Horst Kwech

Australian Muscle Car - - US F5000 -

Ex­pa­tri­ate Aus­tralian Horst Kwech was among the Lola T300 run­ners in 1972. The sedan spe­cial­ist (and the man who would be re­spon­si­ble for Al­lan Mof­fat’s DeKon Chevy Monza), parked his reg­u­lar Alfa tour­ing car to take up the F5000 chal­lenge, partly be­cause you could win “half a year’s salary in one af­ter­noon”. But with lit­tle open­wheeler ex­pe­ri­ence, Kwech was cog­nisant of the in­her­ent risks driv­ing cars his then-wife Dotty cheer­fully de­scribed as ‘rolling coffins’.

“In the Alfa,” Kwech ob­served, “I can keep my thoughts on go­ing faster. In the Lola, I think about those guardrails.”

It was the spon­sor of Kwech’s Alfa that led the push to go F5000. They got them­selves a Lola T300, which Kwech de­scribed as ‘not a very good car’.

“Be­fore our first race we had to buy a front end con­ver­sion kit for the car – it was an F2 car with a V8 in the rear. It was not a win­ning car, but I en­joyed do­ing it. I was a bit scep­ti­cal about the car com­ing from rac­ing tin-tops, but man I loved driv­ing the F5000 car!”

If noth­ing else, Kwech was re­mark­ably con­sis­tent in qual­i­fy­ing. In the six rounds he con­tested he was never slower than 17th fastest, and never higher than 13th. The high­light was fifth over­all at Road At­lanta, scored from sixth and sev­enth place re­sults in the heats.

Horst did have the odd mo­ment, like at Watkins Glen, where he tapped Bill Brack into a spin while try­ing to over­take him. Brack’s Lo­tus 70-Chev ended up side­ways on the track. With nowhere to go, Sam Posey’s Sur­teesChev went air­borne over Kwech’s rear tyre and slammed into the side of Brack’s car. Kwech es­caped with only a flat tyre.

They or­dered a new Lola T330 for the fol­low­ing sea­son but the spon­sor­ship dried up, and that was the end of Kwech’ s fl ir­ta­tion with F5000.

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