Allan Grice

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Allan Grice
Nationality Australian
Born (1942-10-21) 21 October 1942 (age 72)
Maitland, New South Wales
Retired 2005
V8 Utes
Years active 2002–05
Teams Allan Grice Racing
Best finish 6th in 2002 V8 Brutes Series
Previous series
1974–95

1978–80

1981
1984
Australian Touring Car Championship
Australian Sports Sedan Championship
AMSCAR Series
Australian GT Championship
Championship titles
1978

1979

1984
1986
1990
Australian Sports Sedan Championship
Australian Sports Sedan Championship
Australian GT Championship
Bathurst 1000
Bathurst 1000

Allan Maxwell Grice OAM (born 21 October 1942), known to motor-racing fans as Gricey, is an Australian former racing driver and politician, most famous for twice winning the prestigious Bathurst 1000 (1986 and 1990), and as a privateer driver of a Holden in the Australian Touring Car Championship.

Grice also had a successful second career as a politician and Member for Broadwater in the Queensland Parliament from 1992 to 2001. He currently operates an LPG conversion and importing business – LPGricey Tanks.

Bathurst 1000 record[edit]

26 starts between 1968 and 2002 (equal sixth on the 'most starts' list).

Grice had seven podium finishes at Bathurst: two wins (1986 and 1990), four seconds (1978, 1982, 1991, 1995), a third (1983). These results put him equal fifth on the 'most podiums' list for drivers at Bathurst.

Thirteen top 10 finishes (50% of all his starts) (in addition to above, fourth in 1979, seventh in 1980 and 1981, tenth in 1989, fifth in 1992 and seventh in 1994). Grice holds the record for the most Bathurst 1000 drives (16) before first victory (of those who have won).

Bathurst 1986[edit]

Driving a Holden VK Commodore SS Group A that was owned by his co-driver, Graeme Bailey and built by his long time team, Roadways, Grice posted the first 100 mph average lap in a Group A car, backing up his feat of achieving the first 100 mph average lap in a Group C specification Holden VH Commodore in 1982. Grice's time for the 6.172 km circuit in 1986 was a 2:16.16 (compared to his 1982 time of 2:17.8) although he only achieved pole position in 1982.

Grice and Bailey led for all-but 12 laps and Grice drove for 137 of the 163 laps (before the track alterations in response to FIA request reduced the race to 161 laps).

Bathurst 1990[edit]

Main article: 1990 Tooheys 1000

British Touring Car Championship legend Win Percy was given the task of reviving the fortunes of the Holden Team in the Australian Touring Car Championship by Tom Walkinshaw, and against Walkinshaw's wishes Percy chose Grice as his co-driver for Bathurst.

With Percy carrying a shoulder injury, Grice did the bulk of the testing and race driving for Bathurst. Competing against a field that included multiple turbo-charged Ford Sierras, Grice and Percy prevailed to record a famous victory in a Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV.

Racing career[edit]

Though Grice did race, and win, for Holden factory teams in ATCC (most famously in the Bathurst 1000 in 1990), he spent much of his career as a privateer racing in a Holden against the Holden works teams (typically driven by Peter Brock).

Early in his career, Grice was the first racing driver to race the iconic Holden Torana LH SLR/5000 V8 (though he raced the road-version, L31, not the race-bred, Bathurst winning version, L34).

In 1974 Grice began driving for the Craven Mild Racing team and the following year he won a number of rounds in the Australian Touring Car Championship in his SL/R 5000 Torana.

In 1975, Allan Grice put up what would be his strongest challenge for the Australian Touring Car Championship. Grice would have won the championship had he not been disqualified from rounds 5, 7 and 8. In Round 5 at Surfers Paradise, Grice won the race but was disqualified following a protest lodged by Holden Dealer Team manager Harry Firth. Firth correctly contended that the thermostat from the Holden V8 engine in Grice's Craven Mild Torana L34 was in fact in the car's glovebox and not where it should have been. This led to speculation that Firth had managed to convince one of Grice's mechanics to put the item in the glovebox in a bid to sabotage his season[citation needed], which at that point saw Grice leading the points table. Firth's lead driver Colin Bond went on to win the 1975 ATCC. Grice continued the season after appealing the disqualification, but once the appeal was upheld he lost all points from the remaining rounds.

1978 saw Grice break through with a placing in the Bathurst 1000 when he came second behind Peter Brock in a Craven Mild Racing Holden LX Torana A9X SS5000.

