2004 Island Magic

Island Magic

Report by Graham Slater Pics courtesy Chris MacGeorge

With all the major events over for the year and many of our number licking their wounds or topping up the depleted piggy bank for the upcoming 2005 season the organisers of what effectively was the last Island Magic meeting in the current time slot were more than pleased to receive twenty two quality entries from those of our membership could still afford to make the commitment.

With no racing just a day of qualifying, Saturday consisted of a solid day of tyre testing, suspension adjustment and just generally finding those extra few tenths that could mean the difference between excellence and mediocrity.

Generally the end result was positive for all concerned, apart from a few minor niggles. The Miceli Boss 302 broke a valve stem off one of the Goodyear’s, leaving Michael a little deflated, Chris Ralph lost a welsh plug out of the carburetor, Ken Hastings blew a seal on the Escorts oil filter leaving a spectacular smoke trail, and Russel Pilven’s Datsun 1600 ran out of petrol due to a small over sight (he forgot to fill it!!). Otherwise the rest of the field were all accounted for without a drama. When the first practice times were posted the Melbourne Panels red fastback had pole position ahead of Wayne Purdon’s XYGT Falcon, Tony Hubbard in the HQ350 Monaro, Jervis Ward in his Nb Mustang ahead of Phil Dunkin’s HQ308 and Chris Ralph in the red Nc Mustang.

With V8’s dominating the top end and all of our best XU1’s off site Robert Braune’s E49 Charger and Ian Watt’s Triumph 2500 were the only six cylinder challengers in sight. Bill Cutler (BMW2002), Richard Fairlam (Holden EH), Russell Pilven (Datsun 1600), and Ken Hastings (Escort 1600 BDA) rounded out the top ten.

Ted Brewster (Cooper S), Paul Dobson (XTGT), Ian Watt (Triumph), Justin Brown (BMW2002) and Simon Browning (Cortina ) headed up the balance of the grid.

Practice 2
With most of the small details now attended to (like remembering to put petrol in the car), the second qualifier was a little quicker for some.
Wayne Purdon dropped to a (1.52.8), Tony Hubbard cleaved a little over two seconds (1.52.07) and Ward dropped a little over half a second (1.55.07),WHILE Miceli was happy to sit on his pole winning time of (1.50.65) from the first session.

Phil Dunkin’s major moment arrived at turn one when the HQ suffered a major brake failure, Phil taking out the “Paddock Ploughing” (“I think I’ve shot my Jocks”) award for the meeting. The white HQ308 was unable to be fixed in time and with the express permission of the promoters Phil’s trusty XU1 was dusted off on Saturday night and a grateful Phil would take his place on the Sunday albeit from the rear of the grid.

Race 1 – Sunday 5 Laps.

It was a “power plus” grid line with Miceli’s Boss 302 on pole next to Braune’s Charger Hubbard and Purdon on row two closely shadowed by the Mustangs of Ralph & Ward.

Lights out and the flying red Boss just held the lead from the fast starting XYGT of Wayne Purdon, Jervis Ward, and Braune’s rapid E49 in hot pursuit. Tony Hubbard had exceeded the safe rev limit on the Monaro’s 350 Chevrolet engine bending a pushrod putting the yellow coupe out for the duration of the weekend. Leaving the challenge up to the balance of the power players, (Purdon, Ward, Braune, and Ralph), while the indecently quick four cylinder cars of Cutler (BMW), Pilven (Datsun 1600), outpaced the rest of the field now headed by Fairlam, Brewster, Brown, Tickner and Daniel Myers (Datsun 1600).

Ben Read’s Datsun 1000 was another casualty with loss of oil pressure as was the normally reliable Triumph of Ian Watt which broke a rocker shaft on the first lap.

We won't say that yet another member forgot to top up the fuel tank in his race car but Paul Dobson certainly found out it takes more than good luck to power the 302 Windsor in the XTGT. Whoops!!!

Mike Miceli just kept edging away by about a second a lap to take out a comfortable win from an elated Wayne Purdon a little under seven seconds clear of Jervis Ward’s Mustang. Braune was next then Ralph, eleven seconds back was Cutler’s BMW, Pilven’s Datsun, Richard Fairlam EH, Ted Brewster (Cooper S),Justin Brown BMW and Andrew Tickner’s Cortina.

Simon Browning drove well to secure a good result ahead of the Jaguar of Gary Burton, John Luxmoore’s Cortina GT, and John Bendell in the Lotus Cortina.

Results: 1. M. Miceli. (Mustang). 1.52.61 2. W. Purdon. (Falcon GT). 1.53.24. 3. J.Ward. (Mustang). 1.54.84.
Note: Car 89 (Robert. Braune) was excluded from the results due to a post race technical infringement.

Race 2: Hornet Press Victorian Historic Touring Car Cup.

With no major issues arising out of the first race the only “niggles’ for some were tyres. Wayne Purdon had suffered two punctures so far and was feeling just a little flat! Miceli on the other hand was way down on rubber and reckoned the Mustang would be struggling to finish the 11 lap final without being absolutely “worn out”.

Rob Braune, Jervis Ward and Chris Ralph on the other hand were totally “pumped”, safe in the knowledge that barring a miracle of nature, the weather and track were definitely V8 friendly in spite of the intensive drives put in by both Bill Cutler and Russell Pilven.

Miceli lost the advantage of pole as the Mustang struggled for traction off the start line Purdon’s GT capitalising on the moment surging into the lead from Miceli ,Ward and Ralph. Cutler’s BMW had a narrow break on Pilven’s Datsun followed by Fairlam’s EH, Ted Brewster’s Cooper S, Justin Brown in the red BMW, Andrew Tickner’s Cortina, Paul Dobson’s GT Falcon, Daniel Myer’s Datsun 1600 AND Phil Dunkin’s XU1 now in 13th place after a good start from the rear of the grid.

Purdon again led the pack on the second pass with Braune closing on Miceli’s Mustang now really struggling for grip on the well worn Goodyears.
Simon Browning blotted his copy book on the last turn onto the main straight burying the Cortina well into the sand pit for the duration of the race. Pilven’s Datsun was also an early retirement solidly jammed in top gear.

Braune surged into the lead the Charger gradually easing away from some ailing opposition. Purdon’s GT had swallowed a stone eventually destroying a piston eventually dropping the Falcon off the finishing list. Both the Mustangs of Ward and Ralph were locked in a titanic battle with Ralph prevailing slipping into what would eventually become second place behind Miceli’s tyre strapped car.

Bill Cutler was well entrenched in fourth clearly ahead of the Fairlam, Brewster, Brown, Dunkin , Dobson and Gary Burton rounding out the top 10. John Bendell in turn had the Lotus version of the Cortina cranked up and was just managing to keep ahead of the Cortina’s of John Luxmoore and Andrew Tickner.

In spite of a first on track placing the Braune Charger would be excluded from all results and an elated Mike Miceli took home the Historic Touring Car Trophy from Chris Ralph and Jervis Ward.

Results: 1. M. Miceli. (Mustang). 21.24.73. (1.52). 2. C. Ralph. (Mustang). 21.29.81. (1.55). 3. J.Ward. ( Mustang). 21.34.21. ( 1.56).

Summary: Once again a great meeting well organised and executed by PIARC. It will be interesting to see if in light of the V8 Supercar date in November 2005 if this popular meeting is able to continue around the same time frame.