05 Sep STILLWELL FAMILY TO MAKE MOBIL 1 APC DEBUT AT SANDOWN
The Stillwell name has a long and storied history in Australian motorsport, and now Michael Stillwell and his son David Stillwell will bring it to the Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars when they make their debut in the category at Sandown Raceway this weekend.
70-something Company Director, Leadership Coach and Business Consultant Michael and 38-year old Automotive Professional, David, will be part of a great round four field of Mobil 1 APC and Monochrome GT4 Australia competitors contesting four x 30-minute races at Sandown across September 8-10.
Michael and David are following in the footsteps of Michael’s father and David’s grandfather, Bib Stillwell, a four-time Gold Star winner.
“My father Bib started racing in the late 1940s amongst contemporaries including Jack Brabham and Lex Davison, both also patriarchs of families with a multi-generational history in Australian and International motorsport,” Michael said.
“Dad went on to win four Australian Gold Stars competing in both Cooper and Brabham Tasman spec racing cars and shared a works Aston Martin with Lex Davison at the Le Mans 24 Hour in the early 1960s.
“As a businessman he supported a number of young drivers in their initial careers including the likes of Richard Knight and Larry Perkins, both of whom won the Australian Formula Ford Championship in the early 1970s.
“After kicking off my own motorsport career in go-karts under dad’s watchful eye and following a year working for the Brabham Racing Organisation in the UK, I was Larry’s teammate in the 1971 Formula Ford series, and I beat him once only in the wet at Amaroo Park!
“I also raced in the Australian Touring Car Championship in a very quick and successful Ford Escort Twin Cam and a number of Bathurst 500s followed along with a number of years with a giant-killing Escort BDA in Sports Sedans through the 1970s.
“After some time away I returned to racing in the early 2000s competing in the BMW Drivers Cup, built a BMW 3.0 CSL Coupe and have competed successfully in Targa Tasmania, Rally Tas and Classic Adelaide tarmac rally events. More recently I have also been a participant in Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge and Production Sports Cars while also working closely with Australian Champion Kevin Bartlett as Driving Standards Observer for Historic Racing including at the Phillip Island Classic.
“David is heavily involved in motorsport as an official and can often be found working in Race Control at numerous events, and also races with me in the Garagistic BMW Drivers Cup and the Victorian State Circuit Racing Series.”
Michael’s experience working with another father and son outfit in production car racing has now led to the Stillwells making their Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars debut.
“I team managed for another father/son team at two previous Bathurst 6 Hour Events and really enjoyed the event and the production car style of racing and was keen to build a car that I could share with David and my brother Chris who also competes regularly in the historic categories. Thus, our entry into APC,” Michael explained.
“We will race at Sandown and also at the events at The Bend and Bathurst International, and we can’t wait to get into it.
“The car has been built by Ryan McLeod’s team at RM Racing Cars who have built a number of the Ford Mustang GTs and Mach 1s competing in the Australian Production Cars. They built two Mach 1s together, the other being Tony Alford’s new car which debuted at the Bathurst 6 Hour earlier this year.
“For us this new car is an exciting addition to our stable, complementing an existing 2007 Mustang GT built by Peter West at TMR Motorsport which we have been racing with great success in the Production Sports Cars in both Victoria and New South Wales for a number of years.”
While both Michael and David are entered in the Mach 1 for Sandown, the initial plan is for Michael to race all four 30-minute races, with David working as data engineer for the entry alongside Peter West, who looks after the car.
“After an initial Friday shakedown at Sandown in early August our Mach 1 successfully participated in a one day event at Phillip Island mid-August where our focus was on car setup and suspension tuning,” Michael said.
“Our focus at the Sandown round will be on consistency and on further fine tuning of the setup, and we will see where we finish up – we don’t have any high expectations at this stage, other than to just enjoy the weekend.
“Sandown is one of our home tracks, and I have plenty of experience racing there on its various configurations in Formula Ford, Escort Twin Cam, Escort BDA Sports Sedan, Australian Formula Two, the BMW Drivers Cup, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge, and more recently our Mustang GT in Production Sports.
“Sandown’s long straights will definitely provide a great opportunity for our Mustang’s 5 Litre Coyote V8 to stretch its legs. The limited testing to date suggests it has quite a sweet handling package as well which will suit Sandown’s mixed layout of fast sweeping corners and tight ones as well.
“As we get ready for the weekend, our thanks goes to Ryan McLeod for overseeing the build, Arch McMurray for building the Coyote Engine and Peter West at TMR for his input into completing the car and looking after it this weekend.”
Round four of the 2023 Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars will be held at Sandown International Raceway as part of the latest Shannons SpeedSeries event across September 8-10, featuring four x 30-minute races alongside Monochrome GT4 Australia.
For further information about Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars and Monochrome GT4 Australia, please contact email@example.com or visit www.ausprodcars.com.au.