The Queensland Gemini Series is one of the most competitive and value for money forms of motor sport in Australia today. Geminis, in over 30 years of competition have started the careers of many championship winning drivers including Tony Longhurst, Paul Morris, Kevin Heffernan and Wayne Wakefield, and have thrilled the crowds where ever they race, with side by side racing and daring overtaking moves.
Why drive in the Gemini class? For many drivers it is an excellent starting point to a career in motorsport, while for others it is a chance for them to fufill dreams of racing and following the steps of their childhood heros.
Who drives in the series? Well anyone can, men and women of all ages race, and drivers come from many and varied backgrounds.
The Gemini series was born out of the need for a cost effective form of motorsport to cater for up and coming drivers. Grahame Ward, a motorsport jouranlist and Barry Nixon-Smith, a well known racing car driver, got together with south-east Queensland Holden dealers to provide 12 cars for a series of races supporting the 1975 Australian Grand Prix. Held on the old Surfers Paradise circuit, the three races with Grand Prix drivers driving the cars, were an outstanding success, with eventual main event winner Max Stewart taking the victory over Kevin Bartlett in wet conditions.
Despite the success, the cars were sold off to Melbourne where the series took off. It was not until 1979 that the need for something new to increase interest in motorsport in Queensland, as competitor numbers had dwindled to an all time low. So it was decided that the first race for the Queensland Gemini Series would be held at Lakeside in March 1980. 13 cars started that race, and the fastest lap time was a 1 minute 13.1 seconds.
This compares very favourably with the fast cars of today only just creeping into the high 1 minute 6 second range. The rules over the time of 30 years have changed very little, the time gain is only due to improvements in the track, improvements in tyres, driver skills and set-up knowledge of the cars. Also, with 20 years of competition it is one of the longest running single make classes of motorsport anywhere in the world.
In 1986 the QGRA (Queensland Gemini Racing Association) started promoting its own race meetings. 1998 was a big year for the QGRA with the reintroduction of endurance racing to Queensland with the first of the Castol 2 Hour relay race for Geminis and HQ Holdens. Also the Geminis visited two different race tracks in the one season for the first time since the demise of Surfers Paradise in the late 1980s, with two very successful meetings at the Morgan Park circuit just outside of Warwick.
The series now competes at Morgan Park, Lakeside Park, Queensland Raceway,and Bathurst, with the cars also able to compete in sprints, hillclimbs and more.