WHEN DAVID BOON RACED A HQ HOLDEN

HQ Holdens racing at Symmons Plains in Tasmania
HQ Holdens racing at Symmons Plains in 1991; David Boon raced an HQ at the Tasmanian circuit a few months earlier. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

WE come across some pretty unusual things during our research here at V8 Sleuth, including this remarkable factoid: do you remember when David Boon raced a HQ Holden?

Yes, I mean that David Boon. Boony. Australian cricket legend. Alleged consumer of 52 cans of beer on a long-haul flight from Sydney to London via Singapore.

The uniting of one of Tasmania’s greatest exports – Boony – with another of Tasmania’s greatest exports – HQ Holden racing – came as a bit of a shock to all of us here at V8 Sleuth Headquarters.

The fact was uncovered amid our research for Racing the Lion, a 400-page illustrated history of Holden in motorsport.

Packed with photos never before published, it’s the perfect collector’s piece and can be pre-ordered here.

While looking through a gallery of historic Symmons Plains photos on the Launceston Examiner website, we came across this gem:

Launceston Ocelots basketballer Keith Bragg holds court with Neville Oliver (ABC TV and radio), Peter Knights (ex-Hawthorn VFL player), David Boon, Rod Scott (Examiner newspaper), Ron Laycock (weighlifter), and Dirk Anthony (7LA radio). Pic: examiner.com.au

That hair. Those glasses. It could only be the Boonie.

A quick flick through the magazines of the period revealed a few of the details.

Among the 16 races on the programme for Symmons Plains’ October 1990 race meeting, six were for HQ Holdens.

Three of them were scratch races, one a round of the Tasmanian state HQ series, another was a two-driver race over 15 laps (won by Greg Crick and Matthew Springer, while David ‘Skippy’ Parsons was also in the field!), and finally the five-lap Airlines of Tasmania HQ Celebrity Challenge.

The 15 celebrities all raced cars belonging to regular local HQ racers, and among those joining Boony on the grid were:
– former Hawthorn VFL Premiership players Peter Knights and Ian Paton, both then involved with Tasmanian Aussie Rules clubs
– several media identities including Judy Benson, Neville Oliver and Dirk Anthony
– top Tasmanian jockey Kate Holgate
– weightlifter Ron Laycock, fresh from winning a pair of gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, and
– cyclist Michael Grenda, a gold medallist for Australia at the 1984 Olympic Games in the men’s 4000m team pursuit.

It was Grenda that romped away with the win from pole position (having set a time fast enough to qualify him fifth for one of the scratch races), while period reports don’t record where D. Boon finished his sole HQ Holden race.

If you were there and have any pics or info (or even a results sheet!), drop us a line at boony@an1media.com.

Will Dale began his media career as a breakfast radio newsreader before joining SPEED TV Australia and FOX SPORTS Australia in 2012 as its Digital Editorial Lead - Motorsport for the next six years, covering all forms of motorsport both in Australia and internationally. He became part of the V8 Sleuth team in 2018.