A look back at Symmons Plains….and a bit about Baskerville.
What a surprise to discover that back in the 1970s my partner Rob had a brief stint as a Tasmanian motor racing journo. It has given us both a chuckle, as this otherwise very clever fellow has never quite got to grips with proper nouns. 😎
The Symmons Plains Raceway opened in 1960. When the well known road circuit at Longford closed eight years later it became the main motor racing venue in the State.
I was very impressed with the lead-in to this piece featuring Alan Moffat, but apparently it was an editorial addition, not a theatrical reference from Rob….aka Bob.
Rob’s articles appeared in March, April and May, 1971. He covered both Baskerville (near Hobart) and Symmons Plains. We think the magazine folded after that. Perhaps the forty cent price tag was too much for racing fans. 😎
Bob then went on to race himself under the race number 36. First there was a Morris Cooper S, followed by a Ford Escort with a Lotus engine.
Give that pesky Toyota a bit of a nudge, Bob.
Oh yes, that’s the way to the chequered flag.
The little Morris had a nasty encounter with a tree that must have wandered onto the track. It was replaced by a Ford Escort.
The following photo of myself and Rob’s good friend Greg was taken at Symmons Plains in 1975. Oh dear Greg, did you really wear those pants?
I remember the day very well. My future mother-in-law had provided Rob with a casserole in a pyrex dish for a post-race dinner. For some reason we took it to the track and tried to heat it up on an open fire. What a disaster! No wonder Greg and I were eating hamburgers. I was worried sick in case Jean thought her broken dish was my fault.
The Escort was sold after Rob bought his first house in Launceston. We both moved to Sydney a year or two later and apart from some go-karting at Oran Park, that was end of his racing experience.
NOTE – I found this interesting piece relating to Symmons Plains in The Royal Australian Navy News from April 1983.
When Ian Neville is not cooking for sailors aboard HMAS STALWART the chances are you’ll find him feeding fuel to racing cars. Chief cook Neville of Greystanes, spends his spare time in the fast lane with the Allan Grice STP race team. He cooks for the team, refuels the cars and also helps as a general pit hand. In the third round of the Australian Touring Car Championships at Symmons Plains, Tasmania, the Grice team took the chequered flag earlier last month.
I HOPE READERS WILL COMMENT WITH THEIR OWN MEMORIES.
FOR INFORMATION ON TASSIE’S BASKERVILLE TRACK, CLICK HERE.