Auto Action #1765

Page 1


SINCE 1971






Issue #1765

11 July to 24 July , 2019

$7.95 NZ $8.50












Round 3 – July 12-14 The Bend Motorsport Park

News, video, results and more ...


SBS Australia


HOLDEN’S BIG BATHURST BASH Lion’s Supercars renewal and big racing anniversary to be celebrated at Mount Panorama, as BRUCE NEWTON outlines HOLDEN’S LOW-KEY Supercars sponsorship renewal will be celebrated with plenty of fanfare when the brand clocks up 50 years of continuous factory racing at Bathurst in October. The extension of the Holden’s factory backing of Triple Eight Race Engineering was casually revealed by team co-owner Jessica Dane on the eve of the Townsville 400. At the same time, Dane – standing in for her absent team boss father Roland – confirmed Red Bull would also be back as naming rights co-sponsor of the squad’s two Commodore ZBs until the end of 2021. Neither Holden, Red Bull nor the team issued any statement to the media about the renewal before or after Dane’s revelation. It is understood Holden’s desire to keep the announcement low-key was shared by Red Bull. Instead, it was left to Holden marketing director Kristian Aquilina to explain the unusual announcement strategy and promise that more is to come. “The timing isn’t perfect for us in that we would like to find a good time to celebrate a very long and continuous relationship with the sport,� Aquilina said. “But given the interest in the renewal, it was a case of closing off that speculation and allowing the team to do what they need to do and allowing us to do what we need to do. “When it comes time to celebrate it, we will do it in a louder way.� That celebration is planned for the Bathurst 1000, marking the 50th anniversary of the Holden Dealer Team, which was the predecessor of the Holden Racing Team title that Triple Eight has held since 2017. According to Aquilina, the renewal was an important message of support for the team as it fights for competitiveness against Ford’s dominant DJR Team Penske.

“In tougher times, you have to back your partners and say ‘You’ve got this’, give them a chance to take all this talk of renewal out of it and support them and have their backs as much as we can.� Originally a Ford team, Triple Eight switched to Holden in 2010, gained Red Bull backing in 2013 and became the sole official Holden factory representative in 2017, taking the Holden Racing Team branding from Walkinshaw Racing (now Walkinshaw Andretti United). Holden’s commitment to Supercars will also continue to include parts and vehicle support for other Commodore teams. Aquilina maintained T8’s renewal had “never� been in doubt, although negotiations went on for some months. “For us it was a matter of making sure we got the settings right for an ongoing partnership and making sure it was right for everyone involved,� he said. “We are not going to talk terms and numbers or anything like that,� he stonewalled. “The commitment is there for two years. We are in a situation where all parties are happy enough to sign on the dotted line and continue on.� It’s fair to suggest Aquilina’s and Holden’s desire to keep the announcement low-key reflects the struggles the company is having in the marketplace. Making a big deal about investing in motor racing at a time when sales are poor would not necessarily be welcomed by stakeholders, especially the workforce. But Aquilina was adamant that the Supercars investment is justified because the category’s fan base is relevant to Holden. “They happen to be car-buyers,� he said. “Yes, there is a significant proportion of them who are Holden-loyal and tribal in their love for the brand, but there are also a significant proportion who are buying a whole lot of things.

“And we have a pretty compelling story to tell. We have a range of SUVs and trucks they might be interested in, but we are not necessarily known for. “So why not be involved in something we have a very strong heritage in and a very strong future in as well – we hope – to convey those messages to a very relevant audience?� Although involved in a backdoor way in racing before 1969, Holden’s participation in touring car racing in Australia is officially recognised as beginning at the Sandown enduro that year, with Colin Bond and Tony Roberts scoring the Holden Dealer Team’s first win at Bathurst three weeks later in a Monaro GTS350. “The optimal time (to celebrate the renewal) is down the track, rather than this not being as good a time,� Aquilina commented. “We are coming up to 50 years involvement at Bathurst and we would like to use that as a place to celebrate our involvement. “And, meanwhile, the team is needing to focus on its performance on the track, we are needing to focus on our performance in the marketplace, so now is not the time to celebrate going racing in a big loud way.� The Holden/Red Bull announcement came just minutes after DJR Team Penske had used the Supercars Trackside pre-show on Fox Sports to confirm Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard will stay together in 2020. Jessica Dane insisted there had been no intention to gazump the pace-setting Ford team’s media moment. “We had no idea they were making an announcement,� Dane told Auto Action. “The notification came through on my phone as Scotty and Fabs were doing their interview.� She did concede the timing of the two announcements “might look a little bit suspicious from the outside�, adding: “I suppose somewhere along the line Trackside knew that announcement was going to happen, but nobody gave us a heads-up about it, so we just rolled on with our plan and it worked well for us.�


AS PREDICTED in Auto Action two issues ago, Holden is sticking with the he Commodore as its Supercars weaponn of choice for the future. Along with forecasting that Holden WEAPON would continue factory backing of OF CHOICE Triple Eight, AA #1763 revealed that LAZARUS LARRY MOZZIE BITES the Chevrolet Camaro would not compete here in the “foreseeable future�. This was confirmed by Holden’s Kristian Aquilina at Townsville as he reaffirmed the company’s commitment to supporting the ZB Commodore in Supercars through 2021. Aquilina even acknowledged our main cover line: “To use Auto Action’s choice of words, it’s our weapon of choice.� The last year of Triple Eight’s renewal as the Holden Racing Team will cross over with the planned introduction of Supercars’ Next Generation evolution, which is expected to facilitate the entry of low-line twodoor coupes like the Camaro. Walkinshaw Andretti United and road car partner HSV, which imports and converts Camaros, undertook a serious study of a Supercars racing version of the bowtie brand’s pony car. WAU and HSV rejected the idea as the Camaro’s body shape didn’t fit comfortably over the control chassis, looking even more disproportionate than the ‘Mutant Mustang’ racer. As AA revealed, WAU/HSV backed off the Camaro project for 2021 in an agreement with Holden and General Motors following resistance from the beleaguered local arm of the shrinking global car giant. Mark Fogarty V8 SILLY SEASON SINCE 1971






Perkins’ greatest drive

Issue #1763

13 June to 26 June , 2019

$7.95 NZ $8.50



Chaz on his future











MARK FOGARTY uncovers the real story behind the silly season upset that has turned the driver market upside down FORD FLYER Chaz Mostert is set to make a shock move to Holden in a game-changing deal with ambitious independent Walkinshaw Andretti United. Auto Action can reveal that freeagent Mostert rejected a big offer from DJR Team Penske to race alongside championship dominator Scott McLaughlin. Although not formally signed, AA can also confirm that Mostert has agreed in principle to joining WAU in the surprise move of the silly season. His decision to leave Tickford Racing while declining the Penske overtures is also linked to a deal for overseas GT races. Extraordinarily, AA has learned that Mostert last week rejected an increased multi-year offer from DJRTP. Mostert politely declined the lastminute bid, which followed earlier entreaties – as reported in recent months.

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His final rejection of DJRTP’s aggressive overtures triggered Fabian Coulthard’s renewal, along with the Kiwi’s strong form revival this season in the pace-setting Ford Mustang. Securing Mostert is central to WAU’s big plan to return to the front of the field, accompanied by a major investment in top-flight engineering resources. Mostert is expected to sign a multiyear deal with WAU in the next few weeks. Despite claiming that Coulthard’s renewal was always the plan (see story on page 7), DJRTP boss Ryan Story admitted he had sounded other available drivers, including Mostert. “It would be remiss of me to not be conscious of where other drivers are up and down pitlane, either with their contract periods and where they are,” Story told AA. “So I have been in contact with all sorts of people

over time, including Chaz, in terms of understanding what his next steps are and what his aspirations are. “So, of course, we have discussions with a lot of different people – but we always have discussion with a lot of different people.”


MOSTERT IS PLAYING his future close to his chest and choosing his words carefully amid the rampant speculation that he will leave Tickford for WAU. “The focus is still for me very much where I am at the moment and making sure we keep trying to keep the Supercheap Mustang at the front,” he told AA. “So working on stuff for next year and what I am doing, am I staying or am I going? “All that stuff is still yet to come out and be said. So people can speculate as much as they want, but I can put my hand on my heart and say nothing is a done deal yet.”

Asked if the idea of leading the beleaguered Walkinshaw squad out of the wilderness appealed to him, Mostert responded: “For me, there’s no point commenting on that because I am not there. That’s a question probably better put to their current drivers and what they are doing trying to go forward.” AA understands that the final DJRTP pitch to Mostert was a bigmoney multi-year offer. It is believed he declined the increased bid for the same reason he resisted earlier approaches from American-controlled Shell V-Power Racing. There are strong suggestions he didn’t want to team with McLaughlin, with whom he is understood to have a fractious relationship going back to a rivalry in their karting days. Mostert is thought to like the idea of leading WAU back to its former Holden Racing Team glory days, especially if the Anglo-



Mostert tells BRUCE NEWTON he hasn’t done a deal for 2020 and beyond, keeping his options open as long as possible

Image: LAT

American owners’ plan to boost the operation’s engineering resources is successful. It is known that WAU is out in the market looking for the best available engineering talent to bolster highly rated technical director Carl Faux’s cadre. Mostert’s race engineer Adam de Borre is likely to move with him, continuing their successful long-running alliance. The switch to WAU would inevitably lead to speculation that Supercheap Auto would follow him back to Clayton after having been lured to Campbellfield from Walkinshaw Racing in 2016. Supercheap’s association with the popular Gold Coast maverick has been its most successful in more than two decades of Supercars team sponsorships.


WAU’S LINK with BMW through Andretti Autosport, which runs the German maker’s Formula E program, is also thought to be a major factor as Mostert wants to continue GT racing overseas. It is unlikely Team Penske would

have allowed him to race outside its Ford-supported Supercars program. Mostert’s impending move casts doubts on the futures of James Courtney and Scott Pye, both of whom are out of contact at the end of this season. While WAU co-owner Ryan Walkinshaw wouldn’t comment directly on snaring Mostert, he admitted that his team was actively engaged in the silly season manoeuvring for 2020. “This is the first time since we became Walkinshaw Andretti United that we have had the opportunity to explore the driver market, so it would be irresponsible of us to have not done so, and interest from drivers wishing to join us has been beyond expectations,” Walkinshaw told Auto Action. “One thing I love about our sport is the passion that silly season evokes from the fans. It’s great to see all the speculation. Whilst not always ideal for us personally, it is just further evidence of how emotionally engaged the fans are and it’s



great to see. “Sadly, I can’t and won’t add any fuel to the fire, for obvious reasons. It would be disrespectful to our current drivers and the negotiations we have ongoing with them, and it would be disrespectful to any new drivers that we may or may not be in negotiations with. “We have a pretty strong policy on this and won’t comment further.” Led by Walkinshaw, WAU is determined to return to the front of the field, prepared to invest to regain success. Mostert would be a talisman for that intent, most likely combined with 2010 Supercars champion Courtney, who will have to take a big pay cut to keep his seat. Also, though WAU is aligned with Holden through HSV, Walkinshaw has admitted to AA that he is in talks with at least two new manufacturers to join Supercars. Although he has been WAU’s best performer over the past two years, Pye is being forced to look elsewhere. With Bruce Newton

SUPERCARS’ MOST wanted man Chaz Mostert insists he is yet to make a decision about his future, even though speculation is rife that he has already committed to Image:Ross Gibb Walkinshaw Andretti United. “People can speculate as much as they want, but I can put my hand on my heart and say nothing is a done deal yet,” the Tickford Racing star told Auto Action at the Townsville 400. His choice of words doesn’t rule out an unsigned agreement to join WAU. Mostert maintained his decision would be based on being at a team with championship-winning capability. “It’s no secret that’s what I am chasing and that’s what I am doing in this category,” the Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang driver said. “If I believe I can do that here (Tickford), you might see me here; if I believe I can do it somewhere else, you might see me somewhere else. “At the moment, those are the things I am trying to work out and, really, that’s the direction I am heading.” Mostert had long been linked with a drive at DJR Team Penske alongside Scott McLaughlin, but that option was officially closed off last week when it was confirmed Fabian Coulthard would retain his seat. Asked if he had rejected DJRTP offers to partner McLaughlin, Mostert responded with a non-committal “I cannot confirm or deny”. He also refused to put a percentage on his chances of staying at Tickford or moving on. “I can’t even say I have honestly thought about it,” he said Unlike many drivers at the centre of driver market speculation, Mostert admits to enjoying the attention. “I love it,” he grinned. “Generally, I have found there are two people through the championship that the media wants to talk to – the guy winning all the time or someone that’s possibly looking to do a shift. “I’m just glad to be one of those people at the moment. For me, it’s fantastic for the sponsors and even all the teams you guys decide to mention because more sponsors get more media coverage and all that stuff. “ WAU’s offer to Mostert is understood to be comprehensive, including a big salary and significant engineering resources. Mostert wouldn’t comment on the chances of his longtime race engineer Adam De Borre sticking with him if he changed teams, but did extol his sidekick’s virtues. “He would have to be one of the best engineers in pit lane,” he declared. “He constantly seems to get the best out of myself and that’s why we have had a very long partnership.” There is also understood to be an international component to WAU’s offer. While not commenting specifically on that, Mostert made it clear his interest in racing overseas continued. “To me I have a lot of unfinished business in Supercars and I have been pretty vocal about that,” he said. “In saying that, I have a lot of ambition to go overseas. “In my perfect world, I would like to continue what I am doing right now, dabbling my toe in some stuff over there, try to put as big a package together as I can over there that this allows me here. “But for the immediate future, I have much unfinished business in Supercars.”

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But Holden star concedes his time at WAU might be over


A PHILOSOPHICAL James Courtney has declared his desire to stay at Walkinshaw Andretti United, while also conceding his time as a full-time driver in Supercars might soon be over. The futures of the 2010 Supercars champion and his teammate Scott Pye have come under scrutiny as WAU bids for the services of Ford star Chaz Mostert. According to Auto Action sources Courtney is the more likely of the two to be retained by WAU, although neither driver has had a strong season as the team struggles for pace. Asked by AA at the Townsville 400 about his racing future Courtney said: “I have no idea. I am not even pretending I don’t know. “So long as I keep doing my job and working with the team and doing the best I can then that’s all I can do. “Something will come of it and if it ends up being somewhere else or an enduro role I don’t know. I am just working as hard as I can to get the job done. “Ultimately I want to stay here and keep doing this and that’s my goal and that’s what I am working towards but as for any sort of answer on anything, no.” Courtney joined what was then the Walkinshaw-family owned Holden Racing Team in 2011, immediately after winning the Supercars championship for Dick Johnson Racing. In the next eight years the 38-year old has finished no better than sixth in the championship. In that time the team has lost its factory backing and United Autosports and Andretti Autosport have bought in as co-owners. Post-Townsville, where 10th in the Sunday shootout was his and the team’s highlight, Courtney is 13th in the driver’s championship standings, three spots ahead of Pye. Courtney insists the lack of sustained success the team has experienced during his tenure motivates him to stay rather

Image: LAT

than move on. “My focus is here and I love it - as frustrating and as painful as it is,” he said. “I dunno, I’m stubborn, I came here nine years ago to get this place back to where everyone believes it should be and until that’s done I am not going to be happy. “Stubborn, loyal and nine years I’ve been with these guys and we have been through so much together. “It is going to be an amazing day when we can all have a beer and talk about the shit we went through and winning races. “These guys are like brothers and family. Although we haven’t had success it has been an amazing period for me. Working with this bunch of guys has been great.” Courtney believes it will be a month before he gets an indication of his future from WAU. “They have got some other stuff they have to finish off and sort out and until they know the nest egg they have to work with there’s no point talking about anything,” he said. Courtney said age and experience made it easier for him to cope with the uncertainty of his situation. “I think I am pretty confident in my own ability,” he said. “I know what I can and can’t do and I … don’t need you guys in the press to be writing good things about me for me to be happy with me and the team to be happy with me. “I am happy when the core group of guys I am working with

are happy with me and we are working and developing and we are ticking our boxes. For me that is more important and that is what I am focussed on. “When I was younger it was the other way and I was always worried about what everyone was thinking and saying and writing. “But I have not read any press or anything to do with anything. So I think it comes with age and wisdom that you can only do what you can do, so I will focus on that and see what happens at the end of it.” If Courtney does find himself on the driver market he will have plenty of competition for seats. While DJR Team Penske and Red Bull Holden Racing Team are locked away and Erebus looks likely to retain its current line-up of David Reynolds and Anton De Pasquale, there is potential for movement at almost every other team along pitlane. With the Mostert situation close to resolution drivers including Cam Waters, Jack Le Brocq, Simona De Silvestro, Andre Heimgartner, Todd Hazelwood, Tim Slade, Lee Holdsworth, Garry Jacobson and GRM duo James Golding and Richie Stanaway will be looking to secure their futures. Rising star Waters is expected to stay at Tickford Racing, Le Brocq is certain to leave Tekno and has been linked to Tickford, as has De Silvestro and her Harvey Norman backing.

USA NOT PART OF SCOTTY’S NEW DEAL SUPERCARS DOMINATOR Scott McLaughlin’s new contract with DJR Team Penske does not guarantee him any overseas racing opportunities. Nor does it stipulate any mandatory hurdles to clear – such as winning the Bathurst 1000 –before heading overseas. McLaughlin’s freshly signed renewal guarantees he will race in Australia in 2020, but the length of his extended deal has not been announced, as per Penske policy. The Brisbane-based Kiwi, who is obliterating his rivals in the defence of his Supercars crown, has made it clear he wants to race in NASCAR in the future. Team Penske – which races in NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA in the USA – has indicated it would like to give him that chance, but McLaughlin has confirmed nothing has been locked into his new deal. “It wasn’t really talked about too much,” he said of a potential American program. “I just wanted to secure my future, I knew it was coming up, I wanted to get it done and know where I am going for the next bit. “It was just a no-brainer.” McLaughlin confirmed he did have the chance to discuss US racing opportunities with Team Penske president Tim Cindric during his recent visit to the Darwin Triple Crown, which he historically won. “My understanding is I have got to be focussed on what I am doing here,” McLaughlin said. “Things do happen eventually. Maybe I will be here to annoy you guys a little bit longer or I might go somewhere. “I’m not sure, it’s totally up to them. If the call comes, it comes. If not, I have an awesome job, I enjoy my life Down

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Image: LAT

Under and I will just keep doing what I am doing here.” To both his and the team’s amusement, there was no media speculation about McLaughlin’s contract this year. Instead, the focus was on teammate Fabian Coulthard’s future. The understanding in the motor sport media was McLaughlin had another year to run on his deal. Having said that, there was a never any chance McLaughlin was leaving the team.

“We had a laugh about that,” he said. “No one (from the media) ever came and asked me (about his contract). That’s why we don’t tell anyone about the years (contract length).” Coulthard’s new deal for 2020 was also confirmed last week, something McLaughlin welcomed. “It’s good to know who is driving our cars next year and now we can just focus on the future,” he noted. BN

PERCAT: YOU CAN’T SAY NO Hot Nick felt obliged to finish


NICK PERCAT says a sense of duty obliged him to get back in his BJR Commodore and complete last Sunday’s Townsville 400 Supercars race moments after it had been on fire. The fire erupted late in the 200km race because of a refuelling rig equipment failure during a splash-and-go stop. While the fire was at its fiercest in the BJR pit, it also spread to the rear of Percat’s Holden and he was prevented from going back on track at pitlane exit. But once the fire was put out and it had been established the car was not leaking fuel, Percat was instructed by the team to finish the race, which he did in 19th. “You can’t really stand around and go ‘nah I’m not getting back in’, so I thought I’d better get back in and collect the minimum points,” Percat told Auto Action. “We’d already had a hellish day obviously; Sladey getting a time penalty, our fuel drop, my incident with (Cam) Waters – which was just a mistake; even Macauley (Jones) had a penalty. Slade’s 15 second penalty was for spinning Simona De Silvestro, Percat copped 15 seconds for ramming Waters and Jones was handed a pitlane penalty for making contact with Mark Winterbottom. Percat said he first realised there was a fire via a big screen. “I looked on the big screen and saw there was fire at the pit and then I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t see much flame and then I saw a lot of flame, so I just stopped and got out.” He said. “There was a red light at the end of pitlane so I obeyed that too to avoid a team fine. “It was just crazy, I’m just glad everyone is alright.”

Image: Ross Gibb

CAMS and BJR are conducting investigations into the incident, which AA understands was triggered by the fuel feed hose breaking off the coupling before the refueller had even connected it to Percat’s car. According to eye witnesses, another crew member hit the deadman handle straight away, but the fuel in the hose gushed out until the refuelling crewman could raise it above the fuel rig. The car was dropped and Percat released but the exhaust ignited the fuel which had spread due to the wet pit lane. In the fuss of the fire, the fuel hose was dropped spilling more fuel into the garage which also ignited. In addition to fire marshalls, Erebus, Walkinshaw and Cooldrive/MSR personnel helped extinguish the fuel fire in the garage.

Meanwhile, officials activated the red light at pitlane exit to stop Percat rejoining the track. DJR Team Penske and Triple Eight extinguished Percat’s car. “I felt once the thing burst into flames the guys did an excellent job of getting the fire under control and putting it out,” said BJR co-owner Brad Jones. “Everyone did their role. The ones that need to go went, the one that needed to put the fire out did. “It got contained in a matter of minutes, so they did an excellent job.” BJR’s fire came just moments after Garry Jacobson’s Nissan had rolled to a halt on the track on-fire after a catastrophic engine failure. That incident triggered the safety car under which the race finished. With Rhys Vandersyde


Why Fabs was re-signed by DJR Team Penske ON-TRACK speed, a willingness to sacrifice and off-track professionalism meant a contract renewal for Fabian Coulthard at Shell V-Power Racing was never in doubt. That’s according to DJR Team Penske boss Ryan Story following last week’s confirmation that Coulthard would stay in 2020. The renewal was announced at the same time as a new deal for championship-leading teammate Scott McLaughlin. It had looked likely earlier in the year that Coulthard would lose his drive to fellow out-of-contract Ford star Chaz Mostert. Despite strong indications otherwise, Story insisted that replacing Coulthard – who celebrated his 400th Supercars race start at Townsville – was never seriously considered. “It was always a case of having faith and giving him the opportunity to deliver,” Story told Auto Action.

Image: LAT

“There was never any intent or desire to go in a different direction, there was always the opportunity for him to do what he needed to do.” While Coulthard finished only ninth in the 2018 championship, prompting the speculation he would be replaced, his late-season support of McLaughlin’s successful campaign worked in his favour. “He sacrificed strong race results



as he was beginning to return form,” Story acknowledged. “Gold Coast is a great example, Newcastle was another great example in ensuring he was doing everything he could to support the team. “That determination deserves rewards.” Coulthard has since rebounded in the new Ford Mustang to run second in the championship to McLaughlin,

helping the Blue Oval to get close to wrapping up the manufacturers’ championship, which is decided on race wins. McLaughlin (13) and Coulthard (2) have won 15 of the 18 races so far, with Mostert adding another. The remaining two races have been won for Holden by Shane van Gisbergen. Story cited Coulthard’s fightback to the front, along with his work on behalf of the team’s commercial partners off-track and his willingness to join an unproven team in 2016, as attributes deserving of reward. “He took a risk to come to us when he did because he was winning races with Brad Jones Racing,” he said. “In 2016, we were not the team we are today. “It was an ignominious position to be in, but throughout the course of his time with us he has done the job for us on-track, he has been a great driver on-track, he has won races. “He has also been a tremendous presence for us off-track in terms of supporting our commercial partners and really delivering for us in terms of broadening those commercial opportunities as we have become the Shell V-Power Racing Team. “A huge part of the job for the drivers is supporting those commercial links that allow us to go racing in the first place.” BN





Plans to improve racing and cut costs under development GARRY ROGERS says his team will need to make a decision on its plan for the rest of the Supercars season if Kiwi Richie Stanaway is not fit to return in coming weeks. Stanaway has had to miss the last five races with a nerve impingement in his neck. Fellow Kiwi Chris Pither stood in for him on Sunday at Winton and both races in Darwin before Michael Caruso was called in to drive the #33 Commodore for Townsville.

BRAD JONES expects that Jack Smith will make his final Wildcard appearance at The Bend Motorsport Park in August. Smith who drives for Brad Jones Racing in Super2 has already raced in the main game at Symmons Plains, Winton and Hidden Valley. The 19-year-old has scored a race high result of 20th on the Saturday race at Hidden Valley.

SEVEN-TIME Supercars champion Jamie Whincup will return to the Australian Endurance Championship in the next round of the season at The Bend Motorsport Park on July 12-14. The Victorian will once again join Yasser Shahin in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 after the pair teamed up for the first round at Phillip Island. The Mercedes drivers were in contention for the victory when the right-front wheel came adrift of the vehicle just after its final stop.

BATHURST WINNERS Dick Johnson and Fred Gibson have joined a line-up of motor-racing legends set to attend the Historic Leyburn Sprints for 70th-anniversary celebrations next month. They will join 60s and 70s touring car legends Colin Bond, John French and Kevin Bartlett from the 17-18 August on the Queensland Darling Downs to commemorate Leyburn’s hosting of the 1949 Australian Grand Prix. THIRTY LIMITED edition Supercharged Mustangs are soon going to break cover, five time Australian Touring car Champion Dick Johnson has teamed up with Rob Herrod to make this possible. The Johnson-edition engine upgrade will see each engine produce 634kW (850BHP). The cars themselves will be made in either black or white, unfortunately all thirty have already sold out.

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SUPERCAR FANS will get their first guide to next year’s Supercars technical changes within weeks. At the same delayed announcement of the 2020 calendar and race format changes, Supercars also intends to explain plans to reduce aerodynamics and increase engine durability. Also on the agenda is more detail about the control damper tender that is in the marketplace now. The briefing will also touch on the Next Generation Supercars racer that is scheduled to debut in 2021. The 2020 changes have the twin objectives of reducing costs and providing better racing. “We will give an indication of what’s under consideration for next year, including the control damper package,” Supercars CEO Sean Seamer confirmed. “There are other things we are looking to do, so we will share what’s under consideration and what’s confirmed, and give people an indication of the process between now and when we finalise the rulebook for next year. “We may not have everything completed, but we want to be open with everyone about what we are looking at and how that leads into 2021 as well.” Currently, three damper brands – Sachs, Ohlins and Supashock – are permitted in Supercars.

Image: Ross Gibb

Auto Action understands there have been two respondents to the tender so far. Aerodynamic reductions will be tested through the VCAT process during the off-season and are intended to reduce the aero wash that makes it difficult for cars to follow each other closely and make passes. “If we are able to go and improve the show by taking some downforce off the cars with the existing tools that we have without costing too much money, then that is something we would want to do,” Seamer said. The engine rebuild schedule extension would involve more control over certain valvetrain and internal parts such as camshafts and pistons. The five-litre V8 engines employed in Supercars currently require rebuilds around 3500km, which is much more often than most other categories. The engine changes would also result in a minor

power drop. “It probably wouldn’t even be noticed by the drivers,” one pitlane source told AA. Seamer said investigations into Next Gen were on-going. “We’re working through a range of different things that are under consideration for that platform, from engines through to aerodynamic package and again considering a potential reduction of further downforce, looking at what the right package is to improve the racing,” he said. “We are looking at what other motor sports have done with simulation around following cars and what you do with that to put on the best possible show you can.” Seamer ruled out hybrid powertrains for introduction as early as 2021, but confirmed they continued to be studied.

