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Sandown 7th 8th & 9th Nov 2008
Monaro first race win to be celebrated
at VACC Historic Sandown
The 40th anniversary of the first major race win by a
Holden Monaro will be celebrated in style at the VACC Historic Sandown
race meeting on November 8-9 this year.
Appropriately, around 40 Monaros of
all models are expected to be on track or on display at the meeting to
mark the historic victory at Sandown on September 15, 1968 of the
then-new HK Monaro GTS 327 in the Datsun 3 Hour production car race.
1970 Australian Rally Champion Bob
Watson, who co-drove the privately entered Monaro to victory with its
owner, the late Tony Roberts, will be a guest of honour of meeting.
Watson, who has chronicled his pivotal
role in the chassis development of the Monaro in his forthcoming
autobiography ‘In Control’ which will be launched at Historic Sandown,
will be on hand to meet Monaro enthusiasts.
As well as signing copies of his book, he will do a ‘victory’ lap of the
circuit in the similar Warwick Yellow GTS 327 of Sandown Regularity
entrant, Keith Riddell.
Back in 1968, the Monaro GTS 327 was
the brainchild of Holden executive John Bagshaw as the answer to Ford’s
new Falcon GT and Watson, a Holden suspension engineer, was amongst a
small team given the task of making it race-worthy.
Ironically the Datsun 3 Hour was the
first proper motor race for Watson and Roberts, who were both rally
drivers, but they took the chequered flag ahead of F1 World
Champion-to-be Alan Jones and Clive Millis in a similar GTS 327. They
finished with absolutely no brakes – even the metal backing plates had
fallen out – so they had to be slowed by their pit crew after their
It was the beginning of a racing
legend, with another HK GTS 327 privately crewed by Bruce McPhee and
Barry Mulholland, taking victory at Bathurst a few weeks later, with
Watson and Roberts third this time behind the Jim Palmer/Phil West
Holden Dealer Team entry, giving the new Monaro an unprecedented 1-2-3
result at Mt.Panorama.
The Sandown Three Hour race in 1968
was part of a big day of racing that saw Peter Brock win the Sports
Sedan race in his Holden powered Austin A30 and Norm Beechey debut his
new Improved production Monaro GTS 327.
Watson and Roberts came into the race
with plenty of practice under their belt. In his engineer’s role at
Holden, Watson has done many hundreds of kilometres on the ride and
handling course at the company’s Lang Lang Proving Ground, developing
the Monaro’s suspension in a bid to make it a match for Ford’s new
Then after purchasing one of the first
Monaro GTS 327 cars to be built – a Warwick Yellow coupe with black trim
registered KBM 327 – Roberts invited Watson to join him in a successful
record-breaking attempt at Sandown as a shakedown for the Datsun 3 Hour,
just two weeks away.
While fuel consumption and brake pad
wear were both higher than expected, they set 16 new endurance records
in 24 hours and gave themselves some much-needed practice on the Sandown
An entry of around 300 racing, sports
and touring cars spanning eight decades will take part in the annual
Historic Sandown meeting, which is being supported by Shannons, with
highlights including an expected entry of 28 Formula 5000s for the VACC
Formula 5000 races and capacity fields for both Group N Touring Cars and
Category S Production Sports Cars.
For further meeting information visit
For media information and publication quality images call Michael
Browning on (03) 9879 9111 or 0418 324 328
Going for Gold at Historic Sandown
Historic racing enthusiasts wanting a driver’s view of all
the action will be ‘going for gold’ at this year’s VACC
Historic Sandown from November 7-9.
To bring the excitement of historic racing closer to
spectators, the Victorian Historic Racing Register is
offering an advance purchase Gold Pass to the meeting that
includes three exclusive viewing locations, an insiders’
view of the pit garages, a Sunday BBQ lunch and a unique
Gold cap and lanyard.
The primary viewing spot for Gold Pass patrons will be a
dedicated and air-conditioned room in the Sandown
grandstand, overlooking the main straight.
As well as being the location of Sunday’s gourmet lunch, the
room will be the hub from where a regular shuttle bus
service will take Gold Pass holders to special viewing areas
at Turn 1 and the popular Red Hill area, where most of the
action and overtaking can be seen at close range.
In addition, all Gold patrons will be given a guided took of
the Sandown pit area and garages and will in the running to
win one of 10 rides in a Group N Historic Touring car during
Dedicated undercover parking inside the circuit, a meeting
programme and adult admission for Saturday and Sunday are
included in the Gold Pass price of $235 per person.
Passes are only available by advance purchase through the VHRR’s website at
www.vhrr.com prior to October 27.
An entry of around 300 racing, sports and touring cars
spanning eight decades will take part in the annual Historic
Sandown meeting, with highlights including an expected entry
of 28 Formula 5000s for the VACC Formula 5000 races and
capacity fields for both Group N Touring Cars and Category S
Production Sports Cars.
Special anniversaries being celebrated at the meeting
include the 40th anniversary of the Holden Monaro’s first
race victory in the 1968 Sandown 3-Hour enduro in the hands
of Bob Watson and Tony Roberts and the 50th year of the MG
Car Club, with more than 100 MGs participating in the
For further meeting information visit www.vhrr.com
For media information and publication quality images call
Michael Browning on (03) 9879 9111 or 0418 324 328
Historic Sandown 2008
open all days
All prices offer a
concession to Seniors/Pensioners/Students.
Sandown 7th 8th & 9th November 2008
Entry forms -
Noel Robson - 0402 224 133;
Sandown 7th 8th & 9th 2008
Entry forms -