Carter’s NetComm Nissan Returns To Racing


Carter’s NetComm Nissan Returns To Racing

Wakefield Park to kick off Heritage Touring Cars season this weekend

THE 2015 Heritage Touring Cars championship kicks off this weekend at Wakefield Park and a familiar Nissan makes its return to the track after a long lay-off as part of the 18-car field.

The turbo Skyline DR30 formerly raced by veteran Murray Carter will make its first race start in some two decades in the hands of owners Graeme and Jacqui Taylor.

The Canberra-based couple have returned the car to its #14 NetComm livery and specification as it competed in the 1987 season with Carter at the wheel.

Originally appearing in Everlast livery in 1986 with Carter and Bill O’Brien, the car was re-painted in ’87 with an all-black livery with the backing of NetComm.

Steve Masterton co-drove with Carter at Bathurst before Denis Horley drove it at the Adelaide Grand Prix meeting to round out the season.

It was repaired and used briefly by Carter in 1988 before the completion of his Ford Sierra RS500 and sold to privateer Matt Wacker and later Clive Smith, the turbo Nissan made its last Bathurst 1000 start in 1989 before racing in Sports Sedans and later being retired from racing in the early 2000s.

Bathurst 1987

Taylor and his wife purchased the car from Robert Ingram in 2012 and have spent the last two years preparing for its debut in Heritage Touring Cars.

“Robert stripped it and had the shell resprayed in gloss black and we bought it off him in November 2012 and have been flat out ever since!” says Taylor.

“I put in a 650 hour rebuild in my garage by myself and then Fred Gibson approached me to have the car under his Gibson Motorsport wing so it spent eight months in Melbourne and came back to me late last year.

“We had a commissioning day at Winton last year with Alan Heaphy and the GMS crew and had a few issues, which is to be expected with a ground-up rebuild like this.

“I ran the car in the Skyline Nationals at Winton and ran four display races and it didn’t miss a beat!

“I’ve wanted this car since I was 17. It’s taken me a good 28 years to be able to get in a position to have it!

“Wakefield Park is my home track, it’s only 40 kilometres down the road and I’ve been running production cars for years there with my wife Jacqui, so I know the track well – but a race car is quite different from a road car!

“It’s not about going out there to try and win a race, we just want to bring the car back out there and have people enjoy seeing it again.”

This weekend’s field at the Summer Historics event in Goulburn features reigning HTC Group A Champion Terry Lawlor in his ex-GIO Nissan GT-R, Robert Ingram’s Ford Sierra RS500 and David Gardner’s ex-Alf Barbagallo Castrol Commodore VN.

1966 Bathurst winner Bob Holden is back in his Group A Corolla and still going strong aged 82, while also appearing in Group A cars are Craig Markland (Sierra RS500), David Paterson (Corolla Sprinter) and Richard Prince’s ex-Lawrie Hazelton Volvo.

Group C is mainly made up of small capacity cars, though there are still some V8s including Ed Singleton’s STP Commodore, Daniel Cotterill’s ex-Scotty Taylor Commodore, George Nittis’ ex-Carter Falcon XE and Michael Logiudice’s Torana A9X.

Greg Keam (Escort RS), Darryl Leslight (Gemini ZZ), Bill Magoffin (Alfa Romeo GTV 2000) and Justin Matthews (Escort Mk 2) make up the rest of the HTC field for the opening round of six for 2015.

HTC cars will compete in two races on Saturday and three on Sunday – the Sunday including a race specifically for under three litre Group A and C cars.

Images thanks to The Coventry Collection