ABOUT GARRY ROGERS MOTORSPORT
Born in 1945, Garry could not wait until he was 18 years old and obtain his driver’s licence. Unlike today, back in the “olden days” you were unable to race a car until you had been successful in obtaining your driver’s licence.
Garry left school before his 16th birthday securing himself a Motor Mechanics apprenticeship. This was his dream, to work with cars. As an ambitious young fellow desperate to save extra pounds, pence and shillings he soon learnt fixing cars was enjoyable, but selling them was even better especially when it came to making that extra money he wanted so that he could purchase his first race car.
Fifty two years later and not a real lot has changed, he still works hard, but instead of buying race cars he builds them and instead of driving them he searches for the best young talent to drive them for him.
Over his 50 plus years in Motorsport Garry has enjoyed much success including Bathurst wins in both V8 Supercars and back to back 24 hour wins with the Monaro 427 in 2002 and 2003. But, he admits as much as he races to win he gets an enormous amount of pleasure and satisfaction in seeing the young drivers that he has given an opportunity to develop and flourish into the stars of V8 Supercar racing. The latest such talent is Scott McLaughlin who Garry brought into the team as a 19 year old and in only his second year of fulltime V8 Supercar racing has shown exceptional promise. Garry acknowledges this talent, but is just as happy that Scott is a “bloody” good young man that respects those around him and works hard at what he does.
1963 saw Garry buy his first race car a Holden 48/215 (Holden FX) it also marked the start of his relationship with General Motors which continued through the decades as he grew from a weekend racer with a group of mates helping to a fulltime professional operation when V8 Supercars was formed in 1997.
2013 saw Garry make one of the biggest decisions of his racing life. In June of that year he chose to take up an offer from Volvo to lead their return to Australian Motor Racing. This would require his team to continue racing their Holden’s throughout the 2013 season while having 6 months to develop, build and homologate a brand new car ready for the 2014 season.
This decision by Garry proved to be very worthwhile with Scott McLaughlin finishing the 2014 race year with 5 wins (1 at the Grand Prix) and a seasons best 10 pole positions (equalled by Jamie Whincup). The debut race by the Volvo S60 at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide was one of the most memorable moments in V8 Supercar history. In the Saturday afternoon race Scott McLaughlin raced wheel to wheel with the 5 times Series Champion (now 6) Jamie Whincup with Jamie passing Scott with less than half a lap to go, Scott put the now infamous “jandal” down “plucked” the S60 into first and snuck up the inside of Jamie on the very last corner. One of Garry’s proudest ever moments at a race meeting.
We often wonder what keeps people motivated to keep doing something for so long and especially as you turn 70, when a good game of lawn bowls is probably more suitable rather than the cut and thrust of V8 Supercar racing. Garry acknowledges that there is a combination of factors that keep him not only going, but wanting to keep going. He loves Motor racing, he enjoys the interaction with the fans and seeing the excitement and passion in them that sport generates and most of all he truly loves his team. Without the incredible team at his headquarters in Dandenong South he would not even consider going Motor Racing, his greatest satisfaction is seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter when the team is successful and just as much he loves seeing them knuckle down when things aren’t going quite so good.