Bill Fulford – A Race History 1991 to 2007

Bill Fulford – A Race History 1991 to 2007

Bill Fulford 1994
Bill Fulford 1994

Bill Fulford founded the highly successful ‘Lighting Direct’ company in 1974. He said he was ‘a late starter’ in motor racing having his first race in the early 1990s when he became “captured by the bug”.  From his first race to his last, Bill is unique in that he has raced only Porsche cars right up until he stood back from the track around 2007. 

Bill gained enormous pleasure in founding the highly successful ‘Lighting Direct Racing Team’.  The Team comprised three members – Bill himself, Owen Evans and Bill’s son, Dean. They were highly regarded for the standard of preparation of their race cars that in turn gave great reliability and hence, highly consistent results in the many years they competed together on the track. Bill said his relationship with top Porsche driver Owen Evans was ‘the best’ because he always listened and never disagreed with Owen! Bill maintains the same edge in his Lighting Direct retail business today as he did with his cars on the race track.

Evans European Racing Team 1991 – Bill Fulford Porsche Carrera 2.7 - 2nd from right
Evans European Racing Team 1991 – Bill Fulford Porsche Carrera 2.7 - 2nd from right

A very brief outline of some of Bill’s Porsche racing follows.

 

1992

Nissan Mobil 500 Wellington 6 Dec 92. # 14 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2687cc – Bill Fulford/Grant Liston. 7th place 130 of 146 laps.

 

Nissan Mobil 500 Pukekohe 13 Dec 92. Porsche 911 Carrera RS – results not known.

Early colour scheme for the Lighting Direct Racing Team - Owen Evans in the Evans European Lighting Direct Carrera 2.7 – probably Whenuapai 1992 – photo via Owen Evans
Early colour scheme for the Lighting Direct Racing Team - Owen Evans in the Evans European Lighting Direct Carrera 2.7 – probably Whenuapai 1992 – photo via Owen Evans

1993

 

Bill’s team finished first in the Continental Cars Le Mans Relay race held at Pukekohe.

 

Nissan Mobil 500 Wellington 5 Dec 93. 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3600cc  #9 – 3rd place. Bill Fulford/Bill Farmer. 132 of 134 laps. Race won by Owen Evans/Bruno Eichmann

 

Nissan Mobil 300 Pukekohe 12 Dec 93. 1991 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3600cc #9 –Bill Fulford/Bill Farmer – 4th place 100 of 107 laps.

 

The Bill Fulford/Bill Farmer Carrera RS 3.6 took overall 3rd place in the two-race 1993 Nissan Mobil Endurance series behind Evans/Eichmann (911 Carrera RS 3.6) and Arkell/Heffernan (911 Carrera RS 3.6) who were 2nd.

Pukekohe 12 Dec 93 – the successful Lighting Direct Racing Team – photo via Owen Evans
Pukekohe 12 Dec 93 – the successful Lighting Direct Racing Team – photo via Owen Evans

1994

 

Bill’s team finished first in the Continental Cars Le Mans Relay race held at Pukekohe.

 

Porsche cars were not eligible to enter the 1994 Nissan Mobil series for Australian Super Tourers.  However, the Lighting Direct team entered the 1-hour Sports & GT races at both Wellington and Pukekohe. It was a clean sweep for the 3-car Lighting Direct Team with Owen Evans and Ralf Kelleners winning both races from Bill Fulford and Craig Simmiss with Ash Stichbury and Andy McElrea taking 3rd.   Owen and Ralf won the series from Bill and Craig, with Ash and Andy 3rd.

