In The Passenger Seat: Goodstock Motorsports President John Dennehy
There’s a new motorsport series in town, and they are set to tear up the concrete in August. And whilst they may be bodied to resemble classic NASCAR racers, these cars aren’t them.
Still, they are pedigreed racers nonetheless. A custom tube frame chassis and lightweight composite bodies mean these cars are properly quick, with this simplicity and affordability bringing about epic door-to-door racing.
US Legend Cars promoter Goodstock Motorsports are confident that this is a formula that’d appeal to Singaporeans, which is why they are set to race at Changi Exhibition Centre from the 11th to the 13th of August. We sit down with Goodstock Motorsports’ President Mr John Dennehy to understand a bit more about why they want to bring the series to our shores!
1) What Is Your Name and What Do You Do?
My name is John Dennehy. I live in Australia, and run the Legend Cars series there as well. I am also involved as the president of the Goodstock Festival that is coming up in August in Singapore.
2) Our Readers Are Probably Unfamiliar With Legend Cars. Tell Us a Bit About Its History.
The first Legend Cars were built about 27 years ago in Charlotte, North Carolina, in America. They were originally built for NASCAR drivers to compete in. Throughout the years, the series has grown bigger and bigger, with 7,500 cars having been constructed and racing in nearly 30 different countries around the world. They are a stepping stone in America into NASCAR.
3) What Are Some of the Headline Figures of the Present Day Legend Cars?
Newer Legend Cars are fitted with a water-cooled 875cc engine from Yamaha. These new cars have 130 bhp, only weigh 490 kilos and have a 6 speed sequential gearbox. They also go from 0-100km/h in about 5 seconds, and have a top speed of about 200 km/h. So they are pretty quick cars. Performance is on par with the older, but heavier, 1250cc air-cooled engines fitted to the older race cars.
It is also worth noting that Legend Cars are relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of motorsports, and are a great step up from go karts without costing an absolute fortune.
4) We Understand That You Will Be Hosting a Race in Singapore in August. Is There Any Reason Why You Chose Singapore?
Mainly due to its location in the region and its demographics. It is easy for drivers from all over the world to come and compete in Singapore. We have positioned it as a pretty high-profile event, especially since that is the time of the year that leads to the build up of the Singapore Formula One race also.
It should give us a lot of traction to attract drivers from all over the world. And this is also only year one of a five year deal, we’d be racing every year for the next five years.
5) How Do You See Legend Cars Stacking Up Against Karts?
It will take a while to build a series in this region. But Legend Cars are a step up from go-karts, and we hope it’d become a stepping stone for other racing series. The Legend Cars are a training ground - these cars are very hard to drive, as they have a very short wheelbase and are very powerful. It teaches the drivers a lot of technical skills.
So I’d say it fits between karts and a higher series. Again, it will take a while for us to get established, but we are really excited because with 7,500 cars all over the world, it is huge everywhere. And we think Asia’s got the capacity to get there as well.
6) Say a Reader Is Interested. How Can He or She Join the Series?
We don’t have a week-to-week series in this region currently. We do have a track in Ipoh where interested parties can come up to for a test. Ultimately, you have to go to Australia and America - those are the real training grounds.
For now, Ipoh is the only place to run these cars locally (in the region), until we can get established and get some more interest in the cars. We’ve run them at Sepang before, but you need more than the 10 or 15 cars or so cars that we ran on such a big track. Hopefully by hosting a high profile race like the upcoming one in Singapore, that we can get people interested. And then as we can build on our numbers, then we can race on different tracks.
7) Finally, Any Word of Advice on How Newcomers Can Make an Impact in the World of Motorsport?
It’s obviously very difficult - so many people want to get to the top level of motorsport! You have to climb the motorsport ladder starting from karts. But the progression into Legend Cars is only local. It is so affordable for drivers to compete even in Australia - it’s cheap to fly there, it is cheap to race there, and you get some great experience.
Ultimately, you just got to keep working hard, and training, and hopefully you get that lucky break and you get to climb that ladder. Start with karts, then climb into Bandoleros, which are a mini version of the Legend Cars, then into Legend Cars, then into other series like NASCAR!
When Can I Catch a Glimpse of the Legend Cars Action?
US Legend Cars will be racing at CEC from the 11th to the 13th of August. There will also be a star-studded roster of celebrity performers on site, promising entertainment on and off the track! Drivers that are scheduled to compete hail from Australia, Japan, China, Malaysia, and we also even have local representation - one of them being Denis Lian, former A1GP driver for Singapore!
You can find out more information about Goodstock Motorsports on their official website!
*Editor's Note: Portions of the interview have been edited for clarity.
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