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Classic V8 supercars return to the track

Former V8 Supercars (or Australian Touring Car Championship) contenders are set to return to the track in two revival racing days in the coming month.

First is the Lakeside Classic in Queensland (July 19-21), which will see former-racer Jim Richards return to the wheel of the turbocharged Nissan HR31 GTS-R that helped him to victory at the 1990 Australian Touring Car Championships.

Richards will take on 25 rival cars in the Group A & C Historic races, including Holden Commodores and Toranas, BMW M3s, and Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworths and Escorts, all from the 1970s and 1980s.

In a further nod to the past, former Nissan Motorsport team manager Fred Gibson will set up his Gibson Motorsport garage to run Richard’s HR31 and Brian Henderson’s 1985 Nissan Gazelle.

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Also next month, the fourth annual Winton Festival of Speed (August 10-11) will revive the generation of V8 touring cars that competed from 1992 to 2002.

That festival will see 5.0-litre touring cars, precursors to today’s V8 supercars, race around Winton’s track to win the Precision International Cup.

Models include the ex FTR Ford Credit AU Falcon driven by Neil Crompton and Glen Seton, and the Dick Johnson Racing EF/EL Shell Helix car (top) steered by Dick Johnson and John Bowe.

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Joining them will be a series of historic, sports and racing cars seeking to win the Rose City Touring Car trophy, a 20-lap race with a rolling start. That race is not to be confused with the 15-lap Rose City Tourist trophy, featuring sports and GT cars, including Corvette and Shelby GT350, Porsche, Austin Healey and Lotus models.

Adult entry to the Lakeside Classic costs $20 for the Saturday, $30 for the Sunday and $40 for a weekend pass. Friday 19th will be a practice day, with qualifying races on Saturday 20th and racing all day Sunday 21st.

Tickets to the Winton Festival of Speed cost $25 for adults on Saturday 10th August, $30 Sunday 11th, and $50 for a weekend pass. Children under 16 attend free.