David Parsons (racing driver)

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Not to be confused with David Parsons, colloquially known as "Trucky", also an Australian racing driver of the period.
David Parsons
Nationality Australia Australian
Born (1959-05-17) 17 May 1959 (age 57)
Devonport, Tasmania
Related to Graham Parsons (father)
ATCC / V8 Supercar
Years active 1982-2000
Teams Cadbury Schweppes Racing
Holden Dealer Team
Perkins Engineering
Glenn Seton Racing
Gibson Motorsport
Challenge Recruitment
Romano Racing
Starts 23
Best finish 7th in 1983 Australian Touring Car Championship
Championship titles
1987
1993
Bathurst 1000
Sandown 500

David John 'Skippy' Parsons (born 17 May 1959 in Devonport, Tasmania[1]), 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 Motorsport.

Career[edit]

Group C[edit]

The son of Tasmanian touring car racer Graham Parsons, David Parsons, a dairy farmer, 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.[2] Embraced as an endurance co-driver by gentleman privateer racer Peter Janson, he showed pace on his way to fourth outright at the 1982 James Hardie 1000, as well as qualifying Janson's Commodore 3rd for the 1983 race.

This, and his performances in his self-funded 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 in the second of the team's new VK Commodore's. 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 go for second place which was held at the time by 1980 Formula One World Champion Alan Jones who was driving Warren Cullen's similar VK Commodore. Parsons responded to the challenge and reduced the gap to the former World Champion from over a minute to under two seconds before Jones was forced to pit with 4 laps remaining for fuel and attention to the cars non-existent rear brakes (unfortunately for Jones, the stop not only saw Parsons go past but also Gregg Hansford in Allan Moffat's Mazda RX-7, dropping the Commodore to 4th place and off the podium).[3]

After finishing 7th in the 1983 ATCC in his own privately entered Holden VH Commodore SS, Parsons drove his 1983 Bathurst Commodore for Peter Janson in the opening two rounds of the 1984 championship at Sandown and Symmons Plains, but Janson did not have the funds to run the full series and these were Parson's only drives in the championship which saw him fall to 17th in the standings.

Group A[edit]

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.[citation needed] The highlight of the year for the Tasmanian dairy farmer was out qualifying team leader Brock at the 1985 James Hardie 1000 (the only time that Brock as the HDT owner was out-qualified by a team mate). 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 with the pair going on to win the Pukekohe 500 a week after Wellington). 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 (WTCC). The trio failed to finish the race.

Heading into the 1987 James Hardie 1000 (which was also a round of the WTCC) the Holden Dealer Team was expected to do little more the make up the numbers against the strength of the factory supported European 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 (Brock had pitted a number of laps early and put Parsons into the car leading to speculation that Brock knew the engine was dying and wanted himself in the pits rather than stranded out on the track, though Parsons did manage to get the heavily smoking #05 back to the pits). First Brock, then Parsons stepped aboard the team's second car, #10 which had been driven to that point of the race by the 1983 Australian Endurance Champion 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 saw the team claw their way past the BMW M3s as they failed, and the Nissan Skyline turbos and into third position behind the flawless 1-2 finish of the Eggenberger Motorsport Ford Sierra RS500s. During his stint at the wheel, Parsons recorded a time of 2:25.37 on lap 129 which was credited as #10's fastest race lap in the 1987 1000 (Brock's fastest recorded time was a 2:25.55 on lap 90 while McLeod had posted a 2:26.58 on lap 58).[4]

After scrutineering at Bathurst in 1987, there had been rumours about the legality of the Eggenberger built Sierra's, specifically to do with oversized wheel arches. On the Thursday before qualifying an official protest was lodged against the Sierra's, which was held over due to the lack of a road going RS500 in Australia to compare them with. Eventually, after nearly four months and an eventual disqualification and later appeal by Eggenberger, the two Sierras were disqualified for having oversize wheel arches allowing them to fit larger wheels, giving McLeod, Brock and Parsons the race win.[5]

Parsons stayed with the team into 1988 as they transitioned from V8 Holden Commodore's to 4 cyl 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 then sitting out 1989 during which time the Brock team also switched to running the RS500 Sierra's, Parsons returned to Brock's team in 1990, teaming with Andrew Miedecke and Charlie O'Brien to finish 11th at the 1990 Tooheys 1000 at Bathurst, 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. The highlight of his time with GSR was winning the 1993 Sandown 500 co-driving a Ford EB Falcon with Geoff Brabham and qualifying in the top ten at the 1991 Tooheys 1000 in a Sierra.

