Torana SLR 5000 heralds new era in Touring Car Masters
The Touring Car Masters presented by Autobarn is set to move into a new era with the highly anticipated 1974 Holden LH Torana SLR 5000 debut at Muscle Car Masters on 4-5 September.
An icon of Australian motorsport, when the SLR 5000 burst on to the racing scene in 1974 it blew its rivals away and changed the face of the competition.
Now in 2010, in the hands of Tony Edwards, the SLR 5000 heralds a new era of the Touring Car Masters since the category extended the model eligibility, last season.
Edwards, a frontrunner in the series and a staunch devotee of Australian-made cars and particularly Holdens, steps out of his Holden HQ Monaro into the Torana SLR 5000 in the hopes of putting himself and his beloved marque back into podium contention.
Weighing in 170 kilos lighter than his HQ Monaro, Edwards believes the Torana will look after it tyres and brakes better, ultimately making it a more competitive race package despite the drop in outright horsepower.
Bolstering Edwards’ confidence, the Torana has been expertly prepared by Les Small who built the first LH Torana for Allan Grice in 1974.
Taking the Torana SLR 5000 and converting it to Touring Car Masters specifications, Edwards describes the result as an SLR 5000 on steroids.
Creating an irresistible mix of nostalgia and V8 excitement, fans can witness the Holden Torana SLR 5000 in Touring Car Masters trim for the first time in round four at Eastern Creek Raceway (NSW) in the 2010 Muscle Car Masters on 4-5 September.
“The SLR is an Australian racing icon. The HQ, even though it did race on the odd occasion, it wasn’t a staple of the Touring Car Championship, but the SLR started that Torana era that was so successful.
“Bob Morris and obviously Peter Brock are inspirations, especially Bob Morris when they won Bathurst with a busted diff, not knowing for the last two or three laps if the car was going to make it. As a young fella, that was one of the first Bathursts that really enthralled me. That’s what really hooked me on motorsport, that number seven Torana.
“I want to see an Australian car up the front in the Touring Car Masters and I think the Torana’s going to do a better job.
“Having Les (Small) build it, who built the original cars in their day, just makes it that much sweeter.
“We’ve painted it Caribbean Blue; it’s an original SLR colour. We’re running # 50 – that’s 05 backwards. That was suggested by other people, I didn’t think of it, but it’s a five-litre, so it fits.
“The shell and the interior are pretty much completed. We’ve just got to bolt the mechanicals in it, and hopefully give it a shake down at Winton, next Friday. Then, on the Thursday leading up to the meeting, there’s a practice day at Eastern Creek.
“For Muscle Car Masters, I’m aiming just to get through the weekend and be in the top 10. It should be capable of running top 10 straight out of the box – top five would be awesome. It’s going to be a lot more competitive.
“Overall, I’ve been fourth four times; I want to crack a three. Once we’ve got the Torana sorted we’ll definitely be a podium contender.
“It’s going to be fast, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s .7 of a litre short of the other Group 1 cars, so it won’t have the straight line speed of the Mustangs or the Camaros, but it’ll be more consistent, it’ll stay on a pace for 12 laps where theirs drop off a little. It’s like Jim’s Falcon – it’s going to be a little bit of cat and mouse.
“People have been building their own hype about it. They know what the Torana did when it debuted back in ’74. The GT Falcons and everything that was winning at the time was absolutely annihilated – they just ran off into the distance. Jim (Richards) was there and lived that so he knows exactly what they did in Australian motorsport back then. It’s not going to happen like that now, but it’ll be up there.”
The Touring Car Masters is proudly presented by Autobarn, and supported by Biante Model Cars, Shannons Insurance, Rare Spares and official suppliers Hoosier Tires and Australian Sports Marketing.