Grice was the winner of the 1978 and 1979 Australian Sports Sedan Championship's driving Frank Gardner's Chevrolet Corvair. Grice also finished fourth with open wheel star Alfredo Costanzo in the 1979 Hardie-Ferodo 1000, though he was some 9 laps behind the winning HDT Torana of Peter Brock and Jim Richards, with the Craven Mild Torana Hatchback, like the rest of the field, not posing a serious threat to Brock.

In 1980 the Craven Mild team began driving a BMW 318i Turbo in the Sports Sedan series, first in his usual Craven Mild colours, but later in the black and gold of the JPS Team BMW. Grice had little success with the car, constantly battling its handling which wasn't up to the power of the turbocharged engine. Grice's relationship with team manager Gardner had also deteriorated by this time, resulting in his sacking from the JPS team at the end of 1981. This led to a long standing animosity between Grice and Gardner which lasted until Gardner's death at the age of 78 in 2009. The crux of the animosity was Gardner allegedly not having a high opinion of Grice's aggressive driving style, while Grice also contends that Gardner stole his longtime Craven A and JPS cigarette sponsorship.

After contemplating giving away racing, with no prospects of a competitive drive, Grice was thrown a lifeline by Re-Car owner Alan Browne. Grice was listed to drive with Browne at Bathurst in 1982 and Grice qualified fastest in the teams Holden VH Commodore. He and Browne would go on to finish second after a duel with the similar Commodore of Peter Brock in the early laps. The following year Grice finished third at Bathurst in a STP sponsored Roadways Commodore shared with Colin Bond.

Allan Grice holds the distinction of winning the last ever ATCC race held under CAMS locally developed Group C rules when he won the final race of the 1984 ATCC at the Adelaide International Raceway in a Holden VH Commodore. In a closely fought race, Grice finished less than one second in front of Brock's HDT Commodore, with series champion Dick Johnson third in his Ford Falcon, less than a second behind Brock. Grice also won the last ever competitive Group C race held in Australia when he drove his Roadways Holden VK Commodore to victory in a race held at the Baskerville Raceway in Tasmania in late 1984.

Grice easily won the 1984 Australian GT Championship driving the ex-Bob Jane DeKon Chevrolet Monza that had been acquired by Re-Car boss Alan Browne. Grice and the Monza sat on pole for every round of the series and won all but one race, his only loss was when the Monza lost fuel pressure while holding an eight second lead over the Porsche Carrera RSR of Peter Fitzgerald on the last lap at Round Three at Calder Park Raceway. In late 1984 Grice was joined by fellow touring car star Dick Johnson and driver/engineer Ron Harrop in the Monza, when they contested the Sandown 1000 as part of the 1984 World Endurance Championship. The race was the first ever World Championship road race held in Australia. Running in the special "AC Class" (for cars in the Australian GT and Sports Car championships), Grice qualified the car 18th and second in class, 1.9 seconds shy of the 1984 Australian Sports Car Championship winning Romano WE84-Cosworth driven by Alfredo Costanzo (and almost 9 seconds slower than Stefan Bellof's pole time in his Rothmans Porsche 956). The Monza ran strongly, with Grice reporting that the 600 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS) 6.0 L Chevrolet was able to stay with the faster Porsche's on the straights, but lost out to the Ground effect Sports Cars through the turns (Johnson claimed that the car had a lot more grunt than its handling deserved, though Grice contended the Monza handled very well). The Monza was eventually disqualified from the race for receiving outside assistance.

During 1984 Grice also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Driving a Charles Ivey Racing prepared Porsche 956, with co-drivers Alain de Cadenet and Chris Craft, the car was qualified 32nd, but was a DNF with engine failure after 274 laps. Grice, who proved the fastest of the trio despite never having raced at Le Mans or in a 956, was openly critical of the team and their preparation of the car which had a bad habit of losing wheels at high speed. After the Porsche lose a wheel early in the race (before his first driving stint), Grice was heard to say loud enough for everyone in the team to hear that he had race cars at home that did not shed wheels.[citation needed]

Though best remembered for his endurance race feats, Grice was a very fast driver. Driving as a privateer, he was the first driver to record a 100 mph laps around Bathurst in both a Group C car 1982 and in a Group A car 1986 (that time on his way to winning Bathurst).

