MEMORY LANE: Colin Bond Alfa Romeo
Colin Bond is a legend of Australian motorsport, the only driver to win the Australian Touring Car Championship, Australian Rally Championship and also the Bathurst touring car classic – when it was known as the Hardie-Ferodo 500 – at Mount Panorama.
Our AN1 Images Memory Lane photo today shows Bond in action 30 years ago in his Caltex-backed Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo in the 1987 round of the Shell Ultra Australian Touring Car Championship at Sandown.
This shot captures Bondy in the turbo-charged Italian machine in the tight infield section of the Melbourne circuit, which had been introduced a few years earlier in 1984.
It was in fact in that same year that Bond’s Alfa relationship began, firstly in Group E production car racing with a GTV6 before progressing with the pretty little race cars into Group A touring car racing.
After running the GTV6 for two seasons – including a spell during 1985 with Alan Jones as teammate before ‘AJ’ returned to Formula 1 to drive for the new Beatrice Haas squad – Bond made the step up to the turbo car for 1987.
The new 75 model came to Australia direct from the Luigi team in Belgium and initially it was a struggle as the 1.7-litre turbo car couldn’t keep up with the opposition.
Initially the car was left-hand drive though Bond’s Caltex-backed team converted it to right-hand drive mid-season.
Its best result during the 1987 ATCC was a seventh (at Lakeside and Adelaide International Raceway) though in this race shown from Sandown he finished 19th, three laps down on winner Glenn Seton’s Nissan Skyline turbo after an early pit stop to deal with a turbo issue.
Later in the year Lucio Cesario crashed the car out of the James Hardie 1000 and Bond ran it for the last time at the Adelaide Grand Prix support race event before moving into a Ford Sierra RS500 for the following season.
The Alfa 75 ended up competing in Sports Sedan racing in the years that followed and we understand it was written off in the mid-1990s, possibly at Oran Park.
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