NIGEL TAIT drives by in style in a 1969 Matich Sr4.
NIGEL TAIT drives by in style in a 1969 Matich Sr4. Tweed Daily News

Pedal to the floor

A YEAR ago, Speed on Tweed organisers farewelled a seven year legacy that helped put Murwillumbah on the motor sport map.

This past weekend, the town was alive once again with the roar of classic cars.

The festival of Speed on Tweed (SOT) certainly lived up to its tagline of 'back on track', thanks to Repco Rally Australia.

More than 180 motor sport competitors in historic and classic cars from here and abroad took to the Murwillumbah Showgrounds over the weekend to be gazed upon once again by thousands of locals and tourists.

SOT committee member Mark Stockwell said Rally Australia has given the home-grown event a chance to expand.

“If it wasn't for them this wouldn't have happened,” Mr Stockwell said.

Mr Stockwell predicted SOT will grow even more in the coming years.

“This year is sort of a trial. Over the coming years I'm sure we will see it grow,” he said.

“Saturday's crowd seemed a bit down but yesterday was definitely up there with what we normally see.”

Event manager Steve Brow said a lot of hard work and planning had gone into making the event a success.

“The hard work by staff and volunteers has certainly been worthwhile. SOT or the rally couldn't have been held without their help,” Mr Brow said.

“Fans were also excited with some drivers being true legends of Australian motor sport and their vehicles great examples of race engineering from as far back as the 1920s.

Mr Brow said it was also fitting to have such a family atmosphere on Father's Day.

“The event has a great family atmosphere and it's a great way to get out and enjoy the day together,” he said.Up to 100 cars were in the Castrol Edge Show 'n' Shine event yesterday.

On-track, the stars included V8 Supercar driver Steven Richards, who on Saturday swapped his usual Ford Falcon for his personal pride and joy, a 1971 Ford Escort.

Two years after it fell foul of a wet hill climb, the rally replica is race-ready again.

“That car holds a pretty special place in my heart,” Mr Richards said. I've put in quite a few hours in the shed and I'm pretty excited to get it out and competing again.

“The Escorts were, and still are, the most successful rally car. It's something a bit different; not many people would have seen that car running in the flesh so I hope it's a popular attraction.”

Other special guests at SOT included Australia race car driver Frank Matich, Sir Jack Brabham's Australian designer Ron Tauranac and race car driver Frank Matich.

1. Bill Norman, car 106, GEK, 41.42 seconds (Sports and GT cars, built 2007)
2. Chris Farrell, car 32, Chevron B35 Hart, 41.79 seconds (Racing Car, built 1976)
3. Chad Wheeler, car 24, Rennmax Bn2, 42.90 seconds (Racing Car, built 1969)

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