- April 08, 1952
- March 05, 1995
- Not Active
Gregg Hansford (1952-1995) was an Australian motorcycle and car racing driver who was active for more than two decades between 1973 and 1995. He lost a life in an accident during the touring car race at Phillip Island in March 1995.
Hansford collected 33 starts and ten wins in the motorcycle Grand Prix races between 1978 and 1981. In races with cars, he was active in the Australian Touring Car Championship and other competitions from 1982. His greatest success was a victory at Bathurst 1000 race in 1993, together with Larry Perkins. He added two more great wins to his CV, at Sandown 500 in 1988 and Bathurst 12 Hour in 1994.
One national title and ten international wins in moto racing
Born in April 1952, Gregory John Hansford started his motorcycle racing career in 1973 with an early success in the 500cc Unlimited Series, winning the Australian championship title. In the following years, he developed a career 'down under', stepping up to the international scene in 1978. Hansford was a pioneer for Australians in the Motorcycle Grand Prix racing, securing a ride with Kawasaki factory team in 1978.
He proved his talent by finishing second in the 250cc World Championship and third in the 350cc championship, with seven wins on his account. He was again second (250cc) and third (350cc) in 1979. In both seasons, the double champion was his Kawasaki teammate from South Africa Kork Ballington.
Hansford slowed down his racing activities in 1980 and retired from moto racing in 1981 after suffering severe injuries in the 1981 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. With ten Grand Prix wins to his credit, Hansford is ranked fourth among Australian Moto GP riders, behind Mick Doohan (54 wins), Casey Stoner (38) and Wayne Gardner (18).
Switching to car racing in 1982
After leaving motorcycle racing, Hansford switched to touring car racing in 1982, joining Allan Moffat Racing to drive a Mazda RX-7. He was connected with the team from 1977 when he planned to race their Ford Falcon at Bathurst 1000 but withdrew due to injuries from motorcycle racing crash.
In 1982, Hansford was driving Moffat's Mazda RX-7 in three rounds of the Australian Endurance Championship, sharing a car with Lucio Cesario. They didn't start at Bathurst 1000 after Cesario's crash during practice.
In 1983, Hansford was driving Mazda both in the Australian Endurance Championship and selected races of the Australian Touring Car Championship. He reached maiden ATCC podium with a third-place finish at Surfers Paradise. At Bathurst 1000, he and Garry Waldon didn't finish the race.
Vice-champion in the 1984 Australian Endurance Championship
Hansford's first touring car win came in August 1984 at Oran Park in the Australian Endurance Championship. In that race, he was sharing a Mazda RX-7 with team boss Allan Moffat.
Later in the season, they finished second at Sandown 500 and third at Bathurst 1000. Moffat captured Australian Endurance Championship title that year, Hansford was second in the points.
Racing with Alfa Romeo in 1985
In 1985, Hansford made a debut at Daytona 24 Hours in a Mazda RX-7, sharing a car with Peter McLeod and Kevin Bartlett. They finished 24th overall and 7th in GTO class.
In 1985, the Australian touring car racing changed from Group C rules to the international Group A rules and Allan Moffat's team didn't compete that season, so Hansford was driving an Alfa Romeo GTV6. He finished 8th overall and first in Class B at Bathurst 1000, sharing a car with Colin Bond.
Joining Dick Johnson Racing in 1986
In 1986, Hansford joined Dick Johnson Racing to drive a Ford Mustang at Bathurst 1000, finishing fourth overall together with Dick Johnson. In the ATCC, Hansford participated in just one race, at Surfers Paradise, driving a BMW 635 CSi.
Hansford stayed with Dick Johnson Racing for the 1987 season, driving a new Ford Sierra RS Cosworth in nine races of the Australian Touring Car Championship. A car was fast but unreliable so Hansford finished just tenth in the final standings. In endurance races, the team was using upgraded Ford Sierra RS500 but without any success.
Rejoining Allan Mofatt's team in 1988
Dumped by Dick Johnson Racing in 1988, Hansford rejoined Allan Moffat to drive a Ford Sierra RS500. The highlight of the season was a victory at Sandown 500 for Hansford and Moffat. At Bathurst 1000, Hansford retired in a car which he was sharing with Klaus Niedzwiedz. In the ATCC, Hansford participated in just one race.
Hansford was driving Ford Sierra RS500 for Allan Mofatt's team until 1992, with one attempt at 1991 Bathurst with Glenn Seton's car, but without notable results. He also joined Mazda Australia at Bathurst 12 Hours, finishing fifth together with John Bowe in a Mazda RX-7.
Two great wins at Mount Panorama in 1993 and 1994
For the 1993 Bathurst 1000, Hansford joined Larry Perkins in his team and they triumphed at Mount Panorama in the #11 Castrol Holden VP Commodore. At Sandown 500, they didn't finish the race. In 1994, Hansford and Perkins finished in the third place both at Bathurst and Sandown.
In that period, Hansford was also a part of Mazda Australia's team at Bathurst 12 Hour race. In 1993, he and Charlie O'Brien finished second and then, in 1994, Hansford won a race together with Neil Crompton in the #7 Mazda RX-7.
Losing a life in a crash at Phillip Island
Hansford also won one race with Mazda in the Australian Super Production Series, in July 1994 at Lakeside Raceway. In 1995, Hansford participated with Castrol Perkins Racing's Holden VP Commodore in the Winfield Triple Challenge at Eastern Creek Raceway, the pre-season meeting of the Australian touring car season.
He was planning to spend a season with Ross Palmer Motorsport in the Australian Super Touring Championship, driving the #77 Ford Mondeo Ghia. Unfortunately, he lost a life in a crash during the season-opening race at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, on March 5, 1995.