A Quick History

The latest word on the His­toric mo­tor rac­ing scene

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Sport -

The Her­itage Tour­ing Car grids were smaller than usual at the Syd­ney Retro Speed­fest, but qual­ity more than made up for quan­tity. Nissan came out swing­ing, with Tony Al­ford mak­ing his de­but in the 1992 Bathurst­win­ning GT-R pre­vi­ously owned by Terry Ash­wood. There was de­bate how Al­ford would go against Terry Lawlor’s sea­soned GIO ver­sion and the lap times tell the story. Al­ford was right on the pace and quickly got to grips with the tech­ni­cally tricky Godzilla. They con­sis­tently fin­ished and qual­i­fied, Lawlor first and Al­ford sec­ond, but by Sun­day af­ter­noon it was clear that Lawlor had to push hard to stay ahead. An­thony Cromp­ton flew the Ford flag in Group A with his ex-Se­ton RS500 tak­ing third, from Chris Stillwell’s very pop­u­lar DJR Sierra in fourth.

Frank Bind­ing’s Army Re­serve XD Fal­con was a pop­u­lar win­ner of the Group C cat­e­gory at the SRS, with Chris Bow­den’s Tokico RX7 sec­ond and the Ge­orge Nit­tis-driven ex-Carter XE Fal­con third. Fourth was Phil Ver­wo­ert hav­ing his first run in the ex-Grose Berklee Ex­haust RX7.

Queens­land’s sec­ond HTC round, the Lakeside Clas­sic, is sched­uled for July 25-26. The for­mat will mimic that of past Mus­cle Car Mas­ters, where Group A and Group C cars will split for in­di­vid­ual races. It’s es­pe­cially pop­u­lar with Group C run­ners, who tend to be over­shad­owed by the later-built Group A cars. In Group A, the ex-An­thony Reid 2.5-litre BMW M3 will be mak­ing its de­but un­der new owner Peter Jones. Jones also owns the ex-Fin­auer/Longhurst 2.3-Litre JPS BMW M3 but plans to cam­paign the faster Ja­panese Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship racer, leav­ing the JPS car for ‘spe­cial oc­ca­sions’. In Group C, Ed Sin­gle­ton’s VH Com­modore re­turns af­ter cop­ping a nasty blow at the Aus­tralian Grand Prix round. Lakeside’s fast, flow­ing curves have al­ways ben­e­fit­ted the smaller, nim­bler cars so per­haps the Nissan/Sierra dom­i­na­tion will be dented.

Monterey in Au­gust will be its usual amaz­ing ar­ray of events and cars, with the jewel be­ing the Rolex His­torics. The mighty Trans-Am cars will be a high­light, with Aus­tralian Mus­tang fan Don Dim­i­tri­adis en­tered in his newly-ac­quired 1969 Shelby ’Stang. Sin­gle-seater fans will be in a lather as F5000 is a fea­ture cat­e­gory. A 16-strong con­tin­gent of NZers (12) and Aus­tralians (4) will head over for the main week­end and the ‘pre-re­union’ held a week ear­lier. Mean­time, races for F1 cars, 1967 to 1984, will see a large grid of Ma­tra V12s and DFVs all scream­ing for the ti­tle of best-sound­ing cat­e­gory of the week­end. Road cars fans will not be left in cold with the GT350 Shelby the fea­tured car for the event. Shelby’s Mus­tang-based ‘sportscar’ dom­i­nated the USA grass roots sportscars scene for years, knock­ing off the C2 Corvette. Thus, Shel­bys of all types will flock to La­guna Seca.

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