Parsons came close to winning his second Bathurst 1000 in 1995 when team boss and co-driver Glenn Seton led the race with just 10 laps to go. However, a dropped valve in the Barry Seton built Ford V8 saw the Ford EF Falcon retire on lap 152, handing the win to Parsons' former team mate Larry Perkins. The loss was hard to take as the car had led for most of the race and until the engine went sour on lap 151, Seton held a 10-second lead over Perkins. 1995 was also the 30th anniversary of Bo Seton's only win in 1965. Parsons was actually to drive the team's second car with lead driver Alan Jones, while veteran Allan Grice was entered as Seton's co-driver. However, after early practice had seen Parsons lapping quicker than Grice, Glenn Seton made the decision to move Parsons into the lead car with himself while Grice was moved to partner Jones. Ironically, the Jones/Grice car would finish second behind the Commodore of Perkins and Russell Ingall.

V8 Supercars[edit]

From 1998 onwards Parsons was a hired gun, driving for Gibson Motorsport 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.[6]

Career results[edit]

Season Series Position Car Team
1982 Australian Touring Car Championship 12th Holden VC Commodore David Parsons
1982 Australian Endurance Championship 48th Holden VH Commodore SS Cadbury-Schweppes Pty. Ltd.
1983 Australian Touring Car Championship 7th Holden VH Commodore SS David Parsons
1984 Australian Touring Car Championship 17th Holden VH Commodore SS Cadbury Schweppes Racing
1984 Australian Endurance Championship 6th Holden VK Commodore Marlboro Holden Dealer Team
1985 Australian Touring Car Championship 25th Holden VK Commodore Mobil Holden Dealer Team
1986 Australian Endurance Championship 64th Holden VK Commodore SS Group A Enzed Team Perkins
1987 Australian Touring Car Championship 24th Holden VK Commodore SS Group A HDT Racing
1988 Australian Touring Car Championship 14th BMW M3 Mobil 1 Racing
1988 Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship NC BMW M3 Mobil 1 Racing
1990 Australian Endurance Championship 16th Ford Sierra RS500 Mobil 1 Racing
1992 Australian Touring Car Championship 27th Ford Sierra RS500 Peter Jackson Racing
1999 Shell Championship Series 28th Holden VS Commodore
Holden VT Commodore
Owen Parkinson Racing
Gibson Motorsport

Complete Australian 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 DC Points
1982 David Parsons Holden VC Commodore
Holden VH Commodore SS
SAN CAL SYM
5
ORA LAK
4
WAN
Ret
AIR
4
SUR
4
12th 14
1983 David Parsons Holden VH Commodore SS CAL
Ret
SAN
Ret
SYM
4
WAN
5
AIR
Ret
SUR ORA
8
LAK
5
7th 57
1984 Cadbury-Schweppes Racing Holden VH Commodore SS SAN
9
SYM
7
WAN SUR ORA LAK AIR 17th 20
1985 Mobil Holden Dealer Team Holden VK Commodore WIN SAN SYM WAN AIR CAL SUR LAK AMA
6
ORA 25th 13
1987 HDT Racing P/L Holden VK Commodore SS Group A CAL SYM LAK WAN AIR SUR SAN
8
AMA ORA 24th 3
1988 Mobil 1 Racing BMW M3 CAL SYM WIN
6
WAN AIR LAK SAN AMA ORA 14th 6
1992 Peter Jackson Racing Ford Sierra RS500 AMA SAN SYM WIN LAK ECR MAL WAN ORA
14
27th 8
1999 Owen Parkinson Racing
Gibson Motorsport
Holden VS Commodore
Holden VT Commodore
ECR ADE BAR PHI HID SAN QLD CAL SYM
24
WIN
28
ORA QLD
5
BAT
11
28th 446
2000 Romano Racing Holden VS Commodore PHI BAR ADE ECR HID CAN QLD WIN ORA CAL QLD SAN BAT
Ret
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 Australia HDT Racing P/L Holden VL Commodore SS Group A MNZ JAR DIJ NUR SPA
Ret
BNO SIL BAT
ovr:1
cls:1
CLD
ovr:8
cls:4
WEL
ovr:5
cls:4
FJI NC 0

* Despite winning the James Hardie 1000 at Bathurst, Parsons scored no World Championship points as he wasn't a registered WTCC competitor.

