Round 5 – Phillip Island
Scott Slater swept to victory in all three races at the penultimate State Series round for this year.
September 3-4 2005
Words Darren Knight. Pics courtesy James Smith Photography
The relatively small entry was further depleted after Mark Barbour (ex Les Dole XU-1) spun a bearing in private practice on the Friday while Wayne Purdons XY Falcon was towed home on Saturday with minimal oil pressure after qualifying. Tony Hubbard snared pole in his gorgeous new `67 Camaro, A 1:51.3671 impressive out of the box after the car had completed only a handful of shakedown laps prior to this meeting. Slater posted his best ever time at the Island, a 1:52.7985 to start alongside. Dean Bryant and his team would be busy throughout the evening after the Escort 1300GT stripped third gear, immediately bending six (!) valves as well.
Race One (six laps)
Hubbard crept forward then stopped after the clutch caught him unawares, the inevitable drive through penalty following as Slater took over the front running with Mark Brewster (Torana) slotting into second and Glen Miles (Charger) next. Doug Growcott was making his return after sustaining heavy damage to the Torana at Winton Historics, holding out Jervis Ward (also making a return after several months of freshening up the Mustang) before both ran off at Honda, Ward rejoining without losing a place whilst Growcott fell almost to the rear.
After serving his penalty Hubbard began climbing back up the order until a small excursion at Honda allowed Ward back through. The dice of the race was a cracker between Tassie member Lew Bush (RX-2), Robert Hare (Capri) and the ex W.A. RS1600 Escort of former MG racer Peter Owen, the trio locked together until the last lap when Owen broke an axle and bent a valve. Slater won from Brewster, Miles, Hubbard, Ward, Rod Evans (in Jill Hergts Chev Nova), Bill Cutler (BMW 2002), Growcott, Hare, Bush and Bendell.
Race Two (six laps)
Owen would not return while Hubbard and Evans both spun the bags off the line, allowing Torana pair Slater and Brewster to lead into turn one. Hubbard soon moved into second then the lead on the front straight to start lap two before slowing and then retiring, a front hub problem ending his meeting. Miles then became immersed in a tight battle with Brewster for second, although gear selection problems did hamper the Hemi on certain corners. Hare held out Bush before running wide at Honda, allowing the Mazda through before regaining 8th while Evans also took the scenic route at turn two before rejoining (luckily out of car owner Hergts sight!). Bryant was showing good speed after a late night in the workshop, even challenging Bendell on the final tour as Slater cruised to another win from Brewster who just beat home Miles. Gear selection issues held Ward to fourth with Growcott next then Cutler (who would not return after a head gasket problem), then Evans, Hare, Bush, Bendell and Bryant.
Race Three (ten laps)
Slater and Brewster blasted away while the real interest lay in the battle between Ward and Miles, the Charger quick through the corners while the Ford had the legs down the straight, the two cars swapping third place almost each lap. Bush again chased Hare hard before the latter retired, joining Bendell (who had sustained a holed float in one of the Webers) on the sidelines as Slater led home the consistent Brewster and Ward, who finally triumphed over Miles after some entertaining dicing. Growcott was next, then Evans, Bush and Bryant.