MORE 200 KM RACES But one less event as Supercars axes Phillip Island SATURDAY SUPERCARS championship sprint races will be upped from 120 km to 200 km next year. The change will be one of the key announcements at the 2020 calendar launch, due within weeks, which will also confirm a reduction from 15 to 14 events. As reported by Auto Action, a 13-round schedule had been pushed by cost-conscious teams, but has now been ruled out. The expensive Supercars-promoted Phillip Island event has definitely been dropped from the calendar, while Ipswich or Winton will also be chopped to make way for the return of the Sydney SuperNight event. Currently, Queensland Raceway is favoured to be retained based on a draft calendar seen by AA at the Townsville 400. The calendar and formats announcement had originally been scheduled for Townsville, but has been delayed as Supercars finalises negotiations with Tourism and Events Queensland for extensions to both the Townsville and Gold Coast races. “We will announce the renewals at the same time as we announce the calendar,” Supercars supremo Sean Seamer said. “We are a little bit late, but it’s better to package it up as one. “We are doing some work on formats and tyre allocations, and getting that squared away and making sure that matches up to overall racing kilometres. “Once we have that work done, we will release it. We didn’t want to do it by half; we want to do

Image: LAT

everything together.” The longer Saturday race is designed to capitalise on Supercars research that shows there is television ratings ground to be gained. Saturday telecasts don’t traditionally attract as many viewers as Sunday and throwing in a longer race with more pits stops is judged to be more enticing than the 120 km outing. “If Saturday is the best opportunity for ratings growth and we are talking about a TV renewal (to be negotiated in 2020), we have to make the product stronger on Saturday,” a pitlane source told AA. Other key calendar and format features expected to be announced for 2020 include more Dunlop green tyres to be provided for all cars for all events (see separate story) and Sandown to become a 2 x 250 km single-driver race in November, with Tailem Bend slotting in as a 500 km enduro ahead of the Bathurst 1000. The Gold Coast 600 may also become a night

race, while Perth might be a twilight/night meeting because of the time difference between WA and the east coast and New Zealand. Each round is expected to be conducted three weeks apart – a move designed to distribute workloads more evenly for teams. The calendar and format changes will coincide with important technical updates to the cars for 2020 (see separate story). Dates already confirmed are the Adelaide 500 series-opener from February 20-23, followed by the Australian Formula 1 GP at Albert Park from March 12-15. It is also expected the parc ferme experiment will be expanded in 2020, while the three-part qualifying process that’s proved a hit at SuperSprints will continue. However, two-day meetings are unlikely to be seen again after the Winton experiment was judged by the teams to be a failure. BN


AUSTRALIA IS again set to open the Formula 1 season next year, with organisers confirming the provisional date. As predicted on Auto Action’s web site, the 2020 Australian Grand Prix is scheduled for March 15, subject to the final approval of the FIA. The 25th running of the Australian GP at the Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne will again be backed by Swiss prestige watch maker Rolex, returning as title sponsor for the eighth year in a row. Retaining Melbourne’s traditional ‘pole position’ as the F1 season-opener, the AGP event from March 12-15 will also feature the second round of the Supercars championship. The proposed scheduling also keeps the twilight Melbourne GP on the weekend before the start of the AFL premiership season. The 2020 F1 calendar is due to be formally ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in October. But as F1 juggles new races in Vietnam and Holland with renewals of the British and Spanish GPs, series chief Chase Carey confirmed the plan to start in Melbourne as usual. “We are pleased to announce that, as has been

Image: LAT

the case for many years now, the next FIA Formula 1 World Championship season will get underway in Melbourne,” Carey said. “The Albert Park circuit is one of the most popular venues on the calendar, much appreciated by everyone who works in Formula 1. “The enthusiastic reception from the Australian fans makes this round really unique and special. There can be no better place to start the 2020 season, which will be significant as the sport will celebrate its 70th anniversary. “We are also pleased that Rolex, who have been one of our Global Partners for many years, will continue to be the title sponsor of the 2020 Australian Grand Prix.”

Victoria’s Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Adem Somyurek proclaimed that the state government-backed AGP delivered enormous benefits. “Melbourne is the sports and major events capital of Australia, and proud home of the Grand Prix [since 1996],” Somyurek said. “The four days at Albert Park drew 324,100 people through the gates in March, up 10 per cent on 2018. “It’s fantastic that we will once again take pole position in 2020.” Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott is excited that next year’s season-opener will be the 25th Formula 1 race in Melbourne. “As they said back in 1996, ‘Melbourne – what

a great place for the race!’,” Westacott said. “We have the largest on-track program of any Formula 1 event in the world, and combined with the amount and quality of off-track entertainment, there’s something for all and it’s an event that simply must be experienced. “The date confirmation provides the opportunity for interstate and overseas visitors to plan a lengthy stay in Victoria.” Corporate hospitality tickets for the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2020 will be on sale from this Tuesday, July 9, with Grandstand seats on sale soon. To purchase tickets, go to au

INGALL JOINS TANDERS IN TCR FORMER V8 Supercar champion Russell Ingall is the latest to enter the TCR grid, joining Garth and Leanne Tander in driving an Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia Audi RS3 LMS TCR at The Bend for this weekend’s third round. The Audi will be backed by Castrol and will be entered under the number 100, which pays homage to the oil giants 100-year anniversary in a similar way Rick Kelly did in Townsville last weekend. The RS3 Ingall will pilot at The Bend finished on the podium with category rookie and Super3 frontrunner Hamish Ribarits at Phillip Island. “I’ve spoken about TCR a lot, so it’s great to finally get to a chance to see exactly what all the hype is about,” said Ingall. “Paul Morris and I have been discussing TCR for quite some time on our online show. ‘The Dude’ (Morris) was at the last round at Phillip Island, and he was very complimentary. He believed that it was more

exciting live than on TV. “His recommendation really gave me the drive to get into a car and see what it’s really about. “I thought my first experience would be on the sidelines, but I’m throwing myself into the deep end a bit. I’ve never sat in one of the cars, and I’ve never raced at The Bend, but I guess it’s no different to other new categories our tracks that that I’ve been doing all through my career. “For me, it’s a new track and I need to learn the car – you don’t get much more challenging circumstances, but sometimes having no pre conceived ideas that can be better.”

“I haven’t raced competitively since the end of last year, but it’s funny how quickly you get back into race mode. I’ve been watching videos of TCR from here and overseas, and it is really some of the best racing. It’s phenomenal how good the racing looks and how close the competition is, so it’s great to be part of it.” The Tanders return alongside Ingall in what is a 19-car field headed to The Bend, which includes an extra Honda Civic Type R for internet sensation Jordan Cox, while teammate Tony D’Alberto moves into a new car as the car John Martin drove at Phillip Island can’t be repaired in time. HM

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SUPERCARS TYRE BOOST New Dunlop deal means more green rubber By BRUCE NEWTON

JORDAN COX will make a one-off round appearance in the TCR Australia Series at The Bend Motorsport Park on July 12-14 driving the new third Wall Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR car. The 26-year-old New South Welshman made his name driving his Honda Civic at Mount Panorama, becoming an overnight internet hit by making many rarely seen passes across the top of the mountain. “A lot of my background is front wheel drive racing, so I know a bit about the cars and I’ve always been keen to get into one,” said Cox.

THE AUSTRALIAN GT Championship has announced it will return to the Mount Panorama Circuit in 2020 as part of the Bathurst 6 Hours with two 60-minute sprint races. “This is an exciting announcement that will pave the way for a new look championship next year,” said Australian GT category rights holder Jim Manolios. Category Manager David Vervaart confirmed he and Manolios will meet with the FIA and SRO about plans for next year that could see a whole new chapter for Australian GT beyond 2020.

AS EXCLUSIVELY forecast by Auto Action in April, Supercars will free up green tyre supply from next year as part of a new fiveyear deal with Dunlop. The new arrangement, which will be formally unveiled within weeks as part of the category’s 2020 calendar, formats and technical preview (see separate stories), means each car will be able to run fresh rubber in practice as well as qualifying and the races. That will end the eternal grizzle about meaningless Friday practice laps as all cars will be able to set indicative times on new tyres. It also means the sometimes massive used tyre banks teams have had to manage will become a thing of the past, leading to potential cost savings through manpower reductions. While easing the load on the team, it is understood Dunlop – which is in its 18th year as Supercars control tyre supplier – will face an increased logistical commitment as a result of winning the competitive tender. Each car on the Supercars grid will have 32 new Dunlop tyres supplied for every sprint round. Additional tyres will be made available for endurance events and testing. “The key thing we are trying to achieve with the tyre next year is to improve the show and make sure everyone is getting

Image: LAT

an indication of form in every session,” Supercars CEO Sean Seamer told AA. “So how do we improve the current situation around the tyre bank, that’s priority number one. “And then we are just working through the format, which have an implication on the number of tyres. Where we go racing determines whether we are going to be on the hard or the soft, so it’s quite an intricate piece of work. “Fundamentally, we are looking for more tyres to improve the show and to provide

better value back to the partner (Dunlop) as well.” While the existing construction soft (hard) and super soft (soft) compounds will continue, it is understood an even softer option – superduper soft? – is being considered longer-term. “We will continue to look at tyres and tyre development, again to improve the racing,” Seamer said. “I don’t think it will happen for 2020. We would need to be testing it now. “And the development timeline for 2021 would need to be worked through before the end of the year.”


WALL RACING’S Tony D’Alberto will be switching to drive one of the two new Honda Civic Tyre-R cars at the third round of the TCR Australia series. John Martin will step into D’Alberto’s original car as Martin’s Civic is still undergoing repairs after the previous round at Phillip Island. The team will field a third car for the first time at The Bend Motorsport Park which will see Jordan Cox get behind the wheel of the second new Civic TCR car.

TO MARK the 40th anniversary of the toughest ever round Australia trial, the 1979 Repco Reliability Trial. The Victorian Historic Rally Association is organising a reunion lunch on Saturday August 17 2019, for those who were in any way involved: competitors, service crews, officials, sponsors. The event will be held at the Melbourne Bowling Club, 138 Union St Windsor. If you would like to be part of this special occasion or would like more information visit the Historic Rally Association or contact Bob Watson on 0427 201 158.

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THE FUTURE of the struggling SuperUtes category is being reviewed by Supercars. While the evaluation has been scheduled for some time, the ninecar field at Townsville brought the category’s viability into sharp focus. “We agreed with the competitors that we will do an assessment at the halfway mark and here we are,” Supercars supremo Sean Seamer told Auto Action. “We will debrief after this weekend, get some feedback from the competitors and make a decision from there.” Seamer made it clear that the category would continue on this year’s Supercars program, with rounds still scheduled for Ipswich, Bathurst, Gold Coast and Newcastle. But he refused to back the category’s future beyond 2019. “We’re still working through it,” Seamer said. “It’s too early to predict that; we’ll

Image: Insyde Media

debrief with the competitors and get their feedback. He said there were two options to be considered: “What’s the future of it (SuperUtes) overall or what’s the format of the actual product?” According to leading SuperUtes entrant Brett Peters of Peters Motorsport, which

runs the Mazda BT-50 of category champion Ryal Harris, clarification regarding 2020 was urgently required. “This is the time of the year for everyone when you are talking to your current and future commercial backer, and there has just been too much silence about the future of SuperUtes,” Peters told AA.


NEW S5000 ARRIVALS THE FINAL nine S5000 tubs have arrived on Australian shores as preparation ramps up for its series debut at Sandown on September 20-22. The new arrival of tubs at Garry Rogers Motorsport join the original chassis that is still completing development and testing evaluation, plus the initial four Onroak-Ligier tubs that are nearing completion. It is planned according to GRM’s Barry Rogers that the initial run of five completed cars will tackle a test day for interested customers scheduled for early next month. “We’ve got a couple of dates in mind, early in August the idea is to have a day, we’ll have half a dozen on the track,” Rogers told Auto Action. “The ones that have been making a bit of noise about buying or leasing can come along.” Preparations are ramping up after the recent employment of MTEC team boss Bruin Beasley, who heads the squad’s TCR and S5000 campaigns using his experience drawn from competing in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. “Bruin [Beasley] runs TRS over that summer period, we employed him a couple of months ago and he sort of heads up our TCR and looks after the S5000,” Rogers continued. “He has a group of workers that do his TRS stuff coming on board to get all this done.” Rogers is open to fielding a number of GRM S5000 entries, whilst also leasing and selling chassis, but he hopes with the arrival of the last shipment of tubs that interest will grow.


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SUPERCARS HAS had a second stab at achieving centre of gravity parity. The revisions to the positioning of ballast in the Ford Mustang, Holden Commodore ZB and Nissan Altima are the latest in a series of moves this year aimed at achieving technical parity. The CoG changes will be made in time for the Ipswich SuperSprint from July 26-28. They mean the centre of gravity of all three models will be lower but remain identical, theoretically improving handling and lap time potential. Auto Action understands a key driver for making the change was a desire to remove as much lead ballast from under the roof of the Holden and Ford as possible. All 6.8 kg fitted to the Commodore earlier this year has gone. Meanwhile, 9 kg out of 28 kilos has been removed from the roll cage of the Mustang and lighter composite parts will be replaced by steel roof beams. The existing engine ballast of the Nissan Altima will be lowered to the sump. The championship-dominating Mustang prompted the introduction of a CoG parity rule earlier this year, while it has also had an aerodynamic downforce trim. Most recently, the Commodore aero package was revised in time for the Darwin Supercars round. Those changes were never announced and only detailed publicly after the fact – and then by team owners and not Supercars. Having copped a barrage of criticism for keeping the Commodore modifications secret, Supercars issued an embargoed media statement announcing the CoG

“Will we have the ability to run some cars? We will, so we’ll just see what happens,” Rogers said. “If someone came up and said I can pay, I can do this, but I don’t have a crew run it, so they’ll be arrive and drive, leasing and selling. “If you said right now we had 14 people lined up with the budget to run them, no we don’t. Between now and then I think things will ramp up, we’re fairly confident people will come on board.” Although the S5000 concept utilises the French-designed Onroak-Ligier carbon-fibre chassis, many components are Australian designed and engineered making the open-wheeler a unique Australian model. Construction of components is being completed at the GRM workshop in Dandenong, with production lines for suspension parts, exhaust systems and the carbon fibre work that is being shared between GRM and LC Race Composites. Elsewhere, the transmission and other driveline component manufacturing are now in full swing at Holinger’s Melbourne factory. The 560bhp V8 engines are being assembled at Brisbanebased InnoV8 complete with Australian MoTeC electronics systems, and wheels being constructed at Max Wheels in Sydney. A number of other important hardware including steering wheels, radiators and electronic wiring looms are also being made locally. HM with BN

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changes at the Townsville 400 on Sunday night, shortly after the teams were notified. The statement advised the redistribution of ballast was based on a recommendation by the Supercars technical department. In the statement, Supercars Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess said: “The Commission approved the change following further work into the positioning of ballast through a more refined process using CAD. “With some teams not returning to their base between Darwin and Townsville, we decided to implement the change for Ipswich after all teams have had time in their own race shops. “The repositioning maintains the current CoG balance between all makes and has an equal effect on performance for all.” The initial round of CoG adjustments was made based on preliminary testing at Kelly Racing’s Braeside workshop. Second time around, there has been extra work put into developing a more comprehensive measuring system. BN


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SUPERCARS IS expected to make its delayed bid for the right to promote a fifth event at Mount Panorama in a presentation to Bathurst Regional Council late this week. Rather than a traditional motor racing meeting, the Supercars proposal ties in on-track activity such as a hill climb with promotion of the NSW Central West region’s wine and food culture. “We think it’s something different for the mountain and the motor sport community,” Supercars CEO Sean Seamer told Auto Action. The Supercars bid will compete against proposals already presented by Mountain Motorsports and the Australian Racing Group, which is pushing for a longdistance TCR race and potentially a round of the WTCR to support it.

TWO WORLD Rally Championship drivers will return to the series for Rally Finland early next month. Hyundai Motorsport announced that former factory Citroen driver Craig Breen would drive the third i20, as both Dani Sordo and Sebastien Loeb elected to miss the rally. Former Hyundai driver and Kiwi Hayden Paddon was gutted not to be offered the drive by the Korean squad and quickly negotiated a deal to drive the third M-Sport Ford Fiesta.

Images: Insyde Media

THE ENTRY list for the 71st edition of the SpaFrancorchamps 24 Hours has been revealed and will feature six Australians. Seventy-two cars from the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge will race across four classes, exactly half of which will be in the Pro class. Australians Shae Davies and Yasser Shahin will both drive in Audi R8 LMS GT3 cars, Nick Foster and Martin Berry will drive Ferrari 488s, Matt Campbell will be driving a Porsche as usual and Josh Burdon will drive a Nissan GTR. The classic Belgian endurance race takes place on the final weekend of July.

SKODA MOTORSPORT WRC 2 driver Kalle Rovanpera is expected to step up to the top tier WRC series in 2020 with the Toyota Gazoo Racing outfit. The 18-year-old will need to invoke a clause in his twoyear Skoda contract to enable him to drive for the Japanese manufacturer. Takamoto Katsuta has also been heavily linked to a Toyota drive next year and will drive for the team in both Rally Germany and Rally Spain later this year.

THE FIA has announced an Olympic Games styled motorsport event to be held in Rome, Italy commencing on October 31. It is scheduled to be an annual event with drivers from a variety of disciplines participating under their own national flag. At this stage six categories have been announced GT, Touring Car, Formula 4, Drifting, Karting Slalom and Digital Motorsport, with the top three competitors to be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, contributing to an overall national medal table. FIA PRESIDENT Jean Todt has met with WEC CEO Gerard Neveu and Formula E chairman Alejandro Agag to discuss current calendar clashes.

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PRICE HOPEFUL OF TCM RETURN GARY O’BRIEN is in the process of constructing a new Holden Commodore that will make its debut in the Touring Car Masters series at next year’s Adelaide 500 in February. Former V8 Supercar driver Melinda Price is poised to be the driver of the new chassis if sufficient support is achieved, including from current sponsor Custom Plates. O’Brien told Auto Action that he hopes the car will be completed in December to give Price testing miles ahead of the cars planned debut on the Adelaide streets. “December is our timeline and we’ll make that happen. I’m sure if we get it right she’ll hop in and be competitive straight up, that is the goal anyway,” he continued. “It will be one of the better and more affordable TCM cars to run. I think it should be a front running car with the right people in them, but time will tell.” For Price, it is a return to the category she last raced in during 2017 driving the ex-Leanne Tander Ford Falcon XA GT, but after taking a year off to finish her degree, the former Castrol Cougar is ready to make a comeback with the backing of an all-female crew. “There are some fabulous ladies that work in Gary’s network up in Bendigo that certainly have the interest and the ability to get involved and the desire to run teams,” Price told Auto Action. Price is looking forward to the prospect of racing a Commodore in the series after making her name driving a Holden.

“I obviously have an attachment to racing a Commodore which I have done many times before so that is a fabulous fit in terms of my history,” she said. Price’s announcement comes after Gerard McLeod confirmed his Commodore entry into next year’s series earlier this year. Dan McCarthy

JANE’S MONARO TO GO UNDER THE HAMMER ONE OF Australian motor sport’s most successful sports sedans will go to auction in the form of the ex-Bob Jane Holden Monaro. Built by John Sheppard and maintained by Pat Purcell, the Monaro was driven initially in Improved Production-specification by John Harvey, before it was turned into a sports sedan contesting multiple Toby Lee Series events with Jane behind the wheel. It was later sold to Sydneysider Phil Ward where the car still remained competitive. Tino Leo continued to race the car well into the 1980s before it underwent restoration under the ownership of Des Wall, with son David contesting a number of events. Now this piece of Australian motor sport history becomes available at auction. Also up for auction is an important part of Holden history, one of the

four George Shephard-prepared VR Commodores that participated in the 1995 Mobil 1 Round Australia Trial. Following in the footsteps of the 1979 Round Australia Trial effort, Shephard walked four cars down the production line and together with Holden’s favourite son Peter Brock, mounted an attack on the event. Though this chassis didn’t compete in Brock’s hands during

the event, it formed the basis of the three competing cars as the test and development mule led by Brock in Queensland. During testing, this car took in media duties including a starring role on the cover of Auto Action released on May 31st 1995. This VR Commodore has only travelled just over 2000km since 1995 and is believed to be the most accurate and original of the four

cars built. After spending the last couple of years back in the care of George and his sons, the car is now ready for action again. The car also comes with a catalogue of its construction and behind the scenes testing images featuring Brock, Shephard and the team prior to the event. For further information see

BATHURST BID Supercars was given an extension to present its bid because of the original deadline’s clash with the Darwin Triple Crown. “We want to showcase the region and all motor sport,” Seamer explained. “We don’t think we need to be doing another Supercars event at Bathurst. “What we are looking to do would be something different that brings in the whole community, families, and becomes a bit of a destination event.” Seamer said the Supercars event could be a worthy successor to the Adelaide Motorsport Festival, which was cancelled this year due to a cut in South Australian state government funding. The Bend Motorsport Park is hosting a replacement in December called ‘The Bend Classic’.

“It’s sad to lose the Adelaide Motorsport Festival, so we obviously want to protect that and give people an opportunity to celebrate motor sport in a fun way, and remind them why they all fell in love with it in the first place,” Seamer said. The bid for the extra Bathurst event is a step in a new direction for Supercars, but Seamer insisted it’s the type of event the business has the skills to conduct. “Look at the capability that we have as a business and a sport to put on large scale multifaceted events,” he said. “There’s no other show that goes on the road in Australia like we do. “Whether it’s concerts or building street circuits, the capability we have is unique. It’s something that can be applied to motorsport or something with motorsport at its heart.” BN

GRAYSONLINE GOES CLASSIC Graysonline is very excited to announce that it has established the only National Classic Car and Bike Auctions with premises in every capital city of Australia. Headed by Bill Freeman, Rian Gaffy and Terry Naughton, the Graysonline team bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in collector cars and motorcycles with them. Its next National Classic Car and Bike Auction opens on the 26th of July and it promises to attract a great deal of attention, with some star lots up for grabs. The legendary Bob Jane 1972 HQ GTS 350 Monaro which has been fully restored and is ready to be raced again

BETTY PLANS FOR FUTURE REBEL TEAM owner Betty Klimenko has taken the first steps to ensure Erebus Motorsport survives beyond her eccentric involvement. But don’t worry, Betty fans, the flamboyant billionaire isn’t departing Supercars any time soon. Instead, the recently announced sale of a half-share in one of her two RECs (#99) to team CEO Barry Ryan is designed to ensure Erebus is healthy after she is off the scene. “I am turning 60 soon and there are a lot of other things in my life that I do,” she told Auto Action. “Daniel (her husband) has other businesses, I have other businesses, and I thought ‘I can’t shoulder all this anymore’.” Until the sale to Ryan, Klimenko was the only individual in pit lane to own two RECs. The responsibilities and time that consumed became more apparent to her when Supercars started enforcing a rule that only team owners could attend team owners’ meetings. It began the conversation with Daniel that then led to the offer to Ryan. “I still want to be here, but I just don’t want to be as involved in the decision-making and I know Barry will do it,” Klimenko explained. “He does a better job than me.” Racing veteran Ryan took over team management after Klimenko’s expensive initial foray into Supercars with the HWA-developed Mercedes-Benz E63s foundered. He has overseen the shift from Yatala to Melbourne, from Mercedes to Holden Commodore, the recruitment of David Reynolds and Anton De Pasquale as drivers and Alistair McVean as technical director,

The 1995 Mobil 1 Round Australia Trial VR Holden Commodore factory team official prototype test & development car, which has only done just over 2000km

and masterminded Penrite Racing’s rise to its current position as the top-performing Holden squad. “Barry has not just shown loyalty and love for the team,” Klimenko remarked. “The way he has brought us up when we changed to Holden, he deserved to be part of the history of Erebus. “And for me, Erebus was never about me. It was about creating a team that ran on family values and that would be there for a long, long time after I was gone. “It’s about making sure the REC is in the right hands for the right amount of time.” Klimenko wants other Erebus employees to gain a share of the business in the future. “It would be nice if someone comes up through the ranks of the team,” she said. “Maybe they could buy a share of #99, but it would be stipulated they don’t walk away and keep the REC. “You have to have skin in the business.” BN



OTHERS CROSSING THE BLOCK: Holden A9X 4 door; 1973 Bathurst XU-1; VL Holden Commodore Turbo Sedan (ex NSW Police pursuit car); XY Ford Falcon GT sedan; XY Ford Falcon GT HO tribute; VT GTS Twin Turbo, VN Holden Commodore Group A; VP HSV Holden Commodore GTS; VZ Holden Commodore SV 6000; Mazda RX 7; Porsche 356; Porsche 928; Porsche 930; Ferrari 599; Ferrari 355; Ferrari 328; E Type Jaguar; Ford Sierra Cosworth; Lotus Escort; Mini Cooper S; Leyland Mini K; EH Holden sedan; HD Holden Premier; FJ Holden sedan; Chev Biscayne. • Over 20 motorcycles • More cars and bikes being consigned daily. Follow them on

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To sell your Car or Bike in the next auction: Phone 1300 CLASSIC



MATT CAMPBELL was robbed of a great result at the Nurburgring 24 Hours, running in the top three with just over three hours of the race remaining a tyre failure caused an unscheduled stop before worse was to strike the Porsche 911 GT3 R car which came to a stop soon afterwards. Fellow Australian Josh Burdon’s race came to an even more sudden stop early on in the race when he was driving the #38 KCMG Nissan GT-R GT3. In a slow zone on the Dottinger Hohe and travelling at 60kph Burdon was smashed into at full tilt by a Porsche Cayman. The German car took off before rolling and coming to a stop back on its wheels 100m down the road, fortunately both drivers got out okay.

ONCE AGAIN the Goodwood Festival of Speed featured thousands of unique racing cars and road cars both old and new. Two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Romain Dumas in an electric Volkswagen ID.R broke Nick Heidfeld’s 20 year old record that was set in a McLaren Formula 1 car. Dumas climbed the hill in 39.9s beating the existing record of 41.6s. Former Formula One team Brawn GP celebrated its ten year anniversary of the remarkable constructors and drivers’ championship victory in 2009, the only year in which the team entered the championship. Team founder Ross Brawn was joined by former driver Rubens Barrichello and test driver Anthony Davidson. Barrichello was reunited with his 10-yearold Brawn GP car which he had not driven since the final race of the 2009 season in Abu Dhabi. The Festival also celebrated Michael Schumacher’s F1 career, with his former arch rivals Damon Hill and Mika Hakkinen driving his cars up the hill. In total seven cars driven by the seven times World Champion were driven past the thousands of onlookers. Three time F1 champion Jackie Stewart drove up the hill in his championship winning 1969 MatraCosworth MS80 followed by his two sons in two

Porsche debuted its new 911 RSR race car at Goodwood. VW’s electric racer set a new track record (below), while Emeron Fittipaldi and Sir Jackie Stewart enjoyed great memories. Images: LAT

his championship winning Tyrells. In a touching moment the drivers stopped halfway up the hill for Jackie to give his wife a rose, sadly Helen is suffering from dementia. Australian Tony Quinn took to the British hillclimb in his severely modified Ford Focus Pikes Peak hillclimb car which looked more like a DeLorean than a Focus. Porsche took to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to showcase their latest 911 RSR in FIA GTE

spec for WEC and IMSA competition. The car has undergone improvements in all areas and will replace the successful 911 RSR with which Porsche won its class in both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championship in WEC and Le Mans 24 Hour and IMSA races at Sebring and Road Atlanta amongst other events in 2019. The 2019 edition of the Goodwood Festival of Speed was regarded by many as the best in the events history.

SHUTE THE PEAK OF THE BUNCH TWO AUSSIES Nick Foster and Shae Davies raced at the Misano Circuit in Italy in what was the fifth round of the Blancpain GT Europe Championship. In the first race of two Nick Foster and his teammate former GP3 driver Steijn Schothorst finished eighth in their Attempto Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3, finishing only 15.8s behind the race leader. Shae Davies and his teammate Tom Gamble in a Belgian Audi Club Team WRT run Audi finished the race in 14th. In Race 2 Foster and Schothorst replicated the Saturday result again finishing in eighth position. Davies and Gamble improved to finish the second race in 11th position and only 2.2s behind Foster and Schothorst despite starting from 26th. The next round takes place at Zandvoort from July 12-14.

