Round 2 – Phillip Island
June 10/11 2006
Words – Darren Knight Pictures – Greg Maude
The traditional "brass monkey" meeting lived up to its usual Arctic-like weather forecasts, heavy fog slowing proceedings on one morning and rain livening things up for the final. The brief two week break after Winton Historics saw entrant numbers down, our 15 cars combined with the handful of Saloon Cars to make up the grid.
Race One (4 laps)
Pole sitter Ray Challis (Torana) led before falling off at Honda on the opening lap, Mark Brewster (Torana) taking over at the front as Geoff Taylor chased in the repaired Torana, the ex Barbour machine having finished Sandown on its roof at turn one. Darren Collins put away the new `69 Camaro after breaking a rocker, having suffered a leaking cylinder earlier. Alan Brown (Torana)also retired as ervis Ward (Mustang) moved into second after Taylor came in for a drive through penalty for a jump start. Andy Clempson (Mustang) battled Rod Evans in Jill Hergts Chev Nova, a stiff neck not helping "Hollwood"s cause with the Nova eventually getting past. Dean Bryant (Escort 1300 GT) held tenth until Mark Shatz (BMW 2002) and Stuart Brown (Torana) both found a way past. Brewster held out Ward for the win, bettering his three second places in the corresponding round here last year. Bill Cutler (BMW 2002) grabbed third from Evans and Clempson. Paul Dobson (XT GT) was next then Challis, Brian Dermott (Torana), Mike Oliver (EH) and Shatz. Fastest lap: Challis 1:52.9950 (lap two).
Race Two (5 laps)
Ward led Brewster and Evans early until Challis moved into second on lap two and began harassing the Ford. Dobson went out with a snapped accelerator cable as Cutler and Taylor engaged in a great dice for fifth, Evans also in the mix despite battling gearbox issues. Oliver had the EH on the charge, getting past Dermott as Bryant diced with Wells. Ward withstood the Torana attack from Challis to win with Brewster third, Taylor next then Cutler. Evans was sixth then Oliver, Dermott, Stu Brown and Shatz. Fastest lap: Challis 1:53.9089 (lap five).
Race Three (10 laps)
The skies darkened for the last race of the day, the rain coming down just before the field left the dummy grid. Challis took an early lead as Ward was slow away, Taylor soon out with drive line issues. Cutler was showing his usual wet weather prowess until a rare slip up saw the Bimmer fall from fourth. The man of the moment though was Editor Bryant, the `lil Esky running as high as fourth at one stage and really giving it to Evans and Clempson. Ward found a way past Challis as the rain abated slightly, Evans also getting past Brewster on the same lap to move onto the podium for the first time. Challis continued to niggle at the President (as he should be niggled, – on track or off!) but could not match the V8s grunt, Ward winning by less than half a second from Challis with Evans some distance behind in third, the Chev sounding fantastic in the near darkness. Clempson was fourth, then Brewster, Bryant, Cutler, Dobson and Dermott. Oliver was last but incredibly finished despite breaking an axle off the line, the EH even more sideways as a result! Fastest lap: Challis 2:10.3648 (lap ten).