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When NASCARs and AUSCARs hit the Coast

For the early editions of the Gold Coast Indy race weekend, Australian Touring Car Championship competitors weren’t part of the show due to the politics explained in Monday’s article leaving NASCAR and AUSCAR as the key supports.

There was action packed racing in each of the years it was part of the festival up north as in NASCAR, Allan Grice and Charlie O’Brien battled for honours in the first instalment.

However, the race is best remembered by an incident involving Steve Cosson jumping the stranded car of Walter Giles stuck in the first chicane after colliding with Gene Cook due to his brakes failing.

All the drivers were unhurt, but it has been a much replayed incident since.

In the end a tyre went down on Grice’s Valvoline-supported entry leaving O’Brien to take home a cool $50,000 for the win, while Kim Jane was second picking up $20,000.

AUSCAR also played a supporting role in the midst of Brad Jones’ dominating run and even Jim Richards had a crack as in 1993 shared the front row with former Supercars team boss Garry Rogers both in Fords.

Built off the success of NASCAR in Australia, AUSCAR used Falcons and Commodores as it soon became a popular category at not only the Thunderdome, but on the Gold Coast.

During the race, Bruce Williams provided live commentary and had a heart rate monitor fitted as he fought for the podium in his Holden Commodore, while Jones was forced to climb his way through the field after a problem in qualifying.

In the end it was Richards, who edged Williams, Mark Seaton, Jones, Steve Harrington and Rogers.

Many drivers including Richards and Jones completed double duty in NASCAR also, but it was the winner from 1991 in O’Brien taking the win again.

For 1994, CAMS acknowledged the event allowing the touring cars to act as support for the first time with big Darrell Eastlake providing the commentary.