding back. Put it this way - if I have to risk second or third to go for the win, I will be risking it. “To get into the Top 10 Shootout would be really great, and then come Sunday, there will be no holding back.” Golding’s co-driver Dylan O’Keeffe is ready for the busiest weekend of his career, where he will double up his Supercar duties with his full-time Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship commitments. While it is not the first time O’Keeffe has competed in different categories at a

race meeting, the weekend’s condensed schedule will make for a hectic event, especially on Thursday where O’Keeffe is expected to participate in four sessions. However, he is not fazed by the prospect, and believes it could work in his favour. “Racing the Carrera Cup car at Bathurst will allow me to get up to speed on the Mountain, and will ensure I’m sharp and ready to go when I get in the Supercar,” O’Keeffe said. “Mount Panorama is the sort of track where any laps help you gain track knowledge, regardless of the type of car you’re driving, so I believe doing double duties is an advantage.” The sister PremiAir Racing ZB Commodore driven by Chris Pither and Cameron Hill will be paying tribute to the 1995 Coca-Cola car 500cc driven by motorcycle world champion Wayne Gardner and Supercars legend Neil Crompton. Pither hopes he and Hill can achieve something similar in the retro scheme at an event where “anything can happen”. “No matter what way you look at it, the Bathurst 1000 is something else. It is truly unique, unpredictable and is never short on drama,” he said. “Having previously finished fourth in the Bathurst 1000, only one place off the podium, I head there with the aim to improve on my PB. “The livery we are running this weekend is a tribute to the 1995 podium-getting car – here’s hoping this look can race through to another podium some 17 years later.” Both PremiAir cars, plus the other 26 Supercars will take on the Mountain for the first time on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s Great Race.

PATRIOTIC PAINT FOR GROVE PAIR GROVE RACING has showed off its new warpaint for the 2022 Bathurst 1000 after a special reveal on top of Mount Panorama. In front of the fans, reigning Bathurst champion Lee Holdsworth and 2017 winner David Reynolds peeled the covers off their Ford Mustang’s in the campground, before they go on the attack just metres away on the famous circuit later this week. The team’s major sponsor, Penrite has been inspired by the strong memories of Reynolds’ Great Race win five years ago with another patriotic paint scheme. The Grove Racing cars have run predominantly black liveries this year, but the side panels are now draped with the Australian flag. The #10 Ford Mustang driven by Holdsworth and Matt Payne can be identified by the white outline across the front, while #26 Reynolds and Matt Campbell machine has red instead. Along with the successful 2017 livery, the Penrite backed cars have also been seen with similar looks in 2020 and ‘21, with this year’s livery the latest evolution. Reynolds drove in all of those Australian flag themed Supercars and said it was special to unveil the latest design with the fans at the top of the Mountain.



“There’s nothing like this race, driving up from Melbourne I just got more and more excited the closer I was getting to the track,” he said. “I love the sights and sounds that you only get up on top of the mountain, all their campsites are awesome and while we will keep our cars lubricated with plenty of Penrite, they will keep themselves lubricated with plenty of beverages, so we made sure we looked

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after them today with a big barbecue lunch. “When you’re in the car at the end of the race and the fans are going nuts it’s so amazing. I hope we’re right up the front come Sunday afternoon with our new look to give them something to cheer for.” Speaking ahead of his Peter Brock Trophy defence and last Bathurst as a fulltime driver, Holdsworth is full of emotion. “Driving into the circuit today gave me

butterflies, and to come straight up to the top of the mountain to show the fans, who make this race and our sport so special, our new colours is very cool,” he said. “The car looks great but there’s many tales of what fans have done to cars over the years up here, so hopefully the team gets mine back down to the pits safely.” The new-look Grove Racing Ford Mustangs will hit the track at 11:00am on Thursday.


OLD MEETS NEW IN CALTEX CELEBRATION TWO GENERATIONS of Caltex Supercar have come together today ahead of the Bathurst 1000, as the brand prepares for its Mount Panorama return with two young guns at the wheel. Caltex will write a new chapter in its Bathurst 1000 history this weekend, supporting the Caltex Young Stars ZB Holden Commodore to be driven by development series drivers Matt Chahda and Jaylyn Robotham. The pair were on hand today as the 2022 car came face-to-face with the Caltex BA Ford Falcon entered in the 2003 Bathurst 1000 by Stone Brothers Racing, in a celebration of Caltex’s storied history in the ‘Great Race’. Caltex first featured at Bathurst in 1987, when the brand sponsored an

Alfa Romeo driven by motorsport legend, Colin Bond. The 2003 Falcon was steered by two-time Bathurst winner and former Supercars champion, Russell Ingall, who was involved in a memorable dust up with Mark Skaife at Eastern Creek in that same year. The car was a race winner with Ingall at the wheel, and Caltex branding was there for all to see when the driver celebrated his 2005 title. While the Young Stars machine will be most visible on track this weekend, the Caltex Stone Brothers Racing Falcon will take pride of place in Bathurst’s National Motor Racing Museum. Chahda is thrilled to have Caltex’s support heading into the biggest race on the Supercars calendar.

“It’s special to be bringing a company like this back into Supercars, they’re showing how committed they are to it and how committed they were back in the day as well,” Chahda said. “The old car looks great, but I think this one looks better! It looks faster for sure. “It’s all come together really well. We’ve got a really good team put together, especially given it’s been quite a last-minute thing. “I’m not nervous yet, we haven’t been on track. I just keep thinking about the next little thing we have to do and then it’s all about getting in the car. “At the moment there are always people around you and people talking to you all the time - so it will be nice to get my helmet on and get in the

car on my own.” Robotham echoed his teammate in celebrating the involvement of Caltex. “It’s awesome to see them together and the history of the car and Caltex at Mount Panorama,” Robotham said. “It’s a great way to reintroduce the Caltex brand in the biggest race of the year. It’s really cool to be part of it this year. “I haven’t really thought too much about taking part in the Bathurst 1000 yet, to be honest. With all the rain around it’s hard to know what to expect. “We’ll see how we go, keep it off the walls and keep it straight and we’ll be good.” On-track action will commence tomorrow, with the Great Race slated for October 9. JN

BLAST FROM THE PAST RACE FANS at this year’s Bathurst 1000 will be treated to a smorgasbord of Australian motorsport history in the Heritage Revival category, with series organisers confirming a blockbuster 40-car field for the weekend’s three races. Designed to showcase the finest examples of Australia’s motorsport heritage from the 1960s through to the 1990s, the feature category for this year’s Bathurst Heritage Revival races is Group C: a memorable chapter of the sport that spanned the period from 1973-84. The Group C era was a period of many unforgettable Mountain moments, including Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick’s emotional 1976 victory, the crushing Moffat Ford Dealers 1-2 finish in 1977, Peter Brock setting the lap record on the final lap of the 1979 race and Dick Johnson’s infamous altercation with the rock in 1980. The Group C period was also home to cars that will bring back fond memories for many motorsport fans, including Holden’s L34 and A9X Toranas, VC, VH and VK Commodores, Ford’s XA, XB and XC Falcon hardtops and XD/XE sedans, the Mazda RX7 and the Nissan Bluebird. Indeed, the very Bluebird that George Fury qualified on pole position for Bathurst in 1984 will be on the grid next weekend, in the hands of Brian Henderson. The Heritage Revival field consists of 21 Group C cars, with the balance of the field consisting of invited Group A touring cars

(1985-92), Group N (historic touring cars representing the Series Production and Appendix J era from the 1960s and early 70s) and Group S (historic production GT sports cars), ensuring there will be a diverse array of historic machines to whet the appetite of every motorsport enthusiast. Among the Group A entries, Mike Roddy’s Jaguar XJS – which won Bathurst in 1985 with Armin Hahne and John Goss – will undoubtedly turn heads. The Group N field includes an assortment of Torana XU1s, Mustangs and Chargers while Group S is represented by a trio of Porsche 911s and a Shelby GT350. The man behind the Heritage Revival concept is Ed Singleton, himself a passionate historic racer who said the category is geared towards creating a fun experience for the competitors while maximising appreciation for the spectators. “We encourage all our competitors to race closely and show off the relative strengths of

their cars, while obviously showing respect for one another, bringing the cars home in one piece” Singleton said. “In doing so, it ensures everyone watching trackside or at home on TV can soak up the sights and sounds of these classic machines going flat out around the Mountain. While the on-track spectacle will provide entertainment aplenty, Singleton said fans are also encouraged to wander through the paddock and have a closer look at the cars. “In between our races, we welcome all the fans to come for a walk through our pit area, talk to the drivers and car owners, reminisce, share stories and of course take plenty of photos,” he said. The Heritage Revival races will stage three races across the weekend, with all the on-track action to be shown live as part of the television coverage on Fox Sports across the event, and Channel 7 on Saturday.


FOR THE first time in almost 40 years, a pair of Group C Nissan Bluebird Turbos will grace Mount Panorama, as part of the Heritage Revival field for this weekend’s Bathurst 1000. The #15 and #16 Bluebirds are owned by Brian Henderson and Adam Workman, who have joined forces in their quest to revive the Nissan Motor Company’s motorsport exploits of the early 1980s. In 1983, the #15 machine was campaigned by George Fury and Garry Scott, while Fred Gibson and John French piloted the #16 Bluebird. Nissan scaled back to a single Bluebird in the following year, when Fury recorded a blinding 2:13.8 lap in the Top 10 Shootout to snare the final pole position of the Group C era. While Fury and Scott could only muster a P16 finish, their exploits in Hardies Heroes ensures the #15 Nissan Bluebird will go down



in Bathurst folklore forever. Almost four decades later, the Bluebirds have stood the test of time and Workman said they will continue to be a fan favourite when they make a comeback to the Mountain this weekend. “Every time we attend a race meeting, there are always fans with stories and memories to share, and everyone wants to get photos of our cars,” Workman said. “Brian and I are operating as a two-car outfit and we’re aiming to recreate the Nissan factory team environment. “As well as being a great spectacle in the pits, it also makes it easier for us because we can share components between the two cars.” Many people believe the Bluebird was a twitchy and temperamental car to handle in race conditions, but Workman said this is not the case.

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“The Bluebird is actually quite an easy car to drive, it feels supple and forgiving,” he said. “The Nissan engineers spent a lot of time focusing on suspension and ride control, and it really shows from behind the wheel. “Even the gearbox is relatively user-friendly – there’s no synchromesh, so it’s important to match revs when you’re down-shifting, but I change gears without the clutch.” Workman said the biggest challenge is dealing with the Bluebird’s light-switch power delivery – a hallmark associated with many turbocharged cars of the era. “When the turbo cuts in, you suddenly go from 80 to 400 horsepower, which can certainly catch your attention coming out of a slow corner,” he said. “It takes a while to get used to, but you can adjust your driving technique to make sure the engine stays in a certain rev-range.” Workman cannot wait to drive the Nissan around Mount Panorama this weekend, and said the Heritage Revival races are a perfect opportunity to exhibit the Bluebirds in front of an appreciative crowd. “Bathurst is a race meeting that attracts enthusiasts who really appreciate the history of the sport, there are people who have been going there for decades and naturally there will be spectators who will have been there during the Bluebird glory days” he said. “Brian and I are thankful to Ed and the management team for organising the event – we can’t wait to put on a great show on the track, and spend time in the pits with the fans.”

YOULDEN DRIVES INTO UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY LUKE YOULDEN enters this weekend’s Bathurst 1000 in unfamiliar territory without the added pressure of a codriver role, as he lines up in the Porsche Carrera Cup for TekworkX Motorsport. For just the second time in his 22year career, Youlden does not have any driving duties in the Great Race, so this weekend he will be solely focusing on his Carrera Cup campaign. Sitting 10th in the standings, with a pole position and a race win to his name, the 44-year-old has consistently been one of the fastest drivers at each round. After scoring a surprise podium in 2003 with Steven Ellery and sweet win alongside David Reynolds in 2017, Youlden has happy memories of the Mountain in a Supercar and is excited to make some more in a Porsche this weekend. “I’m very excited to go to Bathurst and put all my focus in one category and really have fun,” he said. “Ever since we got this car back in January, I’ve been looking forward to this round the most, it should really highlight the changes on the 992 compared to last year.” The unique format sees a single practice session on Thursday, preceding qualifying later that day before one race a day over the remainder of the weekend. With just a sole hit out before qualifying, Youlden said the new generation’s first visit to the Mountain provides an added challenge. “It’s a 50-minute session which is a decent amount of time, but red flags and the long lap time can whittle that down pretty quickly,” he said. “I’d say the less practice the better, we have been rolling out pretty quickly in opening sessions this year and experience will count for a lot, which we have quite a bit of in this team. “The track is going to be very different by the time we get out for qualifying anyway, with the gap between the two sessions on Thursday. This weekend is going to be all about adapting quickly, especially if the rain arrives as it is forecast.” Round seven of the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup Championship is one of the support categories to look out for at Mount Panorama this weekend.



VALE BILL BROWN Brown at speed in the wonderful Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 250LM - Warwick Farm 1967 AUTO ACTION is sad to acknowledge the passing of sports and touring car racer Bill Brown, who died on September 23, at the age of 81, after a short battle with illness. While Brown’s two huge crashes at Bathurst in the Ford Falcons are what he is most widely remembered for, it was his success in sports car racing in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s that he was most proud of. For Brown, it all began when competing in Sydney club racing during the early ‘60s in a Porsche 1600 Speedster at the Homebush and Warwick Farm circuits in NSW. As a young man, Bill Brown was great mates with Spencer Martin – and indeed they remained close friends right up till his passing. It was via this friendship that Brown got to know racer David McKay, later of Scuderia Veloce fame. David McKay was well known for both preparing and racing cars, and specialised in preparing cars for longer distance events which led to some endurance drives for Brown and Martin. In 1964 Brown teamed up with Martin for the 500 mile race at Bathurst where the pair won their class in a Vauxhall Viva. The relationship with McKay grew and saw Bill Brown racing in sports cars.

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In 1966 he took the class victory in the Surfers Paradise 12 Hour in a Volvo P1800 he shared with David McKay. The relationship with McKay also gave him the opportunity to race the fabulous Scuderia Veloce Ferrari 250LM (above). The 250LM delivered Brown many race wins; and Indeed, Brown rated his greatest race win as that 1967 Surfers Paradise 12 Hour, in which he shared victory with Greg Cusack. Brown also managed to prang the very valuable Ferrari at Warwick Farm in 1967. The relationship with Scuderia Veloce’s David McKay also gave him the opportunity to race another fabulous Ferrari when McKay imported the Ferrari Can-Am 350 in 1968. The Ferrari had been converted from one of the 1967 Le Mans 4.0 Litre V12 factory P4s. Originally imported for Chris Amon to race, Brown drove the car at a round of the Tasman Series at Longford. During the event, Brown set an Australian speed record at the tree lined Tasmanian road circuit of 182.9 mph (294.5 kmh), this was the fastest ever recorded outright speed at an Australian race circuit at the time. A few months later he raced the car at

Bathurst, setting another record for the fastest official time down Conrod straight, clocked at 181 mph (291 kmh). In 1968 Brown was part of the first Holden Dealer Racing Team, racing the new HK Holden Monaro GTS 327. It was a clandestine ‘Factory effort’ sponsored by the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper, and put together by McKay of Scuderia Veloce. Although a Monaro delivered Holden its first ‘Great race’ win, it was a privateer in Bruce McPhee and Barry Mullholland who took the flag first. The best placed car of the McKay managed Holden Dealer Racing Team Monaros was Jim Palmer/Phil West in second, while a damaged wheel put the Brown and teammate Paul Hawkins Monaro out of the race. But in the memory of most race fans, it was the two big Bathurst crashes during the running of the 500-mile production car races that Brown became infamous for. In 1969, on the opening lap he crashed the big Falcon XW GT HO on the run down the hill from Skyline after a slight touch with another competitor. It was a big crash that saw many competitors caught up in and the race was slowed to a crawl while the wreckage was removed. And then in 1971, it was the huge crash at McPhillamy Park that will live long in the memories of most touring car fans; a crash that’s still considered to be one of the most violent ever witnessed, regularly played in event highlight packages. While running competitively in the front part of the field, Brown’s XY GTHO Phase III Falcon blew a tyre in the high-speed run through McPhillamy. After slamming into the fence, the big Falcon barrel rolled along the top of the armco, narrowly missing an official and slicing the big sedan in half just behind the driver’s seat.

Most who witnessed the incident feared that Brown had been killed or at least seriously injured but, after several minutes, with the help of officials and spectators, Brown emerged from the wreckage with a few minor cuts and bruises (main image, above) – thankful that the big Falcon had not ended up in the crowd. Brown kept on racing after that and in the early 1970s was still a fast peddler in the 911 Porsche’s, competing in the Australian Touring Car Championship races. Later, his Porsche 911 carried Grace Bros signage. During the ’70s Brown continued to race occasionally at Bathurst and last competed there in 1978 with his then former wife, Sue Ransom, in a Ford Capri GT 3000 Mk.1. While he only ever considered himself an amateur racer, he was still highly regarded for his abilities. Brown retired from a successful business life several years ago. A service was held for Bill last Friday, September 30, and large crowd gathered to send him off in style. AUTO ACTION extends its condolences to Bill Brown’s family, friends, and to all those that knew him. Bruce Williams

MULTIPLE FORMULA FORD MANUFACTURERS NOW LIKELY FORMULA FORD is now likely to remain as a multiple manufacturer category after Motorsport Australia took note of competitor feedback. Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport and Commercial Operations Michael Smith opened up to Auto Action about the current state of play in the incredibly popular Australian Formula Ford category. Smith explained that the original idea Formula Ford now appears to be substantially less likely after listening to competitors views. “We’re really wanting the DNA to stay the same,” he said to AA. “I know one of our preliminary recommendations was to look at a single manufacturer path,” he said. “Whilst the (Formula Ford) working group hasn’t formed a view, one way or another on that, I think we’re coming around to the view that, potentially a multi-manufacturer format would be a better path to go, because that’s consistent with what Formula Ford has AFTER SIX decades of Holdens in always been in this country. the Great Race, it all comes down “We had the stakeholder forum, we to one last blast. So how it will end then had the survey, and then we for the brand most synonymous invited people to make submissions.

“We’ve taken the time to speak to every single one of those people or email every single one of those people. “I guess as a consequence of that we’ve come around to the view that perhaps a multi-manufacturer concept is the way to go.” Smith feels that if they can get the rules right, then a multi-manufacturer series will continue to work successfully. “In order to do that (a multi-brand category) you have to get the rules right, we know that, it’s a lot simpler to craft a set of rules when you’re only have one homologated manufacturer.

evolution of Formula Ford Racing, as distinct from trying to introduce something that’s entirely new that we know with our Formula 4 experience hasn’t worked.” Smith also admitted that the plan for a 2023 introduction along with the reintroduction of championship status is looking ambitious. “If I’m being really honest, I think 2023 introduction might be a bit ambitious at this point,” Smith felt. “But we haven’t formed a fixed view on that, the Formula Ford Association “But ultimately, if we’re, wanting to of course, will be key to all of this as achieve or carry on the philosophy of well. The Ralph Formula Ford Racing we need to be “What I will say isFred ourMorgan currentand thinking Sach Holden EH S4 – Bathurst able to do it in a multi-manufacturer is to run Formula Ford, the current Armstrong 500, 1963. environment.” cars as a national series next year, and Image: AUTOPICS.COM.AU Smith believes the reason that then at a point in time, whether that’s Formula 4 did not work in Australia 2023 or 2024, we will introduce a new was because it did not appeal to the car as a championship. Australian motor sport scene, this is “We’d run existing cars in parallel why it is essential that Formula Ford with the new ones as sort of a mixed remains as close as possible to its grid and that would happen for a roots. period, broadly speaking, I’d be of homeowners placing their replaced by the EJ, that gave way “Formula 4 didn’t work here,” he anticipating that it’d be three to five properties on the market. These to the EH. admitted. “It’s clear, people are very years, something like that. would call the agency and the very Aussie galah, passionate aboutfolk Formula Ford Racing “I guessFittingly, ultimately, it depends on the earliest Holden to start “Our thinking isoffice havestaff it aswould an radio Fred, who take up being of anythe new car. DM


with magic mountain? A fairywas invariably ‘on the road’, and the famous race, was where it all tale farewell victory to keep the he’d race over to meet them and started for marque at Bathurst. masses happy? Or a rare defeat at secure their business before they Hopefully the stories stemming the hands of the old enemy which had a chance to call a rival agency! from Holden’s last outing are ruins this latest (and last) goingThus, Holden’s first homologation worthy of sitting alongside these of the illustrious names that won in the ONE OF the country’s longest serving away party? again with the #25 Commodore. old. Well, pre-Gen2, at least. special fitted the bill perfectly. tales from the first. category administrators Margaret Hardy category. This weekend’s 1000 is the 60th And don’t forget that WAU’s Holden’s Bathurst history is full Morgan fronted to Bathurst with Wish number two is simply for a Hardy assisted all of these drivers on passed away from cancer on Thursday year of the Bathurst classic and second ZB has a top tier lead of colourful characters, unlikely the EH S4’s massive aftermarket safe race. Enough said. their route to Australia’s top-level. August 19. the most likely outcome is a 36th driver this year in Nick Percat, aerial still fitted – he figured My third wish is that the She was liked by all whostorylines knew herand quirky occurrences Hardy was involved in motor racing Holden win. Car #97 is rightfully ably assisted by perennial podium dating right back to 1963. Take, pit-to-car communication would winning car doesn’t benefit from in the industry which is why the motor for decades and was known for her race favourite, with runaway series provider Warren Luff. instance, the first Holden to help during the ’63 race – only for the Lucky Dogs rule introduced sport community is sad tofor hear of her dedication to Formula Ford. leader Shane van Gisbergen So, while either the DJR Ford or post a Great Race podium finish, officials to demand its removal. in the recent past. passing. Hardy joined the Light Car Club as paired with the best co-driver in the Cam Waters/James Moffat the EH S4 of Sydney real estate Nonetheless, ‘F Morgan’ went Lucky Dogs is part of the Safety During her time in the category, the office manager and began working Garth Tander. Then there’s the example could win, my money is agent Fred Morgan and Ralph down in the history books as the Car procedure allowing cars one lap she was named a Life Member of the with the Australian Formula Ford fact that the dynamic duo drive for on the Red Lion going out like Bon Sach. Incredibly, the history books first Great Race runner-up. down to move back onto the lead Formula Ford Association. championship 1978, doing paperwork Triple Eight, winners of eight of the Jovi – in a blaze of glory. It’s destiny didn’t even record Morgan’s first At the other end of the lap. It’s borrowed from NASCAR’s Formula Ford Association for the category throughout the ‘80s. last 16 ‘Bathursts’. As T8 has won, surely for the all-conquering brand name correctly, listing it as ‘Frank’ performance scale that first year Lucky Dog (note the singular) rule Early in the following year she became representative Phil Marinon said on average, every second 1000 at Bathurst. for over a half a century until the was the ‘galah’ – the frumpy-styled which has long gifted a lap to the she remained very connected to the the administrator of the category and since its emotional 2006 victory, which marque, team records were set straight after I FB Holden of Phil McCumisky and first car a lap down. I don’t think category. was tasked with organising nationalI don’t care and because it didn’t win last year, or pairing wins, but I do have three interviewed Fred in 2013. Lex Brailey that finished 25th. Why Supercars has thought this through. and was always focused on the result and present took to social media to “Margaret was a tireless Administrator series events, a role she held until 2013. the laws of probability suggest it’s wishes come October 9. The first Although dementia had already did the drivers call it the Galah? It hate the rule because it rewards rather than looking for accolades. send theirI condolences. for Formula Ford Association and also She has dealt with many of Australia’s due for another... is for Holden’s final fling to be wreaked havoc on much of Fred’s raced as it rolled off the production mediocrity and smacks of fixing the AFFM including category manager “Margaret was very dedicated to Outside of Formula Ford, Margaret motor sport stars over the years and If Red Bull Ampol Racing’s lead memorably dramatic and provide memory, I was astounded to learn in ‘Desert Glow’ and Corona also tooksomething on roles that suchwasn’t as thebroken. race for the national competition,” he told all things Formulaline Ford and has was well-known as a hardworking and Commodore doesn’t greet the a worthy final chapter to the GM-H from this remarkable man (who Grey’ – the colours of a certain One year this feral bitch will bite secretary for Sandown Raceway. Auto Action. recently assisted the association in passionate worker. chequered flag first, there are two see one team has since passed away) and his cockatoo. the race on the arse by giving a Hardy was diagnosed with “Her to attention to detail and ability to the production ofspecies a bookofon 50 years In her time as category manager era. I don’t want other T8 ZBs providing backup. Yet dominate – or see a processional proud grandson, that his race car In sharp contrast to the halfcar a shot at victory that didn’t Inflammatory Breast Cancer in 2019 support the competitors has been very of Formula Ford in Australia and seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Craig the role of second favourite falls race without passing actually the Sydneysider’s dozen new-beaut EH S4s in it. and wentdeserve into Stage 4 in May. acknowledged onwas social media disappointingly will not get to see the Lowndes, reigning 1000 victor, WillGen2-era strongly to defending winners Walkinshaw – so that the occasion slips into work vehicle. He needed a speedy the race, the FB was already Hopefully Holden’s last Bathurst Auto Action sends its condolences to final result.” Davison, David Reynolds, Chaz Mostert and is undisputed. Andretti United and Chaz Mostert, history and is soon forgotten. I machine so he could zip across models old, having been isn’t remembered for a Lucky Dogs her friends and family. DM “Margaret was a very private person Many Australianthree racing legends past and Anton de Pasquale are just some which might just trounce the field want 2022 to be like Bathursts of town to secure the signatures superseded by the EK, which was controversy.



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HUGH BARTER led the Aussie contingent in the penultimate Spanish F4 round at Navarra, taking a hat-trick of wins to solidify his chances of a runner-up finish. The emerging open-wheeler steerer doubled his season win tally at the Spanish venue, however he was unable to prevent Bulgarian Nikola Tsolov from securing the title. Nevertheless, Barter was thrilled to put together such a dominant weekend: “What a weekend. Three wins, three fastest laps, two poles and becoming Team Champions (Campos Racing),” he said. “Hard work pays off! Vamos.” Countryman Marcos Flack did not fare so well. He recorded a best finish of 18th over the three races. JN

JAMES ALLEN and Alex Peroni continued their impressive run in the European Le Mans Series with a third consecutive class podium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The Aussie pair qualified in P11 but were able to make steady progress and clinch third in their Algarve Pro Racing Oreca 07-Gibson LMP2 machine. As such, they sit sixth in class with one round remaining. “Thought we maximised it this weekend – we just didn’t have the pace to fight for the win,” Peroni said. “Thanks team! Let’s finish on a high in a few weeks.” The season finale will take place at Portimao on October 16. JN



IMSA CHAMPIONSHIP by THOMAS MILES THE STAR power of Australian Porsche sensation Matt Campbell continues to rise after he cruised to the 2022 IMSA GTD PRO championship with Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet, at Petit Le Mans on Sunday. After scoring five wins across the season, the Pfaff Motorsports combination secured the crown the moment the green flag dropped, but they did not hold back until the chequered flag, recording a podium class finish after being two laps down. Campbell made it a hat-trick of Australian IMSA class champions – and the 27-year-old was pinching himself after such a dominant campaign. “It feels totally surreal,” he said. We have won every title in this tremendous year and we are back on the podium again at the final race. It is amazing what we have achieved as a team. There was only one race where we did not end up on the podium. That’s phenomenal. “On one hand, its a pity that our journey with the Pfaff Motorsports squad ends here. “On the other hand, I am really excited about racing the Porsche 963 next year with Porsche Penske Motorsport.”

