Former Echuca resident Gary Thorn is the newly-crowned Australian Supersprint Champion and Australian Hillclimb Champion.By Kathleen Tonini
Former Echuca resident and self-confessed ‘rev-head’ Gary Thorn stopped by his home town last week.
Mr Thorn is the newly-crowned Australian Supersprint Champion and Australian Hillclimb Champion, taking out the second title last week at Bathurst.
Mr Thorn’s vehicle, a Birkin clubman sportscar, otherwise known as ‘‘my beautiful girl’’, can reach speeds of 220km/h.
The car weighs 580kg and can accelerate faster than a V8 supercar.
Mr Thorn said the car was a replica of a Lotus 7 and had a 2-litre Ford Focus engine.
He bought the kit for the car and put it together himself about four years ago.
He initially built it to take his wife to wineries, but after her first ride his wife declared she never wanted to get in the car again.
So now Mr Thorn races about once a month, mostly in Western Australia, where he has lived for the past 30 years.
He has taken out the Supersprint title once before in 2010, but the Hillclimb was a first.
‘‘It’s good,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s been a big year.’’
Though he lives on the other side of the country, his ties to home are still strong and he has been a regular visitor over the years.
He said racing was not ‘‘for sheep stations’’and there was no prize money involved.
‘‘The social side is absolutely brilliant,’’ he said.
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