With over 400 entrants, the September 2001 historic race meeting held at Sydney’s Eastern Creek Raceway went down in the records as being the largest racecar meeting ever held in Australia.
The Eastern Creek meeting, while large, was typical of how Australian events have become, with a total of 34 separate races over the course of the weekend. Each annual race meeting normally features a guest marque, this year the organizing club, the Historic Sports and Racing Car Association, featured the tradition of the Australian Special.
The Australian Special is not a particular marque, but a generic title given to a broad range of competition cars designed and built here. Until the advent of mass air transportation, it was far too expensive for the average racer to bring into Australia the latest competition vehicle from the likes of Maserati, Lotus or Alfa Romeo. So the answer for many Australians was to build their own cars from whatever domestic vehicles were available. These inlcuded names like Holden, Elfin and Nota.
So it was that these vehicles and their manufacturers were celebrated in Sydney with each example being exhibited under large tents for all the spectators to behold. With the incredible size and popularity of the Eastern Creek event, it’s no wonder that historic racing is the fastest growing form of automobile racing in Australia. (See the Photo Gallery on pg 38 for more)
Submitted by Patrick Quinn