Big field for 2017’s last hurrah

Island Magic lived up to its name under changing conditions

Report by Chris Ralph. Pics by Phil Wisewould

Qualifying
Held over Victoria’s ‘Big Wet’ weekend, qualy was dry and Darren Collins steered the re-motored family Camaro to a mighty pole with a 1.48.25, two and a half seconds ahead of Jason Humble’s Mazda and almost three over Darryl Hansen’s Trans Am Mustang, in a good 29-car field.

Andy Clempson had the 351 Fastback Mustang in fourth ahead of John Harrison’s 289 Nc Mustang, with Peter McNiven in the Torana (who would not take part further) ahead of a returning Trevor Talbot in the ex-Taranto Camaro – all of these cars running under 1.52.

New ACT member Dean Neville in the black Camaro was next, ahead of Andrew Whiteside’s 68 Mustang and Les Walmsley’s Mustang, tenth in a heavyweight field…

The ever-improving Glenn Miles was next in his Charger, followed by Stephen Pillekers in his Torana, Michael Miceli’s new blue Fastback Mustang at its second meeting and ex-Datto punter Danny Myers’ first run in the ex-Stoopman 308 HQ.

Gabriel Digenis’ BMW with a mighty 1.55.1 was the first small car ahead of Nb-leading Bill Trengrove, Darren Smith’s XY Falcon, Laurie Nelson and Tony Gilfuis, Capris, Shane Attwell Nb Mustang, Mark Brewster, Torana and the battling Mini trio of Adrian Read, Richard Hill and Len Read.

Simon Browning held sway over Fast Johnny Luxmoore in the Cortinas, with Club member Phil Buggee in the non-historic Fiat 131 sandwiched between them. Ian Pringle was ginger in a put-together Mini that wasn’t upside down and Mick Stupka had taken the Citroen off the hoist to give it a run.

Race 1 Saturday afternoon
Slight help on the opening lap from another competitor eased Andrew Whiteside on to the slippery grass down into Honda and he sledded helplessly into the RHD of the LHD Camaro at the apex. Thanks to solid Brown Davis intrusion bars the Camaro would take part the next day but Andrew had to wind the Mustang on to the trailer.

Polesitter Darren Collins retired on lap five of eight after a plug lead came off, leaving Darryl Hansen and Andy Clempson to have a mighty battle for honours, with Hansen ahead by a tenth and Clempson with fastest lap. The wailing Humble Mazda was next ahead of Walmsley, Harrison, Smith, Miceli, Trengrove, Pillekers and Myers completing the top ten, the last two just two hundredths apart.

Tony Gilfuis won the Capri stoush with Attwell between them and Brewster behind, just ahead of Digenis; Adrian Read bested archrival Richard Hill and Johnny Luxmoore prevailed over Simon Browning with Ian Pringle sandwiched between. Just two hundredths separated Phil Buggee and Mick Stupka at the flag after an unlikely but tight battle…

Race 2 Sunday morning
Wet, wet, wet – and Jason Humble’s Mazda fled to the line spraying Andy Clempson just one and a half seconds in arrears. A ten second gap saw Walmsley home ahead of Neville, Smith, Harrison, with generous gaps between them, Miceli not far ahead of Gilfuis, then Myers and Attwell close together to make the top ten.

Darren ‘No Wets’ Collins headed Pillekers, Nelson, Hansen, Digenis, Hill, Miles, Talbot, Len Read, Buggee in the rally setup 131, Adrian Read, Trengrove, Luxmoore, Browning (just two tenths apart) and Stupka. Brewster and Pringle were retirements.

Race 3 – The Magic Manor Amaz’n Things Trophy, Sunday Afternoon
With a greasy track knocking around three seconds off dry pace it was Andy Clempson who roared to a mighty maiden win for the Mustang after a tight three-way with Collins and Walmsley over the ten laps, with Smith, Harrison and Hansen behind.

Danny Myers came a great 7th ahead of Attwell and Miles with Trengrove rounding out the ten, coming in 1.25mins after the leader. Nelson and Digenis finished just 0.3 secs apart next with Hill and Pillekers the last of the unlapped cars. Adrian beat Dad Len home by a second, with Buggee ten seconds behind and a gap to Luxmoore, Browning and Stupka. Humble, Gilfuis, Brewster, Talbot, Miceli and Neville were retirements.
As ever, a great meeting to end a top competition year.