The Australian off-road racing community is mourning the loss of Les Siviour, who passed away on 8 September after battling cancer.
One of the nation’s best and most successful off-road racers, ‘Legend Les’ Siviour won 17 Australian Championships, mostly behind the wheel of a Nissan Patrol; a connection that saw him named as a ‘Patrol Legend’ by Nissan earlier this year.
When Nissan won the unmodified division of the AORC for 16 consecutive years from 1983 to 1998, it was Siviour behind the wheel for all bar one of those victories.
Born and raised in Griffith, NSW, Siviour got into off-road racing by accident. When organisers of an AORC round invited fans to drive a lap of the circuit, Siviour, who was in attendance as a spectator, thought he’d give it a crack. In his wife Jan’s SWB Patrol and with a few mates on board, Siviour set a lap time that would have put him alongside the pro drivers.
He entered the next AORC round as a competitor - in the same Patrol - and won at the following round, starting a chain of success that would last more than a decade.
In addition to his incredible 17 Australian Championships (including winning the AORC outright in 1987), Siviour also raced in the gruelling Mobil 1 Round Australia trial and the Finke Desert Race, where he was one of the most successful drivers before lightweight buggies began to dominate the car division.
Siviour’s success in the Patrol saw him become Nissan’s go-to guy for press launches and VIP events, even after he retied from racing in 2003. Legend Les did pull out the racing suit for the occasional event post-retirement, including one in 2010 where his daughter Katie was alongside as navigator. He has also supported grandson Jesse in the sport.
A service honouring the life of Les Siviour was held in Griffith on 19 September. JUST 4x4s extends its sympathies to Siviour’s wife Jan, children Bobbie and Katie, grandchildren, extended family and friends.