Back when privateer’s raced alongside the legends…
Gerald Kay, Jag Parts Commodore and the Penrite connection.
Committed to bringing the stories of past motorsport legends back to life in the lead up to the Sandown 500, Penrite Oil along with Erebus Motorsport and Tim Pattinson Design have teamed up, this time to honour Gerald Kay, a privateer from the formative days of Group A Touring cars with this concept retro livery based on Gerald’s Jag Parts VL Commodore.
In the mid 1980’s when the Australian motorsport landscape was still a place where a privateer could buy a car off the production line and with a few tweaks… and some race tyres, you could pitch your skills against any racing car legends of the day. In 1985, Gerald Kay owner of Macfarlane Generators in Clayton (Vic) decided after years of car rallying and some amateur club level racing decided to put together the Jag Parts Commodore Racing Team and try his hand at Australian Group A touring car racing.
Naturally as a privateer Gerald was looking for sponsors to help with his motorsport dreams, so partnerships with Australian Airlines, Champion and Crow Cams along with Gerald’s’ own business interests in Jag Parts and Macfarlane Generators helped get the cars on the grid. The only thing missing was an oil and lubricant sponsor.
Around the same time John Dymond Snr, Owner and GM of Penrite Oil, had recently developed and released the HPR – High Performance Range, so a deal was then struck with Gerald to protect the 308 V8 race engine using the new HPR Engine oil. This also helped John promote Penrite’s motoring endeavours on the Group A Touring car scene.
Throughout the team’s competitive years from 1985 to 1990W, they raced a VK then a VL Holden Commodore with their best result being 8th outright at Bathurst in 1988. A great result considering during the last laps of the race, the bonnet needed to be gaffed taped down due to a bonnet pin breaking. Also the engine was running on 7 of its 8 cylinders due to a cracked rocker arm, still the Penrite HPR oil kept the engine running and temps well under control to cross the finish line.
“Penrite are very proud of our association with grass roots motorsport and the connection to our customers” said Jarrod Harding, Corporate Partnership and Director of Motorsport for Penrite Oil. “The Jag Parts Commodore was a well know fan favourite and was a highly recognisable on the TV mostly due to its striking white and blue livery.”
Harding added, “Unfortunately we just can’t this one across the line as the final livery, it’s a pity too as we had the Peter Brock polariser ready to install on the car and tie in with the retro VL design, Though I doubt the scrutineers would have let us run with it and the low psi on the tyres!, But don’t worry we think the fans will be happy with the result that will soon be released”.
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- Shane Gabel
Posted on: 1 Sep, 2017