In 1987 Grice became the first Australian driver to qualify for NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Gricey was also prominent in the early NASCAR races held in Australia, held in 1988 at the then new, A$54 million Calder Park Thunderdome owned by former racer and prominent businessman Bob Jane. Grice qualified his Foster's sponsored Oldsmobile Delta 88 3rd for the 1988 Goodyear NASCAR 500 at the Thunderdome, the first ever NASCAR race held outside of North America. His race ended on lap 80 when he was caught up in a crash that he couldn't avoid due to the Oldsmobile having lost its brakes. Grice suffered a broken collar bone in the high speed crash. The race itself was dominated by visiting Winston Cup drivers Neil Bonnett, Bobby Allison and Dave Marcis, with Bonnett eventually winning from fellow Alabama Gang member Allison by just 0.86 seconds.

In 1990, Grice and his old Roadways touring car team led by team boss and chief mechanic Les Small, developed a left-hand-drive Holden VN Commodore powered by a 358 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 engine to run in the Australian NASCAR series, with Grice taking several wins at both the Thunderdome and the 1/2 mile Speedway Super Bowl at the Adelaide International Raceway. Grice, Small and Bob Jane also formed a plan to take the Commodore to America to run in the Winston Cup, though ultimately the plans were shelved.

In 1988, thanks to his friendship with his 1987 James Hardie 1000 co-driver Win Percy, Grice was drafted into the Nissan Motorsport Europe team for the European Touring Car Championship, driving a Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R. Percey, Grice, and Swedish driver Anders Olofsson, drove the car to 6th outright in the 1988 Spa 24 Hours. The Nissan Europe team was managed by former Ford Works Team and later Nissan Australia team boss from the Australian Group C days, Howard Marsden. Grice also the won the inaugural Bathurst 12 Hour held in 1991 driving a Toyota Supra Turbo with Peter Fitzgerald and Nigel Arkell.

Grice last competed in a full ATCC was in 1987. He was signed by Pinnacle Motorsport to complete the full 1995 season, although the relationship was severed mid-year. Grice's final ATCC race was at the 1995 Oran Park round driving a Ford EF Falcon for Glenn Seton Racing. Grice ended his career having won ten rounds in the Australian Touring Car Championship (equal 12th on list of round winners).

Grice continued to compete as an endurance co-driver, his last appearance was at the 2002 Bathurst 1000 driving a Ford AU Falcon entered by V8 Ute series team Nilsson Motorsport. The Bathurst start, some five years after his previous start, rekindled Grice as a racing driver and he made a comeback to racing in the V8 Utes series driving Falcon XR8s and forming his own team. He was competitive, winning races with a championship position high of sixth.

Since stepping away from the drivers seat Grice remains a familiar sight at historic racing events as well as supporting the racing career of his son, Benjamin Grice.

Career results[edit]

Season Series Position Car Team
1972 Australian Formula 2 Championship 6th Mildren Waggott &
Mildren England
Max Stewart Motors &
Alan Grice
1975 Australian Touring Car Championship 3rd Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 Craven Mild Racing
1976 Australian Touring Car Championship 4th Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 Craven Mild Racing
1977 Australian Touring Car Championship 7th Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 Craven Mild Racing
1978 Australian Touring Car Championship 7th Holden Torana LX A9X SS Hatchback Craven Mild Racing
1978 Australian Sports Sedan Championship 1st Chevrolet Corvair Craven Mild Racing
1979 Australian Touring Car Championship 7th Holden Torana LX A9X SS Hatchback Craven Mild Racing
1979 Australian Sports Sedan Championship 1st Chevrolet Corvair Craven Mild Racing
1980 Australian Touring Car Championship 8th Holden Torana LX A9X SS Hatchback Craven Mild Racing
1980 Australian Sports Sedan Championship 2nd Holden Torana LX
BMW 318i turbo
Craven Mild Racing
1981 Australian Touring Car Championship 12th BMW 635 CSi JPS Team BMW
1981 Australian Sports Sedan Championship 5th BMW 318i turbo JPS Team BMW
1981 Better Brakes 3.5 Litre Series [1] 2nd [1] BMW 635 CSi [1] JPS Team BMW [1]
1982 Australian Touring Car Championship 5th Holden Commodore VH SS Re-Car Racing
1982 Better Brakes AMSCAR Series 1st Holden VH Commodore
1983 Australian Touring Car Championship 4th Holden Commodore VH SS Roadways Racing
1984 Australian Touring Car Championship 5th Holden Commodore VH SS Roadways Racing
1984 Australian GT Championship 1st Chevrolet Monza Re-Car Racing
1984 Alfasud Trophy 2nd Alfa Romeo Alfasud
1985 Nissan ET Super Challenge 3rd Nissan Pulsar ET Turbo Nissan Motorsport Australia
1987 Australian Touring Car Championship 8th Holden VK Commodore SS Group A
Holden VL Commodore SS Group A
Roadways Racing
1987 World Touring Car Championship NC BMW M3
Holden VL Commodore SS Group A
Schnitzer Motorsport
Roadways Racing
1987 Winston Cup NC Oldsmobile Cutlass Foster's
1989 Australian Touring Car Championship 14th Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV ICL Racing
1989 Winston Cup NC Pontiac Grand Prix
1989/90 Australian NASCAR Championship 10th Holden VN Commodore ICL Racing
1990 Australian Endurance Championship 8th Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV Holden Racing Team
1991 Australian Touring Car Championship 15th Holden VN Commodore SS Group A Holden Racing Team
1995 Australian Touring Car Championship 13th Holden VR Commodore
Ford EF Falcon
Pinnacle Motorsport
Glenn Seton Racing
2002 Australian V8 BrUte Series 6th Ford Falcon AUII XR8 Ute Kerry Wilson
2003 Australian V8 BrUte Series 10th Ford Falcon BA XR8 Ute Akubra/Wrangler
2005 Australian V8 BrUte Series 18th Ford Falcon BA XR8 Ute Allan Grice Racing

