THERE has been plenty of speculation on our V8 Sleuth social media channels surrounding the story of a V8 Supercar being seized by NSW Police amid a drug operation.
Seven people were charged yesterday with various offences following police raids held across the Dubbo, Hunter Valley and Newcastle regions Monday as part of Strike Force Bato.
Along with 40 kilograms of cannabis with an estimated value of $900,000 and over $140,000 in cash, the raids also saw several vehicles seized, including a Ford Falcon V8 Supercar.
Our understanding is that the car seized is a genuine Ford Falcon V8 Supercar that raced in the mid-2000s through to the end of 2012.
While the livery on the car has led to suggestions it was raced by Craig Lowndes, the chassis in question was never raced or tested by the seven-time Bathurst winner.
The car is one of the last cars built by Briggs Motorsport before that team was purchased by Triple Eight Race Engineering.
Built new as a BA Falcon for the start of 2003, the car was raced by Paul Radisich for the entire year as the #65 Betta-sponsored entry and it in fact qualified on provisional pole for the Sandown 500 with co-driver Rickard Rydell, the first race run by the team under Triple Eight ownership.
With Triple Eight wheeling out the first generation of its own Falcons in 2004, 005 reverted to show car duties before being sold to Howard Racing, who used it in what is now known as the Super2 Series between 2005 and 2007.
The car was then raced by Aaron McGill from late 2008 through to the end of 2012, the popular privateer upgrading the car to BF Falcon specifications (including the flared front guards compared to the BA Falcon) for 2010.
The car’s last race in period came in McGill’s hands at Sydney Olympic Park in 2012 and it was sold the following year.
The car has since been restored and placed in a livery similar to that used by Triple Eight in 2005-2006, but the chassis never raced in that livery in period.