A Quick His­tory

The lat­est word on the His­toric mo­tor rac­ing scene

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Sport -

The Group C and A ma­chines of the Her­itage Tour­ing Cars cat­e­gory hit Mount Panorama over the Easter week­end – only for the heav­ens to open. Fogged-up win­dows and an­cient wet weather tyres proved to be harder to cope with than the very damp track. Not sur­pris­ingly, the swift Terry Lawlor (GIO Nis­san GT-R) proved un­stop­pable, win­ning all three Bathurst Mo­tor Fes­ti­val races. Bryan Sala (Sierra) was run­ner-up each time. Group C pace­set­ter was Jeff Trem­bath (ex-War­ren Cullen VC Com­modore), from Neville But­ler (ex-Garry Willm­ing­ton Fal­con XD). Chris Stillwell hov­ered around the top five all week­end in the Shell Sierra DJR6, rac­ing at Bathurst for the first time since 1992 when it was #18, hav­ing been #17 the two pre­vi­ous years.

Re­gard­ing the Her­itage Tour­ing Cars, CAMS of­fi­cials were busy beavers at Bathurst, with en­gine seals and fuel sam­ples for the turbo cars be­ing checked. The fuel sam­ple re­sults aren’t likely to be posted any­where, but one keen-eyed punter noted that dif­fer­ent-coloured fu­els were ev­i­dent. CAMS stal­wart Frank Lown­des, a man who has al­ways en­joyed the job, was lead­ing the charge and would have been in his el­e­ment. CAMS’ ‘Fifth Cat­e­gory’ fa­cil­i­ta­tors David Bel­lenger, Peter Doul­man, Frank Lown­des and David Holc have been work­ing closely with the Her­itage Tour­ing Cars and the last two show­piece events, both with near ca­pac­ity fields, are proof the sys­tem is work­ing. Bathurst in par­tic­u­lar was no­table, as the HTC were the only cat­e­gory to not have a race red-flagged, while other cat­e­gories ex­pe­ri­enced some car­nage.

The north­ern hemi­sphere’s his­toric sea­son is un­der­way, with Aussies tack­ling some fa­mous events. That great all-rounder John Bowe will be rac­ing at the Septem­ber 11-13’s Good­wood Re­vival in the same Corvette that Peter Brock raced in the 2005 and 2006 RAC TT event. It is an aus­pi­cious re­turn for the Corvette, as it was to be the last cir­cuit race ever raced by the great Brock, be­fore his un­timely and tragic end in a rally a few weeks later. The Corvette is now owned by Vic­to­rian Joe Calleja, who will part­ner Bowe in what will be an emo­tional re­turn.

May 23-24 sees the Masters His­toric Fes­ti­val at Brands Hatch, which has a most im­pres­sive line-up of His­toric tour­ing car classes, rang­ing from the boom­ing pre-1966 cars up to the bur­geon­ing ‘his­toric’ Su­per Tour­ers, from the BTCC’s post-1990 era. This class is go­ing from strength to strength. Its pop­u­lar­ity, com­bined with a strong Pound Ster­ling, is ab­sorb­ing most of the world’s sup­ply of the twolitre scream­ers. While we are in the UK, July 24-26 sees the big­gest His­toric race meet­ing in the world: the Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic. It’s the event’s 25th an­niver­sary so pro­mot­ers are go­ing all out, with over 10,000 clas­sic cars be­ing dis­played.

Across the At­lantic, a large posse of Aus­tralians and Ki­wis will be con­verg­ing on the Mon­terey penin­sula over Septem­ber 25-27 for the Porsche-only fes­ti­val known as the Rennsport Re­u­nion. Last held in 2011, it will be ev­ery­thing to do with Porsche and mo­tor­sport, with his­toric rac­ing stal­warts Ge­off Mor­gan, David Withers and Chris Stan­nard all tak­ing suit­able cars to La­guna Seca, Cal­i­for­nia to show the Amer­i­cans how we do things.

Closer to home, the His­toric Sports & Rac­ing Car As­so­ci­a­tion/ ARDC’s Retro Speed­fest will be held over June 6-7. The sportscar en­try is par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive with two 962 Porsches set to battle it out with a BMW M1 Pro­car and a Can Am McLaren or two. The Her­itage Tour­ing Cars in be there in force with many us­ing the event as prac­tice for the big one, the Mus­cle Car Masters. Be­fore then there’s Queens­land’s Lake­side Tour­ing Car Clas­sic, with Group N shar­ing the spot­light at the event which is in­evitably (touch wood) held in per­fect Queens­land win­ter sun­shine.

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