Bathurst 1000 wins[edit]

Year Pos Class No Team Co-Drivers Chassis Laps
Engine
Group A
1986 1 C 2 Australia Roadways Racing Australia Graeme Bailey Holden VK Commodore SS Group A 163
Holden 304 4.9 L V8
1990 1 1 16 Australia Holden Racing Team United Kingdom Win Percy Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV 161
Holden 5.0 L V8

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans Results[edit]

Year Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps
Engine
1984 25
DNF
C1 21 Charles Ivey Racing Alain de Cadenet
Chris Craft
Porsche 956 D 274
Porsche Type-935 2.6 L Turbo Flat-6
1988 14 C1 32 Nissan Motorsports Mike Wilds
Win Percy
Nissan (March) R88C B 344
Nissan VRH30 3.0L Turbo V8

Complete World Sportscar Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1984 Porsche 956 MNZ SIL LMS
Ret
NUR BHT MOS SPA IMO FJI KYL
SAN
DSQ
NC 0
1988 Nissan R88C JRZ JAR MON SIL LMS
14
BRN BHT NUR SPA FJI
9
SAN
NC 0

Complete European Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 DC Points
1986 Australian National
Motor Racing Team
Holden VK Commodore SS Group A MNZ
Ret
DON
Ret
HOC
Ret
MIS AND BNO OST NUR
15
SPA
23
SIL
24
NOG ZOL
Ret
JAR
Ret
EST
8
NC 0
1988 Nismo Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R MNZ DON
Ret
EST JAR DIJ
Ret
VAL NUR
19
SPA
6
ZOL
Ret
SIL
Ret
NOG
11
NC 0

Complete World Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1987 Team Schnitzer BMW M3 MNZ JAR DIJ NUR SPA
Ret
BNO SIL NC 0
Roadways Racing Holden VL Commodore SS Group A BAT
Ret
CLD
Ret
WEL
Ret
FJI

Complete NASCAR Winston Cup Series results[edit]

Year Car No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 NSCC Points
1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass 03 DAY ROC RIC ATL DAR WIL BRI MAR TAL CMS
35
DOV POC RIV MCH DAY POC TAL WAT MIC BRI DAR RIC DOV MAR WIL CMS ROC RIV ATL 107th 0
1989 Pontiac Grand Prix 47 DAY ROC ATL RIC DAR BRI WIL MAR TAL CMS
34
DOV SPR POC MCH DAY POC TAL WAT MIC BRI DAR RIC DOV MAR CMS WIL ROC PHX ATL 93rd 0

Complete Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 DC Points
1988 ICL Racing Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV BAT
15
WEL PUK FJI NC 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Better Brakes 3.5 Litre Series, Australian Motor Racing Year 1981/82, pages 188–195

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
John Goss
Armin Hahne
Winner of the Bathurst 1000
1986
(with Graeme Bailey)
Succeeded by
Peter Brock
David Parsons
Peter McLeod
Preceded by
Dick Johnson
John Bowe
Winner of the Bathurst 1000
1990
(with Win Percy)
Succeeded by
Jim Richards
Mark Skaife
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Broadwater
1992–2001
Succeeded by
Peta-Kaye Croft