GREG RUST ABIDING NEED FOR SPEED
HOW I ROLLED
Television motorsport presenter Greg Rust’s love of cars started before he could even walk — his parents took him to the oval tracks as a baby. Now he is steeped in Australia’s motoring landscape, covering V8 Supercars, local MotoGP and Formula One.
“Mum and dad loved speedway, and they still do, and before I could even walk I was going to places like Sydney Showground Speedway and in later years at Liverpool,” Rust says. “I still go with dad now on occasion to Sydney Speedway at Granville.”
And in common with every motorsportcrazy Australian, Bathurst holds a special place in his heart.
“I always have a soft spot for driving to Bathurst because it was and still is such a big part of my life,” he says.
“During the Channel 10 era the station used to hire a van or a Tarago (for Bathurst). My colleagues and I would have music playing and we would just talk about lots of things. It was a perfect way to start and end race week for us.”
There are other special experiences that make Bathurst stand out.
“With a few manufacturers you get to experience the track,” he says. “I’ve driven a Nissan GT-R Nismo up there and the other year I got to take a Ferrari 488 GTB. Those things are great experiences.”
It hasn’t always been about driving supercars around Mount Panorama. Rust’s first car was far more humble.
“My dad helped me buy my first car,” he says. “We bought it only a few blocks from home and it was a 1981 Holden Gemini SLX. It was beige, of all colours.
“It was pretty basic — it had a four-speed manual but I just loved it.”
For the young revhead, things didn’t always go smoothly. “I did some stupid things with it … blew the engine up and had to replace it. I also put a sports exhaust on it. There were a lot of learning experiences.”
Rust now drives a Nissan Navara ST-X, which handles the family-hauling duties and more than holds it own on his semirural property in New Zealand.
For the moment, he says, kids are the priority in any future vehicle purchases but he admits he has one dream car scenario in mind.
“It is a restoration project. I want an early 1970s Porsche 911 but they have gone up in price crazily lately,” says Rust.
“I’m not particular on it being concourse spec but for me it is about driving a sound Porsche that is a little bit modified but still representative of that era.”
Rust has always loved motorbikes — he reckons one of the biggest benefits is that they can make you a better driver.
“I find your level of awareness on a motorcycle is far greater. I wish there was a way people could switch on and have that same level Holden Gemini BATHURST CAR DREAM CAR of awareness in cars,” he says. “It seems like we get this feeling of ‘we are safe in the car’ and you almost get into a bit of autopilot, which is probably why people play with their phones.”