The Petite Le Mans season finale was a dramatic affair, with Campbell and Jaminet – sharing with former Brazilian F1 driver Felipe Nasr – rising from ninth to second in the GTD PRO class within the opening stints. However, a puncture suffered from contact with another GT vehicle sent the #9 car two laps down undid their good work, before some smart strategy calls regained the lost ground to the leaders within an hour. Campbell managed to hit the lead as night fell, before handing the seat over to Jaminent, who had to endure a thrilling half an hour sprint to record the podium finish. The gritty performance was a fine way to end what had been a flawless season for the Australian, who can now add another championship to his impressive resume. Campbell has a big 2023 ahead, stepping up to the new Porsche 963 LMDh machine, which will challenge at Le Mans. But the 27-year-old now switches his attention to Mount Panorama, where he hopes to win the ‘Great Race’ this weekend alongside David Reynolds in a Grove Racing Ford Mustang.


JORDAN LOVE closed out his GT World Challenge Europe campaign with a top-15 class finish in the season finale at Barcelona. The Haupt Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver was 13th in Silver Cup and 25th overall, competing alongside Jannes Fittje and Alain Valente. As a result, the squad finished eighth in the Silver Cup season standings. It was a season of mixed fortunes for Love and Co, who narrowly missed out on a class podium at Circuit Paul Ricard and suffered an untimely electrical fault in the Spa 24 Hour. JN

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A FRIGHTENING crash robbed Christian Mansell of a fruitful weekend in the Euroformula Open Championship at Monza, after he notched up another podium finish in Race 1. Mansell, who is battling for runner-up honours in the season standings, began the penultimate round in fine form. The 17-year-old steered his Cryptotower-Motopark machine to a front-row grid start for the first encounter and made the most of it, recovering from a slow start to secure third place in wet conditions - his 14th podium of the season. The dawn of a new day saw Mansell’s fortunes turn for the worse. After a promising start in the

second race, he copped contact from Francesco Simonazzi which sent his car into a violent roll. Fortunately, Mansell emerged unharmed – however the incident put an end to his race. “The halo definitely saved me - it was one of those days where if I didn’t have it then the worst could have happened, so thank you to the FIA for their work in keeping us drivers safe,” Mansell said in the aftermath. “Also, a very big thank you to the marshals for their help in getting me out of the car and doing such a great job as always.” Despite the magnitude of the crash in Race 2, Motopark were able to repair Mansell’s banged up open

wheeler in time for the final session of the weekend. However, a triumphant return was not to be, as Mansell was forced to retire due to safety concerns. “It was a difficult weekend for us but not through a lack of performance or a lack of trying from our side,” the young driver concluded. “Ultimately, we could have had three podiums and possibly a win or two, but we never got to find out unfortunately.” Mansell sits third in the standings heading into the season finale in Spain, with the opportunity to reclaim second. Danish driver Oliver Goethe has already wrapped up the title. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will host round nine from October 15-16. JN


MY FAVOURITE TIME OF THE SUPERCARS SEASON IS HERE. IT’S BATHURST – OBVIOUSLY. THERE’S NO prize for guessing that my pick is the same choice as almost everyone – Aussies at least, because some Kiwis would go for Pukekohe – with even the slightest interest in Supercars. But can you identify my actual highlight? Could it be the relief of filing the final story on Sunday night, which is always a run against supertight deadlines after a long day stalking the pitlane? What about the satisfaction of heading back down the highway from Bathurst to Sydney, deep into the dark and super-tired, but with a whole new collection of marvellous memories? Or catching myself on the television pictures in the final hour? Then there is the final lap and the finish, when all the emotions of the day are uncorked, and the elation of the winners (usually) overpowers the

with Paul Gover

THE PG PERSPECTIVE disappointments of the losers? For me, it’s none of those. They all rate highly, and there is nothing quite like rushing for the winning team boss to capture their first emotional reaction to winning The Great Race. Several times there have been tears. Come to think of it, the postrace press conference can also be a corker. When Davy Reynolds was the winner, it was a hoot and then when Shane van Gisbergen won the race, it was his codriver Garth Tander who put the emotion and perspective into the chat with the hacks. But my final choice for the highlight of the Bathurst weekend comes down to two. Number One is the first sight of Mount Panorama, and the iconic sign on the side of the hill, on the final crest in the Great Western

Highway before dropping down into Bathurst. It’s as emotional for 2022 as it was back in 1984, when I made my first trip to Bathurst as a fully-fledged member of the media contingent. Back in those days – and turn the page if it’s boring you – there was far better access to the drivers, the paddock was more like a holiday camping ground, the media centre was filled with typewriters and landline telephones, and Saturday night was always a horror as we waited for the late Ivan Stibbard to finalise the starting grid while sports editors were crying out for copy to satisfy the early deadlines of Sunday editions. What’s Number Two? It’s walking onto the grid on Sunday morning. Only once have I been robbed of this rare privilege, but it was

easy to understand during the restrictions imposed at Bathurst during Covid. Many people have asked me what it’s like, and the easy way to explain is this: imagine walking onto the field for the grand final of your favourite football code – it’s Rugby League for me, but I would pick the ALF decider – and mingling with the players just a few minutes before the start of play. Back in ’84, the cars would be pushed out to the grid by the teams. They would come out, one-by-one through the paddock gate, and there was only a handful of people there to share the experience. In ’22, the cars drive to the grid and there is a horde of people waiting to welcome them, as Supercars has monetised the event with its serious supporters and sponsors. So, it can get very crowded, especially at the pointy end of the grid and just behind the line-up of drivers and officials for the formalities of the race. For me, it’s impossible not to get emotional.

Most of the new-age hordes are more worried about getting a selfie in front of their favourite car, smiling and laughing, but the teams are as focussed as a SWAT team before a take-down. There is huge tension as the drivers prepare for the start, and the co-drivers help them through the usual rituals on the start-line, with essential crew members and team bosses going over the race plan for the final time. Sometimes there is the chance for a hug or a handshake with a mate – I’ve known Warren ‘Wazza’ Luff since he was 12 and followed most of the drivers since before they graduated to Supercars – or maybe it’s just a nod of acknowledgment from someone who is focused on the job ahead. As I’m writing, I’m remembering all the great moments on the grid – it’s hard to top helping publisher Bruce Williams to strap into the Commodore Supercar he invited me to share at Bathurst in 1997 – and the sad times of racers lost and drivers gone. It is truly special and so it easily rates Number One for me.


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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR PUBLISHER Bruce Williams 0418 349 555 EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Bruce Williams STAFF JOURNALIST Timothy W. Neal STAFF JOURNALIST Thomas Miles NEWS EDITOR Andrew Clarke FEATURES WRITER Paul Gover PRODUCTION/SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Caroline Garde SENIOR DESIGNER Neville Wilkinson NATIONAL EDITOR Garry O’Brien HISTORICS EDITOR Mark Bisset SPEEDWAY REPORTER Paris Charles ONLINE EDITOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS AUSTRALIA Andrew Clarke, Josh Nevett, Dan McCarthy, Bruce Newton, Mark Bisset, Garry O’Brien, Geoffrey Harris, Bruce Moxon, Gary Hill, Craig O’Brien, Mick Oliver, Martin Agatyn. FORMULA 1 Luis Vasconelos US CORRESPONDENT Mike Brudenell PHOTOGRAPHERS AUSTRALIA Daniel Kalsz, Mark Horsburgh, Ross Gibb, Rebecca Hind, Mick Oliver, David Batchelor, Randall Kilner, Rhys Vandersyde, Richard Hathaway, MTR Images, Bruce Moxon, Ray Ritter, INTERNATIONAL Motorsport Images ADVERTISING MANAGER Bruce Williams All Advertising inquiries 0418 349 555 Editorial contributions may be sent to Auto Action. No responsibility will be accepted for their safety. If you require the return of any sent item or items, please attach a separate, stamped and fully addressed envelope.

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BIG THUMBS DOWN FROM A VOICE OF AUTHORITY BRINGIN’ THE Bathurst! Really? How? What? I’m truly sad to say that what is meant to be the pre-event promo for this year’s Bathurst 1000 is, quite frankly, baseless garbage. It hits a new low in promoting anything but on-track activity. Yep, this October’s event was, once, very special, different to any race anywhere. Now it’s just another race, although still on an amazing track. The major aspect of the event now is competition between people all doing the same thing. Except that one of those people has dunced the rest. The expensive ‘Bringin’ the Bathurst’ video has nothing to say about what’s going to happen on track on Sunday. Nor anything about sponsor Repco. It’s a sad reflection of what Supercars has become. Nothing to talk about regarding the race, just the same old recipe re-stirred – but at a unique circuit. Repco’s remarkable place in Australian motoring and motorsport is nothing more than a name. Its money did better things helping the late Sir Jack Brabham and others with componentry more than half a century ago. It’s sad for me, who first went to Mount Panorama in October 1959, to the wettest, blackest, most poorlyattended meeting in its history, but with many wonderful events to follow. For an endurance race that once had 60 starters, a swag of different makes and models in four classes, overseas teams and drivers, two-car teams with different strategies – one to sprint, to destroy rivals, one to play safe, to chase a place – this


is now, with just two car brands, a one-story race. Stay safe, look after the car, don’t go too fast, you’ll only lose it with a Safety Car bunching. The race, such as it is, is when the lead drivers are in the quick cars after what they hope is the last SC bunching. Supercars has forgotten from where it came, although it knows that Bathurst is a special place and that the 1000km enduro is the longest, hilliest (Mount Panorama’s height variation of 173 metres is the most of any circuit) and best known of its many events. But if ‘Bringin’ the Bathurst’ has any relevance, it eludes me. Of the hundreds of events held at Bathurst since 1938 on two, three and four wheels, October is more important to Supercars than it is to the glorious, exciting, often innovative and sometimes tragic history of racing at Mount Panorama. Repco seems more excited by its naming rights deal with Supercars than with its history, what it did, supplying components for car builders, their drivers and race teams, most notably Brabham on the world stage. Easter 1960 at Bathurst was glorious, with lovely weather and a great field of cars. So, when the AutoActionMagazine

Bathurst 100 – yes, a 100-mile (160km) event – started with the roar of race engines in open-wheeler cars that wound their way up the Mountain and to the hill leading to McPhillamy Park, the sight of Jack Brabham, Bill Patterson and Bib Stillwell four-wheel drifting their Cooper-Climaxes was electrifying. We were watching the fifth Formula 1 world champion driver. This was special. It was even more so for Repco six years later with its engines – designed, engineered and built in Australia – that won Brabham his third world driving championship, uniquely as a team owner and car builder. The following year, 1967, Brabham was second to his teammate, New Zealander Denny Hulme. Twenty-five years later Hulme died of a heart attack driving a BMW touring car at Bathurst. Yes, please, Repco, give us some passion, history and meaning to the near meaningless ‘Bringin’ the Bathurst’ promo. But it may be all it can do with such a restricted racing category. This is racing too much by a rule book, on and off the track, with only items approved by Supercars allowed. Harry Firth and Larry Perkins, to name two, would never have copped such constraints. It tells teams how they must run their race. Everybody has to do the same thing – the number of pit stops, refuelling, brake replacements. Which makes it that one-story race. Back in the days of Barry Gurdon, the Bathurst car dealer, race and trials driver who helped bring the enduro for showroom standard touring cars to the Mountain from Victoria’s Phillip Island in 1963, the rules for modified race cars were simple. The Armstrong 500s came about from shock absorber manufacturer Auto_Action


Armstrong York Engineering wanting to track test and prove its products over 500 miles (800km). An interesting requirement was that wheel changes only be done on cars with the jacks and wheel braces that were standard with the cars. Touring car racing in the 1950-60s had a few other simple rules, such as the requirement for four doors and at least two seats. Chasing hot ‘humpy’ Holdens of drivers such as Leo Geoghegan and John French, Barry Gurdon was doing it hard on a limited budget for his supercharged Austin A90 that he drove from Bathurst town to the Mount Panorama racetrack. He did have an extra gear (4!) but also some clever weight-saving. The lightest passenger seat he could find was a cane garden chair, which was firmly anchored to the passenger-side floor. Gurdon had worked hard to get the race to Bathurst. He thought it would be good for the town. So it proved. But it’s not the great event it was. A simple question: Why? Why do the decision-makers think this is the way to go? Don’t they like variety, the different ways teams approached the problem of trying to win, or perform according to their goals and budgets? Finally, something ‘Bringin’ the Bathurst’ doesn’t mention is the National Motor Racing Museum at the track. Might be a good place to watch the race on telly. Will Hagon – Bellbird, NSW Publisher’s note: Will Hagon has been a long-time track and ABC TV and radio commentator and also was a print journalist. Thanks for contributing your very interesting and thoughtprovoking views, Will. Auto Action

There was plenty of chatter on the Auto Action socials again this week. This fortnight the potential survival of Sandown was up for debate, as well as the move to cancel S5000 racing at Bathurst.


Clinton Rowles It’s only a delaying action. The land it is on is simply worth too much in housing. The only way to definitely save it would be for the track itself to get heritage listing. But even that wouldn’t guarantee that events would still be run on it. Richie Chirnside Well if they’re going to keep it then upgrades are definitely in order. The old girl is looking tired.

Aaron ODonoghue Great news. Now get Stupidcars to run a proper Sandown 500 enduro as leadup to Bathurst.

view to challenging previously established Bathurst benchmark lap times set by other vehicles.”…. Yeah - that makes complete sense!


Brett Walden It’s almost like something or someone doesn’t want this category to exist in this country. They have had hurdle after hurdle since the first time it was announced that they were trying to get it up and running. It’s a fantastic category the racing great. I hope it can get a break soon and prosper.

Rod Bender So let me get this right… these things are too fast to be allowed to race… so instead we will let them loose on a couple of “special feature demonstrations” where they will run “unrestricted demonstrations of the cars’ performance with a


Full coverage and analysis of the 2022 Bathurst 1000 – who were the winners and losers from the ‘Great Race’? Exclusive – our Formula 1 man on the spot Luis Vasconcelos talks to seventime champion Sir Lewis Hamilton. Back on home soil, AA covers the return of the Winton Formula Festival (including the iconic Rose City 10,000 tribute event!) as well as the Improved Production Nationals. Better yet, there’s plenty more to read in Issue 1847!

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Darren Russo Best racetrack in the country and there not racing! Disappointing for the drivers sponsors and spectators! Will Beasy Very interesting. These things are only a few seconds quicker than a Supercar, have a lot less mass to slow down coming down the hill, and have fairly up to date safety features like deformable crash structures, halos, composite safety cell, wheel tethers etc.


All three IndyCar drivers in this image – Newgarden, Palou, and Power – have sufficient points for an FIA Superlicence ... Image by: MOTORSPORT IMAGES

INDYCAR IS GETTING THE SUPERLICENCE SYSTEM WRONG? NO! ZAK BROWN got himself in the news recently, with his criticism of the long-established Super License system, claiming that, with the current points’ system, World Champions like Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen wouldn’t have been able to start racing in Formula One when they did. That is accurate to a point, but they were eligible at the time they entered Grand Prix racing and the system was changed as the motor racing landscape changed – evolution is part of the game. Having allegedly tried to get Colton Herta to join McLaren in Formula One for next year, while negotiating in secret with Oscar Piastri, Brown said recently that “I get that rules are what rules are, and they shouldn’t be broken, but I question whether just because those are the rules that in place now, those are the correct rules.”


with Luis Vasconcelos

F1 INSIDER The American then went on to insist that, “someone of Colton’s or Pato’s (O’Ward) calibre, or half of the IndyCar field are Formula One capable”, before concluding that, “if someone like Colton, who’s won a lot of IndyCar, races isn’t eligible for a Super Licence, then I think we need to review the Superlicence system.” Having completed this year’s IndyCar championship in 10th place, Herta added just one Superlicence point, to get his total up to 32 points, earned from being third in that championship in 2020 and then fifth the following season.


That’s why the American was eight points short of the required 40 Superlicence points and the only way he’ll be eligible for that Formula One license in one year is by finishing at least second in IndyCars and completing one Free Practice Session in a Grand Prix, to move his total points to 40 – as the 2020 points won’t be valid any more. Therefore, it was no surprise when the FIA denied him a Super Licence when asked to do so by Red Bull and AlphaTauri. IndyCars is the second category to get the most Superlicence points, only behind Formula 2

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and ahead of any other category, so Brown’s criticism seems to be harsh. But if you look at some hard facts, it’s actually completely misplaced, as the only reason Herta is not eligible for a Superlicence right now is because he didn’t get impressive enough results in the last two years. This year’s IndyCar champion, Australia’s Will Power could get a Superlicence if he wanted, for he has accumulated 50 points in the last three seasons; young Spanish star Alex Palou is also eligible, as he’s accumulated 48 points since 2020; veteran Scott Dixon could also get straight into Grand Prix racing, if he wanted, as he has 70 points to his name; and Josef Newgarden, who was runner-up in the American series for three years running, has accumulated 90 points in the same period Herta got 32 – so to say the system is wrong is clearly

ignoring the hard facts. As for Brown’s claim that Herta has “won a lot of races”, the fact is he has won five races in the last three years, out of 47 starts, while Dixon has won seven in the same period and Newgarden secured an even more impressive number of wins: 11! And if you add the two wins Herta secured in 2019 to bring his total to seven, then Dixon’s total moves up by two to a total of nine and Newgarden adds another four wins, to a total of 15! Without doubt, Herta has a lot of talent and, given the chance, would do well in Formula One. But let’s allow the facts to take precedence over feelings, wishes or commercial interests. You can get a Superlicence by racing in IndyCars as long as you get the results Power, Newgarden, Dixon or Palou have secured in the last three years… I 23


WHO WILL REPLACE LATIFI AT WILLIAMS? WILLIAMS HAS handed Nicholas Latifi the opportunity to make a dignified exit from Formula One, the Canadian driver and the team issuing a statement to notify that they’re going separate ways at the end of this season. While hardly a surprise – as Latifi’s performances this season have been hugely disappointing – the announcement now paves the way for Jost Capito to conclude negotiations with a number of drivers as he ponders who will be the best candidate to team up with Alex Albon. Without making it clear he won’t be staying in Formula One next year, Nicholas Latifi said that, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Williams Racing – all the people back at the factory and those I work with trackside – for the last three years. My initial F1 debut was postponed due to the pandemic but we eventually got going in Austria and, although we have not achieved the results together we hoped we would, it’s still been a fantastic journey. Getting those first points in Hungary last year was a moment I’ll never forget, and I will move onto the next chapter of my career with special memories of my time with this dedicated team. I know none of us will stop putting in every effort until the end of the season.” The Hungaroring gave Latifi not only his first Formula One points but was also the scene for his brief moment of glory when he topped the time sheets in this year’s FP3 session, a wet-to-dry session in which the Canadian left all others way behind – Charles Leclerc being second fastest but 0.661s behind the Williams driver. As Latifi’s future is likely to be in Sports Cars or in IndyCars, Williams has been forced to wait for Alpine and AlphaTauri to officially confirm they’ll be running Pierre Gasly and Nyck de Vries respectively next year, before entering the final stages of negotiations with the drivers still available in the market.

While Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg are believed to have received approaches from Williams, it’s unlikely the two veterans would accept to move to a team that has been at the back of the field since 2018, with Mick Schumacher, Antonio Giovinazzi and Logan Sargeant thus being the three drivers in Jost Capito’s shortlist. The young German comes with substantial backing and showed, on a couple of occasions this year, he has the speed to do well in Formula One, but has lacked consistency and doesn’t seem to thrive in an environment where he doesn’t enjoy special protection. Even if Capito is not as direct and outspoken as

Gunther Steiner, he doesn’t hold back when he thinks a driver should do better, so a relationship with Schumacher could prove to be a difficult one. Giovinazzi may seem an outside shot for Williams, but we shouldn’t underestimate his manager’s strong connections. Veteran manager Enrico Zanarini has been around for a long time and knows Capito well from the days the German worked with Sauber and the team’s main driver was Giancarlo Fisichella. That Giovinazzi was given a chance to test for Alpine this week in Hungary shows how strong his manager’s links are, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the likeable Italian land a seat at Williams for next year. Finally, Logan Sargeant could be the

American driver Liberty Media has been dreaming off, but the young driver has to wait until the end of the Formula 2 season to know if he can get a Superlicence to race in Formula One next year and the end of November may be too late for Williams to make a decision. The fact that Latifi’s departure has already been announced indicates a new driver will be signed in the next week or two – so Sargeant’s chances of being that driver are slim, to say the least. Luis Vasconcelos

Latifi (left) with Williams team-mate Alex Albon. Images: Motorsport images

OCTOBER DECISION FOR CHINESE RACE FORMULA ONE’S record-breaking 24-Grand Prix season may be cut down by one race even before the end of 2022, as the fate of the Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled for April 16, 2023, will be decided one month from now, during the Chinese Communist Party congress that will start on October 16. Over the last two and a half years, the single-party regime has resisted calls to reopen the country, preferring to stick with its ‘Zero Covid’ policy that has yet failed to bring the results expected by those in charge. Every time there’s a small outbreak of the pandemic, big areas and even huge metropoles like Shanghai, are placed in strict lockdown with millions of people tested every day, until the situation subsides and then the close areas are reopened. But that hasn’t allowed China to come out of the pandemic, like almost all European countries, the United States and all South American countries have, because the vaccine taken by the Chinese population is not effective and, therefore, there’s no group immunity. That’s why the central government has resisted pressure from businesses to reopen the country to foreigners, as the tourism

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industry has basically died in China, with hotels, restaurants and other businesses basically empty since the start of 2020. Now, though, there seems to be an intention of putting the economy as the top priority and it will be during the Communist Party’s Congress that the policies that will be implemented from the start of 2023 will be decided.

Should the party decide China will reopen for business, then the Chinese Grand Prix promoters will get the green light to go ahead with their race, although with tremendously restrictive rules that will take Formula One personnel back to 2020, when everyone had to fly in chartered flights and have their movements restricted to the airport, their hotel and the circuit, with no freedom to

Chinese Grand Prix, Race, Shanghai, China Image: Motorsport images

move around by themselves. Given China is a huge market and the sponsors are desperate to get back there, Formula One will accept whatever restrictions the Chinese authorities will impose but the number of traveling personnel will be comparatively low as media access will be restricted, the number of guests tremendously limited and no foreign spectators should be allowed in. But if China persists with its closed doors policy, then next year’s Formula One World Championship will feature 23 Grand Prix, as there are no plans to replace the Shanghai race with any other. Teams have pleaded for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to be moved one week forward, to April 23, in case the Chinese Grand Prix is cancelled, as the planned backto-back Baku-Miami will be tremendously punishing for the traveling members of the squads, as it was obvious this year in Montreal, when freshly arrived from Azerbaijan there was an unusual amount of unwell workers, from mechanics to media personnel, from engineers to Paddock Club personnel – showing how physically hard such a pairing is for everyone. Luis Vasconcelos

NO GAIN FOR RICCIARDO FROM TAKING RESERVE ROLE THE POSSIBILITY of Daniel Ricciardo remaining in Formula One by taking a reserve role with Mercedes has been mentioned in recent weeks, but there’s little or no enthusiasm from both sides for such a possibility. In fact, the story started from an informal conversation the Australian had with some journalists in Monza, with Mercedes mentioned incidentally, when his past record would point him more in Red Bull’s direction – with Gasly gone to Alpine in 2023 RB will be lacking an experienced reserve driver in case either Verstappen or Pérez suddenly become unavailable – while his own Italian roots would put him more in Ferrari’s way than into Mercedes’ path.

The Australian admitted, at the time, that, “I don’t want to be too proud to say ‘no, I will not accept a reserve role’ because I’m open to every possibility, but my priority remains to stay in racing, because that’s what I love doing”. By coincidence, Ricciardo and Hamilton sat in the same press conference on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix and the seven-time World Champion didn’t seem convinced that joining Mercedes as third driver would be the best option for Ricciardo: “I think he should be racing, personally. I think he’s far too talented to be just a reserve and he’s earned the right to be amongst us all, racing. But, of course, if he’s a part of our team that would be great. But the third role is not

really, I think, what’s best for him. If I was managing him, he’d be racing!” The fact is that being a reserve driver for Mercedes would offer no future prospects to Ricciardo. He’s not considered a possible replacement for Hamilton once the British driver decides to retire – Lando Norris seems to be the man at the top of Toto Wolff’s list in case Max Verstappen is not available – and while that could offer the Australian the possibility of being the reserve driver for all four Mercedespowered teams – the German squad, McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams – it’s unlikely he would get any meaningful running. Being a third and reserve driver is a good opportunity for a young driver

trying to get into Grand Prix racing and sometimes, as with Nyck de Vries recently, it opens the door to actually race in Formula One, show your worth and earn a full-time contract for next year. That’s what Felipe Drugovich will be banking on from next year, when he’ll become Aston Martin’s first young test and reserve driver, while for a veteran like Ricciardo it wouldn’t lead to anything he’d be interested in. That’s why the Australian’s choice seems to be quite simple: either he accepts to race for a back of the grid team, like Haas or Williams, or he takes a sabbatical from Formula One and starts working on a project to be back on the grid for the 2024 season. Luis Vasconcelos

2023 SEASON TO FEATURE SIX SPRINTS EVENTS NEXT YEAR’S Formula One World Championship will feature 24 Grands Prix and will include six Sprint weekends. The decision comes after a lengthy negotiation between Formula One and the Federation, after Stefano Domenicali and the 10 competing teams were surprised by president Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s opposition to their plan when they took it into a vote of the Formula One Commission at the start of July. The Emirati stated that the duplication of Sprint Grand Prix weekends would force the FIA to make changes to the structure that comes to the races, incurring in extra costs and insisted he’d only agree to such a plan if the Federation would get compensation for these extra costs. That seems to have been secured by now, as a joint statement from the FIA and Formula One announced that, “the FIA World Motor Sport Council has approved by e-vote an increase in the number of Events featuring Sprint sessions in the FIA Formula One World Championship from three to six from the 2023 season onwards.” The statement, though, makes it clear the six circuits that will host the Sprint weekends have yet to be decided: “With the regulatory framework now in place to allow for the additional Sprint sessions, confirmation of the specific Events at which they will take place will follow in due course.”



