CORSE NEWS

May-December 2013

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November 24: Classic Alfa wins historic class

November 11: Another win and fastest lap to Terry at Heritage finale

September 1: Terry muscles to another Heritage win!

July 21: History repeats at Lakeside!

July 14: Spinner knocks Nick off the podium

June 23: Wild weather tests drivers at SMP

May 26: Radically different weekends for Nick, Ash

 

 

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Classic Alfa wins historic class

DATE: November 23-24, 2013
VENUE: Sydney Motorsport Park - Eastern Creek, NSW
EVENT: Group S Racing Association series, final round
VEHICLE (OWNER): Group S Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV (Colin Wilson-Brown)
 

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Successful Alfa Romeo racer Colin Wilson-Brown, pictured here at the 2008 Festival of Sports Cars at Mt Panorama.

 


One of Corse's most loyal clients has wound up a successful season in historic Group S racing.


Colin Wilson-Brown, whose 1970 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV was restored by Corse some 21 years ago and has been serviced and prepared for racing by Corse ever since, is the Group S Racing Association's NSW champion in Class B (1961-?69 production sports cars).

 

The 2013 GSRA series wrapped up at last weekend's All-Historic Summer race meeting at Sydney Motorsport Park.


Corse owner Mick Mitchell congratulated Colin on his victory, which included a win at the previous Sydney Motorsport Park round.


"Colin is a long-time competitor in historic racing as well as a Group S Association committee member. It's good to see his enthusiasm and love of motoring rewarded," Mick said.

 

"His 1750 GTV is a classic Alfa that was raced in several versions in the Bathurst 500 and 1000 from the late-1960s until the early-1970s. They've been driven by Australian legends such as Kevin Bartlett, Max Stewart, Dick Johnson, John French, Brian Foley, Tim Schenken, Frank Gardner, Doug Chivas and Paul Hawkins."

 

Mick said he's had a soft spot for Alfa Romeos since his youth.


"I served my apprenticeship at a Sydney Alfa dealer, and I worked on Coling Bond's Group A Alfetta GTV6 and 75 Turbo when I was a mechanic with his race team. Alfa Romeo has a great sporting tradition - there's no such thing as a boring Alfa! - and Alfa owners are passionate about their cars.


"Colin Wilson-Brown is a typical Alfa owner. He drives his GTV 1750 the way it was designed to be driven: fast! He mightn't be up with the Lowndeses and Whincups on the racetrack, but winning a class in the Group S Racing Association series is no mean feat.


"We have developed a friendship that I hope will last forever."


Another win and fastest lap to Terry at Heritage series finale

DATE: November 9-11, 2013
VENUE: Sandown International Raceway - Noble Park, Victoria
EVENT: Heritage Touring Cars series, round 5
VEHICLE (OWNER): Group A Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 (Terry Lawlor)

 

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Terry Lawlor's Sierra was a handful in the rain-affected practice and qualifying, but he blitzed the field on a dry track track in Sunday's second Heritage Touring Cars race. [Narra Photography photo]

 

 

Sandown's traditional November historic race meeting was a case of 'another Heritage Touring Cars series round; another race win' for Terry Lawlor in his Corse-prepared Caltex Sierra RS500.


Terry kept his powder dry during Friday's rain-affected practice sessions at the 3.1km south-east Melbourne circuit. And a damp track for qualifying on Saturday morning meant he had to tread gently on the turbocharged Sierra's throttle pedal.


But it was a different story when the skies cleared on Saturday afternoon.


From fourth starting position, Terry quickly grabbed the lead on the opening lap of the first of three scheduled HTC races.


Unfortunately the race was red-flagged soon afterwards when another competitor crashed heavily, so Terry had to wait until the second race on Sunday morning to deliver the goods.


This time he led all six laps to cross the Finish line more than two seconds clear of David Holc's HRT VL Commodore, with Rod Markland's Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R a distant third.


An engine problem at the start of the third race prevented Terry from scoring another victory, but he had the consolation of recording the weekend's fastest HTC race lap at an impressive 1min. 17.117sec.


That was less than a tenth of a second off the fastest lap in the 1989 Sandown 500 set by Andrew Miedecke, also driving a Sierra-Cosworth RS500!


