Gibson Motorsport stars at 2013 Muscle Car Masters
With an incredible eight period-correct Gibson Motorsport Nissans in attendance, the 2013 Muscle Car Masters, held at Sydney Motorsport Park from 31 August – 1 September, was heaven on earth for fans of historic touring car racing.
Race fans were kept entertained throughout the weekend by the specific GMS facility, which took the paddock-style concept first introduced at the Phillip Island Classic a step further. A memorabilia display walked visitors through Fred Gibson’s early NSW race history, while the strength of the GMS brand in realigning with period-correct sponsors continued with Yokohama and Castrol coming on board.
Throughout the weekend the GMS facility hosted a whole range of Nissan machines, the entry list packed with everything from a diminutive 1.5-litre turbocharged Exa to a fire-breathing ‘Godzilla’ R32 Skyline GT-R. We’d like to thank the following entrants for their participation:
Jim Richards – Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R
Rod Markland – Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R
Adam Workman – Nissan Bluebird Turbo
Carolyn Kruger – Nissan Skyline DR30
Justin Nilsson – Nissan Exa Turbo
Brian Henderson – Nissan Gazelle
Terry Ashwood – Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R
John Smallman – Nissan Skyline DR30
Fred and Christine Gibson were kept busy throughout the weekend, guest speaking at the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club (ARDC) function and enthralling crowds with anecdotes on how things were in the day…and how they look for the future with the flourishing historic touring car movement in this country.
The GMS Nissans also participated in the 60-plus vehicle ‘Bathurst Grid Spectacular’, with additional exclusive track time designed to showcase the generations of Nissan racers in Australia.
On-track the action was fraught with hot competition in the Heritage Touring Cars. Jim Richards qualified his 1990 ATCC-championship winning HR31 on pole position after a strong battle with the Sierra RS500 of Terry Lawlor, with the GT-R of Markland in third and Workman’s Bluebird sixth.
Markland was able to finish runner-up in the first five-lap race, after Richards struck early trouble. Workman managed fourth, Brian Henderson in the naturally-aspirated Gazelle a creditable 11th. Race Two on Sunday morning saw Markland third, Workman fourth. The final six-lapper saw Markland retake second place with Workman again consistent in fourth place. Henderson finished 14th in the final, while Carolyn Kruger improved rapidly in her Skyline DR30 in her first race meeting in the car, with a lap-time four seconds quicker in the afternoon battle.
Now packed back in the Melbourne workshop, GMS is seeing more current, former and prospective owners come out of the woodwork. Several Nissan Motorsport cars are now in GMS care, including the 1991 Bathurst winning GT-R restoration project and the refurbishment of the first ever Skyline built by Gibson Motorsport, the DR30 owned by John Smallman. As Fred Gibson himself states: “We built them in-period, and we know how to look after them properly.”
The next outing for the Nissan Motorsport cars will be at the ‘Big Bad Sandown’ historic race meeting, held from November 8-10. It will be the last opportunity for fans to see the cars on-track for 2013, before returning bigger than ever for 2014.
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