Vale Wayne Negus
Former Holden Dealer Team driver and mechanic Wayne Negus died unexpectedly in September. He was 69.
Negus is best remembered for his stint with the legendary HDT during the mid-1970s. A stalwart of the West Australian motorsport scene, Negus was the king of the Street Cars at Wanneroo, inclusive of racing a dealer team Torana A9X touring car on radial tyres!
Negus honed his skills at an early age aboard his father Syd’s Plymouth Special, before his first serious foray into circuit racing, which was aboard a lightweight Mini. The Mini was later modified for speedway competition, as was an early Torana model.
Negus ventured back into circuit racing with a Series Production XU-1, running among the leaders in the 1972 Hardie-Ferodo 500 before losing control at the end of Conrod and retiring from the race. Nonetheless, he caught the eye of Harry Firth, who offered him a job as a race mechanic at the HDT in Melbourne for 1973. He also helped Bob Forbes prepare his L34 Torana for the 1974 and ’75 Bathurst classics. Although he missed out on a seat with the HDT for those events, his performances with Forbes – especially in finishing second in ’74 in the wet – saw him promoted to the factory-supported squad for the 1976 race, finishing fourth with Charlie O’Brien. By this time Negus had returned to live in WA where he campaigned a string of ex-HDT Toranas in local competition while also making cameo appearances in selected national events, including Bathurst. He also famously played a part in a rare 1-2-3 finish for the factory squad at Wanneroo Raceway’s ATCC round in 1978, finishing third behind Peter Brock and John Harvey. Negus made his final appearance in the Bathurst 1000 in 1980, teaming with Trevor Hine for 10th in his own VC Commodore. Alongside his racing exploits, Negus operated a successful automotive business in Perth and served as a board member of the Motor Trades Association of WA, as well as a member of the Rotary Club for more than 40 years.