Phillip Island set for classic historic races

With some 435 entrants from all states of Australia, except Western Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit will be the home for historic racing over Victoria’s long weekend of 11 to 13 March.

Although there is an absence of international historic cars this year as a result of the pandemic, four overseas drivers, including Richard Tarling from the UK, Gislain Genecand from Switzerland and Xavier Michel from France, will drive Formula Fords whilst Andy Newall from the UK will race Bob Harborow’s 1966 McLaren M6B.

There are maximum grids in a number of categories, including Formula Fords where 57 FA, FB and FC cars will race on Sunday morning and afternoon for the Perkins Cup. The field includes Tim Blanchard, team principal of Blanchard Racing Team.

Tim’s father, John, will not race as planned, due to an injury and his seat in Formula Ford will be filled by Brian Soule.

Maximum grids are also registered in Group S Sports Cars and Regularity, plus other categories, confirming the importance of this event on the Australian and International motorsports calendar.

The 50th anniversary of Peter Brock’s 1972 Bathurst 500 win in a Torana GTR XU-1 will be celebrated with a grid of 11 cars from Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria, each racing for the Peter Brock Trophy on the Sunday.

There will also be a field of more than 30 5-litre V8 touring cars built between 1993 and 2002, and invited high speed cars. The touring car entry list includes Larry Perkins driving a Castrol-sponsored VZ Commodore and his son, Jack, driving the ex-HRT Commodore he raced at Bathurst.

Throughout the event Michael Stillwell will act as driving standard advisor. Ian Tate will be the event director while Michael Herlihy will be clerk of the course.

“Not only will spectators be treated to spectacular racing on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday but under the direction of the VHRR [Victorian Historic Racing Register], 270 cars will be practicing on the Thursday and spectators are also welcome on that day,” said Tate. “There will be a strong media presence including interest from international publications including the UK publication Classic and Sports Car Magazine, confirming the international status of the Phillip Island Classic ‘Festival of Motorsport’ race meeting.”

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