Kicking Off the 2016 Heritage Touring Cars Series


Kicking Off the 2016 Heritage Touring Cars Series

As we head into February and the year begins picking up speed, we’re ready to do some accelerating of our own – it’s time to kick off the 2016 Heritage Touring Cars series!

The 2016 Heritage Touring Cars series will consist of five rounds held in three states, with the red lights going out on round one over the 11th to the 13th of March at the VHRR’s Phillip Island Classic.

The 2016 Phillip Island Classic will let loose well over five hundred historic racing and sports cars on Victoria’s iconic Phillip Island Circuit.

Amongst them will be a near-record Heritage Touring Cars field. Thanks to the wonderful support of our racers, Heritage Touring Cars will field 45 awe-inspiring examples of Group C and Group A Australian touring cars at the event.

These are sure to enjoy stretching their legs around Phillip Island’s high-speed, high-flow layout. And with event patron Jim Richards’ newly-restored Group C BMW 635 joined by a Godzilla R32 GT-R Skyline, four Ford Sierras, eight Group A BMW touring cars and more in a single race, they’ll be putting out enough horsepower and aural grunt to do battle with the moon over the seaside town’s tides.

BMW will be celebrating their one hundredth birthday at the event, and their racing heritage will be alive and well in Heritage Touring Cars with nine racing examples of the marque competing.

In Group C, Event Patron Jim Richards will be competing in the JPS BMW 635 Coupe that he raced in period during 1983 and ’84.

Phillip Island Classic

Group A will feature eight examples from the marque. Adrian Brady will be aboard the JPS BMW 635 CSi that Richards drove to seven victories and his first Australian Touring Car Championship in 1985, along with the Australian Endurance Championship and AMSCAR series.

In M-series cars, David Towe is set to compete in his ’87 BMW M3, which, with its logbook issued in September, 1987, is the last M3 that Frank Gardner’s JPS team built. Jim Richards and Tony Longhurst drove it in the ’87 James Hardie 1000, where they won Class 2, and it’s the ’87 spec that Towe will be running at Phillip Island.

Jervis Ward will compete in another Richards M3, driving the car Richards piloted for the 1988 ATCC. Bill Cutler and Roger Townsend will also be aboard M3s, with Peter Jones piloting the most modern example of the marque in the form of his ’92 E30 M3.

Jones’ E30 M3 was built as a spare car for the 1989 Spa 24 Hours and would eventually be sold to Japan, where British touring car star Anthony Reid ran it in the Intertec touring car endurance race at Mount Fuji. During its career in the JTCC it was updated to sport Evo spec, which is the form in which it competes today.

The impressive Bavarian presence is completed by David Harris and Murray Sinclair in a pair of JPS 325is.

Joining the bevy of BMWs will be several exciting historic machines making their Heritage Touring Cars debut. In Group C Richards’ BMW 635 will be joined by the John Goss Racing ’77 Ford Falcon XC of Ed Singleton, while in Group A Carey McMahon will fire up the B&H Racing Sierra Cosworth RS500 and John Douglas will pilot his 1988 Group A Commodore.

Looking forward in the year we’ll be heading to Queensland for round two of the Heritage Touring Cars series, which will be held at the HRCC’s Historic Warwick at Morgan Park over the 29th of April to the 1st of May.

The half-way point of the season will be marked in New South Wales when we return to Sydney Retro Speedfest at Sydney Motorsport Park from June 10th to June 12th.

We’re back in Victoria for round four – this time heading to Winton Motor Raceway over the 6th and 7th of August for the VHRR’s Historic Winton.

The series will wrap up at Sydney Motorsport Park over the 28th to 30th of October, when we take part in Australia’s greatest festival of muscle – Muscle Car Masters.

Images by Brent Murray of At Speed Images