David McKay

14/5/21  -  26/12/04
By Chris Meaden

 

David McKay, one of Australia's great motor racing pioneers, died of cancer on Boxing Day 2004 aged 83.

David first started his motor sport career in rallying and in 1951 was the NSW Champion Navigator, sitting alongside Peter Antill.

His circuit racing debut was at Bathurst in a MG TC and was fitting that his last race drive was also at Bathurst in 1979, albeit driving a rather standard Volvo 242 GT.

A highlight of his early years was driving an Aston Martin DB3S with Tony Gaze in the 1955 12-hour race around the street circuit at Hyeres, France.

In the late 1950's he established the Scuderia Veloce race team that started a era of professional, commercially backed race teams.  He attracted oil companies such as Shell, Castrol and Ampol as well as the Victa motor  mower company!  

David won the very first Australian Touring Car Championship in 1960 at
Orange,driving a 3.4 Jaguar Mk I.  He took out the 1963 NSW Road Racing
Championship at Catalina Park, Katoomba.

During the 1960's David eased himself out of serious driving duties as his Scuderia Veloce team employed drivers such as Spencer Martin, Bill Brown, Greg Cusack, Leo Geoghegan, Ian "Pete" Geoghegan and Norm Beechey.

Scuderia Veloce also provided cars for guest international drivers such as Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Derek Bell and Chris Amon.  These appearances is mostly revolved around the famed Tasman Series.

David had a good relationship with Ferrari and ran a LM250, P4 and also a couple of factory 246T Dinos.

He was  instrumental in introducing Holden to its first serious attempt at Series Production racing.  At Bathurst in 1968 he ran the Holden Dealer's Racing Team Monaros and also a works backed attempt at the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon with three Monaros, sponsored by the Sydney's Daily Telegraph.  David spent may years as the motoring editor for the newspaper.

Scuderia Veloce activities wound down after the 1969 Tasman Series, with the advent of F5000, a formula that David did not really approve of.  David returned to race driving and wheeled  Falcon GTHO's in the Bathurst 500, including the Finnie Ford Phase 3 in 1971.

David_McKay_Dulux_Rally_Cologne_Capri_Warragul_1972.jpg (51130 bytes)David competed in the 1971 and 1972 Dulux Rallies, these being a combination of rally, circuit racing and hillclimb.
For the 1972 Dulux Rally, Ford Australia Managing Director, Bill Bourke, organised a loan of a "Cologne" Capri that had been run in rallies by Ford France.

David then slipped from the limelight until his final low-key Bathurst appearance in 1979.

David was still very much a part of the racing scene and helped the careers of many drivers, including Larry Perkins.  He grew the Scuderia Veloce Motors dealerships before selling up in the mid 1980's and retiring from business. He moved to Europe for a while before returning to Australia in 1993.

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