Neil Crompton

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For the Australian rules footballer of the same name, see Neil Crompton (footballer).
Neil Crompton
Neil Crompton 2014.png
Crompton at the 2014 V8 Supercars Test Day.
Nationality Australian
Born (1960-07-30) 30 July 1960 (age 54)
Retired 2002
ATCC / V8 Supercar
Years active 1987–2002
Teams Advantage Racing
Holden Racing Team
Bob Forbes Motorsport
Wayne Gardner Racing
Glenn Seton Racing
Gibson Motor Sport
Starts 85
Best finish 10th in 1994 & 1995 Australian Touring Car Championship
Previous series
1989–92
1997

1998
Australian Drivers' Championship
North American Touring Car Championship
Australian GT Production Car Championship
Championship titles
1994 Bathurst 12 Hour

Neil Crompton (born 30 July 1960) is a well-known V8 Supercars presenter and commentator for Australia's Channel Seven, having previously worked in a similar role at Network Ten. Crompton ("Cromley" or "Crompo" to his friends and colleagues) has more than 15 years of professional racing car driving under his belt which allows him to "speak from experience" when commentating.

Racing career[edit]

Highlights[edit]

According to the official V8 Supercars website,[1] Crompton has competed in 357 various motor racing events, finishing in the first three places on 58 occasions. 230 of those races were with events counting towards the Australian Touring Car Championship (nowadays promoted as the V8Supercar Championship Series), including three second places and ten thirds.

He has raced at the famous Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales on more than 20 occasions dating back to his 1988 debut with Peter Brock's Mobil BMW Team. His best results being two third placings in the crash shortened 1992 race with Swede Anders Olofsson in a Gibson Motor Sport Nissan GT-R and in 1995 with 1987 500cc Grand Prix Motorcycle World Champion Wayne Gardner in a Wayne Gardner Racing Holden Commodore in addition to winning the 1994 12 Hour endurance race with Gregg Hansford in a factory supported Mazda RX-7.

Early years[edit]

Crompton started racing in 1972 at age eleven on a Honda minibike before graduating to motocross where he had some success.

In 1985 he moved to racing cars and has raced in various, mostly sedan-based categories, starting in a Series Production specification Mitsubishi Cordia. Racing categories that he has contested include V8 Supercars, Super Touring Cars, Group A Touring Cars, Sports Sedans, as well as the open-wheel categories of Formula Holden and Formula 3000.

Crompton's first big break in motor sport came when he was selected by Peter Brock as a driver in the Holden Dealer Team's second Group A VL Commodore for the long distance races in late 1987. This included drives in the 1987 Castrol 500 at Sandown where he and Formula 2 ace Jon Crooke finished a creditable 4th, and later at the Bob Jane T-Marts 500 at Calder Park which was Round 9 of the 1987 World Touring Car Championship. He was to have made his Bathurst 1000 debut in 1987 a week before the race at Calder, but was one race short of gaining the appropriate FIA licence needed (he was reportedly to drive a Subaru in a Series Production race at Winton which would have secured the one needed signature for his licence, but the car was uncompetitive and he declined to drive as he "Didn't want to look like a wally", thus losing his chance). In a cruel twist, the #10 Commodore he was to have driven would go on to win the race in the hands of Brock, David Parsons, and his replacement for the race, Peter McLeod. Late in the Channel 7 telecast of the James Hardie 1000, his 'boss', lead commentator and producer of the telecast Mike Raymond, light heartedly pointed this out to Crompton when the Commodore was in third place behind the Eggenberger Texaco Ford Sierra RS500's which would eventually be disqualified for technical irregularities. All Crompton could say in reply was "Don't remind me" and "The thought has crossed my mind".

Crompton remained with Brock's Mobil sponsored team for 1988, though by that time they had switched to running BMW M3's. He made his Australian Touring Car Championship debut that year, driving the third of the team's cars to 8th in Round 8 at Amaroo Park, and 11th in the final round at Oran Park. After a promising start to the endurance races with where he and David Parsons finished 4th in the Pepsi 250 at Oran Park (won by Brock and Jim Richards), he failed to finish at both Sandown and Bathurst.

In 1989 Crompton joined the Holden Racing Team, staying with them until the end of 1991. The HRT announced plans to run the new Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV in the 1989 ATCC alongside former triple British Touring Car Champion Win Percy, but the team did not appear on the race track in the ATCC and would not race until that years Sandown 500.

Although he did not have a regular ATCC seat with HRT, he co-drove the team's second Commodore in the three years with the team, though results were not forthcoming. He also started racing Formula Holden in 1989, finishing third in the Australian Drivers' Championship and scoring his first race win in Round 7 at Sydney's Amaroo Park circuit before going on to win the 10th and final round at Sandown in Melbourne. He then went on to finish equal fourth on points with Drew Price in 1990. His 1990 season was interrupted when he crashed in Round 7 at Sandown, heavily damaging his ex-Satoru Nakajima F3000 Ralt RT20 and causing him to miss the next round at Winton. However, he came back strong for the final round of the series at the Adelaide Street Circuit which was a support race for the 1990 Australian Grand Prix. After qualifying second behind eventual series champion Simon Kane, Crompton took the lead on the opening lap when Kane ran wide at Stag Turn and led all 15 laps to secure his first win in Formula Holden in over 12 months and lifting him to fourth on the points table.