THREE AUSTRALIANS Joey Mawson, Stephen Grove and Marc Cini as well as Kiwi Jaxon Evans are racing in Porsche Supercup this season. In Austria Evans qualified in 13th but by the end of the fifth lap found himself up in ninth position, this is where he stayed for the remainder of the race. “After the disappointing qualifying, this was an important step forward. The conditions with this heat were unusual and a real challenge,” Evans said. Mawson spent the entirety of the race fighting just outside the top ten, the former GP3 driver finishing in 12th position and claiming second of the rookies. In the Pro-Am class Stephen Grove finished on the podium in third, finishing 25th outright just ahead of teammate Cini in 26th. The next round of Porsche Supercup is on July 12-14 at Silverstone.

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THE 2019 edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was won by Robin Shute in his 2018 Wolf TSC-Honda posting a time of 9m 12.476s. Raphael Astier finished second overall in a 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Turbo, finishing 11s behind Shute and edging out Peter Cunningham by a mere 0.7s. This year’s event featured 85 entrants, 58 cars and 27 motorbikes, but sadly the event was rocked by the passing of defending motorcycle class winner Carlin Dunne, the 36-year-old crashing less than a quarter of a mile from the finish line, Auto Action sends its deepest condolences to his family. The 58 cars were split into six separate race categories Unlimited, Time Attack, Open Wheel, Pikes Peak Open, Exhibition and Porsche Pikes Peak. As well as winning the event outright Shute also won the Unlimited division, beating Greg Tracey by over 42s. Astier may have been runner up overall but did record a class victory in the Time Attack division, he beat Clint Vahsholtz by a smidge under 25s. Third place getter Cunningham finished first in the Pikes Peak Open division in a 2019 Acura TLX GT completing the 19.99km course in 9m 24.433s.

UNLUCKY PERONI ALEX PERONI has had an patchy start to his FIA Formula 3 Championship, which has seen him lead a race, score some valuable points, as well as get involved in a couple of incidents. The third round in Austria was the Australians most challenging round of the season so far, the Tasmanian struggled to find speed on the short Austrian track. As a result he qualified 16th, in the frantic and often chaotic mid-field pack. This proved to be the case as he spun in the early stages by Yuki Tsunoda going into Turn 3. After falling to last position Peroni drove well to finish the race in 21st which is where he would start on Sunday. Towards the end of the second race Peroni was pushing hard trying to make his way through the field, sadly he lost the rear of his car and ran into the back of his Campos teammate Sebastian Fernandez resulting in both drivers retiring from the race.

Paul Dallenbach finished first in the Open Wheel class climbing 1439m in a time of 9m 44.630s in a 2006 PVA 003 Dallenbach Special beating Andy Figueroa by a whopping 3m 26s. Rhyss Millen in a 2019 Bentley Continental GT not only won the Exhibition division, but also set a new production car record at Pikes Peak with a time of 10m 18.483s. The previous record was set last year by Bentley also but in the Bentayga SUV. Travis Pastrana won the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy in a 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport posting a time of 11m 24.287s.

Image: LAT

This wasn’t his only bit of bad luck Peroni suffered, in the first round of the series in Spain he was fighting for points in the opening race but in avoiding an incident he dropped back a few positions. In Race 2 Peroni was involved in an accident with Simo Laaksonen and was handed a stop and go penalty. The second round in France was a successful

one for the 19-year-old, in the first race he defended gallantly eventually finishing the race in eighth giving him four points and pole position for the Sunday race. The second race didn’t go as well, lacking in pace the Australian fell down to 14th position by race end. The next round of the FIA Formula 3 season takes place at Silverstone on July 12-14.

AA’s perplexed pundit wonders – not for the first time – why we have to suffer the nonsense of unnecessary time certain race finishes ONCE AGAIN, the dreaded time certain finish has ruined an eventful race. Thanks to the unseasonable weather – and David Reynolds and Scott McLaughlin – Sunday’s second leg of the Townsville 400 was action-packed and headed for a fitting finish. Until that last safety car, the race had it all. Crashes, slipping and sliding, fighting (on and off the track), tactics, suspense and a big fire. The conflagration in the BJR pit got the race – or at least the spectacular blaze – on rival networks’ evening news bulletins. But then, with just six laps to go, the time certain finish was invoked and the best race of the season so far ended behind the safety car. Any race that finishes at a crawl is a damp squib (pun intended), but this one was particularly galling because, by may calculation, there was time to go green and full distance in time before Channel 10 went to its 5 pm east coast news show. As it was, the podium ceremony only just sneaked in before the top of the hour. And, seriously, who at home cares? I’m pretty sure viewers would’ve preferred a slippyslidey dash to the flag than the presentation of trophies. It also robbed Shane van Gisbergen of completing his and Triple Eight’s only second race win of the season in style. Once again, just because rain interrupts play and contributes to the

race over-running, fans – and competitors – are denied a proper finish. And, also again, it’s not as if precipitation – for the first time ever in the Townsville races – wasn’t predicted. Even Larko could see it coming! So why not start the race a little bit earlier, just to be sure, especially when the conditions all but guarantee safety car interruptions? OK, the last race-ruining SC wasn’t track conditionsrelated as such. It was caused by Garry Jacobson’s erupting into flames due to a big engine failure and being forced to stop out on the course. But, still… I thought time certain finishes in all but extreme circumstances had been binned. It was at the Melbourne GP and there was an intention – if not a plan – from officials to let races go the full distance wherever possible. But that has clearly fallen by the wayside. Hopefully, Supercars is still working towards some deal with 10 for its live telecasts from next year to switch channels if a race is running long. Fox Sports shouldn’t care as it rolls on afterwards with Supercars Trackside, anyway, so it has plenty of time to extend the racing if necessary. It just strikes me as such an irony that when the weather turns for the worse – which is better for the action – Supercars persists with this time certainty nonsense.



Image: Ross Gibb

Sure, if there are wholesale disruptions or dangerously adverse conditions, call things to a halt early. But unless a race is going to go way, way long – not just half a dozen laps – or the track is awash with standing water – which the Reid Park track wasn’t – then let it run to a proper racing finish. Racing in the rain produces upsets. Look how it levelled the field. Simona de Silvestro got stuck in and, despite the best efforts of others, she finished 10th. In the slick conditions, she was able show her driving skill when outright car speed wasn’t the determining factor. The less adverse, but still difficult, opening lap conditions contributed to eliminating McLaughlin and Reynolds, saving us from possible runaways. It was a

silly incident, but, boy, wasn’t the aftermath worth it! And that was just the war of words between them, played out in the he said-he said confrontations. There’s some bad blood between Scotty and ‘Crazy Dave’, and it added extra edge to their collision. McLaughlin is miffed with Reynolds over the latter’s comments about the Kiwi’s domination in his podcast recently. McLaughlin fired back in his new podcast with Richmond AFL star Jack Riewolt. I think Scotty was being oversensitive and misinterpreted Dave, who simply asserted that McLaughlin’s smothering success was due to him being the best driver in the best car run by the best team. But McLaughlin seems to

have a bee in his bonnet about his car getting too much credit, perceiving it as criticism – as in, anyone could win in that Shell V-Power Mustang. What he seems to have misconstrued as a slight is actually high praise. His peers, fans and media are in awe of the perfect storm for success. Scotty’s been making the most of it and no one I know begrudges him his superiority. Well, maybe some of the Holden teams, but that’s a Mustang thing, not a McLaughlin putdown. His dominance hasn’t been great for the racing, but we’re witnessing history as he sails towards new season records for poles and race wins. Relax and enjoy the ride, Scotty. And bring back the bubbly block whose personality charmed the people.



s w e n e n O Formula HONDA’S WIN HELPS ENSURE FUTURE FIESTY MAX Verstappen’s wheelbashing victory against Charles Leclerc in Austria will go down in history as far more than just an exciting race – it very well might also be the win that saved Honda from scrapping its Formula 1 programme. Sources close to Honda informed Auto Action that Honda’s board of directors had stipulated that a Honda-powered car must win at least one grand prix before their next board meeting at the end of July or Honda would pull the plug on F1. Verstappen and Red Bull-Honda delivered the goods in Austria, after he muscled his way past Leclerc’s Ferrari with three laps to go in the race. But Honda’s F1 future is still not fully secured. A second win by October will guarantee that Honda remains. If that victory does not occur, the board will reexamine its F1 aspirations in October and then make a decision about future plans. Honda vice president Seiji Kuraishi attended the Austrian Grand Prix as a guest of the Red Bull team. It was a fortunate coincidence because Kuraishi is one of the board members who has reservations about Honda’s F1 programme. “There have been discussions throughout the day because there are some executives from Honda here this weekend,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said on the Sunday of the race. In retrospect, the winning team should have sent Kuraishi up to the podium to accept the winning constructors’ trophy as this would

have been a signal of Honda’s support of its F1 programme. As it was, Toyoharu Tanabe, the technical director and boss of Honda F1 received the trophy. “Of course this result encourages the members of our development team,” Tanabe said, “but from the beginning of the season we could really see a big gap to Mercedes and Ferrari. Austria was okay, we were strong, but for the next race I cannot guarantee we’ll be a strong as Austria, or that we’ll have the same competitiveness compared with the others. “It means we need to keep pushing very hard, to get the confidence that we are strong and that when we’ll make no mistakes we will win.” What’s the next step for the development? A stronger qualifying mode? “Yes, a qualifying mode but the race as well,” Tanabe said. “We try to use our PU as hard as we can, but it’s not easy to go higher immediately.” Honda permitted Verstappen to use the maximum power setting for the latter part of the race. That, of course, put extra strain on the power unit which means it is doubtful that it will be able to survive for the full eight-race span – the rules limit a driver to just three power units for the season. If Verstappen has to use a fourth power unit, he will have to start that race from the back of the grid. Such a penalty, however, would be a tiny price to pay for the victory that might well ensure that Honda remains in F1.

FORWARD THINKING REQUIRED THERE IS no question that Pirelli’s 2019 specification F1 tyres have been problematic, but the solutions lie in going forwards not backwards. This year’s tyres have a tread depth 0.4mm thinner than last year’s, which Pirelli introduced to reduce the blistering caused by overheating in last year’s design. The problem is that this year’s tyres have a very narrow temperature working window, which is difficult to find, and then difficult to keep. Mercedes is the only team to really find a perfect solution, which is one of the reasons for its domination. The teams voted during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend on reverting to the 2018 tyres. Ferrari, Red Bull, Alfa Romeo, Haas and Toro Rosso voted yes. Mercedes, Racing Point, Renault, Williams and McLaren voted no. At least seven teams would have needed to vote yes for the 2018 motion to carry. But the best solution is to focus on continuing to develop the 2020 tyres, which will solve many of the 2018 and ‘19

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problems, rather than taking a backwards step to last year’s woes. “We missed a great opportunity on the tyres decision. I think we should have done something,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto lamented. “Sometimes we are discussing a lot and we are not acting, so I still feel really ashamed that we didn’t change the specification of the tyres for the rest of the season. That could have been a great opportunity to close the field.” Pirelli and other teams disagreed. “If we go back to last year’s tyres, the working window is exactly the same,” said Racing Point’s technical director Andy Green. “It is in a slightly different place but it is the same width. So there is no gain there.

“What you will get is tyres that will easily blister, which leads to chunking, which can lead to failure. If Pirelli say it is not going to make a difference, or potentially could be worse, why do it? “Why not let them work on next year’s tyres and use the testing available to improve the tyres for next year. And not go back to a tyre that was not great anyway.” All the races so far this year have been ‘one stoppers’. If a driver had to pit twice for tyres it would improve the show by giving the teams more strategy options. But Pirelli’s racing boss Mario Isola said that if it is at all possible the teams invariably opt to pit just once because even if the drivers have to go at a slower pace it is still quicker in the race overall compared to going faster but pitting twice.


DESPITE HIS powerful position as the FIA’s race director, Australian Michael Masi has no power to impose penalties on drivers. That is the job of the stewards. But he does have the authority to decide if a driver is even investigated by the stewards in the first place. The FIA nominated former Supercars deputy race director Masi had been placed into the influential pressure-filled post to replace the renowned Charlie Whiting, who suddenly passed away on the Thursday prior to this year’s Australian Grand Prix. In Austria, nine races into the 2019 season, Masi gave some insight into his job. The clash between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in the closing laps of the race in Austria marked the third successive race where Masi referred controversial driver’s actions to the stewards. He later explained how the process works. When the people in race control – headed by Masi – see something amiss on the race track, or when teams notify them of something, Massi posts a message to the fans, teams and media that the incident has been “noted.” Masi then further examines the incident. If he decides that “no investigation is required” then that is the end of it. If he decides it should be “under investigation” he refers it to the stewards who take over. In Canada, the stewards gave Sebastian Vettel a five-second penalty for cutting across the grass and then unsafely rejoining the track in front of Lewis Hamilton. In France, Daniel Ricciardo got two

five-second penalties, one for leaving the circuit and rejoining unsafely, forcing Lando Norris off the track; and the other for leaving the track and gained a lasting advantage passing Kimi Räikkönen. But Verstappen’s moves in Austria were not penalised. Masi cautions against trying to compare the different situations in the three races. “Each and every incident needs to be considered on its own merits,” he said. “They are different corners, different profiles, different drivers involved, different circumstances. If we try to compare in that regard we’re effectively comparing apples and oranges. “Both cars were off the track (in Austria). It was an overtaking manoeuvre. As the stewards rightly pointed out, and in my view, it was a racing incident and it was one of those that was good, hard racing from the perspective they saw.” The stewards came under a lot of pressure, and even threats from fans, for penalising Vettel in Canada. But pressure is now constant for Massi. “This is my ninth event in the role,” he said, “so for me the pressure is permanent. From the stewards’ end, they sit there and they evaluate everything on its merits. I don’t personally feel there’s any added pressure as a result of Canada or any other incident that has occurred. They’re all very experienced stewards and that’s part of the role of being an umpire at the end of the day.” The FIA has yet to officially announce Masi as the permanent race director, but the pressure of the job is certainly permanent on the amiable Australian.

RENAULT’S PERPLEXING PROBLEM PERPLEXED, BEWILDERED and searching for the magic performance bullet is the way Perth native Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hülkenberg and the Renault team left Austria, after a disappointingly uncompetitive weekend. Renault showed positive pace and scored points in Monaco, Canada and France, but the team struggled in Austria. Ricciardo started 12th and his teammate Nico Hülkenberg was 15th on the grid. They crossed the finish line 12th and 13th respectively and one lap down. Auto Action was there to hear what Ricciardo had to say after the race. “I don’t want to be running around 12th,” the frustrated Aussie, minus his usual smile, said. “It is definitely not where I feel I belong. We have had a good run (in recent races) so I don’t want to let

this weekend dictate the whole start of the season. We had some momentum, so I want to find it for (the next race in) Silverstone.” The Renault engineers are carefully dissecting all the data from Austria because the car simply did not operate the way it should have all weekend long. AA asked Ricciardo if the team is concerned that there is a fundamental flaw in the Renault car rather than Austria being a one-off problem due to chassis set-up or circuit-specific challenges. “You look at Canada and we were quick,” he replied, “and in Monaco we qualified quite well. So this was a tough one. This weekend was certainly a bit of an oddball, but we don’t really know why yet.” Hülkenberg said that the car had strange problems in the race.



Adding to the pressure for Renault to get its car’s mysterious handling woes sorted soon for the upcoming races in Britain, Germany and Hungary, is the fact that McLaren – which runs the same Renault V6 – is solidifying its position as the fourth best team after Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. The ‘best of the rest’ spot is one Renault must occupy to show that the huge investment by the French automaker is paying off. Renault is taking a deep dive into the data to try and figure out what was amiss. “The track (in Austria) exposed weaknesses of our car, similar to previous races but in a more exacerbated fashion,” Renault’s team principal Cyril Abiteboul said. “We need to identify if there was anything specific with set-ups or simply a

feature of the chassis on which we must work.” Ricciardo hopes that a simple solution to a complex problem is in the offing prior to the team’s other home race – it is based in England – the British Grand Prix. “I remain optimistic that there will be like (he snapped his fingers) that was all that was wrong,” he said. “Then we will be in Silverstone laughing.”




with Dan Knutson

FERARRI TARGETS RICCIARDO AND BOTTAS AUSSIE HOT shoe Daniel Ricciardo and Finland’s ice-cool Valtteri Bottas are at the top of Ferrari’s very short wish list to replace Sebastian Vettel, should the German decide to leave Formula 1 at the end of the year. Okay, Vettel retiring is a big “if” but the possibility has been enough for Ferrari to put out informal feelers via intermediaries to both the Ricciardo and Bottas camps, F1 sources told me during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. Vettel’s Ferrari contract runs through 2020. This guy lives and breathes Formula 1, so from one side I see there is little reason for him to depart. Yet he has also had an up and down season so far, and he is having to deal with the challenge from his fleet new teammate Charles Leclerc. Ricciardo has a two-year contract with Renault, but I hear that there is a clause that allows him to leave at the end of 2019 if he has an offer to join Mercedes or Ferrari in 2020. But Ricciardo, whom both Mercedes and Ferrari considered but bypassed for 2019, may be reluctant to leave Renault for Ferrari in 2020 or

even 2021 because, although Renault is having a hard time to get free of the midfield this year, the Perth native is on record saying he believes in its longterm success potential. Bottas became a free agent on July 1 after Mercedes did not pick up its option on him by the June 30 deadline. This is not because Mercedes does not want to retain him, but instead the team is keeping its options open as long as possible. Mercedes has told Bottas that he will get a final yes or no answer by the end of August. Bottas is the perfect foil for Hamilton. They get along well, so there is no inter-team bickering or, far worse, bitter, deadly rivalry. And Hamilton is the perfect teammate for Bottas as his abilities force the Finn to drive faster. Besides, what are the alternatives for Mercedes? Sources tell me that Mercedes is losing interest in Esteban Ocon, who is currently on a one-year leave of absence from F1. Ocon was due to drive for Renault in 2019, but the team opted for Ricciardo when the Australian decided at the last minute not to stay at Red Bull.

George Russell is doing a really solid job in his rookie season with Williams, but Mercedes wants him to have a further year learning the ropes with another team before considering a promotion. Lando Norris is also having a great rookie season, but he is with McLaren which won’t want to release him to another team. Red Bull’s racing chief Helmut Marko has confirmed that Max Verstappen has a “get out” clause in his Red Bull contract, which will be based on the results he and the team have achieved by a certain point of this season. His recent victory in the Austrian Grand Prix may have been enough to meet the

requirements to keep him at Red Bull. In a press conference during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend a journalist asked Verstappen if he would reveal details of his contract escape clause. “What do you think, my friend?” Verstappen shot back. “Of course not! Why would I? I know, but I don’t care.” I believe Verstappen will stay on to help form a Red Bull/Honda/ Verstappen dynasty. Anyway, Ferrari already has its star-of-the-future in 21-yearold Charles Leclerc, so it won’t want to bring in the 21-year-old Verstappen and potentially create a toxic paring. Mercedes, too, is focused on

Lewis Hamilton, Yet the 34-yearold would not mind having Verstappen as a teammate. “I think the team’s pretty happy with Valtteri and me,” Hamilton said. “I do know Max is definitely interested in opportunities. If there is, then great. I don’t mind driving with (him). I’ll drive against whoever.” The bottom line is that Mercedes is very likely to retain Bottas, and Vettel is unlikely to retire at the end of this season. But still Ferrari has initiated moves to make sure it is not suddenly left without two top drivers in 2020, and Ricciardo and Bottas are at the very top of the wish list for the Prancing Horse team. .


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OPINION F1 NEEDS CONSISTENCY By DAN MCCARTHY Staff Journalist THIS SEASON has exposed Formula 1’s major flaw. F1’s Achilles heel is that it has become so over-regulated and rules so detailed that the drivers are no longer given the freedom to race. They are no longer gladiators fighting for position at over 300 km/h – they are puppets dictated by a rule book. This makes the drivers seem as much like robots on the track as they are off it as sponsors control drivers every word. At the recent Austrian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc made contact when fighting for the lead in the final few laps of the race. This incident came just weeks after Sebastian Vettel was given a five second penalty for a dangerous re-entry in Canada, robbing him of victory. Drivers should be always be allowed to race and fight it out, but based on the strictness with which the stewards stuck to the rule book in Canada, I believe that Max Verstappen should have received a penalty in Austria. Sky Sports F1 lead commentator David Croft felt that the stewards would be looking at sporting code chapter 4 appendix L 2b, which states: “Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers such as crowding a car off beyond the edge of a track or any normal change of direction are strictly prohibited.” Croft’s contention was that Verstappen would have been pulled up for crowding a car beyond the edge of the track. The rule book has become too think for its own good. If the stewards abide by the letter of the rules, they would have to give out a penalty every time cars got near each other.


Bruce Williams 0418 349 555 Associate Publisher Mike Imrie Editor-At-Large

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Contributing Writers Australia Garry O’Brien, Mark Fogarty, Bruce Newton, David Hassall, Bob Watson F1 Dan Knutson Speedway Geoff Rounds Photographers Australia Ross Gibb, Rebecca Hind, Mick Oliver, David Batchelor, Randall Kilner, Rhys Vandersyde International LAT Images

When reviewing the Austrian incident, F1 found itself in a horrible lose-lose situation. It would either expose the inconsistency that has developed within the stewards’ room or it would rob fans of any on track action in the future. The global uproar that ensued after Vettel was awarded the penalty in Montreal must’ve played on the stewards’ minds when they reviewed the Verstappen/Leclerc clash. The Sky Sports F1 team seemed perplexed and puzzled as the pundits were left trying to explain whether the incident deserved a penalty or not – and it appeared to me they had no idea. Paul di Resta, a former F1 driver, appeared bewildered, contradicting himself as he tried to explain the incident on the ‘Sky Pad.’ “He (Verstappen) keeps the steering lock on, he doesn’t turn

left, he’s firmly looking at the exit,” the Scotsman said before back flipping. “He’s got the lock on not trying to push him out at this point,” he added, showing that he feels Verstappen did later in the corner. The confused DTM driver finished by saying “I’m on the fence on what they (the stewards) are going to do based on what they did in Canada.” If somebody with such a wealth of knowledge such as di Resta is unable to decide if the incident deserves a penalty or not, then there are some major issues. The voice of F1, Martin Brundle, wrote in his Sky Sports F1 column about the difficult situation in which he could have found himself if Verstappen had been penalised. “As I drove to the airport postrace whilst awaiting news of the stewards’ decision, I wondered how next time I could stand in front of a camera on the grid,

with conviction and integrity, and effectively say ‘Don’t go anywhere, give us a few hours of your precious weekend, you must watch this great race with us’ if a penalty was applied and Verstappen denied a great and well-deserved victory,” he wrote. Former drivers and team owners were strongly split on a subject, which should not be a grey area. How has F1, the most popular motor sport on the planet, got itself in such a mess that even experts no longer understand what is right and wrong? For 2020, F1 needs to tear out the driving standards pages of the rule book and start afresh, removing all the grey areas. In the meantime, F1 officials need to either let them race or harshly stick to the regulations. Either way, the application must be consistent. Right now, from what I can see, nobody understands the racing rules in F1.

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We take a look back at what was making news 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago 1979: NOT ONLY did Allan Grice lose the $60,000 AMSCAR Series, but he also wrote off the Craven Mild Holden Torana A9X his team planned to contest the Hardie-Ferodo 1000 with. A clash with privateer Warren Cullen resulted in Grice rolling his once pristine race car, the second Torana to be written off after his first crashed into a clay bank at Surfers Paradise. Cullen meanwhile was undecided about moving into a Camaro for that year’s 1000. 1989: HOLDEN ANNOUNCED that it was to back a factory entry for the upcoming endurance events. Overseen by John Harvey, the two-car team planned to field regular drivers Win Percy and Neil Crompton alongside Larry Perkins and Steve Harrington, debuting at Sandown. The New South Wales government was well on its way to making a formal bid for a round of the World Sports Prototype Championship to be held at Bathurst.

1999: 1 POM ON the cover! Former British Touring T Car champion John Cleland confirmed c his return to Bathurst with Ford F privateer Cameron McLean. After V8 V Supercar teams asked for an even competition co due to Holden Racing Team’s Te dominance, AVESCO chairman Tony To Cochrane squashed it by telling those complaining to “get on with it.” th 2009: 220 A PROPOSED alcohol advertising ban b had V8 Supercar teams worried about the t prospect of losing millions of dollars oof sponsorship and revenue. At the time tthree teams as well as V8 Supercars would hhave been affected by the ban, with Dick JJohnson stating that he’d be “devastated” bby the loss of sponsorship. Marcus M Marshall and the embattled IntaRacing ssquad were still aiming to get to Sandown aalthough the team was up for sale.

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In the final instalment of their no-holds-barred conversation, Supercars’ most successful team owner isn’t afraid to cross swords with our archinterrogator about the Mustang, his rivalry with Roger Penske and how long Jamie Whincup will continue

Photos: LAT/Ross Gibb


HEN YOU’VE known someone for more than 30 years, you come to clearly understand their motivations. I first met Roland Dane at the 1986 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, when he was hanging out with then F1 driver Derek Warwick, a friend and later business associate. Dane was already established as a wheeler-dealer in the car trade in the UK, ‘grey’ importing quirky Japanese models like the Nissan S Cargo small van. Something told me I’d be hearing more of this bumptious Anglo-Irishman in racing and, sure enough, a decade later in the BTCC, he was a major player. Triple Eight Race Engineering – named for an original pitch to Honda, with 888 being a lucky sequence in Asian cultures – took over Vauxhall’s 1995 title-winning program, but against F1associated teams, it struggled with the Vectra in the final super-expensive years of Super Touring.

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But it was always a class act and Dane’s bombastic approach was in evidence. When the rules changed in 2001, Triple Eight dominated through until 2004. I was even less surprised when Dane turned up in Supercars in late 2003. He was bored with the BTCC tiddlers and saw potential in the Aussie V8s. Amusingly, he made a ‘secret’ trip to the Queensland Raceway round in July ’03 – which just happened to be my first meeting upon my return to Australia to run Auto Action first time around. Dane thought he was incognito, not expecting a former journalistic sparring partner to be in the wilds of Ipswich. Sprung! The rest, as they say, is history. Dane bought Briggs Motorsport and within a few years, his hard-nosed, uncompromising approach turned the Aussie incarnation of Triple Eight into an unprecedented powerhouse. Dane, 62, set a new standard in Supercars that

has only recently been exceeded by DJR Team Penske, underwritten by legendary American team owner Roger Penske. It has taken one of the world’s greatest motor e to sport operations for Dane meet his match. But for all his self-interest, the now naturalised Brisbane-based Australian is a motor racing aficionado who understands and appreciates the history of the sport. Dane is passionate about racing – as long as it is on his terms. Like the many other forceful team bosses with whom I’ve engaged all over the world, he also enjoys a robust interview. This final instalment of an expansive and illuminating joust is proof that Dane doesn’t shy away from a verbal stoush.

