Home' Supercar Xtra : Apr May 2017 Issue 98 Contents 68
promise and soon he had his first podium
finishes in the bag (Calder and Barbagallo).
By the ripe old age of 21, he had won the
second-biggest touring-car race in the
country, the Sandown 500, with teammate
“Fred was great,” says Seton. “He was a
really good boss, very fair and he brought
a lot of good young guys on, which was
fantastic for motorsport. That’s one of the
big reasons the sport today is flooded with
good young talent.
“And I was hugely lucky throughout my
career, I got great opportunities... Fred,
naturally my Dad – he had a touring car
when I first started in sedan-car racing. So
I got the introduction straight into it, from
the ground floor, to become a professional
race driver in this country. Those opportu-
nities are much more difficult to get these
days without a huge amount of finance.”
Seton attributes a big part of finding his
feet so quickly in 1986 to having the best
teammate a young driver could hope for.
“George was a really, really good team
partner to have for the years I was with
Nissan,” says Seton.
“I really enjoyed my time with George
and I learnt a hell of a lot from him. When
you’ve got blokes like that mentoring and
being a help to you, it makes it pretty easy
when you’re a young bloke at that age com-
peting in a factory team. I’m really grateful
for that era and being involved in that era
By 1987, the protégé was starting to
outgrow the mentor and it was Seton who
led the factory Nissan charge that year,
winning his first championship races and
famously battling BMW star Jim Richards
for the championship. He didn’t win it – or
Bathurst, where he finished second after
bad luck with safety-car timing dropped
his car behind the Peter Brock Commodore
that would eventually be awarded the race
win – but he found out that year he was
good enough to.
“That was a pretty key year, knowing I
could match it with them, it was definitely
a turnaround in confidence and where I
was heading,” he says.
Trace the history of today’s Prodrive team
all the way back to the beginning and you
end up in 1989 with the formation of
Glenn Seton Racing. It was a bold move for
a driver still yet to turn 24 and not without
its challenges, but one he doesn’t regret
“Nissan no longer wanted to be
associated with cigarette advertising, so
Peter Jackson were forced to move on for
1989,” says Seton.
“They approached my Dad and myself
and asked if we were interested in setting
up a race team. My Dad and I looked at
it based on it being an opportunity to set
up a professional race team and make my
career, make it so at least we could control
my destiny in motor racing, not only as a
driver but also as a team owner. I look back
on it now and, gee, I probably would never
have achieved as much as I have without
It was tough going early on. The first
Ford Sierra the team built for 1989 was
destroyed in a fiery crash at Lakeside, put-
ting it right on the back foot.
“That was an unbelievably tough year,
to put together a race team and then to
have to build another car halfway through
the season as well, it nearly broke us to be
honest,” says Seton.
But pressure makes diamonds. While
Dick Johnson Racing’s dominance of the
time, then the arrival of the Skyline GT-R,
meant the big wins and titles escaped
Seton’s grasp in the sunset years of Group
A, his team would get its head around the
Sierra and become a more and more potent
In 1990 he won the Sandown 500 again
and that year’s Endurance Championship.
In 1991 he finished the ATCC best of the
Sierras and 1992 he scored the team’s first
championship race win at Symmons Plains.
When the V8 formula took over from
Group A in 1993, he and his team were
ready to make the big time.
“That introduction of the V8 formula was
probably the turnaround point for our race
team,” says Seton.
“I’ll never forget the first time I tested the
Falcon, which was at Phillip Island when we
built the first car in 1992, the car we took
to Sandown and Bathurst, and I couldn’t
believe the grip it had with the wings and
the front undertrays they had on them and
how easy it was to drive compared to the
“We spent a lot of that year building that
car and getting ready for 1993. That was a
really good decision in terms of where we
went because we were straight out of the
blocks in 1993, we were very competitive.”
Dominant is probably a more accurate
way to describe Glen Seton Racing’s 1993.
Seton won four of the nine rounds, two
more went to his teammate Alan Jones and
they finished one-two in the championship.
Today, Seton’s only regret is the way he
wrapped up that first crown.
“I won the championship sitting in a
gravel trap at Wanneroo because I’d gone
down the back to Kolb corner, locked the
rears and I ended up parked in the gravel,”
“That was a little bit of an anti-climax
“THAT INTRODUCTION OF THE V8 FORMULA
WAS PROBABLY THE TURNAROUND POINT
FOR OUR RACE TEAM.”
Seton won the first title
of the V8 era in 1993.
V8X98 p64-69 Seton.indd 68
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