Speaking on behalf of the FIA, president Ben Sulayem said that, “the confirmation that six race weekends featuring Sprint will take place from the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship season onwards is another example of the continued growth and prosperity at the highest level of motor sport. Thanks to close collaboration with Stefano Domenicali and our colleagues at FOM, we concluded a thorough analysis on the impact of additional Sprint sessions, and have adjusted relevant parameters of our work to ensure that they continue to be regulated at the very highest level. Sprint sessions provide an exciting dynamic to the race weekend format and have proven to be popular over the past two seasons – I am sure that this positive trend will continue and am pleased that the World Motor Sport Council has today given its approval for them to go ahead.” From his side and after pushing so hard to double the number of Sprint races, Stefano Domenicali admitted that, “I am pleased that we can confirm six Sprints will be part of the Championship from 2023 onwards, building on the success of the new format introduced for the first time in 2021. The Sprint provides action across three days with the drivers all fighting for something right from the start on Friday through to

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the main event on Sunday - adding more drama and excitement to the weekend. The feedback from the fans, teams, promoters, and partners has been very positive and the format is adding a new dimension to Formula 1, and we all want to ensure its success in the future.” With Imola, Austria and Brazil likely to keep this extended format they already featured this year, there’s

no lack of candidates to host the extra three Sprint weekends and, given Liberty Media’s push to make the sport more popular in the USA, it is fair to assume Miami will get one of them, while Jeddah, Melbourne, Montreal, Silverstone and Mexico have all indicated to Domenicali they’d like to be added to the list, so a final decision won’t be easy to make. Luis Vasconcelos I 25


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INTO THE UNKNOWN THE 2022 BATHURST 1000 Images by: Motorsport Images/Mark HorsburghEdge Photography

ANDREW CLARKE HAS COVERED THE GREAT RACE FOR DECADES AND HAS AUTHORED 10 BATHURSTRELATED BOOKS. HE GIVES US HIS INSIGHT INTO WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN THE RACE... IF WE learnt anything from last year’s Bathurst 1000, it is that what we think we know before the week is not what we know at the end of the week. The domination of car #25 from Walkinshaw Andretti United could not have been predicted by anyone, not even anyone inside WAU, no matter what they tell you. The manner in which it smashed the race was something we hadn’t seen since Greg Murphy in 2003 after his Lap of the Gods run in qualifying. But there is nothing in modern history that says Chaz Mostert will come out and do the same; that he will be able to match the relativity of that pace and run the race on his terms. Since Lowndes and Whincup completed their three-peat in 2008, none of the 26 Bathurst champions have gone back-toback with the Peter Brock Trophy. This fact underlines the level of competition in Supercars, even if Shane Van Gisbergen looks unbeatable on just about any day he hits the track.

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But Bathurst is different. Mostert has acknowledged the magnitude of the task in front of him, and the challengers are lining up. He’s tried to go back-to-back once before and ended up in hospital after a qualifying crash. He understands. That said, we’ve seen it all at Bathurst. It is often said the Mountain chooses its master. Last year it took Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth. Who will it choose this year?


We all know Bathurst is a special place, and the chances are, if you are reading this, you are already invested in the 6.213km strip of bitumen that doubles as the Mount Panorama Scenic Road for most of the year. Bathurst is located on the traditional lands of the Wiradjuri people, and the traditional name for what we know as Mount Panorama is Wahluu, which means ‘young man’s initiation place’. It is hard to believe how insightful that is today, especially with seven rookies in the 2022 race. The road was built in the late-1930s and was always intended as a race track, and for that we can thank Bathurst Mayor of the time, Martin Griffin, which is why Turn 2 is known as Blundstone (Griffins) Bend. At the height of The Great Depression, Griffin secured Federal Government funding for a tourist road. Ostensibly, he

argued, it was for local employment. In reality, it was to build a lasting legacy to speed, to which Griffin was a disciple. He built the perfect motor racing track. Climbing up Mountain Straight from Hell Corner, it winds around the edge of Wahluu. The sedate among us can enjoy the stunning view on most weekends of the year and, until you have walked the track, you don’t understand the gradient and the tightness of the walls in places. From Griffins Bend to Forrest Elbow, it is a heart-in-the-mouth, high-speed ride with blind corners and constant load. It is fast, challenging and dangerous … and it is ours. Over time, the Bathurst 1000 has become one of Australia’s most significant sporting events. It is protected by anti-siphoning laws, which means it must be on free-to-air TV, just like the AFL and NRL Grand Finals. From 1963, parts of The Great Race were shown on live TV, and from 1977 the entire race was telecast two years after it went colour. The first Sunday – now the second Sunday – of October was one of the year’s best days. The race started early, so you’d crawl out of bed and watch the opening hour or so before it went off the air, which allowed you to get dressed and continue your day until the run home after trying to catch the hourly updates. Now, of course, the race doesn’t start until after 11 am, and you can watch it ad-free on Foxtel or tune in for ads on the Seven Network – your choice. Or better still, grab some mates and head up there. It is a pilgrimage every motorsport fan in Australia should do, and we guarantee you won’t regret it if you do.


Contrary to popular belief, it is not the week of the race that is the most important. It is the weeks leading into the race that count. After Pukekohe, every team sat down to prepare the machinery, but in most cases, the

planning had been going on for months. All the best equipment and parts in the workshop are designated for Bathurst and, as the cars are put together, the engineers and strategists are buried away planning the week. The aim is to ensure the car rolls onto the track at 11 am on Thursday with speed. You want to be tuning the car from the first session and not hunting chunks of speed. We will know quickly who has done their homework right and who has had the best-educated guess on the set-up needed for 2022. Moving back to October this year shifts the equation a little from the last race. It won’t be as warm and could even be cold and wet, given recent weather patterns on the East Coast of Australia. As this is written, the longrange weather forecast is a mixed bag, with a wet Thursday and 9°C as the top temperature. It gets colder on Friday before drying and warming to 17°C on Sunday with no rain. Given the weatherman can’t get it right the day before, you can be pretty sure this isn’t right, but you get the picture. A cold and wet lead-up to a warm-ish and dry race day is the perfect recipe for getting it wrong on set-up. The second factor to consider is the ‘Bathurst parts’, the bits that have been sitting on the shelf waiting for this one race, something new and shiny that wasn’t worth using at a sprint round. We think this factor will be more significant this year because of the redundancy factor as the COTY cars head to the Super2 Series, and not much is retained on the Gen3 models. Most teams in pitlane will be trying to run parts to the end of their life cycle, and the smaller teams will have held onto parts and their best engine for this race and the biggest day of the year.


Speed is king, but there is more to winning Bathurst than having a fast car. It did for Mostert and Holdsworth last year, and the

Bathurst edition made SUPER by

THE FAST FACTS MULTIPLE WINNERS - DRIVERS 9 - Peter Brock 7 - Jim Richards, Craig Lowndes 6 - Larry Perkins, Mark Skaife 5 - Steven Richards 4 - Bob Jane, Harry Firth, Allan Moffat, Greg Murphy, Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander 3 - Dick Johnson 2 - John Goss, Allan Grice, John Bowe, Russell Ingall, Tony Longhurst, Rick Kelly, Will Davison, Chaz Mostert MULTIPLE WINNERS – TEAMS 9 - Holden Dealer Team 8 - Triple Eight Race Engineering/Walkinshaw Andretti United 7 - Ford Works Team 4 - Dick Johnson Racing 3 - Perkins Engineering, Gibson Motorsport 2 - K-Mart Racing Team, Ford Performance Racing (Tickford) MULTIPLE WINNERS – MANUFACTURERS 35 - Holden 21 - Ford 2 – Nissan MOST PODIUMS 14 – Craig Lowndes 12 – Peter Brock, Larry Perkins, Jim Richards

car’s speed ultimately allowed it to make up for the cut tyre and the change of driving style mid-race without losing pace. But we’ve seen plenty of fast cars not win the race. Lowndes was so bored out in the lead in 2005 that he crashed through a lack of concentration, and then the following year, the fastest car blew a clutch on the grid, and Skaife didn’t even get to Griffins. Here is what the winners will get right more than the others.


Starting the weekend with speed on Thursday is important because it lets you work on fine-tuning the car. After outright speed, you want a car that is easy and consistent to drive. Bathurst is a challenging race track, and you don’t want to be hanging onto the car across the top of the Mountain for 161 laps. You want it balanced for the drivers and the tyres. We’ve seen plenty of cars drop off the cliff during a stint, and you are going to want a nice car at the back end of each stint and the race if you want to win. You also don’t want to be shredding and cutting tyres because the set-up is too aggressive. Get it wrong, and 1000km is a very long way … if you get that far.


The co-driver rarely wins the race – last year is perhaps an exception to that rule – but they sure can throw it away. With no endurance race leading into Bathurst again, the codrivers are rustier than ever, so it becomes a battle between Bathurst experience (ie, Tander, Lowndes, Whincup, Luff and Coulthard) and Super2 running (ie, Best, Everingham, Fraser and Hill). Seven rookies in the race will be wideeyed when they take their first run across the top of the Mountain in a main game car. Zak Best said the difference between his



Super2 car and the Mustang last year was significant, and he couldn’t believe the grip and commitment required. The co-driver needs to be steady and be able to run at a pace set for them without crashing. They don’t need to fight like Brodie Kostecki did two years ago with Jamie Whincup, although it can be entertaining for us. They need to know when to put the elbows out and when to concede. They can expect it to hurt if they annoy someone like Shave Van Gisbergen. Everyone wants an intelligent co-driver, but not all will get one.


Pit strategy is all about track position for the run home, and it dovetails with fuel economy to define the race’s winner. The first critical moment is Lap 95, which is when the thirstiest cars can pit for a triple stint for the lead driver to the finish. From here, you only want two more stops, so you have to get five locked away before then, given you need to make a minimum of seven – so you will pretty much pit every time there is a Safety Car to get them out of the way. The second factor is getting the minimum 54 laps into the co-driver, which is about two and bit tanks of fuel. If there are a few Safety Cars, the pit-everytime strategy gets hard, and the abacus will be working overtime. It gets interesting if there are no Safety Cars or there are long spells without intervention. Last year the race was green from Lap 17 to 106; likewise in 2019, from Lap 3 to 101; so it does happen, proving more challenging for the teams. You’ll see who has confidence in the co-driver and who doesn’t on these long green runs. So if one key pitstop is the one in the 90s, the other is the final one somewhere from Lap 139 onwards. This is the one you are setting up for, and you will try for one of two outcomes. Option A is to pit on that lap (or a lap or two earlier if you like to gamble) and ensure track position, which is a good option if you haven’t been able to save fuel. Option B relies on fuel saving and cutting the time on the jacks in the final stop with a short fill, and you can buy track position, which can be gold in this generation of cars. You also can hang out as long as possible,

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hoping for a Safety Car, which we know we will see once or twice after Lap 140, and again you can get a position bump. The last factor in the pits is the dreaded double stack, in which you have to sit just off the fast lane while your teammate (or the other team with which you share a boom) is serviced. It is up to 20-odd painful seconds of nothing, of watching the race slip away.


There is no such thing as the perfect Bathurst strategy because when you think you have mastered it, the Mountain makes a decision. It is easy to look back and see where factors out of your control have played a part – that is what we call luck. Take 2019, when DJR encouraged Fabian Coulthard to run super slow under the Safety Car, bunching the field and allowing an easy pitstop to his teammate, Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup, at Triple Eight. Van Gisbergen, behind Coulthard, was furious, but he shouldn’t have been because this worked in his favour. The Giz was ready for a short fill, but he needed it to be green for it to work best. Under a Safety Car, he would have to double stack, which meant all the advantage was gone, and he was out of the running and in the pack. Coultard bunching the field meant he didn’t get a gain, but he also didn’t lose, which was the more likely option. For the record, Lee Holdsworth was the one who lost his chance at the race win that day. He had the same short-fill strategy as Van Gisbergen and wasn’t facing a double stack. We can roll through the ways luck played its hand. Greg Murphy missing the pit entry by seconds when a Safety Car was called cost him and Skaife the 2009 race. Lowndes, in 2018, had his job made easier when Dave Reynolds’s body melted down. Reynolds’ poor prep (he admits it, too) was Lowndes’ luck. Luck is one of those things you don’t want to rely upon, and it won’t turn a non-race winning car into a race winner, but it can take you out of a race-winning position. It is all how you define luck. And luck is how the Mountain chooses its master.

RACE RECORDS RACE RECORD: 6h01m44.8637s (161 LAPS) Craig Lowndes/ Steven Richards, Holden ZB Commodore, 2018 LAP RECORD: 2m04.7602s Chaz Mostert, Ford Mustang GT, 2019 LARGEST WINNING MARGIN: 6 LAPS Peter Brock/Jim Richard, Holden LX Torana SS A9X Hatchback 1979 SMALLEST WINNING MARGIN: 0.1434s Will Davison/ Jonathon Webb, Holden VF Commodore, 2016 QUALIFYING RECORDS QUALIFYING RECORD: 2m 03.3736s Chaz Mostert, Holden ZB Commodore, 2021 DRIVER RECORDS YOUNGEST RACE WINNER: 20 years 268 days Rick Kelly, Holden VY Commodore, 2003 OLDEST RACE WINNER: 55 years 41 days Jim Richards, Holden VX Commodore, 2002 YOUNGEST RACE STARTER: 17 years 67 days Cameron Waters, Holden VE Commodore, 2011 I 29






IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT IT’S 50 YEARS AGO, BUT IN 1972 PETER BROCK WON THE FIRST OF HIS BATHURST 500/1000 RACES. ANDREW CLARKE TAKES A LOOK BACK AT THE START OF SOMETHING SPECIAL 1972 AND the Bathurst 500 was a time when the racing cars still arrived at the track on the back of trailers, and drivers stuffed wet tissues in their ears to drown out the noise of their cars. There was no wall dividing the pitlane and the race track, and the drivers, for the last time, were allowed to run the entire 500 miles on their own. There were no pesky co-drivers to stuff a race-winning car into a fence or steal the limelight from the star of the show, which for the first time, was Peter Brock. But it wasn’t about fame or anything like that that forced the change; it was the addition of another 33 racing laps as the race went from 500 miles to 1000km. The Holden Dealer Team went to Bathurst in ‘72 with a pair of 6-cylinder XU-1 Toranas for Brock and the 1969 winner, Colin Bond. In terms of getting up and down the mountain, the big GTHO Falcons – still running in Phase

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III guise after nanny-staters killed the Phase IV – had the grunt and took the first four spots on the grid. Two-time and reigning Bathurst Champion, Allan Moffat, set the standard with a time 3s quicker than the year before. Three more GTHOs filled the next spots, John Goss heading John French and Fred Gibson, before Brock claimed fifth on the grid as the best of the rest, albeit with the same lap time as Gibson. Leo Geoghegan had his Valiant Charger R/T E49 next, with Bond and Graham Moore in XH-1s heading the Doug Chivas Valiant and the Des West Falcon in the lower ranks of the top 10. The scramble to homologate parts for the Falcon had essentially only given it lighter and wider Globe alloy wheels with some great new tyres out of the States. The Toranas also had similar Globes, but everything on the Torana was smaller, so when race day dawned

wet, it was clear the sweet handling Torana with narrower tyres was very much in the game despite the might and fast-growing legend of the Phase III GTHO Falcon. The opening laps had cars aquaplaning and a wall of spray so thick the only

driver with any real vision was Moffat, who led off the start. Brock jumped two of the Falcons before the first corner, and when French ran off the track at Murray’s Corner near the end of Lap 2, he closed in on Moffat and used the Canadian to find his way around the track.

Bathurst edition made SUPER by

PETER BROCK’S BATHURST 500 MILE AND 1000 KM RECORD DEBUT – 1969 Hardie-Ferodo 500 in a Holden HT Monaro GTS 350 with Des West (3rd) 32 STARTS - 28 in Holden, 2 Ford, 1 Vauxhall (Super Tourer), 1 BMW 9 Wins (Record) 12 Podiums 6 Poles (Record) FINAL RACE – 2004 Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 in a Holden VY Commodore with Jason Plato (DNF) Above: No ‘05’ back then. Brock won in #28, the HDT Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1 Right: Doug Chivers and Damon Beck shared the third-placed Chrysler Valian Charger.

Moffat leads John Goss into Turn 1. Below left: No, Brock’s not guzzling Castrol GTX ... Harry Firth does the talking. Below: Elbow out, Brock in the winning Torana. Below right: 1972 Class winners: Digby Cooke and Geoff Leeds (44B), Escort GT; Bill Evans (73A), Datsun 1200.

“For the first few laps, I couldn’t see,” Brock told legendary journalist Bill Tuckey after the race. “I could only see the stop lights. “I was following Moffat, and I had to rely on his brake lights and my memory of the circuit to figure out where to go. I couldn’t get anyone better to follow, though – he’s dead safe, and I knew what he was doing.” Bond wasn’t so lucky. He aquaplaned off the track at Reid Park on the third lap and destroyed his Torana with a multi-rollover that he rated his worst ever at that time. A few laps later, Fred Gibson also had a monster roll-over after McPhillamy on the run towards the Skyline. French fought his way back to second and then went off again. Moffat and Brock traded the lead, Brock super quick over the top and Moffat strong on the long straights. As the rain eased and the track started to dry, Brock had the better car, and he moved right into Moffat’s tail. On Lap 28, he ‘encouraged’ Moffat into a spin at the



Reid Park Gates and took the race’s lead. Moffat was nose-up on the embankment but managed to get the car running again and rejoined in second. Moffat’s car was starting to eat its tyres and had an early pitstop to change tyres, copping a one-minute penalty in the process when he started the car while his crew was still refuelling. HDT boss, Harry Firth, got out his chalkboard and, in big thick letters, wrote ‘MOFF 1 MIN PENL’ and tried to encourage his young driver to slow down and look after the car. Little did they know that Moffat was also having brake troubles, as were a few of the Fords, and he was scrambling to make his lap times. He was quick enough to catch and pass Brock and was pulling away at lap record speeds before he had his second pitstop. Race officials surrounded his car during the stop to ensure he didn’t infringe again, but he did and scored a second one-minute penalty. A third stop to fix the Falcon’s brakes was one too many for

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Moffat and the dramas kept adding up from there – his three-peat was done. It was a master class from the young Holden driver from there, and even a oneminute penalty for his own refuelling error didn’t stop him from winning a lap clear of French in his Falcon. He put on a classic display of car control, drifting the Torana through the corners without working anything too hard. At this stage of his career, Brock was still relatively shy and didn’t say much. He took a good look at the Hardie Ferodo shield on the podium, barely saying a word. No one at Bathurst that day imagined what had started. He scored second next year to Moffat and Ian Geoghegan in the new XA Falcon coupe and then had a six-lap lead in a monsoonal 1974 race when his now V8powered Torana gave up the ghost at twothirds distance. In 1975 he left the HDT and went out on his own in what was probably the making of an icon. He won the race in car #5 and then drove with his brother for the next two years for a third and fourth place finish before his run of six wins in seven years beginning in 1978 when he had moved into the famous #05. The writing was on the boards before that first win 50 years ago, but everything changed that day. He took his spot at the head of the sport, and in the 12 years after that win, he added another seven wins and capped it off with the ninth in 1987 after a controversial race that was part of the World Touring Car Championship. His relaxed and natural car control was perfect for the Bathurst 1000, and even on his fourth outing up there, he looked at home and in control. I 31




THE WORLD has flipped on its head for Craig Lowndes, as the youngster once known as ’The Kid’ becomes ‘Old Mate’ at Bathurst and the mentor for a new youngster. Lowndes is guiding Declan Fraser through his first attempt at The Great Race, just as Peter Brock was his mentor

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at Mount Panorama in 1994. The pair are sharing a Wildcard Commodore out of the Triple Eight garage, with SuperCheap Auto backing that follows the effort in 2021 with Russell Ingall and rookie Broc Feeney. But Lowndes has a higher target in 2022 – and Fraser is trumping him.

Lowndes is aiming for a Top 10 finish at Bathurst but Fraser wants to be in the top three. “I want to be on the podium. I know it’s my first time, but Lowndesy is the GOAT of Bathurst,” Fraser tells Auto Action. “I really believe we are in with a shot at one of those podium places. I’m still a rookie, but we will give it our best shot and see what happens.” There was little talk of a podium when Lowndes first went to Bathurst, sharing a Commodore with Brad Jones for the Holden Racing Team. “My first attempt in ’94, it took me probably four days until Brock sat me down and talked me around a lap of the track. That’s when it started to make sense,” Lowndes recalls. “It took a long time to even be comfortable in the car. I think this generation has definitely got a better progression. And we do more laps around Bathurst than ever before.” He eventually starred as he raced John Bowe for the win, coming home second

after Jones got the pair into contention following a slow start. Now, recalling his early days at Bathurst and his seven wins at Mount Panorama, he is focussed on a solid weekend and a successful debut for Fraser. “It does feel like I’m going full circle. I have no doubt that when I drive into the Paddock the comments from Brock will be coming back to me,” Lowndes says. There have been rumours that this could be The Last One for Lowndes, but he does not see it that way and is confident that he will be back – again – in 2023. “It’s just another race, to be honest. My contract with the team is for this year and next year,” he says. “So, I’m just focussing on doing the best I can this year. SuperCheap were really excited after last year and they’re trying to make it bigger and better. And hopefully we can come back next year bigger and stronger again.” The pair have been working together for months on everything from fitness to pitlane driver changes – where Fraser will

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be using a seat insert – and Lowndes is happy: “After the last test I’m quite confident. It went really well,” he said “We’ve got the same toolbox as the other Triple Eight cars, so we just need to try to make it a fast race car.” Lowndes is spending plenty of time thinking about what Fraser will need. “He will be overwhelmed a little bit once he gets there. He’s doing a fantastic job in Super2 but the main game is a whole new level. “He’s taking everything on board. He’s learning a lot, very quickly. “The biggest hurdle he will probably



My first attempt, in ’94, it took me probably four days until Brock sat me down and talked me around a lap of the track. That’s when it started to make sense

have is maintaining focus through the whole week. His mental strength. It’s the corporate visits, the signing sessions and everything else. It will be much more hectic than he is used to. “His fitness is good, but if he needs to be double stinting then he needs to be mentally prepared for that side of it as well. “He’s been picking my brain about what to expect – what he needs to look for, what to do.” So, how is Fraser feeling – and preparing – for Bathurst? “I feel like my seven-year-old self, when I first started go-karting,” the 22-year-old, who leads the Super2 standings and will be chasing the championship in double duty at Bathurst, says. What’s his relationship with Lowndes like? “I don’t see him like a dad. We’re teammates. He’s a mentor, but more like a brother than anything.” And what are the big take-outs? “I think it’s just the whole approach to everything. He’s told me what Bathurst means to people, and the pressure. “He’s grounded me to the facts.” Yet it’s also a fact that he’s sharing the SuperCheap Commodore with his hero. “It

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was always Craig when I was growing up. Everything I based myself on, even outside the car, it was him,” he admits. “It’s about the way he can manage himself through the weekend. He is always smiling. It’s the way he interacts with fans and always seems to be happy.” For Lowndes, the right pieces are in place for a strong weekend – including Fraser. “Declan has been pretty level-headed about his approach and he’s a sponge. He has been to every Supercars round and sitting in the debriefs with Shane (van Gisbergen) and Broc (Feeney). He’s learning a lot, very quickly.” “He’s already asking the right questions. He just wants to get his head entrenched in what’s going to happen.” But, apart from Fraser, Lowndes is also thinking about the race. “The first objective is to finish. That’s our primary one, for SuperCheap Auto,” he says. “If we can play our cards right, if Roland (Done) does the strategy right, we can be strong in the Top 10. “The priority is having a fast race car at lap 140 and moving on from there.” What about qualifying, and who will

qualify? “Personally, I’d love to be in the Top 10 Shootout. We have the ingredients. But if we’re not then I won’t be disappointed. “We haven’t worked out who is qualifying, who is starting and who is finishing. We’re all pretty open at the moment. “If we get there and Declan is fast, that’s great. All we’re looking at is the end result. “I still think that we’ve got a good chance of being on the podium. Declan is a very level-headed kid, so if we just get him through the week without getting too carried away, he will be fine. “He needs to take the atmosphere of what Bathurst is about and use it for good. “Having RD in our corner is also definitely a positive. He has been very strong that all of us, everyone in the Wildcard group, is ready to go.” Lowndes believes the biggest challenge for Fraser will be going up against the main game stars. “He’s got to get his head around racing an SVG, or a Cam Waters or a Chaz Mostert. If they are around him, it’s about not making mistakes, bringing the car back strong and straight. “We haven’t been through that side of it but it should get sorted out through the practice sessions. “He’s pretty level-headed. It’s no surprise he’s leading Super2 at the moment, so he will adjust. “He’s been to Bathurst before so he knows the circuit reasonably well. But the level of competition is higher again.” Lowndes has no nerves after so many times at Bathurst, but Fraser already knows when his heart will be pumping. “It’s going to be real as soon as we get there. We’re straight into livery launches and public appearances,” he says. “It’s always a special moment to be at Bathurst in a V8. The first time I’m out there with the big names, even in the co-driver session with Garth Tander and Jamie Whincup, is going to be special. “But when I see the car coming down pitlane for the first time in the race, and I’m about to jump into it, will be pretty sketchy ...” I 33



THIS IS IT. THIS WEEKEND WILL BE THE FINAL TIME THAT THE HOLDEN BRAND WILL LINE UP FOR AUSTRALIA’S GREAT RACE. IT’S BEEN A WILD, BUT SUCCESSFUL RIDE ... By Andrew Clarke WHATEVER HAPPENS over the next few days, Sunday night will be a celebration of all things red at Bathurst, and The Red Army will farewell itself and the Holden brand. Holden has won 35 times in The Great Race and is the ubiquitous marque on the Mountain, celebrating often with legendary figures like Peter Brock, Mark Skaife, Greg Murphy and Craig Lowndes. Strangely, its era of greatest domination has been in the parity period of Supercars. It certainly heads up this year with the race favourite and the reigning champs all preparing to fend off the pesky Mustangs and walk away with an emphatic full stop on 59 years of history. The weight of number doesn’t lie with 35 wins in that time, with 10 wins from the Walkinshaw squad (HRT, Kmart Racing and Walkinshaw Andretti United), nine to the Holden Dealer Team and five of Triple Eight’s eight wins in red. The wins have been by as much as six laps in 1979 (Brock/Jim Richards) to 0.1434s in 2016 (Will Davison/Jonathon Webb), and the best ones have been when Ford was thumped like 2002 when Walkinshaw and Perkins cars shared the first five spots at the end of the race.

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Or better still, 2004, when Falcons were second to seventh … but not first! How about nine of the top 10 finishers in 2009; the 13 times Holden locked out the podium (Ford only has four); or Murphy’s Lap of the Gods in 2003? It is all there in red! Let’s not forget it was Holden that built the first Bathurst special with the EH S4 (which is not a bad investment if you can find one for sale) coming well before GTS Monaros and GTHO Falcons. The EH S4 of Frank Morgana and Ralph Sachran finished second in the 1963 Great Race, finishing a lap behind Bob Jane and Harry Firth in a Cortina. But it was the start. After Ford dominated the 1967 race with the new Falcon GT, Fishermans Bend got serious. In 1968 the Holden Dealer Team was formed to get around General Motors’ global ‘No Motor Racing’ policy – the Monaro GTS327 was born and did Holden’s first clean sweep of the podium. And from there, the Red v Blue became real. The on-track battle between the Peter Brock-led Holden Dealer Team and Allan Moffat’s sometimes works and sometimes not Ford team during the 1970s formed the battle lines. They won eight of 10 races in that era (four each) and were both household names, although it was the charisma of the fan-friendly Brock that

Just some of Holden’s Bathurst winners – quite a parade: Van Gisbergen/Tander 2020 (above); Grice/Bailey, 1986 (below); Perkins/Ingall ‘95 and ‘97;. Opposite top: the greatest of them all, Peter Brock, nine times – three with Jim Richards ... Richo again (opposite) with Skaife in 2002; Skaife with Lowndes (2010). Not a winner, but ... a young Kevin Bartlett and Bill Reynolds (right) ran an EH Holden in 1963. Holden’s first win came in ‘68 (bottom right) – McPhee and Mulholland, in the Monaro GTS ...

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MODELS: EH S4, HD X2, Monaro HK GTS 327, HK GTS 350, HT GTS 350, Torana LC/LJ XU-1 1968: Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland HK Monaro GTS 327 – Wyong Motors Pty Ltd 1969: Colin Bond and Tony Roberts HT Monaro GTS 350 – Holden Dealer Team 1972: P eter Brock – LJ Torana GTR XU1 - Holden Dealer Team

GROUP C 1973 - 1984

was by far the more popular. With Holden’s support, Brock endured while Moffat eventually turned to the Mazda RX-7 for racing, and Dick Johnson took over for the blue oval. Brock’s final win was in 1987 when he snatched it after the flag from the Eggenberger Fords from Europe, which were deemed illegal. That was also the last win for the Holden Dealer Team, which has nine wins. Brock and the HDT’s demise opened the door for the Tom Walkinshaw-led Holden Racing Team, which took over the running and has 10 wins in Holdens, including last year’s dominant display. Away from the data and the stats, being a part of The Red Army is an emotive experience, and only time will tell if they turn black and gold for Chevrolet.

