Heritage Touring Cars return to Queensland


Heritage Touring Cars return to Queensland

The Historic Warwick Touring Car Festival at Morgan Park Raceway on Queensland’s scenic Southern Downs will see a diverse and exciting field of genuine Group C & Group A Touring Cars racing for class & outright honours in Round 2 of the 2015 Heritage Touring Cars Championship.

The event is to be held by the Historic Racing Car Club (Qld.) on the weekend of May 2 & 3.  This meeting will be the first of two Queensland appearances for these cars in 2015.

17 cars have been entered for racing on the extended 3.0km Morgan Park circuit, just 5 minutes drive from the Warwick city centre. With a quality grid, all vying for points in the Championship, racing is expected to be fast and close, plus a few lap records are expected to be under attack in the glorious Queensland autumn weather.

Headlining the race for line honours in Group A will be the 1991 Sandown 500-winning ‘Godzilla’ GIO Nissan Skyline GT-R, fresh from victory at the recent Easter Bathurst Motor Festival. 

Hot on the heels of the Japanese monster will be a fire breathing Ford Sierra RS500 that was originally built and raced by Andy Rouse in Europe. It was shipped to Japan for the Intertec race at Mt Fuji. The car then became a regular front runner in the Japanese Touring Car Championship and has recently been shipped to Australia and fully restored.

Also running fuel-injected turbo power are the Xerox Shop Mitsubishi Starion, which raced in every year of Group A from the Sandown 500 in 1984 until the ATCC in 1992, and a Volvo 240Turbo, the same model that won the ATCC in 1986.

5-litre V8 Commodore power will be taking on the high-tech turbo cars and flying the flag for Aussie fans with Wayne Clift racing the Deluxe Coachlines VK Commodore he ran at the 1987 Bathurst 1000. Wayne built the car from a HDT-supplied Holden motorsport shell in 1986 and has owned and raced the car ever since. Incredibly, no one else has ever owned this car! 

Expected to dominate the Group A under 3-litre lap class is the ex-Win Percy, ex-Barry Sheene, ex-Peter Williamson Toyota Supra, now based in nearby Toowoomba. 

Back in the day, the 1600cc class of Group A was dominated by Toyota’s giant-killing 16v Twin Cam Corollas and it’s no different today. An ex-Bob Holden Corolla Sprinter will be fighting two of his ex-TOM’s GB Corolla FX-GTs, one to be driven by Bob Holden himself.

Group C outright honours will be hotly contested by ‘Elvis’, the ex-Allan Grice/Colin Bond STP Commodore, the famous Army Reserve XD Falcon and the XE Falcon formerly raced by the legendary Murray Carter. Classic Japanese Car fans will enjoy seeing the ex-Mulvihill Mazda RX-7, now a fabulously-restored part of the iconic Bowden collection. 

Group C under 2-litre honours will see a family fight with a father and son team from Gunnedah in two ex-Bob Holden Ford Escorts. They will both be keenly chased by a rare Japanese PF60 Gemini. 

Group C cars are deeply loved by Australian race fans, but not all of them are remembered for their speed. A classic example was the stock standard Volvo 242GT raced at Bathurst in 1979 by Scuderia Veloce. The car was driven by two retired greats, but lacked the speed of the highly developed big bangers. Still, it finished the biggest race in the country and got plenty of airtime. Well, that very car has just enjoyed a ground up restoration and will be racing in group C at this meeting.

Round 1 of the Championship was held at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park in February and Round 3 will be at The Sydney Retro Speedfest at Sydney Motorsport Park in June. After that the cars return to Queensland in July, then on to Sydney’s Muscle Car Masters in September and the final round at Historic Sandown in November.

Entry to the pits at Morgan Park is free of charge with a General Admission ticket, so don’t miss your chance to get up close and check out Australia’s motor sport heritage, in the metal. 

Heritage Touring Cars – Come and see the real thing!

David Paterson.