It’s all very well to criticise the Mustang, but didn’t you let the genie out of the bottle with the ZB? Aren’t you to blame? Why? Because the ZB pushed the rules to the then limit. I utterly and totally and completely refute that statement and anything to do with it because we stuck to the guidelines that we had been given. Other people took them to be guidelines, not rules. We took them to be rules. We maintained what’s meant to be the look and feel of the shape of the car. The only difference is that we asked for – and we asked, we didn’t demand – the use of a carbon roof because of the supply issue. That was never the intent, but you have to remember that in the middle of our very first prototype build, the ownership of the (Opel) factory in Europe, from where we were sourcing components, changed hands from GM to PSA. So one or two components became impossible to get. Really ones that were not available in the normal spare parts route. Now, they actually bent over backwards to give us supplier names. So, for instance, there’s a place in Spain that makes panels for Peugeot – or then Opel – and they gave us access to go and buy internal pressings. We could buy 100 sets, which we did, but we had one external roof panel that we could only buy from China. The other thing that we asked for was a carbon – or composite – tailgate. And the reason we asked for that was twofold. Firstly, the expense of the production spare part and by making it in composite, we’d make it in two parts to the point where today hardly anyone has had to replace the major component of it because they can replace the underside. But also because of the weight of it by comparison with a VF Commodore’s or FG X Falcon’s boot lid, the weight of the thing was a massive penalty. So we then said to Supercars, what weight do you want us to make these parts, particularly the roof? What weight? And we asked them and asked them and asked them and asked them in email after email after email. And in the end, they said don’t worry about it, just make it. So we didn’t move anything. We kept the shape of the car. Yes, but… Well, that’s the most important thing. The DNA, as far as the fan


“But it should never have been allowed – and never have been forced upon Ford to make a car which looked, to be honest, like a parody of the road car,” said Dane about the dominating Mustang. on the hill goes, is retained with the ZB racer. Whether you like the road car or not, we kept its shape. In the same way the Volvo did; in the same way the Nissan did; in the same way the Mercedes did – and the same way the Holden and Ford had always done. That’s the difference.

opportunity at the Commission to go to a carbon roof at the same time and they turned it down, right? So we did not move anything. We built a car to the guidelines and with full consultation with Supercars on what we were doing to actually maintain the credibility of the look.

So what you’re saying is that the Mustang shouldn’t have been allowed as it is, full stop?

So you reject any suggestion that you triggered an arms race?

In this form, a corrupted shape. Forget the performance element of it. That should have been dealt with as well. But it should never have been allowed – and never have been forced upon Ford to make a car which looked, to be honest, like a parody of the road car. There’s an old saying in motor racing: a racecar should always look better than its road car equivalent. Well, this one doesn’t, right? And, therefore, it should have been addressed by Supercars at a very early stage. I wasn’t suggesting anything about the ZB was outside the rules, but it changed the interpretation of the rules, didn’tt it?

We didn’t trigger an arms race at all. As you say, when you produce a new car, you have a chance to say “Oh, yeah, maybe we can do a little better job”, but within the confines of the major parts of the car that we have. We all have the same rear wing element. We all have the same basic undertray at the front of the car. And the rules as we were told to adhere to gave us restrictions around the side skirts, gave us restrictions around the shape of the front splitter, restrictions around the size of the rear endplates and limits on the deck underneath the rear wing (all areas

of contention on the Mustang). Which we adhered to. We didn’t set a precedent in any of those. The Volvo, for instance, was the first car with a deck (that was extended) and it was very firmly said at the time that you can’t go out under the wing and it has to be flat. And then suddenly it was changed (for the Mustang). The top surface of the splitter could be flat or curved, but not concave – and suddenly it’s changed (again for the Mustang). Now, those in themselves are not be-all-andend-all. But they’re all subtle differences which should never have been allowed to creep in. OK, so at the end of the year, can you re-homologate the ZB into a ZC or whatever the facelift is called? Well, Supercars will be doing another VCAT (aero comparison test) at the end of the year, but I don’t think you’ll see any significant appearance changes to the cars. They’ll just do a better job of tuning them to each other

No, it didn’t. Tell me where. Detail it. All the composite panels and the bespoke rear bulkhead, they changed the game. No, they didn’t change the game. The use of composite panels on the cars has been going on for years. Did you know that the FG X had carbon buckets and carbon rear end of the car way before the VF Commodore did? Nobody was aware of it – including us. So the Ford teams, when it was clear we were going to a carbon roof as a necessity with the ZB, were given the




Dane refutes the suggestion that the ZB Commodore pushed the limits of the Supercars rules.

because that was the issue, really. The aero test was clearly not very well done at the end of last year and the centre of gravity on the cars was not addressed properly. So centre of gravity’s been addressed – that was relatively easy to do, but should have been done at the beginning of the season – and the aero, there have been some steps taken, but they’re small, so the chance to correct that properly will be taken at the end of the year. But will you look at redesigning some aspects of the ZB’s aerodynamics? No, not at the end of this year. There’s not the money or

the will to do it. Whether the Nissan’s there or not, I don’t know, but the Ford and the Holden will go and aero test, and Supercars, I’m sure, will do a far better job of ensuring that the basic elements that we test are as close as they can be.

There used to be semi-regular updates of the cars…

If you could, though, would you update the design?

But the VE to VF was ’07-12 – that was six seasons. The VF I to the VF II was two years and the only reason for that was because the FG X came along.

If money were no object, you would always try to fettle things. But it also depends on, somewhere, Supercars saying what’s allowed and what isn’t? Are these guidelines rules or not rules? If they’re rules, well then, the other car (Mustang) needs to change, that’ss all. that

But not every year. No, but VE to VE II, VF to VF II, FG to FG X…

There’ll be a facelift of the Commodore soon – let’s call it ZC – so why not update for that? Yeah, but a facelift to the car is unlikely to affect anything that is aerodynamically sensitive enough for aerody us to concern ourselves. In early 2017, you scoffed at my assertion that the only organisation you feared was org Roger Penske’s. Ro Oh, I didn’t scoff at it at all, Mark. Oh Your recollection is mistaken. From You the first moment that I was aware his interest in the category, I was of h fully cognisant of the fact that if he come here, he would represent did c very significant threat from a a ve competitive point of view – 100 com cent – and I’ve never underper c estimated the ability of the Penske estim organisation. I have a number of organ friends around the world who have friend me, pretty graphically one way told m or ano another, what the (Team Penske) busine business model is. They compete agains against him. So it would be naïve of me to think otherwise and I was never naïve. I was certainly looking from the point o of view of how long it would take

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them to get there – whether it would be immediate or whether it would take them a couple of years – but I knew it was coming. As it did in 2017, becoming what I’d think was your greatest rival in Supercars. Totally, 100 per cent, no question. You don’t like being beaten, but do you enjoy being able to go toe-totoe with one of Roger Penske’s teams? I enjoy it, but sometimes I hate it. Overall, though, I enjoy it. He has said to me himself on several occasions that he admires the fact that it’s a business for Triple Eight, in the way that it is for Andretti in America. He’s said to me on more than one occasion that “Motor racing’s always cost me money; I haven’t made money from it”. I said “Well, you’re making your money elsewhere, you don’t have to worry about it” – which, of course, is abundantly true. His teams run to a totally different business model and it’s a different business model in the same way that Erebus is a different business model again. Nothing is better or worse – it’s just different. Erebus is a business that operates to another different model. To some extent, it’s an indulgence for Betty (Klimenko), but Penske’s is also an indulgence – it just has a better business base. But, for sure, all his racing is an indulgence, but it’s one that he actually makes work for him in the context of his overall business, whereas some other people will just say “I enjoy doing this and I’m prepared to put some money in every year”.

Dane believes his star driver Jamie Whincup will be retired from full-time Supercars competition by the age of 40. The rivalry between Roger Penske (right) and Triple Eight Engineering’s team leader Dane has proved to be as enthralling off the track as on it. As Roger says, racing is his golf game. Correct. And there are other people in this paddock – and in other paddocks around the world – in the same situation. Retirement. You seem to have been preparing for that by taking on partners in the team, so how long can we expect to see you running the show? The only person I’ve given a loan to is my daughter Jessica. Nobody else has got a free kick, I can promise you, in terms of shareholdings. And I haven’t given her a free kick – I’ve just loaned it to her. For me, I fear stopping because I don’t want to suddenly find I’m old. One of the things about motor sport is there are so many younger people around you that it’s invigorating. But what I do want to do is protect it against me just falling over. As you full well know, as you get older, an increasing number of your contemporaries, whether they’re in the sport or outside, are dropping off the perch. This year there’ve been a couple of biggies for me inside and outside – and, obviously, the one inside the sport I knew the best was Charly Lamm (legendary Schnitzer BMW team boss), who was the same age as me. So there’s a consciousness around the need to protect the team and the business which I would separate from a willingness to retire. I’m enjoying doing GT Asia a lot; I’m enjoying that experience. I’m also enjoying the challenge of the uphill battle we’ve had this year in

Supercars. I still enjoy it and get a kick out of it. I don’t need to do it, but I want to do it. So it’s all about creating a succession plan? Oh, totally. I’ve been developing a succession plan for four years – ever since I involved Paul Dumbrell and Tim Miles, just to give some protection to the business if I suddenly expired. So that’s what that was about. Jamie (Whincup) is a shareholder. He’s bought in, he’s paid full market value for it, and I’d love him to be in a position at some point to be running the team. But he’ll need to want to do it and I’ll need to see that he’s ready to do it – and I hope that point will come. Jessica must be a contender as well? Yes, but I want to be careful about putting any pressure on her, which people do in family businesses where there’s an ownership thing like this. She’s at the moment doing a law degree as well as working at Triple Eight (in commercial operations), so she’s a fulltime law student, which to be honest could give her the tools to do something completely different or in the sport at a much higher level or whatever. So I don’t want her to feel in any way restrained or constrained by Triple Eight. If she wanted to be involved in it long-term, that’s fine, but I don’t want to put any pressure on her if she decides that she wants to or is capable of doing something on a bigger, wider scale or outside motor sport.



How long do you see Jamie continuing to race full-time? You’d have to say he’s driving as well as ever, wouldn’t you? Yeah, most of the time. When Jamie’s fully tuned up, he’s a formidable adversary on the track. I think a couple e more years, maybe. He doesn’t want to drive forever. He’s always made that point, although he’s moved that point over the years. You know, there was a time when he said “I won’t be doing it when I’m 30”, which I used to smile about because I thought that was probably unrealistic – and, of course, it turned out to be. But by the same token, I doubt whether he’ll be doing it fulltime when he’s 40 (in four years). He might be doing endurance co-driving and I know he quite enjoys the GT thing. So I’m not saying he wouldn’t be driving, but I don’t think he’ll be fulltime driving by the time he’s 40. On the other hand, I’d be surprised if Shane (van Gisbergen) wasn’t when he was 50. Well, they’re very different characters, aren’t they? Correct. So you think 2022/23 will probably be it for Jamie as a full-timer in Supercars? I’m not sure. I think if he doesn’t

feel that he can win or at least be the best Commodore driver or whatever at that time, then that’ll be a signal to him that “I don’t want to carry on doing this”. Conversely, there’s still plenty to see from Shane, isn’t there? Oh, 100 per cent. As I said, he’ll still be driving after I’m dead – something somewhere, even if it’s in a paddock. I meant in terms of what he’s yet to achieve. He hasn’t peaked yet, has he? I don’t believe he has. I have a belief that touring car drivers, historically, are actually in their 30s when they peak (SVG is 30) – and sometimes they can stay at that peak for the thick end of a decade, when they have the benefit of speed and experience, nous, everything else that comes with it. Historically, that’s what I’ve seen over the years with people like (veteran French star) Yvan Muller, for instance, who got more and more canny as he got older.



WHAT’S WRONG WITH WILLIAMS? Forty years after winning its first F1 race at the 1979 British Grand Prix, Williams returns to Silverstone this weekend with only the faintest chance of even scoring a point. Deputy team principal Claire Williams explains to DAN KNUTSON what’s gone wrong and what’s being done to restore the famous team’s fortunes


Images: LAT

HE ONCE mighty Williams team has fallen on hard times. It has not won a world championship since 1997 or a grand prix race since 2012. The team scored a measly seven points last year. And then things got worse. Only eight days of preseason testing were permitted before the Formula 1 teams headed to Australia for the first race of 2019. Williams failed to get its new car – the Williams-Mercedes FW42 – onto the track until late in the third day of testing because it was still being built. But that calamity served as a wakeup call for a team that once knew how to win but did not score even a single point in the first nine races of this season. Go back to July 40 years ago: Aussie Alan Jones held a comfortable lead in the 1979 race at Silverstone until he had

to retire his Williams-Ford FW07 with an expired engine due to a faulty water pump. His teammate Clay Reggazoni went on to win the first ever Grand Prix race for Frank Williams’ team. It was the start of something great as Jones claimed the world championship in 1980 and won 11 races with Williams. Frank Williams had been entering cars in F1 races since 1969. Good results were scarce as he scrambled to put teams together, earning him the nickname of “Wanker Frank” in the paddock. Then, in 1977, Williams and Patrick Head formed Williams Grand Prix Engineering and success followed. In all, Williams would garner seven drivers’ championships, nine constructors’ championships, 114 races, 128 poles, and earn a boatload of other podium finishes. But the team has not

been a championship contender or a real potential race winner since 2003.


CLAIRE WILLIAMS, 42, is the daughter of Frank Williams. She was appointed deputy team principal in 2013 and steadily took over more and more responsibility for running the team from her father. “I am not happy that the testing delay happened this year,” Williams says when Auto Action asks her about the team’s woes and the postponed debut of the 2019 car, “but sometimes you need to hit that rock bottom to make you realise that, wow, we’ve got some real

work to do here! It exposed a lot of areas of weakness within the internal structures of the organisation that we can now tackle. “Before that they were masked because last year much of the car build was horrible. But I understand from talking to my fellow team principals that it is horrible for everybody these days. These technical regulations are so complex. There are 22,500 car parts involved in one of these race cars. We make every single one of

Clay Reggazoni took the team’s first-ever Grand Prix victory in 1979 and although it has since enjoyed great success, right now Williams is a shadow of its former self.

This season didn’t get off to a great start as Williams was very late finishing the recalcitrant FW42.

When Paddy Lowe (above, centre) re-joined the team he began his career with but he was unable to continue the run of success he had experienced at both McLaren and Mercedes. Still an influence at Williams is co-founder Patrick Head (right).

those parts in house. “So what it has done is expose the way we go about racing. We now need to look and make sure that we best exploit things based on the budget, the resources, and the number of people that we have.” It has not been all doom and gloom since the winning days of 2003. Williams finished third in the constructors’ championship in 2014 and ‘15, and fifth in 2016 and ‘17.

“It demonstrates that we are a team that is sustainable and that does know how to get it right,” Williams says. “We’ve just made mistakes over the past two years.”

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM “WE’VE GOT some clear structural issues at Williams at the moment that we have not addressed until now,” Williams reveals. “One of our biggest problems over the last two years

was not having an efficient planning function in place. The car was not ready for preseason testing because we have not had a robust enough and sufficient planning system at Williams that could cope with a business that is 650 people, plus being a pure constructor that makes the whole of our car inhouse. “Our business has grown exponentially over the past five to eight years. Sometimes the systems that

Unlike Haas, which use a high number of Ferrari components, Williams manufacturers most of its componentry in-house.

“As much as we’ve made mistakes and hold our hands up admitting we’ve not done such a good job, there have been mitigating factors within the sport as a whole that have led to Williams being in 10th place at the moment” you have in your team don’t catch up at the same rate you are recruiting people, or maybe the technical regulations changed. As much as we’ve made mistakes, and hold our hands up admitting we’ve not done such a good job, there have been mitigating factors within the sport as a whole that have led to Williams being in 10th place at the moment.” The team has a healthy racing budget, according to Williams. “But trying to make that budget stretch across everything we need to do is very difficult,” she says. “To be successful in

F1 these days it takes north of US$300 million. “It is also important to recognise the things that you do well. We have got great people at Williams. There have been some areas that we needed to look at to make sure that too is right, and that we’ve got the right people. We’ve made some changes there. What we are doing at the moment is almost rebuilding Williams to make sure that it is fit for the purpose of moving forward in the future. And that it can function efficiently in the world that the operating environment of F1 is at the moment.” There is a lot of pressure on Claire Williams to return her father’s team to its former glory.

Further upheaval was caused by the unsuccessful return of Paddy Lowe as chief technical officer in March 2017. Lowe had helped shape winning teams at Williams, McLaren and Mercedes between 1987 and 2017, but things just didn’t work out this time. Lowe and Williams officially parted company on June 25, 2019. “You can’t just lose your CTO and then bring in another one straightaway,” Williams explains. “People are on long notice periods in this sport. So Patrick Head comes in one or two days a week to help steady the ship a little bit and to guide and direct. He listens to the engineers, acts as a sounding board, answers their questions, provokes conversion and debate, which has been really useful for them.”


THE RISE of the privateer F1 teams based in Britain in the 1960s created the opportunity for Williams and McLaren to become big-time operations which dominated many seasons. But in recent years there has been a trend change in F1 as the major manufacturer outfits Mercedes and Ferrari along with the big budget Red Bull team soaked up all the wins. Some smaller squads became semisatellite teams with close collaboration with a manufacturer team, such as Racing Point with Mercedes, and Alfa and Haas with Ferrari. McLaren and

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Williams stayed the course of being big independent teams. The rules state that each F1 team must construct its own car. But the “listed parts” that itemizes components one team can buy from another team is growing. Haas buys everything permitted from Ferrari including the engine, gearbox, rear suspension, hydraulics and more. Williams buys a Mercedes engine and makes the other parts inhouse. Is Williams’ racing business model of “make vs buy” now obsolete? “I don’t think that it is outdated,” Williams says, “but we are looking at it to make sure it is moving forward. And it hasn’t been. Do we actually need to be making all of these parts ourselves? Or can we outsource, particularly if there are expert suppliers making things like brake master cylinders? Why are we doing that ourselves? Particularly when we are not doing a great job of it. We’ve done a huge amount of research to understand what we should be doing ourselves compared to what we could be outsourcing. And that will have an impact for our business for 2020. “Independent teams like Williams have an absolute place in F1 and our business model is right,” she adds. “But I believe that this sport needs to go back a little bit and harness the true DNA of F1 in order to make teams like ours more sustainable. I have no problem with teams like Haas and Alfa benefiting from the Ferrari model. But teams

Williams family clings to a majority stake in the team, having knocked backk three recent offers -- including from billionaire Lawrence Stroll (right), who subsequently bought Force India.


Wheelchair-bound owner Frank Williams continues to keep a close eye on his team, even at 77

should make their performance parts themselves. The problem is that the listed parts list has been so badly diluted that you can go and buy performance related parts from the bigger teams.”


A SIGN on the desk of U.S. President Harry S. Truman said: “The buck stops here.” It meant that he had to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions. AA asks Williams where the buck stops in the F1 operation’s failures? “I would say it ultimately is me because I am the deputy team principal and it is my name above the door,” she replies. “But we always say as well that it is a team effort. There are 650 people here, and everybody is responsible in any F1 team for its success or failures. You can’t just apportion blame and say it is absolutely that person’s fault

that this team is where it is. Or it is absolutely this person’s fault that we haven’t got the aero downforce. An aero group of whatever team you are in is between 70 and 100 people. So if you haven’t got the aero performance it is collectively everybody’s responsibilities. It is very dangerous to start pinpointing responsibility in what is effectively a team sport with a whole lot of players.” Lowe found a culture of losing when he returned to Williams in 2017. The team had been doing so poorly for so long that staff members just accepted that as fact. It is a mindset that the management needs to change. “We are driving a whole new culture,” Williams says, “to make sure everybody understands why we are here, what we expect of them, what we expect them to achieve, and how we expect them to go about doing it.”

FRANK WILLIAMS, who has been a quadriplegic since his road car accident in 1986, is not in the best of health these days. But he is still keeping an eye on what’s happening with the team, and he lives in a flat at the team’s factory in Grove near Silverstone. “He is at his desk every single day,” his daughter says. “He loves it. I have come to understand this, and I feel very much like this – Frank has always just loved being in F1. “Frank has never once called me up on this current situation and said, what on earth is going on, what are you doing? Because he understands that sometimes teams go through bad periods. You have peaks and valleys in sport and particularly in motor sport.”


HAVING FINALLY hit rock bottom and realised that drastic changes need to be made, the Williams team can now start to claw its way back up. The Williams family owns a 51.3 per cent share in their team. Claire Williams has recently turned down as least three offers to buy the team, including those from Canadian billionaires Lawrence Stroll and Michael Latifi. Perhaps Claire will never agree to sell the team that Frank built while her father is still alive. F1 and his team, were, after all, been his core passion long before that first victory at

Silverstone 40 years ago. It would be tragic to take it away from him. The US$175 million cost cap due in 2021 (even if Williams spends nowhere near that amount annually), plus the more even distribution of the F1 commercial income money between all the teams, will benefit Williams. “You have to have a level playing field in any sport,” Williams insists. “You can’t create an inequitable playing field before you have even kicked a ball or fired up an engine. It is not right, certainly not for me it is not the DNA of the sport I know and love.” It is going to be a real slog, however, just to get Williams back into the position of being able to score points. Podiums will be out of reach for some time, and wins and championships are still way down the track. Williams has survived through ups and downs since 1977, and it is going to have to continue to critique and adapt its operation if it wants to survive in the coming decades.




AST TIME around, it didn’t go well. In the mid-to-late 1990s, Super Touring was dominant around the world and a serious rival to the Aussie V8s. The advent of V8 Supercars in 1997 caused a touring car civil war that peaked with competing Bathurst 1000s. The two-litre Super Tourers could have toppled the V8s, but after a divisive battle, Supercars prevailed and never looked back. So you can imagine that the arrival of TCR in Australia two decades later created some concern at Supercars, given its wide appeal to manufacturers. TCR is affordable tin top racing for production-based two-litre turbocharged front-wheel drive small hatchbacks. The economics and accessibility interest most of the world’s major manufacturers. Launched here by Australian Racing Group – a new promoter organisation backed by ultra-rich businessmen enthusiasts – TCR’s arms-length customer racing ethos fits with the modest racingrelated marketing objectives of the majority of mainstream makers for which Supercars doesn’t fit. The man behind TCR’s spectacular global growth is urbane Italian Marcello Lotti, who created the cost-effective category five years ago. He’s the big winner in the battle for touring car supremacy, establishing a tightly controlled formula that now races in every region of the world. The former promoter of the World Touring Car Championship, Lotti saw the potential of an international two-litre hot hatch formula that was affordable and attainable anywhere. He made it happen. The only touring car

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championships stronger than TCR are Supercars, BTCC and DTM, which retain their strong local identities and support. Otherwise, even the USA has fallen under the TCR spell. Silvered-haired and silver-tongued, with the panache of an Italian man of a certain age, he is the Stephane Ratel of touring cars. Just as Ratel controls international GT3 racing, Lotti is the TCR impresario, sticking to his knitting of competitive and affordable touring car racing with just enough manufacturer involvement and support to promote variety. Lotti visited the second round of the new ARG-run TCR Australia Series at Phillip Island last month and was impressed by its strong start, with so many brands, a healthy field and entertaining racing. His World Sporting Consulting group licences TCR worldwide and took over the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2018, recasting it as the FIA WTCR World Cup. Lotti is driven, passionate and often unintelligible. His lilting accent and fractured Italish make it hard to follow his excited pronouncements, but read his comments closely and he makes a lot of sense. Certainly, he has a clear vision for truly global touring car racing, with his rigid cost controls and limits on direct manufacturer involvement while encouraging them to produce or support money making TCR customer racers.

The man behind the worldwide success of TCR talks about the return of twolitre tourers to Australia and how, this time, they can live alongside the V8s without splitting the sport

Photos: Daniel Kalisz/TCR Australia/TRC Hub

Did you ever expect that TCR would be racing in Australia, the land of big V8 touring cars? I want to say that it was one of my wish to see TCR in Australia. Like you say, Australia has a big history for touring car and clearly for us was one good challenge to have an opportunity to be in Australia. So back in 2014/15, when TCR was beginning, you had it in the back of your mind to come to Australia at some stage? The dream was to be in Australia one day because of its big tradition of touring cars. They start to contact us three years ago. Not ARG – other people. CAMS? Also before CAMS was private group that contacted us [believed to be former would-be Australian rallycross promoter Adam Hammond]. He started discussions with us, but then CAMS

come in (to buy the Australian rights to TCR). This was in 2016 when they start to call us and we were excited. But when there is a so strong championship like Supercars here, you have to wait and see what is the opportunity to create a proper TCR series. I think they (ARG) have made a good job. Start-up in motor sport is not easy in any case and I think that they reach a good grid for the first season. Given how strong Supercars is, did you have any reservations about bringing TCR here? When CAMS start to contact me – but not only CAMS, also IMSA contact us to race there this year – I think who knows better than the local federation what is the situation inside the country. So when they start to contact us, I have confidence that it could be an opportunity also to have a good championship. Is TCR bigger than you thought it would become? It’s pretty much

everywhere and probably the most global touring category ever. We are today 850 cars running in the world and we have more than 380 races in 47 weekends per year in 27 countries. Next year starts TCR Argentina, Turkey, Canada and New Zealand now. So, yes, it’s growing a lot and, frankly speaking, at the beginning I was convinced it was a good product, but I never expected it growing like this and so fast. You’d been running the WTCC and that was going fine, so what did you see in TCR that made it worth the risk? We accepted the TC3 rules for not only the perception, but to speak about the concept quickly with the motor sport people because WTCC had become like GT1 and GT3 was born like that. We thought WTCC was growing too much in terms of cost. I started FIA European championship and WTCC, and had a relationship with different promoters in all part of the world in terms of touring cars. What I noted was that there was a disaster in the category. In 2010/11, there

was no one championship with the same regulation of the other one – they were for old car, not really from the manufacturers.

Marcello Lotti and TCR Australia boss Matt Braid at Phillip Island’s second round.

Generally or just TC3? No, when I decide it was TC3 (as the basis). I decided (on TCR) because around the world it was a disaster. So it was time, considering the financial situation all over the world (postGFC), to make something that was cost-effective, I want to say. Not really cheap because the car, anyway, must also have sporting performance. I was also looking for the involvement of the manufacturers and to involve manufacturers at this time is not like before when there was budget like hell in the middle of the 1990s. To get the manufacturers involved, it was clear to make something that could also be customer business for them. And this is the reason we started with TC3 and made TCR the final name. What are your first impressions of the TCR Australia Series?



I have to say the promoter make good because there is a lot of brands. Normally, in other championships in Europe, there is six or seven brands and here already you have eight. For the beginning, that is very good and what we have already seen is that the racing is very close. To see eight brands in the top nine I think is very good. I was very happy about it. And for a new series, 17-18 cars is also very good. They (ARG) make a fantastic job. I had a manufacturers’ meeting in Milan before coming out here – the technical working group speaking about general matters – and all of the manufacturers congratulate to me for what has happened this year in

Australia in terms of promotion. Because from the beginning of the year to the first event, they make fantastic promotion on the social media. We have a social media community of 23 million and there was a big interest in the Australian series. I have to tell you, I have received congratulations from teams and manufacturers for this. They make a fantastic job of promotion here. What was the meeting with the manufacturers about? The technical working group meets three or four times a year. This meeting was



especially important because there is new manufacturers coming in and they attended. The main was reason was to reword better, with experience, some part of the technical regulation – not in terms of modifying something, but for better understanding (more clearly defined rules).

I think they have a good potential. Now there is new manufacturers preparing to develop cars – one for the next season which is a brand that I cannot tell you the name, but I’m sure it could be really good news for Australia [almost certainly Mazda]. So I feel there is a big potential here.

What sort of potential do you see for TCR in Australia and now New Zealand?

Is there also potential for a grand final for all the series Asia-Pacific region?

I think the potential is very big because all the brand are looking at Australasia as a good market (for selling TCR racers), especially under the same promoter, which is very important because Australia and NZ are so close. No conflict, better strategy calendar, all this kind of thing.

