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Old 15-09-2015, 08:01 AM
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Grant Campbell
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mt Eliza Victoria Australia
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Default MEDIA RELEASE (No. 3) - TRIBUTE to RACING LEGEND at HISTORIC SANDOWN

MEDIA RELEASE (No. 3) - TRIBUTE to RACING LEGEND at HISTORIC SANDOWN

Alexander Nicholas (“Lex”) Davison was an iconic figure in Australian motor sport, having won four Australian Grands Prix (1954, ’57, ’58 and ’61) and three Australian Hillclimb Championships (1955, ’56 and ’57). He drove the first Holden in international competition when he contested the 1953 Monte Carlo Rally, and competed in the 1961 Le Mans 24-hour race behind the wheel of an Aston Martin. In 1957, Davison was the inaugural winner of the CAMS Gold Star award as champion Australian racing driver, running under his team name of “Ecurie Australie”.

But there was more, much more to this amazing man. Lex Davison was President of the Light Car Club of Australia when it staged the Australian GP at Albert Park in 1956, and was the only other person to drive “Bluebird” during Donald Campbell’s successful attempt on the world land speed record. Davison sponsored the Joseph Lucas – Lex Davison Series at Calder Park in the early 1960s, a series to help encourage young drivers. He further wanted to share his motor racing experience with up-and-coming young drivers through the establishment of a unique driving academy – “a high speed classroom” as described in 1964 by motoring journalist Mike Browning.

Tragically Davison’s dream vanished when he suffered a fatal heart seizure while practicing for Round 6 of the 1965 Tasman Series at Sandown in his Brabham Repco V8.

Fifty years later his memory will live on when a Group M event for sports cars and open wheel racing cars of that era will be held at the 2015 Historic Sandown meeting – a fitting tribute to a true legend of Australian motor sport.

The Victorian Historic Racing Register’s 2015 Historic Sandown meeting is coming up on November 7-9.

BRIAN REED

MEDIA RELEASE N0.2 2015 HISTORIC SANDOWN

AUSTRALIAN RACING ACE TO BE REMEMBERED…

With the focus on ‘big banger’ sports cars, the 24th Historic Sandown meeting on November 6-8 will pay tribute to the great Australian driver and constructor, Frank Matich.

The Sydneysider did locally what fellow Australian Jack Brabham did internationally. Matich rejected several offers to drive overseas, including an opportunity to join Colin Chapman’s Lotus Formula One team. We can only surmise what he might have achieved had he taken up such an offer.

Matich enjoyed great success early in his career driving C-type and D-type Jaguars. He went on to win the first Australian Formula Junior championship in 1962 in an Elfin, and added four Australian Tourist Trophy titles to his impressive CV. Then in 1969 he took the Australian Sports Car championship in his self-designed Matich SR4 Repco making a clean sweep of very round.

In 1970 Matich won both the Australian and the New Zealand Grands Prix in his McLaren Repco, and in 1971 he tasted victory in the Australian Grand Prix at Warwick Farm in a car of his own design – the Matich A50 Repco.

When the Tasman Series came downunder, Frank Matich was our most competitive local driver against the top internationals – Jim Clark, Graham Hill, John Surtees, Bruce McLaren and others. He won a total of five races, and twice finished runner-up in the series (1970 and ’71). Matich went on to win the Australian Drivers’ Championship the following year in his Matich A50 Repco, capping a brilliant career.

After suffering major burns in a boating accident, Frank Matich retired from racing in 1974 to concentrate on his business interests. Sadly he passed away in May this year aged 80.

At Historic Sandown on November 6-8, the Matich legacy will be celebrated with the appearance of the all-conquering Matich SR4. Although built in 1968 by Henry Nehrybecki to contest the Can-Am Series in the USA, the car only competed in Australia, sweeping all before it. The SR4 was acquired by Repco circa 1979 and ownership later moved to Automotive Components Ltd. Proud new owner/custodian Nigel Tait acquired the car in 2005 and rebuilt the 5-litre, quad cam V8 engine while Melbourne’s Jim Hardman carried out the top class restoration.

The Matich SR4 will be just one ‘big banger’ sports car attraction at this year’s Historic Sandown on November 6-8. BRIAN REED (0427 395 296)

HISTORIC SANDOWN WELCOMES BACK THE ‘BIG BANGERS’

There was a time back in the ‘sixties when ‘big banger’ sports cars were the fastest cars on race tracks, here and overseas. The 1000hp plus CanAm monsters, the 7-litre plus Fords and Lolas, the 400km/h Porsche 917s at Le Mans – these are the cars that qualify for this title.

And many of our greatest drivers such as Sir Jack Brabham, son Geoffrey (a Le Mans 24-hour race winner), Frank Gardner, Paul Hawkins, and another Le Mans winner Vern Schuppan, honed their motor racing skills behind the wheel of challenging sports cars.

Now the ‘big bangers’ and the fire-breathing Formula 5000s, some from overseas, are back with the ‘Return of the Thunder’ at Historic Sandown on November 7-8, 2015. They will feature on a 40-race program over the weekend – a program that will cater for all Historic categories (sports, racing and touring cars) bringing two days of non-stop action to race fans.

Static displays of classic cars, trade stands and food outlets will be on site, and an added bonus will be the appearance of several Australian motor racing ‘greats’ from the past – it is hoped globe trotting Vern Schuppan, (winner for Porsche in the 1983 Le Mans classic) will travel from Portugal to join the ‘greats’.

The meeting is promoted by the Victorian Historic Racing Register, and for further information visit their website www.vhrr.com

Entry Information

Click here to go to the Entry Page

Unofficial practice will take place on Friday, November 6 and it’s FREE admission to the public for a taste of the action to follow over the weekend.

Gates open from - 8.00am each day
Tickets at the gate

Advertiser & Trade Stand Info Click here

Event schedule & Entry list - up early November

Friday 6th November - Free
Saturday 7th November - $35.00 Includes Free Program!
Sunday 8th November - $45.00 Includes Free Program!
Weekend Pass - $70.00 Includes Free Program!
Additional Program - $5.00
$5.00 discount to all Pensioners & Students.
Children 15 & under free.

More Information: Noel Robson - 0402 224 133
For further enquiries contact 0402 224 133.
Brian Reed (Historic Sandown Media Officer)
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