Red Bull Holden Racing Team boss Roland Dane has confirmed he’ll race on the Supercars support bill in the two forthcoming Townsville events.
Dane is set to race a 1985 Jaguar XJS and a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro in the North Queensland Supersprinters.
The Supercars team owner will share the cars with Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris and friend Peter Altman.
“I thought it would be a good opportunity to take two of my cars up there and just have a run around the streets with a couple of mates and share the cars,” Dane told Speedcafe.com.
“There’ll be 30-odd cars out there, not racing each other, but let out a few seconds apart and do lap times by yourself.
“We’ll go up there for the two weekends and take it in turns with Paul Morris and Peter Altman.
“When we’re up there, I certainly hope it’s going to be a great festival of 10 days up in Townsville from Supercars down to the Supersprinters.”
It’ll be the first time in several decades that Dane has raced competitively. However, he often cuts laps out at the Norwell Motorplex on the Gold Coast.
“I’ve done plenty (of racing) but it’s all a long time ago,” he laughed.
“I did lots of one-make racing and Group N in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.”
The cars that Dane and company will drive both have significant history. The Jaguar XJS, which is powered by a 5.3-litre V12 engine, was built in 1985.
The car raced in the 1986 Wellington 500 and was driven by Allan Prince and Mike Hourigan, but did not finish.
The car is one of only a handful of ‘factory’ Jaguars that weren’t built in the United Kingdom by Tom Walkinshaw Racing.
Dane bought the car from two-time Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 starter Angus Fogg, who restored and raced the car in New Zealand.
“It was restored by Angus Fogg about eight or nine years ago who did the dry-sumping of the engine because Group A cars were wet sump back in the day,” Dane explained.
The Chevrolet Camaro has a similarly interesting history, built in 1967 by Fisher Body in Canada.
The car is one of three right-hand-drive shells built by the General Motors division.
Dane also owns a right-hand-drive road car in the United Kingdom that was used as a prop in a Fast and Furious film.
“This one was built into a race car by Andy Rouse in the UK in the early ‘90s for his long-time sponsor Pete Hall, ICS (Industrial Control Services), which is a famous brand in racing that was on Andy’s cars for many years,” said Dane.
“I bought it off Pete about 10 or 12 years ago and brought it here.”
Ironically, while Dane will be competing at the same event as his Triple Eight Race Engineering team in the Supercars Championship, he won’t be able to join them in the pit lane.
The support categories have been separated, meaning Dane will have to watch from the sidelines.
However, he will have a few Triple Eight team members joining him for the weekend.
“They’re getting on with it now, I’m not sure they need me, and I’m not sure that we’re even allowed in their paddock,” he said.
“I’m not allowed to travel anywhere on holiday so I’m having a holiday in Queensland, as we all should at the moment.
“We’ll have a couple of people come up with me to give me a hand.”
The category is being organised by Pat Driscoll and Michael Seymour.
Driscoll said the 32-car field is oversubscribed for the two weekends of racing at the Reid Park Street Circuit.
The North Queensland Supersprinters will have five 20-minute sessions across the two-day race weekend.
Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Driscoll said he’s grateful to have the category on the supporting cast, which hasn’t been able to use the parklands element of the circuit for street sprints of late.
“It’s great to be on the Supercars calendar, we’ve been wanting this for 10 years since it’s been here,” said Driscoll.
“It’s the best thing to ever happen. It’s fantastic, we’re very appreciative of Supercars for trusting us because it’s unprecedented.
“We know we’ve got a big responsibility to put on a bit of a show and not make idiots of ourselves.”
Driscoll said there will be a mix of road cars and race cars, including road-going Porsche 911s and Aussie Racing Cars.
The category has received entries from Datsun 1200 coupes, Suzuki Swifts, Nissan Silvias, Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores, Hyundai Excels, and more.
The two Townsville events take place on August 29-30 and September 5-6 respectively.