Neil “Crompo” Crompton (born 30 July 1960) is a well-known Supercars presenter and commentator. Crompton ("Cromley" or "Crompo" to his friends and colleagues) he has more than 15 years of professional racing car driving experience which allows him to "speak from experience" when commentating.
According to the official V8 Supercars website, Crompton has competed in 357 various motor racing events, finishing in the first three places on 58 occasions. 230 of those races were with events counting towards the Australian Touring Car Championship (nowadays promoted as the Supercar Championship Series), including three second places and ten thirds.
He has raced at the famous Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales on more than 20 occasions dating back to his 1988 debut with Peter Brock's Mobil BMW Team. His best results being two third placings in the crash shortened 1992 race with Swede Anders Olofsson in a Gibson Motorsport Nissan GT-R and in 1995 with 1987 500cc Grand Prix Motorcycle World Champion Wayne Gardner in a Wayne Gardner Racing Holden Commodore in addition to winning the 1994 12 Hour endurance race with Gregg Hansford in a factory supported Mazda RX-7.
In 1985 he moved to racing cars and has raced in various, mostly sedan-based categories, starting in a Series Production specification Mitsubishi Cordia. Racing categories that he has contested include V8 Supercars, Super Touring Cars, Group A Touring Cars, Sports Sedans, as well as the open-wheel categories of Formula Holden and Formula 3000.
Crompton's first big break in motor sport came when he was selected by Peter Brock as a driver in the Holden Dealer Team's second Group A VL Commodore for the long distance races in late 1987. This included drives in the 1987 Castrol 500 at Sandown where he and Formula 2 ace Jon Crooke finished a creditable 4th, and later at the Bob Jane T-Marts 500 at Calder Park which was Round 9 of the 1987 World Touring Car Championship. He was to have made his Bathurst 1000 debut in 1987 a week before the race at Calder, but was one race short of gaining the appropriate FIA licence needed (he was reportedly to drive a Subaru in a Series Production race at Winton which would have secured the one needed signature for his licence, but the car was uncompetitive and he declined to drive as he "Didn't want to look like a wally", thus losing his chance). In a cruel twist, the #10 Commodore he was to have driven would go on to win the race in the hands of Brock, David Parsons, and his replacement for the race, Peter McLeod. Late in the Channel 7 telecast of the James Hardie 1000, his 'boss', lead commentator and producer of the telecast Mike Raymond, light heartedly pointed this out to Crompton when the Commodore was in third place behind the Eggenberger Motorsport Ford Sierra RS500's which would eventually be disqualified for technical irregularities. All Crompton could say in reply was "Don't remind me" and "The thought has crossed my mind".
Crompton remained with Brock's Mobil sponsored team for 1988, though by that time they had switched to running BMW M3's. He made his Australian Touring Car Championship debut that year, driving the third of the team's cars to 8th in Round 8 at Amaroo Park, and 9th in the final round at Oran Park. After a promising start to the endurance races with where he and David Parsons finished 4th in the Pepsi 250 at Oran Park (won by Brock and Jim Richards), he failed to finish at both Sandown and Bathurst.
In 1989 Crompton joined the Holden Racing Team, staying with them until the end of 1991. The HRT announced plans to run the new Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV in the 1989 ATCC alongside former triple British Touring Car Champion Win Percy, but the team did not appear on the race track in the ATCC and would not race until that years Sandown 500.
Although he did not have a regular ATCC seat with HRT, he co-drove the team's second Commodore in the three years with the team, though results were not forthcoming. He also started racing Formula Holden in 1989, finishing third in the Australian Drivers' Championship and scoring his first race win in Round 7 at Sydney's Amaroo Park circuit before going on to win the 10th and final round at Sandown in Melbourne. He scored his first pole position at Amaroo park with a time of 44.04, 3/10ths of a second under the outright circuit record set by John Bowe in the Veskanda-Chevrolet Sports car in 1986 and had hoped to break Bowe's lap record of 44.36 in the race. However, with the Gold Star race being held late on the days program he was unable to do so as previous races had reportedly left a lot of oil on the circuit. At the end of the year he drove in the Tea Tree Trophy Formula Holden support race at the 1989 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide. There he qualified in 5th place and eventually finished in 6th.
