Well-known Shoalhaven motorsport trio Noel Kennedy, Al Spencer and Peter Flanagan are taking part in the 50th anniversary recreation of the London to Sydney Marathon.
The trio will be driving Noel’s Ford Falcon GT1.
They left Thursday for Wangaratta to recreate the final leg of the famous 1968 marathon which will finish in Warwick Farm on Monday.
The competitors will leave Victoria, travel up through the Snowy Mountains and onto a finish at Hindmarsh Station near Braidwood.
From there they will continue along Main Road 92 or as it was back in 1968, Nerriga Road, which was the scene of leader, Belgium superstar, Lucien Bianchi and co-driver Jean-Claude Ogier’s crash in their Citroen DS21 with a spectator car, which finished their race.
The local trio will be part of 22 cars taking part in the event including six of the original 1968 marathon cars.
“We did the 40th Marathon anniversary 10 years ago,” Noel said.
“We are driving the original marathon route where possible before arriving in Nowra on Sunday night and then finishing at Warwick Farm.
“It’s great we have a few more original marathon cars this time.”
“The 40th anniversary event was fantastic,” Peter said.
“We loved it and when we heard there was going to be a 50th celebration we just had to be part of it.
“Barry Ferguson and Dave Johnson, who drove one of the sponsored Holden Monaros in the original event, were part of the 40th anniversary event and that was incredible.
“Every night they would sit around and recollect about things that went on during the ’68 race. It was outstanding. To hear about things was so much better than reading about it.”
Noel and Peter have taken part in a number of rallies, including Camp Quality, Variety and Beyond Blue events.
“We’ve both been around for a little while,” Peter said.
“I’ve always been involved in rallying and love the historic events. They just seem to have a far better following and social side.
“And, of course, as you get older anything with a social side is good. We are not so much worried about the competition side of things.”
He said the GT1 would certainly be up for the rigours of the event, especially on some of the off-road, off the beaten track sections.
“Noel has spent many years getting the car right,” he said.
“It is purpose built and although it looks pretty it is well designed and will handle what we dish out to it.
“We know a lot of locals are heading out to Hindmarsh Station for the finish there and it will be great to catch up with them.”
One of the original cars taking part in the event also has a Shoalhaven link, with car 76 the Holden Monaro of Barry Ferguson and Dave Johnson owned by Shoalhaven local Steve Byrne.
A number of the cars in the anniversary run will be on display on Sunday afternoon at the Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen’s Sports Club at Worrigee from around 5.30pm.
As well as the 1968 race, London to Sydney Marathon events have also been staged in 1977, 1993, 2000, 2004 and 2014.