THE Nations Cup Holden Monaros that won the pair of Bathurst 24 Hour races held in 2002 and 2003 are well-remembered by Holden Motorsport fans.
The first-built yellow car won the ’02 race in the hands of Steve Richards, Garth Tander, Nathan Pretty and Cameron McConville and finished second the following year to the ‘red’ car driven by Peter Brock, Jason Bright, Greg Murphy and Todd Kelly.
The Bathurst 24 Hour-winning and Nations Cup Monaros will be included in our upcoming, limited edition, 400-page publication ‘Racing The Lion’, celebrating Holden’s motorsport history.
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But beyond those two Garry Rogers Motorsport-run Monaros there was actually a third Nations Cup-specification, seven-litre Monaro race car built and raced in the period by Team Brock.
It’s this chassis that has been for sale in the last week via a GraysOnline auction, the car having made its last race appearance in the final PROCAR Championship Series event, held at Mallala in 2004.
The car has been largely unseen by the public ever since and, though it was only very briefly raced by the ‘King of the Mountain’ and never competed in the Bathurst 24 Hour, it’s still an interesting part of Brock racing history.
Run by Team Brock with backing from Ross Palmer’s Poolrite company, the car made its debut partway into the ’04 Nations Cup season and was driven by both Peter Brock and his stepson James.
Currently incorrectly advertised as being “campaigned in late 2003 and 2004 with Peter Brock and James Brock sharing the driving”, this Monaro (chassis TB001) most certainly is not the red, GRM-run car raced by Brock in the ’03 Nations Cup and Bathurst 24 Hour.
That car was later raced in ’04 with Ian Palmer at the wheel after the new Team Brock chassis had come on stream.
As it turned out, Brock Snr was the only driver to race all three Nations Cup specification Monaros – in addition to racing the two red cars, he also drove the original yellow example in the non-championship Nations Cup event at the Australian Grand Prix in 2003 at Albert Park.
With delays in the build of the new Monaro, Team Brock started the 2004 Nations Cup using the 24 Hour-winning red GRM car, re-livered with Poolrite stickers and James Brock driving in the opening round in Adelaide and Peter driving at Oran Park and Sandown.
The new Team Brock chassis made its racing debut with Peter at the wheel in the next Nations Cup round at Winton and, in fact, this was the only time the nine-time Bathurst 500/1000 winner raced the TB001 chassis.
James raced it in the final PROCAR rounds in 2004 at Eastern Creek, Wakefield Park and Mallala to round out the year before the cessation of the Nations Cup category and indeed PROCAR Series as a whole.
In fact, the car won the last-ever Nations Cup race, Brock winning Race 3 and the round overall in the final at Mallala in mid-September 2004.
A quick check of the GraysOnline auction site today shows that the auction for the car ended yesterday with the last bid at $326,009 with the reserve price not met.
The two GRM Monaros are currently sitting in the National Motor Racing Museum at Bathurst, which remains closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.