Crompton continued to race the Peter Boylan owned, ex-Satoru Nakajima Ralt RT20 in the 1990 Australian Drivers' Championship, though results weren't as forthcoming with his best place being a second in Round 5 behind touring car rival Mark Skaife at Oran Park and finished 4th in the championship. He finished his 1990 Formula Holden season on a high note, qualifying his Ralt (complete with its usual Dulux Autocolour multi-coloured blue, yellow, red and green paint scheme that was not unlike that of the Formula One Benettons) on the front row and then driving it to victory in the Thalgo Trophy Formula Holden support race at the 1990 Australian Grand Prix.
In 1991, Crompton drove a 6 cyl Holden VN Commodore S with Peter Brock and motoring journalist/race driver Peter McKay to win Class C and finish 4th outright in the inaugural Bathurst 12 Hour. Unfortunately his Formula Holden season never got off the ground and he missed the 1991 series, though he did lease Simon Kane's car and went on to finish 3rd in the Formula Holden support race at the 1991 Australian Grand Prix.
Crompton returned to the Brock team for the first half of the 1992 ATCC, with a best finish of 7th in Round 3 at Symmons Plains. With the team short of funds to run two Holden VN Commodore SS Group A SV's, Crompton left the team mid-season and returned to the Seven commentary booth, though he did drive in the final round of the 1992 Australian Drivers' Championship at Oran Park in Sydney where he finished in third place behind two future television co-commentators, series champion Mark Skaife and runner up Mark Larkham. He then joined Gibson Motorsport for the 1992 Tooheys 1000 in the team's second 4WD, twin turbo Nissan GT-R. In a race marred by heavy rain, accidents, and the death of 1967 Formula One World Champion Denny Hulme from a heart attack, Crompton and his Swedish co-driver Anders Olofsson finished 3rd in the crash shortened race, with Crompton giving the unruly crowd the finger from the podium on national television.
In 1993, Crompton ran the ATCC in one of the few Holden V8 powered VP Commodores in the field for Bob Forbes Racing (most of the top Holden teams were using the 5.0 L Chevrolet V8). His first full ATCC ended with a disappointing 13th-place finish in the standings. He then went to 1993 Tooheys 1000 where he qualified the car 10th after spinning on oil during his Tooheys Top 10 runoff lap. Crompton complained on camera after his lap that there was no warning of oil until he got to The Chase (the fastest corner on a race track anywhere in Australia taken at some 280 km/h (174 mph)), but it was later found that it was in fact his car that had dropped the oil and other drivers reported it to be all around the 6.213 km (3.861 mi) circuit.
In 1997 Crompton headed to the US to compete in the new North American Touring Car Championship in a Honda Accord run by the Tasman Motorsports team. Crompton was quickly on the pace, and won several races and was in contention for the championship, before a disqualification (which he still disputes) precluded him from winning the title. Crompton also tested one of Tasman's Champ Cars at Gingerman Raceway.
In 1998 Crompton attained second place in the 1998 Century Batteries Three Hour Bathurst Showroom Showdown.
In 1998 he started with Glenn Seton Racing, continuing with the team in its new identity as Ford Tickford Racing in 1999. He then moved to Gibson Motorsport, later renamed 00 Motorsport, in 2001 where he was teamed with Craig Lowndes before leaving at the end of the 2002 season.
Despite being a full-time television commentator, Crompton continues to compete in races when he can, particularly endurance races. Most recently he finished 17th in the 2009 Bathurst 12 Hour race, completing 222 laps (1,379 km / 857 miles) driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X with Glenn Seton. Crompton occasionally competes in the Aussie Racing Cars series and has also competed in the Australian Rally Championship.
Crompton also competed in the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour driving a 5.0 L V8 powered BMW M3 GTR for Australian Nations Cup Championship team Prancing Horse Racing. The car (co-driven by John Bowe, and ), which had only arrived from the United States a week before the race, qualified in 3rd place but failed to finish after Algadrie hit the wall on top of The Mountain following a clash with the race winning Holden Monaro 427C of Peter Brock on its 131st lap.
Crompton also works on the organisational side of V8 Supercar contributing to TEGA's Parity Board, which works to ensure that none of the competing marques gain any significant advantage over the other.
