Pic: / Dirk Klynsmith

A VAUXHALL Vectra Super Tourer that is believed to have raced in the 1997 AMP Bathurst 1000 has come onto the market in Europe.

The marque’s factory British Touring Car Championship squad – run by Triple Eight Racing in its first tilt at the Great Race prior to its arrival in V8 Supercars in 2003 – brought two of its Vectras to Mount Panorama that year.

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One of them served as the #05 car raced by Peter Brock and former Formula 1 star Derek Warwick, which the Holden hero famously rolled in practice ahead of a fourth-place finish on race day.

It’s a car now owned by BTCC legend John Cleland, which he helped identify by the marks in the roof from Brock’s excursion at Caltex Chase!

Cleland’s own car from the race, which he shared with fellow British racer James Kaye, is currently up for sale.

According to Super Touring Register, chassis V96B-001 was originally built by Ray Mallock Ltd in 1996 for James Thompson to race, prior to Triple Eight securing the factory Vauxhall deal for 1997.

Warwick raced the car for the first half of 1997 until the first Triple Eight-built Vectras came online, before being shipped to Australia for the first Super Touring Bathurst 1000.

Serving as the team’s #7 entry, Cleland almost came to grief in the same spot as Brock on his Top 10 Shootout lap when he vaulted the Vectra over the apex kerb on the exit of the Chase. Come race day the #7 was an early retirement.

Independent drivers campaigned the car in the BTCC for the next couple of seasons before passing to club-level racing in the years that followed, then being sold to Scandinavia where the car now resides.

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Will Dale is V8 Sleuth's Head of Content - Digital. He began his media career as a breakfast radio newsreader before joining SPEED TV Australia and FOX SPORTS Australia in 2012 as its Digital Editorial Lead - Motorsport, covering all forms of motorsport both in Australia and internationally. He became part of the V8 Sleuth team in 2018.