A former Benalla racecar driver will compete at the Australian Grand Prix next month.By Monique Freer
Benalla racecar driver Michael Gibson is heading to the big smoke to compete against the best at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix and Phillip Island Classic in March.
Gibson was invited to race the Rennmax Repco Brabham Sportscar at the Grand Prix after winning the Australian Sports 2000 Championship over four rounds late last year.
While he won the Sports 2000 race at the Phillip Island Classic in 2012, it will be Gibson’s first appearance at the Grand Prix.
‘‘It’s one of those things that, as a little boy, you dream about racing at the Grand Prix in front of the world,’’ Gibson said.
‘‘For it to come off would be fantastic.’’
Racing is not just a passion for Gibson; it is in his blood. Part of a third generation of racing enthusiasts, he was born into a family passionate about the sport, and watched his grandfather, father and uncles race from a young age.
At the age of nine Gibson began racing go-karts before progressing to racecars at 18. He currently races with Gibson Racing Team, which he described as ‘‘basically just a family team’’ that has been operating since his father was racing.
Racing in the Rennmax Repco Brabham Sportscar — a model with a Formula One engine, in which motor racing legend Jack Brabham drove — Gibson said he was aiming for a top-10 finish at the Grand Prix.
‘‘We might surprise ourselves and go top five, but I’m looking at top 10 realistically, and to bring the car home in one piece,’’ he said.
Gibson is a mechanical engineer by trade, living and working in Melbourne. But on the weekends he is back in Benalla, where his cars are based, testing cars at Winton.
Competing at both competitions in March also requires significant funds, which is why Gibson Racing Team is hosting a Grand Prix Fundraiser Dinner.
Alongside live entertainment from The Buffalo Theory, there will also be a racing simulator in which you can earn your very own Gibson Racing Team shirt for a gold coin donation. Numbers are limited and bookings close February 15, so book now. The cost for the evening is $80 per person, and the dress code is formal. For further information contact Simon on 0401
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