1:18 Biante - 1987 Holden VL Commodore group A - Moffat/Harvey
Manufacturer: Biante Model Cars
Product Code: B182703D
Limited Edition: 1074 (Each Certificate is Hand Sign by Allen Moffat)
1987 WTCC Monza Winner
Allan Moffat/John Harvey
The international Group A touring car regulations introduced to Australia full-time in 1985 helped open the door to a unique era of tin-top racing where local drivers were able to take on the best of the world – both at home and abroad. The next step came in 1987 with the introduction of the very first World Touring Car Championship. Mount Panorama’s annual October classic in Bathurst scored a spot on the calendar, as did a race a week later on the combined road circuit/oval at Calder Park in Melbourne.
Held over 11 rounds, the WTCC would see BMW driver Roberto Ravaglia take the driver’s crown and Ford, through its black and red Texaco/Eggenberger Sierras, the manufacturer’s title. But at the beginning of the year, Peter Brock’s relationship with Holden soured and the factory withdrew its support, leaving his empire (and WTCC plans) in tatters. Out of a job, co-driver Allan Moffat put together a deal to buy the new un-raced HDT VL Commodore that had been prepped during the off-season, using a front man friend to buy the car from Brock.
He and fellow former HDT man John Harvey headed off to England bound for Monza’s opening round and not even they could have guessed what would unfold – they won! It seemed a difficult concept to grasp, but the winning Moffat/Harvey Commodore actually finished the 87-lap race in seventh spot on the road and the car that finished 14th actually officially scored the ‘victor’ points towards the WTCC! The Aussie duo weren’t eligible as they hadn’t stumped up the hefty US$60,000 registration fee but it didn’t stop them from being declared the winners when the top six BMW M3s were turfed out of the race for lightweight body panels. Tom Walkinshaw had withdrawn his Commodores and the Texaco Sierras had been parked because of fuel injection system irregularities, leaving Andy Rouse’s private Sierra to take pole with a 1m57.0s lap, Moffat/Harvey ninth on a 2m00.39s.
The Rothmans car had no real spares to speak of, so ensuring the Commodore VL wasn’t thrown at the high nasty Monza kerbing was a priority. The Rouse/Thierry Tassin Sierra led the hordes of BMWs early from the rolling start, with Moffat starting in the Commodore and engaging in a great scrap for fourth with the M3s of Ricardo Patrese, Ivan Capelli and Winni Vogt. But the slowing Maserati Biturbo shared by Armin Hahne and Bruno Giacomelli hampered Moffat soon after and he was forced to hit the brakes hard to avoid contact. It meant he lost the aerodynamic tow from the BMWs and, despite the 420-odd horsepower from the Holden V8, he couldn’t catch back up.
Moffat was sixth when he handed over to Harvey, who lapped steadily before being forced to ease back later with overheating tyres. The Sierra blew a head gasket after just 11 laps, leaving the BMWs to walk away with Patrese and Johnny Cecotto winning on the road clear of Emanuele Pirro and the late Roland Ratzenberger. Moffat and Harvey were a lap down in seventh and happy with their day’s work, and would wake the next morning to be told of their elevation to victory once the top six (and eighth!) BMWs had been booted from the results.
The little 2.3-litre four cylinders had been frighteningly fast and the reason soon became apparent as they had carbon fibre body panels in places where they shouldn’t have had them! So thus the Aussies won the first-ever round of the World Touring Car Championship, and wrote themselves and their VL Commodore into the history books!
Biante Model Cars are very pleased to be able to present the opportunity to place your orders for this latest addition to the Biante Allan Moffat Collection, the 1:18 Scale Holden VL Commodore SS Group A, driven by Allan Moffat and John Harvey to victory in the first round of the 1987 World Touring Car Championship held at Monza in Italy. Including a signed Certificate of Authenticity by Allan Moffat, this is another fine piece of motor racing history that deserves a place in any racing themed collections.
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