Brock: Hold it flat over Dogleg
Ihave just been flicking through issue #87 of AMC and came across a letter sent in by Phil Gallacher regarding the effect Peter Brock had on his life.
I can relate to Phil’s admiration for Brocky as I still feel the same way to this day.
When I started racing I raced a Wolseley 24/80 [Ed:!]. Brocky had been with the HDT for a while at that stage and he came up to me in the pits at Oran Park before I was due to go out for practice. He said to me: “You must be as silly as me.” He was referring to me starting off in the Wolseley and the fact that he started off in an Austin A30.
We had a laugh about that and I did say to him that they were from the same manufacturer, I also said, “If the Wolseley is half as good as the A30 I will be very happy; nothing to do with the driver, of course.”
Before he walked off, he asked how I was handling the track and whether I was have any problems. I replied: “Just the Dogleg; the car is very unstable across there.” I told him I was backing off just before the Dogleg, to which Brocky replied: “Don’t back off, hold it flat.”
I went out for practice, closed my eyes at the Dogleg and held it flat; the Wolseley went across the Dogleg like it was on rails.
Brocky on several occasions would come and find me in the pits to find out about any development’s we had done to the Wolseley. My admiration for Brocky started way back then.
I competed in three Classic Adelaide rallies, 2003, ’04 and ’05, in my XY Falcon. I had the car on the hoist in the shed getting it ready for the 2006 event. I can honestly say my heart was not in it this time to compete, time was running out to get the entry in.
Something I will never forget is the news flash on the radio that Brocky had been in a serious accident in a rally in WA and was no longer with us. I was devastated as was a huge part of the population.
I decided immediately that if it can happen to Brocky, then I had no hope and stopped working on the car immediately and did not enter.
That was basically the end of my involvement as a competitor, apart from some hillclimbs in my local area, the last one about four years ago.
When the subject of motor racing comes up with family and friends – usually how boring it is now and that no one watches it – I always think of Brocky and how motor racing for me lost that appeal.
Noel Delforce Lochinvar, NSW
ED: Great stories, Noel. As an aside, could you hold your Leyland P76 Sports Sedan flat over the Dogleg?