Wagga Wagga
, Australia

Ph Craig -0412 694408
Ph Denis
- 02 69212262
International +61 2 69212262
Contact us by email

 

Denis O'Brien
With over 45 years of racing experience Denis has done it all. From dirt track racing early model Holden’s in the 1960’s, EH Holden’s in the 1960’s into the 70’s then Ford Mustang’s into the 80’s with some successful Ski Racing and circuit boat racing along the way as well as being one of the main players in designing and building Wagga International Speedway.

Denis has run his family business O’Brien’s Diesel Engineering since he was in his early 20’s. This successful business has allowed Denis to follow his racing passion through the years. It started with early model Holden’s at the Hume weir and Winton raceway, followed by EH Holden’s. In 1971 a GTHO Phase III was built to win and held lap records around the country, it was raced until the early 1970’s.

1980’s saw the start of the Appendix J category (now know as Group N) when Denis started to build Ford Mustangs. With a lot of good friends and many hours several mustangs were built at the Diesel shop, took race wins and were sold to fund bigger and better projects. Denis then went on to race asphalt speedway in an XA Coupe fuel injected Cleveland.

The grandfather of all cars the Homan & Moody Ford factory Galaxy was purchased and taken to race victory at Sandown. The historic race committee although could not class the car as illegal told Denis he had his fun and not to bring it back. The big block 427 high riser bringing to much muscle to the category. The Galaxy has now been restored to its original racing form and is displayed at Historic race meeting such as Muscle Car Masters.

Boat racing is another forte of Denis’s, he raced circuit racing on and off from 1964 through until 1995. A Lewis timber hull with a 327 Chevrolet corvette engine then an Evringham raced in 6 Litre. Later a supercharged big block chevy was built and raced in unlimited displacement. Denis built and maintained all his own engines in both circuit and ski racing.

In the early 1990’s Denis along with some business associates set out to build Wagga International Raceway. The speedway hosted national and international titles. There were American v Australian Sprint car titles drawing crowds from all over. He found time amongst running the speedway to build a very competitive VN Holden modified car. The car was raced by Paul McCarthy and was always at the front of the field creating lap records and race wins.

Denis took a break from racing to chase his 2 daughters Shannon and Kristy around the country side with their horses. They compete in 3 Day Eventing the Olympic discipline encompassing Dressage, Showjumping and Eventing. Now the girls are older its back to racing.

VRS is currently building a 64 Mustang and a 69 Mustang for Denis to race. These cars will be a showcase of what VRS has to offer.

Craig Smith
Craig's back ground from the early to mid 1990's has been as a mechanic, working on historic race car engines and speedway engines ranging from 289w, 302w, 351w and 202 Holden engines.

In early 2001 I left Wagga to work for Garry Rogers Motorsport in V8 supercars in Melbourne. I started as a number 2 mechanic for a year on Garth Tander's #34 Valvoline commodore, in which the following year I became number 1/head mechanic on that car till the end of 2004 when GT left for HSVDT and beyond.

At GRM I was responsible for the build and preparation of not only the basic barred out chassis to a turn key race car, but I was also involved in the build of the all concurring 427 and 05 Bathurst 24 hour Monaro's. This including the workshop maintenance and prep and the running of the cars at each race meeting. During the race meetings, both V8 supercar and Monaro I was a wheel changer, including being responsible for maintenance and preparation of the race cars.

 

In 2005 Craig left GRM and went to Walkinshaw Racing or Holden Motorsport as it was called then. In that year Craig was in the engine shop building engines for both HRT and HSVDT cars. In 2005 Craig was involved in the Mark Skaife/Todd Kelly 2005 Bathurst 1000 win.

During 2006 and 2007Craig was HSV Dealer Team's main engine builder and race track support, in that role Craig was responsible for engine building and preparation at the workshop, clutch building, engine support and tuning at the race track. During the races Craig was the air jack/lift line operator. In those two years we won both the drivers championship and the team's championship, finished 2nd at the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 going back to back championships.

 

In 2008 Craig was part time at HSVDT and had relocated back to Wagga for family reasons. In that year Denis and Craig began Vintage Racing Services.

We have also had great success in NC historic categories, winning both races and championships along the way. Craig and Denis have extensive experience in chassis preparation and engineering, engine assembly and development, making there experience well rounded.

There results speak for themselves...

 

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