I think, sure, that there could be an opportunity to make an international event to attract all the others. All depends if you choose a good date because people have to have logistic time to come. But sure could be because now in Asia-Pacific there is 150 cars between China, Malaysia,

Front runner Will Brown chats on the grid with TCR visitors Lotti and WSC Group Sporting Director Nunzia Corvino at Phillip Island. Thailand, etc. All depends on what is the venue. You have to attract people, the teams and the drivers, and it all depend on what circuit we’re discussing about.

An endurance race?

Well, what about Mount Panorama? [Laughs] Could be. Good one.

At least 500 km?

As you know, ARG has put in a bid for a fifth event at Bathurst, so… I think if this happen, I feel easily to see at least over 50 cars coming from all part of the world because this is one of the, I want to say, top and historic and beautiful tracks in the world. All the driver dream to run there – and a lot of touring car driver today has raced there in the past. If this would happen, it would be a great international event with a big audience.

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I think if you have to do something like this, we have to look for an endurance race.

Yeah, I think that could be perfect. Also to remember what was (Bathurst 500 from 1963-73) and especially because if you make an endurance race, you can welcome over 50 cars. If you make a sprint, is too much close to normal event and also people have to travel so far to have only one hour 30 minutes to enjoy the track. But if you do endurance, OK, everybody’s ready to invest time and money to come. What do you think would be the best time of year for a TCR endurance race at Bathurst?

December. Wintertime in Europe. You have to consider that America starts late January (at Daytona), so I think December could be the best time. December could be (given the timing of other major events at Mount Panorama). The last time a two-litre touring car formula was in Australia (Super Touring in the ’90s), it became a big war with the V8s. Is TCR a threat to Supercars? I think this is not a target. TCR is really linked to customer racing. Sometimes, the manufacturers are happy to be a little bit helping, but not through factory teams. I don’t think this could be really a competitor of Supercars. This my personal opinion. I don’t see any kind of competition between the two. I think there’s space for both, especially as Supercars has the step ladder today in Australia. It’s a big spectacle, too. The cars are large and loud. Yes, they are spectacular. A big part of TCR’s success is that you’ve kept control of the costs. How are you going to keep a lid on costs? Because we have frozen completely the key points of the technical regulations completely. We have a capped cost of the car, so the car have to be (freely available) on the market. I cannot do three cars and that’s it. So I have to produce car and sell the car according to the demand they have – not only make a supercar. The minimum number for homologation has to be 10 and after that they have to continue making them. If, for example, we know there is a customer who asks to buy a car and the manufacturer says no or we cannot, we stop the homologation. And especially with 850 cars running today, is very clear for all that it is interesting for all the manufacturers. So is very clear when we do the technical working group, like we did in Milan, I say to them “OK, if you all you agree, we do something”. It’s impossible that 12 manufacturers agree to change something and this is a good

limitation. Our governance on the technical regulations depends completely on our company (WSC), our technical department, so no interfere from the outside. It was an irony, at least, but it must also have been satisfying when WTCR took over from the WTCC. [Laughs] Very nice, your question! I want to say, clearly, was for me something that was very nice because I have my concept of motor sport. And my concept is that you have different categories – Formula 1, very high technology; Supercars, another touring car, but highh technology; and after you have really thee basic ones like rally or real touring cars that have come from the production. So when you come from the production, you have to be popular. And to be popular, you have to look what’s happened in the most popular sports today – football, bicycle. When you play football (soccer), you are in a fixed area. Here I saw your football (AFL) on a circle (oval) that was difficult to understand, but very interesting, very fighting! When you play football, you have 11 players each side, same dimension ground, same round ball. So why do we have to make different in this kind of category in motor sport (WTCC/WTCR)? This for me is important because people running here in Australia have the same opportunity with the same car to run in the World Cup and this is something that makes it popular. This for me was the main point and I know that some other people involved in motor sport has a different opinion. They think that when you have a world championship, you have to have a completely different car. If it don’t cost 20 million, is really bullshit. This kind of thing in this kind of category doesn’t work for me. But just because TCR is not so expensive doesn’t mean it should not be a professional show. We make a big show on the television and in the social media, and this was my concept since these past five years. So WTCR for me was the logical conclusion of this. When will it become a proper world championship?



I know that you are very friend of Jean Todt [referring to UFWF in #1762], but I want to say that I have spoken about this (full world title status for WTCR) with Jean several times. When you call something a world championship, especially with FIA logo, it has to be something clearly made by FIA and also controlling completely, and this cannot be the case with TCR. So you prefer to be a World Cup with full control? Your words, but I confirm! [big smile] As you saw in that interview, I spoke with Todt about the future of the FIA’s top touring car category and what he outlined sounded a lot like TCR.

next season for five years agreement, so I don’t feel there is any kind of reason to study something different from our side. And we also, like you say before, we have to guarantee to all the manufacturers that make this partnership with us – a quarter of us – we have to guarantee the stability of TCR in the future. I have to tell you that we are discussing also with Eurosport and Discovery (broadcast partners) to keep the relationship that we have today on the world level for the long-term. Eurosport has already confirmed that they’re happy to go on with what we do in 2018/19 (WTCR). Australian Alan Gow is the president of the FIA Touring Car Commission... I know him very well.

Yeah, I think that what you are saying about is what is existing. Nobody have to invent something different on this way. Are you involved in the discussions about the new FIA touring car two-litre turbocharged category? No. If they want to do something themselves, they can do it. From our side, I think is not necessary. We have manufacturers developing new models for 2020 and other manufacturers are starting. I have Chinese manufacturers also come

Do you work with him at all? No. Frankly speaking, not now, no, because there is no sense to do it at this time. But I have to say that in ‘18/19, we have a good relationship with them. We make an agreement to manage the regulations for WTCR because anyway it is not championship, but is FIA cup, and I think our technical department and their technical department work very well together. There is no any kind of complaint about it.



ra Carrera ana Panameric


ROAD RACE In another instalment of Great Drives, BOB WATSON looks back at an event that was not for the faint-hearted, the Carrera Panamericana


HE ORIGINAL Mexican Mexiican Carrera Panamericana Pana Pa name mericana road race was condu conducted d cted d from fr rom 1950 195 950 to 1956. When the e Mexi Mexican x ca can n section secti ion n of the Panameric Panamerican can H Highway ig ghw way ay was completed co omp m leted in 1 1950, 95 50, the h M Mexican exiica an government gove go vernment o organised org rgan rg anised anis sed a n nine-stage, inein ne st stage, fivefive five-day -da day y ra race ace across a rosss the ac the ec country ount ou ntry y tto o advertis advertise ise is e the fact and nd to attract a tract in at international nte ernatio rn n ona n l bu business usiness sii s iinto nto nt o Me Mexico. exi x co o. Th The he ra race ace ran ra almost almo mostt ent entirely n irely l al along long th the he new highway, w which hich h crossed crosse ed the th he coun country ntr try y fr ffrom om north h to o so ssouth uth ut h fo for or a tto total ota tal al distance disttan a ce of of over ove 3300 33 300 0 ki kilo kilometres. lome metr tre es. The Th he Mexican Mexica Me an go gove government vernme ent nt w worked orrke ked d clos closely oselly wi w with th h American Americ Am can an motor mo otto tor ssports p rt po rts groups grou ups to o organise organi nise se e and and promote p om pr o ote e the ev event, ven nt, which was ini initially itially y lim limited mitied tto o stock sedans se edans with with itth fiffive ve seats. Piero T Taruffi aru ruff ffii and Felice ce e Bonetto, both h It IItalian alia al ian n Formula 1 dr drivers, riv ivers, s, e entered ntered a pair of Alfa a Romeo Rom om meo e coupes coupes specially spe eciially constructed constr truc u te ed for for the event, but most th he ev e ven entt, t, b ut m ut ostt of the os he 132 competitors

were w re we e ordinary ord rdinary unsponsored unsponso so ore r d citizens cititit zze ci e ens nss from from m the United States, Mexico, and elsewhere. th he U nited S tate ta tes, s, Mex exic ico, a nd e lssewhere. The included nine drivers. Th he entrants inc clude ded de dn ine e ffemale em ema mal ale dr driv iver e s. The was event The Carrera aw ass nott an e ve entt ffor or tthe or he ffainthe a nt ai nhearted. was conducted nine timed he h ear arted. It w as co ond nduc uc cte t d over nin ine titime ed stages distance sttages covering cov overin verin i g a total tota to ota al di dis d ist ssta tan ance ce of 3300 3300 33 0 kilometres ki es in in five days. day ay ys. The The ec cars ars ar rs ra raced ace ced flat out out ov o over ver er vvery ery er y fast rroads oads ds and n c nd crowd ro owd w c control ontr on trol and safety were Twenty saffety sa fe generally ge ener eral er a ly w erre ve vvery ry y llax. ax. Tw ax wen enty y seven people died d during durring the the five fivve years y ar ye ars of the original Panamericana, giving one off Pan anam amer eric ican na,, g i in iv ng it o ne o the highest mo mortality rates ort rtal a ity y ra rate tes per te pe er ra rrace c iin ce n th tthe e history historry off motor motor or ssport. po ort rt. Unlike its Italian counterpart Mille Miglia, cou ounter erpa artt tthe he M he ilillle Mig glila, the Carrera was divided timed h Ca Carr rer e a wa as di divi vided d into into separate sep parat ate e titime med me d stages. one was each day, stag ges. At least o ne stage ew ass rrun un e un ac a ch da ay, y, varying 547 kilometres. varyiing in length va h from om 135 to o 54 47 ki k ilo ilo l me m tr tres ess. Large from 100m Large e changes change ge g es in altitude altltititud ude e fr rom m 100 00m m to 3195m above level required re-jetting 3195m ab 3195 a ovve ssea ea leve el re requ qu uirred d re-je jettin ng of of carburettors cope with the oxygen carb ca rburettorss tto o co ope w itith h th he o xxyg ygen en n sstarved t rved ta ed air,r which endurance off th whic hiich also o affected affect af cted ed the the e ndur nd uran ance ce o tthe he drivers. driverrs The first race ran from north to south, beginning in Ciudad Juårez, Chihuahua, across the international border from El Paso, Texas, and finishing in El Ocotal, Chiapas, (now CuauhtÊmoc) on the Guatemala-Mexico border. Itt attracted entries from the US, Italy, France, Spain, n, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Guatemala. The first three places in the first Carrera The route for the 1950 Carrera Panamericana travelled through the spine of Mexico. Mercedes was successful during the event’s short history but the race claimed many victims along the way.

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The Mercedes 300SL piloted by Karl Kling and Hans Klenk took victory in 1952 but it wasn’t without drama. That year was significant because the event was split into Sports Car and Stock Car classes for the first time, in a bid to enable the Americans to compete with teams like Porsche.

Panamericana were taken by American cars and drivers. The winner, NASCAR driver Hershel McGriff drove an Oldsmobile 88 to win at an average speed of 142 km/h (88 mph). Though less powerful than its big Lincoln and Cadillac competitors the Oldsmobile was substantially lighter, giving it an advantage in the steep mountain climbs and it was also much easier on brakes. McGriff said his manual gearbox gave him a significant advantage on the last day on the gravel roads in Chiapas, when he finally passed the leading Cadillac to win the race. The car cost McGriff only $1900, not a bad investment considering the first prize was $17,000. The best placed European car, in fourth position, was an Alfa Romeo 6C driven by Piero Taruffi. There were four fatalities in the first Carrera, two of which were spectators. People spectating by the roadside were unused to cars travelling at such high speeds and the length of the course precluded


the installation of barriers. There was also mayhem among the competitors, two drivers being killed. One Mexican driver skidded to a stop at the finish line and excitedly yelled for medical help, not for himself but for his co-driver, who had fallen out of the car at full speed 20 miles back. Many commentators were surprised at the huge attrition rate suffered in the first section of the event, until it was discovered that Mexico and the governments of several south and central American countries had waived the customary 100 percent duty on imported cars for any car participating in the Carrera. Many of the new imported ‘race cars’ simply left the starting line and were not seen again. In 1951 the race was run from south to north, starting on the Mexican/Guatemalan border and finishing near El Paso. The Carrera was an obvious opportunity for European car companies to promote their cars to the United States and for the first


time, a European manufacturer, Ferrari, entered a ‘factory’ team. Although these cars did not meet the requirements of the touring car regulations, the Italians were permitted to compete anyway. The race inflicted a heavy toll upon drivers. At the start of the race, José Estrada, a prosperous Mexico City car dealer and a veteran racer, announced: “I will win, or die trying.” On the first stage, his 1951 Packard skidded off the road and tumbled 190m down into a ravine. Both Estrada and his co-driver died. The next day claimed Carlos Panini, a pioneer of Mexican aviation who had established Mexico’s first airline and was credited with being the first to fly a light plane around the world. A young Bobby Unser in a Jaguar was trying to overtake Panini, and the cars collided when the Mexican refused to let Unser past. “I tried to pass him and he bumped my rightfront fender which almost pushed me off a sheer cliff.



Hans Hermann crosses the line to finish the 1954 and final edition in his Porsche 550 Spyder.

ra Carrera r cana Panameri

Even Carroll Shelby was a victim of the severe Mexican roads (at left) while Chuck Stevson in his Lincoln was a frontrunner in the early days as was fellow Lincoln runner and former US fighter pilot turned race car driver Ray Crawford (above right).

Carlos over-corrected his car to the right, and went straight into a solid rock wall. The car exploded on impact like an egg hitting a sidewalk”. The deaths of these well-known Mexican sportsmen brought forth reactions of horror and indignation. A government official publicly branded the race “an imitation of North American customs not suited to Mexican characteristics”. The mayor of Oaxaca lost his life on the first stage between Tuxtla Gutiérrez and Oaxaca. His car went off a mountain road and he died in hospital. Ferraris took first and second places driven by Piero Taruffi and Alberto Ascari, while third and fourth were ordinary American cars. This set the stage for more European manufacturers to compete in the event and Mercedes Benz and Porsche soon followed Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. In 1952 the organizers of the Carrera Panamericana divided what had been a single class into Sports Car and Stock Car entries, so that heavy American sedans did not have to compete directly with the nimble European sports cars. Mercedes-Benz sent a highly organized team of drivers, mechanics, and 300 SL sports cars. Karl Kling and Herman Lang finished first and second, while American Chuck Stevenson won the touring car class in a Lincoln Capri. In 1953 the Sports and Stock classes were

34 AutoAction

subdivided into Large and Small groups, giving four categories to accommodate the huge number of participants and the diverse breeds of cars within the race. The significance of the race had been recognised by the motor sport authorities by then and it became the last round of the 1953 FIA World Sports car Championship season. The 1953 race was the bloodiest year yet. Bonetto in a Lancia, leading the race but under pressure from team mate Taruffi, hit a dip in the pavement at excessive speed and crashed, killing him instantly. Eight other people were killed in unrelated accidents. The Mercedes team did not return because of its focus on Formula 1 but both Lincoln and Lancia entered cars and were highly organized. Both factories swept 1-2-3 finishes in their respective categories. Large Sports Cars was won by Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina in a Lancia, Small Sports Cars by José Herrarte from Guatemala in a Porsche. Large Stock Cars was won by Chuck Stevenson of the United States in a Lincoln and Small Stock Cars by C.D. Evans in a six cylinder Chevrolet. On the first stage American Bob Christie’s Ford went off the road backwards and plunged over an embankment, coming to rest upside down. Spectators had assembled on a ledge below the

road to get a better view of the accident, but then Mickey Thompson, a Bonneville Salt Flats record holder, crashed at the same place, and six people were killed by his Ford. By 1954 the race had graduated to become a highly professional event. Maglioli won in a Ferrari at an average speed of 222 km/h (138 mph), Phil Hill was second in another Ferrari, with Ray Crawford winning the stock car class in a Lincoln. The race, however, lived up to its bloody reputation – seven people were killed during this event: four competitors, two spectators, and one team crew member Due to safety concerns and the expense to the government, the race was cancelled after the 1955 Le Mans disaster in which Pierre Levegh’s Mercedes crashed into a crowded grandstand at Le Mans. Given that cars of the period were of a high-speed, low-safety design, and drivers of a win-at-all-costs mentality, it was inevitable. Only a third of entrants typically finished the race, and the long stage sections were impossible to secure entirely. During the years the race was held, speeds had almost doubled but safety controls remained static, and competitors and spectators alike became casualties. Although abandoned, the race was not forgotten. Despite their models being small and often quite underpowered (especially in comparison with

Mercedes had a strong team for the 1952, with from left Hermann Lang, Erwin Gupp, Hans Klenk, Karl Klink, John Fitch and Eugen Geiger.

Crowd control was extreme on some parts of the route, while in others it was non-existent. The 1952 event strayed slightly away from the inaugural year’s route. Drivers from many motor sport disciplines including IndyCar racer Tony Bettenhausen (right) were challenged by the Carrera Panamericana.

American and other German opponents) Porsche enjoyed success in the race, mainly class wins. Porsche named one of their models Carrera after this race and in 2009 the company announced the Panamera, a 4-door touring car with a name inspired by Panamericana. Similarly, the watchmaker Heuer introduced a chronograph called the ‘Carrera Panamerica’ after the 1953 race, which developed into its long-running ‘Carrera’ range. The Carrera Panamericana road race was resurrected in 1988 and now runs a seven-day, 2000-mile (3200 km) route following parts of the original course. It is run on special closed stages of the public road network and fast transit sections through central Mexico, at speeds approaching 180mph (290 km/h). The race attracts 80 to 100 cars, organised into 10 classes.


KARL KLING’S Mercedes victory with Hans Klenk in the 1952 Carrera Panamericana came despite a potentially fatal incident. Taking a long right-hand bend at almost 200 km/h (120mph), Kling failed to spot a group of vultures by the side of the road. As the birds scattered, one impacted through the windscreen briefly knocking co-driver Klenk unconscious. Despite bleeding badly from facial injuries Klenk ordered Kling to maintain speed, and held on until a tyre change almost 70km (43 miles) later to clean himself and the car up. With typical Mercedes efficiency the windscreen was replaced and a series of bars fitted to avoid a repeat of the incident. BW





K C A R T T H G I R E ON TH n rallying is lia ra st u A s, rm o tf la p l riety of technica va a e in b m co h ic h INE discovered w P s L n o cA ti M la u H g T A re E w H e s n a to st a Thanks after a turbulent p re tu fu e th to in w ro g ready to


Photos: Angryman Photography/Wishart Media/Subaru Media/Toyota Media

ALLYING IN Australia has been through many peaks and troughs, its high point being manufacturer involvement during the 1970s where Mitsubishi, Holden, Datsun, Ford and many others participated in the ARC. After that, there was another classic era during the ‘90s and early 2000s where the fire breathing Group A machines of Japanese giants Toyota, Subaru and Mitsubishi did battle. But something of a lull has followed once those manufacturers

pulled out. However, the Australian Rally Championship is now well-placed to wake from its long slumber thanks to the new era of regulations that are more inclusive and therefore more accessible to teams of varying budgets. The top level of the sport is now being battled out by four different sets of regulations R5, AP4, PRC Group N and G4. And competitors representing each ruleset are complimentary of the new structure.

Group N continues to be a mainstay of rallying competition.

36 AAutoAction t A ti

Activ Rallysport’s Justin Dowel is an advocate of this variety as the former ARC champion fields three G4-specification cars and believes having options makes the step from state to national competition easier. “I think rather than having just R5 cars and limiting the field to only those that can afford it, having AP4, R5, G4 and the improved rules for PRC cars as well, has made for a very exciting championship and one that is very competitive as well,” Dowel told Auto Action “A “As long as the cars are within five percent per of each other, it’s going to be a real rea exciting championship and I think that’s tha what we’ve got right now. “I don’t think it has looked as good as it has for quite some time. 2020 and beyond is looking even better as more bey competitors are attracted to the series co because of what it is offering at the be moment.” mo The T G4-specification is a recent addition to the ARC field and its ad purpose is to provide a cheaper pu alternative to R5 and AP4, while still al be close in performance. G4 cars being us mainly components from a Group use N Mitsubishi Lancer Evo such as the d drivetrain and engine, which are then c covered in an updated shell such as

the Ford Fiesta or Hyundai i20. It has proven on par with the other established competitors, bar some niggling reliability issues. But these also plagued AP4 early on, and this has proven to be successful in terms of results as currently Harry Bates leads the title in his factory Toyota Gazoo Racing Yaris AP4. Team owner Neal Bates feels that the ARC is well placed to hit another golden era of success in moving gradually away from the tried and tested Group N regulations, which are becoming long in the tooth. “I think it’s been a very good thing for the sport and if you have a look worldwide it’s a difficult change because before we were talking Group N production cars, but at the end of the day they don’t exist anymore, except the Subaru,” Bates explained. “That means you need regulations that cater for the current space that manufacturers are in, and I think the Australian Rally Championship has done a good job of that. But if you look at the moment, we probably spent several years in the doldrums, but it’s really starting to come back now and hopefully we’ll have even more.” The newest car to hit Australian shores

is Luke Anear’s Ford Fiesta R5, built by World Rally Championship-winning team M-Sport, and it is a sign of the future. The regulations have spread across the world with the support of a number of manufacturers and already R5 has proven to be successful in Australia, with Eli Evans taking last year’s title in a Skoda Fabia R5, one of the reasons Anear headed in that direction. “That’s definitely the path it’s on at the moment. Bates is still developing AP4 because there isn’t an R5 option from Toyota and they’ve done a fantastic job in developing those cars,” Anear said. “Then you’ve got other teams importing R5 cars and you’re starting to see those come through. The sport is evolving and transitioning, the reality is that there isn’t 100s of top-level cars in Australian rally in the championship, so it is a small base to build off.” Dowel is in agreement that R5 will grow and believes it is a better platform than AP4 due to the intensive development and testing programs already undertaken by manufacturers. “I think R5 will grow with so many different R5 manufacturers and I think it is the better platform over AP4,” informed Dowel. “The quotes that we’ve had to build an AP4, they’re too expensive and aren’t a lot cheaper than an R5, which has the research and development plus the confidence of knowing you’ll get a reliable package. Unless you buy a Toyota or something proven that’s already been built and developed elsewhere, I can’t see the AP4 platform as being a good option. It’s definitely viable, but it’s an expensive option.” But what about the fans? With such variety in regulations at the front, does it muddy the waters for spectators, is it commercially a bad decision? Dowel and Anear don’t think so. “I don’t know if the fans and supporters

Luke Anear is the latest convert to the worldwide R5 regulations.

care so much about whether the car is an AP4, Group N, G4 or an R5. They see the driver that they relate to winning in a brand or car that they love,” Anear said. “I think the badge on the car is what’s most important to the supporters, rather than the particular class it competes in. “What spectators and competitors want is variety – drivers dominate, cars don’t – the two at the front, Harry and Molly, are in great form at the moment, which goes to show the strength of the championship,” Dowel added. “We get enquiries all the time from state competitors wanting to step up to the Australian championship, and I think G4 is a good platform for that to happen.” It appears Australian rallying is heading towards another successful era thanks to this variety of class regulation mix rather than a uniform set of regulations. And the P word that is so often heard in circuit racing, “Parity”, isn’t an issue with each set of rules matching up surprisingly well side-by-side. With Subaru and Toyota teams backed by an increasing number of privateers in top machinery, an exciting future awaits.

G4 machinery is becoming a viable outright option (above). Hyundai is represented with both R5 and G4 machines (left and below).


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Formula One

Round Eight Austria

SOME LIKE IT HOT A no holds barred wheel-banging duel on a scorching afternoon ended in victory for Max Verstappen over Charles Leclerc, ending Mercedes’ 10-race win streak BY DAN KNUTSON IMAGES: LAT

THE NEVER give way Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix in his Red BullHonda, albeit not until yet another lengthy post-race scrutiny by the stewards about his clash with the smooth-driving Charles Leclerc, who had started from pole position and led most of the 71 laps in his Ferrari. “It’s hard racing,” Verstappen said just after being told this his victory was being reviewed. “Otherwise we have to stay home.” Equally as important but not as apparent or as dramatic in Verstappen’s sixth career F1 victory, was the fact that his Red BullHonda was far better able to cope with the broiling temperatures – 35 degree ambient and 51 degree track – than Mercedes, which suffered its first loss of the season after 10 Leclerc made a perfect start and led early ahead of Bottas. Norris battled Hamilton for third behind.

consecutive wins going back to 2018, or Ferrari, which also had to compromise overall performance for car cooling. Leclerc wasn’t too happy with the way Verstappen forced his way into the lead with three laps to go, but the Ferrari’s tyres were shot and the Dutch driver would have passed the Monégasque anyway. Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo was certainly not happy after he started and finished 12th in a Renault plagued with mysterious handling woes. “I don’t want to be running around 12th,” he said. “It is definitely not where I feel I belong. My race was pretty boring so I’m glad there was something at the front.” Qualifying set up the race with Leclerc earning his second pole and Verstappen lining up second. It was the youngest

ever F1 front row with an average age of 21 years and 265 days. Mercedes teammates Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were on the second row of the grid. Hamilton has qualified second but a penalty for impeding Kimi Räikkönen during qualifying dropped him down to fourth. Leclerc made a smooth getaway when the red lights went out to start the 71-lap race held in the pastures and mountains of Austria’s scenic Styrian region. Verstappen’s anti-stall kicked in, and he stuttered away in seventh place. In many a Formula 1 race this would be game over for Leclerc, but it ain’t over until Verstappen recovered from his poor start to mount a late race challenge on Leclerc.

it’s over, as the saying goes made famous by the New York Yankee’s Yogi Berra. First there were the tyres. Bottas, on Pirelli’s medium compound slicks, pitted to change to the hard tyres after 21 laps. Leclerc, on the soft compound, stopped a lap later to “cover” Bottas. It turned out to be a mistake because the softs would have lasted a lot longer than Ferrari expected. Verstappen switched to the hard tyres at the end of lap 31, so he had much newer tyres at the end in the scrap with Leclerc when it really counted. Mercedes was not going to be a contender.

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Ricciardo and the Renault team struggled in Austria, which was in stark contrast to midfield rivals McLaren led by Norris as it chalked up another double-finish with the young English driver sixth. T engines were turned down, and the car’s The aaerodynamics had been severely compromised by having to open the bodywork as much as p possible to promote cooling. And even then B Bottas and Hamilton were having to lift and coast tto preserve the car. Ferrari, too, had to make compromises with b both the bodywork and the engine modes to keep the cars cool. Still, Sebastian Vettel, who started ninth after missing the final qualifying segment, raced his way to fourth. Red Bull, while on the Honda engine’s cooling limits, did not have to make aerodynamic compromises with its sleek bodywork. And so it came down to the final laps with Verstappen hunting down Leclerc. Verstappen’s first attempt inside Turn 3 on lap 68 didn’t pan out. His second a lap later stuck as they banged wheels and Verstappen left Leclerc no room on the outside edge of the track. “I braked a bit deeper into the corner,” Verstappen said of his second attack. “We had a Giovinazzi scored his first points of the year in a doublepoints finish for Alfa Romeo.

little contact of course, mid to exit of the corner, but from my side I think it’s racing.” Leclerc’s view: “The only thing that changed was on the second lap there was contact, and then I had to go wide and I lost quite a bit of time there.” The FIA’s Race Director, Australian Michael Masi, referred the matter to the stewards which included nine-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner Tom Kristensen. Over three hours after the race they finally ruled that the clash was a “racing incident.” This was the third consecutive grand prix where the final race results were delayed pending a stewards’ review. Ricciardo, a lap behind the clashing leaders, had a tough weekend. “From lap 1 it was tricky and I struggled for grip,” the Perth native said of his race. “We improved as the race progressed, managed a decent stint on the softs at the end, but it was probably a bit too late. We need to figure out why this weekend was so tough. There’s stuff we can improve. I’ll look at myself and see what I can do

Pos 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Driver Max Verstappen Charles Leclerc Valtteri Bottas Sebastian Vettel Lewis Hamilton Lando Norris Pierre Gasly Carlos Sainz Jr. Kimi Raikkonen Antonio Giovinazzi Sergio Perez Daniel Ricciardo Nico Hulkenberg Lance Stroll Alexander Albon Romain Grosjean Daniil Kvyat George Russell Kevin Magnussen Robert Kubica

Car Red Bull/Honda Ferrari Mercedes Ferrari Mercedes McLaren/Renault Red Bull/Honda McLaren/Renault Alfa Romeo/Ferrari Alfa Romeo/Ferrari Racing Point/Mercedes Renault Renault Racing Point/Mercedes Toro Rosso/Honda Haas/Ferrari Toro Rosso/Honda Williams/Mercedes Haas/Ferrari Williams/Mercedes

Laps 71 71 71 71 71 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 70 69 69 68

Gap 1h22m01.822s 2.724s 18.960s 19.610s 22.805s 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 1 Lap 2 Laps 2 Laps 3 Laps

Points: Hamilton 197, Bottas 166, Verstappen 126, Vettel 123, Leclerc 105, Gasly 43, Sainz 30, Norris 22, Raikkonen 21, Ricciardo 16, Hulkenberg 16, Magnussen 14, Perez 13, Kvyat 10, Albon 7, Stroll 6, Grosjean 2, Giovinazzi 1. Constructors’: Mercedes 363, Ferrari 228, Red Bull-Honda 169, McLaren-Renault 52, Renault 32, Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 22, Racing Point-Mercedes, Toro Rosso-Honda 17, Haas-Ferrari 16.

better as well. Something wasn’t right this weekend, and (teammate) Nico (Hülkenberg) shared the same feelings too. We’ll do our best to figure it out and get on top of it.” The Renault team hopes to get the problems solved before the upcoming

British Grand Prix weekend. Which, to the relief of Ferrari and Mercedes, will be run in much cooler temperatures. Meanwhile, out in front, Mercedes had lost a grand prix for the first time since Mexico last October. Verstappen won that race as well. .


