Cars in Panama hat-trick

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Sport - Bill Buys

A TRIO of valu­able his­toric rac­ing cars shipped from the US, des­tined to com­pete at Barba­gallo Race­way this Satur­day and Sun­day, won’t be ar­riv­ing.

“They some­how ended up 17,000km away, in Panama,” WA Sport­ing Car Club com­pe­ti­tion man­ager Si­mon Sterner said.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate – it would have been the first time we had a di­rect US en­try – and this one was of par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance.

“It was Travis En­gen, who has won count­less vin­tage mono­posto (sin­gle-seater) and sports car races and cham­pi­onships around the world, and he had en­tered his Chevron B17b, Lo­tus 23B and Ralt RT1.”

En­gen, the wealthy Con­necti­cut-based for­mer pres­i­dent of Rio Tinto Al­can, chair­man of ITT and other ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions, raced in Aus­tralia in 2012, but at Syd­ney’s East­ern Creek.

“How his cars ended up in Panama we don’t know. But the two-day Shan­nons Al­lHis­torics meet­ing will still have an in­ter­na­tional flavour, with five en­tries from New Zealand and more from NSW and Vic­to­ria.”

The Ki­wis are Noel Wood­ford in a Gemini, Nigel Rus­sell (FMZ), Peter Boel in a Lo­tus 41C, An­thony Olisoff in an Emeryson Elfin and Alan Cat­tle with his Fiat-based Volpini.

They are all com­pet­ing in the na­tional For­mula Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship, which is still as fiercely fought as in its hey­day in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The sa­loon cat­e­gories are pep­pered with Mini Coop­ers, Corti­nas, Es­corts, Mus­tangs, Ca­maros, Monaros, Porsches and Jaguars.

Forty events will be run in the var­i­ous classes.

“Even with­out Travis En­gen, it’s go­ing to be a great meet­ing,” a slightly fraz­zled Si­mon Sterner said.

The en­try fee of $15 cov­ers both days and up to four peo­ple per car will be $45. Kids free.

Travis En­gen’s three Barba­gallo-bound clas­sic rac­ers – a Chevron, Lo­tus and Ralt – got lost in tran­sit.

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