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Home  /  May 2022  /  Comment

When you’re looking for a winner, go to the pollster with skin in the game.

In Saturday’s federal election, all the Australian bookies tell us it’s no 2005 Recaredo Reserva Particular ($230) for ScoMo but a shoey full for Albo.

For the more adventurous, Ladbrokes is offering 200 to 1 on any other party. Have a look at the Great Australian Party, the Animal Justice Party and the Local Party (we’ve had a few of them). And Sportsbet is offering 500 to 1 for anyone in a car in Spain other than in the top six.

Earlier this week Motorsport Australia decided to put Targa-style tarmac rally events on hold. The decision follows the death of a competitor during last month’s Targa Tasmania and the cancellation of the competition section of the rally two days into the event.

“The Motorsport Australia board has also determined a Targa review panel will be appointed to investigate the latest incident and make further recommendations on the future of Targa-style tarmac rallies. The review panel will be chaired by Garry Connelly, while Matthew Selley and Neal Bates will also be members,” Motorsport Australia CEO Eugene Arocca said.

While drivers have made submissions and a few have been included in consultations into rally safety and organisation, there has not been a formal body to represent the majority views of competition drivers. This week, a group of experienced competitors announced the formation of The Tarmac Rally Competitors Association of Australia (TRCAA) to represent the interests of drivers, co-drivers and navigators.

TRCAA’s Mark Clair said that, given the challenges, competitors needed to present a united front and provide constructive input into the sport. Mark’s been racing for over 40 years and owns Flameout, a company that markets automatic fire suppression systems for motorsport.

“Competitors have been a bit of a voice in the wilderness, with many of us often feeling that nobody is listening to our concerns. The formation of TRCAA is the opportunity for competitors to help change that and help the sport,” Mark said.

“The association will advocate for tarmac rally competitors as a whole, sharing their perspectives and insights with regulators and event organisers. It will operate as an independent, impartial body with no specific allegiance to any regulator or event provider.”

The inaugural steering committee consists of 10 competitors, each with deep experience across a range of categories, matched with an equally impressive range of business experience.

“TRCAA will initially offer gold foundation memberships to drivers, co-drivers and navigators who have competed in at least one time-based category in a special stage Tarmac Rally in Australia within the last four years,” said Mark.

I might be biased but at $50 I’d buy two or three (see link below).

Of course, you expected us to write on the sale of a picture of Norma Jeane Mortenson (aka Marilyn Monroe), 96, of Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary by Andrew Warhol Jr, 94, of St John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Bethel Park, for $280m.

Andy got his start silk screening Campbell Soup cans, which now sell for $30m. You can buy your own Campbell’s soup can for $3.50 (thereby saving over $29m) at Woolies.

It’s Andy the petrol head we’re interested about today.

There is this French dude called (of course) Hervé Poulain. Herve tells me he is still alive and he must be at least 300 years old. But when he was younger and a race driver, author, art fanatic and auctioneer, he thought (in French): “Why not get great artists to paint pictures on cars and for free and I’ll drive them in the Le Mans 24 Hours race?”

So, in 1975 he got brush person Alex Calder to spray a BMW 3.0 CSL. Herve punted it around the track but, seven hours in, the prop shaft gave up and so did Herve.

Anyway, BMW knew it was on a winner and had 18 other artists paint Beemers. Andy was fourth on the tools and got given an M1. It has to be said that young Andy was pretty quick with a brush. BMW flew him first class on the eight-hour trip from New York to Munich, put him up in a ritzy hotel for a week and gave him some walking around money.

So, on the first day, out he goes to the factory, spreads 6kg of paint on the Beemer in just 28 minutes then he’s out the door. But it must have been fast paint because Herve and his pals came in sixth at Le Mans in 1979 ahead of a lot of factory Porkers and Feezers. Andy told reporters: “I love this car. It’s more successful than the artwork.”

If you’ve been waiting for your walking around money from the Toyota class action, we have good news for you. You’ll remember because of faulty diesel particulate filters in Hiluxes, Fortuners and Prados, our favourite legal motoring writer, The Hon Michael Bryan Joshua Lee, found the value of those cars was reduced by 17.5 per cent on the average retail price and the average owner should get close to $20k.

First, let’s revisit the case using Justice Lee’s own words: “If there was ever a case demonstrating unnecessary and bewildering complication in the law, it is this one. On one level, it is difficult to imagine a simpler dispute.

“Picture the familiar scene: a man goes into a car showroom and buys a car. He haggles and settles upon one he likes. He is happy with the look of it, and he is told it is a very good car. He hands over his money and contentedly drives out of the dealership. In his excitement, he is more interested in breathing in the ambrosial new car smell than reflecting on the reality that, as soon as he drove out of the dealership, the market value of the car had diminished.”

Anyway, a couple of days ago the Federal Court made orders that should see hundreds of thousands of owners get close to $20,000. But you will have to register. In June you will be sent a notice by the Federal Court that will explain how you can register to receive any money to which you are entitled.

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