A Quick History
The latest word on the Historic motor racing scene
Nissans of Terry Lawlor (GIO GT-R) and Jim Richards (Skyline) shared the Heritage Touring Car victories at the Australian Grand Prix meeting at Albert Park.
Lawlor’s two Group A wins gave him the overall honours, with Richards and David Holc (GIO VL Commodore) rounding out the weekend’s podium.
Milton Seferis (ex-Janson Commodore) was the pacesetter in Group C with two victories, but a race one DNF saw Stephen Perrott (Torana A9X) claim the top trophy for the meeting. Jeff Trembath (ex-Cullen VC Commodore) won the Group C class in race one.
The Heritage Touring Cars support races at the Australian Grand Prix were being run and won as this column closed for press. Sadly, the much anticipated return to racing of the 1991 Tooheys 1000-winning Nissan GT-R didn’t eventuate after a pre-event engine issue forced Carey McMahon to withdraw both his HR31 and R32 Nissans. This robbed Group A/C enthusiasts of seeing Terry ‘The Law’ Lawlor’s seemingly untouchable ex-Forbes GIO GT-R up against its more successful sister chassis. McMahon’s and Lawlor’s driving skills seem matched, so NISMO and GMS fans will have to wait for Easter’s Bathurst Motor Festival, April 3-5, for the much-anticipated match-up to occur, at an even more spectacular setting.
The support cast of Nissans remains strong with Mark Eddy (HR31) and some guy named Jim Richards, in his old ATCC winning HR31, flying the flag with gusto. We feel for Jim having to choose which Group A car to race at what event, as his stable now includes his old JPS BMW M3 and earlier JPS 635. His Bathurst-winning son Steven, the reigning Carrera Cup champion, would be pretty handy in the M3. What say you, Jim?
Soon to be joining JR in the HTC ranks is Andy Meidecke, who has recently purchased two Group A Sierra RS500s from a WA-based enthusiast. One is his old Kenwood car that was given some serious chassis upgrades by engineering experts Dencar before Meidecke sold it to the WA enthusiast. The other Sierra is very significant in that it’s a Ford that wears the iconic #05, being the Dencar-built RS500 that Brock raced for the 1990 season, after motorcycling ace Barry Sheene wrote one of the Rouse cars off at a media day accident. Dencar knew what was needed to make the slightly floppy three-door body work, so Andy will be one to watch in these wildly fast Fords. The Sierras join Miedecke’s Group A stable that already has the ex-RSM (Helmut) Marko Mercedes 190E driven at Bathurst in 1986 by the team that included ski ace Franz Klammer, Denny Hulme, Jorg Van Ommen and Andy. The Mercedes 190E, sourced via Ecurie Bowden a few years ago, is being restored by former owner Phil Ward. We can’t wait to see Andy take it to the BMW M3s in the exotic-sounding Merc. Miedecke’s son George is a talented driver, currently campaigning a V8 Ute and would be pretty handy in either a RS500 or the Mercedes 190E…
Another pre-1986 Group A car is leaving these shores. This one is a Mustang and it’s heading to Europe and that’s all I can say at the moment.
The second best deal available to join the Heritage Touring Cars, the Berklee Exhaust RX7 that won the Group C title in 2014, has been purchased by Victorian Phil Verwoert. Phil is better known for punting a genuine 1973 2.7-litre RS Porsche in Group S, so is well versed in how a sports car, ahem, touring car, handles. Phil will be a welcome addition to the growing RX7 ranks, with four Mazdas now regularly seen. There are also rumours of Paul Stubber’s Peter Stuyvescant example ditching the contentious 6-speed and joining the buzzing fleet soon as well.
What’s the best Group A deal, you ask? The ex-Gerald Kay Jagparts HDT-built VK Commodore is in excellent condition and comes with reams of history, from the build, all through its long career, to when Gerald sold it not that long ago. Whoever buys that will be a happy HDT fan.