Queensland Racing Drivers Association Race Meeting -Historic Group N Race
Entry and Qualifying
The weekend of the 28th and 29th of October saw the annual QRDA Race Meeting at Lakeside, with a strong field of 25 cars entered.
In the Holden corner were Kerry Finn, Rod Dawson, Kevin Heffernan, Ian Ross, and John Attard aboard Torana GTR XU1s, while Gary Michael and Kev Moore entered their EHs. The mini brigade were back in force, with entries from John Stratton, Ken Nelson, Luke Spark and Darren Borg. Ford had a strong representation with Rick and Allen Boughen, and Geoff McCrystal in Falcons, Errol Stratford in his Escort, Bill Russell in an Anglia, New South Wales visitor Steve Land in his Capri, Graham Lax and John Kingcott in their Cortinas, with Lionel Ayers aboard a Lotus Cortina.
The number of Datsun 1600 entries doubled with Max Davies making his debut alongside David Paterson. John English in the David Barkley Charger and Garry Brown in his Nova were two competitors certain to feature in the results. John Sorraghan also made an entry aboard his Prince Skyline GT.
Qualifying was held over two sessions, with the combined result forming the starting grid. Heffernan claimed pole by about one tenth of a second from English with a lap time of 1:01.25.02, both setting their times in the second session. In third was the first session’s fastest, Allen Boughen, followed by Brown, McCrystal, the fastest under 3-litre car of Land, Finn, the fastest under 2-litre car of Nelson, Lax, and Attard rounding out the top ten. In 11th was Michael, followed by Ayres, Stratford, Paterson, Borg, Spark, Davies, Stratton, Moore, Russell, Rick Boughen, Kingcott and Sorraghan.
Race 1 - Saturday Afternoon - 5 laps
Heffernan won the jump off the line from pole, and lead through the first turn, where Brown was monetarily forced off track, which gave the top 3 a good gap back to McCrystal. Stratford was the first retirement, when he parked in the Eastern Loop. In the run down the straight on the first occasion, both Engligh and Boughen used their straight line speed advantage to blast by Heffernan. On the next lap Boughen was able to get by English into the lead.
By this stage Brown had bridged the gap to McCrystal. On the third lap Rick Boughen went off at Hungry corner, where he was to remain for the rest of the race, while Heffernan slowed and dropped out of the running.
After 5 laps, Boughen was able to hold onto victory from the hard charging English by a little under a second, from McCrystal who resisted the charge of Brown and led him over the line by 3 tenths of a second, from Land, Finn, Nelson, Attard, Michael and Lax. In 11th was Ayres, from Stratton, Borg, Spark, Paterson, Davies, Russell, Kingcott and Sorraghan.
Race 2 - Sunday Morning- 10 laps
On a track that was officially classified as damp, Heffernan and Allen Boughen got the best starts, while the sister Falcon of Rick Boughen had a less memorable start, spearing over the grass before the kink, rejoining mid pack. Brown was on a mission, displacing English down the straight at the start of the second lap, and Boughen on the third. At the front, Heffernan had cleared out with a dry line starting to appear.
English was all over Boughen, and made it past at the top of the Loop on the fourth lap, before the Falcon blasted back by down the straight. Ayres and Lax at this stage were having a tight battle for seventh position, as were Spark and Paterson for 16th. Davies second ever race turned into a disaster with the car firmly planted into the wall on the exit of the Karussell and out for the weekend. Michael also had a race to forget, spinning in the Karussell and dropping ten positions.
Land was blasting through the field, after being 15th on the first lap, he was classified as seventh after five laps. Paterson was finally able to get by Spark through the kink, as the pair closed in on Borg. Hungry corner was the scene of some chaos, as Rick Boughen and Brown found the grass in separate incidents, with Brown able to continue only losing three positions.
English kept applying pressure to Boughen, who made an uncharacteristic error under the bridge when he put a wheel off when lapping slower traffic. The car spun across the track and made heavy contact with the inside wall. The car was left stranded in the middle of the circuit, however Boughen managed to get the big Falcon going just enough to get off racing line.
Paterson and Spark were still in close competition, the pair both getting by Borg on the second last lap. At the finish, it was Heffernan a convincing winner by nine seconds from English, with McCrystal a further four seconds behind. In fourth was Brown, followed by Land, Nelson, Ayres, Lax, Stratton, Paterson, Spark, Borg, Attard, Michael, Moore, Kingcott, Sorraghan and Finn.
Race 3 - Sunday Afternoon - 10 laps
By 2pm the track had dried out, but the sky was still threatening. After an even start, Brown and Heffernan went through the Karussell side by side, with Brown coming out on top. Land and Finn were close for fifth position, however at the front English had cleared out.
Ayres, Michael, Stratford, Borg, Stratton and Spark had a race long battle for 10th position, with several position changes within this group over the 10 laps. Paterson was onto Spark, but coming into the Karussell he had trouble pulling the car up, skipped over the sand trap and creamed the tyre wall side on. He was able to drive back to the pits, but once there retired from the race. Nelson, Attard and Lax were all slowly being hauled in by the Ayres led train.
At the finish it was English by nine seconds from Heffernan, who was eight seconds up the road from Brown. In fourth was McCrystal, followed by Land, Finn, Attard, Lax, Nelson who faded two positions in the closing stages, Ayres, Michael, Stratford, Borg, Stratton, Spark, Moore, Kingcott and Sorraghan.
By Mark Walker www.qrda.asn.au