2006 State Series Rd1

Round 1 – Sandown

April 22/23 2006

Words – Darren Knight, Pictures – Neil Hammond

A new club record was surely set at the opening state round for 2006 with the entry of six new cars to the category. The long awaited debut of Jim Collins `69 Camaro finally happened, the immaculate white with black stripes beast missing qualifying but lined up for race one with son Darren at the wheel. Andy Clempson (Nb Mustang), James Wells (Torana) and father and son Alan and Stuart Brown (Toranas) were all having their first ever Historic Tourer event, while Don Knight returned with his new Twin Cam Escort, sporting the colours of Tubby Ritter. Also making a return was Greg Nicholls, unfortunately metal in the oil ending his run after qualifying. Tony Hubbard (`67 Camaro) grabbed pole with an impressive 1:22.2162 from Jervis Ward (Nb Mustang) with a 1:25.0810.

Race One (11 laps)
Ray Challis (Torana) rocketed off the line to fall in behind Hubbard, Ward briefly back to fourth behind Geoff Taylor (ex Barbour Torana) before blasting back into second on the back straight. Clempson retired from fifth with a blown head gasket as Bill Trengrove (Nb Mustang) fended off Mark Brewster (Torana) and Paul Dobson (XT Falcon). Mark Shatz (BMW 2002) retired after a coil lead problem as Wells fell from the top ten after an excursion while Collins came in with a faulty oil temp gauge. Knights new toy ran well, dicing with Mike Oliver (EH) but later struggled with brake issues (i.e a lack thereof).

Brian Dermott (Torana) was back after his Island shunt, dicing with Michael Lemmens in only his second meeting in his new Torana. Taylor tripped on a curb at turn one after a big battle with Trengrove and flipped the Holden on its lid, escaping unhurt and bringing out the safety car. Hubbard blasted away at the restart and took an untroubled win from Ward and Challis, then Trengrove, Brewster, Dobson, Dermott, Lemmens, Oliver and Stuart Brown. Fastest lap: Hubbard 1:24.2896.

Race Two (six laps)
Rain greeted competitors on Sunday morning, wets the order of the day if you had `em. Hubbard led Ward and Challis though could not unleash the 350s potential without huge wheel spin throughout all gears. Alan Brown retired with ignition maladies as Oliver sliced impressively through the spray to challenge for sixth before looping the EH entering the front straight. Dermott relieved Brewster of fourth while Clempson retired with an oil leak. Having sorted some carb jetting issues, Mick Stupka (Imp) had the measure of Dean Bryant (Escort 1300GT) as Collins was content to just circulate the untested Camaro.

An incredible last few laps unfolded as Ward began to apply the pressure to Hubbard, the two pony cars inches apart in the driving rain but driven with such skill (and consideration for the other bloke) that no panel rubbing occurred. Challis in turn was right on Wards tail, just waiting for the V8 boys to slip up. Entering the straight for the final time, Hubbard got fractionally sideways and Ward seized the chance, sneaking up the inside then sprinting for the line. Hubbard came back at him but failed by half a bonnet length, an exciting end to a fantastic race. Challis was only .6 of a second adrift in third. Dermott was next then Brewster, who discovered post- race he had blown a head gasket and put a pushrod through a rocker (!).Oilver, Trengrove, Shatz and Stuart Brown completed the top ten. Fastest lap: Challis 1:39.9260

Race Three (ten laps).
The rain cleared and drys went back on, Hubbard smoking the bags at the get-go allowing Ward to lead (yes, that’s right kids – Jervis actually made a good start) onto the back straight. Hubbard opened the taps on the back straight to grab the lead as Ward then fell to Challis. After  a big effort between races Brewster was back to strength, mixing it up with Trengrove and Dermott as Simon Browning (Cortina) battled Stupka. Hubbard cruised to the win from Challis who just beat home Ward. Trengrove took fourth from Brewster, then Dermott, Dobson, Wells, Stuart Brown and Oliver. Fastest lap: Hubbard 1:23.3813.

Next round: June 10-11, Phillip Island.