A Quick His­tory

The lat­est word on the His­toric mo­tor rac­ing scene

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

‘First world prob­lems’ are hit­ting the his­toric race scene and how th­ese is­sues are man­aged, prob­a­bly won’t, nay can’t, please ev­ery­one. With in­creased de­mands on grids, it is the cars with poor prove­nance, per­for­mance dis­crep­an­cies and lesser his­to­ries that are culled, much to the dis­may of their own­ers. This prob­lem has been around in the boom­ing Euro­pean his­toric scene for many years, so per­haps de­ci­sion mak­ers will cast their eyes north and see what sys­tems they have in place?

Her­itage Tour­ing Cars mem­bers re­ceived a great Christ­mas present with a sur­prise in­vi­ta­tion to race on the Aus­tralian For­mula One Grand Prix sup­port pro­gram (March 13-15). Af­ter putting on a suc­cess­ful show, backed by Shan­nons In­sur­ance, in 2012, the HTC, like ev­ery ma­jor cat­e­gory in Australia, was al­ways keen to get a re­turn in­vite. Tight no­tice and a com­mit­ment at Bathurst over Easter (April 3-5) had se­ries or­gan­is­ers wor­ried about fill­ing the 25car min­i­mum re­quire­ment. To ev­ery­one’s sur­prise, and five peo­ple’s dis­ap­point­ment, the event (with a 40-car max­i­mum) is cur­rently over­sub­scribed, with five very good Group A cars on a ‘re­serves’ wait­ing list. The Group A field cur­rently con­sists of the cream of Australia’s mo­tor­sport his­tory, with ATCC- and Bathurst-win­ning Nis­san GTRs, Ford Sier­ras and VL Walkin­shaws. The Group C part of the split field (20 Group A/20 Group C) is also at ca­pac­ity, with a crowd­pulling mix of roar­ing V8 Fal­cons, Com­modores and screech­ing Mazda RX7s.

The Bathurst Mo­tor Fes­ti­val, AKA ‘Easter Bathurst’, is only about 20 days af­ter the F1 AGP on April 3-5. Like the AGP event, it’s also over­sub­scribed, with a ca­pac­ity grid of 55 of Australia’s great­est tour­ing cars. No less than three of Nis­san and Gibson Mo­tor­sport’s finest cre­ations, the GT-R, will line up for top honours and all been driven by men who know how to ex­tract the best out of them. Hot on their tails will be a fleet of RS500s and the Walkin­shaws. David Holc’s ex-Forbes GIO car will likely be the pick of the beloved ‘Plas­tic Pigs’. Group C will also be hotly con­tested, with Mil­ton Se­feris and Ed­ward Sin­gle­ton’s VH Com­modores hav­ing an­other show­down see­ing whose V8 grunt will rule at the hal­lowed Mt Panorama. Dark horse for Group C is reign­ing cham­pion John Dou­glas in his Berklee Mazda RX7, with ro­tary backup from the Bow­den-owned and driven To­kico-liv­er­ied ver­sion. De­spite re­peated noble ef­forts, Mof­fat never could put a ro­tary on the top step in pe­riod. Shaun Tunny, Stu­art Hayes and Tony Saw­ford will be keep­ing the older brigade happy with their iconic crowd-pleas­ing Holden A9Xs. Mean­time, Mike Moy­lan is com­ing all the way from WA in his ex-Rod Dono­van Fal­con coupe.

In the UK, things are start­ing to warm up, so to speak. Per­haps an anom­aly or maybe a sign of things to come, Jaguar has an­nounced its own race se­ries for clas­sic ma­chines. The 2015 Jaguar Her­itage Chal­lenge is open to gen­uine XKs, D Types, C Types, MkI and II Sa­loons and pre-1966 E-Types. Also in the UK, a new his­toric en­duro has been an­nounced for July 4-5 at Don­ing­ton Park. The four-hour event runs into the English sum­mer dusk. It is only open to FIA log­booked pre-1966 grand tour­ers (think Corvettes, Co­bras and 250 GTO Fer­raris) and tour­ing cars – V8 Mus­tangs, Fal­cons and nim­ble Corti­nas be­ing the weapons of choice.

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