The Rover Vitesse was never commercially imported to Australia, however there is an Antipodean connection.
Australian Racing History
1984 James Hardie Bathurst 1000 Race
In 1984, two Rover Vitesse were imported to compete in the James Hardie Bathurst 1000 Race, under the Group A Category. The race was held on 30 September 1984. Car 61 was campaigned by Jeff Allam and Armin Hahne; Car 60 was campaigned by Steve Soper and Ron Dickson.
The Rover Vitesse of Allum/Harne took out 1st Place in Group A. This car, chassis no. TWR 004, was built in 1983 by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, and was originally a Trimoco car. After the Bathurst win, it was shipped back to the United Kingdom and was raced until 1988. It is believed that the car was written off in Belgium after a major shunt in the 1988 season.
The Soper/Dickson Rover Vitesse, chassis no. TWR 011, finished in 8th Place in Group A. It was a brand new car, built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing in 1984. After Bathurst, it raced in New Zealand in 1985.
Source: Rover SD1 Club (United Kingdom); Rover Owners Club NSW & ACT Freewheeling Magazine; ten-tenths.com Forum; JRA Limited.
• Click on to the thumbnail images below, to view larger on screen photos of the winning car.
• Above: 1984 James Hardie 1000 Bathurst, JRA slide show publicity photos for Rover Vitesse car numbers 60 & 61. Source: JRA Limited.
Reproduced with permission.
Bathurst 1984 | British Conquer Bathurst book article
With acknowledgement to the publisher, Garry Sparkes & Associates, November 1984
ISBN 0 908081 10 3
• Download | British Conquer Bathurst 1984 PDF
Freewheeling, the magazine of the Rover Owners Club NSW & ACT, published an article covering the Rover Vitesse James Hardie 1000 Bathurst Group A win.
• Click to read the article:
Rover Vitesse 1984 Bathurst Group A Win Magazine Article PDF
With acknowledgement to the Rover Owners Club NSW & ACT and article author Tony Cope.
Further information and images of the 1984 James Hardie Bathurst 1000 Race can be viewed on the following Links:
1984 James Hardie 1000 | 1984 James Hardie 1000 Wikipedia Page
Race honours for Rover | October 1984
• Diners Club Signature Magazine article outlining racing success, including the 1984 Bathurst race.
With acknowledgement to Diners Club Signature magazine.
• Click here to read the article | Race honours for Rover PDF
1985 Touring Car Championship | Round Four | Wanneroo Park, Western Australia
Above: Tim Slako’s ex-Andy Rouse Rover Vitesse finished fifth at Wanneroo Park.
Photo with acknowledgement to Australian Motor Year Book, 1985/86.
1985 James Hardie 1000 Bathurst Race
Two Rover Vitesse competed in the 1985 Bathurst race. Car 11 was entered by Tim Slako. The drivers were Tim Slako and Geoff Leeds, finishing in 11th place.
Car 16 was entered by Flexible Hoses Limited. The drivers were Barry Robinson and Jon Jeffry. Car 16 recorded a DNF, retiring with engine problems.
1986 James Hardie 1000 Bathurst Race
Car 96, a Rover Vitesse, competed in the 1986 Bathurst race, entered by Tim Slako. The drivers were Tim Slako and Geoff Leeds. This was the same car which competed in the 1985 Bathurst 1000 as Car 11. Unfortunately the car recorded a DNF, retiring with overheating.
With acknowledgement to ten-tenths.com Forum for sourcing the 1985 & 1986 photos.
Other Rover Vitesse in Australia
A small number of privately imported Rover Vitesse are known to be in Australia.
With acknowledgement to the Western Australian Rover Owners Club for the W.A. image.
1983 Rover Vitesse
Undergoing restoration in Victoria during 2011:
Restoration nearly complete, December 2011: