Williams Outdoors Racing Team takes on the mountain

By RICK SANTOS
| HAVING tasted the thrill of driving the famous racing circuit at Bathurst 15 years ago, Ray Williams can now reflect with fatherly pride on son Adam’s accomplishments at that same course. Adam, taking the wheel for New Norfolk’s Williams Outdoors Racing, climbed through the pack to finish a respectable 8th at the Improved Production category, a supporting event to the main Bathurst 6-Hour competition held on the last weekend of last month.

“If you’re into motorsport in Australia, the bucket-list thing that you want to do is to drive at Bathurst,” Ray told the News last week. Adam drove the team’s 1977 Holden Torana, a 650 horsepower beast that, in Ray’s words, has been “radically re-engineered” over the years to make it suitable for racing.

“This was one of the oldest cars out there,” Ray said, “and it was doing over 280km/h on the famous Conrod Straight.” He qualified that to say that the official speed would need to be checked via computer but the initial report suggests a top speed of about 280km/h.

The weekend of racing started disappointingly with a minor, yet repairable, crash in an early practice run that was marred by many stoppages among the crowded field of 55 cars. That crash forced Adam to the back of the pack for Saturday’s trial race.

He was able to regain substantial ground, finishing 15th, from which position he started the final race on the Sunday. “He drove in magnificent style,” Ray said. “I give so much credit to my team and Adam’s driving.” In the final event, Adam weaved the blue-and-white Torana further up the pack, finishing a respectable 8th place. “He would have passed more cars than any other car in any other class on that weekend,” Ray said.

The proud father and grandfather explained the event was also a family affair, with family affair with granddaughters Annabelle and Suzie plus partner Anita and her two boys, Ewan and Gabe, also travelling to Bathurst to enjoy being part of this once in a lifetime experience.

Getting the Torana and the family to the famed circuit at Mount Panorama in New South Wales required a fair bit of organising and cost — $15,000 — but Ray no doubt sees it as being worth every cent. “We thought we did Tassie proud,” he said.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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