Also in 1991, Crompton drove a 6 cyl Holden VN Commodore S with Peter Brock and motoring journalist/race driver Peter McKay to win Class C and finish 4th outright in the inaugural Bathurst 12 Hour. Unfortunately his Formula Holden season never got off the ground and he missed the 1991 series.

Crompton returned to the Brock team for the first half of the 1992 ATCC, with a best finish of 7th in Round 3 at Symmons Plains. With the team short of funds to run two Holden VN Commodore SS Group A SV's, Crompton left the team mid-season and returned to the Seven commentary booth, though he did drive in the final round of the 1992 Australian Drivers' Championship at Oran Park in Sydney where he finished in third place behind two future television co-commentators, series champion Mark Skaife and runner up Mark Larkham. He then joined the factory backed Winfield Team Nissan for the 1992 Tooheys 1000 in the team's second 4WD, twin turbo Nissan GT-R. In a race marred by heavy rain, accidents, and the death of 1967 Formula One World Champion Denny Hulme from a heart attack, Crompton and his Swedish co-driver Anders Olofsson finished 3rd in the crash shortened race, with Crompton giving the unruly crowd the finger from the podium on national television.

In 1993, Crompton ran the ATCC in one of the few Holden V8 powered VP Commodore's in the field for Bob Forbes Racing (most of the top Holden teams were using the 5.0 L Chevrolet V8). His first full ATCC ended with a disappointing 13th place finish in the standings. He then went to 1993 Tooheys 1000 where he qualified the car 10th after spinning on oil during his Tooheys Top 10 runoff lap. Crompton complained on camera after his lap that there was no warning of oil until he got to The Chase (the fastest corner on a race track anywhere in Australia taken at some 280 km/h (174 mph)), but it was later found that it was in fact his car that had dropped the oil and other drivers reported it to be all around the 6.213 km (3.861 mi) circuit.

In 1994 he joined 1987 500cc Grand Prix World Champion Wayne Gardner in Gardner's newly established Wayne Gardner Racing.

In 1997 Crompton headed to the US to compete in the new North American Touring Car Championship in a Honda Accord run by the Tasman Motorsports team. Crompton was quickly on the pace, and won several races and was in contention for the championship, before a disqualification (which he still disputes) precluded him from winning the title. Crompton also tested one of Tasman's Champ Cars at Gingerman Raceway.

Later years[edit]

In 1998 Crompton started with Glenn Seton Racing, continuing with the team in its new identity as Ford Tickford Racing in 1999. He then moved to Gibson Motor Sport, later renamed 00 Motorsport, in 2001 where he was teamed with Craig Lowndes before leaving at the end of the 2002 season.

Despite being a full-time television commentator, Crompton continues to compete in races when he can, particularly endurance races. Most recently he finished 17th in the 2009 Bathurst 12 Hour race, completing 222 laps (1,379 km / 857 miles) driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X with Glenn Seton. Crompton occasionally competes in the Aussie Racing Cars series and has also competed in the Australian Rally Championship.

Crompton also works on the organisational side of V8 Supercar contributing to TEGA's Parity Board, which works to ensure that neither of the competing marques gains a significant advantage over the other.

Media career[edit]

Crompton started commentating at motorcross events for Network Ten, then known as the 0/10 Network. He then worked for the ABC from around 1980 until the end of 1984, generally working with respected commentators Will Hagon, John Smailes and Drew Morphett, and commentating on motorsport events such as the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) plus various other motorsport events that the network covered such as the Sandown 500. In 1985 when the ATCC rights moved to Channel Seven, Crompton also moved across to Seven, replacing Evan Green and joining the network's motorsport regulars Mike Raymond & Garry Wilkinson in the commentary box, while also doing regular reporting from the pits (as the youngest and by far the fittest member of the commentary team, Crompton was often assigned pit duties on race day which required quickly moving from one end of pit lane to the other). He would stay with the network in a gradually decreasing capacity until the end of 1995, his latter years there including regular segments on the TV program "The Great Outdoors". During this time he also had segments on the Triple M radio network.

In 1996 he returned to Network Ten to be their "motorsport expert" for their coverage of the CART Series & Australian Super Touring Championship for which they had just gained the broadcasting rights, and which would also end up including Formula One. Crompton was a regular presenter of Ten's popular motoring magazine program, RPM, and after his racing career wound down at the end of 2002 until the end of 2006, he was the expert commentator on Ten's coverage of the V8 Supercars (after being lead commentator throughout 2001 when he only drove in endurance races).

