Gold Star history, F1 to be celebrated at Bathurst International
THE SUPERCHEAP AUTO Bathurst International will see three decades of Australia’s premier open wheel award demonstrated – plus the song of Cosworth V8 power – this weekend.
In a unique tribute to the Motorsport Australia Gold Star award, three decades of Australian Open Wheel Racing – Formula Holden, Formula 3 and S5000 – will be demonstrated at Mount Panorama this weekend.
They will be joined by a 1980s Formula 1 Lola powered by a 3.5-litre Cosworth V8 engine in a unique demonstration of a classic Grand Prix era.
The ‘Open Wheel Cavalcade’ will take in six 20-minute sessions across the Bathurst weekend.
ROHAN CARRIG – HOCKING 901
EXPERIENCED VICTORIAN Rohan Carrig will field his unique Hocking 901 Formula Holden this weekend.
The car represents an idea that has come full-circle in Australian Open Wheel Racing: a ‘wings and slicks’ car with international roots but built and constructed in Australia.
The Hocking 901 was designed and built by well-known constructor and team owner Chris Hocking and made its debut in time for the opening round of the 1990 Australian Drivers’ Championship.
The 901 was an Aluminium-chassis version of a March 87B F3000 car, the Formula Holden rules at the time not allowing for carbon fibre chassis’.
The car uses an Aluminium honeycomb chassis coupled to the venerable 3.8-litre Holden V8 developed for the category in part by Larry Perkins.
This car – chassis 003 – was driven by Mark McLaughlin in the 1990 Gold Star.
Carrig has owned the car for some time and it forms a regular and popular part of the historic Group Q, R and Invited cars that compete at key historic events in Australia.
Almost 30 years later, the Rogers AF01/V8 S5000 car was created in a similar mould to the Hocking, using international ideas and Aussie engineering to create a local open wheel contender.
Formula Holden represented the Gold Star from 1989 through to 2004, before it was replaced by Formula 3.
TRENT SHIRVINGTON – MYGALE M11 MERCEDES BENZ
REPRESENTING the Formula 3 era of the Gold Star, Trent Shirvington’s Mygale M11 won the 2014 F3 Australian Drivers’ Championship at the hands of Simon Hodge.
The car was unique in that it was the first non-Dallara to win the Gold Star since 2004 and would ultimately become the only non-Dallara to claim the title during the F3 era, which would end the following season.
The Mygale was debuted in Australia in 2013 by Team BRM with Nick Foster driving, before South Australian Formula Ford graduate Simon Hodge took over the following season.
This chassis was also, for a time, the quickest ever racing car at Mount Panorama.
In a weekend that saw an enormous amount of time scythed out of the iconic circuit’s outright race lap record, Hodge re-set the benchmark to 2m02.6710s in the second of two F3 races held across the Easter long weekend at the Bathurst Motor Festival event.
It was the first lap in the ‘twos’ at Mount Panorama and the record would stand for two years, beaten by Shane van Gisbergen, in a McLaren GT3 car, in 2016.
Hodge would go on to win the 2014 Gold Star using this car, beating Ben Gersekowski in a season-long battle that went down to the wire at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The car was purchased by Shirvington following its Gold Star success, the car continued to be raced in F3 competition and demonstrated at key events – including the Adelaide Motorsport Festival – since then.
MARK ROSSER – ROGERS AF01/V8 S5000
REPRESENTING the most recent generation of cars to compete for the prestigious Motorsport Australia Gold Star, Mark Rosser will demonstrate the now well-known ACM Finance / 88 Racing / Team BRM S5000 racer that is a regular in the championship this season.
The car was a race and round winner in the hands of Joey Mawson at the start of the year, with Aaron Love driving it more recently.
Rosser, who is awaiting the Aussie delivery of a Benneton F1 car, has also been racing for BRM in this year’s S5000 championship and will take over driving duties this weekend at Mount Panorama.
The S5000 story has been well told, with the FIA accredited Ligier-Onroak chassis mated to an Aussie-developed Ford Coyote V8 and Hollinger gearbox to create a fast, spectacular and impressive mix of international and national open-wheel racing.
BRENTON GRIGUOL – LOLA LAROUSSE LC88 COSWORTH
OWNED AND regularly passionately demonstrated by Brenton Griguol, The Lola Larousse LC88 features a 3.5-litre Cosworth V8 and is peak 1980s backmarker Formula 1 Grand Prix Racing.
With the classic red, blue and yellow livery, the small French team were perennial battlers throughout the 80s and early 90s and though underfunded, their neat and well-presented cars were always popular.
The LC88 was an upgrade of the previous’ years ’87 car and weighed 515kg with over 550hp from it’s ‘Cossie’ V8.
This car was raced in the 1988 Australian Grand Prix by Frenchman Philippe Alliot, while teammate Pierre-Henri Raphanel failed to qualify. Alliot was classified 10th at the finish, though had run out of fuel while five laps down and actually didn’t cross the line.
The LC88 had a best finish of 7th in the 1988 Monaco and Detroit Grands Prix – both times in the hands of Yannick Dalmas.