Corse owner Mick Mitchell congratulated Terry on a successful debut season in the ex-Colin Bond car, which underwent a full restoration by Corse last year after passing through several hands since Bond last raced it in 1991.


"The Sierra's a big step up from the Porsches that Terry's driven in the past, but he's adapted well to the extra power and different handling," Mick said. "He's improved at every race meeting as he's gained confidence, and I'm sure that he'll give the Heritage Touring Car series a real shake next year."

 


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Terry muscles to another Heritage series win

DATE: August 31-September 1, 2013
VENUE: Sydney Motorsport Park 'Brabham' circuit (4.5km) - Eastern Creek, NSW
EVENT: Heritage Touring Cars series, round 4
VEHICLE (OWNER): Historic Group A Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 (Terry Lawlor)

 

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Mick Mitchell and Terry Lawlor with the winner's trophies.  [Good Publicity photo]

 

 

Corse Motorsport went to round four of the Heritage Touring Cars series at Sydney Motorsport Park with the aim of helping Terry Lawlor to build on his success at the previous round at Lakeside - and came away with even better results.


Driving his Corse-prepared Group A Ford Sierra RS500, Terry won the overall round as well as two special trophy races held as part of the annual Muscle Car Masters race meeting. He also set a new lap record for SMP's full 4.5km 'Brabham' circuit.


The race meeting started promisingly for Terry when he clocked the second-fastest lap in qualifying on Saturday morning. His time was less than a second off touring car legend Jim Richards' pole position lap.

 

Richards' Skyline HR31 turbo was one of several Nissan factory team cars competing on the weekend.


Saturday afternoon's first Heritage Touring Cars race didn't begin well for Terry when he stalled the Sierra's engine at the start. About a dozen cars went by before the first corner, but Terry fought back strongly in the short five-lap race to finish third behind Bill Pye (Mustang) and Rod Markland (Nissan Skyline GT-R).


Richards' Nissan expired on lap three with a mechanical problem.


in the next race, the Trophy race for Group A (1985-92) touring cars, Terry avoided repeating his faltering first race start by easing the 400kW Sierra off the line. He was third after the opening lap, then picked off Pye and Markland to score his first win for the race meeting.


Another cautious start in Sunday's second heat of the Heritage Touring Cars round again put Terry back in the pack. But from fifth place after the opening lap he drove confidently through the field to hit the lead with two of the five laps remaining.


He cruised to the finish line ahead of Pye, only to be given a five-second penalty for creeping forward at the start. As he finished 4.6 seconds ahead on the road, he was classified second.


Terry took some consolation with a new Group A lap record, eclipsing Jim Richards' pole position time.

 

The weekend's final event for Group A & C cars was the Racing for Jason Trophy Race, in memory of popular V8 Supercar driver Jason Richards who lost his battle with cancer in 2011.


Fired up by the previous race penalty and his lacklustre starts, this time Terry spun the engine to peak revs and dropped the clutch. It wasn't an ideal getaway, but the blue smoke billowing from the Sierra's rear tyres impressed the packed grandstand!


Terry took less than two laps to hit the lead after despatching Markland and Pye, then cleared out to win by two seconds in a dominant performance.

 

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Terry presses on in his ex-Colin Bond Group A Ford Sierra RS500. [Good Publicity photo]

 

 

Corse owner Mick Mitchell said it was Terry's best race meeting so far in the Sierra, which was raced originally by Colin Bond in the early-1990s.


"Terry has come to grips with the car really well, considering this was only his third race meeting since we finished its restoration at the beginning of the year," Mick said.

 

"This race meeting was unusual, in that the Heritage Touring Car races had standing starts instead of the usual rolling starts.

 

"The Sierra is difficult to get off the line.  John Bowe had trouble starting when he was racing Sierras in the Australian Touring Car Championship, so Terry's in good company!"


Mick added that the most pleasing aspect was the way Terry has driven the car since he acquired it.


'Terry's an amateur racing driver, but he's no 'gentleman driver' who doddles around at three-quarter pace. He pushes the car to its limits - and sometimes a bit beyond! - but he has the skill to get out of trouble if he oversteps the mark.