Compiled by Dan McCarthy

CHAMPIONSHIP LEADERS STRUGGLE IN PORTUGAL THREE DIFFERENT drivers with three different brands won races in the Portuguese round of WTCR on the picturesque streets of Villa Real. Norbert Michelisz won the first race in a Hyundai i30, Mikel Azcona won his first WTCR in a Cupra and Tiago Monteiro won his first race since returning to racing this year. Michelisz controlled Race 1 after leading away from pole position, the Hungarian was followed by his teammate Augusto Farfus who qualified alongside him. Michelisz was able to quickly pull away while Farfus held back the pair’s nearest challengers, Yann Ehrlacher and Rob Huff.


Due to the tight nature of the Portuguese street circuit a joker lap had been added to aid overtaking. The joker is a slightly different version of a lap, in which drivers would go the longer way around the final chicane. Both Michelisz and Farfus chose to joker as early as possible on the third lap, Ehrlacher entered the joker on the following lap, when he merged he was ahead of Farfus in second position. Ehrlacher in the Cyan Performance Lynk & Co was unable to catch Michelisz in the remaining laps finishing 2.29s adrift, Farfus completed the podium.

Hyundai were up front at Villa Real, headed by Michelisz (above).

Image: TCR Hub


THE FOURTH round of DTM took place on the famous German Norisring street circuit in which Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver Rene Rast took victory in Race 1 and BMW Team RMG driver Bruno Spengler won Race 2 on Sunday. In the opener Rene Rast claimed his third race victory of the season despite a dreadful start to his race. The former champion had not claimed a race victory on the Nuremberg streets but broke that duck in style. Rast started the race from third on the grid but stalled the car as the lights went out, the German quickly restarted his engine but had fallen to the back of the field. Muller led from pole ahead of Spengler and Philipp Eng, further back Pietro Fittipaldi was involved in an accident resulting in a safety car being called on the fourth lap. Rast along with the R-Motorsport Aston

Bruno Spengler celebrates his first win in two years.

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Martin Vantages of Daniel Juncadella and Jake Dennis stopped on the third lap just before the safety car was called, under DTM rules cars are not allowed to pit under these conditions. On the restart Rast made progress through the field and inhered the lead when everyone ahead had made there compulsory pit stops. From that point on Rast cruised to victory while fellow Audi driver Nico Muller and young BMW Joel Eriksson fought tooth and nail for second position, with Muller making a last corner manoeuvre to steal second position off the Swede. Spengler won the second race of the weekend convincingly, this was the first win for the 2012 champion in two years. Championship leader Rast started from pole and made another poor start allowing Muller and Duval through, however the trio


Monterio headed for his first victory since 2017.

Championship leader Esteban Guerrieri started 16th due to a sensor problem in qualifying, his luck did not improve in the Race 1 his Honda Civic Type R endured a misfire. In the second race Spaniard Azcona started from third but played a brilliant joker lap strategy to take his first and PWR Racing’s first WTCR race victory. Ma Qinghua started from pole and led Guerrieri, Azcona and Catsburg early. Guerrieri was first to joker on the third lap but got stuck behind Catsburg who was yet to joker, Azcona jokered on lap 4 and jumped the championship leader in the process. Ma waited until lap six to joker, as Azcona swept into a lead which he would hold until the flag. Ma finished second ahead of Guerrieri. Race 1 winner Michelisz failed to finish after incurring damage following contact with Kevin Ceccon’s Alfa Romeo. Monteiro became the 11th winner of the season, scoring a dream home victory keeping four-time World Touring Car champion Yvan Muller behind. It was an emotional win for the Portuguese

driver, his first since his return to racing this year after he recovered from serious injuries incurred in a testing crash in 2017. “God knows how much we worked for this,” said Monteiro. “The accident two years ago, you’ve no idea how hard we worked to come back. I always dreamed of this, but to actually do this it’s unbelievable.” Monteiro’s KCMG team-mate Attila Tassi led away from the pole with the Portuguese star slotting in behind. On lap 4 Monteiro took the lead when Tassi began to slow, eventually retiring from the race. That lap Muller played his joker strategy with Monteiro following suit a lap later, the former F1 driver coming out just ahead of Muller as the track merged. From there Monteiro pulled a lead to secure his first race victory in over two years, Muller held onto second ahead of his nephew Ehrlacher and Azcona. Esteban Guerrieri 231, Norbert Michelisz 207, Thed Bjork 181, Nestor Girolami 177, Mikel Azcona 169

THE OULTON Park race weekend was dominated by BMW with the German brand winning all three races, three time champion Colin Turkington took two wins, while the other was won by Stephen Jelley. In the first race Turkington started from pole and led into Turn 1, behind Andrew Jordan overtook Sam Tordoff for third nearly getting the move made on Dan Cammish for second. Cammish quickly gapped Jordan and closing on Turkington, but the Northern Irishman held on to take a well fought race victory ahead of Cammish who recorded his season best result ahead of Jordan. In the second race Turkington recorded his 50th race victory in the championship, he beat home BMW teammate Jordan by 1.229s at the line. Cammish finished just 0.6s behind Jordan in third, the 30-yearold preventing a BMW podium lock out with another BMW Tom Oliphant in fourth. “I didn’t realise this was where the stats were. For me that was a special win given

how I felt with the car,” said Turkington on taking the half century. “I was completely in the zone, every lap was as good as I could make it. It’s very rare that you finish a race and feel like that,” Jelley inherited the final race of the weekend after Jake Hill was given a postrace penalty. Hill led the opening couple of laps before Matt Neal attempted a pass on the inside, the pair made contact spinning Neal across the track. Rory Butcher pushed hard to take the lead but made a mistake and lost positions, this allowed Jelley to take second position where he would remain until the flag dropped. Hill was given a 20s post-race penalty which demoted him to 14th position. Tom Oliphant and Tordoff finished the race second and third respectively. Turkington will head to the Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit on 3–4 August with a 33 point lead over Jordan.


Rene Rast and Bruno Spengler were race winners at the Norisring.

Images: LAT

of Audi’s all ran wide at the hairpin which allowed Spengler to nip up the inside and into the race lead. Rast attempted a move around the outside of Muller at the chicane, the pair touched in the second part of the corner and left Rast facing in the wrong direction. Muller applied the pressure to leader Spengler before being called into the pit lane to serve a drive through penalty for the lap 1 incident. Once Muller stopped the Canadian could breathe putting his head down to pull out a sizable lead. Spengler pitted at the end of lap 32 and after the pit stop came under pressure from the hard charging Jamie Green who pulled of an effective undercut strategy. Once the fresher tyres came up to

temperature Spengler took off into the distance taking the win by 5.76s ahead of Green and Mike Rockenfeller. Rene Rast and Nico Muller recovered to finish seventh and eighth respectively. “This victory is really great. I already came close at Zolder, but the safety car got into our way,” said a relieved Spengler. “Today, it wasn’t needed and we won. It was great fun, the car was sensational. Compared to yesterday, we improved significantly. A cool day for us, really mega. Now, we carry the momentum.” The next round of the season takes place in the Netherlands at the famous TT Circuit Assen from July 20-21. Rene Rast 127, Nico Muller 102, Philipp Eng 101, Bruno Spengler, Marco



MAZDA TEAM JOEST waited nearly seven years for a race victory and after winning the 6 Hours of the Glen they backed it up one week later winning the SportsCar Grand Prix at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. After finishing second at Watkins Glen Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis took the race win in Canada to record a second straight 1-2 finish for the Mazda team. The pair taking the lead off teammates Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito during the final pit stops, after which the #77 DPi car controlled the the gap to win by 1.699s ahead of the #55 sister car. Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron

extended their lead in the DPi class with a fifth straight podium finish for Acura Team Penske. The last two races has seen the championship standings change drastically with the top seven teams separated by just 24 points. In the GTLM class Porsche scored a record fifth consecutive win, Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor winning at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, backing up the win of Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet at Watkins Glen. Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley took victory in the GTD class in the #96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3.




Townsville Races 17 & 18

SIX AND OUT Report: Heath McAlpine Photos: LAT/Ross Gibb/Insyde Media

TOWNSVILLE MARKS the halfway point of the Supercars Championship where title aspirations can either be enhanced or lost. Through the event’s history it has been a circuit dominated by Triple Eight Race Engineering and after a lacklustre start to the season thanks to a number of reasons, the Reid Park circuit is where the factory Holden team hoped to re-ignite its title chances just like it had done in 2019. The Red Bull Holden Racing Team were also banking on championship leader Scott McLaughlin continuing his winless streak at the venue, but the Kiwi is on top of his game and was wanting to add wins six and seven to his victory streak that kickstarted under lights in Perth. Tickford were also confident of snatching race wins at a circuit, that second to RBHRT, it had previously experienced great success and during last season’s mundane run, Townsville was one of its more consistent race weekends. Another desperate for victory was David Reynolds. He entered the round as Holden’s leading contender despite not hitting the scoreboard with a race win so far and was keen to close the everincreasing gap to DJR

Team Penske’s two duelling teammates. And he got his weekend off to the perfect start by putting the Erebus Commodore on pole. For the championship leader, it was uncharted territory as he lined up on row two alongside RBHRT’s Shane van Gisbergen, while the confidence demonstrated by Tickford came to fruition as Supercars most wanted man, Chaz Mostert sat on the outside of the front row. Title challenger Fabian Coulthard struggled with brake dramas and had it all to do from 13th. It was a frantic race start, McLaughlin made the perfect jump from third, but was boxed in by Mostert and Reynolds heading down to Turn 2, but

Tickford’s man left the door open as he challenged for the lead on the outside of Turn 3, though this failed to pay off. It was a totally opposite start for van Gisbergen after bogging down he dropped position to Will Davison and by the exit of Turn 2, teammate Jamie Whincup slotted past. Further action ensued as fastest Nissan Andre Heimgartner was among the top five battle, but contact between Cam Waters and Whincup threw the RBHRT Commodore out of shape and into the Altima. Both managed to continue with minimal loss, but each did well to keep off the concrete. The top three had now bridged a gap over the chasing Davison, who now had van Gisbergen ranging up on his bumper. The Kiwi had concerns though, first

believed to be bent steering, but though teammate Whincup relaying information back the vibrations identified were caused by a bent rim. The action was hotting up at the front as McLaughlin and Mostert battled side-byside for nearly half a lap. Starting at Turn 3, the Ford duo fought ferociously, but fairly through the back half of the circuit, even sliding together, but it was the Mostert that held his nerve. The next move to be made was by van Gisbergen on Davison with a brave pass through the sweeper and began to chase his title combatants. The 23Red racer couldn’t rest as a chasing pack led by

The action was torried both days, Coulthard fifth on Saturday and secondon Sunday.

The Red Bull Commodores were stronger on the streets of Townsville.

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Reynolds led Saturday until a slow pitstop cost him.

McLaughlin won on Saturday but it went wrong on Sunday.

Cam Waters and crew celebrate his pole position on Sunday.

Whincup had closed in. The battle of the duelling Mustangs up ahead was decided for certain this time as McLaughlin slid down the inside at Turn 3 and van Gisbergen also made an overtake later in the lap to drop Mostert down to fourth just as Whincup made his first pit stop on lap 18. It proved to be a masterstroke strategywise for RBHRT, he filled to 42L and worked the undercut perfectly as he emerged ahead of everyone, including race leader Reynolds. Another to play the undercut was Davison as he skipped Mostert, as did a recovering Coulthard. Lap 24, van Gisbergen pitted and lost position in the shuffle, though it set-up an aggressive late race charge to fourth. Mostert was clawing his way back, but the nerves within the Tickford pits may have feathered when he forcefully passed Davison through the sweeper. The 23Red Mustang was lucky not to meet the concrete, while Mostert headed towards the podium.

Tickford teammate Waters was also struggling and he was further hampered in a clash with Rick Kelly fresh after exiting pit lane at Turn 2 where he spun the Nissan and earned himself a 15s penalty. The second run of pit stops kicked off with Whincup on lap 39, but he again emerged in the lead, but only narrowly as when McLaughlin left pit lane the margin was minimal. DJR Team Penske’s leader was further aided by another wheel nut issue for Reynolds and Erebus, this came after the team had just upgraded all its equipment. The grudge match between RBHRT and DJR Team Penske continued as McLaughlin caught Whincup, but lap 50 proved crucial as the reigning champion moved down the inside at the final corner and was never headed. Mostert was next to pressurise Whincup, but it was in vain meaning the podium was sorted. Fourth was still up for negotiating, but van Gisbergen made it certain at Turn 10 on the final lap in what was a good

Reynolds’ chance of victory on Sunday ended early after a controversial clash with McLaughlin. recovery, as was Coulthard’s from 13th. Now sitting at six wins in a row, McLaughlin would be excused to be very confident in adding number seven on Sunday, but things went pear-shaped. From second on the grid it appeared a near certainty with his recent track record, but Waters snatched pole in the shootout, of which his teammate Mostert failed to qualify for, as did Whincup. Reynolds lined up third alongside Todd Hazelwood in a return to form as his driving future at Matt Stone Racing is coming into question. It didn’t get off to the best start for the 2017 Super2 series winner as he was slow away on the warm up lap, but he was second once Mostert was a factor on both days, third on Saturday, fofth on Sunday.

Biffo cost the points leader a seventh win in a row.

Whincup got it all wrong in the rain and damage put him out.

clear of Turn 2 in the damp conditions. So, what about the drivers in between? Well, in what was a well debated incident, Reynolds took a chance on the approach to Turn 2, but was squeezed and collided with the rear of DJR Team Penske Mustang. Broken steering was the result for Reynolds and a puncture for McLaughlin. Waters out front was off, 2s clear after the opening lap and Mostert through the Turn 2 kafuffle had climbed 10 positions. What is rarely witnessed is a flustered DJR Team Penske squad, but when McLaughlin came into to change his puncture, a decision had failed to be made between slicks and wets further delaying the champion. With Waters running into the distance, Coulthard and co were desperate to pass De Pasquale led his first Supercars race in the rain on Sunday.




Townsville Races 17 & 18

Sunday’s race delivered one of the most entertaining Supercars races for some time, with action aplenty throughout the field. In the end Van Gisbergen came out of top with a well judged drive from Coulthard and pole-sitter Waters. There was drama late race when a refuelling mishaps caused a massive fire in the BJR pits and set Percat’s Commodore alight.

Hazelwood and did so on lap 3, as did van Gisbergen. Mostert was continuing to impress, lapping 0.3s faster per sector than the cars in front, meaning he caught van Gisbergen up quickly. James Courtney had started in the top 10, but a gamble on wets proved wrong and he fell down the order significantly, though the weather played a significant part from then on. Whincup was one of the first to pit again, but as the rain started to fall he had slicks fitted, as did the majority of the field, while Coulthard overtook Waters in the pit lane to snatch the lead before the race headed towards an interruption. A rare mistake from Whincup severely dented his RBHRT Commodore and his title aspirations. He clipped the kerb at Turn 6, which flicked the car into the concrete wall on the other side of the circuit and when driving to the pits was forced to stop due to low oil pressure. Again, at the ensuing pit stops teams fitted slicks except for Erebus, which gambled on Anton De Pasquale’s car with wets. It proved a spirited decision. McLaughlin had pitted for the second time during the safety car period for 97L of fuel, dropping him a lap down, but he was the second car in the queue. The restart was routine except for McLaughlin as it was envisioned, he’d pass his teammate to regain the lap, but he struggled for pace and fell behind Waters. Racing in the mid-pack was robust, but for the second time during the weekend Heimgartner was tapped, but it was more definite as Mark Winterbottom locked up and slammed the rear of the Altima, while Davison had nowhere to go and nudged the front. A pit lane penalty was

h handed out to Winterbottom. Through the fracas, Hazelwood ha had a puncture, but the big winners we were Garry Jacobson and Simona De Silvestro emerging in seventh an and eighth, respectively. W Waters returned to the lead on lap 31 31, completing a pass at Turn 2, but the rain was coming. The first of the lleaders ea to pit was van Gisbergen, qu quickly followed by Waters and Co Coulthard, handing De Pasquale a 336s lead. The crucial thing being that those that had just pitted had tha achieved the required fuel drop, ac but not De Pasquale nor Mostert. bu TThe conditions now were treacherous with many drivers tre going off including the leaders g aas the Supercars were more like boats in the monsoonal rain, but b the race was about to fire uup. First was Jacobson. His engine cried enough and spectacularly lit up causing a safety car, which allowed De Pasquale to put the required amount of fuel in, ditto Mostert setting up what appeared to be a close finale. However, it wasn’t to be. In the pit flurry a fuel coupling issue at Brad Jones Racing resulted in a dangerous spill, which set the pit area and rear of Nick Percat’s car alight. The fast thinking from fellow teams meant the damage was limited, but it was a scary moment regardless. As time certain grew near it was confirmed that the race was to finish under safety car with van Gisbergen winning ahead of Coulthard, Waters and De Pasquale. A struggling McLaughlin was 11th after a 15s penalty was applied to Heimgartner for tipping Courtney into a spin. So, what affect does this have on the championship? The margin is 292-points between McLaughlin and Coulthard, while van Gisbergen climbs to a distant third. Onwards to Ipswich.

RACE RESULTS RACE 17 70 LAPS 1 Scott McLaughlin Ford 70 laps 2 Jamie Whincup Holden +4.703s 3 Chaz Mostert Ford +7.357s 4 Shane van Gisbergen Holden +10.053s 5 Fabian Coulthard Ford +10.698s 6 David Reynolds Holden +17.536s 7 Will Davison Ford +24.140s 8 Nick Percat Holden +27.491s 9 Mark Winterbottom Holden +42.898s 10 Lee Holdsworth Ford +43.639s 11 Anton De Pasquale Holden +48.383s 12 Andre Heimgartner Nissan +51.854s 13 James Courtney Holden +53.249s 14 Todd Hazelwood Holden +62.131s 15 James Golding Holden +62.881s 16 Tim Slade Holden +64.199s 17 Rick Kelly Nissan +64.766s 18 Macauley Jones Holden +68.310s 19 Simona De Silvestro Nissan 69 laps 20 Scott Pye Holden 69 laps 21 Cameron Waters Ford 69 laps 22 Michael Caruso Holden 69 laps 23 Jack Le Brocq Holden 69 laps 24 Garry Jacobson Nissan 69 laps FASTEST LAP Scott McLaughlin 1m 13.3699s

▲2 ▲4 ▼1 0 ▲8 ▼5 ▼2 ▲3 ▲1 ▼3 ▲1 ▼4 ▲4 0 ▲7 0 ▼2 ▲5 ▼1 ▼1 ▼ 12 ▲2 ▼2 ▼4

RACE RESULTS RACE 18 64 LAPS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 NC NC NC

Shane van Gisbergen Fabian Coulthard Cameron Waters Anton De Pasquale Chaz Mostert Rick Kelly James Golding Lee Holdsworth Michael Caruso Simona De Silvestro Scott McLaughlin Tim Slade James Courtney Jack Le Brocq Scott Pye Todd Hazelwood Macauley Jones Andre Heimgartner Nick Percat David Reynolds Will Davison Garry Jacobson Mark Winterbottom Jamie Whincup

Holden Ford Ford Holden Ford Nissan Holden Ford Holden Nissan Ford Holden Holden Holden Holden Holden Holden Nissan Holden Holden Ford Nissan Holden Holden

64 laps +0.784s +1.444s +2.045s +2.810s +4.268s +4.682s +5.341s +7.234s +9.466s +10.242s 24.260s 63 laps 63 laps 63 laps 63 laps 63 laps 63 laps 60 laps 60 laps 51 laps 59 laps 47 laps 18 laps

▲5 ▲3 ▼2 ▲3 ▲ 11 ▲9 ▲ 13 0 ▲ 15 ▲ 13 ▼9 ▼3 ▼3 ▲7 ▼ 12 ▼ 12 ▲2 ▼7 ▼6 ▼ 17 ▼7 0 ▼5 ▼ 12

FASTEST LAP Scott McLaughlin 1m 13.7448s Points: McLaughlin 2168, Coulthard 1876, van Gisbergen 1669, Mostert 1640, Reynolds 1634, Whincup 1528, Waters 1396, Percat 1321, Davison 1274, Holdsworth 1224, De Pasquale 1200, Slade 1149, Courtney 1123, Winterbottom 1093, Heimgartner 1076, Pye 973, Hazelwood 937, Kelly 927, Golding 875, De Silvestro 838, Jones 675, Le Brocq 667, Jacobson 623, Stanaway 482, Smith 219, Pither 159, Caruso 123, Blanchard 93

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Super 2 Townsville Round 3

FULLWOOD’S SUPER TWO Report: Garry O’Brien Images: Ross Gibb/Insyde Media

TWO RACE wins out of two in the Dunlop Super 2 Series at Townsville has further enhanced Bryce Fullwood’s points lead after the third round. Fullwood took away the maximum 300 points in his Matt White Motorsport prepared Nissan Altima. Second overall was Tim Blanchard make a guest return in a Brad Jones Racing Holden Commodore VF to chalk up some kilometres before the enduros. Third at the end of the weekend was Triple 8 Commodore driver Kurt Kostecki ahead of his team mate Brenton Grove. Meanwhile Zane Goddard’s fifth ensured MWM maintained a one-two in the series with a healthy advantage as several major players had dramas. The numbers were down slightly with Matt Stone Racing running just the one Commodore for third in the series Ash Walsh. Kostecki Brothers Racing slotted Jake Kostecki into his cousin Brodie’s VF while his own is undergoing conversion to ZB for the enduros. A powerful first race start put Thomas Randle straight into the lead from the second row in his Tickford Racing Ford Falcon FG/X, ahead of pole sitter Kurt Kostecki, Blanchard and Fullwood. ood. There was congestion to turn two on the first occasion with several involved in a melee that brought about a safety car. Dylan O’Keeffe (Garry Rogers Motor VF) was deemed to have triggered it, turning around Will Brown (Eggleston Motorsport VF). There were several others caught out as result with both his EM team mates Jack Perkins and Justin Ruggier impeded while Mason Barbera (GRM Thomas Randle won Saturday’s race on the road but was penalised for restart infringements, which he repeated on Sunday.

Br Fullwood went back-to-back in his MWM Nissan in Townsville, extending his series points Bryce lea lead. Kurt Kostecki scored a pole position with his Triple Eight Commodore for Saturday’s race.

VF), Ash Walsh (Matt Stone Racing VF) VF) and Jordan Boys (Image Racing VF) were out. There would be a second safety car some laps later when Jake Kostecki stopped at pit entrance with no drive. After the second resumption, Fullwood worked through to second which would become the win after first-across-theline Randle was penalised 50s. On both restarts Randle was deemed to have

g gone before the green flags. B Behind Blanchard, Fullwood, and an Goddard, Grove finished fifth fift ahead of Adam Marjoram (IM VF), Jack Smith (BJR VF) and Tyler Tyl Everingham (MWM Altima). At the second race start, A Fullwood Ful was second initially, beaten bea away by Blanchard who wh started on the front row alongside alon pole sitter Jake Kostecki. Kos The latter had a shocking getaway and was seventh at the end of the first lap. The safety car again appeared on lap one when Boys was caught out as a result of three-way contact that also involved Brown and Matt Chahda (FG/X). Boys was stopped at turn two with rear suspension damage. After the resumption Walsh who had climbed to tenth, was clipped by

Ruggier at turn 13 and spun. Ruggier would be penalised post-race as a result. Then Chahda lost his rear wing (a result of damage from the opening lap) at the fastest point of the track and crashed just after the Turn 1 kink. Fullwood executed a masterly move on Blanchard at turn two after the resumption to grab the lead. Grove followed Fullwood through one corner later at turn three to assume second for the duration. “I saw that Tim (Blanchard) had been braking a little early there and I thought would have a go,” Fullwood said later. Behind Blanchard it was Kurt Kostecki ahead of Goddard, Marjoram, Randle, Perkins, Brown and Smith. Randle was again the wars regarding restarts. This time it was for overlapping before the final corner (turn 13) on the second occasion and he was relegated to 15th.

Carrera Cup Townsville Round 5


Report: Dan McCarthy Images: Insyde Media

COOPER MURRAY at just 17-years-old has become the youngest Porsche Carrera Cup Australia round and race winner, the McElrea Racing driver taking a clean sweep of the event taking all three race victories. It was another consistent weekend for Dale Wood who finished second for the round having finished inside the top four in all three racing and thus extending his championship lead. Supercars co-driver Warren Luff finished equal second on round points, but Wood took second as he finished higher in the final race. It was a weekend in which records were broken and it began in qualifying with Roger Lago taking pole position, becoming the first Pro-Am driver to take pole position in a single driver event. Unfortunately Lago did not hold the lead for long, Murray starting alongside him led into the first turn. Lago held second ahead of Luff and Wood, the pair making slight nose to tail contact at Turn 2. In the early laps Wood and Luff swapped and

changed position multiple times in the battle for third with Luff coming out on top. Despite racing against drivers in a different class Lago still wanted a solid outright result, on lap 7 the Queenslander was defending hard to keep the Pro drivers at bay. A shallow line into the Turn 7 and 8 chicane allowed Luff, Wood and Almond through. Jordan Love attempted a move on the inside of Lago at the final turn but was hit and spun by Thomas Maxwell resulting in a penalty for the young Northern Territorian. Reigning Bathurst 1000 champion Steven Richards got caught up in the drama but escaped undamaged. From there the race settled down with Murray taking the win by 6.5s ahead of Luff. South Australian Michael Almond overtook Wood for third, while Lago came home fifth. The second race of the weekend was the longer Endurance Cup race, Murray once again made a great jump and led through the opening sequence of turns. Nick

Gilbertson leads the Pro-Am class, here battling with Talbot.

