ATCC: Round 5, Lakeside, 94-04-24

There have been numerous rumours of late about the entrance of the Volkswagen group into the sport. German magazine "Focus" claimed in its Thursday edition that Bernd Pischetsrieder, future VW chairman, had opened talks with Team Jordan about ...

AUSTRALIAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP, ROUND 5, LAKESIDE, 25/04/94.

Round 5 of the ATCC saw what has to some of the best racing in the championship in years. Lakeside is a track which is fast, twisty and undulating all at the same time and the sight of these guys wrestling their big V8's around there was truly something else...

Qualifying was dominated by the Falcons for a change and the mould seems to have been broken after Phillip Island with Mark Skaife not making it into the dash for the first time this year. The dash was easily won by Seton from his team-mate Jones who was the only one to improve, muscling past Peter Brock.

So the stage was set for a great frist heat. For the first time this season the dash was not used to decide grid positions so Johnson and Seton formed the front row. Dick got off to a flier, but back down the field a bit things went a little haywire. Peter Brock got the start all wrong and ended up sliding across the track and nosing into the pit wall. As he went across Brock got Longhurst caught behind him. The field made it past, but the heat was re-started before the lap had finished. Glenn Seton got the better of Dick at the second start and led for probably half the race with Johnson tucked right under his rear wing before Dick made a beautifully executed overtaking move. Once through he never looked like relinquishing the lead and drove off into the distance. Bowe had by now caught Seton and for several laps tried moves in all sorts of places. A misunderstanding when Glenn went for the pits without signalling caused a collision between the two of them that spun Seton off the track and blew one of Bowe's tyres. The most spectacular indcident of the heat occurred as Bowe tried to limp back home to the pits and Paul Morris squeezed past him. Tomas Mezera tried to follow but only succeeded in bouncing straight off Bowe and across the track at 250km/h straight into a guard rail. Ouch. That was towards the end of Heat 1, which was won by Johnson by a very comfortable margin. Trevor Ashby drove a superb race to mix it wit the big boys and finish a superb seventh.

After all that happened in Heat 1, Heat 2 looked very promising with Brock, Longhurst, Bowe and Seton starting from the back of a full grid. This time Johnson got the start all wrong and slipped back down to fourth or fifth before the first corner. After his strong showing in the first heat, Perkins led them away. For several laps Johnson worked away at the Winfield cars, finally making it past both of them with a couple of exciting moves on them. I can name at least one guy cheering to see Dick back to his best. The competition between the two Winfield cars was keen and on this day Jim Richards, very probably one of the best touring car drivers in the world, looked to have Skaife's measure for sure, easing past him eventually. However Jim didn't look like making any inroads in the lead Dick had on him, while Dick only seemed to be catching Perkins slowly. That was until a backmarker, Schembri, blew his engine and dumped oil all through the fast corner leading onto the main straight. Then all of a sudden three cars were off the course, Johnson, Gardner and Seton. Interestingly they all slid off backwards in what looked to be close to synchronised crashing. Of these only Johnson seemed to sustain serious damage to his car and could not return to the race. It was a bitter disappointment for Dick, after what surely was his best race in years. The problem seemed to be that the oil was in such a position as to be masked by the smoke from the blown engine and gave some of the drivers no chance. Perkins and the Winfield cars made it through unscathed. A discussion between one of the commentators and Glenn Seton as he drove flat out through that corner later in the race seemed to indicate the oil had been dumped right on the racing line. After that the main interest was whether Richards could catch Perkins. He did this, but for lap after lap, Larry's car seemed to be just a little too wide in all the right places. Larry has been round the block a few times, and he always put his car so Jim really had no chance, barring Larry making a mistake. Amazingly Peter Brock was with the leading pair at the end of the heat after an incredible drive from the back of the field. This is the best showing we have seen from Brock in years.

Whatever nitwit reckoned there was no overtaking in the V8 formula only needed to watch this race to see what a load of rubbish that is. The V8 formula works, the racing is close, there are international class drivers in the field, and tracks like Lakeside really bring out the best in the ATCC. The crowd afterwards, while disappointed at the misfortune of local legend Dick Johnson, was suitably appreciative of Larry Perkins first ever round win in his years in the ATCC. Way to go Larry, and roll on Winton!

PETER JACKSON DASH (For top six qualifiers)

01 [1] {1} Glenn Seton Peter Jackson Ford Falcon EB 02 [4] {3} Alan Jones Peter Jackson Ford Falcon EB 03 [3] {2} Peter Brock Mobil Mobilenet Holden Commodore VP 04 [5] {4} Tony Longhurst Benson & Hedges Holden Commodore VP 05 [2] {5} Dick Johnson Shell FAI Ford Falcon EB 06 [6] {6} John Bowe Shell FAI Ford Falcon EB

[-] : Original Qualifying Position {-} : Starting Position As Drawn

HEAT 1 Points Scorers

01 Dick Johnson Shell FAI Ford Falcon EB 02 Larry Perkins Castrol Holden Commodore VP 03 Jim Richards Winfield Holden Commodore VP 04 Mark Skaife Winfield Holden Commodore VP 05 Trevor Ashby Lansvale Smash Repairs Holden Commodore VP 06 Wayne Gardner Coca Cola Holden Commodore VP 07 Tony Scott Holden Commodore VP 08 Paul Morris Diet Coke Holden Commodore VP 09 Neil Crompton Coca Cola Holden Commodore VP 10 Alan Jones Peter Jackson Ford Falcon EB ..

The finishing order for Heat 1 was the grid order for Heat 2.

HEAT 2 Points Scorers

01 Larry Perkins Castrol Holden Commodore VP 02 Jim Richards Winfield Holden Commodore VP 03 Peter Brock Mobil Mobilenet Holden Commodore VP 04 Mark Skaife Winfield Holden Commodore VP 05 Paul Morris Diet Coke Holden Commodore VP 06 John Bowe Shell FAI Ford Falcon EB 07 Trevor Ashby Lansvale Smash Repairs Holden Commodore VP 08 Glenn Seton Peter Jackson Ford Falcon EB 09 Neil Crompton Coca Cola Holden Commodore VP 10 Bob Jones Ampol Max 3 Holden Commodore VP ..

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

184 Mark Skaife Winfield Holden Commodore VP 122 Glenn Seton Peter Jackson Ford Falcon EB 119 Peter Brock Mobil Mobilenet Holden Commodore VP 88 Jim Richards Winfield Holden Commodore VP 77 Larry Perkins Castrol Holden Commodore VP ..

NEXT ROUND : Winton, May 15.

See the ATCC Points Standing post for a full breakdown of the points scored. If it does not appear at your site feel free to email me for a copy. If you want a copy of the race results for any of the preceeding rounds, email me for a copy.

Posted by : swheeler@lawson.its.utas.edu.au (Steve Wheeler)

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Series General
Drivers Steve Wheeler , Alan Jones , Neil Crompton , Wayne Gardner , Jim Richards , Mark Skaife , Paul Morris , John Bowe , Glenn Seton , Tony Longhurst , Larry Perkins , Peter Brock , Dick Johnson , Bob Jones , Phillip Island