REMEMBER a time when we used to have actual motorshows, and motorsport was a part of the attraction?
WORDS & IMAGES: Mark Walker
TAKE a trip back 15 years, and February 2004 saw the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre play host to the annual Brisbane Motorshow Show.
It was an event the manufacturers would take seriously, with new product launches, often accompanied by a significant motorsport unveiling.
OUR COVER image is a young Roland Dane, about to take the covers off his team’s first full-season V8 Supercars program.
Having taken over Briggs Motorsport prior to the previous year’s Sandown 500, the squad unveiled its first new-look challenger on the official Ford stand.
The team has of course gone on to epic success, completing its 500th race start recently at The Bend, with 187 race wins, 124 pole positions, seven Bathurst 1000 crowns, eight driver’s titles, as well as nine Team’s Championships to its credit.
THE challenger, the BA Falcon featuring the original iteration of the livery which would see the team rise up the rankings.
MAX Wilson and Paul Radisich, Triple 8 drivers for a lone season.
Radisich would end the championship 19th in the standings, although early in the season at Pukekohe, he would claim the first podium finish for the squad, and would return to the podium with a second place in the penultimate race of the year at Eastern Creek.
Wilson meanwhile would steer the number 888 machine, with the team having acquired the number from previous custodians, Brad Jones Racing, over the off season. The German born Brazilian would finish the season 28th in the points, with a pair of fifth place results his best showings of his sophomore Super V8 campaign.
For 2005, Radisich would be off to Team Kiwi Racing, with Wilson destined for Team Dynamik, with the duo replaced by Craig Lowndes and Steve Ellery.
THE other significant launch at the Motorshow would prove to be WPS Racing, although it was on the dimly lit concourse, a long walk from the glitz of the Ford enclosure.
With team patron Craig Gore absent, the team was presented to the world by his brother Shane Gore, with team driver’s Mark Noske and David Besnard, who was returning north after a single season with Ford Performance Racing.
The author of this article was covering the Motorshow launches for Auto Action at the time, with the front page that week proclaiming the $10 million WPS were planning to spend on motorsport, ensuring the long term success of the operation.
THE WPS Falcon.
CRUSHER Murray interviewing Besnard and Noske.
Besnard would have a wildly fluctuating season: despite finishing 30th in the standings, he would claim a controversial victory in a safety car riddled race late in the year at Symmons Plains, while he missed the Surfers Paradise event because of his call up to drive a Walker Racing Indycar, where he finished a remarkable seventh in an aging Reynard.
Noske’s season started late at Darwin’s fourth round, and by Sandown he was ousted by a rotation of drivers, including Malaysian F1 driver Alex Yoong, Owen Kelly, John McIntyre and Neil McFadyen. Noske would reappear alongside Lee Holdsworth at Robert Smith Racing for Bathurst.
SOME legendary kit got in on the action as well, with this Peter Brock Torana A9X on display from the Bowden’s collection.
TOYOTA in F1, remember them?
PEUGEOT’s rally prowess may not have translated to sales success in Australia.
SUBARU meanwhile had a more local slant on their rally car display.
BRETT Francis launching his VIP Petfoods backed Formula Ford.
ONE of the 15 Giocattolo Group B cars was displayed on the CAMS stand.
REMEMBER Future Racers? These pocket rockets never kicked on like Aussie Racing Cars did.