Join Date: Mar 2001
Various parts of Australia
I was going to say that Webber never ran FHolden, but went straight to Europe after running FF, taking his PR girl with him and dumping her when he made good...
Skaife was a different case, too, for Fred Gibson put him into the Lola for the purpose of expanding his experience, and at the same time gave his touring car sponsors some extra coverage and netted an easily-won championship.
Mark Larkham came up through it, though, and would no doubt have preferred to stay in single seaters...
There have been others who've recognised a value of some sort in the class. New Zealanders (like Wills, Murphy etc) have come to Australia just to move through the ranks, while Japanese have used it as a steppingstone as well (for licencing reasons perhaps?) over the years.
Shame it's almost unknown outside the most knowledgeable enthusiasts... how far our racing has sunk!
There have been highlights... once this happened:
WINTON, 1979 – a true story told in verse.
"Now listen here, John," said Larry, forlorn
that he couldn't leap in for his cause
at the sideshow at Winton, the politics borne
of the confronting of cars of two laws.
It would grow in excitement as the weekend progressed,
and the fur it would surely fly thickly,
as the fives and Atlantic men put to the test
their aims, which I'll tell you of quickly.
It was "Rose City" time at that place in the South,
where the bitumen winds around tightest,
and the thundering roar of the Chevys was loath
to give in to the Ralt, which was lightest.
Paul England was there, in his best stirring mood,
But his Chevron was giving him trouble.
Bespectacled Larry, though, hurled all this brood
as usual, as if on the double.
Jon Davo moved in with the new A F One crowd,
determined to make his own mark.
(Not hard for him, as his talking is loud -
a dog he don't need for its bark!)
Signs were put up to show all that came
the pit spots for all the top cars -
with the best spots reserved for the five thousands lame.
Then Paul said: "Let's fix this farce!"
He'd been camped there all week, in a spot that was marked
for a Lola equipped with an eight,
next to Graham McRae, who became very narked,
As also was Seaton, his mate.
For a musical sign game had Paul England played,
including Smith's Ralt just for fun.
John was given the spot Graham's sign was displayed,
Right up alongside the Chevron.
An argument flared up, it needn't be said,
between Graham and John (still recalling
that rash moves at Repco had near left him dead,
at Sandown, where fives were all falling.)
"TOO OLD," was the cry that came from Smith spry,
we could see that the Kiwi was shattered,
then Lee Seaton jumped in, fists ready to fly,
it was young John who almost was splattered!
The "Cowangie Kid" had to break up the fight,
at great risk to his sole pair of glasses;
So obvious was Mister England's delight
that he came out unmarked from these passes.
The next step, of course, was Larry's retort
when told that officials would fine him -
for having no licence, ("never been bought")
Of a frame-up it was much reminding.
Russell Lanyon said: "Yes, I'll give you a note
to tell them that CAMS got your dollars."
But later on - "No!" was the message he wrote -
the working out doesn't need scholars.
For big brother John (and his mates with the big cars),
had made Russell retreat from his pact -
go back on his word for these childish beggars -
it was such a despicable act!
Larry stood for his rights, his feet planted firmly,
and insisted his money would stay.
"I don't care," he said, "how you wriggle your wormy
way out of this mess, I won't pay!"
And so they relented, as Larry kept shouting
"This just doesn't happen in Britain!"
The compromise called for an end to this doubting,
by which deal he wasn't so smitten.
Then on into the night time, when the Mayor failed to show,
and so left them alone, to themselves,
so by the end of the evening (with shouting from Davo),
they near woke up all Hoot Gibson's elves.
Then, putting an end to the chaos he'd started,
Jon calmed them all down in the dark.
"We'll display our wares well," he now imparted,
"For our dough!" was his final remark.
The parade went like clockwork, impressing the throng
lining the streets to observe.
An outward appearance of a formula strong -
nobody showing their sore nerve.
And the race, yes the race, like fury and fast,
Thrilling the crowd and the viewers.
John Bowe led from Alfie, but it couldn't last,
Smith next in the Ralt so much newer.
It astounded the crowd that a car of that size
could press hard on Alfie - their hero -
but push him it did, while Bowe looked so wise,
and spun back to fourth - almost zero.
Back in the field Paul Hamilton lay
ninth in an Elfin so aged,
Until Butcher came up to a lapping game play
and chose the wrong side, it is wagered.
The Lola was out as it speared off the track,
the argument later was friendly.
Rob then was more certain of how he should act
when waved through on roads that are bendy.
Smith got beside Alfie, a few times at least
and set fastest lap in the trying,
but the power of the Chev, oh, such a beast
left him each time, almost crying.
So the win was Costanzo's, again out in front,
with the little cars filling three places
before Bowe came along, now bearing the brunt
for the damage he'd done for no aces.
As Hamilton finished (it is quietly said),
Smith's crew gave him great accolades,
'xcept the car he had tangled was the wrong Lola, red,
still left in the Winton grass blades.
But it still wasn't over, or not at least
till conspiracies 'mong all the CAMS men
had worn out their spirits and had all their feast
at the cost of the little-car men.
"Let's pull the thing down, and make sure it's right,"
said Russell Lanyon at last.
But despite all the sweat, Larry reached a new height,
and he gave him o-o-oh such a blast.
"Now show me your name in this programme I hold,
in the scrutineer's list just for preference!"
But his name wasn't there, so Russell was told:
"Get out, or I'll show you the difference!"
The programme did name, among others, Mick Ronke -
"Sec. of the Meeting," it said,
But still unimpressed, Larry was cranky.
"There's not a 'scrute's' tag on his head!"
The poor scrutineer, under orders rebounding
seemed to favour young Larrikin's tones.
But in the end, Perkins notwithstanding,
he pulled the cars down to their bones.
They were legal of course, and who would doubt that,
so's the action that Paul England's taking
Against Davo, but then, we'll not mention that,
for sub-judice laws we'd be breaking.
Now years have gone by, most forget this weekend
Even Larry, who drove Elfins later -
And the argument's over, for others contend
new issues o'er tintops and "data."
The Gold Star limps on in the shadow of tourers
costing millions to put on the track.
Oh, for the days of the open-wheeled furores,
Days that - sadly - we'll never get back.