13.4 C
Mount Panorama
Thursday, May 30, 2024


IT CAN be said that the only constant in Neil Crompton’s racing career was change.

During his time behind the wheel, Crompton raced a huge variety of machinery that included representing Holden, Ford and Nissan factory teams in Australian touring car racing.

To celebrate the recent release of Neil’s new book, Neil Crompton: Best Seat in the House, available now in the V8 Sleuth Bookshop, we take a look back at 10 iconic Neil Crompton race cars.

Mobil 1 BMW M3 (Group A)

Sandown 500 1988. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

After getting his big break with childhood hero Peter Brock and his Mobil team at the end of its Holden era in 1987, it was aboard the nimble M3 the following year that Crompton really shot to prominence.

Crompton contested selected ATCC rounds in a third Mobil entry alongside legends Brock and Jim Richards before an endurance campaign that included his Bathurst 1000 debut.

Holden Racing Team Commodore VL SS Group A SV

Bathurst 1000 1989. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Crompton’s defection to HRT for 1989 brought more frustration than success over the years that followed, as the team initially hardly raced at all and struggled to find its feet.

Still, racing for the factory Holden team in big events such as Bathurst was a major career achievement, and the sight of Crompton’s distinctive helmet aboard this iconic car deserves a place on this list.

Dulux Ralt RT20 (Formula Holden)

Phillip Island 1990. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

While HRT sat on the sidelines of Australian touring car racing in 1989, Crompton stitched together a deal to race this Peter Boylan-owned, Dulux-backed Ralt in the new Formula Holden class.

He campaigned the distinctively coloured car for two seasons, competing with the likes of touring car rival and now Supercars television commentary colleague Mark Skaife.

Winfield Nissan Skyline GT-R (Group A)

Bathurst 1992. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Crompton may not be the first driver you think of when you see a Winfield GT-R, but the all-conquering ‘Godzilla’ and the infamous 1992 Bathurst 1000 are very much part of his story.

Teamed with Swede Anders Olofsson, Crompton finished third in the rain-hit race – having pitted for wets just prior to the red flag stoppage – and subsequently gave the booing crowd the middle finger on the podium!

GIO Insurance Holden Commodore VP

Sandown 500 1993. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

After interrupted ATCC seasons with the HRT and Mobil outfits, the maiden year of the five-litre V8 formula brought Crompton his first full campaign courtesy of a Bob Forbes-owned GIO Commodore.

While bingles with the likes of Larry Perkins and Wayne Gardner were the most memorable parts of his ATCC campaign, the team built a new car for the enduros and Crompton led the opening laps of the Sandown 500.

BP-Visco Mazda RX-7

Bathurst 12 Hour 1994. Pic: an1images.com / Andrew Hall

After driving a V6 Commodore and a Peugeot 405 in the 1991 and ’92 Bathurst 12 Hour races, Crompton returned to the event in ’94 aboard one of the factory-backed Mazda RX-7s.

Teamed with reigning Bathurst 1000 winner Gregg Hansford, the drive delivered what was arguably the biggest win of his career.

Coca-Cola Holden Commodore VR

Bathurst 1000 1995. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

When Wayne Gardner bought Forbes’ team at the end of 1993, Crompton went with it. He drove VP, VR and VS model Coke Commodores for WGR in the years that followed, but it’s the ‘95 VR we’re highlighting here.

This car earned Crompton his second Bathurst 1000 podium with third place in the 1995 ‘Great Race’ and could well have won if not for a late-race slip-up.

Honda Accord Super Tourer

NATCC 1997. Pic: Supplied

While Crompton did not achieve his dream of racing in Indycar, he did complete a season in the short-lived North American Touring Car Championship in 1997 aboard this Honda Accord Super Tourer.

Crompton set the pace with a season-high seven wins, but a disqualification for an on-track incident in Detroit and the team’s decision to skip the following round in protest meant he finished third in the final standings.

Ford Tickford Racing Falcon AU

Canberra 2000. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Crompton added Ford factory driver to his resume when he joined Ford Tickford Racing in 1999, in what albeit was Glenn Seton Racing with increased backing from Ford.

The following two seasons were tough, but the 2000 livery pictured here is undoubtedly an iconic car and delivered a well-deserved podium at that year’s Canberra 400.

Gibson Motorsport Falcon AU

Bathurst 2001. Pic: Graeme Neander

The last car on our list is another AU, the famous ‘Green-Eyed Monster’.

Yes, this car is mostly associated with Craig Lowndes as Crompton’s full-time car in 2002 ran without the green eyes, but Crompton co-drove it in two memorable Bathurst tilts that make it a significant part of his story.

LISTEN: Neil Crompton on the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Repco

Want to read more?

Subscribe to V8 Sleuth to receive regular updates of news and products delivered straight to you.

Latest News

Want to read more?

Subscribe to V8 Sleuth to receive regular updates of news and products delivered straight to you.