35 of Heritage Touring Cars’ Legends of Bathurst are set to storm Sydney Motorsport Park at Sydney Master Blast, bringing the true monarchs of muscle back to Sydney for the first time in 2019. Heritage Touring Cars will contest round four of the 2019 series at the event, which will run at Sydney Motorsport Park over August 31 and September 1.
The iconic Australian racing cars from Group C and Group A will be headlined by a three-way RS500 Sierra scrap. Terry Lawlor’s run away with the last two Heritage Touring Cars rounds in Dick Johnson’s Shell RS500, but Tony Karanfilovski has been on the hunt in the ex-Glenn Seton Peter Jackson Sierra and is looking strong. Sydney Master Blast will see the pair joined by an ex-Colin Bond Caltex Sierra that has been recently restored by Chris Stillwell.
Neil Schembri was both owner and pilot of his 1988 Roadways Racing Group A Holden VL SS back in the Group A period. He raced the ex-Garry Rogers car car during 1993, its final year of period competition, becoming its custodian once again in 2017 and is bringing it out for the first time at Muscle Car Masters. Greg Keam will pilot the 1984 Capri Components Ford Mustang, rounding out Ford’s presence in Group A.
Neil’s Commodore will be joined by Adrian Allisey in the ex-Leeson/Willmington Walkinshaw VL and Michael Logiudice aboard a Lucky 13 VK Commodore.
Eddie Sansil is our third driver debuting a car over the 2019 Father’s Day weekend. His 1990 BMW M3 Sport Evolution contested the 1990 DTM series with Bigazzi Racing before making its way to Australia in 1991 and picking up a season of ATCC competition with Paul Morris. The car’s been recently restored to 1992 specification and livery and we’re looking forward to its return to competition.
Sansil’s M3 will be in good company, with Richard Allen, David Harris and Peter Jones also competing in examples of the legendary BMW touring car.
Bringing potentially the most muscle to Muscle Car Masters is Tony Pallas, who will steer his spectacular V12 Garry Willmington XJ-S at the iconic Sydney event.
A pair of Group A Skylines are set to join the fray, with Graeme Taylor kicking things off on-board an ex-Murray Carter NetComm Nissan Skyline. The car was driven by Murray Carter and Bill O’Brien in 1986, picking up the NetComm livery in ‘87 when it was driven by Carter and Steve Masterton at Bathurst. It had its last period run at Bathurst in ‘89 before a career in Sports Sedans.
Brian Henderson will pilot a Gibson Motorsport DR30 Nissan Skyline, which finished top three in the 1987 James Hardie 1000 under Peter Jackson Nissan Racing. John Abbott will be on board a Peter Williamson Celica Supra, Craig Foster the ex-Toyota Team Australia AE86 Group A Toyota Corolla Coupe and Craig Neilson the ex-Roger Hurd/Scotty Taylor Xerox Shop Mitsubishi Starion.
Greg Coates kicks our Group C discussion off in style, bringing out a car that we don’t see very often – an Austin Cooper S. He’ll be joined by Paul Battersby in a Morris Cooper S that has a storied past in Queensland, where it was run by Mini Automotive.
The European contingent continues with Peter Woods on board his iconic Volvo 242 GT and Dean How bringing out the spectacular Group 2 BMW 635CSi. The BMW was one of the original 635CSis built to satisfy homologation in Europe and was driven by Alan Grice, Jim Richards and Denny Hulme. It’s also the proud owner of one of the finest engine notes you’ll hear at the event.
Moving to the eternal Ford VS Holden struggle and we find Neville Butler and Russell Keam aboard a pair of Ford Escorts and Carl Muller and Darryl Leslight bringing out their Capris. Frank Binding ups the engine capacity a little with the Army Reserves Falcon XD.
That trend continues in the Commodores with Lindsay Woollard back behind the wheel of his Re-Car VC and Mark Taylor the ex-Paul Trevethan/Andrew McDowell VL. Robert Ingram will bring out a Torana A9X raced by Phil Lyon in period and Nick Stipanovic will join the Heritage Touring Cars field in a second A9X.
David Paterson will take a rare break from his Bob Holden Corolla to pilot Steve Axisa’s Torana XU-1 for the weekend. The car ran in blue CIG colours in period under Neville Bridges and has the unique distinction of being the last XU-1 to score points in the ATCC.
Axisa himself will be on board an Isuzu Gemini and in amongst what is sure to be some closely-fought racing, with Gavin Adamson and Chris O’Connor both piloting examples of the model. Chris has been a Heritage Touring Cars legend behind the scenes for some time and we’re pleased to see him joining the action on the track for the first time at Muscle Car Masters.
Tony Grant made his Heritage Touring Cars debut at Historic Queensland back in July and will be back in the thick of things at Muscle Car Masters in the Wally Scott 1978 RA40 Toyota Celica.
Group C & A events kick off on Saturday morning with combined qualifying. Group C head out for their first race just after lunch and Group A will tackle theirs in the afternoon.
Sydney Master Blast will feature a night race programme in 2019 and will let the Legends of Bathurst loose under lights. Qualifying for the night event is set for 6:50PM on Saturday night, with a race planned for just after 8PM.
We’ll be back in the thick of it with a full C & A race on Sunday, but you’ll have to wait until just after lunch. Race two will be followed by a split grid race in the afternoon, with one final outing set for just before 4PM. Keep an eye on the Sydney Master Blast website (http://www.sydneymasterblast.com/news/2019-program/) for the most up to date and accurate programme.
General admission is via Gate A off Ferrers Road and you can get in bright and early from 6AM, although the motorsport won’t kick off until 9AM. Parking at the track is included in your ticket.
Head to Sydney Motorsport Park over the 31st of August and 1st of September to catch the action. For more information about Sydney Master Blast, head to sydneymasterblast.com, and stay tuned to heritagetouringcars.com.au for more from the Legends of Bathurst.