A famous Australian motorsport name will celebrate several milestones at Mount Panorama this weekend, when the father-and-son team of Michael and David Stillwell team up for the Production Sports Cars/GT-1 Australia races supporting the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.
The Stillwell Motor Group, created by Michael’s late father and multiple CAMS Gold Star winner Bib Stillwell, celebrates 70 years in the automotive industry in 2019. Meanwhile, Michael is celebrating 50 years of motorsport participation, and David has accrued 15 years in the sport.
The family connection to motorsport runs deep, with Bib partaking in domestic and international Formula and Sports Car racing through the 1950s and 1960s. He passed on a competitive spirit to Michael, who competed in Formula and Touring car racing during the 1970s, highlighted by a finish of second place overall in the 1972 Australian Touring Car Championship driving a Ford Escort.
Michael’s son David started racing in 2004, driving in the Victorian BMW E30 Series and has raced other categories including MINI Challenge.
Michael’s brothers Chris and Nick have both also been fierce competitors on circuit; Nick in Group N Historic racing and MINI Challenge, while Chris is an avid collector, restorer and racer of Group A Ford Sierra Cosworths. Chris was also recently appointed Chairman of Tickford and Tickford Racing.
A belated birthday present from the Bathurst 12 Hour was presented to Michael today; his new helmet sports a retro paint scheme inspired by Ford’s GT40 and Mustang FR500C race cars. David’s helmet has also received the professional treatment from John Kral of Kral’s Creations, with the design kept secret until Michael arrived at the Mount Panorama circuit this afternoon.
Having competed in the first 3 events of the 2018 CUE Enduro Super Series, the season for the Stillwell Family Racing Mustang was truncated by engine failure during testing in October prior to the final round. With the engine apart, and an appetite for more performance, the rebuild program commenced; involving the highly credentialed team from Alan Heaphy’s PPE (nee TMR Australia), and Mick Webb’s SVO Motorsport. Mick was himself involved with the Stillwell Group in his early years, having known the family since the 1960s.
Following cylinder head, camshaft, intake and fuel system upgrades, the resulting dyno tuning session saw a significantly higher engine output, netting over 500 horsepower at the engine. David was coy about the final power output, wanting to keep the other Sports Car competitors on their toes before the Stillwell Family Racing machine takes to the track for practice on Friday.
“Let’s just say my smile is a lot wider since the MPC Auto Speed team tole me the power outputs!” David said.
“It’s great to be back at Mount Panorama with 12 months of development in the powertrain and chassis under our belts, and a lot more ponies under the hood. Both Michael and I are hoping for a successful Class B performance in the pair of one-hour races this weekend.”
The Production Sports Cars category includes cars competing in both Round 2 of the 2019 CUE Enduro Super Series and Round 1 of GT-1 Australia. The Production Sports 2B & 2F Cars, FIA GT3, GT4 and invited vehicles are an exciting part of the support roster for the 2019 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour, with coverage available via the event website at www.bathurst6hour.com.au