CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 25th MARCH 1999 AMERICAN MUSCLE FOR MIGHTY MURRAY One of Australia's most respected drivers has just chalked up fifty years of competition and he has no intention of giving it away...
CENTURY BATTERIES AUSTRALIAN GT PRODUCTION CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 25th MARCH 1999
AMERICAN MUSCLE FOR MIGHTY MURRAY
One of Australia's most respected drivers has just chalked up fifty years of competition and he has no intention of giving it away just yet.
In fact Murray Carter, who is in his early 70s has a new lease on life in the fast lane with the arrival from the U.S. of a new Chevrolet Corvette C5 V8 Coupe which he'll use to contest the Century Batteries Australian GT Production Car Championship.
The veteran of Australian motor racing will be doing battle against the likes of Perry Spiridis in a Maserati Ghibli, the Dodge Viper GTS Coupe of Gary Waldon, Darren Palmer's Ferrari F355 Challenge and numerous Porsche 911 RSCSs in class A of the GTP Championship.
Carter's recent machines include a Class D Mazda 626 and a Class B Nissan 200SX.
The 99 hardtop Corvette should make him even more competitive in his first attack at Class A of the GTP Championship.
“I still enjoy it...If I didn't and if I wasn't competitive I'd give it away tomorrow," Carter said.
While Carter will miss the opening round, he hopes to have the car ready early in the season but says it's more realistic to expect to make an impact later in the GTP Championship once he's ironed out the bugs with the new popular American production car and made sure it's “on song".
Motor racing has gone through some big changes since Carter first took to the track in the early fifties in a Jaguar XK120. Before that Carter was racing motorbikes, his favourite mount being a Triumph 500 Tiger in the late forties.
"“I feel sorry for the young guys trying to make a start these days," Carter said.
"“The enormous costs involved, shopping around for sponsorship deals, the professionalism that is so important these days...racing is out of reach for so many people, even if they have obvious talent as a driver".
Progress hasn't been all bad though. Carter says he gets a buzz out of the new technology even if it's created the need for more specialists in individual teams.
The elder statesman of GTP racing misses the days when he could whip the head off the engine of his own car or tweak the carburettors with a screwdriver.
These days he's happy to leave the mechanical work to the experts while he gets on with the driving. As far as his new car is concerned he expects to spend most of the year on a learning curve.
The 350 horsepower Corvette has only been available in the U.S. for a couple of months. He expects the first few outings to be an adventure as he discovers what the car is capable of.
So what's kept him interested all these years? There's nothing to compare with the thrill of racing according to Carter .
"“When I stop enjoying it, I'll give it away".
Sure it's cost him a fortune over the years but it's a passion, an addiction that he hasn't been able to get out of his system.
Carter sums it up this way. "“You can't take it with you and there won't be much to take I can tell you, but I don't regret a minute of It."
The irony of driving a Corvette this year hasn't escaped Murray Carter. "“I drove a Corvette when it was first released in the 50s", he says. "“I guess I've turned a full circle".