The 2018 Wanneroo 300 Enduro will highlight the action-packed Perth Motorsport Festival at Barbagallo Raceway on Sunday,  December 9.

A powerhouse programme features Drift cars, Burnout comp – with Burnout and Drag demos down the Main Straight – Car shows, heaps of activities for the kids – including bouncy castles and face painting.   And much, much, more.

The Perth Festival of Motorsport, forerunner of a proposed annual extravaganza, is being organised by the WA Sports Sedan and Sports Car Association.    They’re a tight bunch of competitors, racing drivers, their families and their followers – people with skin in the game, proud of their sport and keen to put time and money back into it.

Full-on, non-stop excitement

The WA Sporting Car Club will run the racing activities during the festival, with the able assistance of the Barbagallo Raceway Officials who are renowned for their dedication to the safety of a dangerous sport.    Racing also includes a full field of Formula Vees and the crowd favourite Wanneroo 100, with a packed grid of door-to-door HQ Holdens and Hyundai Excels.    It’s full-on, non-stop entertainment and excitement from early in the day.     ACM will continue to bring you updates.

Wanneroo 300  – Steve Wyatt and Michele RugoIo, 2013 victors.  Image: Manolo Photography.

Ferrari’s first race at Wanneroo

I still can’t believe the debut of that beautiful beast was the first time a Ferrari had ever raced at Wanneroo!    In fact, the last time a Ferrari fired up in anger under the WASCC banner was at Caversham.    A Scuderia Veloce 250LM model won the Caversham Six-Hour race,  just before the relocation north west to Wanneroo 1969.     

Steve Wyatt’s lethal four-cam V8, covered the 124 laps in two hours 47m.30s, with a fastest lap of  59.4952 secs – that’s 147km/h – speedy for one which draws most of its  DNA from a road car.    The Ferrari beat 25 entries of Sports/GTs, Saloon Cars – 6cyl Falcons and Commodores – and Sports Sedans, mainly ex-V8 Supercars.

The 125 lap 300 historically is an all-in race to the finish, with three compulsory eight minute pit stops – for tyres and fuel, featuring both hand pumps and the more sophisticated Supercar style setups.    Driver changes weren’t mandatory.    Provided you have the energy to peddle the 2.41km Wanneroo track for the better part of two hours and 30 minutes.

Third time lucky

That was the case for Walter and Michael Epple, winners of the 2015 Wanneroo 300 Enduro.    They have pride and place as the first father and son to take the coveted trophy, first challenged in 1976 when that extraordinary Aussie icon Peter Brock took the inaugural title with his brother Phil in a Torana L34.

Resurrected in 2011, the event has featured some legendary racers and a veritable showcase of winners.

Alf Barbagallo, a Commodore man in those heady days, remains sole four-time victor of the Wanneroo 300 Enduro.    The West Australian motoring luminary first claimed honours in 1989 – with co-driver Tim Slako, and again with the Hardie Ferodo 1000 racer in ‘93.    Alf also teamed with V8 great Larry Perkins in ’95, and WA champion Grant Johnson in 1996.

Out of Favour

Three-timer Dick Ward first won in 1980 in his notable Fiat Abarth, and later in a Mazda RX7.    And former WA Sporting Car Club president Gordon Mitchell won the event twice, as did club stalwarts Trevor Hine and Tim Slako.    They joined Aussie greats Peter Brock and Larry Perkins.    Old stagers might recall Gordon Stephenson scoring in his thunderous Monaro V8 back in 1983.

Graham Brown, Graeme Hooley, Geoff Leeds, Ian Love and John Farrell,  Simon Emmerling, John Bowe, Peter Finch and former WASCC manager Bob Biltoft, and Claude Giorgi and Glen Seton in their trusty Falcon EB, were others who have triumphed.

But the Wanneroo 300 Enduro fell out of favour after 1997, the year local hero Michael Minshall won in his open cockpit Westfield.

Enduro has “enormous potential”

In 2012, I wrote in my column in The West Australian newspaper:   

“The Wanneroo 300 has enormous potential and, with sound management and planning, could once again attract the stellar fields and crowd support it deserves, something the WASCC sorely needs.”   

I feel exactly the same today.   And I’m heartened to hear the WA Sporting Car Club, custodians of Barbagallo Raceway, and the WASSSCA Festival organisers are making every effort to ensure this endurance classic remains relevant to the motorsport history of this great State of ours.

ACM will keep you up to date as further events are locked in.    If you enjoy an exciting family day out make sure you put in your diary now:

Sunday, December 9 2018, Perth Motorsport Festival, Barbagallo Raceway, Wanneroo.

EDITED by AC