You’re probably all well acquainted with the V8 Supercar series in Australia. There are many support categories that run with the V8s on race weekends. The first one that I am interested in is the Carrera Cup. It is a field of about 20 Porsche 911 Cup Cars – it is a very competitive series, although most of the field is made up of amateurs. The Porsches are just about as fast as the V8 supercars, but the regs restrain them a bit so they don’t turn faster laps than the V8s.
The other series that often supports the V8 supercars is the GT category. This series is the subject of today’s story. The GT series (currently known as the Australian GT Championship) is a series for GT1/2/3 race cars. This means that the field is made up of Ferrari 458s, Mercedes SLS, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo etc etc.
The series has been fairly sporadic over the years, and sometimes it has been cancelled all together. There are a few reasons for this. The first is that professional drivers are not allowed, it is a gentleman drivers category. The second is the high cost of entry (a Ferrari/Lambo/Aston race car is quite expensive to buy and run). The third reason is because the rules are constantly changing, which often leads to massive disinterest from competitors and followers alike.
The series began in 2000 and was called the Nations Cup. The years between 2001 and 2004 are when the series really hit its peak, and there were often over 25 cars entered for each of the 8 races in a season. Back then, there was a lot of cash around so there were a lot of high end race cars (over a dozen Ferraris, for example). The standout car though was the Lamborghini Diablo. For the 2001 series, Lamborghini Australia entered a Lamborghini Diablo SV-R, which was Lambo’s racing version of the Diablo. Paul Stokell was the driver. Pictured below is this car at Oran Park running the 666 number:
In the 2001 series, Stokell came second, he was beaten by Jim Richards in a Porsche 911 GT3. In 2002, Stokell didn’t compete in the series. For the 2003 season, Stokell upgraded to the Lamborghini Diablo GTR, which was an even more hardcore version of the old SVR. Just 32 GTRs were built. Lamborghini Australia kept the old SVR as a spare car.
So the new car came in this fetching black colour:
While the car raced in black, different liveries were used. Below is the car at the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour in a yellow/black livery. It placed 6th, (Brock in a Monaro 427C won):
While the GTR didn’t get up in the Bathurst 24 Hour (which was a stand-alone event), it dominated in the Nations Cup, and Stokell won the 2003 championship with a comfortable 46 point margin. Stokell lined up again in 2004 with the GTR, and won the championship again, this time with a 150 point margin. At some point in time, the car was repainted all yellow, but I don’t have a picture of it racing with those colours.
After the 2004 series, the organisers went under, and the series was wound up. Some of the cars were able to move across to the Porsche challenge series, but cars like the Diablo GTR could not compete because they did not comply with the series regulations.
The Diablos post racing life
With no series to compete in in Australia, the cars had nothing to do. Consequently, the cars went up for sale. I don’t know what happened to the older SVR car, I don’t know anyone who has seen it since its racing days. The GTR car was sold to a Sydney guy supposedly called Billy G. I have never met him.
Below are some pics of the car at a show in Manly in 2010:
Even though I knew about F1 and its super stars I never felt like I had any connection to the sport. Mark Webber was the bridge for me. I remember back in high school in my engineering class, my teacher was a big F1 nut & Kimi fan. Before and after every race at the end of our classes he’d devote 15mins of class time talking about F1; the cars, rules and its drivers. I became hook and the Aussie pride in me grew and even after all those disappointing nights of staying up and backing Webber. I never loss hope for him. If he could do it, maybe I could too, you know become a race car driver….
Having Ricciardo replace Webber is an awesome move and I’ll be backing him 100%. His got the talent and I hope he flys the flag high for us Aussies. I especially like his personality, so chilled but happy enough to talk to camera.
Good luck and Farewell mate (Webber).
42 podium finishes.
9 race wins.
13 pole positions.
19 fastest laps.
So I stance so hard muhfuckas wanna fine me
first niggas gotta find me
What’s 50fects to a muhfucka like me
Can you please remind me?
Stance so hard, this shit crazy
Y’all don’t know that don’t shit phase me
you could go from 0-82 and I look at you like this shit gravy
Stance so hard, this shit weird
We ain’t even s’pose to be here,
Stance so hard, since we here
It’s only right that we be e-famed