LEGENDS A MASSIVE HIT WITH SURFERS PARADISE CROWD The Pirtek Australian Legends category was a massive hit with crowds at this year's Nikon SuperGP, providing a blast from the past for race fans spanning the generations. Today's entertaining...
LEGENDS A MASSIVE HIT WITH SURFERS PARADISE CROWD
The Pirtek Australian Legends category was a massive hit with crowds at this year's Nikon SuperGP, providing a blast from the past for race fans spanning the generations.
Today's entertaining final session brought the memories flooding back for fans as they watched legends including Jim Richards, Dick Johnson, Kevin Bartlett and John French carve up the track at near race speed in their million-dollar machines.
Norm Beechey's 1971 GTHO Super Falcon, Allan Moffat's 1969 Trans Am Mustang and Dick Johnson's 1984 Greens Tuf XE Falcon were among the head-turners in the field.
The Pirtek Australian Legends category was created by a task force headed by Queensland Minister for Sport Phil Reeves to help provide a unique motorsport experience after the last-minute withdrawal of the A1GP cars from Europe.
Thousands of people strolled through the Pirtek Walk of Fame pit garages and there were huge cheers as the drivers completed their laps. The category was an even bigger hit with the legends themselves.
Two-time Australian Touring Car Championship winner Glenn Seton said that being a part of the Pirtek Australian Legends category was a fantastic experience.
"The legends were very popular among the fans and if the category is held in future it could be a huge benefit for the whole Gold Coast event," he said.
"Driving the Capri brought back a lot of memories for me -- it was the first car I drove and the first car I started in at Bathurst.
"There is no doubt there is a hell of a lot of support for this legends event, more so than the open wheelers could ever get -- tin top racing has so much history in Australia and there is still so much of that history that could be brought to this event."
Crowd-favourite Kevin Bartlett had fun driving his Channel Nine 1979 Camaro.
"The car was no different to how it was like when I drove it originally," he said.
"It's been absolutely terrific the number of people who came up to the garages and waited until they could find a driver to get autographs and photographs.
"Some of the people were saying they were eight years old when they saw these cars and now they are bringing their children to see them who are at the same age they were.
"Imagine if people were given a few months notice just were this event could lead, it's a real blast from the past."
Former Bathurst 1000 winner Colin Bond drove the much-loved Norm Beechey 1970 HT GTS 350 Monaro, which was the first Holden to ever win the Australian Touring Car Championship.
Bond said the event has huge potential for future years, especially with more time to prepare the cars for racing.
"On the parade lap we did I was amazed at the amount of cheering there was for our cars," he said.
The program was put in place with the help of well-known Queensland-based car collector David Bowden and his sons Dan and Chris from Bowden's Own Premium Car Care products, who supplied 10 of the 12 cars.
Sons of LEGENDS:
Peter Brock 1978 A9X
Allan Moffat 1969 Trans Am Mustang
Glenn/Bo Seton Ford Capri
Kevin Bartlett 1979 Camaro
Allan Moffat 1971 XY GTHO Phase 3
Dick Johnson 1981 Tru Blu XD
Ian Geoghegan 1971 GTHO Super Falcon
Dick Johnson 1984 Greens Tuf XE Falcon
Bob Morris A9X Torana
Norm Beechey 1970 HT GTS 350 Monaro
Brock/Parsons/McLeod VL Commodore
Jim Richards JPS 1985 635csi BMW