South Burnett Times - - FIND YOUR CAR ON FIND - Dom Tripolone

T ele­vi­sion 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 mo­tor­sport-crazy 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 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.”

Catch Greg Rust on his pod­cast Rusty’s Garage, talk­ing to the big­gest names in Aus­tralian mo­tor­sport.

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