ONE of the most successful teams in the history of Australian motorsport held its first major reunion recently in Melbourne.
Gibson Motorsport was a powerhouse of local touring car racing from its inception in 1985 through to 2001 and over 150 of its former drivers, team members, suppliers, sponsors and special guests gathered for a special event at Shannons in Melbourne on Saturday September 3.
Celebrations were three-fold: a reunion for Gibson Motorsport staff, to mark the 30th anniversary of the famous 1992 Bathurst 1000 win and pay tribute to Fred and Christine Gibson, who were both in attendance for the event.
Nine former Nissan race cars were on hand too to provide the perfect backdrop, including the four surviving GT-R Group A cars.
The 1991 and 1992 Bathurst 1000-winning cars were on display in addition to the 1991 Sandown 500-winning GIO car and the car Mark Skaife drove to win the 1992 Australian Touring Car Championship.
A pair of HR31 Skylines – including Jim Richards’ 1990 ATCC-winning example – were also on hand as well as a Peter Jackson DR30 Skyline, Group C Nissan Bluebird and the Group C Nissan EXA Turbo.
Organised by former GMS crew member Kingsley Edgar, the afternoon ran into the evening with a range of team staff from its various Nissan, Commodore and Falcon eras travelling from interstate and overseas for the gathering.
An impressive roll call of former Gibson Motorsport drivers was present for the reunion, including Mark Skaife, Jim Richards, Craig Lowndes, Neil Crompton, Colin Bond, Steve Richards, Darren Hossack, Gary Scott, David ‘Truckie’ Parsons, Melinda Price and Sam Newman, the AFL star who raced GMS-prepared Vectras in the GT-P series.
Gibson Motorsport won four Australian Touring Car Championships (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994) and three Bathurst 1000s (1991, 1992, 1999).
It began when Fred Gibson was handed the reins to Nissan’s Australian touring car program with the DR30 Skyline in 1986. The team continued as Nissan’s factory team through to the end of 1992 before it switched to V8 Holden Commodores for 1993.
Gibson sold the team to the late Garry Dumbrell for 2000 before it was sold again for 2001 and continued under the GMS banner for a season before Gibson departed and the team continued as 00 Motorsport through to midway through the 2003 season.