"He's a real racer. He'll dive past other drivers under brakes instead of taking the easy option and using the Sierra's power to pass them down the straights."

 

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History repeats at Lakeside

DATE: July 20-21, 2013
VENUE: Lakeside Park (2.4km) - Kurwongbah, Queensland
EVENT: Heritage Touring Car series, round 3
VEHICLE (OWNER): Historic Group A Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 (Terry Lawlor)

 

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Terry Lawlor salutes the Lakeside crowd after winning the Kevin Bartlett Governor's Trophy race.
[Bruce Scott photo]

 

 

Terry Lawlor's win in the feature race for Heritage Touring Cars at Lakeside rekindled memories of Colin Bond's sensational win in the 1990 Australian Touring Car Championship round at the Queensland circuit.

 

Bond, 48, was considered by some pundits to be past his motor racing use-by date. But on the daunting high-speed 2.4km circuit he trounced the top ATCC drivers of the day: Peter Brock, Dick Johnson, John Bowe, Glenn Seton and Tony Longhurst in Ford Sierra Cosworth 500s, Jim Richards and Mark Skaife in Nissan Skylines, and Larry Perkins, Win Percy and Neil Crompton in Holden Commodores.

 

The connection between the two events is the car. Terry Lawlor was driving one of Bond's original Group A Sierras!  In
another co-incidence, Corse owner Mick Mitchell was a member of Bond's Caltex Racing Team.

Terry and the Corse crew had their work cut out, Lakeside being only their second race meeting with the 400kW car since Corse completed its full restoration. Nevertheless they worked steadily throughout Friday's practice sessions to get down to competitive lap times.

On Saturday Terry qualified third fastest, barely a second slower than Jim Richards, who was driving the same model Skyline he drove in the 1990 ATCC!


The first eight-lap race for the Heritage Touring Cars began on a dry track, but rain began falling after the first few laps. That turned Lakeside into a treacherous skating rink for the cars on their smooth 'slick' tyres.

 

With four more HTC races scheduled for the weekend, Terry came into the pits rather than risk damaging his historic Sierra.


That put him at the rear of the starting grid for Saturday afternoon's second race over 10 laps, which he spent steadily picking off the tailenders and midfielders. He was up to fifth place and closing in on fourth when the chequered flag fell.


Sunday's first race, another 10-lapper, put Terry in sight of pacesetters Jim Richards and Bill Pye, who was driving an ex-Dick Johnson Group A Mustang. Although Terry had to be content with third place after losing a couple of positions at the start he set the second-fastest lap, just half a second shy of Richards' best.


In the next race Terry was in second place and sitting on Jim Richards' back bumper on the first lap, when the Sierra?s low oil pressure warning light came on. He cruised into the pits immediately rather than risk damaging the engine.

 

Fortunately the problem was only a faulty pressure switch.

 

Having retired from the previous race, Terry again had to line up at the rear of the grid for the 15-lap feature event, the Kevin Bartlett Governor's Trophy. He charged through the field to be eighth after the first lap, fifth the next time around, then fourth and third after another two circuits.


That became second when the car ahead dropped out, and Terry set his sights on Bill Pye in the lead. The gap kept closing until Terry took the lead on the second-last lap, setting the fastest lap in the process.


Only two tenths of a second separated the pair at the finish, but the Caltex Sierra crossed the line first in a re-enactment of Colin Bond's 1990 triumph!

 

Terry He received the trophy, which combines the names of the trophy presented to the winner of the Lakeside round of the Australian Drivers' Championship in the 1960s/70s, and the Australian racing hero who won it in 1967, '68 and '71. 'KB' himself was on hand to present the trophy as well as the Best Presented Car award to Terry, completing a great weekend for Corse.

 

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Terry receives the Kevin Bartlett Governor's Trophy from the Australian racing legend himself.
[Bruce Scott photo]

 


"This has been an amazing race meeting, considering Colin Bond's Australian Touring Car Championship win here in 1990," Mick Mitchell said. "Terry was up against some pretty keen opposition, but he drove beautifully all weekend.

 

"His two races starting from the back of the grid took a lot of patience and skill, and I could see when he was catching Bill Pye in the Feature race that there was no way he was going to finish second!"

