Gerard Gotch started out as an accomplished Rally Cross driver in his renowned Fiat 850 at Catalina Park, through this he was asked to be part of the service crew and team member for Ross and Graham Smith of Fiatorque, who were at the time asked to prepare and run the ex works Fiat Abarth 131 for Greg Carr. Gerry was part of Greg’s ‘Italian affair ‘ once quoted, which claimed Gregs ARC championship in the Alfa and the Lancia Delta. Gerry also competed in the late 80’s in selected NSW championship events in the ex Wayne Bell driven Fiat 131 super Bravia. Gerry purchased the car from Caroline O’Shannassy and owned it for a number of years
Leigh says, “I have been extremely lucky in the past years in having had the privilege of some best of the best navigators . Such as John McCarthy, and the legend Freddie Gocentas. For this years Alpine we have secured the services of one of the best in the business David Green. I have been lucky enough to call Dave a close friend. He sat in with me in my first ARC and competed with me for years. Dave was a works Co driver and having WRC experience for Michael Guest back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Having factory backing from Subaru and Hyundai and competing for Hyundai on selected overseas WRC events”.
For Leigh the Abarth has always been a dream car. I can remember as a young kid seeing it at the work shop in Granville Sydney just being in awe of it.
I’ve always wanted to do a replica of ‘Greg’s’, as he has always been my biggest idol and I have the best memories as a young kid spectating.
The car was bought out of Belgium 5 years ago. Extensive help from Rally Sport Development in the UK. Parts purchased are made from genuine Group 4 castings. The car is left hand drive. The original turrets have been replaced as they were back in the day with turrets to give more suspension travel
- Fiat 2 litre
- 16 valve Lancia head
- Full independent rear suspension
- Fiat 5 speed box
- Dry sump
- 48mm Webber’s
For us it’s literally taken years to get to this point and we wanted to get the small details on point. I kept it quiet from dad that it was my intention to get him back in the drivers seat for the Alpine until recently. He’s been a part of a few over the years and now it’s his time to have some fun and enjoyment and hopefully the spectators will too.