Mustang Sally Parked for Winton Round

After a busy week, lots of consideration and discussion I’ve decided I’ll park my beloved 1969 Mustang Trans Am Mustang for this weekend’s Touring Car Masters round at Winton Raceway.

I’ve accepted an offer to drive Gary O’Brien’s SLR 5000 Torana. Gary is a mate and owns Bendigo Retro Muscle Cars and he’s a long term TCM racer.

His Torana has been nearly two years in the build, I said to Gaz many times that I would help him with the development when he had had it finished.

The quality of the workmanship on this car is unbelievably good; it's to an amazing standard - a level I don’t think we’ve seen previously in TCM. I tested the car last Monday at Phillip Island and again on Friday at Winton.

Monday’s run was its first and it was impressive straight out of the box. Gary took her back to his Bendigo workshop with a little list I gave him. He returned to Winton on Friday and there was a considerable improvement ... that’s a really good sign.

I told him, he should be very proud of the work his boys have done – it’s to the level of a V8 Supercar, in terms of build quality.

Gary called me Friday evening and asked would I consider driving his Torana at Winton this weekend? I thought why not, I’m up for a new challenge!

My thoughts were, after missing the Symmons Plains round - that essentially means the TCM Championship is not on my radar this season. That made it made really easy to say yes. For me, it’s very much about the challenge of something new.

Our TCM drivers are extremely competitive and our cars are highly developed – for me it’s a double challenge and starting from scratch with a new. Frankly, I’m quite excited about the prospect and the cars potential.

Touring Car Masters is gaining mega popularity around the country because it's what racing was back in the day. It’s really encouraging to see the wide group of people who follow our category – I guess they see our cars as the connection to their youthful days.

As a young fella, I loved the SLR 5000’s, despite spending most of my racing life behind the wheel of a Ford, I have great affection for some Holden’s too – I’m a lover of cars! I don't think brand war carries over into Retro/Historic cars. I hope my Ford followers understand?

It's a new challenge, and a thrill to be at the start of development of a new race car. I always loved that part of my job and still do. It's appealing because the car has an Aussie 308 engine, unlike the other Torana’s that all have Chevy engines.

That whole Aussie thing really appeals so why not? I love it, they have no data, no analysis, and no science, its seat of the pants stuff and stand on the throttle.

Given this really late call, I’ve had to rely on Graphic Design Guru – Scott Yorston of ssMedia, Troy Bondin of Bondini Signs and my good friends at DesignerWrap by 3m to wrap the my new ride in time for the weekend.

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