Auckland Car Club
About Auckland Car Club

2019 Inductees




Craig Baird (MNZM) is a legend in NZ motor racing having won over 25 New Zealand championships in both single seaters and touring cars including Formula Ford, Formula Pacific, 2 litre saloons, TranzAm and NZV8s and Porsche GT3s. In Australia he is also a winner in Australian V8 Supercars, Porsche Carreras, GT Sports Cars and is a former Bathurst 1000 race winner. Among his most outstanding successes were three consecutive New Zealand Grand Prix victories and a three-time recipient of the Jim Clark Trophy. Craig continues his involvement in motor racing as Driving Standards Observer for the Australian Supercars Series and is also a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.


Peter Bruin is one of the unsung legends of Kiwi motorsport. Having competed in various club and invitation events at the wheel of a single seater humorously nicknamed "Bruin’s Ruin” he set about designing and building his own immaculate Targa-Fiat in which he contested sports car racing with some success. So impressive was the presentation of this car, he was offered a job at the McLaren Formula 1 team where he spent three years as a mechanic and fabricator. On his return to New Zealand he continued his design and construction of hugely successful speedway midgets, go-karts and classic racing cars including the historic ex-Denny Hulme Cooper Climax T45, a Lotus 11 and beautifully built C-Type replica. Peter was also a member of the Club’s executive committee for some time.


Owen Evans hails from a motorsport background founded by his father Laurie. Having been involved with Laurie’s trials, rallying and racing exploits as a lad, he eventually moved into competing in such events from the early 1970s and quickly established himself as a competitive rally driver. However, it was in motor racing he was to become a success at the wheel of touring cars then Porsche racing where he became a dominant figure. Having set the New Zealand Land Speed record in a potent Porsche 911 Turbo, an accident saw him retire from driving then concentrate on team management specifically mentoring his son Mitch who still holds intentional recognition on the professional Formula E World Series. 


Ken Flashman was one of the many members who contested every form of club and motorsport event possible. Although a keen competitor in car trials and early rallies, Ken became a legend at the wheel of his Cooper Vincent 500 in which he enjoyed considerable success in hillclimbs and club race meetings. He also became an exponent of production car racing, particularly in Datsuns and Holden Toranas in long distance events where he enjoyed several class wins. Ken’s successes were also matched by his willingness as a volunteer when not competing and through his notable sense of humour.  


Roger Freeth achieved success through three different mediums of motorsport, firstly as a top motor cycle racer in which he gained championship victories including the Bathurst 6 Hour enduro. Secondly as a top rally co-driver for such top drivers as Alan Carter, Reg Cook, Neil Allport and internationally with Possum Bourne as part of the Subaru World Rally Team. Thirdly. as a circuit racing competitor achieving considerable success in Sports Sedans and Production Touring Car Racing together with setting a New Zealand land speed record. His career as one of the country’s top astrophysicists also enable him to advance racing motor cycle technology and revolutionise computer rally pace note systems.


Steve Gillard was a tireless behind the scenes contributor to motorsport. Having come into the sport vis rallying, he embarked on various racing campaigns in saloon car racing and Formula fords. He then became a regular administrator, firstly for the Formula Ford Championship and spent time on the Motorsport New Zealand Racing Board. His involvement in the BNT NZ V8s Championship particularly as a board member saw him receive numerous accolades for his down to earth practical guidance.


Des Gulland was another of the quiet unsung heroes of the Auckland Car Club. Although a regular competitor in hillclimbs, sprints, rallies and trials, it was as a working volunteer in which he became synonymous with club activities. Whether is was doing check points on trials, control marshalling on rallies, supervising crowd marshalling or track crossings at Pukekohe, there was never an event in which Des was not seen volunteering. Des also served time as a member of the Club’s Executive Committee and a former Club Captain.


Judy Hanbury is one of the trailblazers of New Zealand rallying. Along with her husband Roy, she entered motorsport contesting club hillclimbs, sprints and race meetings at the wheel of a standard but rapid Fiat 850 Fastback. After contesting some early trials and rallies she obtained an ex-works Morris Marina TC and established herself as a force to be reckoned with in both International and National events. She was the first woman to seriously contest rallying which opened the door for the many women competing in rallying today.


