Words: Chris Ralph
Who said historic touring car racing ain’t no family sport? The HTCAV boasts no fewer than 18 father/son duos, a father/daughter duo and two brothers who have graced race circuits over the years, either separately or together.
Ladies first – Linda Devlin is without doubt the fastest lady historic touring car racer in the country. At every Historic Winton, she and father Barry bring Henry Draper’s light blue Mini along to show just how they do it. She’s killed ’em in modern Mins as well. Barry was a tough and successful competitor through the ’80s and ’90s in his red Mini, which he still prepares for WA’s Syd Jenkins.
Wayne and Beau Purdon are the latest blokes tracking for the tarmac, with the Chev Camaro started by ex-Cortina racer Andrew Cornish and now being finished at MJR Motorsport Engineering. Wayne formerly drove the ex-Rian Nott XY Falcon and it’s great to see them both ready to go. Wayne sold the old XY as a roller and it later reappeared in TCM.
The Brewsters, Ted and son Mark, are probably the best-known and longest running father and son duo racing: Ted in the famous No. 42 Morris Cooper S; and Mark in the white Torana XU-1 with the checkered roof. Phillip Island specialists, the Brewsters have been running down there together for more than two decades.
The Collins clan, Jim and Darren, have had great success in Jim’s Camaro, painstakingly built over many years. “I will drive it and Darren will race it,” said Jim when it was finally ready, but it was his son Darren who’s done all the time behind the wheel so far, setting track records at Sandown and Phillip Island and winning Historic Touring Car trophies at Island Magic.
Rob and Daniel van Stokrom (both HTCAV sponsors) have been prolific over the last few years. Dad Rob in the ever faster silver BMW 2002 and son Daniel in the out-of-the-box rapid red Torana. Father and son raced together at the 2018 Winton Festival of Speed, where Daniel won outright in Race 1 and took home the Driver of the Meeting award. Now he’s got a Ralt and is going great guns.
Bill and Brent Trengrove are another longtime father-son team (and HTCAV sponsors) who, demonstrating the greatest of trust, often drive each other’s cars - except for Brent’s Camaro! The Holden EH, familiar red Nb Mustang and now the Nb Falcon Rallye Sprint are always driven by a ‘B. Trengrove’ - take your pick which one, they’ll be right in the mix.
The Pillekers, Jon and his son, ex-HTCAV champ Stephen, together with mum/wife/marshal Jennifer have been a tight motor racing family unit for decades. They’re now racing together – Stephen in the red Torana and Jon in an RX-2 he purchased from Jim McNiven. It appeared in February but needs a bit more Jon love…
And speaking of the McNivens, father Jim and son Peter now regularly race RX-2s together, Peter now a confirmed front runner, a challenger to Jason Humble at Phillip Island and winner of the 2019 Just Cars Touring Car Cup. He could well go close this year as well.
The notable Tino Leo has the flamboyance, while son Dom has the smooths, but both are very rapid, especially now that Dom has the ex-Stern/Bugelly/Stephen/Nott/Bailey TransAm Mustang. It’s been a while since Dom has been racing regularly, starting with a Cortina GT about 15-20 years ago, but Tino has kept the family name to the forefront with both a Mustang and Monaro.
Mark and Elliot Barbour always have the family Torana in outright contention. They’ve performed stunningly well at Bathurst and were set to repeat that at The Bend before being mechanically sidelined. What a shame, but dad Mark’s meticulous race prep and son Elliot’s pro-level driving capabilities will soon have the V8 boys again looking over their shoulders.
Donn Green was one of the original HTCAV members 40 years ago, racing the same Jaguar 3.8 that his son Brock took to triple victories and a Driver of the Meeting award at Historic Sandown in 2019. Donn’s knowledge and 40-year love for the car are legendary but that emotional Sandown win was the final hurrah – sadly, it’s up for sale.
Former Inspector, Michael Holloway, and his Ford engineer son James ran two of the Holloway horde of Minis in many races over the years, most notably at Historic Sandown where they had fun battling each other. James used the FWD knowledge learnt at his daddy’s knee to later have more fun in ‘High Undies Excels’.
The now-retired 80-year-old John Mann, who has an amazing record of historic touring car wins (mostly with the 289 Mustang now run by Darrin Davies), used to put son Anthony behind the wheel in earlier years – and to very good effect, showing that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Anthony went on to become a front runner in historic Formula Ford.
Apples sometimes show up the tree, too, and dads are very proud when that happens. No-one could have been prouder than Ian Watt when son Steve took Ian’s Triumph 2.5 around the Island in a 2.00 lap. Steve’s been pretty quick in the ex-Lindsay Cripps EH Holden as well.
Scott Slater has been a multiple race winner in his late father Graham’s genuine and remarkably original XU-1, winning many races at their favourite track, Phillip Island. Returned to racing at Sandown this past February, memory has it that Scott often drove the car when Graham was still with us…
Justin Brown’s BMW 2002 may soon be in the hands of son Cameron who has been cutting his teeth tracking both it and his own E30, so we’ll count them in, too.
Rod Hotchkin (“Hot Chicken”) and his brother Brett (“Chips”) both run XY Falcons together, while WA members Darryl Hansen (a past HTCAV Champion) and son Matthew are fierce Ford Mustang runners.
But, for family engagement, the grand prize must go to the Read family, with patriarch and Mini hero Len not only having Adrian racing with him, but also Dan, making it two sons over two decades. What’s more, Len’s wife Bron has been on the HTCAV committee for several years.
The unrelated Barrie Read has had two sons, Ant and Ben, follow in his wheeltracks, first in the Datsun 1000 and then the very successful race-winning green Mazda RX-2.
What can you ‘read’ into all of that? Historic touring car racing is a family affair. And every family is part of a bigger Club family, now over 40 years old, that always looks after its own – when they’re not carving each other up on the track, that is…