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In 1968 the Holden Dealer Team was formed to get around General Motors’ global no motor racing policy, and the Monaro GTS327 was born...

MODELS: LJ XU-1, SL/R 5000, SL/R 5000 L34, A9X TORANA, COMMODORE VB, VC, VH, VK 1975: P eter Brock and Brian Sampson LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 – Gown-Hindhaugh 1976: Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 – Ron Hodgson Motors 1978: P eter Brock and Jim Richards LX Torana SS 5000 A9X – Holden Dealer Team 1979: P eter Brock and Jim Richards LX Torana SS 5000 A9X – Holden Dealer Team 1980: Peter Brock and Jim Richards VC Commodore – Holden Dealer Team 1982: Peter Brock and Larry Perkins VH SS Commodore – Holden Dealer Team 1983: P eter Brock, Larry Perkins and John Harvey VH SS Commodore– Holden Dealer Team 1984: Peter Brock and Larry Perkins VK SS Commodore – Holden Dealer Team

GROUP A 1985 - 1992

MODELS: VK, VL, VN COMMODORE 1986: Allan Grice and Graeme Bailey VK SS Group A Commodore – Roadways Racing 1987: Peter Brock, Peter McLeod and David Parsons VL SS Group A Commodore - Holden Dealer Team 1990: Allan Grice and Win Percy – Holden Racing Team VL SS Group A SV Commodore

GROUP 3A/V8 SUPERCARS 1993 - 2002

MODELS: VL, VP, VR, VS, VT, VX 1993: Larry Perkins and Gregg Hansford VP Commodore – Perkins Engineering 1995: L arry Perkins and Russell Ingall VR Commodore – Perkins Engineering 1996: Craig Lowndes and Greg Murphy VR Commodore – Holden Racing Team 1997: Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall VS Commodore – Perkins Engineering 1999: Greg Murphy and Steven Richards VT Commodore – Gibson Motorsport 2000: G arth Tander and Jason Bargwanna VT Commodore – Garry Rogers Motorsport 2001: M ark Skaife and Tony Longhurst VX Commodore – Holden Racing Team 2002: Mark Skaife and Jim Richards VX Commodore – Holden Racing Team


MODELS: VX, VY, VZ, VE COMMODORE 2003: G reg Murphy and Rick Kelly VY Commodore – K-mart Racing Team 2004: G reg Murphy and Rick Kelly VY Commodore – K-mart Racing Team 2005: Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly VZ Commodore – Holden Racing Team 2009: G arth Tander and Will Davison VE Commodore – Holden Racing Team 2010: Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife VE Commodore – Triple Eight Race Engineering 2011: Garth Tander and Nick Percat VE Commodore – Holden Racing Team 2012: J amie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell VE Commodore – Triple Eight Race Engineering

CAR OF THE FUTURE 2013 - 2016

MODELS: VF COMMODORE 2015: C raig Lowndes and Steven Richards VF Commodore – Triple Eight Race Engineering 2016: W ill Davison and Jonathon Webb VF Commodore – Tekno Autosports

SUPERCARS GEN2 2017 - 2022

MODELS: VFII COMMODORE AND ZB COMMODORE 2017: David Reynolds and Luke Youlden VFII Commodore - Erebus Motorsport 2018: Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards VFII Commodore – Triple Eight Race Engineering 2020: Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander ZB Commodore – Triple Eight Race Engineering 2021: Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth ZB Commodore – Walkinshaw Andretti United



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BATHURST CAR BY CAR Auto Action's senior writers PAUL GOVER and ANDREW CLARKE turn tipsters and take a look at who the likely candidates are for a win at this years 'Great Race' – that's assuming that SVG and Garth Tander don't walk away with it ... THE GREAT RACE of 2022 is shaping as a one-car contest. By any measure, and there are plenty, Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander should romp home to victory at Bathurst. But . . . Bathurst is never that simple. There is traffic and tactics, the weather can turn at any time, and even the best teams in the pitlane make mistakes. Just ask Tickford. And what about kangaroos, echidnas, flying wheels and disintegrating bitumen? Or driver fatigue or flat batteries? Yes, Bathurst has seen it all. And more.

If the race had run to form over recent years, SVG and Tander would be going for four straight in 2022 – but that’s not what happens at Bathurst. As it was, Chaz Mostert, Lee Holdsworth and Adam DeBorre that unlocked something special from the WAU Commodore last year and even the brilliance of the Triple Eight drivers was not enough. Still, SVG and Tander are the strongest driving combination in 2022 by a (very) long way, Triple Eight has been tough and focused through the sprint season, and no-one has racecraft to match van Gisbergen. If anyone can take the fight to the #97, could it be the Davison brothers in the Shell Mustang that’s been the quickest car in recent races and nice to its tyres? Yes but, no but. Cam Waters has also been pacey in the Monster Mustang – he goes well at Bathurst, and James Moffat has matured into a crafty and reliable co-driver. But he’s been missing the final spice until now. One pairing that we like the look of is that of David Reynolds and Matt Campbell. Both have won big races at Bathurst before, Reynolds the 1000 and Campbell the 12 Hour, so they know how to get the job done. Campbell is super race fit and they also have a strong race team now led by David Cauchi who has been part of the Bathurst winning crew at 888. So don’t be surprised to see them

looking strong all day. Brad Jones and his team seem to either get it pretty right or all wrong at Bathurst and they are due to have a good result. The lead car has a strong driver combination and Andre Heimgartner has jelled with the team pretty well. Recent results show they have great pace, so watch out for some clever if not slightly off beat strategies from the Albury based team that might deliver them a result, maybe even a podium. And who would bet against Craig Lowndes, at least for a podium, despite running as a Wildcard and having a rookie, Declan Fraser, to partner him? Given the odds-on favouritism of van Gisbergen and Tander, the rest of the field are – realistically – only aiming for a podium and hoping something goes wrong at the front. So the car-by-car scoring needs to be adjusted to give a realistic picture, and even #97 only scores an 8.9 – because of the variables and uncertainties at Bathurst – when van Gisbergen’s personal form through 2022 probably rates a 9.9 Images: SCOTT YORSTON – SSMEDIA.COM.AU, SUPERCARS





TRIPLE EIGHT RACE ENGINEERING – COMMODORE The best car, team and driver. It is hard to see them not winning– but that’s been said in the past. Van Gisbergen’s connection with the car is sublime, and he will produce moments of magic. This year the #97 hasn’t always been fastest in qualifying, but it has been a clear and dominant race car. No-one is perfect but these guys get closest.





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Percat has had a rough return to WAU – perhaps trying too hard – but Luff is a superstar as a co-driver with six podium finishes from his past 10 starts. If the pair relax, avoid any confrontation – or double-stacking – with the Mostert car, they could lead WAU at the flag.




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Injecting Evans into the mix could change the cake and make them more than just tailenders. The Porsche star could be good, but Smith has struggled for qualifying and race pace, which all-up could see the car struggle to make an impact.

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The Cooldrive Mustang will be the fastest of the single-car starters, and sharing a boom with Matt Chahda should be no problem. Slade can be super-fast but there have been mistakes this year and a lack of consistency on the engineering side has not helped. They should easily make the Shootout but, even with Blanchard to anchor the effort, race day is an unknown.






Courtney has struggled to unlock qualifying speed, and we don’t expect Bathurst to be any different, but he has 161 laps to make up for it and his racing has been first class in 2022. He just needs to stay out of trouble and make life easy for Goddard – who turned down a full-time drive at PremiAir to concentrate on Bathurst with Tickford. But there is the double-stack danger while sharing a boom with Waters.

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WEATHER A LIKELY CHALLENGE WITH THE weather forecast for the weekend in Bathurst looking a bit gloomy, Supercars teams will have some extra decision-making leading into the Great Race. All-wet or all-dry is one thing, but a mix, both in the Shootout or the main race in particular, provides an additional headache. Wet and drying out can compromise the Shootout – but dry then getting wet can really screw over the fastest from Qualifying! If mixed conditions are on the cards for the 1000, do you go with a ‘wet’ setup or a ‘dry’ one? Get it right, or wrong, and your Bathurst 1000 could be a long, disappointing day. In these circumstances, most will go for a mid-range set-up compromise. With a compromise, there is still room for some adjustment – either on-track via driver use of the adjustable sway bars, or potentially at pit stops with a ‘click’ of adjustment available on the shock absorbers. If mixed weather does eventuate, team strategists and engineers will have just one more headache … COMING GOOD AT THE RIGHT TIME





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Heimgartner has been a revelation this year and has elevated the Brad Jones Racing squad on the back of his speed. So now it’s up to the team to have a mistake-free weekend and deliver a car that works on the Mountain. Wood has plenty of experience and only needs a mistake-free day to join Heimgartner on the podium.

Erebus is good at Bathurst, Brown has learned from mistakes on the Mountain, and Perkins should be solid. Barry Ryan believes the rebuilt #9 from Pukekohe is better than before, but recent form has not been great and they need to build quietly to race day and see what they get.









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Holdsworth is a reigning champ and Payne is a promising rookie. They could make magic or it could unravel. David Cauchi could make the difference as Grove Racing looks for something big from its first full season.





If everything goes well, and De Pasquale can emerge from his mid-season fog, they will be contenders. The #11 will definitely be a strong contender for pole, and D’Alberto is rock solid and a top bloke. But they will need to have track position over their team-mates in the other Shell Mustang to prevent a double-stack disaster that could take them out of contention.





TICKFORD RACING – MUSTANG Waters deserves to be a Bathurst winner and the Tickford Mustang comes to life at Bathurst. Moffat, too, has been doing his best work – by miles – at Bathurst. After two years as runner-up, and being outpaced in the final battle, Waters only needs track position and a bit of luck – as well as a mistake-free day in the pits – to get The Big One.



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DICK JOHNSON RACING – MUSTANG It’s great to see the Davison brothers pairing up again, but is it the right move to win the race against the hard heads in #97? Wilbur has been really smooth, fluid and fast this year and that will be a big bonus at Bathurst. But does he have the evil streak to topple van Gisbergen in a straight fight, and does Alex have the real speed for success? Answers coming soon – perhaps with a fairytale ending.






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The jury is out on Fullwood, who has yet to prove he deserves a full-time ride. Perhaps the experience of Fiore will give him the stability to shine and push the pair forward.



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Pye has had a tough year with crashes cruelling his season, but he can still star. Everingham only has one start, as a late replacement when James Golding went to PremiAir, although a full season in Super2 will be handy.





The Coke car is a stylish racer, Pither is a good guy and Hill is looking for a Bathurst tick to get into the main game. PremiAir is still learning so a trouble-free weekend is unlikely.



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The genuine dark horse combination in the Penrite Mustang. Reynolds is mercurial on his day and knows how to win – and lose – at Bathurst. The Grove Racing combination has been improving and has been saving their best to last, like dropping Campbell – a global star – into the lead car.



Golding has good speed and is achieving good results after his mid-season arrival at PremiAir, laying a solid foundation in the main game. O’Keeffe is solid so they are a Top 10 prospect if things go right.





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Jack Le Brocq has settled well into Matt Stone Racing and is capable of taking the car forward, but Seton is still, as a newcomer, a question mark despite his brilliant genes.

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Frosty can still do the job, and Caruso is best as a co-driver, but the Irwin Commodore has been patchy through 2022. They could give the race a real shake, especially if it rains. They won’t sprint at the front but it’s a long day and a tough race.






Hazelwood has been disappointing and needs to avoid any brain fades to show his best. Ojeda is looking for Bathurst kudos but they will need lots of luck to crack the 10.

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What was once a race-winning combination faces a tough weekend as a Wildcard with no recent race experience. Stanaway could put the car into the Shootout, and it’s a long day for the crowd favourites.




Best was a co-driver star at Bathurst last year and aced his Wildcard start at The Bend. Randle’s form has been patchy, with definite speed but too many mistakes, so Bathurst is a chance for redemption.





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The other brothers, after Will and Alex Davison, are in a different league. But both have shown they have enough to deserve a crack at the main game, so they need to play safe on Sunday. An evolving line-up that could surprise.



Whincup would like nothing better than a Bathurst win so he can fully switch to leading Triple Eight into the future and hang up his helmet. Feeney has been solid and made remarkably few mistakes as a rookie in the main game, so they are definitely a chance. The best thing is that they are an equal pairing, with complementary skills.






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Jones Jnr is a regular near the back but he sometimes plucks out something special. A good day will see the car into the top 10. Boys has shone in Super2, and S5000, but is unproven. LIVING THE DREAM





Kostecki races as hard as van Gisbergen and Russell is a veteran who knows his job. What could go wrong? Perhaps racing at the wrong time, or getting caught in a double-stack? They get an equal rating to the other Erebus crew, but for very different reasons. LUCKY LOWNDES IS ALWAYS A CONTENDER





It’s great to see a Wildcard crew living the Bathurst dream, good equipment … Just reaching the finish without a drama will be as good as a win and something to build on for the future.





Lowndes owns Bathurst, Fraser is a rising star, and they are in a Triple Eight Commodore. Definitely a combination to watch, especially with Roland Dane as their pitlane general. Both drivers believe they can make the podium.





WALKINSHAW ANDRETTI UNITED – COMMODORE Something special happened at Bathurst last year and it’s hard to see this year going as well despite Mostert’s pace and experience at Bathurst. But Fabian Coulthard should be one of the very best co-drivers in his first year out of the main game, something that worked for Lee Holdsworth in ’21, and they only need a touch of luck – or something special from Adam DeBorre – to do it again.



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THE VETERAN team boss is not predicting a win, but he believes he has the car, drivers and crack pitlane crew to run at the front at Mount Panorama. He should know, too, as he’s been there before as a driver and an owner. “I think this is our best opportunity for a podium in a long time,” Jones tells Auto Action. “Andre Heimgartner has come into the team and really made himself at home. In the last few races he’s been very fast.

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“He was strong at Sandown and, in New Zealand, he was fighting for podiums. Dale Wood is strong and well established as a co-driver. “I feel like we’ve got a pretty speedy race car, even though we might be a little bit upand-down in qualifying. Still, if the car drops onto the ground and is well balanced, I think we’ll be on for a podium.” Jones is not like any of the other team bosses at Bathurst. He’s done everything in racing, from

panel beating and mechanical work as a youngster through to running his four-car outfit at Brad Jones Racing in Albury. He was a hard-headed racer, driving to AUSCAR and NASCAR championships in Australia, spearheading the Audi factory team in Super Touring in the 1990s and even – somehow – squeezing himself into pint-sized Alan McNish’s seat in an Audi Le Mans racer during the Race of 1000 Years in Adelaide in 2000. Jones never took a step back and once spun like a top down the straight in his OzEmail Falcon – also at Bathurst – as he raced for Mitsubishi and the Holden Racing Team and Peter Brock before setting up his family team with his (now retired) brother Kim. It’s a proper family team, including having his son Macauley in one of the team’s Holden Commodores and his nephew Andrew – a former Super2 champion as a driver – in charge of Jack Smith’s involvement. But it’s also a business and Jones is all business as he talks about The Great Race. He barely mentions his two runnerup finishes with Craig Lowndes and John Cleland, or third with Wayne Gardner and John Bowe.

So, what is Bathurst about, for Jones? “It’s a big race. It’s the biggest race we do each year,” he begins, stating the obvious. “You make sure shit is fresh, but everyone knows their roles and what to do by the time you get there.” “One thing has changed since I was driving – and it’s a funny thing. As a driver the race seems to take a while – I always felt the eight hours felt like eight hours. “But being in the crew, and with the crew, and watching everything with all four of our cars – or trying to – the time goes so much faster. “That’s something that really struck me, from being a driver to owning the team. The only time the day feels like it’s dragging is when you have a problem and the car is in the garage and you just want to get it back out there.” So, does he struggle to stay across four cars at Bathurst? “Honestly, I’m across all the cars in the team. And I spend time with all the drivers and try to help them where I can. “It took a bit of adjusting at the start, but we’ve been doing it long enough now that we all have a handle on it. It certainly has its benefits.

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BJR has burst back in to serious contention following the arrival of Andre Heimgartner at the Albury-based squad this year (left and below). Son Macauley (lower opposite) has a Bathurst Super2 win to his name along with a top 10 (7th) result in the big race. Images: MOTORSPORT IMAGES/ROSS GIBB PHOTOGRAPHY

“As a group I think we have a good focus. I think we work really hard to make sure the cars are as good as they can be. “I might gravitate towards the car at the front, to help with strategy, but I’ve got my eye on all the cars. “Obviously, if you’ve got one car that’s looking like it’s going to win, you’ll be watching that car closer. You spend more time looking at strategy.” What about time preparing for Bathurst? “You have your eye on it all year, but as the race gets closer your focus narrows,

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“This is one of the races that consumes a lot of thought. As it gets closer that ramps up – a lot. There is lots of detailed preparation, but Jones has an interesting insight. “You don’t really look at the others. I cannot control that. “For me, it’s about trying to get to lap 100 with as few mistakes as possible and be as close to the front as possible. If you’re in that front group, then you’re on. “The focus is really on what we’re capable of doing. And making sure we have dotted

I feel like we’ve got a pretty speedy race car, even though we might be a little bit up-and-down in qualifying ... I 41



The Ozemail Falcon provided the closest chance Brad got for a Bathurst 1000 win ... BRAD JONES doesn’t like to talk about the time he was ‘caught short’ in the Bathurst 1000. Luckily it happened while he was trundling behind the Safety Car, there is a lot of time on Conrod Straight, and the in-car camera crews were watching someone else as Jones unzipped . . . It’s a funny story, and one of dozens ranging from heroic to tragic and crazy to scurrilous, through his many visits to Mount Panorama. “I’ve got so many memories from that place. So many amazing stories,” Jones begins. It all began when he was a feisty young racer, starring in Production Car racing but yet to make much of an impact in the big league. Actually, it was even earlier … “I’m probably one of the few blokes around, really around, who drove on Conrod Straight when it really was straight. Before the chase. “My first race was 1985, I was in the Mitsubishi Starion turbo, and Kevin Bartlett had been really instrumental in getting me that job,” Jones recalls. “KB was a fantastic mentor to me, to be honest. We were quite an odd couple; I was a kid who had hardly travelled at all and he was a wily old racer who had done everything. “Before that I’d only been twice as a spectator. We went in ’77 when Moffat won with Bondy. “And I’d been up there a couple of times with the motorbikes, because we did a bit of bike racing. I remember we snuck through the orchard and sat on Conrod Straight with our legs dangling over the concrete wall. The bikes were so fast you couldn’t keep up with them – you had to watch them coming and turn fast to see them going away from you. “But I’d been watching the race on TV since I was a kid. I couldn’t wait to get onto that racetrack. I ended up qualifying and could not think of anything better.” But, even then, Jones was honest and a realist. “I remember thinking ‘I’m not driving as fast as the car can go’. And then Fitzy (Peter Fitzgerald) crashed. “And the next go, in ’86, I remember I lost top gear on the warm-up lap. So that was a pretty long day.” There have been lots of long days, and some depressing drives home to Albury

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– sometimes including one-on-one time with the police – as Jones struggled with his disappointment. “I didn’t always enjoy driving home. A lot of times I drove home in frustration.” But there are lots of good times, too. “I’m not sure what year it was, but maybe 2002, in that AU Falcon. It’s just a fun memory,” Jones says. “JB (John Bowe) and I were going around in the back of the utes on the drivers’ parade, the Fords were not doing very well that year, and man they just booed us. It was just punishing. “I said to JB, ‘If I happen to be leading this race on the first lap, I’m going to flip them the bird’. And he said ‘Don’t do that’. “We’d had a terrible lead-up and that normally takes you out of the race. I had barely done any laps. But then JB had put the thing on the front row. “I started and I was nervous, really nervous. But I got a great jump and as I turned into Turn 2 at the top of Mountain Straight, I could see Steven Richards had found his way into second, in front of (Greg) Murphy and (Mark) Skaife . “So I had a decision to make! I remember it took me the whole way from Turn 2 up to The Cutting. In the end I took the sensible decision and kept my hands on the wheel across the top. “When I came across the start-finish line, I said on the radio to Phil Curtis – who was running the car; it was the OzEmail car – ‘It looks like it’s the last lap’, because there was no-one around. “I had a two-second lead. Phil said it was ‘crazy fast’. That first lap gave me an opportunity to get comfortable in the car. Then, after about five laps, the race started coming to me. “It was our team, and the week started off a bit weird, and then ended up going great, and then we didn’t finish, with a problem. “In 2001, when we came off 22nd on the grid to fight Skaife for the lead – when we had John Cleland with me – that was amazing. “It was the same in ’94, with Craig Lowndes for his first time. I can remember being the last car on the track and we were about to get lapped, and then off we went. “There is nothing like being able to pass almost every car on the track to make you feel good. Worthwhile, I guess ...“

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Being a team owner, trying to win the race, is different to being a driver. There are lot more people to care for.

and crossed as much as we can.” But sometimes it’s just out of your control. “I’ve been through all the emotions over the years, loving and hating it. For the longest time, when I was driving I arrived as late as possible in the week and left straight after the race. I just wanted to do my job and then get out of there. “I’ve probably mellowed a lot over the years. I don’t go there to relax. I want to work. I now get to Bathurst on the Tuesday and come home the following Monday. Brad oversees all four BJR cars (above). Macauley snared a top 19 (seventh) at Bathurst in 2018, with Nick Percat, but goes into the 2022 race with experienced Super2 racerJordan Boys sharing the #96 BJR Commodore. The well-drilled BJR squad has a reputation for fast pit stop work (opposite) ...

“So I’ve both loved it and hated it.” He’s also had to adjust to a new challenge. “I’ve got a very strong driving passion to win it. But it’s from a different perspective. “Being a team owner, trying to win the race, is different to being a driver. There are lot more people to care for. “I’ve been close in both cases. When Jason Richards finished second for us with Cameron McConville ... I think if there had been another lap we probably would have won it.

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With John Cleland (top), brother Kim and (below) sharing the HRT Commodore with Craig Lowndes.

“The desire to win it is as strong as it ever was. If it doesn’t consume you, to a point, you’re never going to win it. Even so, he has more perspective. “It’s not the focus of my life anymore. It’s what happens in October. “Bathurst, for me, is like running a marathon. And when you’re finished you can’t think about anything much for a while. It takes a couple of weeks to get over it. “But it’s something that’s in the back of my mind all the time, trying to win that race. “So within a couple of weeks you’re thinking about what you’d like to do. I usually watch the race back, after a couple of weeks, and see what we did and how might have done things a little differently.”



This year is about to unroll and unravel and Jones has the same goal as every time. “The dream is winning. That would be very, very special for me,” Jones says. “I have won races up there, I’ve won a Production Car race. I just haven’t won The Race. “But any time you get on the podium is special. And when Macca (son Macauley) won the Super2 race up there, that was very special. I was so proud of him that day – but I’m proud of him every day.” How does Jones see the form book for 2022? “Beating Shane (van Gisbergen) in his current form, is a very very tall order. “He is in a purple patch in his career. He is definitely the one that’s going to be the one to beat.

“But it’s Bathurst, and it depends on so much – weather, car speed, tactics. “I feel like we’re overdue for a podium at that place. We were close with Brighty (Jason Bright), and Nick (Percat) always went well there. It will be good to see how we go.” And the final wrap from the BJR bunker? “You always need a little bit of luck. It’s one of those places,” Jones says. “At Bathurst there are those odd things that happen that are out of your control. You need the wind to be blowing in the right direction to give you a bit of a boost. “Obviously you need to have the cars set up well. But I strongly believe you make your own luck, and then things fall into place.”

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JONES AT BATHURST “ONCE UPON a time it would be quite frustrating that I didn’t win it,” Brad Jones says. “But I look back fondly. A lot of times I was in the fast group capable of winning the race. And not a whole heap of people can say that. “On my day I like to think I was pretty speedy. I gave it my best shot and came up a little short.” Second place, more than once, is a pretty good effort. “I was fortunate enough to drive a lot of cars up there, and the ’94 car that Lowndes and I drove to second was clearly a very good car. It was capable of going back to the front after some early setbacks. “I drove cars for HRT, Brock, and Stone Brothers with (Mark) Larko. “In 2002, when I was with the AU Falcon for the last time with JB, that was the fastest car on the day. I felt that particular car was capable of winning the race on the day. But it was one of those things. “The (Super Touring) Audi quattro was a great car but bit short on straight-line speed. Like all drivers, he loves Mount Panorama. “I think it’s an amazing racetrack. As a touring car driver it’s one of best to go to in the world. “I’ve raced there and Spa and Fuji and lot of places with some of the best in the world. I’d say Bathurst is right up there. “My favourite part is probably Reid Park. I always felt if you could get through there right, for me, it was one of the secrets of success. “You would get down to The Grate in the dip, and sometimes you would brake and sometimes not, but when it was as right it felt really good. “If you had a car that was ugly there it was going to be a bit of a drama.” I 43



LAST YEAR’S Bathurst 1000 saw only one rookie take to The Mountain – Zak Best – whose late call up saved the race from its first absence of rookies in the race’s 62-year history. The 2022 event has seven first-timers taking on Mount Panorama, with a healthy spread of experience and age between the racing septet. Amongst the group is an unprecedented, all-rookie, privateer Wildcard, a WAU ZB Commodore under the banner of Matt Chahda Motorsport: Young Super2 aces Matt Chahda and Jaylyn Robotham will be piloting the #188 machine. The Trans-Tasman split is two Kiwis and five Aussies, all with a wealth of experience over an even spread of categories, with each bringing their own varied forms of success through international and national Porsche stardom, open-wheelers, Trans Am, Toyota 86s, and several classes of endurance racing. Looking through the debutant field, almost all of the drivers have experienced championship success in one form or another, with six of them competing in this year’s Super2 series, sharing four 2022 victories between them. With Bathurst being a place of steep dreams and lofty goals, a quick look over some exceptional rookie performances includes the legendary Belgian driver, Jacky Ickx and his 1977 victory, whilst more recently, Nick Percat’s win with Garth

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Tander in 2011 as a 23-year-old. Lowndes came brazenly close to a debut win in 1994, overtaking Bathurst legend John Bowe with 11 laps to go, eventually succumbing to finish P2 behind the Bowe/ Dick Johnson pairing. Only two rookies have ever claimed pole on the Mountain: Marcus Ambrose in 2001, and German racer Klaus Ludwig in 1987, in a Sierra RS500. Auto Action casts an eye over all seven rookies, and the motorsport journeys that have led them to a start in Australia’s greatest race.


THE YOUNGEST rookie in the field by 13 days, Jaylyn is getting his berth in the Wildcard Matt Chahda racing #188 car. Currently racing in the Super2 for Image Racing through the Erebus Academy – sitting eighth in the standings – Jaylyn took out the first race of the year at SMP after debuting in 2021 in the place of Supercars graduate Will Brown. The talented Victorian was the youngest ever podium getter in the NZ Toyota 86 series and, in 2019, was crowned the TA2 Asia champion in Thailand. He won the SA Excel championship in 2017, and for a young driver, holds an impressive nationwide and international CV.


