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2023 Retrospeed Classic attracts great cars, big numbers

Wilby Park Raceway held its annual Retrospeed Classic sprints, featuring many great cars and plenty of enthusiastic entrants and fans.

Based just south of Yarrawonga in country Victoria, the simple yet technical circuit has been hosting this brilliant pre-79 classic car event for the past five years, each year yielding more and more competitors all wanting the coveted first place whisky glass trophy.

This year saw a few new competitors and some return with different cars.

Heath Van Der Waerden brought out his highly modified 383ci ultra blue Holden Torana for the first time, having completed the 8 year build only 6 months prior. Heath hunted down his fierce competitor Shannon Heraud in his 355 powered LH Torana sedan to bring home a 4th place finish. However, due to Heath being a social butterfly he invited his friend John in his orange LX Torana hatch who blew everyone out of the water smashing out a 36.135 lap time, creating yet another villain for Heath to chase down next year.

Last year’s champion Oscar Ortiz set a personal best in his Celica but he too couldn’t beat the big orange hatch. The rain managed to hold off most of the day until the late afternoon where things got a little more interesting in the hairpin, cars enjoying a power slide or 2 and some getting a dusting of dirt up the drivers door as they exited the tight turn 1.

Cars varied from skittle coloured Toranas, Ford Escorts, Falcon wagons, a Renault Dauphine, Ta22 Celicas, few Porsche 911s and even a Ford Transit!

With racing running on Saturday, competitors were encouraged to camp both Friday and Saturday nights, this allowed drivers can unwind on the Friday night, meet other drivers and get a good sleep prior to the early morning track opening. on Saturday night the ladies from the Wilby events team cooked up a roast for all the campers and drivers where everyone gathered around the fire to share their moments of the day, both on and off the track. the team then camped for the Saturday night in their retro caravans, tents and hatch hutches before heading home on Sunday morning.

1st – John Szwede – Orange LX Torana Hatch – LS Powered
2nd – Oscar Ortiz – Silver TA22 Celica – 2TG Powered
3rd – Ian Turner – Ford Escort – Pinto Powered

If you’re interested in racing next year, check out the Retrospeed Facebook page

Ideal for cars and drivers of all levels – you won’t need a race prepared car or an existing race license. Track sprints are one car at a time so you can run at your own pace. Wilby Park Raceway offers freshly laid asphalt and the perfect rural setting for a retro-styled celebration of motorsport.