Graham Hill is probably better referred to as "Mr Auckland Rallying” as his organisational involvement seemed to include most events held around the Auckland provincial region. Having been instrumental in securing the Maramarua Forest for the Club’s first special stage rallies he went on to fill roles such as Route Co-ordinator, Clerk of Course and Assistant Clerk of Course for Club, Invitation and National rallies for nearly 20 years. Graham also competed in several rallies as co-driver notably for Quentin Phillips in National Championship events and also held senior vehicle scrutineering and safety supervision positions. He was also a long time Executive Committee Member and Rally Committee Chairman resulting in his Life Membership of the Club. Graham has also been awarded the Motorsport New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to New Zealand Motorsport.


Steve Horne followed his father George into a lifelong career of cars and motorsport. As a qualified accountant and superb mechanical engineer, he was able to combine those management and technical skills to excel in various racing teams and organisations including Spears Speed Shop (NZ), Cook Motor Racing (NZ), Team VDS (Belgium and USA), Truesports (USA) and Tasman Motorsports(USA). Drivers he assisted to success are many but include Steve Millen, Reg Cook, Teddy Pillette, Bryan Herta and Bobby Rahal. Steve’s experiences included most forms of motorsport but his major successes came with multiple Indycar titles and double victory in the Indianapolis 500.


Tony Marsh is another of a long line of mechanics who became a motorsport technical specialist and successful racing driver. Having worked as a mechanic and engineer in various racing teams covering touring cars, single seaters and rally cars it was as a performance engine specialist he was to become a legend. Tony’s engine building experience covered two litre touring cars and rally cars, Formula Ford, Formula Pacific and NZ V8 touring cars. He also hotly contested 2 litre Shellsport racing in the 1970s and early 1980s culminating in his winning the New Zealand Saloon Car Championship. Tony still holds a high engineering profile preparing engines for his son’s top fuel drag racing.  


John Nicholson initially followed his father into powerboat racing where he enjoyed considerable success before moving to the UK where he joined the McLaren organisation. Although highly skilled at all forms of mechanical works, it was as an engine building specialist in which he would become synonymous. Having set up Nicholson-McLaren Engines, he became one of Europe’s best specialising in all varieties of racing and rally engines. John also contested Formula Atlantic and Formula 2 racing at the wheel of a March 702 and radically designed Lyncar. After a couple of Formula 1 races, he eventually moved back to powerboat racing but retired after a couple of serious accidents and selling the engine business.


Chris Porter came into rallying via the Porter family interest in Masport and after joining the Masport Escort Team as co-driver for Jim Donald was instrumental in the corporate aspects of Masport’s sponsorship involvement. After one and a half seasons alongside JD, he moved across to co-drive with Blair Robson and the duo won the 1978 NZ Rally Championship and claimed an historic 3rd overall in the 1979 Rally of NZ against a top class international field. Blair and Chris also achieved top ren placings in the 1976 and 1977 Southern Cross Rallies and the 1979 Castrol International Rally in Australia. He was also co-driver for British Champion Russell Brookes when they won the 1978 Rally of NZ and for also for Finnish superstar Pentii Airikkala in the 1980 Rally of NZ. Chris was also instrumental in securing famous names like Hannu Mikkola. Ari Vatanen, Russell Brookes and Peter Ashcroft to appear at Auckland Car Club Rally Forums. 


Frank Radisich initially became synonymous with Allcomers saloon car racing in the mid-1960s at the wheel of the now legendary Humber-Jag followed by the rapid ex-David Simpson Lotus Anglia Fastback. Having been a front runner in saloon cars, especially long-distance production car racing, he then turned his focus to single seaters. After initially campaigning a Lotus 22, he moved into the big league driving his self-built HCM Cosworth followed by a McLaren M4A, M10A and M10B in which he achieved considerable success. Frank then concentrated on the Castrol GTX saloon series at the wheel of a potent Escort RS1600 and Mazda RX2 in which he also contested the Bathurst 1000 in Australia. Attention eventually turned to his son Paul’s racing career which proved hugely successful particularly in winning the FIA World Touring Car Championship twice.


