The Kiwi was big news in the mid-1980s when he was uncatchable in New Zealand and Australia in a Volvo 240T, and he consistently wiped up the Jaguars, Falcons and Commodores of the day to win the 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship.
Now another Kiwi seems set to repeat that performance: Scott McLaughlin drove a Volvo S60 to victory in the recent V8 Supercar race at Barbagallo Raceway, giving the Swedish brand its first championship win in 28 years.
The likeable McLaughlin wasn’t even born when Francevic did his giant-killing performance back in the 1980s.
It was his third podium of the season and he also won at the Australian Grand Prix venue in a non-championship round.
“I’m very stoked to have it happen,” he said at Barbagallo.
Could he do it again?
‘Well, we’re not going to go any slower.’
The remaining two races went to Craig Lowndes, who took one in his Red Bull Commodore and the last was snapped up by another young gun, Chaz Mostert, in the Pepsi Falcon.
Despite their speed and thunderous noise, the processional Supercars again failed to generate much excitement. That was left to the Aussie Racing Cars, a swarm of miniature plastic-bodied racing sedans using Yamaha 1200cc motorbike motors.
Most look like mini Falcons, Aurions, Nissans or Holdens, but some have 1930s styling. They’re all similarly powered, superquick and there’s often a pack of 10 or more contesting the same corner.
It was racing at its best. NSW’s Trent Young took all three heats from the 33-strong field, made up mostly of eastern states drivers ” including one Craig Thompson, but not that one ” and a handful of local drivers who had hired the cars.
In the Historic Tourers, Will Colton won two of the heats in his Falcon XY, with Daniel Dragojevich taking the third in a Monaro.
Tony Ricciardello ran away with all the Super GT races in his 6.0litre-powered Alfa and Peter Rullo won the GTS category in his flame-belching Monaro.
The Dunlop Series for emerging SuperV8 drivers was won by Ashley Walsh (Falcon) who placed second in both heats behind Paul Dumbrell in one race and Andre Heimgartner in the other.