THE BIGGEST group of Grand Prix machinery to compete on Australian soil this year will feature at the annual The Bend Classic this September.
A group of Formula One cars, many with key Australian Grand Prix history and some with remarkable racing providence, will compete as part of a broader group of Historic, classic, and modern machinery set to compete across the Father’s Day weekend.
It’s set to create sights and sounds for the senses with high-revving V8’s, V12s and 1980s turbocharged monsters on show.
A classic Grand Prix car with links to two iconic F1 teams will compete at the event following the entry of a genuine car raced by Sir Jack Brabham in the 1968 Formula 1 season.
The Repco-Brabham BT26, the first of its type, was raced by the three-time World Champion in the 1968 season before being sold to Frank Williams – who would later create the famous Williams Grand Prix team – in 1969.
The car was then raced by British driver Piers Courage to eighth in that year’s World Championship, including second in the United States Grand Prix.
Now owned by the Kean family, well known in Adelaide motoring and motorsport circles, the car is one of several F1 cars with incredible history to be on show.
The Kean family will also have on static display a Cooper-Climax raced by Jack Brabham in the 1959 season and a much later 2000 Arrows A21-Supertec, once raced by Jos Verstappen – father of current F1 star Max.
Josh Kean will also drive their 1994 Cosworth-powered Footwork-Arrows FA15, a car once raced by Brazilian star Christian Fittipaldi at the Australian Grand Prix in the Adelaide parklands.
Adelaide came alive with Formula 1 in the 1980s with a host of period machinery still residing in the state and set for The Bend.
Two such cars created by the small but popular Larousse team will take part in the Classic, one a Lola LC87 and the other an LC88 (owned by Brenton Griguol) – their chassis designation representing the years they raced.
Both are powered by Cosworth V8 engines and each raced in the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.
A Toleman TG185 is also entered, a car raced in the 1985 season by Teo Fabi and the precursor to the famous Benetton team, that would later become the modern-day Renault.
The Toleman represents the beginning of the end of Formula 1’s first Turbo era, powered by a 1.5-litre Hart-built four-cylinder engine with a massive turbocharger.