Ecurie Australie, one of the most significant team names in Australian motor sport history, is being revived by members of the Davison family.
Ecurie Australie was first established by Lex Davison in the early 1950’s, and was the team name under which all Lex’s racing cars ran prior to his death at Sandown in 1965. A number of other significant cars were entered under the Ecurie Australie banner in its early days, including the Stan Jones Maybach.
The team continued to grow, and Lex had significant plans to expand the influence of Ecurie Australie after his retirement from racing. He had a ‘youth development plan’ to assist young drivers into the sport, with young sports car driver Rocky Tresize being invited to join the team in 1963 to drive the ex McLaren Tasman Cooper alongside Lex in the Tasman Brabham. Other young drivers selected by Lex to become part of the Ecurie Australie team for the future were Tim Schenken and Brique Reed.
But tragedy struck on the 20th February, 1965, when Lex was killed whilst driving the Brabham in practice at Sandown, and unbelievably Rocky Tresize was also killed at the wheel of the Cooper two weeks later at Longford in an accident that also killed a trackside photographer. Within two tragic weeks, both drivers were dead, both cars were destroyed, and Ecurie Australie was no more.
“Out of respect for all concerned, the name Ecurie Australie was effectively retired from the motor sport scene,” said Chris Davison.
“And even though many of our family has been active in motor sport over the years, we have always felt that this famous team name should remain dormant.”
“But with the tremendous growth and success of historic racing in Australia, and the respect given to the significant cars and names from the past, combined with a number of our family now being active in the historic racing scene, then we thought that now would be a good time to revive this famous team name.”
Chris Davison added: “In the past 24 months, we have lost both my mother Diana and my step father Tony Gaze, and so many memories have been revived whilst sorting through their personal effects. I think that they would both agree that now is a good time to revive Ecurie Australie.”
So after discussions between the family, and also with Tim Schenken and Brique Reed, Chris and Richard Davison have decided to bring this famous team name back into historic racing, and will now enter their cars under the Ecurie Australie banner.
In recent years, Richard Davison has been campaigning his ex Theodore Racing / Alan Jones Lola T332, whilst Chris Davison has made a comeback into historic Formula Ford racing with a three car Reynard team with his daughter Claire and son in law Johnny Grieg. All their cars and racing suits will now carry the unique Ecurie Australie badge that was designed by Lex.