 

Go to Corse 2013 photo album to see more photos from this race meeting.

 

 

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 Spinner knocks Nick off podium

DATE: July 12-14, 2013
VENUE: Sydney Motorsport Park 'Grand Prix' circuit - Eastern Creek, NSW
EVENT: Radical Australia Cup, round 4

VEHICLE (OWNER): Radical SR3 (Nick Kelly)


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Nick Kelly finished a fine second in class and fifth outright in the first part of the Radical Australia Cup round.
[Good Publicity photo]

 


Halfway through the fourth round of the Radical Australia Cup series at Sydney Motorsport Park, Nick Kelly was set for at least second place, if not victory, in the SR3 class.


But an errant driver knocked Nick's Corse-prepared car out of the race.


Unusually the round, held on SMP's 3.93km 'Grand Prix' circuit, comprised a 90-minute race in two parts with a 25-minute break for refuelling and co-driver changes in shared cars. With no compulsory pit stop during either part, the better 'seeded' drivers took a pitlane drive-through penalty during their stints instead of the usual extended mid-race stop.


Nick qualified ninth fastest of the 15 Radical SR3s on the combined SR3/SR8 grid, but in the first 45-minute race he worked steadily through the field to finish second in class and fifth outright.

 

Then in the second part, with Nick looking good for an SR3 class podium result, one of the leading V8 SR8s spun at the corner leading onto the main straight on the opening lap. Nick was caught up in the chaos, and the resulting damage to his car knocked him out of the race - and off the podium.

 

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Nick Kelly takes the start in part 2, but less than two minutes later he was out of the race. [Good Publicity photo]

 

 

Corse owner Mick Mitchell was disappointed to see Nick's podium result go begging.


"Nick had a great run in the first leg, and he had every chance of holding onto second in the SR3 class, if not winning it. There was nothing he could do to avoid hitting the other car, and while his car wasn't damaged badly it was enough to stop him continuing in the race.


"As the saying goes, 'that's motor racing'."


Mick added that Nick drove his four-cylinder SR3 instead of his V8 SR8 because the SR3 class offers more competition.


"This is the first year that the SR8 has been allowed to race in the Australian Radical series, and there aren't enough of them here yet to provide close racing between drivers with varying abilities.


"Nick is quick for an 'amateur', but in his SR8 he was often driving around between the pro SR8 drivers and the leading SR3s. He'd rather race wheel-to-wheel in the SR3 pack than run alone in the SR8, so he's gone back to his SR3 until there's more competition in the SR8s."

 

 

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Wild weather tests drivers at SMP

DATE: June 22-23, 2013
VENUE: Sydney Motorsport Park 'Grand Prix' circuit - Eastern Creek, NSW
EVENTS: NSW Supersports Championship, round 2; NSW Production Sports Car Championship, round 3
VEHICLES (OWNERS): Radical SR3 (Nick Kelly); Roaring Forties GT40 (Iain Pretty)

 

 

Continually varying track conditions at Sydney Motorsport Park made the third round of the NSW Motor Race Championships a tougher test than usual for Corse Motorsport's two entries.


Nick Kelly contested the Supersports races on Saturday, and Iain Pretty competed in the Production Sports Car events across both days.

 

It was a change of car for Nick, who drove his 1.5-litre four-cylinder Radical SR3 instead of his newer and more powerful 2.7-litre V8 SR8 that he's been driving in this year's Radical Australia Cup. But it didn't take him long to re-acquaint himself with the SR3 on SMP's 3.93km 'Grand Prix' circuit.

 

On Saturday he qualified fourth-fastest of the 13 SR3s and 10th overall in the mixed field of 20 open-cockpit sports-racers. He recovered from a slow start in the first race to finish third in class and eighth outright, then swept to a class win and fourth outright in the crash-shortened second race, which only lasted three laps.


The Industrie fashion label owner repeated the result in the third and final race, which ran its scheduled eight lap distance.


