We’re very much looking forward to the upcoming Summer Festival, which will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park from the 10th to the 12th of November. To help everyone get in the mood, we are going to take a look at some of the historic cars which will be joining us at the meeting, and we’re kicking off today with a look at Rob Tweedie’s Elfin-Repco Holden MS7, which will be driven by his son Tom in Group Q.
With thanks to Robert Tweedie
Built in Adelaide for the singular purpose of winning the Australian Sports Car Championship, the one-off, aluminium monocoque Elfin MS7 did just that, with South Australian designer/builder Garrie Cooper taking the crown at Phillip Island on November 30, 1975.
In essence the MS7 was derived from the open-wheeler MS6 Formula 5000 car, with full-width bodywork clearly influenced by the Porsche 917/10 Can-Am car capable of generating massive downforce. With a dry weight of 730 kgs and serious grunt from the 5 litre Repco V8 using Lucas fuel injection, the Elfin proved more than a match for its opposition and dominated from the time of its debut in 1974, setting numerous lap records and scoring several outright victories in the period 1974-1975.
The MS7 passed to privateer Stuart Kostera in West Australia in 1975 and continued racing in sports car events until 1983 (winning the 1976 Australian Tourist Trophy amongst other races), then Alan Newton in Victoria owned the car until 1997. It has raced more or less continuously ever since, competing in Group Q Historic Sports Cars with Aaron Lewis of New South Wales from 1997, who drove it to many class lap records.
The current owner Robert Tweedie purchased the Elfin in May 2005 and raced the following year before instigating a full rebuild over the winter of 2006/7, with a new 565 bhp engine and improved cosmetics. From 2007 onwards the car continued to perform well at Phillip Island, the Australian Grand Prix meet, Oran Park, Eastern Creek, Winton and Wakefield Park with a number of wins, podiums and lap records.
At the end of 2016 Robert retired and passed driving duties onto his son Tom, who already has excellent driver credentials with his most successful Chevron B24/28 Formula 5000 open wheel racing car and historic Formula Ford. With many lap records and multiple wins to his name, it will be interesting to see whether Tom can lower the existing Sydney Motorsport Park Historic Sportscar lap record, and by how much. Tom has already run the Elfin at SMP briefly and was lapping in the 1min28s, which hopefully is a good indication of what we can expect.