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Monday, April 22, 2024
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The end of a Gibson Motorsport era

THE last Gibson Motorsport-built Commodore V8 Supercar formerly raced by four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy is on the market.

Now offered for sale here via Melbourne prestige car business Sullivan Kerr based in Sandringham in the south-east suburbs, the ex-Kmart Commodore is one of four VT model Commodores built by the famous team.

Chassis GMS 009 it was the last Gibson Motorsport Commodore completed and made its racing debut in the hands of Murphy at the Calder round of the 2000 Shell Championship Series for V8 Supercars as the team’s #12 Kmart Racing entry.

This chassis 009 was completed after the car designated as GMS 010, which was one of the new generation kit bodies. The floor pan had been completed but then put to one side of the team’s workshop as the 010 Commodore was put together and debuted in Steve Richards’ hands at the 2000 season opener at Phillip Island.

In fact, chassis 009’s racing debut at Calder in August 2000 also doubled as the car’s shakedown run, having not turned a wheel of testing in the lead-up to what was round 10 of that year’s championship.

He and teammate Steve Richards drove the car in the Queensland and Bathurst endurance races that year as they attempted to defend their Bathurst crown won the previous year at the wheel of a Gibson-run, Wynn’s-backed Commodore.

The duo finished third in the car at both the Queensland 500 and FAI 1000 at Bathurst, racing under Richards’ familiar #7 race number of the period.

Murphy and Richards finished third at Mount Panorama in GMS 009 having started 11th on the grid. They led 20 laps that day and finished just 5.1042-seconds behind the winning Valvoline Commodore VT of Garth Tander and Jason Bargwanna.

Murphy and Steve Richards finished third at Bathurst in 2000 in this chassis. Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.

The result at Mount Panorama was Richards’ fifth visit to the Bathurst podium in a row in 1000-kilometre races, following on from his runner-up result in the 1997 V8 race, runner-up finish in the 1998 Super Touring race, win in the 1998 V8 race (that winning Pirtek Falcon EL is also available for sale now here), followed by his victory in the 1999 V8 race and then third place in this car in 2000.

Of all of the Gibson Motorsport Commodores, this particular one was the most lightly raced in period during its time with GMS.

In fact, it competed in only five events in 2000 – at Calder, Queensland Raceway, Sandown, Gold Coast and Bathurst – making it a rarity given cars from rival teams did far more racing with individual chassis.

The car only competed in five further events in 2001 after the Gibson team moved to Ford for that season. V8 privateer Eddie Abelnica bought the car from GMS and used it to compete in four rounds of the Konica Series (now Super2 Series) and the Winton round of the Shell Championship Series for V8 Supercars.

The car has been restored to its #12 Kmart Racing/Greg Murphy livery and would make the ideal collector piece celebrating the career of one of the stars of V8 Supercar racing.

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