The Legends of Bathurst are just a few weeks away from returning to action, with Heritage Touring Cars set to compete in the 2019 Phillip Island Classic over the 8th to the 10th of March. A packed grid of historic Group C & Group A Australian touring cars is set for the event, including an impressive five machines that will make their series debut on the iconic Australian circuit.
Fans can look forward to auditory nirvana over the weekend, with four BMW 635CSis set to compete, including the Group A 635CSi of Robert Ingram that will make its Heritage Touring Cars debut at Phillip Island. Ingram will race alongside Adrian Brady, who will pilot the Group A 635CSi that Jim Richards drove to victory in the first year of Group A competition. Both will face stiff competition, with Jim Richards himself on track in a Group C 635CSi.
Dean How will steer the second Group C car, which is one of the original Group 2 635CSis built to satisfy homologation requirements. After competing in Europe, it was brought to Australia by Frank Gardner and driven by Alan Grice, Jim Richards and even Formula One World Champion Denny Hulme.
Ingram is contributing three cars to the entry, including another debut – a Group C Holden Torana A9X from 1979. The car is a four door sedan and was raced by Phil Lyon in period. His won’t be the only A9X making its series debut at the event, with Andrew Cannon’s 1979 ATCC-winning Ex-Bob Morris/Ron Hodgson A9X Torana also set to hit the track with us for the first time. Anthony Sawford and Aaron Cameron will also pilot A9Xs, while Steve Axisa will be on board his earlier 1973 Torana GTR XU1.
For fans of Japanese muscle, Ingram will also enter a 1983 Group C Mazda RX-7, which will be joined by Peter Lucas’ ex-Terry Shiel Eurocars RX-7 and the Goodrich RX-7 of Gary Rowe. From Toyota, we’ll see Bob Holden aboard one of his Group A Corollas, David Paterson in his ’83 Sprinter and Ian Helsdon in the ex-Malcolm Rea Group A Corolla Sprinter. Craig Neilson will be on board a ’83 Mitsubishi Starion.
Back in the BMW camp and Eddie Sansil has been hard at work restoring an ex-Paul Morris BMW M3, which competed in the 1992 Australian Touring Car Championship. There will be no shortage of M3s for him to play with, with Dave Towe, Bill Cutler, Peter Jones and Duncan Mackellar all set to pilot the iconic touring car model at the Phillip Island Classic. Our final entry from the marque will be David Harris, piloting his JPS 1985 BMW 325i.
Long-time series competitor Michael Logiudice will debut the fifth car – an ex-Billington/Crosby VK Commodore from New Zealand, which ran in the 1987 James Hardie 1000. Other Group A Holdens include the VLs of Garry Kirwan and Adrian Allisey. In Group C, Lindsay Woollard and Jeff Trembath will both run VC Commodores.
On the Ford side we’ll have an impressive four RS500s on the attack. Terry Lawlor will run the 1990 Dick Johnson Shell car, James Vernon will pilot the ex-Tony Longhurst 1990 Benson & Hedges car and Tony Karanfilovski the Glenn Seton Peter Jackson car. Brian Sala will drive an ex-Benson & Hedges RS500 that he raced at Bathurst in the early ‘90s and has driven ever since. Greg Keam will compete in the fifth Group A Ford – the 1984 FOX Ford Mustang.
In Group C, Ed Singleton will bring out the magnificent John Goss K-Tel Falcon XC. John Mina will pilot Jim Keogh’s John Sands Falcon XD and George Nittis the Murray Carter XE. Darryl Leslight will run the Masterton Homes Ford Capri Mk. II that Colin Bond drove so successfully in the early ‘80s, Carl Muller the ’83 Capri 3.0S that he’s been quietly setting lap records with for some time and Russell Keam a Bob Holden Motors Escort RS2000.
Tony Pallas and Michael Roddy will bring the V12s, both set to Pilot Group A Jaguar XJ-Ss at the event.
We can’t wait to introduce 2019 to the Legends of Bathurst and kick off another magic season of historic Australian Group C & Group A racing. Head to Phillip Island over the 8th to the 10th of March, 2019, to see the Heritage Touring Cars series in action and enjoy what’s sure to be another legendary running of the Phillip Island Classic.
For more details about the event, see the official website at vhrr.com.
Stay tuned to www.heritagetouringcars.com.au for more from the Legends of Bathurst.