ANOTHER EXTREMELY well-travelled youngster, the Auckland born prodigy

Jaylyn Robotham will feature alongside Lee Holdsworth for Grove Racing. Payne currently sits third in the Super2 standings, 150 points in arrears of the leader, with wins in Perth and Sandown for Grove. Shooting to prominence last year when he won the 2021 NZ Toyota Racing series over a field that included Shane van Gisbergen, Andre Heimgartner, and Greg Murphy, Payne also boasts an impressive endurance CV. As well as finishing sixth, with a Townsville victory, in the Carrera Cup for Earl Bamber Motorsport (EBM), he competed in this year’s Spa 24 Hours, the first three rounds of the European Le Mans in a Ferrari 488, with consistent finishes of 10th, fourth and sixth. He also competed in the Italian Mugello 12 hour with EBM in a Mercedes AMG. Matthew Payne

Declan Fraser


IS THERE a better way to start your Bathurst career than racing with Craig Lowndes in a Triple Eight car? The current Super2 leader holds a 114-point lead over Zak Best, with wins in Townsville and at Sandown. After spending a year in Super3 plying his trade, the Queenslander joined Matthew White Motorsport in 2021, just missing out on the rookie crown in Super2. His early years were spent as a talented Karter in both Queensland and internationally, before he made the jump to the Toyota 86 racing series in 2017, with a highest finish of fourth in 2019.


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At the Bathurst 6 Hour in 2018 he managed a fourth in a Toyota 86 GTS, and In 2020 raced a few consistent outings in the Malaysia TCR series, driving a Hyundai i30 N TCR. Whilst Fraser doesn’t have the track record of championship titles compared with some of the other rookies, his speed and talent was undoubted. So much so that Triple Eight signed him up, and he’s debuting with a four-time king of The Mountain.

Australian Formula Ford Championship, a breeding ground that has produced some of Australia greatest ever drivers, with its winners reading as a list of Who’s Who of Aussie greats.


Aaron Seton

Jaxon Evans



SETON’S FIRST crack at The Mountain, with Matt Stone Racing (MSR), is alongside Jack Le Brocq. Seton has a unique claim to fame at this years ‘Great Race’, becoming the first third generation Bathurst 1000 entrant. Grandfather Bo won the 1965 Bathurst 500, whilst his father Glenn was a twotime ATCC champion. Currently, the Queenslander sits at seventh in the Super2 standings, after making his debut in 2021 with MSR. Seton ran fifth in 2021’s highly competitive Trans Am field, whilst winning the sole TA race in 2020. Progressing through karts and Production Cars, Seton won the 2019 TA2 championship, as well as winning class C GT4 Bathurst 12 hour in 2018 driving a BMW M4. Seton can also claim to have worked with the all-conquering DJR Team Penske as a mechanic, as well as performing mechanic/ driver duties with MSR.

THE OTHER Kiwi debutant on the rookie list, the prodigiously talented Evans will co-drive for Brad Jones Racing alongside Jack Smith. The Levin born driver is a successful product of the Porsche Factory, and the second Carrera cup championship racer on this rookie list. With six wins and 10 podiums, Evans stormed to the 2018 title with McElrea Racing, with his McElrea Porsche relationship dating back to 2015. After finishing sixth in the German Carrera Cup in 2019, he then went on to win the French Carrera Cup the following year. Evans also has season finishes of seventh, fourth, and second in the prestigious Porsche Supercup: the exclusive European F1 support category. He finished fifth in his Le Mans class alongside Matt Campbell in the GTE Am in 2021 for Dempsey-Proton Racing, whilst competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship full time, also for the German team.

Matt Chahda

Cameron Hill


HILL ENTERS this year’s Bathurst 1000 with PremiAir’s #22 Chris Pither and, along with Jaxon Evans, is arguably the most accomplished of the rookies to get a start. The Canberra product currently occupies fourth spot in the Super2 standings as a rookie, driving for Triple Eight. Hill is also the reigning Carrera Cup champion, having dominated the 2021 season over a talented field, winning six races with 11 podiums after a sixth place in 2021. He also took out this year’s Bathurst 6 Hour in a BMW F87 M2, after starting 60th on the grid. In 2017, he finished runner up in the Toyota 86s after a third place the year before. The other highly notable claim to fame is winning the 2015




OF THE seven rookies taking on ‘The Mountain’ at this year’s 1000, is the #188 ZB Commodore wildcard featuring Super2 drivers Matthew Chahda and Jaylyn Robotham, is one of the great stories of this year’s event. With the car leased from Walkinshaw Andretti United (WAU) by Matt Chahda Motorsports, father, and team principal Amin Chahda, spoke to Auto Action about the family’s life-long dream that has finally culminated with a spot at ‘The Great race’. “At the start of the year, we decided that we were going do it. A few years ago, I said to Matt ‘how would you like to have a crack at the 1000?’ He said it was out of our reach, so I said that ‘If you think positive, nothing is out of our reach,” Chahda said. “We’re only a little mechanic shop in Albury, but we’re all involved; the program we’ve grown is just us shutting shop and going racing with all the mechanics.” “After initially trying to do a deal through Brad Jones Racing, we had to look elsewhere as they were unable to commit a car.” It was then they approached WAU’s team principal Bruce Stewart, and the green lights lit up. “They’ve been incredible to deal with. As a Main Game team, the deal they put together for the money was amazing. They’ve leased us the car, equipment, truck, and two mechanics. They offered more, but we really wanted to do it ourselves,” Chahda told AA. In terms of Matthew and Jaylyn getting this chance, Chahda was blunt about their talents having been overlooked by the Supercars fraternity.

“We’ve been overlooked for so long because we’re privateers, and we don’t have a big budget. Matt could drive, but we just couldn’t get him the right equipment, so he’s not been at the front of the field, and they weren’t looking at him. “Now suddenly, he’s got the equipment and they’re all going ‘hang on!’ “Because of that, we’ve looked at Jaylyn and what they’ve been going through. He’s from a small family that has a little bakery in Lancefield, and they’re good people. We didn’t want him going through all the heartache that we’ve been through with missing out. “He was on Matt’s shortlist. He’s a great kid and a bloody good driver for his age. They do everything as a family and so do we, and we really loved that. On the family aspect, finally being a part of a Bathurst 1000 is a big moment for the Chahda family. “It’s just massive for us. I stepped aside from my own racing career because Matt had great potential, and we tried to get him through with Matt White (MW Motorsport), because we used to race at the Thunderdome together, but we just couldn’t afford it. “So, we’ve had to go it alone. “And after the Superlicence fell through all those years back, it was a really tough time. “But he’s shown this year that he can do the job, and he can drive, and now he’s got a shot at the 1000. “And if this leads to a co-drive next year, that’s when I can sit back as a father, and as a family, and we can say that we’ve done our job.” Timothy W Neal

THE OLDEST rookie on the list, Chahda is part of one of this year’s great Bathurst 1000 stories, racing alongside fellow debutant Jaylyn Robotham in the Privateer team of Matt Chahda Motorsport, running a WAU ZB Commodore. Chahda has been a long-time Super2 competitor and came close to a start at The Mountain in 2019. Having competed over eight Super2 seasons, he currently sits sixth in the standings with two podiums and is having arguably his best season to date. Racing in a family run team since 2012, he started out in the NSW Formula Ford series, where he won rookie of the year, before progressing into V8 Utes, then into three seasons of V8 Touring Car championships, with a season best fourth place finish.

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Three Seton generations join MSR regular Jack le Brocq (left). Glenn ran second with Craig Lowndes twice in a row (below left) and shared a ninth place with Steven Richards (below). Bo Seton won the Armstrong 500 in 1965, in a Ford Cortina, with Midge Bosworth co-driving (bottom). Images by: MOTORSPORT IMAGES/AUTOPIX.COM.AU


AARON SETON IS ABOUT TO BECOME THE FIRST ‘THIRD-GENERATION’ BATHURST 1000 RACER – ANDREW CLARKE INVESTIGATES THE DNA ... THE NEW Camaro and Mustang racers doing laps at Bathurst are not the only Gen3 that will hit the track this weekend. When Aaron Seton trundles out of pitlane sometime on Thursday in the #34 Truck Assist Commodore out of Matt Stone Racing, he will become the third generation of the Seton family to race in the Bathurst 1000. This is the first time a family will field a third generation in the race, and the young driver is hopeful he does enough to keep his career on its upward trend. Aaron has followed a similar path to the older Setons, working as a race mechanic on his way up the ranks. He is one of seven rookies in the race. “It’s very exciting to get my first opportunity at Bathurst,” he said. “It’s a massive event, and I’ve watched it since I was a kid. “I went there for the first time when I was three months old. We’ve got a lot of family history at Bathurst, obviously with Pop (Bo) winning the race in ‘65 and then Dad coming really close in ‘95.” The Seton family has always had significant links to Bathurst. In addition to the win, Glenn debuted with his father in 1984, but he says there was never any chance he would race with his son – he says he is too old and slow today to even think about that. Instead, he’ll watch on and continue to engineer his Super2 car, which will also be racing up there. Glenn is generally rated the best driver who tried but never won the race, and the 1995 race remains one of the more emotional moments in Australian motorsport. The end engine let go when he was six seconds out in front, with only nine laps to run.

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Glenn finished second at Bathurst three times and had one third-placed finish as his best result. “It’s a mix so far for us up there. We have a lot of great history at Bathurst,” Glenn said. “We’ve spent a lot of time together at the racetracks over the years too, which has brought us close together. It’s cool to be the first family to have three generations in The Great Race and I’m looking forward to it. “Aaron’s not coming along with a chequebook either. Even before he left school, he has put the effort in behind the scenes. He first did work experience at DJR Team Penske and then got the opportunity to learn the ropes there for three years. He then started looking after his car and has reached the level he’s at now. “He has done the hard yards and deserves this chance.” And the family legacy? “I suppose it’s very much mixed emotions for me. The negative is probably not winning it, but I’ve also been very lucky to have the opportunity to compete up there for so many years at a top level and finish on the podium quite a few times. “Never number one, but certainly number two.

“I guess it is how you look at it, but that’s probably luckier than many others, that’s for sure.” Bo won the race when Glenn was only a few months old, and he raced there for many years after that, including sharing a car with his son on debut in 1984. The family connection is and remains strong, although Bo, now 86, is unlikely to make it to Bathurst. “Dad had a good journey for himself throughout motorsport, including winning the race and then being able to compete up there so many times,” Glenn says. “He was a part of my racing in the early days too. “To see Aaron come through now, he’s pretty proud granddad for sure, and I’m a pretty proud father.” So Aaron has some pretty big shoes to try and fill while carrying a name synonymous with motorsport in this country. No pressure, really? “I haven’t thought about it too much, to be honest,” he says. “I am just trying to focus more on the job I need to do and get the best result possible out of the weekend. “My big goal is to be fulltime in the main game,

so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next few years and working hard to achieve that goal. “For this race, I want to go out there and do my best and learn from the experience. A great result would be a top 10 finish, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do. “Dad’s been helpful in giving advice on what to do and not to do. I’m looking forward to implementing that over the weekend. I’m sure it will all help. “Pop’s proud that I’ve been given the opportunity to drive Bathurst, and I think he is looking forward to watching it on TV.” A good showing will go a long way to opening doors in 2022 and locking down his plans, although he was pretty cagey. There are no main game drives in the offing at the moment, so expect a full-on attack at the 2023 Super2 Championship.


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FOR THE second time this year the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series heads to the mountain. Round two of the series was on the support card of the Bathurst 12 Hour, where Zach Bates was the class of the field, winning two of the three races. Bates dominated last year’s championship and has continued his winning momentum, but he can expect a challenge from the likes of Clay Richards and Jarrod Hughes, who have both scored their maiden wins in recent rounds. FOR MANY the focus is on the Supercars competing for the Bathurst 1000. But they have plenty of support acts, with plenty of other categories and racers out on track competing. For many, they are living the dream of racing at the famous Mount Panorama circuit. From the young guns fighting out to be King of the Kids in the Toyota 86 Series, and the hotshots in Porsche Carrera Cup, through to Supercar stars of tomorrow racing in the Dunlop Super2/3 Series – many of whom are the co-drivers to the main game teams. There are cars that made history in days gone by and the SuperUtes.


HE STARS of tomorrow will be looking to shine when the Super 2/3 field tackles its biggest weekend of the season. After a chaotic weekend in Sandown, drivers will be hoping to avoid the notorious concrete walls of Mount Panorama, when they complete two gruelling 18-lap affairs. The man to beat is Declan Fraser, currently leading the Super 2 standings by 114 points from Tickford’s Zak Best. Fraser has impressed with his consistency and hopes to go one step closer to pushing Triple Eight Race Engineering to back-to back titles. His nearest rival Best has already wowed the Supercars field at The Bend and will need to harness a similar amount of pace



and experience to close the gap and avoid a second straight season as the runner-up. The likes of Matthew Payne and Tyler Everingham are also ones to watch having won twice each. The Super 3 field has been dominated by young guns Kai Allen and Brad Vaughan, and the duo will resume their title fight on the mountain. Allen has enjoyed more time at the front and leads by 54 points, but Vaughan has never allowed him to drift too far out of sight, so expect their tense duel to continue.


WITH TWO rounds to go and less than 100 points separating the top five in the championship, the 2022 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia title race is hotting up. Harri Jones leads the way, 68 points ahead of evergreen David Wall, who has been super consistent once again, heading an angry pack of drivers all within striking distance. Despite sitting fourth on the table, the man arriving at Mount Panorama in hot form is Aaron Love. Love has won five of the last six races and wants to continue his charge after missing Winton and Darwin. Jones hopes to back up his win from last year to consolidate his championship lead.

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THE COMPETITIVE fight for the 2022 Haltech SuperUte Series crown will ramp up at the mountain this weekend. Still on a high from his last-to-first race three win at The Bend, Aaron Borg is the man to catch in his Holden Colorado. But the stunning victory masked Borg’s disappointment earlier in the South Australian round, which brought his rivals back into the title frame. His nearest competitor, George Gutierrez is now just 63 points behind, while the Toyota Hilux trio of Craig Woods, Rohan Barry and Ben Walsh are also in the frame.


IN THE 60th anniversary of ‘The Great Race’ at Mount Panorama and 50th anniversary of Peter Brock’s maiden win, fans will be treated to a special trip down memory lane.

The Heritage Touring Cars field will feature many beautiful machines from some of the most treasured mountain memories from the 1960’s to 90’s. There will be 21 cars from the Group C era including Allan Grice’s Craven Mild Torana and the Nissan Bluebird George Fury plastered on pole in 1984, plus many more. A nice selection of Group A entries are also in store, with the Jaguar XJS that cruised to the 1985 ‘Great Race’ win guaranteed to impress. Stunning Torana XU1’s, Mustangs and Chargers will also be seen from the Group N era, while some Group S machines are dressed to impress. No circuit in Australia has such rich history like Bathurst, and this category promises to be the perfect way to celebrate 60 years of racing up the mountain. TN I 47


Bathurst edition made SUPER by



Shane van Gisbergen Cameron Waters Will Davison Anton de Pasquale Chaz Mostert Broc Feeney David Reynolds Andre Heimgartner Brodie Kostecki Tim Slade

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Holden Commodore ZB Holden Commodore ZB Ford Mustang Holden Commodore ZB Holden Commodore ZB Holden Commodore ZB Holden Commodore VF Ford Falcon FG Ford Falcon FG Holden Commodore VE



2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 14 17 18 20 22 25 26 31 34 35 51 55 56 88 96 97 99 118 888

Nick Percat Tim Slade Jack Smith James Courtney Cam Waters Andre Heimgartner Will Brown Lee Holdsworth Anton de Pasquale Bryce Fullwood Will Davison Mark Winterbottom Scott Pye Chris Pither Chaz Mostert David Reynolds James Golding Jack Le Brocq Todd Hazelwood Richie Stanaway Thomas Randle Jake Kostecki Broc Feeney Macauley Jones Shane van Gisbergen Brodie Kostecki Matt Chahda Declan Fraser


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3rd 9th N/C DNF 2nd 4th 3rd N/C 3rd 6th 4th 3rd 19th N/C 3rd 5th 11th N/C 19th 1st 15th 13th 1st DNF 1st 8th N/C 1st

TIME 0725-0745 0755-0815 0825-0845 0855-0945 1000-1040 1100-1200 1220-1250 1305-1325 1335-1355 1405-1425 1440-1520 1530-1550 1555-1655 1710-1730 1740-1800

CATEGORY Heritage Revival V8 SuperUtes Toyota 86 Porsche Carrera Cup Dunlop Series Supercars Events Heritage Revival V8 SuperUtes Toyota 86 Dunlop Series Supercars EventsGen3 Supercars Supercars Events Heritage Revival

SESSION Practice 1 Practice Practice 1 Practice Practice 1 Practice 1 (all drivers) Resident Access Practice 2 Qualifying Practice 2 Practice 2 Demonstration Practice 2 (co-drivers) Qualifying Qualifying

TIME 0750-0810 0820-0840 0850-0910 0920-0955 0955-1005 1010-1110 1110-1130 1145-1215 1230-1250 1300-1400 1400-1410 1415-1455 1525-1540 1615-1655 1700-1720 1725-1745

CATEGORY Toyota 86 Heritage Revival V8 SuperUtes Dunlop Series Events Supercars Supercars Events Toyota 86 Supercars Supercars Events Porsche Carrera Cup Dunlop Series Supercars Supercars Events Heritage Revival

SESSION Qualifying Race 1 Race 1 Qualifying Demonstration Practice 3 (all drivers) Gen3 Demonstration Resident Access Race 1 Practice 4 (all drivers) Demonstration Race 1 Race 1 Qualifying Gen3 Demonstration Race 2

TIME 0810-0830 0835-0845 0850-0925 0940-1015 1020-1120 1125-1135 1140-1200 1215-1245 1300-1400 1405-1415 1420-1440 1450-1510 1520-1545 1600-1645 1705

CATEGORY V8 SuperUtes Supercars Dunlop Series Supercars Supercars Supercars Heritage Revival Events Supercars Supercars V8 SuperUtes Toyota 86 Porsche Carrera Cup Dunlop Series Supercars

SESSION Race 2 Demonstration Qualifying Gen3 Demonstration Practice 5 (co-drivers) Demonstration Race 3 Resident Access Practice 6 (all drivers) Demonstration Race 3 Race 2 Race 2 Race 2 Top Ten Shootout

TIME 0725-0745 0800-0820 0840-0900 0905-0925 0940-1005 1015-1030 1115

CATEGORY V8 SuperUtes Supercars Supercars Toyota 86 Porsche Carrera Cup Supercars Supercars

SESSION Race 4 Warm Up Drivers Parade Race 3 Race 3 Demonstration Race 30 (161 laps)





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PETER BROCK COLLECTION – CELEBRATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLDEN ICON’S FIRST BATHURST WIN GENERAL MOTORS in collaboration with the Brock Family Estate, is proud to announce the release of a very special product range to commemorate the legendary achievements of Peter Brock and his special relationship with the races held at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. The Holden legend conquered ‘The Mountain’ an amazing nine times between 1972 and 1987, a record that still stands today. He was victorious in some of Holden’s most iconic models, from the LJ GTR XU1, LH L34 and LX A9X Toranas and VB-VH-VC Group C Commodores, to



the VK and VL SS Group A Commodores. With the 50th anniversary of his very first win at the Mountain, in 1972, in the mighty LJ GTR XU1 to be celebrated this week at Mount Panorama, this newly-released, limited-edition, high-quality range of products celebrate Peter Brock at various times of his fabulous racing career. There are many different officially licenced collectables to choose from – and all are a ‘must’ for all Peter Brock, Holden and indeed motorsport fans. To explore the range, visit


Leading LS Conversion Specialists Castle Headers and Exhaust components Dynogen Alternators - The hidden alternator in a generator body Hi-Torque Gear Reduction Starter motors Billet High Performance Alternators Wiper Motor Kits EFI Conversion Looms and ECU reprogramming Conversion engine mounts, Transmission Crossmembers, Conversion Sumps Rack & pinion Conversions

FULL SIZE FIBREGLASS 1972 PETER BROCK LJ GTR XU1 TORANA REPLICA BONNET. Celebrates his first Bathurst triumph at the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500 • Each official replica Holden Torana Bonnet will be decaled in Brock’s iconic ’72 Bathurst livery, and feature Peter Brock’s facsimile signature • Comes affixed with ‘easy-to-hang’ wall mount • Each edition will be accompanied by a framed Certificate of Authenticity, with the edition number corresponding to the collector’s bonnet. RRP: $3,995.00


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1987 BATHURST WINNER: BROCKY SIDEWAYS! HDT Racing VL Commodore SS Group A. Peter Brock working hard in the wet and wild closing stages of the 1987 Bathurst 1000. Who can forget Mike Raymond’s commentary as Brock splashed across the top of the mountain in the wet .... on slicks! Highest quality offset printed on satin 200gsm card. Large A2 Sizing: 420 X 594mm. Signed and individually numbered by the Artist. Limited to 187 pieces. RRP: $49.95

1:18 SCALE HOLDEN VL COMMODORE SS GROUP A ATCC NO.5 PETER BROCK 1987 Diecast with opening bonnet, doors and boot lid – Limited Edition of TBA pieces with Certificate of Authenticity. RRP: $274.95 - COMING SOON! 1972 BATHURST BROCK V MOFFAT UNFRAMED PRINT Official Holden Heritage and Allan Moffat Racing licenced product. Created by Peter Hughes – 50th Anniversary Celebration of one of the most dramatic Bathursts of the 70s era. “Friendships and Rivalries are Born” – Highest quality offset printed on satin 250gsm card. Large A2 Sizing: 420 X 594mm – Signed and indiviually numbered by the Artist – Limited to 172 pieces. RRP: $49.95 PETER BROCK 50TH BATHURST ANNIVERSARY ENAMELS Officially-licensed Holden and Brock product celebrating Peter Brock’s legendary Bathurst victories! Nine genuine Australian pennies – finished in PURE SILVER – Enhanced with full colour enamel – EXCLUSIVE – limited to just 5000 collections! Spectacular presentation – with informative folder! Complete with a Certificate of Authenticity Price to be confirmed closer to release

SPEEDWAY DAVIS DOMINATES IN CAIRNS ROUND 5 of the Northern Queensland Sprintcar Championship Series fired into action at the Totally Workwear Cairns International Speedway. Despite numbers being down, with only eight of the Pro Sprintcars in attendance, teenage hotshot Brodie ‘The Kid’ Davis bookended his run perfectly, firstly as the fastest qualifier in time trials and then going on to find the fastest way home to lead from flag-to-flag in the Feature event. In what was just his third ever outing in the Sprintcar ranks, Davis would start from pole position alongside the experienced Wes Jenkins after claiming the Top 6 Pole Shuffle. At the drop of the green, Davis shot to the front while Jenkins withstood an early charge from previous round victor Cameron King, who pressured hard on the opening lap before settling back into third – while still in striking distance as the leader opened handy real estate on the field before the yellows were thrown around quarter race journey to remove a stray cone marker from the race line. At the Indian file restart, Davis led the charge, however Jenkins threw away his second place after looping his machine, only to regather at the back of the field. Simultaneously, Brian Walsh would spin to a halt and out of contention after losing a front wheel. Take two: again Davis led the field away, this time followed by King, who was quickly challenged by Jared Desmares and would soon move into second place, relegating King to the final step on the podium as the field spread out over the remaining laps. Mark Jorgensen and Jenkins tailed out the finishers as Walsh sat parked on the infield,

NQ51 Brodie Davis chalks up his maiden Sprintcar Feature race victory. Images: Gordon Greaves.

while Gwesyn Dalliston failed to make it back out for the Main race after riding the wall in the Pole Shuffle. Andrew Sues also failed to front for the Feature despite finishing a strong third in the final qualifying heat.


Hayden Stephensen turned the tables on pole-sitter Adam Jorgensen, who led for roughly the first quarter of the 30 lap race journey, in the LG Automotive and Dyno Modified Sedans North Queensland Title. After a series of aborted starts, Jorgensen was the early trailblazer, withstanding several throwdowns from Stephensen before working his way to the front and from that point on, he would not look back in the run to the line, over Jorgensen. David Manly would advance to third and take the final step on the podium, followed to the line by Graham Kleinhans and Jason Cummins rounding out the finishers. Brett Brady parked on the infield at two-thirds the journey and Steve Manly also retired prematurely on the fourth lap. Sadly, Darren Severs and Scott Vella were nonstarters for the championship final. Stephensen, Jorgensen and Brady each claimed a 10-lap heat race win. THE SUPPORTING classes provided a great variety of open wheeled and sedan divisions for the large crowd in attendance. The Formula 500 podium consisted of John Magro, Lexi Underwood and Ash Ewing. Justin Lee claimed the Formula 400s final over the Pollock’s in Len and Les. Brett Hardy proved too strong going flag-to-flag

Modified Sedans North Queensland champion #28 Hayden Stephensen.

in the Super Streets over Andrew McCreath and Mick Brook. Brenton Chandler, Ross Mackenzie and Stacey Lee rounded off the Super Sedan feature while in the Junior

ranks it would be Dylan Hedger in the Junior Formula 500s and the Junior Sedan of Bailey Chandler setting a new class lap record with the win over Livi Jorgensen. Paris Charles

2022/23 SEASON KICKS OFF AT MURRAY BRIDGE THE SOUTH Australian 2022/23 Speedway season was officially launched at the Murray Machining & Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway with the opening round of the Ausloans Finance Strathalbyn Track Championship featuring Wingless Sprints, Street Stocks, Modified Sedans, Junior Sedans and Formula 500s.

SA1 Tyson Martin fends off a charge from S23 Jack McCarthy in the Wingless-sprints contest. Image: Ray Ritter.


Heading the show with a 29-car line-up was the Wingless Sprints. The V6 -owered open wheelers have been growing hand over fist, with an influx of new drivers adding to the mix. However the cream would rise to the top and going into the 30-lap feature it would be the reigning South Australian Champion Tyson Martin alongside Victorian gun Blake Walsh and Victorian Champion Luke Storer sharing the second row with Jack McCarthy. At the drop of the green Martin used his track position to lead as the tightly bunched top four opened handy real estate over the field. With a dozen laps in the books, Walsh took command as the quartet negotiated their way through lapped traffic – however the yellow lights would blaze for the Boyd Harris entry parked by the Turn 1 fence. The Indian file restart allowed Martin to again lead the field before a thrilling battle broke out – Walsh and McCarthy would relegate the race leader back to third before Martin put the elbows up and fought his way back into contention through traffic and from that point forward

52 I

Martin would find the quickest way to the finish line, followed to the podium by Walsh, McCarthy and Storer. Rylan Furler, Anthony Tapley, Brent Fox, James Rodda and Jake Dooley were the final drivers on the lead lap. Aaron Kennett, Peter Logue, Dale Gesell, Darryl Knuckey, Troy Frisby, Harris, Thomas Walkom, John Murdie and Nicole Southby rounded out the finishers one lap in arrears while Ryan Alexander and Nate Trewin retired to the infield. Martin and Walsh claimed two heat wins apiece, Storer and Logue were the other winners, with Frisby taking out the B Main.


