Down on the Farm

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle Maniac -

In

our Sa­cred Sites sec­tion in is­sue #81 we vis­ited the old War­wick Farm cir­cuit. The story prompted the mem­ory of our chief pho­tog­ra­pher, Ray Berghouse, who drew our at­ten­tion to this GIO Car In­sur­ance ad which ran in Rac­ing Car News mag­a­zine back in the early 1990s. The ac­tion pho­to­graph of the Bob Forbes Rac­ing GIO Com­modore VL tour­ing car de­picted in the ad was taken by Ray at a spe­cial spon­sor day in mid-1990 – at War­wick Farm.

While the Syd­ney cir­cuit closed in 1973, and large sec­tions of it were bull­dozed in the early 1980s to make way for a sec­ond horse track, the short cir­cuit re­mained in­tact. The Forbes team was able to gain per­mis­sion to use the venue, and driver Mark Gibbs took a priv­i­leged hand­ful of spon­sors and journos on hot laps of the old track.

The road sur­face was still in near-per­fect con­di­tion but the track was un­der­stand­ably a bit dusty – strug­gling for grip, the 5.0-litre V8 Holden Bathurst racer was side­ways most of the way around the course. Look closely and you can see the dust be­ing blown up by the car.

So it was that 17 years af­ter the last race was run, the sound of a rac­ing en­gine be­ing used in anger echoed around the old grand­stands at War­wick Farm for one fi­nal time.

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