Is Wayne Rogerson Really Superman?

Uncategorized Apr 09, 2017

Is Wayne Rogerson Really Superman?

Has anybody checked his T shirt under his racing suit? Could he be Superman? Or has he just got Jonesy’s lucky red underpants?

Here’s Wayne holding the Oran Park Cup in 1970, with his Falcon behind him and then there’s the pic of the car hammering away up towards the dog leg at Oran Park.

Then there’s the pic of Wayne winning a couple of races at the 2017 Phillip Island Historics. Great stuff. He must stand alone. The only driver who has won in a national open category in 1970 and can follow it up with race wins in 2017, nearly 47 years later. Perhaps Jim Richards will get there eventually – he’s five years younger than Wayne.

Wayne rang me after the race meeting to thank Neville and I for the race set-up we gave him. He’d had problems with inexplicable oversteer – like a full handful off opposite-lock in turn 1 at Sydney Motorsport Park.  He said “The car’s good and the set-up worked just like you said it would.”

Thanks, Wayne.  All power to you.

Neville and I first saw Wayne’s Falcon in the pits at Warwick Farm, probably 1970, I think.  It had the wow factor for us back then.  A top “Division 1” Car.  At the time, I was a struggling mid-fielder in Division 2.  (I raced a Datsun 1600 powered Triumph Herald and a red motor Holden powered Ford Cortina.  Both cars built with my mate Bob Vickers.)

It was the days of “Sports Racing Closed”.  In fact, Wayne owned one of the original cars in the category, the Falcon built by Ray Morris for the first Surfers Paradise 12 hour race in 1966. Unfortunately he wrote that off and built the new car to replace it.

At BMC, we built the first Mini lightweight for the 12 hour as well. I remember all us apprentices were super surprised to see the Falcon there. We thought we would be first to build a light weight car for the new category.

At the time, the top touring car drivers were in series production cars and Bathurst was the big one. Wayne drove for Mazda at Bathurst in 1972, and was just pipped for the Class B win.

This was the year that Damon Beck, the renowned Formula Vee driver, and Bathurst regular, purchased an E49 Charger, with Doug Chivas as his co-driver.  Amateur drivers could get a team together back then.  Damon qualified the car well, and then Doug started the race.  Damon left Doug in the car, as the form driver, to complete the race.  This speaks to Damon's character.  He could have taken the car over and driven to the line himself, but he didn’t.  They got the car home in third place against the might of Holden, Ford and Chrysler quasi factory teams – the highest finishing Chrysler ever at Bathurst.

Wayne and Damon are two great amateur racing drivers in Australia. There are many others, of course. But these guys are stand-outs for me.

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