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Oct 12, 2012

HERITAGE ROUND BRINGS V8 HISTORY TO WAKEFIELD

IN A CASE of ‘if you build it, they will come’, Shannons Nationals Presented by Hi-Tec Oils organisers hope this weekend’s inaugural V8 Touring Car heritage round at Wakefield Park quite literally becomes a ‘field of dreams’ in the future.

A modest field of seven cars has nominated for the inaugural event that gathers pre-2000-specification V8’s to celebrate the history of Australia’s top Touring Car category.

The V8 Touring Car heritage round follows on from the success of the Kumho V8 Touring Car series, which now regularly features grids of 16-20 cars after starting with just four in 2008.

Organisers believe the long-term future of the heritage round is secure based on the growing interest around period-specification V8’s in Australia.

One week after Mount Panorama celebrated its 50th year of the annual Touring Car classic, Wakefield Park will feature several V8’s with significant history both on the Mountain and in the Australian Touring Car Championship.

Entered vehicles include the first VT Holden Commodore to win a round of the Australian Touring Car Championship and two former V8 Supercars Development Series winning chassis.

In fact, cars raced by drivers who finished first and second in last weekend’s Bathurst 1000 in their formative years will feature on-track this weekend.

PE031 was the first VT-specification Holden built by Perkins Engineering in 1998 and was used by Russell Ingall to win the inaugural Hidden Valley V8 event, and ultimately finish second in the title race the same year.

The car also won the 1998 Sandown 500 with Ingall and Larry Perkins driving. It is now owned by Bathurst driver Steve Ingwerson, who finished second in the 2008 V8 Touring Car series driving a VS Holden.

Ingwerson restored the car to its original specification and livery and it is one of several such examples entered this weekend.

PE037 will also run in its period (1999) Castrol livery, but is perhaps best noted for its success as the 2001 V8 Development Series winner in the hands of Paul Dumbrell – now a Bathurst winner.

The car is now owned by Dubbo’s Sean Fardell, who will race it this weekend.

Representing the Ford brigade will be the ex-Glen Seton Racing EL Ford to be driven by Andy Cantrell.

GSR8 was the last EL Ford built, and the last car built by Seton’s team before it became Ford Tickford Racing in 1999.

The car was raced by Dean Canto in 2000, driving the car to the inaugural V8 Supercars Development Series title.

Canto, of course, finished second in the Bathurst 1000 last weekend driving with David Reynolds in an FG Ford.

Three other Fords, including the stunningly restored Budweiser AU Ford built in 2001 by Prancing Horse Racing, will also compete along with a VS Commodore entered by newcomer Darrin Renouf.

“We are confident that this is a concept that will grow into the future,” Shannons Nationals series director Rob Curkpatrick said.

“It took some time for the Kumho V8 Touring Car series to grow, but it is now healthy and very competitive. This is a stepping stone towards bigger things but we intend on growing and building a V8-based heritage round on the Shannons Nationals program.

“The initial response has been positive and there are plenty of people keen to see it grow. We think it can become a fantastic part of the series and also in recognising the heritage of Australia’s V8 Touring Car history.”

Action gets underway at Wakefield Park today, with three races to be contested as part of Round 8 of the Shannons Nationals event this weekend.

Additional categories include the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series, Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series, Dial Before You Dig Saloon Cars and V8 Commodore Cup.

Sunday’s action will be broadcast live via the Shannons Nationals website; www.thenationals.com.au

ENTRY LIST – V8 TOURING CARS HERRITAGE ROUND

#1 – Andy Cantrell (NSW) (GSR8 / Glen Seton Racing EL Ford Falcon)
#8 – Steve Ingwerson(NSW) (PE031 / Castrol Perkins Racing VT Holden Commodore)
#11 – Sean Fardell (NSW) (PE037 / Castrol Perkins Racing VT Holden Commodore)
#15 – Darrin Renouf (NSW) (2001 001 / Phoenix Racing VS Holden Commodore)
#21 – Chris Delfsma (NSW) (AU26802 / Bastian Motorsport AU Ford Falcon)
#25 – Brad Wimpenny (QLD) (LR 0199 / Longhurst Racing AU Ford Falcon)
#888 – Aaron Tebb (NSW) (PHR 014 / Prancing Horse Racing AU Ford Falcon)

Vehicle heritage with thanks to the V8 SLEUTH – www.v8sleuth.com.au