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Dale Wood and Warren Luff battled hard for second but had no answer for Cooper Murray. McBride climbed up from eighth to fifth in the opening laps as the race quickly settled into a rhythm. After starting from fifth Lago was beaten from pillar to post and by lap 6 was fighting fellow Pro-Am class driver Anthony Gilbertson, with the latter making the overtake the following lap into Turn 3. As the race approached half distance Luff dropped back from the rear of Murray and into the clutches of Almond, on lap 15 the Sonic Racing driver made his move to take second position. After taking second Almond couldn’t pull away from the McElrea Racing driver and a six car train developed containing Almond, Luff, Wood, McBride, David Wall and Love who was recovering after starting from twelfth position. Love was on a charge dispatching of Wall and attempted to make a solid pass on McBride but could not make a move stick. Murray out front took a truly dominant victory by 11.4s, the biggest winning margin on the Reid Park Street Circuit beating his previous day’s record. Almond

held onto second ahead of Luff with Gilberton winning the Pro-Am category. In the final race it was Almond who made the best start and led into the Turn 1, however Murray launched his #36 Cup car up the inside to retake the lead into the next turn. Almond lost momentum and was swamped as a result. At Turn 3 Wood made an aggressive move on Luff for second which also allowed Love and Cameron Hill through. On the second lap Richards’ catastrophic season went from bad to worse, the former Carrera Cup Champion retiring from the race after contact with Race 2 Pro-Am winner Gilbertson. Scott Taylor and Sam Shahin could not find a way through the incident but both continued damage free but a safety car was called to remove the #12 Porsche. On the restart Wood in second position had to defend off his younger teammate Love on the approach to the second turn. Almond was recovering after losing positions on lap 1 taking sixth position he then set about catching

Luff further up the road. Leader Murray was pushing to create a gap and ran through the grass at the turn 7 and 8 chicane but remained out front this was to be his only mistake of the weekend. On the final lap Luff applied the pressure to Hill for fourth position but Hill defended well to hold onto the position. Despite the late off Murray held on to win the race and the round, to become the fifth round winner in the five rounds this season. Wood came home second to claim second for the round, while Love came home in third. Tim Miles became the third ProAm race winner in as many races and in doing so won the round in class. Points Outright: Dale Wood 724, Warren Luff 541, Nick McBride 530, Michael Almond 525, Jordan Love 523 Points Pro-Am: Anthony Gilbertson 671, Roger Lago 658, Sam Shahin 551, Liam Talbot 548, Adrian Flack 494

Townsville SUPPORTS


BROOK STAMPS HIS AUTHORITY Brook scored two wins; further back there was the usual action. Report: Dan McCarthy Images: Ross Gibb/Insyde Media

TIM BROOK took victory in the second round of the Toyota 86 series around the Reid Park Street Circuit in Townsville claiming two of the weekend’s three races. Dylan Thomas won his maiden Toyota 86 race giving the #27 Toyota 86 driver second place overall for the round ahead of guest driver Steve Owen who rounded out the podium scoring three third place finishes. Thomas qualified on pole with the reigning champion Brook alongside him on the front row. Two Queenslanders qualified on the second row, Owen ahead of Luke van Herwaarde (Vanna). Thomas and Brook made an even jump away from the line but Thomas broke later into Turn 2 and held onto first position. The first lap was almost completed trouble free before Emily Duggan lost the rear of her Toyota throwing her nose first into the pit wall, the safety car was called to recover her vehicle. The race resumed on lap six with Brook defending into the second turn to keep the former Bathurst 1000 podium place getter at bay. Further back Jaiden Maggs and former V8 Ute Champion David Sieders made heavy contact at Turn 2 resulting in the safety car returning to the circuit. Brook made a much better restart the

second time around but was still not close enough to attempt a move on the leader. The top 3 remained close for the rest of the race but Thomas held the lead to take his first victory from Brook and Owen, the trio separated by less than a second at the finish line. The second race of the weekend marked the 50th race of the Australian Toyota 86 Series. Once again it was Thomas who led from Brook and Owen around the opening corners, however just behind Declan Fraser overtook Vanna for fourth. As they started the fourth lap Brook was hot on the heels of Thomas and made an affective move up the inside at Turn 2 to take the lead. The following lap the safety car was called following an incident between Richard Peasey and Alec Morse. When the race restarted Vanna and Fraser battled side by side for half a lap with Fraser holding onto the position. As the sun set the race came to an end with Brook beating Thomas by 1.7s with Owen in third. Luke King came from ninth on the grid to finish the race in fourth

ahead of Fraser and Vanna. The third and final race ran smoothly with no safety cars called during the encounter. As the lights went out Brook from pole made a great start and completed the opening lap ahead of Thomas, Owen and King. Into the final corner on the second lap Owen took second place and allowed King to draw level with Thomas down the pit straight as they began the third lap. Owen had a slow exit out of Turn 3 which borked Thomas and allowed King to swing around the outside at Turn 5. King remained on the back of Owen and on lap 6 he made his move, getting a good run around the fast Turn 10 King made his move up the inside into Turn 11. From there King put his head down as he tried to catch the man who beat him to the 2018 title, the #2 began taking chunks out of the Brook’s lead, but ran out of laps. Brook took his second race win of the weekend and with it the round, King came home second ahead of Owen, Thomas and Fraser.


*Express Orders available via UPS *Huge Catalogue range of race parts to choose from *Technical support second to none

Report: Garry O’Brien Image: Insyde Media

FOR THE second round in a row, it was Cameron Crick on the Townsville podium top step in the ECB SuperUtes series, winning the weekend ahead of Ryal Harris and Toby Price. The fourth round had nine entries, but only eight made it to qualifying after Madison Dunstan crashed her Holden Colorado in the first practice session. Craig Woods had a similar drama in session two, but his Toyota Hilux was repaired in time for the grid decider where Crick (Mitsubishi Triton) scored his second pole on the trot. Crick had a runaway win in race one where his team mate Price finished second. But Price had a tougher run, just holding out Harris (Mazda BT50) and series leader Tom Alexander (Isuzu D-MAX). There was a gap to Toyota Hilux team mates Ben Walsh and Woods who were split by 0.59s. Craig Thompson (Hilux) was just in front of Chris Formosa (Ford Ranger) with the pair well clear of Dunstan. In the reverse grid race two, Harris warded off Alexander for a narrow win. Walsh was holding out Crick for third until a spin. The latter was lucky to avoid an impact as Price passed them both for third

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6 Cronulla Court, Slacks Creek, Q 4127 PWA: 07 3808 1986 QSS: 07 3808 4333 with Crick and Walsh the next two. Thompson and Formosa were disputing sixth where there was contact at turn 11. Formosa spun as Thompson continued but he was penalised 15s and placed seventh ahead of Dunstan. Woods was a retiree when he lost his front brakes. Crick controlled race three from the outset and crossed the line 2.4s ahead of Harris with Price a similar distance away in third. Alexander was a lonely fourth, once he was able to clear Walsh. The latter then had to fend off Woods with a tight 0.18s between them at the flag. Ahead of Dunstan, Formosa and Thompson had another incident with Formosa docked 15s when they contacted at turn 13.



p ra w S L NATIONA DALTON AND MOSCATT COME GOOD IN THE BAY IT SEEMED like nobody wanted to win the AMH Automotive Rally of the Bay, around Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast. After a series of niggling issues in the first part aboard their Ford Fiesta, Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt were flying in the end to take out the event on June 29. Second went to veterans Richard Shimmon/ Jim Gleeson (Mitsubishi EVO 7) from locals Gavin Croker and Brad Fitzgerald (EVO 3). First of the 2WDs were Tony Sullens and Katie Newell (Citroen DS3) and heading the Classics were Luke Sytema and Adam Wright in a Ford Escort. The combined NSW/Victorian Championship round (the fourth for both) had an entry of 65 cars. Stage One saw the demise of a fancied runners Glenn Raymond and Kate Catford (Mitsubishi EVO 9) who were out right near the start of the stage, meeting a big tree head-on and damaging the car heavily. They’d won the first three rounds of the NSW series and were looking a good chance for the championship. The stage went to Arron Windus and Daniel Brkic (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) from Tom Clarke and Nathan Long (EVO 9).

By taking Stage Two, Tristan Kent and Anna Ritson (EVO 9) grabbed the rally lead over Clarke, before the next stage had to be cancelled when Kent crashed and blocked the road. The 45km fourth stage was the event’s longest and as dramatic as the first two. Clarke crashed out heavily. An oil leak in the cabin caused his foot to slip off the brake pedal and they had a monumental crash into a bank. Windus went out as well, less dramatically, with mechanical issues. JJ Hatton and Nathan Long endured a tough day too, breaking the rear sub-frame in their Hyundai i20 before losing fuel pressure and then the brakes later on. Dalton took the stage, winning the long run by 25s from Croker and maintained that pace to take out the last two stages. It was Dalton who said it was like nobody wanted to win. “I had some trouble early on. Just little things like sensors.” Darren Windus and Joe Brkic (VW Polo) were the Hino Geelong VRC winners ahead of Wayne Stewart and Tony Robinson (WRX), pipping 2WD victors Sytema/Wright by 6s. Bruce Moxon

CURTIS/ TRAYNOR HOLD ON AT PORT GERMEIN ONCE THEY hit the front, Matt Curtis and Brad Traynor (GCR Rhino/Nissan) were unstoppable and took r Image: David Batchelo a narrow win in the Guidolin Carpentry SGORA 200, run in toy out for a while. almost ideal conditions on June 22-23 at Mark Alvino and Jason Hannig Port Germein. (Southern Cross/Mitsubishi) were eighth Todd Lehmann and Aaron Bermingham followed by Performance 2WD winners led the SA Off Road Club Series third Bryan Brown, Chris Pickert and Andy round early on Saturday, but rolled on the Maxwell (Mitsubishi Triton/Holden V8). final lap of section two. This gave Curtis a Rounding out the top 10 were Super 1650 small lead when they set out on Sunday winners Justin Battersby and Jacinta and he held on to beat Jason Peel and Harness (Rimco/Toyota). William Young (Element Gangster/Chev) Having their first hit out in the by less than a minute. Southern Cross/Nissan, Adam Bierl and Chris and Colin Johnson (Custom/ Nyree Burmingham were setting some Nissan) continued the good form they competitive times until they rolled it onto have shown and picked up another its side in front of the spectator mound. podium finish. Toby Whateley and Simon It was good to see Hadyn and Neil Herrmann (Can-Am Maverick) were next Vanstone finish in their resurrected Super home only seconds behind. Hamish 1650 which had been incinerated in a big Lochert was having a steer in the Rich crash almost 12 months ago. Nev Day Andrews’ S&S Woftam/Nissan and had Danny Tulla along in his Mantiss/ finished a creditable fifth with the Andrews Mitsubishi but it was a short ride for them sisters Jamie and Lauren sharing the silly with the gearbox expiring. seat. A throttle position sensor ended a Next were Adrian Gardiner and Harvey good run for Andy and Fletcher Murdock Woodforde (BRB/Honda) shadowing (Element Prodigy/Chev) before they could Lochert home. There was a bit of a gap even get started on Sunday. Mud patches back to Sam Gadaleta and Brendon on Saturday caused dramas for some, a Johns (Jimco/Chev) but it was a good few dropping out with misfires. showing given that Sam hasn’t had the David Batchelor

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AUTY EXTENDS LEAD A AMAZING AN ffifth outright in tthe Subaru Rally Tasmania saw T Tasmanian Rally T Championship C sseries leaders Tim Auty and Jon T Mitchell tighten ttheir grip on the title with another strong w performance in their p Mazda 323 GTR. The third round of both the Australian and Tasmanian championships attracted good fields for both, pleasing rally officials after the second round of the local series was cancelled due to a lack of entries. Auty and Mitchell were on the pace from the outset, and posted fastest times on the second and third stages. The opening stage was downgraded due to a roadside car fire in the Falcon of Kevin Raedel and Amanda Ramia. Reigning champions Bodie Reading and Mark Young (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) were very quick, claiming fastest times on stages four, five and six, before a failed rear differential. Fellow competitor Mark Butcher loaned his road-going Subaru for its rear diff for the following day’s second heat. With Reading and Young’s demise, Auty were able to win the remaining four stages to claim a dominant day one heat victory. Kurt Wyllie and Damien Roach (Subaru Impreza WRX Sti) finished almost 4mins behind in second, with Nic Grave and

Image: Angryman Photography Craig Sheehan (Subaru Impreza RS) third outright, a further 56s behind and winners in the one-make Buckby Motors Subaru RS Challenge. Reading started the second day in style, fastest on the first of six stages. Auty won the second stage, while Reading bounced back to win the next two, claiming the fourth stage at South Retreat by just half a second from Auty. Reading also won the next stage, while Auty took the final stage after swapping second and third fastest times with Wyllie in a number of earlier stages. Reading claimed the overall heat victory by 2mins 53s from Wyllie, with Auty a further 1min 29s behind. Meanwhile, Danny Traverso and Andy Sarandis, who finished a consistent fifth in both heats, consolidated their lead in the Subaru RS Challenge, with their fifth outright placing translating to a third and a second in the class. Martin Agatyn

Richie Dalton took his G4 Ford Fiesta to victory in Batemans Bay. Image: Bruce Moxon

TIGHT RALLY GOES TO THE WIRE IN ONE of the tightest contest ever seen in the South Australian Rally Championship, Zayne Admiraal and Matthew Heywood won the Copyworld Walky 100 in very trying weather conditions on June 29. In their Subaru Impreza WRX STi, they were just 4.4s ahead of Declan Dwyer and Craig Adams (Mitsubishi EVO 6) with Jamie Pohlner and Ken Moore (WRX) finishing third. South West Stages winner Aaron Bowering was reunited with navigator Nathan Lowe for the first time since 2017 and took the opening stage just in front of five-time winner Dwyer, Admiraal and Pohlner. Admiraal won the longer, muddier second stage with Pohlner the closest. As the rain began to fall hard on stage three, Bowering again topped the times, leaving only 12s between the top four. On a wetter and slipperier stage four, Pohlner and Dwyer were inseparable with Admiraal and Bowering just behind. The last repeat stage before lunch was won by Dwyer, by the slimmest of margins and leaving

Image: Tim Allott


Image: Stuart Daddow only 5s between the top four. The battle continued over the next two stages, and even though the margins were small, Dwyer looked like he might be doing enough to win for the fourth year in a row. Bowering fought back on stage nine to keep it tight, but the first night stage is where disaster struck for him. He was sidelined for a period and limped in 18mins over. Admiraal began his charge for the lead, winning the stage by 3s. Dwyer again ran faster in the next stage, however he still couldn’t create enough separation from the Admiraal and Pohlner to be comfortable. On the final stage, Admiraal outpaced the rest to take the win over Dwyer and the also take the lead in points score. Rob Hunt and Jeremy Browne (EVO 6) finished fourth outright ahead of Paul Knopka and Neil Branum (WRX), while the best placed of the Classics were Wayne and David Langfield (Ford Escort) in sixth. Bowering ultimately finished 15th. Stuart Daddow

IN TORRENTIAL conditions Mark Greenham and Stephanie Esterbauer won the GT Fabrication Targa Bunbury Sprint on June 23. Three years earlier they shut the event down after crashing into two power poles, one of which was broken in two and resulted in a power outage for half of Bunbury, including the hospital where they were taken. Held in the Bunbury city centre, the event saw 103 cars taking part, competing four runs clockwise and four run anti-clockwise over the 4km course. Competitors were seeded and split into two groups, even numbers and odd numbers. The heavy rain persisted through most all of the odd-numbered runs, while the even numbers were luckier with drier roads. Of the top 20, just six were in odd-numbered cars. Finishing second, less than 7s behind the winning Mitsubishi EVO 9, were Paul Brockbank and Josh Gardiner (EVO 6). Third place went

to Will White and Matt Thompson EVO 9), just 15s behind the winners. Behind the trio of EVOs came Paul and Katie Oxley in their Subaru Impreza WRX STi while fifth spot went to Bill and Glenys Stagoll (EVO 9), ahead of Keian Guy and Jacob Zurzolo (WRX). In sixth spot was the best of the 2WD entries, Aaron and Doug Stevenson in their Holden HSV VY Maloo R8. Neil Herbert and Tsung Lee (WRX), and Cody Harris and Alex Butler (EVO) finished eighth and ninth respectively, ahead of Steven Trupin and Daniel Gregory who were second in 2WD aboard their Holden R8 Clubsport. Racing the clock once wasn’t enough for Mark Cates who entered his brand new Porsche GT3 RS and a Holden Torana A9X. With Todd Haffner alongside, he finished 32nd in the Porsche, and 47th in the A9X co-driven by Peter Davies. . GOB



NATIONALS wrap n compiled by garry o’brie co


Image: Ian Colley

IT WAS a second-in-a-row success for Dean Tighe when he took out the third round of the Carric Accounting & Business Services/Tighe Cams Queensland Hillclimb Series at Mt Cotton on June 22-23. Round two victor Tighe didn’t hit the course at all for the first four runs and then only ran it four times, three of which were faster than anyone else. His FTD in the F1 Judd V8 engined Dallara was 36.69s, which was a new Formula Libre over 1301cc class record. Second best was class rival Michael Von Rappard in his supercharged Dallara/Hayabusa over a second and half away. Third went to Jim Milliner (Formula Libre under 1.3-litre OMS 2000M) while round one winner Warwick Hutchinson (OMS 28 RPV03 turbo) finished third in over 1.3-litre and fourth outright.

The next three were from the under 1300cc class, steered by Paul van Wijk (OMS Hornet), Matt Read (Readster MTR1) and David Quelch (Honda DPQ Special). The 2018 title winner Greg Tebble (Group R Van Diemen FF2000) was eighth ahead of David Homer (Grp A GAE001 turbo) and Doug Daniel (Nu Tec Formula Libre). Open wheelers filled the top 10 positions with 11th going to the Production Sports Cars Toyota MR1 piloted by Michael Larymore. Next was Ross Mackay (Ford Escort Sports Sedan) ahead of Sebastian Black (Subaru Impreza WRX). As usual, the meeting ended with the top six shootout. Tighe went even quicker by 0.16s and Milliner and Hutchinson also found a little more pace although none of these times counted towards the overall result.

MINI HAY WIN Image: Bob Taylor

MCMAHON BACK-TO-BACK FTD DAVID MAHON put himself in a solid position to take out the Winter Cup at Collingrove Hillclimb after posting FTD on June 23. After the cancellation of the first round, the most recent effort for the Dallara F394 driver backed up his fastest time at the same venue in May. At both events McMahon beat Derek Foster in his White Suzuki. Split by 0.21s at round two, the margin was more pronounced this time. Although faster, White was 1.11s adrift of Mahon’s best of 29.15s.

Third overall was Gavin Farley (Mitsubishi EVO 7), the best of the tin tops again, ahead of fourth placed John Davies (EVO 8) and Gary Donald (Subaru Impreza WRX). The three posted times under 34s while the next best was Paul Keen (EVO 7) in front of Alex Wilson (Audi A4 Quattro). Still coming to grips with the fearsome O2L Formula Libre Cheap BOSS was David Whiteside, who was eighth fastest ahead of Tom Schaefer (WRX) and 10th placed Allan Nitschle in a Mitsubishi Cordia.

BROTHERS BAG PI 600 THE BROTHERS Grant and Iain Sherrin were the winners of the Australian Production Car Series second round at Phillip Island on June 29-30. They placed seventh in the first leg in their Class A1 BMW M4 before victory in the second for overall outright honours over Dimitri Agathos and Matt Boylan (B1 Subaru Impreza WRX STi) and Anthony Soole and Andrew Fisher (A1 M4) tied on equal second. The two scheduled 300km races of the Phillip Island 600 couldn’t have been more contrasting, with Saturday’s held in wet conditions and Sunday’s in the dry. The form book went right out with the first one.

Zac Best (Mitsubishi EVO 9) set the pace ahead of Aaron Cameron (C2 Toyota 86) with Boylan third ahead of Cem Yucel (C1 VW Golf R), Nathan Callaghan (AM1 HSV Clubsport) and Sherrin. Soole was recovering in seventh, having been stranded on the grid at the start. The safety car which came out just after half distance to salvage the Lindsay Kearns/Coleby Cowhan A2 Ford Mustang at MG, triggered many to make a compulsory pitstop. After the second stops, it was Ellexander Best in front. But she would be hunted down by Agathos who was first to greet the chequered flag. However

FORMER IMPROVED Production racer Tony Wallis only needed one fastest time to win his first Hay Mini Nationals on June 9. In very dusty conditions, Wallis finished half a second ahead of fellow South Australian and nine-time winner Declan Dwyer, in turn 0.72s in front of three-time winner Kelvin Goldfinch (NSW), all driving Mini Mokes. In a Mini Clubman S, NSW’s Brock Heydon was fourth, followed by Victoria’s Simon Kerr (Cooper S). Less than five seconds covered the top 10, which included four previous winners. The motorkhana, held just outside of the NSW town of Hay, attracted 110 entries, including 11 rookies and 24 juniors, the third-largest field in the event’s 52 years. Competition consisted of six lanes on dirt,

each test contested twice, with only the fastest of each run counting. The next generation showed great form, Goldfinch’s daughter Emma’s 17th and fastest lady taking the Mary Hill Trophy, Wallis’s son Ed finishing 20th to win the Future Champion Trophy, and Dwyer’s 12-year-old son Josh winning the Rookie Award in 53rd outright. Wallis had won the Rookie Award 22 years ago. The GB Staunton Award team’s trophy went to Mini Club of NSW for the 25th time. Hay Heroes, a separate knock-out slalom watched by over 1000 spectators under floodlights on Saturday night, was won by NSW’s Cooper Ellis for the third successive time, just edging out Simon Kerr of Victoria. Victorian Declan Webb took Junior Hay Heroes from Ed Wallis. John Lemm

Competitors had to deal with usual feathered obstacles at The Island.

Images: Rebecca Thompson the Subaru team would be penalised two laps for not undertaking their CPS correctly. The race was called nine laps short due to Klae Eckhardt giving the BMW 135i he shared with David Ayres, and the turn three tyre barrier a workover. The Bests were the winners ahead of Yucel/Ian Salteri, Soole/Andrew Fisher, Callaghan/Chris Lillis, Cameron/ Kyle Gurton, Agathos/Boylan, the Sherrins, Frank Mammarella/Kade Olson (Hyundai i30N) and Carr/ Jarvis. Soole passed Salteri and then Ellexandera Best to lead race two, holding the lead until black flagged for leaking fuel, after which it was Iain Sherrin in front. The safety car emerged on lap 30, and again it was

the Mustang that had speared off, in the run to Lukey Heights. With the first pitstop done, the Sherrins had effectively put a lap on the whole field by not taking on fuel. Only the team’s other car, the repaired Eckhardt/Ayres 135i remained on the same lap, and only because it hadn’t stop. But they were black flagged for passing under yellows. After the second stops, the Subaru was back on the lead lap. Then seemingly with only the finish line ahead and over half a minute’s advantage, the Sherrin BMW suffered a couple of limp mode issues. Resets got them to the line with a 22.7s advantage over Boylan with Carr/Jarvis also on the lead lap and


SIX DRIVERS scored clean sweeps at Morgan Park where 12 categories competed in eight groups at the Queensland Motor Race Championships on June 29-30.


BY TAKING out the four races, Cam Wilson put himself back into serious points calculations for the series that boasted seven debutants at this round. First up, he was a comfortable winner over David Wood while Cameron Bartholomew edged out Kyle Evans for third. In race two Wood plummeted to 18th while Bartholomew pipped Evans and Tyrone Gautier. Race three was Wilson’s closest where he was just 0.4s ahead of Gautier. Bartholomew again narrowly denied Evans a top three before the latter got his revenge in the last, just in front of Bartholomew and Gautier.


PORSCHE RULED at round three, or rather Wayne Hennig in his 997 Cup Car did with four wins. In the opener he beat Jeff Hume (Ginetta G50), Joe Barbagallo (Porsche) and Lachlan

Harburg (997). Fifth and sixth was tight between Terry Knight and Nick Marentis in their IROC Porsches. Hume was again second in the next, clear of Barbagallo. Harburg was fourth ahead of Chris Hatfield (RCR T70 Spyder) and Marentis was the best of the IROCs. Barbagallo was second just ahead of Harburg and Hume in race three before the latter came back for second in the last. Behind Barbagallo was Hatfield while Knight scored another couple of IROC wins. Tim Janke was the weekend’s best Mazda MX5 ahead of Tony Ross.


CLASS AND outright honours went to Beric Lynton (A1 BMW M3) who won each race while Anthony (A2 Mercedes C63) was second on each occasion. Third was tight between two A2 HSV Clubsport R8 rivals. Karl Begg was third in race one, but after that it was John Carter showing the way, taking third overall while a DNF in the last had Begg sixth in the end. Fourth overall went to Darren Herbert (B1 Mitsubishi EVO) ahead of Daniel Clift (Clubsport). Scott Dean (Mercedes A45 AMG) was seventh

Image: MTR Images and second in A1, just ahead of Robert Gooley (EVO X). Class B2 was taken out by Gerry Murphy (Holden Commodore SSV) and C went to Karlie Buccini (BMW 130i). David Homer (Ford Fiesta ST) and Adam Talbot (Mazda 6) claimed Classes D and E respectively.


MATTHEW CLIFT (Mazda RX2) won the opening three races easily. A DNF in the final race looked to hand the round victory to race winner John Wishart (Alfa Romeo GTV). But Clift scored a point for the race’s fastest lap and scraped in by a point. Third overall went to Grant Schneider (Toyota Corolla) ahead of Nadine Jensen (Valiant Charger) and Phil Spence (Holden Monaro).


THE STAR was Improved Production’s Zak Hudson (Mazda RX7), whether it was his thrilling dicing with Jason Clements (BMW E36) or his record-breaking pace. They were one and two in the first two races. But both failed to finish the third. Steven Dukes (BMW M3) won the remaining races, and the round, ahead of NSW’s Harrison Cooper in his under 2.0-litre Honda Integra Tyre R, also a lap record breaker. The final race finished under the safety car. Clements came back for second and fourth overall behind Justin Wade (BMW 135i). In Geminis, Nick Rangeley had a first race triumph over Mark Gray, albeit by just 0.07s before far bigger margins in the following two races. Philip Robinson snared a second in the last for a meeting third.


TWO RACE wins were not quite enough for Nick Contojohn to take out Sports Sedans, missing out by three points to Stephen Rushton. Shane Hart (Mazda RX7) easily won the opener ahead of Stephen Coe (Holden Commodore VE) and Rushton (Ford Falcon AU) before retiring from race two. Contojohn (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) was slowed with a turbo hose issue but came back for a third behind behind Rushton and Coe in race two,

third. “It was pretty nerve wracking at the end there, as any time you go into limp mode you know you lose 10-15s,” Sherrin said. Then followed Fisher, Lillis and Rubis who was lucky to finish as he hit the pit wall out of the final corner in avoiding a spinning Paul Razum (AM2 Commodore). Ayres was next ahead of Mammarella, Bensley and Kearns 10th, despite a second off at Lukey Heights where he was able to extract himself.


THE STAGE was set for David Barram’s three-peat victory in round two when he won race one. The Honda-powered Chiron LMP3-004 driver started eighth, led at the end of the first lap and comfortably won it and the following two races. Reigning title holder Jason Makris (Wolf Tornado/ Peugeot) and John-Paul Drake (Wolf GB08CN/ Honda) went from sixth and seventh to second and third respectively. Makris was second overall while Drake edged out Mark Short (Prince LSR/Suzuki) to place third for the weekend. Fastest qualifier Carmelo Bonaventura (Radical SR3) was slow away and finished behind Peter Paddon (SR3 RS), Short and Zig Fuhrmeister (SR3 RS. Short was third in race two ahead of Drake,

Paddon and Bonaventura before being pipped by Drake for third in the last. That final race was interrupted by a safety car due to a skirmish between Mark Laucke (Tornado) and Jonathan Stoeckel (West WR1000/Kawasaki) at the Southern Loop.

and then won the last two ahead of Rushton and Coe. Meanwhile Glenn Gerstel (Ford Mustang) with two firsts was the round winner ahead of Shane Wilson (Mustang) and Simon Trapp (Mustang). Grant Wilson (Chev Camaro) headed them home in race one but didn’t figure after that. Alwyn Bishop (Mustang) had a race two win but wasn’t seen after that.


