HSV’s Track ClubSport Races at the Bahrain F1

Published: 10 March 2006

Pictured: HSV.

Not only does this weekend herald the start of the 2006 F1 Championship in Bahrain, but also HSV’s first fully exported race spec ClubSports get their first taste of overseas competition in the Celebrity Challenge.

The HSV ClubSports, branded Chevrolet Lumina SS’s for their domestic market, have come from concept to production to export and finally the race track in just under three months for HSV.

The ClubSports will compete in races driven by celebrities such as JayKay from Grammy award winning music act Jamiroquai, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and 5 times U.S Olympic Gold Medallist Steve Regrave, followed by former F1 Drivers Martin Brundle, Johnny Herbert and Christian Danner.

HSV also boasts the involvement of HRT’s Bathurst winning Todd Kelly and the Toll HSV Dealer Team’s Garth Tander competing in the left hand drive HSV’s and giving some driving tips to the competing locals.

“Unlike Australians, most of these celebrities and even the professional drivers haven’t been brought up on big, high-powered, low-grip sedans. I think we’re going to see a fair bit of tyre smoke and oversteer but mostly they’re all going to have a hell of a lot of fun and so are we!” Todd Kelly said.

A host of modifications – such as the FIA compliant roll cage – were developed in-house by HSV engineering, while many others drew on V8 Supercar and GTP racing technology. HSV staff worked throughout the Christmas holiday period to ensure the tight deadline was met. The end result is a car not only HSV but Australia can be proud of, on the biggest Motor Sport stage possible, the F1 Championship circuit.

HSV’s Managing Director Mr Phil Harding quipped “I’m joking when I say this is a race we are guaranteed to win! But honestly, this is an important step for our export ambitions and a chance to display our global engineering standards.”

HSV have sent a 10 man strong support team of engineers to Bahrain to ensure everything runs smoothly for the first hit out of the 20 ClubSport strong field. The cars will be adapted into a one make series to compete in the Middle East over the course of the year, promoting Chevrolet, the Bahrain Race Circuit and motor sport in general in the region.

Holden exports left hand drive Luminas to Bahrain and the ClubSports in SS Lumina guise will be leveraged by Chevrolet at a local land Dealer network level for promotional and sales purposes, not unlike how the V8 Supercar Series is linked at a local level in Australia.

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