HDT builds Peter Brock tribute Commodore

October 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

While not as famous as HSV the Holden Dealer Team (HDT) will be familiar to many Holden enthusiasts. HDT was the go-to tuning division for Holden in the 1980s and was run by Kiwi race legend Peter Brock – the nine-time Bathurst 1000 winner.

The wheels came off the partnership partly because of Brock’s belief in a component called the “Energy Polarizer”, which he began fitting to special performance Holden Commodores being built by HDT during the 1980s.

The Energy Polarizer was a largely unproven device said to align the various energies of the car to give it a boost in performance. It never really became an accepted performance modification.

Sadly, Brock died while driving in a rally in Australia on September 8, 2006.

Now as a contemporary tribute to Brock and his motorsport legacy, the crew at HDT have built a limited run of retro-styled Holden Commodore sedans designed to reflect the performance models launched during the Brock days. HDT have named these cars the Heritage Series and have design cues taken from the legendary VL Group A Commodore. Continue reading “HDT builds Peter Brock tribute Commodore” »

Toyota honours fallen test drive master Hiromu Naruse with tribute video

November 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Master Test Driver Hiromu Naruse was, and remains a total legend for Toyota. Naruse first joined Toyota back in the sixties and would go on to help develop every important sportscar to come from the carmaker. Naruse worked on such greats as the Celica, MR2 and Supra, he’s logged more hours on the Nürburgring than any other Japanese driver, and those at Toyota called him the “Nur Miester,” or “one and only master.” His job was, basically, to test drive cars, evaluate them and help figure out how to make them better. But after hours he would also race cars simply because he loved doing it.

His final challenge lay in the developing the Lexus LF-A, and Naruse made sure it reached his highest standards. He was tasked with driving the supercar near its top speed for extended periods of time, often in the dark. The Lexus LF-A is now considered a technical wonder and is one of the most coveted supercars in the world.

Ultimately, it was behind the wheel of a Lexus LF-A where Hiromu Naruse lost his life earlier this year (read news). Toyota has now created a short video to honor its one and only master, which you can watch by clicking below. Continue reading “Toyota honours fallen test drive master Hiromu Naruse with tribute video” »

30-mile McRae convoy smashes world records

September 2nd, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

colin-mcrae-tribute-convoy-2

More than 1000 Subaru owners and thousands more fans have celebrated the life of Colin McRae this weekend.

A convoy, which at its peak stretched 30 miles with an estimated 1100 Subaru cars, left Colin’s home town of Lanark on Saturday morning, led by his father Jimmy McRae.  Nine hours and 300 miles later, it arrived at Prodrive’s headquarters in Banbury, having been cheered along the way by thousands of fans who stood on every available motorway bridge on route.

“Literally every bridge had people waving and cheering us along with many hanging the Saltire from the railings.” said Grant Hendry, who led the McRae Gathering convoy. “It turned what was an already memorable event into a truly amazing and emotional occasion.”

The convoy re-gathered at Prodrive’s headquarters in Banbury on Sunday morning, before being led up the M40 by Colin McRae’s original 1996 Impreza rally car.  In a fitting finale to the event, a sign almost half a mile long and made up of 1086 Subarus spelt out COLIN MCRAE and the Scottish Saltire in a new official Guinness World Record — smashing the previous record by more than 800 cars.  The cars then broke a second Guinness World Record by creating the largest parade of cars as they left the Prodrive test track.

It is estimated that the event has raised nearly £40,000 ($103,000) for the McRae charities.