FORMER BATHURST 1000 WINNER TO RETURN FOR 2009 RACE AROUND THE CLOCK
With just over seven weeks before entries close for the 2009 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro, Event organisers are enjoying large interest with 37 entries currently confirmed in the line-up -- including a former Bathurst 1000 winner.
Aboard a VL Commodore Peter McLeod along with David Parsons and the legendary Peter Brock claimed the Bathurst 1000 win in 1987.
Fast forward 22 years from that momentous occasion and in 2009 McLeod will drive a Holden Astra Sri with his two sons Ryan and Gerard for the WPS 12 Hour Showroom Enduro.
McLeod's 1987 win is just one of his many achievements, with fifteen years of endurance racing at the Mountain seeing many podium results in his class, as well as jaunts to the Daytona 24 hour and also the Australian Endurance Drivers Championship in 1983 and third in the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1984 just to name a few.
"I won my class in the 12 hour at Mount Panorama in 1992, was second in 1991 and was winning in 1993 before running into an issue and ending up a bit further back, I have done all the 12 hours -- even the ones at Eastern Creek -- except of course for the recent ones although Ryan has had a presence there," said McLeod.
"I was racing at Bathurst from 1980 in the Touring Cars and we were one of the leading privateer teams when the Commodores started running in 85, which is why I got the drive with Brock for 1987 -- we were always in the top ten of each race, whether we won or not we were always at the pointy end over the 15 years of competing.
"Back then I drove a Citroen which was a 1.9 litre, naturally aspirated car and it was quick, and if the Astra is anything to drive like it was around the Mountain I will be very, very pleased.
"The Citroen was quick, it was doing 52s on the track before it was modified, and the Astra has an extra 45 kilowatts of power and is only 150 kilograms heavier so it should be great -- and being built by Holden Motorsport it seems to have been very professionally put together, so I am really looking forward to it."
While McLeod will bring the bulk of the experience to the table, his sons are no slouches when it comes to motorsport, with 35 year old Ryan running the highly successful Racer Industries business and competing in the V8 Supercar development series in the past years and 25 year old Gerard holding the role of lead mechanic for V8 Supercar outfit Britek Motorsport.
"To be running with the two boys in the car will be good -- to be honest I believe it is possibly the first time a father and two sons has raced in the one car," said McLeod.
"I haven't driven competitively since around 1996, except for one race in 1999, but now I have a little RX7 sports sedan and have been doing some racing to get my licence back -- really its like riding a bike and I have done something like 2000 laps around the Mountain so I am not too worried about getting back into it.
"So with me getting back into it a bit and Gerard recently getting his racing licence, we figured that we have a very small window of opportunity to do something like this where we could all race together, obviously I would like to think I can keep doing this forever but reality will kick in at some stage and so it will be good to have a go at sharing the car between us."
The Racer Industries entry is just one of 37 entries currently on the books for the 2009 WPS Bathurst 12 Showroom Enduro, with entries set to close on the 20th of January 2009.
The 2009 WPS Bathurst Showroom Enduro will be held at Mount Panorama on February 20-22.
The 2008 WPS 12 Hour Showroom Enduro attracted in excess of 100 drivers across 37 entries from various parts of Australia and New Zealand with the Mitsubishi Evo 9 of Damien White, Graham Alexander and Rod Salmon taking the victory.