V8 SUPERCAR driver Craig Lowndes has travelled across the snow-capped French Alps on his way to co-drive a Derrinallum-owned FX Holden in the Monte Carlo Historic Rally.
Lowndes arrived in Prague on Monday, heading to meet up with the rest of the team involved with the 1951 Holden in its support vehicle, a Commodore SV Sportswagon provided by Warrnambool’s Callaghan Motors.
Lowndes will be joined in the FX by co-drivers Richard Davison and Derrinallum motoring enthusiast Gary Poole, who restored the vehicle.
The trio will join 300 other classic cars and drivers competing in the prestigious Monte Carlo event. They will re-enact the very first international motor sport activity by an Australian car and team when they contest the rally from January 25 to February 1.
Davison is the son of original driver Lex Davison, and will share duties behind the wheel of the accurate recreation of his father’s original Holden 48-215.
“You can’t underestimate what an amazing effort it was for Lex Davison, Stan Jones and Tony Gaze to take the first-produced Australian car to Monte Carlo in 1953, and run competitively,” Lowndes said before he left Australia.
“I am delighted to be able to honour their achievement and mark the 60th anniversary.”
The Derrinallum car will depart from Glasgow in Scotland where Lowndes will be guest speaker at a gala dinner the night prior to the official start.
Other cars entered in the rally will start from different cities including Copenhagen, Barcelona, Warsaw and Reims before they all meet up in France on January 28.
Tony Gaze, the only surviving member of the original crew, is patron of the 2013 re-enactment, while official support has also come from the member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, the Australian Embassy in Paris and Australia’s Ambassador from Monaco, Catherine Fautrier.