Brock in GP rally

Touring car legend Peter Brock will come out of retirement to compete in the 2001 Trading Post Grand Prix Rally, through regional Victoria from February 24-28, with his youngest son. The nine-time Bathurst winner and Australian Grand Prix ...

Touring car legend Peter Brock will come out of retirement to compete in the 2001 Trading Post Grand Prix Rally, through regional Victoria from February 24-28, with his youngest son.

The nine-time Bathurst winner and Australian Grand Prix Corporation board member and ambassador will drive his personal Holden Commodore VX SS in the 2000-kilometre, five-day Rally to the 2001 Qantas Australian Grand Prix (March 1-4), with his 20 year-old son Rob in the navigators seat.

Brock has emphasised that its not going to be just a family bonding experience, while rookie Rob says hes hoping I can get him to take some direction for once!

Brock, who walked away gloriously from full-time motor sport at the end of 1997, said: Like every motor sport event Ive ever been in, Im planning to have a red hot go!

Rob and I will be getting up to speed with the navigation between now and the event and Ill be dusting off my motorkhana techniques for the tighter stuff.

However when we get to Winton and Calder, Ill be on much more familiar territory. Although I havent competed at either circuit against the clock since I retired from regular racing, you dont forget much when youve done as many laps there as I have.

The five-day Trading Post Grand Prix Rally, from February 24 to 28, will start in Shepparton and cris-cross Victoria on its way to Melbourne, stopping overnight in Shepparton, Bendigo and Geelong. Competitors will take part in 25 driving tests and numerous navigation events on the way.

After its formal finish in Melbourne, the rally cars will take to the Formula One circuit at Albert Park on March 2 and 3 for parade laps during the Qantas Australian Grand Prix, which concludes with the opening round of the FIA Formula One World Championship on March 4.

In entering the Trading Post Grand Prix Rally, Peter Brock follows in the wheeltracks of many top Australian V8 Supercar drivers who have competed in the Grand Prix Rally since it began in 1988. Others include Jim Richards, Steven Richards, Dick Johnson, Alan Jones, Wayne Gardner, and Brad Jones.

Although Brock and six-time Bathurst winner Jim Richards shared three of their Mt. Panorama victories together in Holdens in 1978, 79 and 80, they will meet as Modern Category rivals in the 2001 Trading Post Grand Prix Rally.

Both gained early career notoriety in rally events Brock dominating Rallycross in Australia at the wheel of a fearsome supercharged Holden Torana, while Richards rallied a Ford Escort in his native New Zealand.

They have each since gone on to more rally glory. Brock won the gruelling two-week-long 1979 Repco Reliability Trial in a new Commodore and has since competed in two other Round Australia Trials, the Australian Safari and Targa Tasmania, while Richards has won four Targa Tasmanias and five Grand Prix Rallies all driving Porsches.

While Richards latest four-wheel-drive, 420-horsepower turbocharged Porsche 911 might be difficult for even Brock to toss in a two-wheel-drive Commodore, Australias best-known touring car driver will have other Rally competitors like V8 supercar driver Peter Gazzard and his $191,190 V8-engined Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK55, in his sights.

Gazzard, who won the Grand Prix Rally outright in 1999 driving a Subaru WRX STi, finished third last year in a fast, but much bulkier V8-engined Mercedes-Benz AMG E55 four-door sedan a vehicle not unlike Brocks SS Commodore.

-Motor Web

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About this article
Series Other rally , Road racing
Drivers Alan Jones , Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Peter Brock , Dick Johnson , Steven Richards