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Wednesday, May 29, 2024


THERE’S never a shortage of questions that come through to us to answer from passionate race fans across the country and, occasionally, from overseas via social media or email.

We answer plenty of questions in our special Q&A episodes on the V8 Sleuth Podcast Powered by Repco, but we get so many we thought we’d get V8 Sleuth MD Aaron Noonan to sit down on occasion and answer some in a column here on the website.

Noonz answered questions in the same story format in the early days of Speedcafe’s website, so we thought we’d bring back the moniker and get it rolling again here on V8 Sleuth.

Feel free to send through your questions for us via the V8 Sleuth website here.

Let’s dip into the mailbag for Australian Grand Prix week!

What were the reasons behind the closure of 00 Motorsport in the middle of 2003? Of course, the team that ran the ‘Green-eyed Monster’ Falcon AU for Craig Lowndes.
Saron Thach via Facebook

Basically the funding from Ford followed Craig Lowndes across to Ford Performance Racing for the 2003 season. That funding was big money and left a huge hole in the 00 Motorsport budget for the following season and eventually team owner Bob Forbes made the call to sell his franchises mid-season and shut the team down. The hardware ended up being sold to WPS Racing.

This may have been answered previously, but I am curious. What was the chassis number for the VL Commodore that Larry Perkins used at the start of 1993, what’s the history of the chassis and where is it now?
Will Tatnell via Facebook

That was PE 010, the VL Commodore Group A SV that Larry first ran in the 1990 endurance races. Its simple history is that it won the 1990 Nissan Sydney 500 at Eastern Creek, ran Bathurst and Adelaide in 1991 with Graham Moore and went back to Larry to race in 1992 and then the early rounds of 1993.

Its full, in-depth history is really well told in our limited-edition collector’s book documenting the history of every Perkins Engineering Commodore. We’re sold out of copies but there is a limited number remaining with the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama.

Give them a call on 02 6332 1872 to secure a copy.

What happened to the Group C Jag of Walkinshaw?
Brent Gower via Facebook

Interesting question Brent. While Tom Walkinshaw indeed drove a Group C Jaguar at Bathurst (I’m hesitant to say ‘raced’ given his 1984 Bathurst start never really left the line!), it wasn’t his car.

It was in fact John Goss’ car that he’d run for the previous few years. It was converted to Group A spec for the 1986 Bathurst race and was later repainted to look the same as Goss’ 1985 Bathurst-winning TWR car. It now sits on display at the National Motor Racing Museum.

The Wang Computers Jaguar at Bathurst 1984. Before the race day startline shunt … Photo: an1images.com / Dale Rodgers.

Who has run the most races and how many races was it without scoring a top 10 placing in ATCC history?
Ryan Gravy via Facebook

Nice question Ryan! One for the stats gurus. I’ve consulted with our AN1 Head of Data Shane Rogers who tells me it’s Anthony Tratt, the former Toll Racing driver. Tratty competed in 187 championship races with a best finish of 11th coming in the 2004 Queensland 300.

Next on the list is Mick Donaher (62 races, best finish of 11th at Winton 1999), Rod Nash (60 races, best finish of 15th at Queensland Raceway 1999 and again in 2000) and Kevin Heffernan (55 races, best finish of 13th, twice at Winton in 1997 and in all three races at Lakeside in 1997).

Anthony Tratt at Oran Park 2004. Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.

What was the best finish by a Chrysler Valiant or Charger at the Hardie Ferodo 500?
Paul Saunders via Facebook

Plenty of Hemi fans out there Paul – the answer is third by Doug Chivas in an E49 Charger in the 1972 race, won by Peter Brock in the HDT XU-1 Torana with John French the runner-up in the Bryan Byrt Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III.

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