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Police recover stolen Brabham race car

A RARE Brabham open wheeler will miss this weekend’s Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport after being stolen from its owner on the eve of the event.

The Brabham BT21, owned and raced by enthusiast Peter Williams, was taken from a property in the Melbourne suburb of Toorak in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Fortunately it was found by police a few streets away, having been abandoned, but damage to its clutch has forced Williams to withdraw it from this weekend’s event, where it was scheduled to race among the M Sports, O Sports and Racing, Formula Junior and Invited class.

“I don’t think they knew how to turn on all the switches to be able to start it properly,” Williams told ABC Radio Melbourne this morning.

The BT21 was one of a host of open-wheel designs produced by the Brabham Racing Organisation amid its Formula 1 World Championship winning era of the mid-1960s.

Built for Formula 3 racing in Europe and Formula B racing in North America, the 1600cc-engined car was purchased by Williams over a decade ago and has been a regular at Australian historic events ever since.

An investigation into the theft is ongoing with Victoria Police encouraging any witnesses or anyone with information to contact CrimeStoppers.

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