Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motor Sport

HOME » Magazine » » » Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motor Sport

Report by Neil Hammond

Phillip Island’s annual Motor Sport Festival on 5-8 March again provided the country’s best historic race meet with, as usual, nearly 500 entries.  While overseas entries were down compared to recent years, the gathering of cars from all parts of Australia was again the opportunity to see a vast number of cars that otherwise never run together on the same track.  In an arrangement between British Brian Souley Motorsport and local Ecurie Australie/Davisons Formula Ford team, four local cars were driven by overseas drivers, Richard “Bulldog” Tarling,  Adrian Reynard in a Reynard of course, Frenchman  Xavier Michel and Dutch KLM pilot Jaap Blijleven.  Brian Soule has hopes to extend Formula Ford swap deals to involve other countries in future.  Luke Ellery motorsport entered Chris Hodgen, while further British deal drivers were Martin Whitlock and Donald Boyack.

Guido Belgiorno-Nettis brought two Ferraris.  Photo Shaun Tanner

Andy Newall proved his liking of the Phillip Island event with his 15th appearance at the fixture, choosing to bring his Chevron B6 this year.  Ernie and Elaine Nagamatsu were present from the USA with their legendary Porsche 356 and their friendship to all.  Paddins Dowling completed the list of visitors from afar with his very original 1939 Maserati 4 CL complete with its matching 1564 build numbers.  Engine breathing problems meant he did very few laps, much to everyone’s disappointment, but even the display of the car in the paddock was appreciated, thanks Paddins.

Photos Neil Hammond except where stated The Porsche 962/956 pair of George Nakas and Russell Kempnich

Scotty Taylor, the local overseas driver from Tasmania, was racing his straight six powered GMH Torana in the touring car races, enjoying himself after having wound down from 10 years of English based historic racing.  The Lotus 18, Coopers T45 and T53 have been sold but the Cooper T39 Bobtail keeps his options open…

Young Conor Ryan did his late father proud by winning the  nal with the Jaguar 3.8-engined Elgaram. The car has period form at Phillip Island. Bill Suhr commenced the project in 1960,  tting a Jaguar XK engine built to ‘D Type speci cations’ in terms of valves, camshafts and other items to a brand new Austin Healey 100-4 chassis. It was entered at Phillip Island in December 1962 where Suhr won the over 3 litre sports car scratch amongst other events

Racing over three very full days following some track time on Thursday gave most cars the opportunity of five races.  Fastest in the fastest class (for F5000, F1 & Indy Cars) was Tom Tweedie with the ex-Team VDS/Gethin Chevron B24/28 ahead of Guido Belgiorno-Nettis with both his 1985 Ferrari 156/85 turbos as used by Stefan Johansson and Michele Alboretto.

Guest driver from Britain Richard Tarling (Quest FF86) was competitive in the Formula Ford races

See our April 2020 issue for the full story.

These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News.  Some have been abbreviated for this web site.  If you'd like to receive the full version, please visit our subscription page where you will find postal subscriptions available.  A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.