4 April 2023 | General

Throwback Bathurst livery, connections for West / D’Alberto HSV

DUANE WEST and Tony D’Alberto will return to the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour this year – and their HSV GTS will sport a new livery with a special and very personal Bathurst connection. 

The stunning Gold hues of West’s Class X contender are a tribute to the Holden Torana GTR XU-1 raced by his father, Neil, in the 1974 Bathurst 1000.

Sharing the car with co-driver Peter Harding, the Torana qualified 22nd for the Great Race that year and finished a solid 21st, having completed 138 laps.

West contested a pair of Bathurst 1000s, also tackling the 1975 race with Ian Wells in a tiny Honda Civic, finishing 29th outright and 8th in Class A, for cars with a capacity of under 1300cc.

49 years later, Neil’s son will tackle a Bathurst enduro sporting a tribute livery to the 1974 campaign.

“Dad has been involved in racing for a chunk of his life. He raced in the 1970s and as I grew up prepped HQs and AUSCARS and all sorts of stuff,” Duane West explained.

“I spent a lot of time with him growing up around racing. He raced a bit but not for a long time and spent much of his time preparing cars for other people.

“He’s retired now and works on our current car, which he loves, so it’s great to be able to run this special livery as a tribute to the time he did take on the Mountain, in a Holden.”

Pairing with Supercheap Auto TCR Australia champion D’Alberto, West made his Bathurst debut in the 2022 6 Hour aboard the big HSV – tacking on the host of dominant BMWs in Class X for Ultimate Performance vehicles.

West qualified the car 21st and the pair had a solid day to finish 13th outright and 7th in class last year – and the first Holden / HSV home.

A year’s worth of experience and a test at Bathurst last year has West in a positive mindset approaching his Bathurst return.

“We did some testing at (Challenge) Bathurst and got more pace out of the car,” he explained.

“Last year was my first year there so I’ve got a little more confidence at the place now and I hope that helps.

“Tony (D’Alberto) has been around a long time, he knows what to do and what to say and he’s great to work with – he’s got his head screwed on the right way and it makes a big difference.

“He’s really good at giving me time to learn the car and the track and this year, with no TCR commitments, hopefully he has more seat time to work on the car even more.

“It’s a nice link, too, because Dad drove for Honda at Bathurst so the fact a current factory Honda driver is racing with me is a nice little bit of history for us.”

The West / D’Alberto HSV will be the lone hand against another horde of BMWs in this year’s outright class.

Action at the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour commences this Friday with practice, with Saturday and Sunday’s action to be streamed live on Stan Sport – with additional Saturday coverage on the Nine Network.