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Thursday, May 30, 2024


AUSSIE motorsport legend Bob Jane drove a range of different cars across the course of his career.

From Cortinas at Bathurst to his Australian Touring Car Championship-winning Jaguar and Camaro, Jane had a crack at lots of stuff – including a V8 Supercar.

The occasion came in July 2001 at Calder Park the week of the Shell Championship Series round for V8 Supercars at the same venue.

The four-time Australian Touring Car Champion slipped behind the wheel of Glenn Seton’s #5 Ford Tickford Falcon AU in celebration of the circuit hosting its 25th ATCC/Supercars Championship round.

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After initially stalling the FTR AU, Jane smoked away, describing the experience of driving a modern car to Motorsport News at the time as “fantastic, but I was very careful as it is Glenn’s race car”.

Then aged 71, Jane turned some laps on the Calder short circuit, the same layout he’d won the first ATCC round on back in 1969.

Glenn Seton tackles Calder Park in 2001. Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.

Seton had a lacklustre round that weekend and finished 19th for the round, which was won by Paul Morris’ Big Kev Commodore.

The round turned out to be the last time that Calder hosted what is now known as the Supercars Championship.

It hosted the championship on 25 occasions, from 1969 to 1983, 1985 to 1988 and 1996 to 2001.

The circuit had a contract in place to hold a round of the championship in 2002, however a reported financial disagreement between Calder and AVESCO over non-payment of a sanctioning fee saw it dropped from the ’02 calendar and the championship never returned.

Then-AVESCO CEO Wayne Cattach had told Motorsport News in 2001 that Calder would need a major facelift if it wanted to retain its round on the calendar beyond 2002.

“They’ve been informally advised that the venue needs a substantial amount of money spent on it or a renewal is unlikely,” he told MN in July ’01.

“That includes things like a complete resurface – which isn’t that simple, as a number of the braking areas are quite badly rippled.”

The 2001 Calder Park round of the Shell Championship Series marked the last time that V8 Supercars raced at the Melbourne venue. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.
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