Rubis recounts unusual journey from caterer to B6Hr winner
Sunday 11th April, 2021 - 12:30pm
Rob Rubis has recounted his unusual introduction to motorsport after winning this year’s Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.
Rubis took out the production car enduro with Shane van Gisbergen and car owner Shane Smollen, 30 years after his first car race.
That was at the inaugural Gold Coast Indy event, where he was the head of catering, yet was thrust into one of the support categories.
“It was funny, because there was no CAMS licence required then,” Rubis told Speedcafe.com.
“In the first IndyCar event, I had the head catering contract, and I got a drive in the Porsche Cup race – that I think Rusty French won in those days way back – in an RSR Replica.
“Actually, a very dear friend of mine, Gregg Hansford, taught me [how] to get into motorsport, to help me with that car and to understand how motor racing was. So that’s how it all started.
“I remember getting in the car, I was on the two-way and they were saying, ‘We’ve got a problem in catering box number five.’
“I said, ‘I’ll be there in 15, 20 minutes.’”
A semi-regular on the production car scene for decades now, victory in the Bathurst 6 Hour is the biggest of Rubis’ feats in the sport.
The restaurateur was thrilled to do so with a Supercars champion as well as a very good friend of his in Smollen.
“It’s amazing to be with an absolute magician of driving,” exclaimed Rubis.
“Shane [van Gisbergen] was incredible, just to spend three days with him and all the things he brought us up to speed with and discussed.
“[He is a] true professional, top of his game, and it’s unbelievable to drive with him and just to share those moments with him, because they are once in a lifetime.
“It’s a rare thing so it’s fantastic, and [to also do so] with a dear mate too is very special.”
Rubis was in fact already a Bathurst 6 Hour winner, although not outright, having taken out Class C with Todd Hazelwood when they finished 18th outright in a BMW 130i in 2017.
This time around, he was part of a Bruce Lynton BM Service one-two, and had high praise for the BMW squad as well as van Gisbergen.
“The mecca of Australian motorsport is Bathurst, and to drive with the best driver in Australia at the moment, is incredible,” added Rubis.
“Obviously, the car, being a production car, has its moments, so you’ve got to work with it and understand it and enjoy it, and get used to it.
“It’s been an incredible experience, and working with someone [van Gisbergen] at that level, plus the car was put together by the team very well. Aaron [Reed, mechanic] and the boys did an incredible job with it.”