Iain qualified his Roaring Forties GT40 third in the 20-strong Production Sports Car field that ranged from purpose-built GT3 competition cars to modified roadgoing models like Iain's 1968 Le Mans GT40 replica. Only two GT3 Audi drivers posted quicker laps than Iain, and the cars behind him included a GT3 Lamborghini and a Porsche GT3 Cup S.

 

He lost a position at the start of the first race on Saturday afternoon, and remained in fourth place for the six-lap duration.


The heavens opened on Sunday, and although Iain lost two places to all-wheel-drive cars in the slippery conditions he drove carefully to a fifth place finish. The conditions worsened for the third race, and after paddling around the saturated track for three laps Iain decided to stop before his car aquaplaned off the bitumen.


Corse owner Mick Mitchell was delighted with the weekend's results, considering the difficult conditions.


"Nick was rapt with his two class wins," Mick said. "He's more familiar with the SR3 than the SR8, which is a very fast car and takes a while to learn. And Iain really took it up to the GT3s!"


Nick had intended to drive his Production Sports Lotus Elise at the meeting as well, but unfortunately the car had to be withdrawn after Friday practice following an unplanned contact with the concrete wall at Turn 5.


Mick was almost as disappointed as Nick, having been keen to see how the Elise would go after recent suspension improvements in the Corse workshop.


"Nick said before the accident that the changes transformed the car's handling, and made it feel the best it had ever been," he said. "We'll just have to wait until its next race meeting to find out how much quicker it is!"


Mick also acknowledged veteran racer Bruce Stewart's achievement in setting a new Production Touring Car lap record during the race meeting.


"I've known Bruce for many years, back to the 1980s when I was with Colin Bond's Caltex Group A Sierra team and he used to co-drive one of the cars in the long-distance races.


"He's a terrific bloke, and to set an outright category lap record when he's well into his 70s is an amazing feat!"

 


Click on the video, below, to watch highlights of the production sports car racing at Sydney Motorsport Park.

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Radically different weekends for Nick & Ash

DATE: May 24-26, 2013
VENUE: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit - Cowes, Victoria
EVENTS: Radical Australia Cup, round 3
VEHICLES (OWNERS): 2 x Radical SR8 (Nick Kelly & Ash Samadi)

 

 

Corse Motorsport's two entries in the third round of the Radical Australia Cup series at Phillip Island this weekend had radically different results (pun intended!).


Nick Kelly enjoyed his most successful race meeting since he acquired his new V8-powered SR8, but Ash Samadi was unable to convert his sparkling practice and qualifying form into race results with his SR8.


Nick placed second in one of Saturday's two sprint races and the enduro on Sunday. Only a DNF  in the first sprint race prevented him from scoring a triple podium for the round.


The Sunday race had been reduced from the usual 50 minutes due to concerns about the 2.7-litre Le Mans-style sports car's fuel range on the high-speed Victoria circuit. As it turned put, a wet track reduced fuel consumption to what would have been a safe level for the longer duration!


Ash began the race meeting on a high by qualifying third and second for the two sprint races. He ran third for the opening lap of the first sprint race, but an unsuccessful passing attempt at Honda Corner sent him off the track.


After rejoining at the tail of the field he recovered eight places before the chequered flag, but the radiator and bodywork had been damaged in the incident. There wasn't time for the Corse crew to fix the car before the second sprint race that afternoon, but it was ready for Sunday's enduro.


Ash held third from the start until lap six, when he spun coming over the Lukey Heights. Three laps later the compulsory pit stop 'window' opened, and with a dry track looking likely Ash gambled by having his treaded wet weather tyres replaced with dry weather slicks.


But the low ambient temperature kept the track damp, and Ash struggled to find traction through Phillip Island's high-speed corners. A collision with a backmarker put him out of the race at the half-hour mark.


Corse owner Mick Mitchell was impressed with both drivers' performances in the difficult conditions.


"That was as good as I've seen Nick drive," he said. "Phillip Island sorts the good drivers from the rest, and this was his first time there in the SR8, which is a very quick car.


"He worked down to a competitive pace in practice and qualifying, and fully deserved his two second placings. His drive in the wet on Sunday was faultless.


"Ash was unlucky not to get better results, but his lack of Radical racing experience at Phillip Island, especially in the wet, probably cost him this weekend."

 

 

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