Home  /  December 2021  /  Comment

Right now too much news is barely enough to fit in between Terry, Johnny and Gottie.

And talking about what’s making news, I was right. Bringing back the biff has seen the ratings for F1 soar and be adopted all through the field. This is what Curling (the game on ice featuring a broom and athletes that are good at sweeping, not the game done at the hairdresser) needs to do to get it onto Fox Sports.

Brad Pitt and Hamo are teaming up for a movie produced by Top Gun and Gone in Sixty Seconds helmer Jerry Bruckheimer. Road & Track has elected Jenson Button as the best living F1 racer to have a drink with, but Australia only gets one qualifier (Alan Jones) on the 19-person list. Come on Danny Ricciardo, you can do better. And sensational scandals galore at this week’s Gotcha4Life Charity race at the Steve Shelley-owned Pheasant Nest racetrack that features the three Yokohama star Cafe Faisane serving the world’s best bacon and egg rolls avec rich, red Fountain brand tomato sauce.

But, of course, the biggest global motor racing, political and zoological event of the year was last weekend’s Bathurst 1000. How good are the Supercar execs at promotion?

They are absolutely magnificent. The fact that there were people beaming in from all over the world and what they saw is Australia open – we’re double-vaxxed, people are back, they’re in their trailers, they’re together again.

It’s just showing where we’re heading – looking out the front windscreen, not in the rear-view mirror.

Yes, they had the current PM severely squeezed into a Mustang with Skaifey running around the best piece of road on the planet. Then they arranged for the current PM to be caught up in a Covid-19 scare to squeeze even more juice out of the ScoMo lemon.

Then the millions around the world saw (in no particular order) a random echidna stop the race; an Albino wallaby or kangaroo; a ­goanna; an old tennis court; the best pitlane entry in the history of motorsport (foreign entrant Shane van Gisbergen) and, to ­attract the large global baby-boomer audience, the only Supercar driver with a Senior’s Card, the enforcer himself, Whyalla’s own Russell Ingall.

Apart from Rusty the Enforcer (45 years in the sport, won more international events than the old bloke has had Coopers on tap and still super competitive) the other stars had to be race winners Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth and near race winners van Gisbergen and Garth Tander.

In the best signage department, Ampol was clearly in the lead although its internal artwork looked like and ad for AMP, which was not in the race. The all-male-run Shaw & Partners took the financial services division, while Coke was the clear loser with signs ­impossible to read.

Meanwhile, with Archer Capital selling Supercars to mid-market investment bank Henslow, fans and teams will be watching what changes the new owners will make to get value out of the $60m they paid upfront for a controlling share that CVC paid $200m for in 2011.

Today’s shareholders and ­directors are QMS and TGI chair and ex-Swimming Australia boss Barclay Nettlefold, Henslow’s CEO Justin Lewis and fellow worker Stephen Macaw. All live at Brighton, which is what passes for an affluent beachside suburb in Melbourne.

Talking of affluence, after winning the Road & Track gold medal for fun, Jenson Button says: “I was a highly committed and industrious playboy. After races, that was when the drinking began. Rapunzel had nothing on us when it came to letting our hair down.

“I remember after a Silverstone Grand Prix I partied for five days non-stop, out every night. One of those nights consisted of me leaving the property where I was staying wearing only Ugg boots and running around the block.”

Sounds like a normal night at the Kensi to me.

Twenty readers (number 19 was at the Gotcha4Life Charity race last Monday), one friend and one family member, can I suggest you head to the Classics for a Cause website where Tom and Ed Bailey raffle off classic cars to help veterans (ex-service people, not old folks) because our government doesn’t want to know them. So far, they have donated more than $2m to veteran support services.

On Monday a host of celebrities and one impostor raced written-off Mazda 2s around the sport’s best kept secret, Pheasants Nest racetrack halfway between Canberra and Sydney. Drivers included Bruce Hopkins from Bondi Rescue, tube (wave not rubber) rider extraordinaire Luke Egan, former SBS frontman and cycling guru Mike Tomilaris, Ten crime reporter Steve Hart, three time world ironman champion Craig Alexander, Auto Expert John ­Cadogan and race coach to the stars, Phil Alexander.

The idea was to raise money for Gotcha4Life, which works to end suicide by delivering programs that create meaningful mateship, build emotional muscle and strengthen social connection in local communities. Your correspondent showed no muscle, no meaning and no skill.

And in the best ideas for Xmas, head to Ian Best’s The Best Car Company (confusingly with the website cumminscars.com). Best is headquartered in very swish classic car premises in Artarmon (the Brighton of Sydney’s near north). Ian sells classics (too many Alfas for my liking), has a team of master mechanical engineers to restore or repair you or your car and has an exhibition of 14 pics by Sydney Harbour Concours d’Elegance founder James Nicholls. Look, these are a snip at $650 a pop.

You get archival photographic lustre prints on Kodak professional paper 240 gsm (no, I have no idea either). Most of the photos are from spots in Europe where attractive persons of the opposite sex to James seem to have a magnetic attraction to very sensual boats and cars. If you’re off pics, then Ian has Sir Warwick Fairfax’s (owner of a former newspaper company) 1966 Aston Martin DB6 for sale on the open market for the first time. This is also a snip at $795k.

Support great journalism and subscribe 

Recent articles from this author