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Thread: Photos: January 1987 Wellington Street Race

  1. #1

    Photos: January 1987 Wellington Street Race

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    People sometimes forget there were actually two Wellington Street Races held in 1987. When the race first took place in 1985, it was given a January date, to coincide with the off-season elsewhere, in order to attract the all-important international teams and drivers.

    The January date remained for 1986, and 1987. But then the Wellington race was given a round of the 1987 World Touring Car Championship, held on October 26, as part of a three-race schedule offered to Australasia. The first of these was Bathurst, followed by the Calder Thunderdome, and then Wellington.

    But while the October WTCC race has understandably enjoyed a lot of interest over the years, the January street race has been left a little in the shade. But this was also a very significant event, with some impressive international entries, including a pair of TWR Jaguar XJS', which I believe had to be granted special permission to take part, as their homologation had expired.

    Of course, the January 1987 race was won by the famous pairing of Peter Brock and Allan Moffat, in the former's HDT VK Commodore, before his famous split with Holden. In January 1987, everything appeared rosy.

    These pics were sent to me just recently by Grant Matchett. There are approx 20 in total, and just neat amateur shots of this great event.

  2. #2
    This was moments after the start, with the Gibson Motorsport Nissan Skyline leaping to the front, ahead of the Brock Commodore, the first of the TWR Jags, and the Commodores of Graeme Crosby and Larry Perkins.

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  3. #3
    The Fury/Seton Skyline getting some serious air. George Fury was a great driver, who was dropped by the team in favor of Jim Richards. He'd been with the team throughout their difficult Group A years with the Bluebird.

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  4. #4
    1987 would see the introduction of BMWs incredible new M3, but there were none of these at the January event. However, Charlie O'Brien and Glenn McIntyre entered a 635CSi, and finished an impressive 3rd in the race. These were charismatic cars for sure.

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  5. #5
    Holden Dealer Team entered two cars, with the #3 machine being driven by John Harvey and Kiwi driver Neil Lowe.

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  6. #6
    This is the John Billington VK Commodore which he shared with Chris Castle. The pair had a good race, and finished 5th overall.

    I believe this is the former Graeme Bowkett Roadways built car?

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  7. #7
    Pictured here is the Tony Longhurst/Bill Bryce BMW 325i. This is the car Longhurst raced in Australia in JPS colours, before being purchased by Bryce.

    In behind is one of two Sierra XR4Ti's. 1987 would also see the debut of the new Sierra Cosworth, but again, none were ready for the January street race. I'd love to know the origins of the two XR4Ti's in this race. One was driven by Steve Soper/Neville Crichton, the other by Andrew Miedecke/???. The Soper/Crichton car is surely the Eggenberger machine Crichton contested some ATCC races in during 1987.

    I figure the car here is Miedecke's, given the Port MacQuarie signage. Where did this car come from? And where did it go? Did it become a Cosworth? I have a vague recollection the OXO car raced in 1987 by Don Smith started life as an XR4Ti, but maybe I'm just imagining that.

    Anyway, the Soper/Crichton car finished the race in 4th. The Miedecke car didn't make the distance.

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    This is the John Billington VK Commodore which he shared with Chris Castle. The pair had a good race, and finished 5th overall.

    I believe this is the former Graeme Bowkett Roadways built car?

    Attachment 31415
    Correct. Now back in aust and close to being finshed, and rebuilt into its billington crosby 87 bathurst livery.

  9. #9
    Thanks Roger, good to know its still about.

  10. #10
    Hi Steve, not 100% sure, but I think the Miedecke car was the Rouse car that came over for the 1986 race, and retired after Rouse hit the wall on the pit straight.You can see above it is RHD. It was bought by Andrew Bagnall, and run by Mark Petch, with mechanical work by Randall Edgell. Andrew sold the car in NZ, but although I have tried to locate it after it was sold, the trail went cold.



    The other XR4Ti was, as you correctly said, the Eggenberger car, which was actually Soper's ETCC car for the second half of the 1986 European season. It was bought by Crichton, partnered by Soper in the race, and finished fourth after a few issues. And it was taken to Australia during 1987, and driven by Denny Hulme and Crichton for some ATCC rounds. But it was unreliable, and by that stage the Cosworth was up and running, and it was completely outclassed by the newer car. For 1988 it was bought by Mark Petch, converted into an RS500 (using spares from the Peanut Slab car) and driven by Garry Croft in the NZ Touring car championship with Husqvarna sponsorship. Then converted and run around 1990 to "Thundersaloon" spec. and run in BP colours for Robbie Francevic. Then in Noel Leeming colours for Greg Lancaster. Currently being restored back to original Gp.A spec.