When the Seven Network bought the television broadcasting rights for the V8 Supercars for 2007 onwards, Crompton, along with a majority of the production team, moved to Seven. Crompton's detailed technical knowledge, combined with his racing and commentating experience, ensures that he is considered an extremely valuable part of the Seven Network's coverage of the series.

Crompton also co-hosted the popular web show "The Panelbeaters" with longtime friend Brad Jones. The show ran every Friday evening before a V8 Supercar meeting, and the Wednesday after. The show began as a radio programme in 2003 on Victorian station SEN 1116, before being taken on by Telstra Bigpond, and made into a video web show. The program was axed after the 2008 season.

After a short time off the radio waves, Crompton returned to broadcasting on radio this time with former Australian V8 Supercar champion Mark Skaife on The Stick Shift, a motoring based show broadcast on the Triple M Network on Saturday mornings.

Personal life[edit]

Crompton married longtime partner Sarah Mathewson in March 2008.[2]

Career results[edit]

Season Series Position Car Team
1988 Australian Touring Car Championship 20th BMW M3 Mobil 1 Racing
1988 James Hardie Building Products AMSCAR Series 6th BMW M3 Mobil 1 Racing
1989 Australian Drivers' Championship 3rd Ralt RT20 Holden Boylan Racing
1990 Australian Drivers' Championship 4th Ralt RT20 Holden Boylan Racing
1990 Australian Touring Car Championship 15th Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV Holden Racing Team
1992 Australian Touring Car Championship 15th Holden VN Commodore SS Group A SV Mobil 1 Racing
1992 Australian Drivers' Championship 10th Ralt RT20 Holden Boylan Racing
1993 Australian Touring Car Championship 13th Holden VP Commodore Bob Forbes Motorsport
1994 Australian Touring Car Championship 10th Holden VP Commodore Wayne Gardner Racing
1995 Australian Touring Car Championship 10th Holden VR Commodore Wayne Gardner Racing
1996 Australian Touring Car Championship 13th Holden VR Commodore Wayne Gardner Racing
1997 North American Touring Car Championship 3rd Honda Accord Tasman Motorsports
1998 Australian GT Production Car Championship 9th Ferrari F355 Challenge Ross Palmer Motorsport
1998 Australian Touring Car Championship 24th Ford EL Falcon Glenn Seton Racing
1999 Shell Championship Series 12th Ford EL Falcon
Ford AU Falcon
Ford Tickford Racing
2000 Shell Championship Series 12th Ford AU Falcon Ford Tickford Racing
2001 Shell Championship Series 54th Ford AU Falcon Gibson Motor Sport
2002 V8 Supercar Championship Series 17th Ford AU Falcon 00 Motorsport

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 HDT Racing P/L Holden VL Commodore SS Group A MNZ JAR DIJ NUR SPA BNO SIL BAT CLD
11
WEL
Ret
FJI NC 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 Mobil 1 Racing BMW M3 BAT
Ret
WEL
Ret
PUK
4
FJI NC 0

Complete Bathurst 1000 results[edit]

Year No Team Co-Driver Car Result Laps Qual
Pos
1988 56 Mobil 1 Racing Australia Peter Brock
New Zealand Jim Richards
BMW M3 DNF 89 16
1989 7 Holden Racing Team United Kingdom Win Percy Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV 7 158 18
1990 7 Holden Racing Team Australia Brad Jones Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV 5 159 16
1991 7 Holden Racing Team Australia Brad Jones Holden VN Commodore SS Group A SV DNF 100 13
1992 2 Winfield Team Nissan Sweden Anders Olofsson Nissan GT-R 3 143 11
1993 7 GIO Racing Australia Mark Gibbs Holden VP Commodore DNF 125 10
1994 4 Coca-Cola Racing Australia Wayne Gardner Holden VP Commodore DNF 99 5
1995 7 Coca-Cola Racing Australia Wayne Gardner Holden VP Commodore 3 161 4
1996 7 Coca-Cola Racing Australia Wayne Gardner Holden VR Commodore 4 160 5
1997* 26 Esso Ultron Team Peugeot United Kingdom Patrick Watts Peugeot 406 DNF 112 5
1997 7 Wayne Gardner Racing Australia Wayne Gardner Holden VS Commodore DNF 89 10
1998 5 Glenn Seton Racing Australia Glenn Seton Ford EL Falcon 5 160 3
1999 5 Glenn Seton Racing Australia Glenn Seton Ford EL Falcon 5 161 7
2000 5 Glenn Seton Racing Australia Glenn Seton Ford AU Falcon 13 158 6
2001 00 Gibson Motorsport Australia Craig Lowndes Ford AU Falcon 17 156 12
2002 00 00 Motorsport Australia Craig Lowndes Ford AU Falcon DNF 127 8

* Donates Super Touring race.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Profile at v8supercars.com.au
  2. ^ "Cromley gets hitched"

External links[edit]