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The Visionary

Peter Robinson

TA2 Australia Creator

When Pete Robinson’s father took him to the local speedway in New Zealand on a Saturday night, little did he realise that the aroma of Castrol R in the summer breeze would seep so deep into his veins it would still ignite a passion for the sport some 40 years later that would lead to Peter conceiving what’s now the fastest growing motorsport category in Australia.

Back in the day Pete also watched Jim Richards, Rod Coppins and Allan Moffat race at Bay Park Raceway in their Trans Am cars, he entered the sport initially by fabricating trailers on weekends for speedway cars during the late 70’s and crewing at local speedway events.

After finishing his apprenticeship and trying to carve out a living as a boilermaker, Pete and his wife Moana decided to move to Australia in 1986 and have a serious dig in the land of opportunity - and in 1994 started their own business servicing hydraulic equipment and drill rigs for the mining industry.

Motor sport was put on hold for the next 25 years with the only fix being an all-day lounge in front of the telly every October for the Great Race to cheer on race hero Dick Johnson.

At age 55 with the business now running without his daily input, the addictive blend of Castrol R was still circulating deep in his senses, so in 2013 Pete purchased an Oz Truck and raced for 3 years with the now TA2 Tech Guru Cam Sendall as his crew chief. After showing some potential

Peter flew to the USA in search of a new car and wandered into the Howe Racing Enterprises showroom in Michigan. On the floor was a Gen 5 Camaro built by Chas Howe for Trans Am USA, as a suggested example for Trans Am to roll out as a fully controlled, same specification category option for the TA2 American series.

Despite his lack of serious motorsport involvement to this point, Pete had great foresight and immediately “got the concept” of same spec competition, big bang for buck close racing, on track spares support in cost effective V8 hero cars competing in a family friendly enjoyable racing atmosphere.

So, a deal was done and PBR Distributions was conceived with exclusive rights for Howe/PBR Spec cars and componentry rights granted for Australia and New Zealand. The car turned its first wheels at Queensland Raceway and immediately set off a chain reaction that has resulted in some 100 cars now being delivered and PBR cementing itself as Howe’s largest customer worldwide.

I shared the vision of a same spec, cost effective category when many other Australian categories are pricing themselves out of the financial pool available to ensure sustainability.

The series has given birth to new talent such as third generation racer Aaron Seton, current Trans Am Champ Nathan Herne, TA2 Muscle Car Champ Jett Johnson, son of Steve and Grandson of Dick and we have had drivers from 16 to 76 years of age competing competitively who otherwise may not have had a chance to race a V8 Hero car in an affordable series.

It's a great reward to see young drivers like Nathan and Aaron go on to further their professional careers after starting with the TA2 Family and not forgetting the remarkable friendships made in Australia and around the world with other like minded car racers and team owners of ALL ages.

- Peter Robinson

In 2018 and 2019, PBR Distributions brought two-time USA TA2 champ Gar Robinson to Bathurst to race in the Combined Sedans event as a support to the Bathurst 12 Hour, Gar dominated in 2018 and set a great benchmark for others to catch. Russell Wright and Ashley Jarvis being both Australian TA2 Championship winners were offered as part of their prize-winning package the opportunity to Race in TA2 USA where Russell drove at COTA and Ashley at Daytona Motor Speedway. More recently, Pete organized for Nathan Herne to enter and compete at COTA. All three Champions showed that their time in TA2 Australia has held them in good stead to compete against the world’s best TA2 racers.

Peter saw what many others in the sport failed to see, a need to bring back the cost of motor racing to an acceptable expense with a level playing field and to make racing great again. It’s a testament to Peter and Moana’s foresight and commitment that other categories are now taking notice of the TA2/PBR success story!

My vision is to continue to grow the series at a regional level, as I think the days of long-haul travel to events are limited. This year we have rolled out TA2 into Western Australia and added a northern and southern series for more locally based competition as well as the National series supporting the AMRS.

We want to grow the New Zealand TA2 series with some Trans-Tasman events in both countries and continue to maintain a position in the sport that puts the competitor first with a credible, transparent and professionally run series that offers the best bang for buck overall.