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Tuesday, June 25, 2024


THE Reynard Formula Holden that helped take Jason Bright to victory in the 1997 Australian Drivers Championship and the CAMS Gold Star is coming back to the track.

The 91D model has been purchased from long-time Birrana Racing team boss Malcolm Ramsay by Historic racer and enthusiast Ben Tebbutt.

Tebbutt, who already owns and races the ex-Mark Skaife SPA Formula Holden, intends to race the ex-Bright car in Historics in the future, given early era carbon-fibre tubbed Formula Holden chassis – including the 91D – have been added to the eligibility list for Historic racing in Australia in recent times.

“I was pretty chuffed when Malcolm offered to entrust me with such a significant car in Birrana’s history,” Tebbutt told V8 Sleuth this week.

Former Birrana Racing boss Malcolm Ramsay with new 91D-013 owner Ben Tebbutt. Photo: Supplied.

“It’s a wonderful time capsule of Formula Holden racing. It’s still in its period livery and has been largely untouched since Brighty finished racing it in 1997.

“We’ll give it the same sort of mechanical re-commissioning that we gave the Skaife car. We’ll crack test everything, replace everything that’s rubber and get it out for a run in Historics in the future.”

The Reynard 91D (chassis 013) helped Bright claim the 1997 CAMS Gold Star and Australian Drivers Championship.

He drove it to victory in the opening two rounds at Calder and Phillip Island (and won three of the four races), before swapping to the team’s other 91D for the remainder of the season.

Bright had also driven the 013 chassis in the 1996 championship. He won three races in that season and finished runner-up in the title chase to teammate Paul Stokell.

Stokell used chassis 013 to win the 1995 Gold Star as well as that year’s Indonesian Grand Prix at Sentul and Adelaide Grand Prix support races that helped him clinch the Asia Pacific Series for the cars, then running under the Formula Brabham banner.

Paul Stokell heads Mark Skaife at Phillip Island in 1995’s opening round of the Australian Drivers Championship. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.

The car also has impressive overseas history. It’s understood to have been raced by Alex Zanardi in the 1991 International Formula 3000 Championship.

The Italian, who later made a name for himself in Formula 1 and as a two-time CART Series champion, won the Vallelunga and Mugello rounds of the ’91 F3000 Championship in it and finished runner-up in the series that year to Christian Fittipaldi.

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