Crompton started commentating at motorcross events for Network Ten, then known as the 0/10 Network. He then worked for the ABC from around 1980 until the end of 1984, generally working with respected commentators Will Hagon, John Smailes and Drew Morphett, and commentating on motorsport events such as the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) plus various other motorsport events that the network covered such as the Sandown 500. In 1985 when the ATCC rights moved to Channel Seven, Crompton also moved across to Seven, replacing Evan Green and joining the network's motorsport regulars Mike Raymond & Garry Wilkinson in the commentary box, while also doing regular reporting from the pits. As the junior member of the team, and by far the fittest, Crompton was often assigned pit duties on race day which regularly required quickly moving from one end of pit lane to the other, though from 1987 with his racing commitments starting to take precedence, Seven also brought in motoring journalist and race driver Peter McKay as a commentator and pit reporter. He would stay with the network in a gradually decreasing capacity (mostly due to his racing commitments) until the end of 1995, his latter years there including regular segments on the TV program "The Great Outdoors". During this time he also had segments on the Triple M radio network.
In 1996 he returned to Network Ten to be their "motorsport expert" for their coverage of the CART Series & Australian Super Touring Championship for which they had just gained the broadcasting rights, and which would also end up including Formula One. Crompton was a regular presenter of Ten's popular motoring magazine program, RPM, and after his racing career wound down at the end of 2002 until the end of 2006, he was the expert commentator on Ten's coverage of the V8 Supercars (after being lead commentator throughout 2001 when he only drove in endurance races).
When the Seven Network bought the television broadcasting rights for the V8 Supercars for 2007 onwards, Crompton, along with a majority of the production team, moved to Seven. Crompton's detailed technical knowledge, combined with his racing and commentating experience, ensures that he is considered an extremely valuable part of the Seven Network's coverage of the series.
Crompton also co-hosted the popular web show "The Panelbeaters" with longtime friend Brad Jones. The show ran every Friday evening before a V8 Supercar meeting, and the Wednesday after. The show began as a radio programme in 2003 on Victorian station SEN 1116, before being taken on by Telstra Bigpond, and made into a video web show. The program was axed after the 2008 season.
After a short time off the radio waves, Crompton returned to broadcasting on radio this time with former Australian V8 Supercar champion Mark Skaife on The Stick Shift, a motoring based show broadcast on the Triple M Network on Saturday mornings.
In 2014, Crompton hosted the Shannons Legends of Motorsport television program on 7mate. The series, of which he is also the executive producer, features Crompton interviewing several major figures from the history of touring car racing in Australia. For the second season in 2015, Crompton moved to solely an off-camera role.
In 2015, the V8 Supercars broadcast rights moved to a shared deal between Foxtel and a return to Network Ten. Crompton followed the new deal, but instead of a hosting and commentating role as he had previously with Seven, now works predominantly as a commentator.
Crompton married longtime partner Sarah Mathewson in March 2008.
Results sourced from Driver Database.
|1988||Australian Touring Car Championship||20th||BMW M3||Mobil 1 Racing|
|1988||James Hardie Building Products AMSCAR Series||6th||BMW M3||Mobil 1 Racing|
|1988||Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship||8th||BMW M3||Mobil 1 Racing|
|1989||Australian Drivers' Championship||3rd||Ralt RT20 Holden||Boylan Racing|
|1990||Australian Drivers' Championship||4th||Ralt RT20 Holden||Boylan Racing|
|1990||Australian Touring Car Championship||15th||Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV||Holden Racing Team|
|1990||Australian Endurance Championship||20th||Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV||Holden Racing Team|
|1992||Australian Touring Car Championship||15th||Holden VN Commodore SS Group A SV||Advantage Racing|
|1992||Australian Drivers' Championship||10th||Ralt RT20 Holden||Boylan Racing|