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 Australia Mobil 1 Racing BMW M3 BAT
Ret
WEL PUK FJI NC 0

Complete Bathurst 1000 results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1982 Australia Cadbury Schweppes Racing New Zealand Peter Janson Holden VH Commodore SS A 158 4th 4th
1983 Australia Cadbury Schweppes Racing New Zealand Peter Janson Holden VH Commodore SS A 106 DNF DNF
1984 Australia Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Australia John Harvey Holden VK Commodore Group C 161 2nd 2nd
1985 Australia Mobil Holden Dealer Team Australia John Harvey Holden VK Commodore A 96 DNF DNF
1986 Australia Enzed Team Perkins Australia Larry Perkins Holden VK Commodore SS Group A C 140 25th 18th
1987 Australia HDT Racing P/L Australia Peter McLeod
Australia Peter Brock
Australia Jon Crooke
Holden VL Commodore SS Group A 1 158 1st 1st
Australia Peter Brock Holden VL Commodore SS Group A 1 34 DNF DNF
1988 Australia Mobil 1 Racing New Zealand Jim Richards
Australia Neil Crompton
BMW M3 B 68 DNF DNF
1990 Australia Mobil 1 Racing Australia Andrew Miedecke
Australia Charlie O'Brien
Ford Sierra RS500 1 149 11th 11th
1991 Australia Peter Jackson Racing Australia Wayne Park Ford Sierra RS500 1 60 DNF DNF
1992 Australia Peter Jackson Racing Australia Wayne Park Ford Sierra RS500 A 136 8th 7th
1993 Australia Peter Jackson Racing Australia Geoff Brabham Ford EB Falcon A 154 6th 6th
1994 Australia Peter Jackson Racing Australia Alan Jones Ford EB Falcon A 52 DNF DNF
1995 Australia Peter Jackson Racing Australia Glenn Seton Ford EF Falcon 152 DNF DNF
1996 Australia Ford Credit Racing Australia Glenn Seton Ford EF Falcon 152 15th 15th
1997 Australia Ford Credit Racing Australia Glenn Seton Ford EL Falcon L1 121 DNF DNF
1999 Australia Gibson Motorsport Australia David Parsons Holden VT Commodore 159 11th 11th
2000 Australia Romano Racing Australia Paul Romano Holden VS Commodore 23 DNF DNF

Complete Spa 24 Hours results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1987 Australia HDT Racing P/L Australia Peter Brock
New Zealand Neville Crichton
Holden VL Commodore SS Group A Div.3 206 DNF DNF

Complete Sandown Enduro results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1982 Australia Cadbury Schweppes Racing Holden VH Commodore SS D NA DNF DNF
1983 Australia Cadbury Schweppes Racing New Zealand Peter Janson Holden VH Commodore SS Over 3000cc NA DNF DNF
1984 Australia Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Australia John Harvey Holden VK Commodore Over 3000cc 127 3rd 3rd
1985 Australia Mobil Holden Dealer Team Australia John Harvey Holden VK Commodore A 78 DNF DNF
1986 Australia Enzed Team Perkins Australia Larry Perkins Holden VK Commodore SS Group A B 122 14th 14th
1987 Australia HDT Racing P/L Australia Peter Brock Holden VL Commodore SS Group A A 113 DNF DNF
1988 Australia Mobil 1 Racing Australia Peter Brock
New Zealand Jim Richards
BMW M3 B 122 7th 1st
Australia Neil Crompton
Australia Peter Brock
BMW M3 B 58 DNF DNF
1990 Australia Mobil 1 Racing Australia Peter Brock
Australia Andrew Miedecke
Ford Sierra RS500 Div.1 151 4th 4th
1992 Australia Peter Jackson Racing Australia Wayne Park Ford Sierra RS500 3A 82 DNF DNF
1993 Australia Peter Jackson Racing Australia Geoff Brabham Ford EB Falcon V8 161 1st 1st
1994 Australia Peter Jackson Racing Australia Alan Jones Ford EB Falcon V8 147 DNF DNF
1995 Australia Peter Jackson Racing Australia Alan Jones Ford EF Falcon 136 DNF DNF
1996 Australia Ford Credit Racing Australia Glenn Seton Ford EF Falcon 161 2nd 2nd
1997 Australia Ford Credit Racing Australia Glenn Seton Ford EL Falcon 150 11th 11th

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tuckey, Bill, ed. (1987–88). The Great Race. Hornsby: The Berghouse Floyd Tuckey Publishing Group. 7: 277. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "James Hardie 1000 Mount Panorama, Bathurst 30th September, 1984". Unique Cars and Parts. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  4. ^ Tuckey, Bill, ed. (1987–88). The Great Race. Hornsby: The Berghouse Floyd Tuckey Publishing Group. 7: 261. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  5. ^ Tuckey, Bill, ed. (1987–88). The Great Race. Hornsby: The Berghouse Floyd Tuckey Publishing Group. 7: 263–265. ISSN 1031-6124. 
  6. ^ "Tancredi Wins 2008 Commodore Cup Series". Commodore Cup. 2 December 2008. Archived from the original on 30 September 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Allan Grice
Graeme Bailey
Winner of the Bathurst 1000
1987
(with Peter Brock & Peter McLeod)
Succeeded by
Tony Longhurst
Tomas Mezera