Some of you may not know that we have a racing legend among our ranks. Yes, mild mannered retired banker person, 56 Chevy owner and all around good guy Phil Marrinon has been flogging the shite out of various cars for around 40 years! I asked Phil if he would like to tell us a bit about his exploits – this is his story......
“Steve Peterson requested I put together some of my motorsport adventures.
Joining the Monaro Club in 1976 I was introduced to Motorkhanas, racing against the clock around a layout of witch’s hats. Over time this led to Hill climb’s and sprint meetings, all racing against the clock with the goal to beat your best time around the track.
After a few years with an old Formula Vee with a hot 1600 motor which spent as much time on the bench as in the car I graduated to my Formula Ford with a view to continuing with Hill climb’s and sprints however the car was a real race car (unlike the FVee) and before long I was racing in the Victorian State competition. I had no idea what I doing and my first race was a complete shambles with oil leaks and red flags along with being a nervous rookie. Going into turn 1 at Sandown in my first race with more than 30 cars I was more than happy to be stone cold last. Although it was very daunting to be amongst it, it was a terrific buzz to be racing.
When you go for your racing Licence no one tells you that diving into the pack can feel very exciting and very scary all at the same time.
Over time and with a great deal of help from many other competitors I learnt the importance of car set up, driving at speed (often at 200kph) with other cars very close by the buzz just keeps getting better.
My car is now Historic and since my retirement I have been able to race more and as a result have found more speed from the driver, I know car is fast, I have managed to have some success in the historic races.
Racing has allowed me to drive at all the Victorian tracks many times and while they are all very different just being on the track has its own reward. I was lucky enough to go to the last event at Oran Park, the Historic’s at Baskerville in Tassie 2019, which was a real blast and Bathurst 5 times, I think I might have one more Bathurst left.
Bathurst is very different to all the other tracks because of the long straights, when you come down Con rod beside another car at say 210-215 with a side wind both cars move sideways together, all you do is keep your foot buried into the pedal and wait, keep it flat until the 100 metre mark before the left hander out of the chase and off you go for another lap around a very special track.
The racing is surprisingly affordable if you do most of the work yourself and you actually need more time than you do money provided you don’t bend it, I have had few prangs with a big one at turn one at Phillip Island, I missed the turn in and ran off the outside and spun in the mud and the floor dug in and took the whole floor off, note that the seat is on the floor and so is just about everything, it took some time to repair that mess.
The Chev is big part of my racing as it is used as the tow car and does great job and has been known to tow the race car at very respectable speeds along the highway.
Hope to catch up with you all sometime soon.
Ed: A bit about the race car:
The Galloway HG 5 was built in the early 1980’s by Harry Galloway in NSW and purchased by Bruce Connelly and completed in 1982 with help from Wally Storey. Bruce competed in the last 3 races in 1982 with mixed results. 1983 was a stellar year for the car with Bruce managing to qualify on pole 5 times taking out 4 wins, 3 second and 1 third place out of 9 races along with winning the “Driver to Europe Series” and the “Coke A Cola Series” and recipient of “The Diamond Trophy” Phil purchased the car in October 1994.