Pukekohe 12 Dec 93 – the successful Lighting Direct Racing Team
Pukekohe 1994 – Rear left – Owen Evans and Ralf Kelleners, Bill Fulford and Craig Simmiss. In front kneeling - Ash Stichbury and Andy McElrea – photo via Owen Evans
Pukekohe 1994 – Round 2 of the GT series supporting the Wellington and Pukekohe Endurance races – Bill Fulford/Craig Simmiss – Porsche RSR 3.8 – photo via Bill Fulford
Pukekohe 1994 – Round 2 of the GT series supporting the Wellington and Pukekohe Endurance races – Bill Fulford/Craig Simmiss – Porsche RSR 3.8 – photo via Bill Fulford

1995

1995 Baypark – final corner of the final race held at Baypark 15 April 1995 – a handicap race with Bill #9 964 Cup Car and Owen #11 RSR 3.8 passing Dean #13 RS 2.7. Owen won from Phil Schebert with Bill 3rd. – Photo via Bill Fulford
1995 Baypark – final corner of the final race held at Baypark 15 April 1995 – a handicap race with Bill #9 964 Cup Car and Owen #11 RSR 3.8 passing Dean #13 RS 2.7. Owen won from Phil Schebert with Bill 3rd. – Photo via Bill Fulford

1996

Bill’s team took first place in the Continental Cars Le Mans Relay race at Pukekohe

Wings & Wheels Ohakea 10 Mar 96 – Bill Fulford Porsche LM Turbo 3.6 – photo Jim Barclay

1997

1st place in the Super GT series Turbo class

 

1998

Pukekohe 17 Jan 98 Sports & GT Race - #4 Paul Higgins 911 RSR, #9 Bill Fulford 911 LM, #6 Dean Fulford 911 Cup Car, #11 Owen Evans 911 LM Turbo – photo Jim Barclay
Pukekohe 17 Jan 98 Sports & GT Race - #4 Paul Higgins 911 RSR, #9 Bill Fulford 911 LM, #6 Dean Fulford 911 Cup Car, #11 Owen Evans 911 LM Turbo – photo Jim Barclay

1999

1999 Wings & Wheels Whenuapai – Bill Fulford Porsche LM Turbo 3.6 – photo via Bill Fulford
1999 Wings & Wheels Whenuapai – Bill Fulford Porsche LM Turbo 3.6 – photo via Bill Fulford

2000/01

Porsche 911 GT2 – NZ Super GT Championship

 

2001/02

Porsche 911 GT2 LM – NZ Super GT Championship

Pukekohe Super GT series circa 2001-2003 – Bill Fulford Porsche LM Turbo 3.6 and Ray Williams ex-Don Kay Porsche GT2 Twin Turbo spec. Photo via Bill Fulford
Pukekohe Super GT series circa 2001-2003 – Bill Fulford Porsche LM Turbo 3.6 and Ray Williams ex-Don Kay Porsche GT2 Twin Turbo spec. Photo via Bill Fulford

2002/03

Porsche 911 GT2 LM Turbo – NZ Super GT Championship. 3 races, 1 win, 1 podium

 

2003/04

Porsche 911 GT2 LM Turbo – CRC NZ Super GT Championship. 8 races

 

2004/05

Porsche 911 GT2 LM Turbo – 5th place CRC NZ Super GT Championship. 15 races, 1 win, 6 podiums

 

2005/06

Porsche 911 GT2 – 9th place NZ Super GT Championship. 9 races, 3 podiums, 1 pole

 

Ruapuna 2005 Bill in his Porsche LM Turbo leads Owen Porsche 911 GT LM Turbo
Ruapuna 2005 Bill in his Porsche LM Turbo leads Owen Porsche 911 GT LM Turbo
Pukekohe 18 Mar 06 – Bill Fulford 1993 Porsche 964 LM Turbo – photo Jim Barclay
Pukekohe 18 Mar 06 – Bill Fulford 1993 Porsche 964 LM Turbo – photo Jim Barclay

2006/07

Porsche 911 GT2 – BBQ Factory NZ Super GT Championship. 6 races, 1 podium

NZ Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Porsche – January 2016

Kiwi Porsche Racers

By Jim Barclay

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