2012 Festival of Speed Tops 240 Entries
A record field of entries will line up for the 2012 Winton Festival of Speed, which is just over two weeks away.
More than 240 entries are confirmed for the event, which has received a further boost thanks to the inclusion of some high-profile cars and drivers in the Group A / Group C category, running for the first time at the Festival of Speed.
Headlining these drivers is Murray Carter. The Australian Touring Car legend is famous for a motor-racing career spanning some six decades, including openwheelers, production cars, touring cars and GT cars. Even today, at 81 years of age, Carter races a Corvette in the Victorian Sports Car Championship and at the Festival of Speed, he will race a Group C Ford XB Falcon.
Group C regulations applied to the Australian Touring Car Championship up until 1985, when they were abolished in favour of the Group A regulations. Interestingly, Australia’s first-ever Group A race was actually held at Winton, so the Festival of Speed is something of a homecoming for the Group A cars.
One of the historically valuable Group A cars entered for the Festival of Speed is the Nissan Skyline HR31 of Carey McMahon. This was the first Skyline built by Gibson Motorsport, and was driven by George Fury before being handed over to a young Mark Skaife for his first endeavours at the top level of Australian motorsport.
According to McMahon, the car is quite challenging to drive because of the turbo lag that was an inherent characteristic for many cars of the era.
“It takes experience to get used to,” McMahon said. “You have to accelerate before the apex of the corner, and then when the power cuts in, it’s very brutal.”
McMahon recently had the car’s suspension and brakes tuned by former Gibson Motorsport driver Fred Gibson, and reported significant improvements.
At the Festival of Speed, the Group A / Group C competition will be highlighted by a a feature race will be held over 15 laps – the “Precision International Cup.”
Admission for the Festival of Speed will be $25.00 for Saturday August 11, $30.00 for Sunday August 12 and $50.00 for a two-day pass. Children under 16 are free and official programs are available for $5.00.
For more information, please visit the Victorian Historic Racing Register website – www.vhrr.com.