Home' Supercar Xtra : Aug Sept 2015 Issue 88 Contents 76
LEGENDS COLIN BOND
On Harry Firth and the Holden Dealer Team.
“Everything was done Harry’s way. I think he was quite
brilliant in his early days, but as it got towards the end,
with the time I was with them, I think technology was
starting to take over, as with everything.
“In the old days, we’d go out and have a test day at
Calder and he’d come in and change springs and shocks
and things and you’d just go by feel, whereas later on, it
was definitely more on the technical side of things where
you’d be engineered.
“When I went across to Allan Moffat’s team in 1977
and we had Carol Smith, everything was a little bit more
organised. For example, if we went to do a test day, he
had it planned out before you actually went: what we were
going to test and how we were going to do it.
“But apart from all that, I think that they were good
days; we won three rally championships and manufactur-
ers’ championships and in touring cars, so it wasn’t bad.”
On moving to Allan Moffat Racing.
“Allan offered us more money and a better deal. And the
thing was that he said he was getting Carol Smith as the
team manager so, as it turned out, we had a fantastic year.
“We were first and second in the championship, first
and second at Bathurst. Holden had a bad year, so they
came out with the A9X and it was a better mousetrap
than what we had, so it became a little bit more difficult.”
Holden Dealer Team, Allan
Moffat Racing, Masterton
Homes Racing, Nine Network
Racing Team, Roadways
Racing, Network Alfa, Caltex
CXT Racing Team,
On the one-two formation finish at Bathurst in 1977.
“I should’ve easily won it. The only mixed emotions is that
Alan Hamilton was my co-driver, so we missed out on
winning Bathurst, which is what I think he deserved.
“There were some orders. Carol came out with a sign
to form finish one-two and it was pretty obvious what
it was and what happened. Allan was paying the bills,
so you do it. I could’ve gone ahead and overtaken because
he didn’t have any brakes. He’d worn the front brakes out
completely, when Jacky Ickx wore most of the pads off
and then when Moff got in, he wore off the rest of the
pads, then the backing plates and then the pistons. So we
were catching him 10 seconds a lap and had to slow down
and just brake for him on the last lap.
“Moffat did a few things after that which weren’t quite
pleasant but, still, that’s all water under the bridge now.”
On racing the Alfa Romeo GTV6 in Group A.
“It was very reliable and not a bad car. We had Alan Jones
driving one of the cars as well, before Alan was on his way
back to Formula 1, and it was great just to have him on
site to see how fast you could make one of these cars go.
“But when you went to places like Bathurst, you were
never going to catch the turbo Volvos and all the rest of
the cars that were on it in those days. A bit like the XU-1
Toranas, you needed the V8 to stay with the Fords.”
On the Ford Sierra RS500.
“Turbocharging was fairly new to us all in those days. Dick
Johnson’s team were a bit more advanced than what we
were as far as what they could do with the cars.
“I found them to be bit of a hand grenade in the end,
because there were some better blocks around which were
not available to most of us. And if you kept them under
500 horsepower, they seemed to live, but once you got
over 500 horsepower, it was a matter of how far it’d go
before they would bloody blow up.
“We had some good wins with them, but everyone had
Sierras at one stage – and then it started to become a little
bit harder. At the end of the day, the team with the most
money wins. That’s a shame but that’s the way it is.”
On being driving standards observer for V8 Supercars.
“I used to say it’s exactly the same as being a referee at a
football match. You don’t make the rules; you only apply
the rules and the same with a football match. If you ping
one team, the other team thinks it’s terrific and vice versa.
“There were only Fords and Holdens when we were
doing it and if you pinged a Holden, the Ford guys
thought it was terrific and the Holden thought it was a
bad decision, but you have to realise that we did have a lot
“We not only had all the data from the cars, we had
cameras in the cars and all that sort of stuff, which people
really wouldn’t see.
“I did it for a decade, so the rules kept changing. But I
think my biggest problem was that when we were racing,
we never had those sorts of rules; we never had to because
the cars were all different, we all had different tyres, we all
had different ratios. But into the V8 Supercars era it was
all so even and regulated.”
Bond scored big touring car and rally wins
for the Holden Dealer Team, led in this era
by the legendary Harry Firth.
V8X88 p74-78 Colin Bond.indd 76
3/07/2015 1:30 pm
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