A Quick History
The latest word on the Historic motor racing scene
Classic Sandown, run by the Victorian Historic Racing Registry over November 6-8, hosted the 2015 Heritage Touring Car finale. Group C was largely where all the action was, with local lad Milton Seferis (ex-Peter Janson VH Commodore), Carrera Cup racer Fraser Ross, in his father’s ex-Imrie XD Falcon, and Jeff Trembath (ex-Warren Cullen/Alan Jones VC Commodore) putting on a fantastic show. Ross did, however, receive a reprimand for driving with Norm Beechey-like gusto in the damp conditions. Seferis’s horsepower advantage kept him just ahead of the other two until Sunday’s final race when his yellow Commodore developed a mechanical malady and had to pit. That gave Ross the win and Trembath second place. George Nittis, who was keeping Phil Verwoerts’s RX7 company during the whole event, was elevated to a third.
In Group A, Carey McMahon’s 1991 Bathurst 1000-winning Nissan GT-R was the star of the show, again taking pole, winning all the races and scoring the new lap record. Terry Lawlor’s exColin Bond Caltex RS500 had occasional bursts of speed, but an uncharacteristic spin saw him lose race one and subsequently the 2015 Group A championship to McMahon’s mighty GT-R. A post-race health assessment of Lawlor has revealed a hernia operation is needed, which may explain his off peak performance. Coming third for a while was Adrian Allisey in his VL Walkinshaw Commodore, but he had to bow out, before the final race.
An honourable mention must go to Carolyn Kruger, who was gifted a drive in her old Gibson Motorsport DR30 Nissan and looked to be having the most fun of anyone there. Gibson Motorsport successfully fielded a large group of Historic Nissans, with amiable front man, Fred Gibson, hosting new and old competitors and friends, in their very professional corporate area. Good to see GMS and Fred still setting such high standards as always, but now in Historic motorsport.
The Heritage Touring Car event calendar for 2016 has been partially finalised with the three opening rounds confirmed. The much anticipated VHRR’s Phillip Island Classic, March 10-13, will be a very popular season-opener. Following that will be a country retreat weekend with Queensland’s Historic Racing Car Club’s Autumn Historics at Warwick’s Morgan Park, at the end of April. The last of the three openers will be the very popular Sydney Retro Racefest, on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June. The Racefest, with its ‘quality not quantity’ mix of categories, offers the best cars an impressive amount of track time. This formula is proving to very popular.
Rumours and hearsay 1: The racing public may be demanding that the Heritage Touring Cars do a full V8 Supercar season as a support category, but that does not mean it will happen. The cars are ‘Fifth Category’ Historic and will always stay faithful to that branch of the sport. Will there be an occasional feature race, at certain V8 SC events in the future? The people want it, so perhaps an agreement will be made. Stay tuned.
Rumours and hearsay 2: The CAMS Australian Historic Commission, which oversees the direction of Historic motorsport, is having a personnel reshuffle. If the rumours are true about whom the new member is likely to be, then it is a good showing of CAMS wanting to be progressive regarding Historic racing, with a changing of the guard.
Rumours and hearsay 3: The biggest rumour circulating at the moment is of another, very high profile Group A sale, between existing competitors. This sale will certainly set a new price record for a Group A car worldwide. The selling party has supposedly been in negotiations with a private collection to buy a suitable Group A car. I know it all sounds a bit cryptic readers, but trust us, the next column will reveal all.