Bathurst 1986 - Group A

The only changes for 1986 were the addition of the new high lift cams and a furrther reduction in weight, shaving off another 20kgs.

By this stage the Alfa’swere developing about 260 HP and as the laps times reflected there wasn’t much difference now between Gulson and the works team which was now having to do much more locally as budgets dried up for 1986.

The car also gained, I think, it’s definitive livery, the Dulux Autocolour paint scheme. I think the car looks its best in these colours and certainly it was at the peak of it’s development and performance.

The continued improvements meant the car was now on pretty much equal footing with the works cars. The car qualified with a 2:30.62.

At 12:30, the 3 Alfa’s had set their fastest race laps within a second of each other, Bond a 2:30, Rooklyn and Gulson a 2:31 each.This broke Ray's record of 16 Bathurst race starts andfinishes.

A cracked bell housingon the ever reliable Alfa slowed the team initially for 23mins, and then as it got worse the crew eventually pushed the car up to the TAFE workshop and a fitted clutch from a private Alfa. The car was back on the track, but the race was on to complete enough laps to be classified, with the class leader likely to complete 163 laps, Ray was going to have to complete 123 laps. While he was able to see the race out and takethe chequered flag (and6th in class), he had completed insufficient laps (94) to be classified.

This was the last Bathurst, and after more than 650 race laps there was now the Australian GPin Adelaide, the Pepsi 300 at Oran Park and the 1987 Wellington 500 in New Zealand before retirement.

Gulson B86 C-20.jpg

Above - Gulson and Rooklyn (in the Pye/Toyshop former Bond/Jones car) though Hell corner.

Above - A cracked bell housing, although repaired, ended Rays unbroken run of Bathurst finishes

Scott Farquharson 2014