Veteran racer Carey Weston used every ounce of his experience to bag the opening round of the Street Stock track championship, fighting off a determined Drew Flatman and Craig Buchanan (taking the final podium step), making it a Ford, Mitsubishi and Holden podium in a race that went 10-laps in each direction. Keith Moore, Nigel Reichstein, Thomas Garner, Ryan Buchanan and Anthony Buchanan would all finish on the lead lap. Moss Buchanan, Corey Richter and Jarryd Farrell

were one lap in arrears. Failing to travel the journey was Curtis Brown, David Ziemke, Steve Moore and Darren Brumfield. Heat winners for the night were Brumfield, Weston and Flatman. Mildura’s Angelo Halacas and Trev Logan made the most their front row qualifying positions to race flagto-flag in the 20-lap Modified Sedan Feature in that respective order. Rob Uren would round out the podium followed by the fast females Kayla Knox and Shelley Crouch rounding out the field. Brandon Elphick failed to start the main event. Halacas and Logan split the qualifying heats. Brendan Zadow found the fastest way home in the Formula 500 main event, holding off Richard Schmidt and Corey Jones sharing the podium, with Patrick Merrett and Harrison Pfitzner rounding the finishers, while Michael Wise failed to finish and Scott Dungey would not trouble the lap scorers for the final. The Junior Stars were also in action, with Lucas Warnett taking a clean sweep, winning both heats and the 12-lap Feature ahead of Riley Greig and Ollie Bartlett, with Ryan Burns, Summer Gessell and Ryan Gilding making up the finishers. Henry Brumfield failed to finish while Ky McEwin failed to start the Feature event. Last but not least ,the crowd were entertained by the Classic Sedans who put on a spirited display as they turned back the hands of time. Paris Charles

VEAL STEALS TOOWOOMBA THUNDER IN 10K PAYDAY! SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND Speedway fans have been waiting through their off season with bated breath, and when the gates flung open, over 2500 people packed into Hi-Tec Oils Toowoomba Speedway (making it the largest crowd for an opening night at the venue in six years) to watch a solid field of 24 Sprintcars slug it out for Round 1 of the Clay Per View Ultimate Sprintcar Championship presented by Queensland Speedway Spares that doubles as the $10,000 to Win, Thunder on the Downs. Going into the 30-lap final it was Victorian Jamie Veal sharing the front row with Lachlan McHugh, resuming their recent battles from last month’s Chariot of Thunder Series in Darwin. At the drop of the green, Veal would use his inside track position to keep McHugh on the highline which allowed the fourthplaced starter, Sam Walsh, the opportunity to strike, moving into second as the field scrambled down the back chute for the opening lap. McHugh would work his way back to second as Veal opened a handy gap over the field only for the yellows to blaze on the fifth lap as Brock Hallett spun to a halt, bringing the field back together for an Indian file restart. Veal led them away, but McHugh had other ideas as he snatched the lead coming out of Turn 4 and looked racy as he stretched his legs until Brent Kratzmann inverted his ride, bringing on a red light stoppage as he avoided the spun car of Matt Dumesny – both joining Hallett and Blake Darcy on the infield. McHugh again led the charge and before too long he would start to make his way through the back markers before componentry failure would send the NQ7 Leigh Smith Yachts Cool up and over as he crashed into the wall at a great rate of knots. Veal inherited the lead, with 20 laps remaining, only for the yellow lights to be soon ablaze as Jayden Peacock was dragged to the infield after coming off second best against the wall. Again, the leader would dictate the pace ,with clear track ahead followed by Walsh, Luke Oldfield, Cody Maroske, Ben Atkinson Jr and Co. A mid-pack incident would bring the cautions on again resulting in the retirement of Brodie Boss. Oldfield and Maroske would relegate Walsh back to fifth at the recommencement, while Veal expressed to the chequered flag. Maroske climbed to the runner-up position while Oldfield rounded out the podium placers. Marcus Dumesny found some closing speed for fourth over Walsh, Ryan Newton, Anthony Lambert, Randy Morgan, Taylor Prosser and Nicholas Whell completing the top 10. Atkinson Jnr, Karl Hoffmans and Jack Bell rounded out the bakers dozen to go the distance. The heat race wins were shared between Walsh and Hallett while Veal claimed both a qualifier and The Dash and Hoffmans the last chance B Main.

FARMER FASTEST TO THE FINISH Against 18 hard chargers, Scott Farmer took home a well-earned $3k payout after an



Modlites – Q25 Terry Leerentveld. Images: Matthew Paul

Speedcars – Q22 Scott Farmer battles with 35 Michael Kendall.

Sprintcar podium: (L-R) Luke Oldfield, Jamie Veal and Cody Maroske

SPEEDWAY NEWS with Paris Charles exciting 25-lap feature in the opening round of the GSA Machining USC for Speedcars. Coming from P5, Farmer quickly made his way to the front and worked solidly among a field that included many interstaters and international guests. With one lap remaining, the red lights would blaze for Reid Mackay. With two to run at the restart, Farmer would hold on for the victory. Making the most of the repack would be Kiwi, Kaleb Currie, Michael Stewart (advancing onto the podium at the expense of Rusty Whittaker who was holding down second prior to the stoppage), Casey O’Connell (who rolled in spectacular style after the finish line) and four-time New Zealand Champion Michael Kendall, who would fill the top half dozen.

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Stewart and Mackay each claimed a qualifier while Scott Doyle took out The Dash.

THOMSENS TAKE 1-2 The Wingless Sprint field provided a strong number of competitors with 27 cars assembled in the pits to contest Round 1 of the Wild Ink Club Championship. Taking the top two steps on the dais would be Maryborough’s Scott and Brody Thomsen, while joining them in the celebrations was Tim Harris after the race was declared one lap short after Joshua Bartlett rolled to a stop with the white flag out. Jamie Usher, Jason Bates and Blake Darcy rounded out the top six. Brothers Thompsen, Brody and Scott claimed one qualifying heat apiece while, Harris and Bates racked up doubles and Dave Sansby took the B Main.


Pandemonium would break out the at the commencement of the Modlite Feature, Round 1 of the Dondex Sheds Extreme Series. At the drop of the green Luke Harrison and Nathan Politch came together, sending Harrison for a ride on the wild side and also eliminating Steve Collins in the chain

reaction. Once the race got underway, Terry Leerentveld would make the most of his front row start charge to an untroubled victory. Rodney Pammenter stormed his way from the B Main to a well-deserved runner up position, with Corey Stein taking the final podium step, from Kurt Grambower, Gavin Thomas and Mason Pammenter in sixth. The six heats were shared evenly with Leerentveld, M. Pammenter, Kurt Grambower, Gavin Thomas, Stein and Politch taking one apiece.

SMITH STORMS TO VICTORY The Sedans fans were treated to some thundering V8 powered Late Model action and, despite only having six competitors, the action would still prove exciting. Tasmanian Brad Smith, the man who travelled the furthest to be there, found the quickest way to the finish line despite various caution periods on the journey, which included pole sitter and both heat races winner Carter Armstrong after contact with Smith, sending him to the tail of the field for the restart – only to soon retire. Smith would drive seven more laps unchallenged to the finish followed home by Steve Van Zeeland, Alex Sweeney, Daniel Bennett and Allen Schultz. I 53



Darren Jenkins (above) took out HQ honours. Paul Di Biase (below right) took a pair of wins in Formula Libre, while Mark Pearce took a win in the Sports Car category with his McLaren. Images: David Batchelor THE FOURTH and final round of the Motorsport Australia South Australian Motor Racing Championships had a packed programme that didn’t disappoint at The Bend Motorsport Park on September 17-18 despite unco-operative weather.


IN THE combination of the two categories, Panayot Boyaci (Porsche 991 Cup Car) won the first and the last race while Mark Pearce (McLaren GT4) and Matt Sims (Porsche) won the other two. Pearce (McLaren GT4) won overall among the Sports Cars as he had a couple of second places. Joe Sommariva (Maserati GT4) was a well-earned second because he was the only one to finish all four outings while Sims finished third. Boyaci had a DNS and DNF which robbed him of any chance of the win. Tim Slade (Brabham BT62) comfortably outqualified the competition but didn’t finish a race, and the weather thwarted any attempt at the lap record. It was a strong but fragile Sports Sedan contingent which Neil Turner (Mini JCW) headed with four top 10 results. Myles Bond (Ford Cortina) took two class wins but was slowed by an ECU issue. Matthew Gold was a lucky third despite blowing a head gasket in his Mini Cooper S. Josh Pickert (Holden Monaro) top qualified and claimed the class win in the opening race only to have terminal engine dramas on the slow down lap. Bruce Henley (Mazda RX8) and Ryan Smith (Nissan Skyline R34) both lost wheels on Saturday and sustained enough damage to be out for the weekend.


ADAM POOLE dominated with four wins in his Holden Monaro. Grant Maitland (Nissan Silvia S13) was second overall after three

54 I

thirds and a fourth. Scott Cook (S13) scored three seconds and hung on for third even though he failed to start the final race in which Ian Statham (Mitsubishi Magna) was second ahead of Matt Kelly (BMW E36). Jiawei Chen (Honda Civic) set the under two litre pace.


IT WAS a close encounter where three hard fought wins handed Joel Heinrich (Ford Falcon AU) victory over top qualifier Shawn Jamieson (Holden Commodore VY) who narrowly defeated Heinrich in the final race. West Australia’s Vince Ciallella (VY Commodore) trailed in third while Sam Milton had three third places but also a DNF. Behind the Saloon Cars, the Wayne Williams’ Falcon V8 Ute and Richard Harris (Mini Cooper S), there were three different winner in the HQ ranks. In four close encounters Darryl Crouch and Victorian Ryan Woods won a race each but it was Darren Jenkins’ two wins that won him the round. Woods was second overall with Crouch third.


WITH TWO race wins, Brad Gartner took the round win ahead of Asher Johnston who made him work hard for his trophy as Ethan Fitzgerald. With 40 cars on the grid, Johnston won the first race just in front of Jayden Wanzek and Gartner. The latter struck back to take the second, after a mid-race lead grab and had 1s on Fitzgerald who benefited from Johnston and Wanzek close play that seen the latter drop behind Nick Skaife and Shayne Nowickyj. Gartner backed up to take the third over Johnston, Fitzgerald and Mitch McGarry. In the last, Wanzek was successful in downing Gartner, Johnston and Fitzgerald.

FORMULA3/FORMULA LIBRE/ FORMULA VEES/RACING & SPORTS THE MIX saw Formula Libre Tatuus FT50 pilots snare three wins with Matt Woodland the winner of the first over Paul Di Biase who won the next two ahead of Woodland. Jim Doig (Motorlap ASP 340) was third in Race 1 before he followed with a DNF. That left Andrew Ford (Birrana 274) to take the Historic honours ahead of Melissa Ford (Mallock U2). Daniel Westcott (Jacer F2K5) won a three-way fight for top spot in the 1600s from Ben Forgan (Sabre 02) and Kaylan Hill (Elfin Crusader). They all had turns at the pointy end even if Westcott greeted the flag first every time. Frank Chessell (Elfin Crusader) collected the 1200 award.


A WIN in the opening race allowed Ian Eldridge (Stohr WF1) to keep the momentum and go on to take the round win comfortably clear of Race 2 winner Tim Cook (Wolf Thunder) and top qualifier Chien-Wen Liew (Wolf F1 Mistral). Paul Trengrove (West WR1000) was unlucky to DNF in Race 1 but raced to victory in the wet final race.


THE HISTORIC manufacturer was well represent where Sean Whelan (BT30) won each of the encounters. In each he showed the way to Shan Kuchel (BT18) while NSW’s Wayne Wilson (BT35) and David Smoker (BT29) each place third twice. David Batchelor

Images: Nakita Pollock

BIG TURNOUT FOR TANDER MEETING THE ROUND of State championships at Raceway, Wanneroo, had 175 entries and featured the Tander Trophy on the weekend of September 17-18.


THE TANDER TROPHY went to Nik Mitic (BMW E36 M3 – leading, above) with three outright wins while Ben Riley (Honda Integra Type R) took the under 2.0 litres three times. John Callegari (Holden Commodore VN) was the better starter in race one and led Mitic until lap four when he slipped past and won from Callegari and Grant Gellan (Ford Escort Mk1). The second race was a reverse grid start. Ashley Selsun (Torana) led the first two laps as Mitic, Callegari and Gellan forged their way through to be in front on lap three. The final was another reverse grid with some missing including Callegari. Rachel Beers (Commodore VE) was the leader initially before dispatched by Mitic, Gellan and Riley.


JOSH MATTHEWS came from behind to win all three races in a Van Diemen dominated field. Elliott Cleary had the first race lead before he was sidelined with a mechanical problem that brought out the Safety Car. Matthews took over and won from Simon Ridgewell and Brock Brewer who was penalised for passing under yellows and relegated behind Jay Coul, Jack Sheldon and Marc Redman. Ridgewell showed the way in Race 2 when a Turn 6 incident resulted in Sheldon and Paul Barron being recovered. Ridgewell was affected and dropped down the order. Coul led and was passed by Matthews, and then Brewer and Tom Chapman on the last lap. Chapman had the Race 3 front running until overtaken by Matthews while Jorgensen headed Chapman.

FSR WHEN HE saw off the challenge from Adam Lisle and went on to win race one, Caleb Sumich followed up with two more wins for a clean sweep. It was all Radical SR3s with Brad Russell third from Sebastian Fiorenza, Andrew Eldridge, Joseph Fiorenza and Andrew Eldridge. Lisle held a narrow lead in the second when he pulled off. That gifted



NATIONALS WRAP with Garry O’Brien Sumich a big win over Fiorenza and Bergic. Lisle made it back to second in the last where Jay Wong was third from Bergic and Eldridge.


WHILE CODY HILL (Jacer) won the three races, he didn’t have it easy, although he did get the lead quickly in Race 1 and left second up for grabs. Initially it was David Caisley second before Paul Moltoni and then Franz Esterbauer finally secured the spot. Esterbauer led Race 2 before Hill passed him, and then Caisley also slipped through. The lead changed several times before Hill won from Esterbauer and Caisley. Esterbauer was also the initial leader of Race 3 before he was overtaken by Hill and Mackenzie Matthews. Esterbauer made a last-minute charge and regathered second from Matthews. Among the 1200s Brett Scarey (CD-Vee) dominated with three wins. After several positional changes, the fight for the minors had Callum Lamont (Polar) take two seconds and a third and Myles Lockett (Ajay) one second two thirds.


NEW COLOURS worked for Dan Gate (Ralt RT4) who won the three races. He was ahead of Allan Jones (Ralt RT5), Simon Alderton (Van Diemen RF88) and William Norman (RT4) in the first. Alderson was second in the following races ahead of Lance Carwardine (Jane Brabham).


AT EACH outing Brett Sherriff (right) battled Harrison Douglas before he won the three. In Race 1 Douglas was in front until Sherriff passed him. Third went to Craig Charnley from Jack Clohessy and Jackson Callo. There was early Safety Car when

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Images: Mick Oliver

Michael Woodhead nearly rolled in the first corner sandpit. After early Race 2 lead exchanges, Sherriff pulled clear and left Douglas to fight off the others. He lost out to Clohessy before Liam Gretgrix passed both for second. Douglas hounded Sherriff throughout Race 3 while the battle for third went to Callo over Clohessy.

Peachey had second in Race 2 before being passed by Hallam and Chris Cheverall (BMW E36 M3) when he had an engine issue. Watkins had a sand trap excursion before he came back for second in the last ahead of Hallam who led briefly at first.


AFTER A fuel issue put him out of Race 1, Robert Poglits (Holden Torana XU-1) won the other two outings. Mike Rowe (BMW 2002) took the first win ahead of Laurie Lapsley (Jaguar MkII) who finished with three seconds. Michael Kosieradzki (BMW 2002) was third in the first and second races. Rowe had a spin in the second before he placed third in the last.

BOTH RACES were won by Ryan Humfrey in his Ford Falcon XE/Chev over Tim Wolfe (Audi R8 LMS) and Walter Epple (Porsche 997). Front row qualifier Grant Hill (Ford Falcon BF) didn’t start. Wolfe led off the Race 1 start as Robbie McAfee (997) attempted an outside move at Turn 1 and Campbell Nunn (997) went through the sand trap. Humfrey quickly grabbed the lead and led Wolfe and McAfee. Andy Tudor (Audi) was able to relegate McAfee but retired later, and Epple passed McAfee on the last lap for third. Humfrey repeated in the second with Wolfe second as Epple held off McAfee for third.


ACROSS THE three races, Chase Hoy (Holden Commodore VT – below, top) and Mason Harvey (Ford Falcon AU) duked it out. After a win each, Hoy finished ahead of Harvey in the last. Harvey led the first until Hoy passed him on the penultimate lap. Matt Martin (VT) was third in front of Chris Kneafsey (AU) and Grant Johnson (VT). Harvey led the second, lost out to Hoy before he regained for victory. Martin held off the closing Johnson to take third. Johnson ran with Harvey and Hoy and passed them for the win. Hoy got the better of Harvey while Martin edged out Rob Marcon (AU) for fourth. In Pro AM for the older models, Reg Ralph (Commodore VP) led from start to finish in all three races. Nick Larkin (VP) took second from Matt Jenkin (VN) in the first races before the roles were reversed in the last.



IN THE first two encounters, Mick Woodbridge was the pacesetter, but Grant Ord emerged the overall winner. Ord and Ryan Davies fought over the race one lead before Woodbridge passed both. The latter was also first across the line in Race 2 but a 5s penalty meant a third place behind Ord and Davis. The trio diced for the lead in the last before Ord drew clear. Woodbridge was second while Davis lost his third spot with a 5s penalty that put him behind Troy Kent and Peter Marsh.


GARRY UTTERSON (Holden Torana SL/R 5000) was the best from Emma Gellan (Ford Focus ST) and Peter Dyball (Ford Falcon) Mick Oliver

STREET CARS/PRODUCTION CARS MAZDA RX7 pilot Michael Brandt was a three-race winner, twice ahead of Jason Hallam (Nissan Skyline R31) and once in front of Drew Watkins (Nissan 180SX). Hallam led Race 1 until Brandt hit his stride. Ben Peachey (Datsun 200B SSS) triumphed over Watkins for third. I 55



Tony Alford and Godzille (above) dominated Heritage Touring Cars. Wonderful Images by Angryman Photography


THE DRIVER to beat was Adrian Hodgetts (Datsun 240Z) with wins in both races on the Saturday. However, an issue with the engine’s harmonic balancer on Sunday saw him limp home in Races 3 and 4. Honni Pitt (Porsche 914) and Lincoln Spurr (MGB V8) had some great battles all weekend, with Pitt the two race winner and overall victor.


Spike Jones and Kim Barwick go at it in the Sports Sedan contest.

THE RACING at Pepsi Max Baskerville Raceway in the SRT Logistics Historics was witnessed by a lareg audience crowd over September 17-19, with one of the biggest Saturday crowds in the history of the meeting. There were several one-off races that included the Chris ‘Kit’ Ellis Memorial Minis Only, and a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Holden Torana XU-1. HERITAGE TOURING CARS

JUST LIKE it was at Bathurst in the 1980s, there was no match for the ex-GIO Nissan Skyline GTR. No matter what the weather brought, and it brought plenty, the red rocket dominated in Heritage Touring Cars throughout a very wet qualifying on the Friday, fine Saturday and showery Sunday. With Tony Alford at the wheel, Godzilla lived up to its reputation, winning all four heats and the trophy race. The trophy race was marred by a red flag after six laps when Glenn Gerstel’s Holden Commodore VH had a major fire near the pit entrance, with Gerstel escaping uninjured from the blaze – the race was declared. Bill Cutler (BMW E30 M3) was mostly the best of the rest and generally a clear second, while Chris Rose (Commodore VH) and Terry Lawler (Ford Falcon XD) led in the battle for third. The only event Alford didn’t win was the handicap race, taken out by Don Dimitriadis (Mazda RX7), with Alford

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17s behind in 11th. Not surprisingly, Alford won Group A honours overall, while Rose topped the points for the Group C.


THERE WAS plenty of interest with the varying conditions over the weekend that favoured different set-ups. Matt Carey (Holden Commodore) had too much grunt in the dry, despite the best efforts of Adam Garwood (Ford Capri Perana V8). When the track was damp, Garwood was able to get away, while a poor start from Carey in Heat 3 didn’t do him any favours either. The end result saw both drivers with two wins and two seconds, with Garwood taking the honours by virtue of qualifying on pole for Race 1. Adam Williams (Holden Torana A9X) was also in the mix for much of the weekend and the only other driver who looked likely to challenge the leaders. Phillip House (BMW E30 Alpina) was the most consistent in 2.0-3.5 litre while Scott Waters (Ford Escort Mk1) took out under 2.0 litre with some impressive drives.


THE FIELD had to be split into over and under 3.0 litres with 17 and 22 starters respectively. The racing was entertaining as the O3L races provided a classic Ford verse Holden battle, with the General ultimately on top. Michael Cross (Holden Torana XU-1)

Laurie Bennett and Darryl Hurd raced, and came together, at the front of the Sports & Racing category ... won the first race, with Chris Thomas (XU-1) to the fore in the second and third races. John Talbot (Ford Mustang) was giving plenty of stick to the Toranas, but just couldn’t quite get on top when it mattered. Andrew Williams (XU-1) won the fourth race, which made it a Torana clean-sweep in an appropriate way to mark the car’s 50th Anniversary. In U3L, Phil Shepherd (EH Holden), Jeremy Bennett (Morris Cooper S) and Roger Hurd (BMW 2002 TC) enjoyed some great battles which were fun to watch. Bennett and Shepherd scored two wins apiece, while Bennett’s slightly better places in two races earned him overall victory.


NUMBERS DROPPED off over the weekend with a high attrition rate, as Kim Barwick (Holden Commodore), won three of the four races. Veteran Lance ‘Spike’ Jones’ win in the final damp race, where he blew Barwick away, was a highlight for many onlookers.


THE EARLY pacesetter was Darryl Hurd (Cheetah Mk8 Ransberg), who won the first two races. But it ended abruptly in Race 3 when he had a coming together with Laurie Bennett (Elfin 600 8) while they scrapped for the lead. Neither car returned to the track for the fourth and final race which was won by John Parr (Dallara F3) in damp conditions.

THE MEMORIAL race saw last year’s winner and local driver Jeremy Bennett good enough to go back to back, and proved the master of front-wheel-drive, as he is also a regular in Excels. Bennett started strongly and was never headed. He won by 3s over Richard Hill with Rodney Creed a further 11s behind in third.


ANDREW WILLIAMS crossed the line 5s ahead, although the battle for the minors was intense, with local Michael Cross able to hold out NSW’s Chris Thomas, while Queenslander Peter Baguley just missed out on a podium.


AGAIN IT proved popular, attracting a solid field of 15 with David Crabtree (Capri) taking the win after a close race from Scott Waters (Escort Mk1) and Carl Muller (Capri). Martin Agatyn Four little Toranas, all in a row ... Battle hard for the win.

Images by: Rebbeca Hind – Revved Photography

Reef McCarthy (61) and Daniel Reynolds (78) split the first two Vee races, while (below) Adam Poole dominated Improved Production.

ISLAND OF CHAMPIONS 11 CATEGORIES took centre stage for the Victorian State Race Series finale, with several state titles on the line right up until the last races of the weekend. Steven Devries reports on all the action.


KOBI WILLIAMS (Race 1) and Edison Beswick (Race 2) saluted in the first two races, but a pair of second place finishes was enough for Matthew Hillyer to take home the title. The feature race win for Hillyer was the icing on the cake to also secure round honours. Three Kent class wins for Richard Davison took the Van Diemen driver to round and title honours over Brendon Jones – the pair of them having entered the weekend separated by only two points.


ADAM POOLE (V2 Monaro) won all three races comfortably clear of Jarrod Tonks (VY Commodore), with Luke Grech-Cumbo (HSV Senator) pushed all the way to third by Kaide Lehmann (VE Commodore). It wasn’t all plain sailing for Tonks – a delaminating tyre towards the end of Race 2 almost derailed his Championship bid, but he held it together to take his first state title.


MARC MAZDAS powered through to win all three races – Tony Groves in the first and final hit-outs, and ‘Disco Stu’ Eustice in the second encounter. Francois Habib’s title charge ended after retiring from Race 1, but he bounced back to stand on the podium with the two Mazda pilots on Sunday. While the points leader John Ippolito didn’t feature in the podium positions all weekend, his haul of 54 points solidified his state series crown after a consistent campaign.

BMW E30s

JEREMY PAYNE battled through the illness barrier to surge to a three-second win on Saturday afternoon ahead of Alex Jory, before retiring from the weekend’s racing. In his place, Jesse Bryan accepted the fight against Jory, winning Race 2 by four tenths. Jory was the dominant force in the series this year and added one more win to his 2022 title-winning campaign – the feature race win on Sunday afternoon ahead of Bryan and Simon Shiff.




THE RUNAWAY series leader Shawn Jamieson had the State title firmly in his grasp coming into the weekend. All three race wins was the exclamation point on a year of 13 wins from a possible 15, as well as the round win overall in his VY Commodore. Daniel Johnson (AU Falcon) flew the Ford flag proudly to tie for second overall for the weekend with Adam Lowndes (VY Commodore), but his extra 24-points was not enough to overhaul the second-placed Holden man in the title standings, Engels Leoncini.


A FAILURE of the start gantry lights on Saturday saw the 944 field complete a rare old-school national flag start for Race 1. Jamie Westaway only needed three topfive finishes to make the title his. He finished much better than that – pushed all the way to all three race wins by Cameron Beller. Third place on the weekend’s podiums featured Chris Lewis-Williams (Races 1 and 2) and Adam Brewer (Race 3).


AFTER THE opening pair of wins was split between Daniel Reynolds and Reef McCarthy with Jake Rowe finishing second on both occasions, the margin between McCarthy and Heath Collinson in the title standings had been cut to just three points with a race to go. With Reynolds and Rowe pulling clear, Collinson clawed his way onto the podium ahead of McCarthy by one hundredth of a second in a three-wide finish at the line in the final race, earning him another State title by a mere six points.


THE DALLAS Crane Memorial trophy was on the line with the Dutchman Rod Raatjes bouncing back from a Saturday puncture to win the prestigious award on Sunday afternoon. The top three drivers for the round were covered by just four points, with Ryan Woods finishing on top of the pile ahead of Perry Bekkers and Andrew McLeod – McLeod’s top-three finish enough to overtake Andrew Magilton for the State title.


TOBY WAGHORN, Bradley James,

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Edison Beswick (30) and Matt Hillyer (4) show the way in a packed Formula Ford contest, while (above) Hugo Simpson (117) enjoys some time in front of Toby Waghorn (84) in the Excel battle. and William Seal beneffited from the championship leaders coming together to secure the podium positions in Race 1. The same three would feature in a multi-car scrap for Race 2 honours, with James taking the win ahead of Hugo Simpson and Seal. A dramatic exclusion from Sunday’s racing took Ethan Grigg-Gault out of the Championship picture, leaving him to watch on as his rival Simpson took the final race win from Charlie Nash and Timothy Colombrita.


BEN SCHOOTS took his SIN R1 to victory lane in both the sprint and feature races, closing out the season by winning every race at every round and giving car and owner Richard Bendall a fitting send-off from the series.

Andrew Hall (Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup) and Michael Kokkinos (Audi R8 LMS Ultra) finished second and third respectively in Saturday’s sprint race, then swapped finishing positions in Sunday’s feature race.


