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Wednesday, May 29, 2024


THE Virgin Australia Supercars Championship may have come to a standstill along with the rest of the racing world during the current COVID-19 pandemic, but work continues on restoration projects for some owners of cars that once upon a time competed in the series in its Australian Touring Car Championship days.

One such car is the first Wayne Gardner Racing-built Commodore, now owned by Victorians Dylan Innes and Steve Tate.

The car, built new for WGR in 1994 after it joined the V8 touring car category following Gardner’s purchase of Bob Forbes’s racing assets, was driven by Gardner across the 1994, 1995 and 1996 seasons before it was run by the privateer Lansvale Smash Repairs team.

Originally built as a VP Commodore and later converted to a VR in 1995, the car was raced by Lansvale’s Trevor Ashby and Steve Reed across 1997, 1998 and 1999 before the Sydney privateers sold the chassis as a roller. After changing hands a few times in the following years, it was purchased by its current owners approximately eight years ago.

“WGR 1 is slowly progressing,” co-owner Innes told the Australian 5-Litre Touring Car Association Facebook page today.

“Tim Pattinson from TP Design is working on the signage at present and we are hoping to have that complete in the coming months. However, COVID-19 restrictions have put a hold on that at the moment.

“The car will be presented in its 1995 Sandown ATCC spec. The driveline components are ready to go but we need to reproduce the fuel system and associated tanks, dry sump tank and lines, wiring and an assortment of other components.

“There is still plenty of work to be carried out however we are hoping over the next 12 months we should break the back of it.”

The Australian 5-Litre Touring Car Association was established some years ago for owners of cars from the 1992 to 2002 period of V8 Supercar racing – it ran a SuperSprint at the recent Phillip Island Historic event featuring a range of ex-V8 Supercars, including the 2003 Castrol Commodore VY driven by Larry Perkins.

Follow its Facebook page here.

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