    Last edited by conrod; 11-04-2015 at 07:00 PM.

  11. #11
    Thanks Conrad, thats some great info. It'd be fascinating to know what became of the Rouse Sierra. I may well have my wires crossed, but I thought I was told, or that I read, that the OXO Supercube Cosworth raced in the early part of the 1987 ATCC by Don Smith was a converted XR4Ti. This car was rolled by Smith, and re-shelled. The damaged shell was sold to Mike Ceveri, and became a Chev V8 powered Sports Sedan. I did wonder briefly if this might have been the ex-Rouse car, but the 1987 ATCC kicked off in February, just one month after Wellington, so that theory seems unlikely.

    On another note, the ex-Rouse car was also raced briefly by Robbie Francevic in the 1986/87 NZ touring car championship, but I don't know if this was late 1986, or early 1987.

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  12. #12
    yes correct, Francevic also drove the ex- Rouse car in 1986.Not sure whwre the pic above was taken, but that is the car. Pretty sure the car ran in NZ for both 1987 Wellington street races, Phil Myhre drove it in the 1987 WTCC race. From there I don't know what happened to the car.

    Andrew Bagnall owned the car, and Mark Petch ran it for him. They took it to Bathurst in 1986 and I believe it was topping the timesheets in practice, but kept spitting cam followers off. They started the race, but DNF'ed.

  13. #13
    I think the above photo was taken at Pukekohe. I too vaguely recall something about the car being very fast at Bathurst, although I thought this was just its top speed down Conrod Straight, rather than its overall lap speed.

  14. #14
    yes I think you are right re Bathurst top speed. Problem was they had to rev the engine to make decent power, and the old Pinto with its spring clips holding the cam followers on just didn't like being revved hard. I spoke to Andrew Bagnall a while ago about the car, but he could not remember who he sold it to. Randall Edgell said the car was collected from his work, but he couldn't remember by who either!

  15. #15
    Here is the Wayne Anderson/Robbie Francevic Mustang leading the Trevor Crowe/Jim Richards 635CSi. From the race results I've found, only one Pinepac Mustang is entered. Was the other wrecked in practice?

    Between Francevic and Richards, the two Kiwis would win the 1985, 1986, and 1987 Australian Touring Car Championships, plus the 1985 Wellington Street Race. This was a good time for New Zealand drivers in Group A.

    What was the history of the Crowe BMW? Was this the ex-Crichton car?

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  16. #16
    This is the Ian Schuler/Peter McNeil Holden Gemini, which got lapped many times, but ran like a Swiss watch all day, and finished the race 12th outright.

    In behind, and waiting impatiently to lap the Gemini through one of the single-lane sections, are the Larry Perkins/David Parsons and Peter Brock/Allan Moffat Commodores.

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  17. #17
    Here is the Denny Hulme/Armin Hahne Jaguar XJS, which qualified 3rd, but crashed out. Hulme was doing a lot of racing in Europe for TWR at this time.

    Was the Wellington Street Race and following Pukekohe events the very last time a Jaguar XJS was raced in international Group A competition anywhere in the world?

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    Was the Wellington Street Race and following Pukekohe events the very last time a Jaguar XJS was raced in international Group A competition anywhere in the world?
    The FIA homolgation for the XJS expired at the end of '86 so you could also argue that it's last official 'Group A' race was Fuji, Nov '86.

  19. #19
    There were a few Corolla GTs in the race, but I'm not sure which one this is. Maybe someone here could help? These were pretty little cars, and always competitive in their class.

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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by conrod View Post
    yes correct, Francevic also drove the ex- Rouse car in 1986.Not sure whwre the pic above was taken, but that is the car. Pretty sure the car ran in NZ for both 1987 Wellington street races, Phil Myhre drove it in the 1987 WTCC race. From there I don't know what happened to the car.

    Andrew Bagnall owned the car, and Mark Petch ran it for him. They took it to Bathurst in 1986 and I believe it was topping the timesheets in practice, but kept spitting cam followers off. They started the race, but DNF'ed.
    The photo is Puke,

    Are you saying that Andrew Bagnell owned it at that point? If so did it morf into the cosworth that Andrew bagnall ran later??

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