David "Skippy" Parsons
|Born||17 May 1959|
|Related to||Graham Parsons (father)|
|ATCC / V8 Supercar|
Holden Dealer Team
Glenn Seton Racing
Gibson Motor Sport
|Best finish||7th in 1983 Australian Touring Car Championship|
David John 'Skippy' Parsons (born 17 May 1959 in Devonport, Tasmania), is a retired Australian racing driver, who while never a full-time racing driver, drove for the biggest racing teams in Australia including the Holden Dealer Team, Perkins Engineering, Glenn Seton Racing and Gibson Motor Sport.
The son of Tasmanian touring car racer Graham Parsons, David Parsons began emerging onto the national scene racing a Holden VC Commodore in the 1982 Australian Touring Car Championship, making his debut at his home track, Symmons Plains in Tasmania. Embraced as an endurance co-driver by gentleman privateer racer Peter Janson, he showed pace on his way to fourth at the 1982 James Hardie 1000, as well as qualifying Janson's Commodore 3rd in the 1983 race.
This, and his performances in his severely underfunded Commodore in the 1983 ATCC, brought him to the attention of Peter Brock and the Holden Dealer Team, and with the help of Janson he was drafted into the HDT for the 1984 Australian Endurance Championship. Parsons co-drove with John Harvey to a DNF in the Oran Park 250 in Brock's ATCC car, before the pair went on to finish 3rd in the 1984 Castrol 500 at Sandown. From there Harvey/Parsons finished 2nd in the 1984 James Hardie 1000 behind team mates Brock and Larry Perkins, with Parsons following Brock across the finish line in a 1-2 form finish. Late in the James Hardie 1000, Parsons was "let off the leash" by team owner Brock who told him to chase down Allan Jones in Warren Cullen's similar VK Commodore. Parsons responded to the challenge and reduced the gap to Jones from over a minute to under two seconds before the 1980 Formula One World Champion was forced to pit with 4 laps remaining for fuel and attention to the cars non-existent rear brakes.
Parsons was retained as a driver for the HDT into 1985, although results were harder to come by as the Commodore initially struggled with engine unreliability in Australia's move to the FIA's Group A rules. The highlight of the year for the Tasmanian dairy farmer was out qualifying team leader Brock at the 1985 James Hardie 1000. Parsons left HDT in 1986 to join Perkins in his new team Perkins Engineering, but was let go in early 1987 with Perkins opting for someone with "more experience" after Parsons had crashed the Commodore in the Wellington 500 (Perkins would select 1967 World Champion Denny Hulme as Parsons replacement). Parsons rejoined the HDT (now without any official support from Holden following the company's split with Brock in February 1987) and joined Brock and Neville Crichton at the Spa 24 Hours round of the inaugural World Touring Car Championship. The trio failed to finish the race.
Heading into the 1987 James Hardie 1000 the Holden Dealer Team was expected to do little more the make up the numbers against the strength of the factory supported Ford and BMW teams. When the #05 car Parsons shared with Brock experienced a major engine failure in the early running, their effort looked set to be little more than a footnote. First Brock, then Parsons stepped aboard the team's second car, #10 which had been driven to that point of the race by Peter McLeod. Inspired driving on variable surface as rain plagued the second half of the race, good strategy and a lucky break with safety car procedure and the team clawed their way past the BMW M3s as they failed and into third position behind the flawless 1-2 finish of the Eggenberger Motorsport Ford Sierra RS500s. During his stint at the wheel, Parsons was credited with #10's fastest race lap in the 1987 1000.
Subsequently the two Sierras were disqualified, giving Parsons, Brock and McLeod the race win.
Parsons stayed with the team into 1988 as they transitioned to BMW M3s, although by now in Australia the giant killers of 1987 had become little more than class runners in the face of the all-powerful Sierras. After a year out of racing Parsons returned to Brock's team in 1990, Sierras supplied by British Sierra expert Andy Rouse (the team had also merged with Miedecke Motorsport). Parsons teamed with Andrew Miedecke and Charlie O'Brien to finish 14th, 12 laps down on the winning Holden Racing Team SS Group A Commodore of Allan Grice and Win Percy.
Parsons then went on to join Glenn Seton Racing in 1991 where he became a regular co-driver for the team for the next seven years, continuing to race with the team into the V8 Supercar era. A highlight was winning the 1993 Sandown 500 co-driving a Ford EB Falcon with Geoff Brabham.
From 1998 onwards Parsons was a hired gun, driving for Gibson Motor Sport and Owen Parkinson Racing, including co-drives with the other racing driver named David "Truckie" Parsons. His final Bathurst appearance was alongside Paul Romano in 2000. Since then Parsons has made occasional one-off appearances in various sedan based categories.
- Tuckey, Bill, ed. (1987/88). The Great Race (Hornsby: The Berghouse Floyd Tuckey Publishing Group) 7: 277. ISSN 1031-6124.
- Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (1986). "1982: Johnson, back-to-back". Australian Touring Car Championship: 25 fabulous years. Gordon: R&T Publishing. p. 237. ISBN 0-9590378-2-9.
- "James Hardie 1000 Mount Panorama, Bathurst 30th September, 1984". Unique Cars and Parts. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
- Tuckey, Bill, ed. (1987/88). The Great Race (Hornsby: The Berghouse Floyd Tuckey Publishing Group) 7: 263–265. ISSN 1031-6124.
- "Tancredi Wins 2008 Commodore Cup Series". Commodore Cup. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-17.[dead link]
|Winner of the Bathurst 1000
(with Peter Brock & Peter McLeod)