|1993||Australian Touring Car Championship||13th||Holden VP Commodore||GIO Racing|
|1993||Aurora AFX AMSCAR Series||4th||Holden VP Commodore||GIO Racing|
|1994||Australian Touring Car Championship||10th||Holden VP Commodore||Wayne Gardner Racing|
|1995||Australian Touring Car Championship||10th||Holden VR Commodore||Wayne Gardner Racing|
|1996||Mobil New Zealand Sprints||6th||Holden VR Commodore||Wayne Gardner Racing|
|1996||Australian Touring Car Championship||13th||Holden VR Commodore||Wayne Gardner Racing|
|1997||North American Touring Car Championship||3rd||Honda Accord||Tasman Motorsports|
|1998||Australian GT Production Car Championship||9th||Ferrari F355 Challenge||Ross Palmer Motorsport|
|1998||Australian Touring Car Championship||24th||Ford EL Falcon||Glenn Seton Racing|
|1999||Shell Championship Series||12th||Ford EL Falcon
Ford AU Falcon
|Ford Tickford Racing|
|2000||Shell Championship Series||12th||Ford AU Falcon||Ford Tickford Racing|
|2001||Shell Championship Series||54th||Ford AU Falcon||Gibson Motorsport|
|2002||V8 Supercar Championship Series||17th||Ford AU Falcon||00 Motorsport|
|2007||Aussie Racing Cars Super Series||43rd||AU Falcon||ARC Team|
|2008||Aussie Racing Cars Super Series||51st||Aurion||TRD Racing|
|2009||Aussie Racing Cars Super Series||16th||Aurion||Toyota Stars|
|2015||Touring Car Masters (Pro Masters Class)||11th||Ford Mustang||Dunlop Super Dealers / Wilson Security|
Complete Australian Touring Car Championship results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Complete World Touring Car Championship results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
|1987||HDT Racing P/L||Holden VL Commodore SS Group A||MNZ||JAR||DIJ||NUR||SPA||BNO||SIL||BAT||CLD
† Not registered for series & points
Complete Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
|1988||Mobil 1 Racing||BMW M3||BAT
Complete Bathurst 1000 results
* Denotes Super Touring race.
Complete Sandown 500 results
|1987||HDT Racing P/L||Holden VL Commodore SS Group A||A||126||4th||3rd|
|1988||Mobil 1 Racing|| David Parsons
|1989||Holden Racing Team||Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV||A||155||6th||6th|
|1990||Holden Racing Team||Win Percy||Holden VL Commodore SS Group A SV||Div.1||32||DNF||DNF|
|1991||Holden Racing Team||Brad Jones||Holden VN Commodore SS Group A SV||A||103||DNF||DNF|
|1993||GIO Racing||Holden VP Commodore||V8||61||DNF||DNF|
|1994||Coca-Cola Racing||Wayne Gardner||Holden VP Commodore||V8||27||DNF||DNF|
|1995||Coca-Cola Racing||Wayne Gardner||Holden VR Commodore||139||DNF||DNF|
|1996||Coca-Cola Racing||Wayne Gardner||Holden VR Commodore||159||7th||7th|
|1997||Coca-Cola Racing||Wayne Gardner||Holden VS Commodore||155||6th||6th|
|1998||Ford Credit Racing||Glenn Seton||Ford EL Falcon||OC||145||4th||4th|
Complete Bathurst/Eastern Creek 12 Hour results
|1991|| Peter Brock
||Holden VN Commodore S||C||235||4th||1st|
|1992||Peugeot Concessionaires Australia|| Peter Brock
||Peugeot 405 Mi16||B||235||14th||2nd|
|1994||BP Mazda Motorsport||Gregg Hansford||Mazda RX-7||X||262||1st||1st|
|2007||Subaru Australia|| Chris Alajajian
|Subaru Impreza WRX Sti Spec C||C||248||5th||3rd|
|2009||Pro-Duct Motorsport||Glenn Seton||Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo X||C||222||17th||7th|
|2010||Pro-Duct|| Glenn Seton
||Mitsubishi Lancer RS Evo X||A||201||2nd||1st|
Complete Bathurst 24 Hour results
|2003||Prancing Horse Racing Scuderia|| John Bowe
||BMW M3 GTR||A||131||DNF||DNF|
- "Profile at v8supercars.com.au". Archived from the original on 26 November 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
- Formula Holden Amaroo Park 1989
- Formula Holden Australian GrandPrix 1989
- Formula Holden Australian Grand Prix 1990
- Formula Holden 1991 AGP
- Mount Panorama - Bathurst 23/11/2003 Bathurst 24hr 2003 Archived 31 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine National Software retrieved on 4 April 2008
- "Johnson features in Legends TV return". SpeedCafe. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "V8 Supercars signs $241m media rights deal with FOX SPORTS, Foxtel and Ten Network from 2015". Fox Sports Australia. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "Cromley gets hitched". Wheels.
- "Crompton diagnosed with prostate cancer". Supercars Championship. 11 May 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
- Neil Crompton at Driver Database