A SMALL field of seven Historic Touring Cars sent race wins in three different directions. Darren Collins’ win in Race 1 aboard his Chevrolet Camaro took him out of range of Peter Meuleman’s Mustang for State honours. Absent from the final two races, Collins left Andrew Lane (Mustang Fastback) and Trevor Talbot (Chevrolet Camaro) to greet the chequered flag first in Sunday’s races – Lane doing enough overall to finish the weekend on top, four points clear of Talbot. I 57


STRATFORD AND MANNING WIN – VIC TITLE NOW CLOSE VICTORY IN the JapSport Special Vehicles Valley Stages on September 17, has provisionally assured Adrian Stratford and Kain Manning (above) of the Till Hino Victorian Rally Championship. They again used the engine they borrowed for the last round in their Subaru Impreza WRX STi and, despite doing over half of the event on three cylinders, won by 1min 20s. The engine came from Tim and Leonie Clark (WRX) who finished second ahead of Glen Raymond and Kate Catford (Impreza RS). The fifth round was held in wet and cold conditions around the Yarra Glen and Healesville region in Victoria over 176kms of competition through 11 stages and attracted 34 entries. Heavy overnight rain meant that the Yarra Glen Racecourse Special Stage was downgraded to a liaison. Stratford won four of the first heat stages and was ahead of Raymond and Clark. Just behind Stratford after the first competitive

stage were Darren Windus and Joe Brick (Subaru GD). They were second on the next too before a frightening moment at the first corner of Stage 4. A brake line let go in the Jason Bohm and Anthony Staltari (Nissan Silvia S13) while in fifth gear and the pedal went to the floor – leading to ta rollover. It was still driveable but they were out of time. The first stage of the second heat was tied between Stratford and Clark who won the second before Stratford took the last three. Clark finished second in the heat which elevated him to second outright over Raymond who was placed third in the heat. Fourth overall went to Richard Galley and Claire Buccini (Mitsubishi EVO 8) ahead of Warren Lee and David Lethlean (EVO 9). Sixth were Luke Sytema and Tracey Dewhurst (Ford Escort) who had to overcome brake issues and broken steering in the lead up to be the best of 2WDs. The event was also the sixth round of the

Images: B Team Rally Media LDV Geelong Victorian Rally Series which ran 160kms and nine competitive stages. Steve Porter and Tony Robinson (Mazda RX7 – above) won by 1min 30s after eight stage wins. Brian Semmens and Dan Parry (Nissan 200SX) won the other and finished 57s ahead of Colin Sichlau and David McKenzie (EVO 4R).

Jimmy and Mark Leoncini were second on the opening competitive stage and third on the next before their Toyota Corolla AE71 left the road and couldn’t continue. Daryl King and Darcy McLure-Wallace (Corolla) were fourth after Heat 1 before they were out after two second heat stages. Garry O’Brien


JUSTIN GUY, together with Lachie Davies and Eric Hume, won the Hunter Rivmasta Warialda 200, round for of the NSW Off Road Championship, on September 17-18. In their Jimco/Chev L98 Pro Buggy, the trio (pictured) won the event by 42.8s over the ProLite class front runners Jason and Charlie Richards with Jay Mitchell (Chenowth Millennium/Nissan V6) with over 6mins to Sam Egan/Ken Barnett (ProLite Jimco/Nissan). Run by the Warialda Motor Sports Club in the North West Slopes region of the state, two five-lap sections of the 5km course and followed by two four-lap sections of the 25km track. Fourth in the Prologue which was won by Josh and Paul Wiedman (SXS Pro Can-Am), Guy won the Top 11 Shootout which was also over one lap of the short course. Guy went on to take out section one ahead of David and Lloyd Chandler with Jono Ryan (Jimco/Chev), Richards, and Michael and Scott Coleman (Alumi Craft/LS2). Napier headed the next section from Bryce Chapman,

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Mitch Warren and Matt Zoll (Jimco/LS2), Guy, Richards, and Derek Rose and Toby Cooper (Southern Cross/ Mitsubishi turbo). At the end of the day, Guy had a 10s advantage over Napier, Richards, Chapman and Egan. Section 3 brought about the demise of Chapman with a broken timing belt as Guy headed Napier, Richards,

Mat Huxley and Tobi Turnbull (Rivmasta/Chev) and Egan. Napier hit a tree on the last section which blocked the track on the first lap. Huxley was also out with a blown head gasket as Richards won ahead of Guy, Egan and Darren Williamson and Michael Conomos (Jimco/Chev). The latter pair finished fourth overall ahead of Sportslite front runners Dean Meginley/Dale Standen (Tatum/Honda K24) and David and Alex Bennett (Saber/Honda). Extreme 2WD honours went to seventh placed Mark Robertson and Hank Park (Chev C20/LS2) and eighth home Jay and Corey Neate (Can-Am) won SXS Pro. Behind David Mendham/Alex Mendham/Luke Staley (Jimco/GM Ecotech) in 10th were Richard and Terese Wilton (HiJinx/Nissan) topped Super1650. Steve and Debra Ash (Nissan Patrol/Chev) took out Ext 4WD by 22s over Shane and Len Ramsey (Owenco TT10/ Nissan) while Sportsman went to Jake and James Conomos (Rivmasta/Suzuki). Garry O’Brien

THREE WEEKS, THREE RALLY WINS FOR THE third weekend in a row Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith won a state rally. This time it was the MSS Safety Rally Barossa on September 18 in their Mazda RX2. In damp and slippery conditions, they won seven of the eight stages to finish 31.2s ahead of Guy Tyler and Steve Fisher (Mitsubishi Magna – pictured). The latter were the winners of the third round of the SA Rally Championship as Quinn was an Invitational. A similar distance away third were Declan and Zoe Dwyer in their Mitsubishi Lancer. Quinn won the first stage by just 0.1s ahead of Tyler with Zayne Admiraal and Matt Heywood (Subaru Impreza WRX) third. Then followed Darkie Barr-Smith and Jono Forrest (Ford Capri Perana), Jamie Pohlner and Adam Branford (Mitsubishi EVO 9), Rob Hunt and Jeremy Browne (EVO 6), and Jack Monkhouse and Neill Woolley (Datsun 180B SSS). Admiraal, Pohlner and Dwyer were second, third and fourth behind Quinn

Image: Stuart Daddow on Stage 2 which allowed them to overtake Tyler in the overall standings. Tyler regained the second place with a Stage 3 win where Quinn was second in front of Dwyer and Pohlner. Admiraal was out after a meeting with a kangaroo, and Monkhouse was also a retiree with a broken tailshaft. Quinn took out the remaining five stages. The battle for runner up was on as Dwyer was second on stage four before Tyler

took the spot on the next as Pohlner and Dwyer tied. Stage six went to Pohlner again before Tyler was the best of the three on last two stages. Pohlner finished fourth outright ahead of Matthew Selley and Hamish McKendrick (Ford Escort Mk2 Warrior) who were strong after they placed 20th on the opening stage. Hunt retired on the penultimate stage which left Barr-Smith, Simon and Renee Hoff (Escort), Stuart Bowes/Mark

READING’S SECOND TITLE VICTORY IN the North West Adventure Hub Hellyer Rally on September 10 gave Bodie Reading (pictured) his second Tasmanian Rally Championship and navigator Mark Young his first. They had a hard-fought win in the fourth and final round around the Mawbanna and Dip Falls areas that consisted of 96kms of testing forestry roads. Reading (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) went into the North West Car Club-organised event second in the points behind reigning champions Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey (Mitsubishi EVO 9). Brakey was unavailable and Simon Vandenberg slotted into the left seat. The same couldn’t be said for their run as an engine misfire slowed their progress in the morning heat. Clutch issues in the afternoon did not make things any easier. Despite that they battled on gamely and posted competitive times for second overall. Meanwhile it was a trouble-free run for Reading, and he finished 1min 11s ahead. Queenslanders Luke Annear and Andy Sarandis (WRX) finished a further 41s behind in third, but only after a fascinating three-way battle with

Maguire, and Ben Newman with Steve Glenney (WRX). Newman set a fast pace in the first heat for secondquickest behind Reading, with Maguire and Annear hot on their tail. Only three seconds separated the three at the end of the morning. However, Newman crashed out in the afternoon heat which ended a promising result. The battle for the 2WD championship was just as dramatic. Series leaders Jaidyn Gluskie and Sam Berwick (Hyundai Excel) encountered engine dramas, but still managed to finish 13th outright and third in the category. With the points battle down to the wire, it wasn’t enough to clinch the championship. Title contenders’ husband and wife Ben and Reubecca Sheldrick (Holden Commodore V8) crashed in both heats. They were able to resume, however the loss of time meant their championship hopes were over. Father and son Jacob and Adrian Walsh (Mazda RX7) avoided any trouble with two clean heat wins to take out the championship. Martin Agatyn

Image: DMAC



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Nelson (Mercedes Benz 450SL), Mark Povey/Brendan Dearman (Datsun Stanza) and Carwyn Harries/Tom Pfitzner (Holden Gemini) to complete the top 10. Adam Kaplan and Aleshia Penney ran a couple of stages in the Group B MG Metro 6R4 until out of gravel tyres. David McDonough and Naomi Tillett debuted a replica works Opel Manta 400 and finished 17th. Garry O’Brien



THERE WAS only a small rollup for the Gold City 240 on September 24-25, but it was very competitive with less than eight minutes covering the top three after almost three hours of racing. The second round of the Queensland Off Road Championship was won by Tait Svenson and Chris Affoo (above) in their ProLite class GM Ecotecpowered Stealth Predator. Second and only 33s adrift were Kent Battle and Kade Crawford aboard their Element Prodigy/Chev LS2 Pro Buggy with third place going to class rivals, Rob Turner and Jordan Bensemann (Desert Dynamics/Chev V8). The event was also the fourth round of the North Qld Off Road Racing Super Series and was held at the Milchester Motor Sports Complex at Charters Towers. It was contested over five sections of the 24km course. The Prologue was won by Battle before Svenson was the first section winner. He was 9s ahead after the two laps, 6s faster on the next pair of laps, and 22s up on the single lap of the third section when Battle was delayed with an off-track adventure. Battle came back on Section 4 to take the win by 37s before Svenson won the last by 1min. Throughout each section, Turner was third with Peter Nunn in a Sportslite buggy next, although he DNF’d on section two while fifth-placed Ross Newman and Jessica Jackson faulted on two sections in their SXS Sports Yamaha YXZ. Garry O’Brien I 59

NATIONALS WRAP FUN IN THE SUN AT ICONIC LAKESIDE CIRCUIT LAKESIDE PARK’S fourth round of the Grass Roots Racing Series on September 24-25 was the third round to run after the last event was cancelled.


IT OPENED with Connor Roberts clear for a convincing win. The dice for second was tight where Ian Harvey worked through from fourth early to second in front of Jarrod Hughes, Dan Peasey and Josh Dremel. Connor shot away in Race 2 where Hughes grabbed second on the restart after a two-car collision. Ryan O’Sullivan passed Harvey to secure third as Todd Wanless and Dremel shadowed them to the finish. While Roberts and Hughes showed the way in Race 3, Harvey took third away from O’Sullivan who subsequently lost out to Dremel, Peasey and Wanless. It was a repeat for the leading two in the last as Dremel placed third while Wanless edged out O’Sullivan and Peasey.


LEN MEIERS (Holden Commodore VE) won the first encounter while Danny Turner (Honda Integra) was second ahead of Billy Scoles (Mazda RX7), Greg Wilson (Nissan Sketchy), Rex Scoles (VE), Tom Arndt (BMW 330ci) and Duke Hoffman (Toyota Corolla). Tuner looked to have Race 2 after he took the lead off Meiers at the Karrasel on lap two, but he took the wrong option with a lapped car at the same corner later and Meiers regained the lead. Rex and Billy Scoles trailed ahead of Wilson, Duke Hoffman (Corolla) and Hoffman. Arndt finished 10th after an encounter with a tyre wall.

Mustangs – Wrobel and Wakefield – to the fore in Group N Historic Tourers. Image: MTR Images Race 3 was led by Meiers until the penultimate lap when he dropped to 16th with an engine issue. Wilson won and took that form to two more victories. Turner was second from Rex Scoles, Arndt and Hinton who missed the last two outings with a lift pump failure. Scoles was second in the last two with Meiers third. Hoffman scored a fourth ahead of Arndt who reversed the result int the last while Turner laboured with gearbox issues.


ALL FIVE races went to Brendan Exner (Ford Falcon FG XR8 Ute) who showed the way to Robert McMahon (Holden VE Maloo). Daniel Ford (Falcon BA XR6) picked up four thirds, beaten in the other by Ford pilots Mick McCloud and Peter Clarke in race four. The Hot Hatch Cup was a very close

contest with the biggest gap between the two front runners just 0.31s. Jack Munro (Honda Jazz) came out on top three times and Dylan Cothill (Ford Fiesta) twice as Trent Laves (Hyundai Getz) was third every time.


THE RACES started with Ford Mustang drivers Grahame Wrobel and Graeme Wakefield first and second in the first two outings. Gary Edwards (Holden Torana XU1) beat Grant Wilson (Chev Camaro) first up before the latter beat him in the second. Wakefield led throughout Race 3, ahead of Wrobel until he retired on the last lap and left Wilson ahead of Edwards and Martin White (Ford Falcon Rallye Sprint). Wakefield followed up with victory in the fourth, Edwards was second and Wilson took third ahead of Stephen Scales (Camaro).

Numbers were down for the fifth race and Wilson won from Wakefield and White.


TOP HONOURS were between the 250cc guns. Lachlan Crisp (ADE) was the early pacesetter with two race wins, the first ahead of Russell Jamieson (Stockman), Steve Murray (PVP) and Tim Weier (Anderson). The latter was second in Race 2 ahead of Brock Nicholas (PVP) and Murray before he posted another second and won the last two. Crisp DNF’d in the third and did not start the others. Murray won race three and was a close second in the fourth. Among the 125s Dylan Mavin (Anderson) had three successes and Laurie Fooks (Raider) one, while Paul Buckley (Scorpion) was unbeaten in Non-Gearbox. Garry O’Brien

CHAMPIONS SPRINT AHEAD PIARC’S SEPTEMBER SPRINT on September 10-11 included two race categories for rounds of their state championships.


NICK SCHEMBRI cleaned up the fifth round of the club series with four 125 Gearbox and outright victories. Geoff Lawrence was second overall. He was fifth in race one, behind Colin McIntyre, Todd Gardner and John Bakker. Lawrence was second in the next outing ahead of McIntyre before the positions were reversed in race three. Lawrence was the runner-up in the last while McIntrye’s chances of a second overall were thwarted by a second DNF. Gardner was third overall as a result. In Rotax Light, Russ Occhipinti was the winner with four firsts. He beat Sanuja Perera in the first two, the second by just 0.06s and Lucas Quattrocchi in the last two, by 0.07s and 0.02s respectively. Perera was a podium contender until a DNF in the last, gifted Hayden Veld the final spot behind Quattrocchi.

Martin Anderson was the best in Rotax Heavy on all four occasions. Rod Clarke placed eighth in the first race before he responded with a trio of seconds to be overall runner-up ahead of Jeremy Crust.


THE FINAL round went to Brian Finn with a clean sweep of five round victories in his Holden Commodore VT and his second championship in a row. He won the round ahead of Graeme Meer and Mark Kakouri. Finn took out the first of four races by just over 1s to Meer with Lynch

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a distant third clear of Kakouri and Allan Argento in his Falcon XE, one of only two Fords in the field. The pair would continue their battle through the rest of the program with the same results. Meer took Finn on the penultimate lap of race two for Finn’s second only season non-win while Lynch was third. Race three and four were both led throughout by Finn. Meer held second in race three until passed by Lynch with three laps to go. The latter maintained the momentum to be runner up in the last, again ahead of Meer. Garry O’Brien

Brian Finn leads the Vic V8 race ... Image: SD Pics

Rees Mackay and his Riley 9/14. Image: Lyn Cotter

OLDIES OUT AT PHEASANT WOOD CIRCUIT THE ALL Historic Racing meeting at Pheasant Wood Circuit on September 10-11 was the biggest held in the relative short history of the Marulan facility in its current guise. There were three groups of Historic cars together with bike and regularity events. Scattered showers didn’t dampened their spirits for what was a fun and relaxed weekend. Group A honours in the first three races were between Shane Bowden (Lotus 11 Replica) and Luke Crampton (Buckle Coupe) with first and seconds in each race with Bowden on top two-to-one. Ross Hodgson (MG TC) scored a couple of thirds before Dick O’Keefe (Photon Lotus 11) beat him in the third. Greg Snape (MG Special) won the Handicap over Crampton and Bowden. The latter scored the last over his rival who was the overall winner with O’Keefe third.

Kristy Crampton took over the Buckle for the Group B events and one the second and third race easily over Rob Rowe (The Day Special) who beat her in the first. Rees Mackay (Riley 9/14) had two thirds and a fourth before he won the Handicap over Crampton after first-across-the-line David McKenzie (Elfin Streamliner) was penalised 15s. The latter won the last from Mackay while Crampton DNF’d. IN Group C Neill Murdoch (Lombard AL3) won the first two races over Jeremy Morris (Frazer-Nash TT Replica) who won the third and also the Handicap. Andrew Green (Alvis) netted three thirds before his day was done, and Dan Elbourne (Triumph Super Seven) had fourths and fifths and completed the last race, won by John Lackey (TC Special), and was the only one of the top group to do so. Garry O’Brien




EVO PILOTS SWEEP SPRINTS IT WAS a clean sweep of the Make Smoking History Targa West when Troy Wilson and Frank Guildea won the Targa Malaga Sprint on September 18. After they won the Ellenbrook Sprint eight days early, they fronted up the next day to win the second leg, the City of Perth Targa Rallysprint in their Mitsubishi EVO X, and capped off with the domination of the third leg. After four runs through of the 2.33km street course at Ellenbrook, Wilson (Mitsubishi EVO X) finished 10.9s faster than the combined times of their nearest rivals, Cody Harris and Morgan Wards (Mitsubishi EVO 8 MR). Third quickest of the 82 competitors were Peter Rullo and James Marquet (Lotus Exige

GT) and they were in front of husband and wife Jurgen and Helen Lunsmann (Tesla Model 3P+), and Brett Morse and Rod Ng (BMW M2 Competition). On the 2.1km second leg on Riverside Drive and in their first time in the event, Wilson finished the four runs 8s ahead of Lunsmann. Third on the combined times was Rullo a further 4s away. Rounding out the top five were David Heaton and Daymon Nicoli (Porsche 011 GT2 RS) and Heuson Bak and Roger Tan (Lotus Exige S 360). There were just a couple of incidents. Shaun and Nathan Tapper spun and clipped a tree in their Holden Commodore VK. Matt Palmer and Geoff Weir were less fortunate when

their EVO 7 clipped a kerb and rolled in the Concert Hall car park section. Despite being shortened due to Rallysprint regulations and a newly built service station, the Malaga course was much longer at 6kms. Wilson took the outright win convincingly and was 24s ahead of first timers Matt Cherry and Cade Bell (pictured) in their highly modified 2WD Toyota Starlet after teething issues kept them from the first two events. Another 2.5s behind was Harris. Mark Cates and Pete Davies (911 GT2 RS) were fourth with Daniel Gonzalez and Caleb Ash (911 GT3) next. Rullo was an early retiree when the Lotus’ rear tyres delaminated on the second run. Garry O’Brien

MAMMOTH LAPS AT NIGHT FEVER THE LATEST of the Motor Events Racing was that Night Fever at Morgan Park on September 17-18. The event ran over 20 hours and had Barn Find Racing in their BMW 325 Class ME-1 complete 657 laps, 17 more than anyone else of the 42-team entrants. The second most laps put in went to Black Pearl Pirates (ME-2 Subaru Impreza) who had a nine-lap advantage over Shwarze Wurst Motorsport. SWM were in contention to snare as many laps as BFR but for water penetration under the bonnet of their ME-1 BMW 330ci when one driver took it fishing in the pond. Second in ME-2 and with the fourth number of laps (639) was Double Decker Racing (BMW) while Not so Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their Ford Falcon were third in ME-1 and fifth. Next was the third ME-2, Cool Runnings in a Nissan NX Coupe. Anteck Racing 2.0 (Holden Commodore) were down 48 laps with Farm Find Racing another five behind after they lost time when their BMW E46 was delayed with blown power steering. Next were Beautiful (Ford Falco AU) ahead of Zilla Jet Boats who were the best of the lowest horsepower ME-3class in their




Image: MER Hyundai Excel. Ezy As Racing (Nissan Pulsar) were second in ME-3 and 25_18 Motorsport (Excel) third in their first event. Amongst the most troubled were Rare Race with electrics and fuel pump issues before the engine blew. Mixed Up Racing (Falcon Ute) also had its engine let go – at full noise. Both

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performed engine swaps but had other issues later. BTF Motorsport retired when their BMW dropped its rear suspension. The Audi A3 team 710 Motorsport won “We bought the win” auction with a $1250 to Rare Cancers Australia and effectively became “The Winners.” Garry O’Brien


CAMPBELL PREVAILS IN DRAMATIC IMSA FINALE By THOMAS MILES AUSTRALIA’S MATT Campbell (above) has completed a dream 2022 season in style by wrapping up the IMSA GTD PRO championship alongside Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet, at a dramatic Petit Le Mans season finale last weekend. Starting from ninth, Campbell and Jaminet – sharing the workload with former Brazilian F1 driver Felipe Nasr – secured the crown when the race got under way, but had backs against the wall when a puncture suffered from contact with another GT vehicle sent the trio two laps down. However, some smart strategy from Pfaff Motorsport utilising the regular cautions, ensured they regained the lost ground to the leaders within an hour. During his last drive of the season, Campbell was able to hit the lead, before handing over duties back to Jaminet for the run to the flag in the darkness. A late-race caution created a thrilling half an hour sprint to the finish where the Frenchman made a bold move for glory, before being outmuscled during a breathtaking four-car battle for the lead. While Campbell, Jaminet and Nasr eventually had to settle for a strong third to complete their championship winning campaign, the Lexus of Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat held on to win the GTD PRO class following a post-race penalty to the Ferrari of Daniel Serra, Davide Rigon and James Calado. With the DPi’s being farewelled, a big 43-car field lined up on the grid for the 25th running of the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race.

The DPi race turned out to be a fitting finale, as Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing went toe to toe. WTR’s Filipe Albuquerque was in a commanding position inside the final hour, but a crash between two Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs brought out a caution, and turned the race on its head. Tom Blomqvist managed to sneak ahead of Albuquerque in pit lane after his MSR crew pulled off a shorter fuel stop. After a nervous final stint, Blomqvist held on to not only win Petit Le Mans, but also secure the IMSA DPi championship, alongside Oliver Jarvis. “I have never dug so deep in my life,” said Blomqvist to NBC Sports. “I had a big fuel number to hit … I was so motivated to win this thing.” In the LMP2 class, championship winners John Farano, Louis Deletraz and Rui Pinto de Andrade gave Tower Motorsport a three-peat at Petit Le Mans after a late-race move past racing great Juan Pablo Montoya. Colin Braun and Jon Bennett claimed the LMP3 championship despite an off-road excursion, while Kyffin Simpson, Till Bechtolsheimer and Mario Farnbacher won a tight GTD race, as class champion Roman De Angelis suffered numerous setbacks on his way to seventh. IMSA GTD PRO CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS 1 Matt Campbell/Mathieu Jaminet 3497 2 Ben Barnicoat. 3277 3 Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor 3194 4 Alex Riberas/Ross Gunn. 3103 5 Connor De Phillippi/John Edwards 2872

Tom Blomqvist took out the race and the IMSA DPi Championship. Images: GAVIN BAKER-MOTORSPORT IMAGES

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Images: Motorsport Images

GEORGIA NATIVE Chase Elliot (pictured) has made good on his Playoff push by taking out the Talladega second Round of 12 in NASCAR’s post-season circus. The fan-favourite took his #9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to victory with a last-lap pass of Ryan Blaney after starting the race in P16. The win puts Elliott through to the round of eight with one more round of 12 running left, leaving him as the only automatic qualifier going into Charlotte. “Moments like that, you have to really cherish and you guys are what makes this special to me,” Elliot told his hometown fans. “It was a wild last couple laps. I wasn’t

super crazy about being on the bottom and fortunately I got just clear enough off of Turn 2 to slide up in front of Erik Jones, and he gave me some great shoves – obviously a Team Chevy partner there. “Just had a good enough run to get out front and then was able to stay far enough in front of Blaney at the line to get it done. “These things are so hard to win, you gotta enjoy them and just appreciate everyone’s effort today.” It’s the first win of the post-season for a playoff contender, as the last four rounds have all been unprecedentedly taken by nonchampionship contenders, restoring some semblance of sanity to the post-season.

That leaves Austin Cindric, William Byron, Christopher Bell and Alex Bowman, all floundering outside the top eight cut, with Cindric the most likely, even with Chase Briscoe in eighth on 3069 points. Elliot took the chequered Flag by a slight margin of 0.046s over Blaney, who sits second in the playoff equation, with former Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell rounding out the podium. 17 drivers shared a season high 57 lead changes in a Talladega outing that was unusually bereft of multi-car incidents. The race only featured six cautions, one of which was from multi-car accident, with two scheduled breaks, two single car accidents, and Daniel Hemric stalling on the pit road. It was that bunched up field that brought Elliott back into the equation after only leading for nine laps previously, whilst Blaney held the lead for a race high 36 laps, which included a first stage victory over Denny Hamlin. Elliott snatched the stage two win over reigning NASCAR champion and teammate Kyle Larson, who ended the day in P18, leaving him in sixth overall going into the final round of 12 equation. In the final stage, Elliot achieved his fifth victory of the year by going from the bottom to the top lane, then received a huge push

from GMS racing driver Erik Jones, giving him enough momentum to edge out Blaney. Heading into Charlotte both Bell and Byron sit on the cusp of elimination after failing to score any points at Talladega, with Bowman only a slight chance to return after sitting out with concussion from a crash in Texas the week prior. Cindric will need to place above Briscoe in the points if he’s any chance of making the final eight. The Charlotte 400 Motor Speedway road course race will be on October 9, before Las Vegas starts the round of eight on October 16. TW Neal NASCAR PLAYOFF STANDINGS (TOP 8 CUT) Elliot 3103 Blaney 3101 Chastain 3097 Hamlin 3090 Logano 3087 Larson 3087 Suarez 3081 Briscoe 3069 Cindric Byron Bell Bowman

3069 3058 3036 3015

REDDICK WINS CHAOTIC ROUND OF 12 OPENER IN TEXAS TYLER REDDICK (pictured) has taken out the first ‘Round of 12’ race for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, becoming the fourth straight non-Playoff driver to win this post-season. Reddick’s win in Texas was his third of the season, winning the last stage after qualifying in fourth position, and holding the lead for a total of 70 laps. The race saw a track record 16 yellow flags, and a red flag for bad weather at 250 laps, in a race which none of the 12 eligible championship drivers gained enough points for an automatic berth through to the next round. The race also had a record 36 lead changes, but Reddick bullied his way into the lead in the closing stages, holding the

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lead to the end with Joey Logano coming hard over the last few laps. “We had a lot of issues today, I’m not going to lie,” Reddick said “Every time we’ve had a strong car, we’ve been bit by something. This is a tough race – 500 miles here is not an easy feat. “So great to win here in a Cup car ... been close here a couple times.’’ Logano had the best finish of the championship contenders, taking his #22 Penske Ford into P2, just 1.19s behind the race winner, with Justin Hayley filling out the podium. Regular season leader Chase Elliott led for 44 laps but continued his mixed Playoff fortunes by crashing out whilst in front after 184 laps to finish in P32. TW Neal


FORMULA 5000’S RETURN TO BATTLE IT OUT FOR THE AUTO ACTION ROSE CITY 10,000 REVIVAL AT WINTON MOTOR RACEWAY In a tribute to the fabulous racers of the past, a great field of the epic V8 powered race cars will fight it out to see who takes home the Rose City 10,000 Revival Trophy

A fantastic list of entries so far includes all the great makes and models Paul Zazryn-Lola T332, Rob Splatt-March 73a, Max Floreani-Elfin MR5, Dean Camm-Chevron B24, Frank Harris-Chevron B24, Bruce Simpson-Matich A53, Tim Berryman-Lola T332, Tom Tweedie-Chevron B24/28, Peter Brennan-McRae GM1, Bill Hemming-Elfin MR8, David Crabtree-March 73a, Chas Talbot-Lola T332, Rod Carroll-Lola T140, Geoff Walters-Lola T330.

