The three round of the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championships rolled into the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday the 12th of June on a classically cool and cloudy winter's day. Always a spectacular circuit, Phillip Island is...
The three round of the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championships rolled into the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday the 12th of June on a classically cool and cloudy winter's day.
Always a spectacular circuit, Phillip Island is known as the complete driver's circuit with long high load sweeping bends and high speed straights. The weekend's action proved that lap records are easily broken and that venturing off the circuit does lead to vehicle damage.
With such a great field it was inevitable that any delay might impose on the rest of the categories but the scheduled was kept through variable weather by good housekeeping and compliments go to Race Control and all the Officials for their hard work.
In the battle of the day, Dean Camm, Milton Seferis, Rod Smith and Grant Munday fought for the lead in the 10 lap Sports Sedan final race and with the lead changing many times throughout the race it was finally Rod Smith victorious over Milton and Grant respectively as Dean Camm slowed for a points building fourth place.
Michael Robinson just edged out Luke Chambers for a credible fifth place in the final race and Rian Nott in the Mustang Trans Am passed Stephen Craig in the Gemini right on the finish line to take thirteenth place.
In the under 2lt Sports Sedans Fred Menheere jumped ahead in the wet conditions of the first race but was soon pegged back as he took a convincing second place in the first race. Lee Uhlhorn raced away to a comfortable win in the final race of the meeting as the sun set over the circuit with Paul Thomson second and Andrew Moffat in third.
As we watched rain clouds roll over the circuit an with the possibility of a disastrous downpour, the HQ's proved their sideways value to the spectators with an impressive display of driving. Gavin Ross in the Box Hill Parts & Accessories HQ Holden steamed away from the pack including second place Keven Stoopman and third placed David Bone for a win in the 10 lap HQ Holden race.
Who could forget Cameron vanden Dungen in the number 40 RX7 making a mad dash for the grid as he arrived back from working all night in Melbourne fixing the ailing Forty Winks machine, and then just to complete a fairytale ending, he was rewarded with second place behind a very impressive Tony Skinner in the opening 5 lap entree.
After a good jump at the start of the second IP race, Cameron vanden Dungen raced away to take the penultimate race of the weekend with a stirring win from William Schoots followed by the exhausted Kelvin Twist.
Yesterday it was the Rose boys who dominated the time sheets and the record books but today it was Brendan Morter who showed life was still left in his Binzel Number 1 Porsche 944 with a close win from Kane Rose to take the final race of the Aporschapart 944 Challenge.
In only her second race, Amber Anderson showed that enthusiasm can overcome adversity as she had an off over MG but recovered to finish a credible 21st. What made this race even more impressive to watch was the fact that 10 out of the 25 drivers running set their fastest times of the day on the final lap.
Close drafting and a determination to win assisted Tony Bocquet to achieve the race win in the second Formula Vee race for the day as he moved away from the pack to record an inspiring win. The clash of the day included a four way battle between David Firth, Andy Nethercote, Mal Asker and Jason Kerr behind runner up Nicholas Jones. Only 0.01 of a second separated them at the line.
Predictably again it was the game of drafting that proved popular in all the Formula Ford races. One man who definitely stood up and proved his value to his sponsors this weekend was Shane Price who in the Arrow Karts entry won the exciting 10 lap race by just over six seconds from a courageous Troy Woolston and a charging Cade Southwall.
In what proved to be a dominate display of pure power this weekend, Rob Whitwell in his MGB GT V8 was too powerful for his opposition as he ran away with both race victories, the second race by one minute and fourteen seconds. All vehicles were immaculately turned out as usual and the crowd was entertained as David Motram and Michael Herlihy tussled for a close finish with the later having the edge for eighth place.
With natural light fading and the glow of headlights streaming down towards turn one of Sports Cars final race the weekend Lyndon Punshon in the Budweiser Beers entry ran away with the victory over the faster Tom Hutchinson in his Triumph TR8. Allan Simonsen in his Maserati finished third.
HISTORIC TOURING CARS
The sheer grunt of the magic Historic Touring Cars shows why even with a handicapped start they still managed to catch and provide entertaining passing against the under 2lt Sports Sedans. Michael Miceli powered away from the field leading in an impressive battle between Chris Ralph and Jervis Ward who were only separated by 0.03 of a second at the finish.
So as the sun sets over the horizon on Sunday the 13th of June, the focus at Phillip Island in southern Victoria now shifts from enjoying a fabulous race meeting to benefiting from the Queens Birthday Monday holiday down here tomorrow.