Lowndes Bathurst winner finds new home

Thursday 24th November, 2016

5:00pm

Author: Stefan Bartholomaeus ©

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One of the most historically significant Supercars from the modern era has found a new home on the Gold Coast.

The Red Bull Holden that Craig Lowndes took to his 100th career race win at Hidden Valley in 2015 and his sixth Bathurst 1000 crown later that year has been bought by Scott Taylor.

Sitting as a spare at Triple Eight this year after winning a total of 11 races in Lowndes’ hands from 2013-2015, the car was recently delivered to Taylor’s stunning 1,850sqm workshop.

While Taylor has raced in a number of categories in recent years, including Australian GT, the self-made millionaire says the Supercar has been bought as a display piece.

Taylor’s collection consists mainly of his own race cars and road vehicles that he aspired to own as a child, but a failed bid to buy a Red Bull F1 car saw his attention turn to securing the Commodore.

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“I went to the UK last year to buy one of Mark Webber’s Red Bull Formula 1 cars,” Taylor explained to Speedcafe.com.

“The guy basically dudded me on the deal and it never went through, but from that point I had in my head that I wanted a Red Bull car.

“I was in Darwin when Craig drove this car to his 100th win and as soon as he crossed the line I said to Roland (Dane, Red Bull team owner) that I wanted to buy that car.

“He initially said no, but he rang me up earlier this year when he knew that it was going to become available and I bought it.

“Roland wants me to race it so I can buy parts off him, but it’s just for display, I won’t be racing it.

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“It wasn’t cheap, but race cars aren’t cheap and I think it’s a really cool car to have in the collection.”

Taylor has spent the majority of his life buying cars having made his fortune with fleet leasing company FleetPlus.

A high school dropout at just 14, Taylor initially worked as a motorcycle mechanic before beginning his meteoric rise in the business world.

According to Taylor, FleetPlus was buying $30 million worth of cars a month before he sold the business in 2014 for “a few hundred million”.

“My father passed away when I was nine and I had a whole lot of energy that I needed to do something with,” Taylor explained.

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“It was in sport originally but eventually it turned to business, firstly helping build two finance companies as start-ups, but without equity.

“By my mid-30s I thought that I had enough skill to start my own company and, while the banks would have laughed at me, I was able to borrow $35 million from some people who had observed my earlier work.

“That was the start of FleetPlus, with which we were basically able to beat the others at their own game, which back then were finance companies owned by the banks.

“We just worked harder than everyone else and became the largest privately own motor vehicle finance company in Australia and New Zealand.

“When I turned 50 my wife and I decided that I didn’t need to work anymore, so I did a management buy-out and then went to the market place.

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“We sold it for a few hundred million, handed over the keys and that was it.

“Some people have remorse when they sell their baby like that, but I don’t have that at all because I’ve gone on to put a lot of energy into motorsport.

“I still can’t equate a lot of what goes on in motorsport into a business philosophy in terms of why people make the decisions they do, but it’s a whole lot of fun.”

Dabbling in motorcycle racing and, briefly, speedway in his younger years, Taylor built a Bob Jane replica Holden Torana A9X to drive in local sedan competition 10 years ago.

His retirement from business eventually triggered the build of the multi-million Scott Taylor Motorsport workshop and a foray into various categories, including NZV8s, Aussie Racing Cars, Carrera Cup and GTs.

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STM fielded Aaron Seton to the Class B title in last year’s GT3 Cup Challenge after the young driver’s father, Glenn, had earlier helped Taylor sort handling issues with the Torana.

Although preparing to launch an outright assault on next year’s Bathurst 12 Hour led by star driver Shane van Gisbergen, Taylor says that STM will for now remain largely focussed around his own racing.

“I get a lot of phone calls looking for help, but I’m not here to hand cheques out to take people racing,” he said.

“I’m 53, so there will come a time when I do become the team owner and just watch my cars go around, but I’ve got a couple of years left where I can compete.

“It’ll morph into something else eventually because you don’t build something like this and close it when I stop racing, but for 2017 STM’s focus will be on our GT program.”

STM’s workshop will host a James Bond themed launch function early next month, with 250 special guests expected to attend.

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