Images supplied by Peter Ellenbogen





KING KALLE BECOMES YOUNGEST EVER WRC CHAMPION IN AN AWESOME display of rally driving in front of an appreciative NZ crowd, Kalle Rovanpera swept up the final four stages of Sunday’s leg to dominate proceedings at the WRC Rally New Zealand. The 22 year-old Finnish star became the youngest champion since the legendary Colin McRae won it at 27 years of age in 1995. Entering Saturday behind championship title contender Ott Tanak, the Toyota Gazoo star took full advantage of the Estonian’s hybrid power breach penalties to sweep Saturday and Sunday. The Finnish pairing of Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen stormed home by 34.6s over eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier, with Tanak, the 2019 champion rounding out the podium. “It’s quite a big relief after such a good season and finally we are here,” said the sport’s newest champion, holding an unassailable 64-point lead with two rounds to spare. “It was a small wait after a few difficult rallies, but the biggest thanks goes to the team – they made this rocket this year. Even after all the difficult rallies they were believing in us and giving us all the support.” Toyota Gazoo team principal, Jari-Matti Latvala, was emotional at seeing Rovanpera become the first

Finnish champion since Marcus Grönholm’s victory in 2002. “In a way I would like to cry, but I can’t cry here ... It’s really important what Kalle has done,” said Latvala. “First of all, it’s amazing for a 22-year-old to be breaking all the records and taking the championship title. “At the same time, it is so important for Finland because it has been 20 years and that’s a very long time. I am so grateful that Kalle did it … he is a superhero.” Thursday’s Shakedown opener saw Tanak come out firing, topping the early Tarmac stages to go into Friday’s monster 158.56km leg. Rovanpera needed to outscore the 2019 champion by seven points to clinch the title, but things looked to be going Tanak’s way, as per the last few rounds. The top four were separated by just 7.2 seconds at the end of a very wet Friday leg, with Tanak on top over Elfyn Evans and Sebastien Ogier and Rovanpera in P4. Irishman Craig Breen started the day in ominous form, holding P1 over the first few stages, but things took a bad turn when he became unstuck at McRae’s corner, sliding off the road and down the embankment, forcing him to retire for the day. Ogier then held the lead over Tanak, taking two straight stages

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Kalle Rovanpera, with Jonne Halttunen navigating, becomes the youngest ever WRC champion ... Image: JAANUS REE / RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Sebastien Ogier couldn’t do anything about the 30-second gap to leader Rovanpera, while Tanak (right above) cemented his current second spot in the championship

before the Frenchman ripped off part of his spoiler on a branch, giving Tanak a speed advantage to go into Saturday with a narrow lead over Evans. Overnight, Tanak was deemed to have exceeded his hybrid power allotment and received two time penalties, which brought Rovanpera to the fore. By the ninth stage, the Finnish star had permanently taken control of P1, and when Evans suffered serious misfortune on stage 11, Ogier was the only realistic threat. Evans rally ended when he went hard into a right bank, losing a large portion of the car’s front, and completely ripping off the boot section. He kept on, but the damage to his roll cage forced him out altogether. Gus Greensmith also lost control of his M-Sport Ford Puma, ending his rally with severe damage,

making it a tough few days for the team after Craig Breen had slid off on the Friday. In a day of WRC class retirements, Toyota youngster Takamoto Katsuta also slid off the track whilst holding P5 behind Thierry Neuville. The spate of retirements allowed WRC2 Kiwi star Hayden Paddon to occupy P6 outright, which the WRC2 class winner would hold till the end of the rally, with Shane van Gisbergen in P9, and Australian champion Harry Bates in P10. Sunday’s finale consisted of stages at Whitford Forest Te Marautanga Waiho (8.82km) and the purposebuilt Jack’s Ridge (6.77km). Both were driven twice, with the second run of Jack’s Ridge forming the bonus points-paying Wolf Power stage. Rovanpera made Sunday look like a clinical formality, sweeping up the last four stages, including

the double point Wolf Power stage, clinching the title and setting all sorts of records on the way. Ogier could do little to cut back the 30 second lead over the day, as Tanak stayed around 40 plus seconds off the mark all day, in a frustrating end to the Estonians championship tilt. German Hyundai pilot Neuville took out P4, recovering from a faulty gearbox on Saturday to finish 1:10.3s behind Tanak, but comfortably ahead of P5-getter Oliver Solberg, who faced his own misfire issues on the Saturday leg. Five-time NZ Rally Champion, Paddon, finished in sixth outright after comfortably taking out the WRC2 class victory, with compatriot van Gisbergen and Aussie Harry Bates – both in their WRC debuts (P3 and P4 in the WRC2) – also finishing inside the outright top 10. Although the WRC won’t be back in New Zealand next year, organisers are hopeful of a 2024 spot on the slowly expanding WRC calendar. The WRC returns to asphalt for the penultimate round at RallyRACC – Rally de España on October 20-23 in Salou, Spain. TW Neal WRC STANDINGS 1. Rovanpera 237 (Champion) 2. Tanak 173 3. Neuville 144 4. Evans 116 5. Katsuta 100


TRANS TASMAN TRIO STORM THE WRC OUTRIGHTS THE WRC2 class at the Rally New Zealand took advantage of several top World Rally competitors coming unstuck in the treacherous Auckland conditions. Class winner and five-time NZ Rally champion Hayden Paddon dominated to lead all the way from the front, whilst debut WRC2 ring-in and Supercars Champion Shane van Gisbergen took out a class podium third. Australia’s ARC champion and current 2022 leader Harry Bates also debuted on the big-stage in Auckland, to finish fourth, behind van Gisbergen. All three sensationally ended up in top-10 WRC spots outright, with Paddon finishing P6, van Gisbergen in P9, and Bates in P10, 16:51.6s off the Finnish champion Kalle Rovanpera. The trio were aided by a spate of retirements and errors from the Pro WRC runners, with Craig Breen finishing in P19 due to a bad spin off on the Friday, and his M-Sport teammate Gus Greensmith involved in a massive crash on the Saturday after hitting wet grass. Elfyn Evans destroyed his car’s front, back, and roll cage after having a serious encounter with a bank, whilst young gun Takamoto Katsuta slid off into the trees and missed a top-10 finish for the first time this season.


Paddon’s third WRC rally of the year ended in a brutally dominant triumph after netting a podium third in Finland four rounds ago. Paddon is no stranger to the WRC, having won the PWRC (World Rally Championship-3) in 2011, but this was his first win in WRC2. He took his Hyundai i20 N Rally2 to victory at the expense of Polish veteran Kajetan Kajetanowicz, who sits second in the feeder championship. After winning the Shakedown tarmac opener on the Thursday, Paddon blew the field away with four stage wins Friday, a brace on the Saturday morning in trying conditions, adding a further three stage triumphs on the Sunday, much to the delight of a jubilant local crowd. The win puts Paddon eighth in the standings with a retirement, a podium,



and a victory, and his overall time may have challenged P10 regardless of the retirements. “This is everything we wanted, It was what we were expected to do and what I expected,” said Paddon after the race. “When you have a bit of a lead on day one, it puts the pressure on you to not make mistakes so we just tried to keep it clean.”


A maiden podium on Debut, and an outright P9 in front of an adoring home crowd was a dream come true for the Supercars run-away leader ahead of the Bathurst 1000. Over the gruelling 279 kilometres, the Skoda R5 pilot was just three-tenths of a second slower than Paddon per-km over the whole four days. Paddon, Kajetanowicz and Bates are all accomplished rally drivers, with the Auckland born star showing his true versatility through trying circumstances. Proving his rally blood lineage over the four testing days, he started the Thursday by posting the 11th quickest outright time over the opening stages. Friday saw a small scare with a major spin on the wet surface causing him to lose his front bumper, but he recovered well to sit 1:37 off the leader in P3. Saturday saw him lose half a minute with a puncture in the 12th stage in very

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Hayden Paddon (above left) did what was expected of him and dominated WRC2, while Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen (above right and below) had a ball, finishing an outstanding third in WRC2, ahead of Australian Rally Champion Harry Bates – in a rare switch from regular Toyota to Skoda. Images: MOTORSPORT IMAGES/RED BULL CONTENT POOL slippery conditions when he was close to P2, whilst Sunday saw him drag back 10 seconds to sit in P3, earning himself 16 WRC2 points, and a remarkable 2 WRC points. “It’s not tough, it’s fun – I’m driving a rally car in the World Rally Championship! It’s pretty cool … I’m living my dream,” van Gisbergen said.


Australia’s reigning ARC champion Harry Bates has long been considered the country’s best chance of a WRC drive, and his debut didn’t disappoint in netting one WRC point for his troubles. Bates would have hoped for a podium in the WRC2, but P4, plus a maiden stage win on the Saturday in the Kaipara Hills

was a fine achievement as the Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo took some getting used to. Thursday saw Bates sitting in P3 behind Paddon and van Gisbergen, who survived the long day with a spin, severe tyre wear, and a puncture, whilst Friday saw him slip into fourth with experienced WRC2 competitor Kajetanowicz taking P2 over the gruelling 158.56km day. Saturday saw him have an extremely near miss with a telegraph pole that would have certainly ended his rally, but his second run through Kaipara provided the Aussie champ with a proudly earned stage win. Bates entered Sunday 3:23.3s behind van Gisbergen in the provisional P4 spot, only managing to shave off one second through the Sunday. Bates also finished an impressive 4:10.2s in front of Armin Kremer, the WRC Masters Cup leader, who made his WRC debut in 1995. TW Neal I 67

Formula 1 Round 16 Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore

The race was won at the start, with Perez getting the jump on Leclerc, while Lewis was shoved wide by an aggressive Sainz.

PÉREZ SAVES THE NIGHT FOR RED BULL By LUIS VASCONCELOS Images by: MOTORSPORT IMAGES ONE RED Bull won the Singapore Grand Prix, but not the one everyone was expecting. With Max Verstappen on the backfoot after a problem in qualifying, Sérgio Pérez picked up the mantle for the Austrian team, beat Charles Leclerc off the line and then set off for two hours of impeccable driving, in tricky conditions, without putting a wheel wrong, in spite of the having his RB18’s mirrors full of red, as the Monegasque was never too far away. Pérez’s biggest scare came seven laps from the end, when he was warned of a potential 5s penalty that he could get for a Safety Car infringement. The Mexican then showed he had plenty in hand. From a gap of 2.6s on lap 52 he quickly pulled up to 7.3s ahead of his rival in just six laps and then cruised on the last lap, the race finishing after the two hours mark but two laps before the scheduled 61 laps around the Marina Bay Circuit.

The Mexican was clearly ecstatic at the end of the race: “I think this was my best performance ever. I controlled the race, although the tyre warm-up was very difficult. The last few laps were so intense. I didn’t feel it that much in the car but when I got out of it, I felt it. You know, I pushed. I gave everything for the win today.” The crucial moment for Pérez was getting the jump on Leclerc at the start, but for the first 18 laps there was never two seconds between them. Things started to look better for the Mexican during the three VSC periods the race had between laps 21 and 30, the first to remove Alonso’s stranded Alpine, the second for a front wing lost by Albon’s Williams after an impact with the tyre wall to be collected by the marshals, and the final one to remove Ocon’s broken A521. Pérez extended his lead to 4.3s by lap 30 but two mega laps by Leclerc cut the gap to 2,7s before Ferrari took a gamble and pitted the Monegasque. A mistake by Leclerc cost him 2.5s as he arrived long

in his pit and, in spite of pushing hard on slicks and being in DRS race for five laps, a move for the win was never on and Pérez won after leading from lights to flag.


On what was his first ‘match point’ of the year, his first chance to clinch the title with races to spare, Max Verstappen endured a disappointing weekend, qualifying eighth and finishing the race in P7. For a driver who arrived in Singapore as the favorite to dominate the weekend, this was a very disappointing result and the Dutchman was far from pleased at the end of the race. His issues started on Friday’s FP2 session, when a set-up change didn’t work as planned and reverting to the previous settings took so long he got only eight laps in and no long runs done. On Saturday, the wet conditions in qualifying opened the doors to a speedy recovery but a fuel level miscalculation from the team forced him Sergio took the deserved champagne bath (left). Alonso did a great job of keeping Verstappen behind him until the Alpine expired ...

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to abort his final Q3 lap, when he was on course to a likely pole. The Dutchman was so upset he skipped the technical debrief and went straight to his hotel, later saying, “I wasn’t in the mood to talk. It’s not about making a statement, it is just how I feel. It wouldn’t have been much use to talk.” Earlier he had made it clear that, “I think we got a little surprised that we had that extra lap, but you can track that and see it coming, so I don’t really understand how that was missed. We have all the sensors in the world to track these things, so it’s incredibly frustrating.” Asked if he wasn’t being too harsh on a team that has been nearly perfect all year, he explained, “I like the critical approach, because when I fuck up they can also tell me that I made a mistake, and I think it should be the other way around as well, because that’s how we keep each other heading into the right direction. Because we want to be perfect – we don’t want to be good, we want to be perfect.

Ricciardo had his best race of the year in the re-liveriede McLaren (below) – gaining 11 spots, for fifth, and Stroll (left above) earned a strong sixth, but for Hamilton (right) it was his worst outing of the year – for someone who generally shines in low grip/wet conditions, it included a couple of uncharacteristic errors.


I think they know – they saw my face and what I said on the radio.” On Sunday, things got off to a bad start when the anti-stall kicked in, so the Dutchman dropped to 12th place, but was up to P7 by lap 11. Alonso’s retirement and Hamilton’s mistake on lap 33 put him up to fifth and, after changing to slicks on lap 35, the World Champion dived bombed inside Norris into Turn 7 but, “I completely bottomed out as soon as I hit the brakes, so the front wheels went in the air and I must have really locked up, because I had massive flatspots and I had to pit again and put new tyres on.” From P13 he made quick progress and ended up in seventh place with a last lap move on Vettel – but that was still not enough to bring a smile to his face: “Yes, I got back in the points, but it is, of course, not what we wanted and after yesterday we cannot ask for miracles.” QUALIFYING / STARTING GRID RACE 16

Pos Driver Time 1 Charles Leclerc 1m49.412s 2 Sergio Perez 1m49.434s 3 Lewis Hamilton 1m49.466s 4 Carlos Sainz 1m49.583s 5 Fernando Alonso 1m49.966s 6 Lando Norris 1m50.584s 7 Pierre Gasly 1m51.211s 8 Max Verstappen 1m51.395s 9 Kevin Magnussen 1m51.573s 10 Yuki Tsunoda 1m51.983s 11 Lance Stroll (12) 1m54.211s 12 Mick Schumacher (13) 1m54.370s 13 Sebastian Vettel (14) 1m54.380s 14 Guanyu Zhou (15) 1m55.518s 15 Valtteri Bottas (16) 1m56.083s 16 Daniel Ricciardo (17) 1m56.226s 17 Esteban Ocon (18) 1m56.337s 18 Alex Albon (19) 1m56.985s 19 Nicholas Latifi (20) 1m57.532s 20 George Russell (11) 1m54.012s

Now, the Dutchman heads into the Japanese Grand Prix needing to gain eight points on Leclerc and six on Pérez to settle the title in his favor – so a win in Suzuka with the extra point for the fastest lap will hand Verstappen his second title, still with four Grands Prix to go.


Mercedes arrived in Singapore full of hope of getting its first win of the season and Hamilton’s qualifying performance – 3rd but just 0.054s off Leclerc’s time – showed they had reason to be optimistic. Russell, for his side, admitted, “the car was never wellbalanced” and dropped out in Q2 before the team decided to give him a completely new Power Unit, so he had to start the race from the pit lane. For Hamilton, losing a place to Sainz at


Pos Drivers 1 Sergio Perez 2 Charles Leclerc 3 Carlos Sainz 4 Lando Norris 5 Daniel Ricciardo 6 Lance Stroll 7 Max Verstappen 8 Sebastian Vettel 9 Lewis Hamilton 10 Pierre Gasly 11 Valtteri Bottas 12 Kevin Magnussen 13 Mick Schumacher 14 George Russell 15 Yuki Tsunoda 16 Esteban Ocon 17 Alex Albon 18 Fernando Alonso 19 Nicholas Latifi 20 Guanyu Zhou


Make Laps Margin Red Bull Racing 59 Laps Ferrari 59 Laps + 2.595s* Ferrari 59 Laps + 10.305s McLaren 59 Laps + 21.133s McLaren 59 Laps + 53.282s Aston Martin 59 Laps + 56.330s Red Bull Racing 59 Laps + 58.825s Aston Martin 59 Laps + 60.032s Mercedes 59 Laps + 61.515s AlphaTauri 59 Laps + 69.576s Alfa Romeo 59 Laps + 88.844s Haas F1 59 Laps + 92.610s Haas F1 + 1 Lap Mercedes + 2 Laps AlphaTauri DNF Alpine F1 DNF Williams Racing DNF Alpine F1 DNF Williams Racing DNF Alfa Romeo DNF

s1 t-1 t-1 s2 s11 s5 s1 s5 t-6 t-3 s4 t-3 t-1 s6

Pos Driver Points 1 Max Verstappen 341 2 Charles Leclerc 237 3 Sergio Perez 235 4 George Russell 203 5 Carlos Sainz 202 6 Lewis Hamilton 170 7 Lando Norris 100 8 Esteban Ocon 66 9 Fernando Alonso 59 10 Valtteri Bottas 46 11 Daniel Ricciardo 29 12 Sebastian Vettel 24 13 Pierre Gasly 23 14 Kevin Magnussen 22 15 Lance Stroll 13 16 Mick Schumacher 12 17 Yuki Tsunoda 11 18 Zhou Guanyu 6 19 Alexander Albon 4 20 Nyck de Vries 2

– – – – – – – – – – s3 s1 t-1 t-3 s3 t-1 t-1 t-1 – –

Note - Perez scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.



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the start of the race effectively sealed his fate: “I don’t know why he was so slow but, obviously, I was not quick enough to get past him in these conditions. And then, just sitting behind him, I think I could have done similar times to the guys ahead, but because I was stuck behind him I couldn’t. I think if I was in third, I could have kept with the guys up ahead.” Frustration got the better of him, with an off on lap 33 damaging the front wing. The delay, plus the time lost to change the nosecone of the W13 while changing to slicks, dropping him to eighth. An attempt to pass Vettel resulted in another mistake that allowed Verstappen through, so P9 was all Mercedes had to show for the day, as Russell had also made a few mistakes and finished one lap down in 14th place. With Alpine having a terrible day, Alonso and Ocon retiring with Power Unit failures, McLaren scored big points and leapfrogged the French team in the championship. Norris drove brilliantly all day, survived a scary moment, “when Max dive-bombed into Turn 7 and went straight” and almost challenged Sainz for third before settling for a valuable fourth. For Ricciardo, who started from 16th on the grid, finishing the race in P5 was, “way more than I could have hoped for. Both Lando and I benefited from the team’s decision to delay our change to slicks until the SC came out for the final time and that helped me get ahead of three cars! Then, very nice of him, Max went off as he tried to pass Lando, so I got another position and had my first top-five in one year!” Smiling, he concluded, “Max has had such a good year I won’t apologise for taking a few points from him!” Aston Martin also had a great day, with Stroll in P6 and Vettel in eighth place, scoring enough points to jump ahead of Haas and AlphaTauri in the championship.

SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR FERRARI HAD its best chance for success in a few races in Singapore, when tricky race conditions and impeccable driving put Charles Leclerc on pole position. But too much wheelspin in second gear, at the start, dropped him behind Pérez and that was pretty much the story of the Monegasque’s race. Things could have changed when Ferrari called him in for slicks on lap 33 but, unfortunately for him, Leclerc overshot and made life difficult for his mechanics, the incident costing him a crucial 2.5s, as Pérez could then pit one lap later and resume with an even bigger gap than before. A Safety Car period followed immediately, as Tsunoda, hit the wall and, on the re-start, Leclerc was all over the back of his rival, Pérez complaining, “I’m having issues with the drivability of the engine.” With the DRS finally available from lap 43, Leclerc had it for five laps without ever being really in a position to go for it, before a mistake on lap 48 started to seal his fate. Admitting, “I probably overheated the tyres when I was trying to force Checo into a mistake.” The Ferrari driver then started to drop his pace and with Pérez getting the “hurry up” message from his engineer, the gap grew quickly, so the 5s penalty the Mexican received at the end of the race didn’t change the final result. Leclerc, from his side, rued the start as the crucial moment of the race: “I had a little bit of wheelspin and lost the performance there. I don’t really know yet whether it’s me who did mistake, in the way I did things or if it’s something else – we’ll have to analyse it. The only thing I felt, is that I had a little bit a bit of wheelspin, and I saw Checo had an amazing start. But it’s like this ...” From then on, in his usual style, the Monegasque pushed as much as he dared until the final two laps: “Immediately after the last Safety Car, I pushed quite a lot. And then in the last 10 laps, I think he started to pull away again. After the Safety Car, we are always pretty strong, we are very, very good in the first six, seven laps, so we warm the tyres faster but then cannot keep them at the right temperature for as long as they can.” Carlos Sainz helped Ferrari achieve its first double podium since Miami but was a very distant third, never in contention for the win. Both on the Intermediates and on the Medium tyres the Spaniard was puzzled by his lack of pace: “I’d been quick all weekend, I’m always quick in the wet, but today I just didn’t have the pace. On the Intermediates it was terrible, I had no grip, and then on the slicks, with the Mediums, Checo and Charles pulled away quickly and I only got my pace up in the last 10 laps. It’s something I don’t understand right now, something we’ll have to analyse, but at least we got a double podium, even if that’s not what we came here for – we came here, as we go to every Grand Prix, to win.” I 69


HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE BATHURST 500/1000? Across 2. How many times did Larry Perkins and Peter Brock win Bathurst together? 3. What model Holden did Brock drive to victory? 4. What is the name of the first turn on the Mount Panorama circuit? 6. Who is the only driver on three occasions to win both the Bathurst 1000 and ATCC title in the same year? (surname) 7. How many Wildcard entries will be on the grid this year? 8. To the nearest kilometre, how long is the Mt Panorama Circuit? 9. Who has the record of Bathurst 1000 Top 10 Shootouts with 21? (full name) 13. Reigning Bathurst 1000 winner Chaz Mostert will have a new co-driver this year – who is it? (surname) 14. How many co-drivers did Brock have in the 1972 Bathurst 500? 15. James Courtney will be joined by which former full-time regular? (surname) 19. Holden holds the record of consecutive Bathurst 1000 wins – how many did they score in succession?

21. A four-time Bathurst 1000 winner returns this year – what number car will he be driving? 22. How many times did Peter Brock win the pre-Bathurst Sandown enduro? 23. James Courtney has never won the ‘Great Race,’ but who did he finish second with in 2007? (surname) 24. What is Tim Slade’s best Bathurst 1000 race finishing position? 25. Who is the most successful driver on the Bathurst 1000 grid in terms of wins this year? 26. Who finished second in the 1972 Bathurst 500 driving a Bryan Byrt Ford Falcon GT-HO Phase III? (surname)

Down 1. How many drivers will make their Bathurst 1000 debuts in 2022? 3. Craig Lowndes will make history, becoming the first person to start in how many ATCC/ Supercars rounds? 5. Peter Brock scored his first Bathurst 1000 win in a Commodore with who? (full name)

6. Porsche ace Jaxon Evans will make his Bathurst 1000 debut alongside who? (surname) 7. Peter Brock did not run the number 05 when he won the race in 1972 – what number did he have? 10. By how many laps did Brock win the Great Race in 1972? 11. How many brother pairings will line up on the grid for the Bathurst 1000 this year? 12. Who did Jamie Whincup win Bathurst with a decade ago? (surname) 16. Declan Fraser is 22 – how many times had his co-driver Craig Lowndes won the Bathurst 1000 when he was born? 17. Third-generation racer Aaron Seton will make his Bathurst 1000 debut driving for what team? (abbreviation) 18. Who took pole for the 1972 Bathurst 500? (surname) 20. The 1972 Bathurst 500 saw Peter Brock take his first of how many Bathurst 500/1000 wins? 21. Craig Lowndes holds the record of Bathurst 1000 podiums, how many does he have?

Crossword compiled by Dan McCarthy

#1845 Crossword Answers: 1 down – CGR, 2 down – three, 3 down – five, 3 across – four, 4 down – third, 5 down – Kanaan, 6 down – O’Ward, 7 across – Team Penske, 8 down – Mario Andretti, 9 down – second, 10 down – twelve, 11 down – Newgarden, 12 across – Palou, 13 across – Chevrolet, 14 across – fifth, 15 down – Florida, 16 across – Laguna Seca, 17 across – fourth, 18 across – Lundgaard, 19 across – Rosenqvist, 20 down – Ericsson, 21 down – threes, 22 across – Newgarden, 23 down – Dixon, 24 down – nine, 25 down – one, 25 across, one, 26 across – Rossi, 27 across – one, 28 across – McLaren

We take a look back at what was making news in Auto Action 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago

1972: COLIN BOND guided Holden to a recordbreaking win at the final round of the Toby Lee Series at Oran Park. It was a big day for Ansett Team Elfin, which won its first major race at Symmons Plains in the final round of the Australian Drivers Gold Star Championship. Excitement was also building for the Interstate Challenge race at Calder Park, where AA revealed a $10,000 winner takes all prize was on the line. The issue also featured the lead in to the 1972 Hardie Ferodo Bathurst 500.

1982: THE GIANT Bathurst special was all about the crushing one-lap win from Peter Brock and Larry Perkins. The second win in the iconic duo’s hat-trick broke the race time record by more than four minutes as they drove into the distance in their HDT Commodore SS. Meanwhile, the current ATCC champion Dick Johnson was excluded during scrutineering, whilst Kevin Bartlett and the Channel 9 Camaro finished the race upside down at Reid Park.

70 I

1992: ON THE eve of the Bathurst 1000, the Nissan v CAMS stoush went to another level when Gibson Motorsport boss Fred Gibson followed through with his threat to take CAMS to court. CAMS handed out 140kg handicaps to the two Gibson Motorsport GT-Rs which Gibson claimed made them unsafe for endurance style racing. These events did not stop the hype surrounding the ‘Great Race’ with hope Peter Brock could claim a 10th win, but his Mobil Holden Commodore famously struggled to leave the start line.

2002: DICK JOHNSON was ready to christen Ford’s BA Falcon at the upcoming 2002 Bathurst 1000. The first official photographs of the BA Falcon Supercar were released and the vehicle was called “Ford’s V8 Saviour” after some tough years racing AUs. This proved to be the case, as the BA Falcon instantly won back the championship in its debut season, and secured a Bathurst three-peat.

2012: BEING THE 50th anniversary of the ‘Great Race” held at Bathurst, celebrations were in full swing. Auto Action showcased a special 50 Bathurst moments feature starting with “BROCK KNOCKS ‘EM FOR SIX” in 1979 to “THE FIRST GREAT RACE” in 1963. To mark the anniversary, many teams revealed special liveries such as FPR’s tribute to the Moffat Ford Dealers 1-2 in 1977. Winterbottom declared 2012 was “my greatest shot” but could not finish inside the top 10.

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