Johnny Reid is best described as one of the new, young breed of racing drivers who came to international promise during the early 2000s firstly in Karting then Formula Ford where he won the NZ Championship. The following years saw him highly competitive in the Australian Formula 4000 Series, American Indylights Series and European Formula 3000 where he was a race winner. He was also a race winner in the International A1GP Series driving for New Zealand before returning to race Porsche GT3s and V8 Supercars with some success. More recently, Jonny has been a prominent front runner in GT racing both in NZ and Australia.


Brian Rice has been a motorsport identity over six decades in which his activities commenced as a mechanic for the likes of Sir Tom Clarke (Ferrari), Ross Jensen (Maserati, Jaguar), Jim Boyd (Lycoming, Cooper Holden, Valour) and Greg Lancaster (Tranzam Mustangs, Volvo). He also contested many races as a driver including cars such as Cooper-Holden, Volvo and Mini 7s. Brian was also prominent in administration having been an Executive Committee member for several years. He was also the Race Starter at Pukekohe and served as Assistant Clerk of Course at some club rallies together with co-driving in several rallies.


David Simpson burst onto the motor racing scene in the mid-1960s during the halcyon days of allcomers salon car racing with one of the newly created Lotus Anglias and after notching early race wins added the now historic fastback body modification to win the 1965/66 NZ Saloon Car Championship. After taking a couple of seasons off to concentrate on business interests he returned to Group 5 racing with the potent Team Lexington Escort Twin Cam in which he was a regular class winner. David then took another hiatus from the sport but returned to contest the rally scene firstly in a Skoda after which he became prominent at the wheel of the ex-Mike Marshall Escort RS1600 with a new Brian Hart 2 litre engine and scored several top three positions. Earlier this year David was honoured by Motorsport NZ with an Historic and Heritage Award for his contribution to motorsport.


Heather Spurle entered motorsport at a time when it was difficult for women to become accepted but she was soon to become a force to be reckoned with. Her career included Formula Pacific racing in which she finished 6th overall in the New Zealand Grand Prix. She further cemented her reputation contesting the Bathurst 1000 and Sandown 500 races together with Bathurst 12 hour and 24 hour events. Heather also contested other classes including Peugeot Sport racing and some Tranzam events before becoming a multiple land speed record class holder. However, it was setting two new World Women’s Water Speed records in power boats and hydroplanes which saw her achieve international acclaim. Heather has also received a variety of awards including the New Zealand Commemoration Medal (1990), Motorsport Person Of The Year Award (1996) and an MBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours (1991).


Ray Stone was at the forefront of New Zealand motorsport technology for five decades in his roles from general mechanic to a top Team Manager. Initially as a helping hand for Ron Roycroft the aspiring race mechanic then worked around the country as a mechanic on cars for legendary drivers such as Roycroft, Johnny Mansell, Bill Thomason. However, it was as mechanic and engineer for Paul Fahey that he established himself as a leader in his field having engineered cars for Paul such as the Lotus Cortina, Lotus Anglia Fastback, Shelby Mustang, Escort FVA, Boss Mustang and Cologne Capri. With the rising popularity of rallying, Ray moved into team management for the likes of the Mike Marshall, the Woolmark Ford Team and most notably the Masport Escort Team which won both the NZ Rally Championship and the Rally of NZ three times. Ray also spent considerable time as a technical advisor to Motorsport New Zealand and to Ford with their competition involvement together with liaison duties with the Ford Competitions Department in Europe.


Ralph Watson is often described as the Burt Munro of Auckland owing to his outstanding practical engineering skills. Having built and raced his own car (called a Watson BSA) to 5th place in the 1954 Ohakea Trophy race, he set about designing and constructing a radical racing car. The result was one of the most loved and famous cars in New Zealand motorsport history – the Lycoming Special. Ralph contested races around the country and achieved 4th and 5th placings in the New Zealand Grand Prix at Ardmore in 1957 and 58 respectively. Together with the success of the Lycoming, he also designed and built a rotary valve aero engine using a small selection of tools and parts available. Ralph is so highly regarded that his workshop has been intricately recreated in the Wanaka Warbirds and Wheels museum.