Events

Ron­nie’s ‘Fly­ing Brick’ among wings-and-slicks won­ders at the Phillip Is­land Clas­sic

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

Plenty of event ac­tion down un­der, in­clud­ing the Phillip Is­land Clas­sic emer­gence of a Group 5 BMW 320 once owned by Tom Walkin­shaw and raced by Ron­nie Petersen

With 60 races over a three-day week­end and cars from the Twen­ties to the Nineties, the Phillip Is­land Clas­sic was packed – but new­com­ers from the slicks-and-wings era made the most dra­matic en­trance.

BMW 320 Group 5

A wild Group 5 BMW, once raced by Ron­nie Peter­son and owned by Tom Walkin­shaw, made its clas­sic com­pe­ti­tion de­but.

‘I got the car from a friend ten years ago as a shell,’ ex­plained owner Adrian Brady. ‘I spent five years find­ing all the bits and then it took us five years to re­store it. The Phillip Is­land Clas­sic is our first meet­ing out since the restora­tion.

‘The car was raced in the Ger­man DRM series in 1977 and 1978 by Team HAT, whose star driver was Ron­nie Peter­son.’ Sadly, re­sults were un­forth­com­ing against handy works driv­ers such as Marc Surer and Man­fred Winkel­hock.

‘In 1979 Tom Walkin­shaw helped ar­range the sale of the car to Gerry Ty­ack in the UK, who com­peted in hill climbs. In the Eight­ies it was bought by Brian Chat­field and run in a num­ber of Su­per­sa­loon events.

‘Then Tom Walkin­shaw bought it to put in his pri­vate col­lec­tion, I sus­pect be­cause of his friend­ship with Ron­nie Peter­son. My friend bought it di­rectly from Walkin­shaw.’

Austin-healey 100/4

‘I knew the car had Seven­ties and Eight­ies rac­ing his­tory in Australia,’ said Shane O’brien of his big Healey.

‘But I’ve been talk­ing to a guy today who sug­gested it might have a race his­tory at Al­bert Park in the Fifties. I do know that fa­mous Aus­tralian mo­tor sport en­gi­neer Ian Tate – who built en­gines for Peter Brock, among many oth­ers – got his first rac­ing li­cence driv­ing this car.

‘Af­ter it fin­ished rac­ing it was con­verted back to a road car by a gen­tle­man by the name of Gor­don Cope-wil­liams, who hap­pens to live across the road from a friend of mine. We spent a year work­ing on him to con­vince him to sell it to me.

‘Since get­ting it we have only done some ba­sics – seals and bear­ings and so on – and this is its first time on the track since 1982.’

Argo JM19

‘I was in France on the Tour Auto, nav­i­gat­ing for a friend in 2015 and spot­ted the UK Group C cars rac­ing. At that point it be­came a dream of mine to one day race in that cat­e­gory my­self,’ said Brett Lind­say. ‘I thought I would have a re­ally hard time find­ing a car and then this Argo came up for sale five miles from my home in Mel­bourne! It was left just how it raced to 11th place at the 1988 Brands Hatch 1000km with Richard Piper and Olindo Iacobelli, in this Texas Home Care liv­ery, but had been sit­ting un­used for some time.

‘This is my first race meet­ing. I’m not in­tim­i­dated though – it’s a re­ally lovely car to drive.’

One novice his­toric racer used this Group C Argo to make his com­pe­ti­tion de­but

Big Healey back on track af­ter six decades

‘Fly­ing Brick’ was once owned by Tom Walkin­shaw

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