BROCK MITCHELL (Ford Falcon AU) won two races and Richard Beggs (Holden Commodore VT) the other two with the difference a DNF for Beggs in race two. Third Saloon Car overall went to John McCleverty (AU). In HQs, Brandon Madden had no peers as he had a clear path to four victories. Only in the second outing was he pressed by team mate Scott Andriske who finished with three second places after Brad Schomberg placed behind Madden in the opening encounter.


IT WAS a dominant Chris Farrell (Swift) in winning three races easily. Blake Varney (Dallara F304) was second and only close behind in the last race. Phillip Kay (F306) with three thirds picked up a podium result ahead of Graham Smith (Radical SR8). Two wins for Alex Hedemann (Rapier) gave him the Formula Vee honours.

The Sherrins may have the won the weekend, but the Best siblings took a wet win on Saturday. Image: Speedshots Photography.


NEITHER OF the two 50min races were won by Peter Paddon, but finishing second in both gave him the round victory over Chris Perini and Paull Braico. After the mandatory pitstops in race one, Perini was able to chase down and pass Paddon for the win. Braico was third while Chris and Max Medland were just in front of Kostinken Pohorukov. Series leader Mitch Neilson missed race one due to a blown engine, yet bounced back for a big win in the second. Behind Paddon, third went to Perini from Siegfried Fuhrmeister and Braico. There was only one casualty with Bill Medland hitting the tyre barriers at the Hayshed.

2L SPORTS SEDANS/ PULSARS OVER THE three races of the third round nobody

could touch Iain McDougall (Mini Cooper S JCW). In the first he was clear of Velibor Tomic (Honda Integra) and Edward Metz (Ford Escort) who edged out Brendan Woods (Toyota Corolla). Metz missed race two with a cracked brake line and Tomic was second when the diff expired. Craig Lindsell (JCW) finished runner up while reigning title holder Steven Howard (Corolla) snared third off Woods on the final lap. In the last it was Lindsell

again second from Howard, Woods and Metz. Among the Nissan Pulsars in round one of their Interstate Challenge, Michael Osmond was best in race one ahead of Shane Eberhart and Lee Nuttall. Matt Boylan was fourth and came through to top the Pulsars in the next two races and overall. Osmond was second in race two clear of Eberhart but a retiree from the last where it was Eberhart second and Steven Cannizzo third.



NATIONALS wrap n compiled by garry o’brie

MUSCLING UP AT THUNDER MEETING MUSCLE CARS, sprints and displays along with racing were the order of the day at the 2 Days of Thunder meeting at Queensland Raceway on June 22-23.


OVERCOMING A fire at the end of day one, Steve Hay (Holden Commodore VK) came through to take the outright and Group A1 victory at round three. He ended the first day with a second and third before winning both Sunday races. In front of a huge 40-car entry, Brett Kennedy (Commodore) was in the box seat after two victories, but a DNF in the third put paid to his chances. There was an early clampdown in race one when Leonard Meiers made a spectacular exit at turn three. Chris Sharples (Holden Monaro) was third in race one and second in the next encounter. His similar results in the next two outings secured him second overall. Third for the weekend went to Pierz Harrex in his BMW E30. In Group A2 there were four different winners. Bayley Hall (Commodore VE) won the first over Mitchell Wooller (BMW E36) but wasn’t a contender after the 15-year-old was pushed into A1. Stuart Walker (Commodore) was best in race two, ahead of Wooller who reversed the result in race three. The final outing went to Robert Bellinger (E46) over Walker who won the round ahead of Wooller, missing from the last due to overheating issues.

Two wins for John Swarbrooke (E46) were not enough to take Group B. A second, two thirds and a fourth gave Mark Giorgio (Ford Falcon XR8) the round ahead of Swarbrooke who finished off the weekend with a seventh and fifth. Third went to Andrew Knight (E36).


HOLDEN TORANAS XU-1s dominated with outright and over 3.0-litre wins in all four races. Peter Baguley showed the way in each. In the first he beat David Streat, Bruce Dummett and Graham Streat. The Streat brothers were second and third in the next where Dummett was a retirement before Graham Wrobel (Ford Mustang) put a dent in a total Torana shutout by finishing a close second in race three, ahead of Graham Streat. In the last David Streat was second ahead Wrobel and Graham Streat. Norm Singleton (Alfa Romeo GTV) was the best of the U2L cars with strong outright performances in three races, but missed the final race. That elevated Harvey Black (Ford Escort) to the class victory while the best of the Group Nb runners was Claude Ciccotelli (Holden EH) with three victories over Bob Stewart (Ford Cortina) who nabbed the other.


Steve Hay headed a massive Queensland Touring Car grid. In contrast, Leonard Meiers makes an unplanned exit.

Images: MTR Images

honours. It wasn’t good for John’s son Sean with brake issues putting his Ford Mustang out early. In the 5.0-litre class it was a threeway tie between Mustang drivers Mike Collins, Patricia Chant and Ron Prefontaine. The latter headed the class clearly in three races but didn’t appear for the last. Sean Evans had no luck with his Mustang encountering clutch problems in the two races contested.


THE WEEKEND started well for John English. He held off good mate and fellow Pontiac Firebird pilot Ian Palmer for two narrow wins. But the wheels, well just one, fell off in race three and Palmer took two wins and 6.0-litre


AFTER A clear first up win in race one, Anthony Maxwell had his V8 Ford Capri suffer a suspension failure and lost a wheel in race two, which left Stephen Coe in his ex-Paul Morris Commodore VE Supercar unchallenged for Sedan honours. Bayley Hall (VE) had a water pump issue in the opening race before a second in class in race two and then further dramas later. Among the Sports class, Lachlan Gardner beat his dad Justin with the OzTruck Tundras a close one-two. Justin Gardner was second outright in race two while Lachlan Gardner limped

home after contact with Stephen Annett’s Chev Corvette. The younger Gardner managed a class win in the last but was second overall to his dad.


SERIES LEADER Daniel Ford maintained his points lead despite being beaten on the weekend. Fellow Ford Falcon BA driver Scott Tamati scored three race wins, and a second to Tamati, to take the round while Ford finished the weekend with one third and two seconds in the other races. Stephen Cook (Holden Commodore VY) finished second in race one and then chased the Fords home in the next three to stand on the final podium step, while fellow Holden pilots Mark Bell and Harrison Barker were next.

SHANNONS MUSCLE CAR GROUP THERE WERE five sprint sessions, all won by Ford drivers. Laurence Densley (Mustang) won the first and last. In between it was Russell McDowell (Falcon GT) with two, and James Hodgson (Shelby) won the other.

The Corvette of Darrell Dixon was unable to use its horsepower advantage at Wakefield Park.

THE MOTOR Racing Australia Series moved to a bitterly-cold Wakefield Park on June 30 for round five. With round four only a few weeks earlier, some fields were very small and combined classes were the order of the day.


THE FIRST two races went to Rhys Morsillo in a Triumph Dolomite Sprint with a 3.9-litre turbocharged V8. The first race was marred by Dennis Walker (Nissan Skyline GTR) and Parry Anastakis (Peugeot 205) finding something slippery on the track and firing off together. Walker found the tyre wall and Anastakis headed for pit lane. Anastakis started last in the second race and charged through the field, finishing second behind Morsillo. Dean Chapman (Mitsubishi EVO) led early but slipped to fourth, behind Darrell Dixon (Chev Corvette). Dixon led the final race from the start with Anastakis and Chapman in hot pursuit. Walker had started at the

54 AutoAction

Image: Bruce Moxon

back in his repaired Skyline and by lap four was part of a four-way battle for the lead. Anastakis led on lap five, from Dixon and Walker. The lead changed several times over the next few laps, Dixon generally using the massive power of the Corvette to take the lead on the straight before being attacked by the nimble Peugeot. On lap seven, Anastakis outbraked himself and dropped to fifth. Dixon now led from Walker and

Chapman. Walker took over from Anastakis and led a lap, but ran out of fuel on the second-last lap. Dixon now had some breathing space, while Anastakis recovered to be third behind Walker at the end.

for a while. He didn’t finish race two and didn’t start race three. Sue Tahir (TR6) was third in the opener and then nabbed two second places, with Thomas Derwent taking the other thirds.



AMONG THE British marque, Greg Morsillo took three from three in a very tidy TR7 V8. Mark Morsillo (Dolomite) took second place after leading race one

A SMALL field and the same result every time – James Dick (PRB) from Josh Versluis (Birkin) and Jos Kroon (PRB). Bruce Moxon

Vince Muriti dominated the endurance round for Production Sports.

VERNON AND MURITI DOMINATE ENDUROS LONGER RACES in two Production categories and big fields were the features of the fourth round of the NSW Motor Racing Championships at Sydney Motorsport Park on June 22-23.


PITTING EARLY was the key to Jimmy Vernon winning the one-hour fourth round. Vernon (Mitsubishi EVO X) led until passed by Anthony Soole (BMW M4) and Tony Virag (HSV GTS). Outgunned on the straight but with superior pace elsewhere, Vernon opted to take his mandatory stop early. With a succession of quick laps, Vernon who won the Driver A sprint on Saturday, gave himself a commanding lead over Soole and Michael King (EVO X) once all stops were completed. The order stayed that way with Dylan Thomas/Tom Muller (EVO X) making it a top four for the A1 class. A2 cars filled the next four spots, led by Matt Holt/Robert Coulthard (HSV Clubsport) from Brett Howard/Garth Walden (BMW M3), Daniel and Jacques Oosthuizen (Clubsport) and Cary Morsink (HSV GTO Coupe). Driver B sprint winner Ahmed Baghdadi took over from Virag, re-joined in 14th and passed seven before running out of fuel on the final lap. Other class winners were Josh Muggleton/ Chris Monk (B1, Golf GTi), Geoff Kite (B2, Holden SSV), Aaron Hills (C, Mazda MPS), Edan Thornburrow (D, Toyota 86) and Phil Alexander (E, Nissan Pulsar).


AUDI DRIVER Vince Muriti won both the 50min races with ease. Rick Bates (Porsche 991) was the early leader of the first race until passed by Muriti. Bates then had to defend from Sergio Pires (991). For many laps the dicing was intense while Brad Schumacher (991) watched on. Ultimately Pires was through to second, but was disqualified post-race for exceeding track limits. Schumacher eventually passed Bates for

Jimmy Vernon outran a strong field in Production Touring. second. A bevy of Porsches followed, headed by Geoff Morgan ahead of Nathan Halstead, Anthony Skinner, Dylan de Szabo and Garry Watson. The Blake and Kyle Aubin Ginetta was ninth but an ominous gearbox noise would rule it out of the second race. The Adam and Craig Burgess Ginetta failed due to a diff explosion that caused a rear end fire, joining the Justin Levis/Arthur Magaitis Porsche in the pits when it broke its throttle cable, and the Warwick Morris Lamborghini with sheared drive pins. Muriti led the second race throughout while Bates held second from the start. Again Pires put out the challenge but wasn’t successful this time and was relegated to fourth at middistance by Schumacher. Little separated Geoff Morgan and Greg Ward (Porsche) in the end and they were clear of Halstead.


FOLLOWING A dominate race one win, it looked likely that Alex Kenny and his Ford Duratec-powered Juno LMP3 was heading for a clean sweep. But after leading the first lap, Darren Barlow picked up the pieces in Supersports. Images: Riccardo Benvenuti.

the Juno was sidelined with a broken batteryto-alternator connecting cable. Darren Barlow (Suzuki-powered Stohr) took a huge win over Peter Clare, John Beck, Greg Kenny, Stephen Champion and Sue Hughes in their Hayabusaengine Radical SR3s. Barlow recorded another tearaway victory in the last. Kenny started off the back and quickly progressed to second before retiring with the same problem. That left Champion second from Beck, Palmer, Paul Braico and Hughes.


IN THE three races contested Tony Moit (250 International Anderson Maverick) dominated, winning two with ease and was in the box seat for a third until becoming a DNF on the final lap. Race one became a non-event when Brian Tinsley crashed his Arrow on the warm-up lap. In race two, Paul Campbell (125 Avoig Elise) took a clear second while John Dunn (250 National Maverick) charged through to grab third ahead of Lauren Shand (125 Avoig). Campbell had fellow 125 Avoig drivers Lee Vella and Aaron Cogger taking him on throughout race three. They were co covered by 0.47s with Vella edging oout Campbell. In the last, Cogger w won easily ahead of Campbell, Shand and Vella. S


OVER THREE races Brett Osborn O weathered w all that Chris Molle could c throw at him. In the first they th were well clear of the

opposition where Glenn Deering came through for third ahead of Andrew McLeod while Darren Parker and David Allan battled for fifth and sixth. Duane Cambridge worked his way to third before a blown head gasket and Scott Walker was on a charge until blowing his engine. Starting at the back for race two, Cambridge progressed to third and played with the leaders in the last before finishing a close third again. Deering edged out McLeod in race two before the latter reversed the result for fourth in race three.


IN THE first race Birol Cetin (Chev Camaro) led initially from Grant Doulman (Falcon/Chev) and Steven Lacey (Chev Camaro). The latter pitted with loose bodywork and Doulman took over the lead until sidelined with a puncture. Cetin won ahead of Scott Reed (Ford Mustang Trans Am), Jason Compton (BMW/Chev) and Brett Dickie (Honda Prelude). Lacey fought back to seventh behind Warren Millett (Holden Commodore VZ) and John Ford (Skyline/Chev). Engine issues struck Cetin and Doulman in the second encounter where Lacey won ahead of Reed, Compton and Millett before he was docked 30s. Lacey followed up with the third race victory, again ahead of Reed and Compton with Millett next ahead of Mark Duggan (Aston Martin/Chev) who missed race one after blowing the engine in qualifying.


THE FIRST race produced the closet contest where Aaron Lee won a thriller over fellow Jacer pilots Craig Sparke and John McDonald (before a 5s penalty), and Stephen Butcher (Stinger). A brilliant lift-off in race two paved the way for a commanding victory for Lee . . . even with a 5s penalty. McDonald was second and Butcher third after he tangled with Sparke, who failed to finish. In the last Lee posted another clear victory, helped as Butcher and McDonald scraped for the second which went the way of the former.

“Coming up at the nation’s action and spectator tracks” Wakefield Park July 16 Main/Fifth Gear July 19 Speed Off The Streets/Test & Tune July 20 Aus Time Attack July 21 Revolution Motorsport July 25 PR Tech

Winton July 12 Test & Tune – Cars and Open Wheelers July 13 Jag Car Club July 14 Fun Day at Winton! July 16 BJR July 17 Performance Test Day



NATIONALS wrap n compiled by garry o’brie

NEW SURFACE GETS A DRENCHING HEAVY RAIN in the lead-up to the Barbagallo June Meeting, round five of the WA State Race Championship, meant the new track surface was wet for the first time. Safety Car incursions went up and a major stoppage in F1000 led to the race length reductions.


THE WET conditions saw several come to grief in the first turn, forcing a safety car. Michael Epple (Radical SR3) and Mike Folwell (Stohr) didn’t make the restart after which BD Soutar-Dawson (Stohr) won the first from Jordan Ord (Stohr) and Sam Dicker (SR3). Halfway through race two, Madeline Stewart stopped at pit entry with an engine fire that quickly engulfed her Stohr. The resulting clean-up caused the race to be It was spin and win for Thomas Hamlett in the Formula Fords.

finalised after four laps. Oon was declared the winner from Dicker and Soutar Dawson. Stewart replaced Soutar-Dawson in the last which was won by Dicker from Epple and Adam Lisle (Stohr).


SAFETY CARS punctuated race one where Thomas Hamlett (Van Diemen RF92) survived a spin into turn seven to win from Josh Matthews (Stealth) and Simon Ridgewell (RF93). Rob Appleyard (RF05) took avoiding action which put him down the order. In the second race Glen Swarbrick (Macon) clipped James Ridgewell (RF77) and took a wild ride through the final corner sand trap. Hamlett continued his run of wins with Ridgewell second and Craig Jorgensen (RF93) third. Hamlett went on to take the third race from

Michael Sciorio and Nik Mitic contested all weekend for the win. Images: Mick Oliver

Ridgewell and Braedyn Bowra (Stealth).


AFTER A category break, Greg Dicker returned to win the first race from Robert Landsmeer and Dean Hill. In the reverse top 10 second race, Andrew Malkin made an early break but Landsmeer caught and passed him. Hill followed some laps later, so too Dicker. In the last Dicker took the lead, holding off Landsmeer and Hill until the final corner where the Landsmeer snared the win.


FROM START to finish Rod Lisson (Sabre) led the 1600s and race one from David Campbell (Jacer) and Lachlan Beresford (Stinger). Lisson also took race two ahead of Campbell while Allan Reid (Jacer) bested Beresford for third. In the next, Mark Horan (Stinger) attempt to spoil the party, exchanging the lead with Lisson several times. Lisson held Horan for the win by a nosecone with Beresford third. Brett Scarey (CD-Vee) led the 1200s through the opener from Jack Sheldon (Polar) with Andrew Lockett (Ajay) taking third narrowly from Mackenzie Matthews (Gerbert). After leading race two early, Scarey was passed by Sheldon and Matthews who diced to the end with Sheldon taking the honours. Mathews led the last before Scarey

took over. Franz Esterbauer (Ribuck) progressed to second as Matthews turned the tables on Sheldon for third.


WHILE GRANT Johnson led all of race one, Brock and Brad Boley diced for second, only for Matt Martin to split the combination on the final lap for a Holden Commodore VT domination. In the reversed grid second race Brad Boley won ahead of his son and Martin. Deteriorating light and weather reduced the last race to four laps which Vince Ciallella (VT) won from

NATIONAL VE ROUND TWO of the South Australian CAMS Motor Racing Championship at The Bend Motorsport Park had something for everyone, including a national series round and very wintery weather on June 29-30.


A snarling pack of Excels slithered through the rain at The Bend. Image: Bob Taylor

56 AutoAction

THE NATIONAL Series second round’s visit to SA was boosted by the local numbers. Dylan Thomas (Stinger iX) top qualified and didn’t finish outside the top two to take a comfortable round win. Fellow New South Welshman Michael Kinsella (Jacer F2K10) managed a first, second and third in the heats to grab second spot for the weekend, the win being the Ben Rebbeck Memorial. Simon Pace (Checkmate JP016) mixed it with the front runners but had to settle for third outright. Aaron Pace (Jacer F2K9) was the only other driver to capture a top three finish with a third in the final heat. Richard Gray (Cee Bee Jabiru) was the best of the 1200s while Adam Newton (Sabre 02) topped the state points and was the first local across the line in the Ben Rebbeck Memorial, placing 11th. Joel Oliver and Peter Hood took the minor SA points places in their Jacers as Matthew Bialek was

Brought to you by: Shannons Nationals Rd3, TCR Australia Rd4, Australian GT Rd4, Sports Sedan Series Rd2,Australian Formula 4 Rd5 Rd6, The Bend Motorsport Park SA, Jul 12-14 SXS Championship Rd2, ACTMCC Majura ACT, Jul 13 Club Multi Car Supersprint, Sydney Motorsport Park NSW, Jul 13 Multi Club Motorkhana, Sydney Motorsport Park NSW, Jul 13 Club Motorkhana, Millchester Motorsport Complex Broughton QLD, Jul 13 NT Titles Off Road Rd3, Mt Ooraminna NT, Jul 13-14 Multi Club Regularity, Baskerville Raceway, TAS, Jul 13-14 Goldrush Hillsprint, Multi club Hillclimb, Mt Morgan Range via Bouldercombe QLD, QLD, Jul 13-14 State Off Road Championship Rd1, State Off Road Series Rd4, Murbko SA, Jul 13-14 Multi Club Khanacross, Reef and Rainforest Track Mossman QLD, Jul 13-14

Johnson and Brock Boley. In Pro AM, race one was led by Carl Fanderlinden (Ford Falcon EA) until passed by Marc Watkins (EA). Terry Desylva (Commodore VN) triumphed in a three-way tussle for third. He and Fanderlinden show the way in race two before Nick Hanlon (EA) pushed through for the win from Desylva and Watkins. Brock Ralph (VP) led race three from start to finish ahead of Andrew Martin (VN) and Fanderlinden.


(Ralt RT4) took the first race win, second-placed Simon Alderson (RF88 FF2000) hit back to take the second race ahead of Henderson. The latter won the last ahead of Alderson while third places were shared between Bob Creasy (Ralt RT1) and Leon Magistro (RT4) with one and two respectively.


FOR THE entire first race, Michael Howlett sat right on Marc Watkins but couldn’t find a way past as Ryan Davies trailed in a lonely third. Brian Pegler led the reverse grid

race two until Michael Woodbridge took over. Woodbridge was eventually passed by Watkins while Davies snared third. Despite pressure Watkins won race three where Howlett ultimately grabbed second from Woodbridge.


THE CONDITIONS favoured Michael Sciorio (Subaru Impreza WRX) who led from the race one start but was kept honest by Nik Mitic (BMW M3). Sciorio lost out when he was given a 5s penalty for a jumped

start. Third was fought over by the returning Dion Panizza (Holden Commodore), Reuben Romkes (Holden Monaro) and Grant Gellon (Ford Escort) with Panizza edging ahead. Despite the second race being a reverse grid start, Sciorio led by the end of lap one and went on to win. Mitic made his way through to second ahead of Panizza. Sciorio looked for a second win but Mitic slipped by at turn seven and went on to victory as Romkes managed to pass Sciorio late to take second. Mick Oliver


A MASSIVE 47 car field and a cameo appearance by Supercar driver Tim Slade showcased the one-make category. Slade top qualified in the wet and was right up there with usual pacesetters Asher Johnston and Michael Clemente until the track started drying out. Johnston had to work hard for his outright win, trading lap records with Clemente on Sunday. The record settled in the young Victorian Clemente’s favour after he missed out on the win by a handful of points. Slade showed his adaptability by snatching third ahead of a snarling pack.


TVR and could have taken the win if he had finished race one. Scott Cook (Nissan Silvia) easily headed off Ian Statham (Mitsubishi Magna) for the Improved Production overall win, despite failing to finish the first race. Michael Reimann (Mazda 808) had a consistent weekend to claim third. Haydn Clark was a surprise race one winner aboard his under 2.0-litre Toyota 86 in the appalling conditions.


OVERCOMING A strong start from Shaun Jamieson (Holden Commodore VT), Joel Heinrich (Ford Falcon AU) was a convincing Saloon Car winner. Jamieson missed race

State Circuit Racing Championship Rd6, Barbagallo WA, Jul 13-14 Multi Club Motorkhana, Westmere Recreation Reserve Ararat VIC, Jul 14 Club Winter Autocross, Nabiac Motorsport Complex NSW, Jul 14 Multi Club Hillclimb, Bryant Park VIC, Jul 14 State Motorkhana Championship, Mallala Motorsport Park SA, Jul 14 Club Khanacross, Millchester Motorsport Complex Broughton QLD, Jul 14 State Motorkhana Championship Rd3, Perth Motorplex Kwinana Beach WA, Jul 14 Shannons Targa Rally Sprint & Targa Speed Event, Perth Motorplex Kwinana Beach WA, Jul 14

EES STAR AT THE BEND the best of the 1200s in a Spectre.

Historic Queensland, Morgan Park QLD, Jul 13-14

Multi Club Motorkhana, Sydney Motorsport Park NSW, Jul 14

three giving Heinrich a big advantage with Peter Holmes (VT) a distant third. Bruce Heinrich was the man to beat in the biggest HQ field seen for a while. David Smith had a poor showing in Saturday’s wet race but fired back up the order in the dry races to slot into second just ahead of NSW’s Brett Osborn.


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DAVID BENDA (Lola T560) notched up the victory after Jim Doig (Motorlab Asp) had an out of character retirement, dropping him to third for the event behind Keith Williamson (Farrell Clubman). David Batchelor

The red and blue Stinger of Dylan Thomas was successful in Formula Vee. Image: David Batchelor

THE OPENING race on Saturday saw a lot of retirements in the combined category’s race with torrential rain sweeping across the track. Tom Hutchinson (TVR) bagged a couple of top three finishes and tied on points with Anthony Giustozzi (Porsche 997). The latter had two wins but DNF’d in race two. Ian Wilson made a welcome return in his



Lowndes the

Snake Catcher


PEOPLE OFTEN ask whether a racing driver can drive with their eyes shut. The answer is No! Rudi Adams proved just that during the Nurburgring 24 hours. With the bonnet over the windscreen of his BMW M4 GT4 it was clear that Adams could see absolutely nothing as he swerved from one side of the legendary Nordschleife circuit to the other. As he stumbled onto the pit straight Adams attempted an entry into pitlane but his approach was far too late and he heavily contacted the tyre barrier at the entry to pit lane. Comically, the force of the impact knocked the bonnet down onto the tyre barrier which meant that when the BMW driver tried to reverse out of the awkward situation, he was unable to. The bonnet latch had caught on the tyres

resulting in the car performing some crowd pleasing reverse burnouts mid-race. Usually mechanics don’t laugh at a mishap to their own car, but that is exactly what happened. The BMW mechanics were caught on TV in absolute stiches, laughing at the bonnet bedlam. More embarrassment was to follow for poor Adams as three marshals and a recovery vehicle struggled to get the #74 car out of the wall, much to the continued amusement of onlookers. From the moment of impact, it took over six minutes for the recovery team to send the BMW on its way. The Nordschleife is a long lap, but never before has anyone needed a calendar to

record a lap time. When he was eventually recovered, things for the now very embarrassed Adams got worse as he had to drive down pit lane in front of thousands of spectators on pit straight and TV viewers around the world with the bonnet still up and with the front of the car now damaged. At least he now has new found fame as an internet sensation! It is certainly not the first time a bonnet has come over the front windscreen in a motor race and it certainly won’t be the last. But this particular incident was one of the funniest on a race track in recent years, I advise you to take a look it if you haven’t already. Dan McCarthy

Lowndes the Snake Catcher SINCE RETIRING from full-time Supercars driving Craig Lowndes has not only taken up a TV pundit role for Fox Sports, oh no! During the week the seven time Bathurst 1000 winner works as a snake catcher, here Craig Irwin can be seen retrieving a three metre python from the roof of his Queensland home. DM

ARC History Crossword In this issue Heath McAlpine spoke about the future of the

ARC but how much do you know about the history? three round of the Across 2. Possum Bourne won seven drivers titles but with which car brand? 4. In 1977 two drivers tied for the championship title, Ross Dunkerton was one, who was the other? (surname only) 5. How many seasons were their between Neal Bates’ third and fourth title? 6. Simon and Sue Evans won how many Australian Rally Championships together? 8. Which manufacturer currently leads the 2019 Australian Rally Championship? 10. Which regular Auto Action contributor won the championship in 1970? (surname only) 11. In 2018 which ARC driver scored two world championship points at Rally Australia? (surname only) 12. How many rounds are in the 2019 Australian Rally Championship? 13. Which multiple Australian Rally Champion was tragically killed in a road accident in 2003? (surname only)


1. Who was the last driver to win three consecutive championships? (surname only) 3. Which driver is currently undefeated after the first

58 AutoAction

2019 season? (full name) 4. Who won the inaugural Australian Rally Championship in 1968? (surname only) 7. Which Italian brand won the 1989 Manufacturers Championship? 9. Who is the only female driver to win the series? (surname only) 13. Who is the only driver to have won the Australian Rally Championship and Australian Touring Car Championship? (surname only)


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