Shannons Revives Touring Car Passion at the Australian Grand Prix
The Aussie Grand Prix has always been a celebration of motorsport and its wonderful, boistrous history and it’s off to a great start for 2012, letting the legendary machines of Group A and Group C Touring Car racing loose on the street circuit to compete in feature events over the weekend.
The historic demonstration will be back this year, bringing together a glorious collection of cars ranging from the likes of last year’s 1906 Darracq Grand Prix; which looks like it’s ripped straight from the pages of a steampunk novel, to Porsche’s indomitable 906.
Alongside it will be a celebration of the glory days of Australian Touring Car racing from the ’70s to early ’90s. The grids will be packed to capacity with big muscle from Holden, Ford, Jaguar, Nissan and Volvo and they’ll be lighting up Albert Park for practice, qualifying and two heats over the course of the weekend.
Read on for the official word. Photos provided by Shannons.
Shannons revives Touring Car passion at AGP
Shannons will turn back the clock at the 2012 Formula 1™ Australian Grand Prix to revive the glory days of Australian Touring Car racing from the 1970s to early 1990s.
The Shannons Group A-Group C Touring Cars races, featuring capacity grids of the actual Holden, Ford, Jaguar, Nissan and Volvos and other makes that raced during the golden Brock-Johnson-Moffat-Richards era from 1973-1992, will be the highlights of the Saturday and Sunday support events at Albert Park.
Each of two the eight-lap races will take place in peak spectator times and will feature rolling starts.
Fans will also see the Shannons Group A-Group C Touring Cars on track twice on the Thursday opening day of the 2012 Formula 1™ Australian Grand Prix carnival from 15-18 March for practice and qualifying.
Shannons sponsorship for these Touring Cars events at the Grand Prix is in addition to its on-going support of the Shannons Historic Demonstration that will again see up to 60 special sports and racing cars spanning more than 80 years take to the 5.3km Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit a further four times during this year’s F1 carnival.
Only original competition cars from the period will be eligible to take part in the Shannons Group A-Group C Touring Cars races, with the drivers including a number of Bathurst-winning cars and well-known drivers.
Legendary competitors from the past will also officiate or meet the public in autograph sessions in the Shannons support paddock during the Grand Prix carnival, with a special display marking more than half a century of Australian Touring Cars racing featuring many famous cars.
Appropriately, Australia’s most successful active touring car driver – and Shannons ambassador – Jim Richards, has been appointed Ambassador of the new support category and will compete in one of the BMW 635 CSi coupes he drove to win his first Australian Touring Car Championship title in 1985.
“This is a celebration of an era that was an important part of my life,” the four-time Australian Touring Car Champion and seven-time Bathurst winner said. “I drove Toranas, Commodores, an XB Falcon, BMWs and Nissans and the variety of makes and models created fantastic racing for both drivers and spectators.
Shannons Business Development Manager Victoria, Richard Sanders, said he was confident the Shannons Group C & A races would be a major attraction of the Australian Grand Prix meeting.
“The cars that competed during this 19-year period come from the heartland of Australian Touring Car racing. Their engines form the soundtrack of many enthusiasts’ lives,” he said.