Round 3 – Sandown
July 22/23 2006
Words – Darren Knight Pictures – Neil Hammond
Club history was made with 36 cars lining up for race one, surely the biggest entry ever for a State round. Biante Series regular Gavin Bullas (ex Miceli Boss Mustang) beat Tony Hubbard (`67 Camaro) to pole by a tiny margin, Tony Hunters stunning new `69 Camaro next to start alongside Alastair MacLean (`68 Camaro).
Race One (8 laps)
A frantic first corner saw MacLean dive up the inside, only to run wide with Bullas getting shuffled back as Hubbard and Kevin Stoopman (HQ Monaro) now battled for the lead. Hubbard actually ran over the grass briefly before emerging in front, Bullas losing spots after a clash with the Stoopman Holden which suffered brake dramas (having had incorrect front pads supplied). Michael Miceli (ex Wiseman XW Falcon) retired with brake bias issues, joining the Steve Makarios owned XY Falcon of Les Walmsley (gearbox). Andy Clempson (Nb Mustang) was flying, up to fifth having started 11th.
MacLean chased hard early but could not catch Hubbard, Hunter third and Jervis Ward (Nb Mustang) fourth. Clempson was next, then Andrew Cannon and Tino Leo (both Nb Mustangs), Bullas, Geoff Taylor (Torana) and Peter Burchel (Mustang). Welcome aboard to rookies Brent (son of Bill) Trengrove and Darren Bianchi, who both safely brought home their respective EH and XU-1 mounts to a finish. Fastest lap: MacLean 1:22.5971 (lap three).
Race Two (6 laps)
For the second consecutive Sandown round, Sunday dawned cold and wet. The sodden track saw the skinnier – tyred Nb Mustangs of Ward and Cannon launch away in impressive fashion, hassling the 350 powered brutes of Hubbard and MacLean into turn one. Hunter began losing spots with a massive vibration from the front end, later traced to brake problems. Don Knight (Twin Cam Escort) and Graham Slater (Torana) both spun but continued (as had Laurie Nelson in Eddie Dobbs Torana after rotating on the warm up lap) whilst John Bendell (Lotus Cortina) was not so lucky, retiring after bending the Cortys snout against the armco on the front straight. MacLean retired with a sticking throttle cable as Bullas climbed up the order. Ward pressured Hubbard at the front (just like the last round) as Rob Burns (in Garry O`Briens Kingswood) powered up to fifth after starting 13th! Hubbard eventually beat Ward by less than two seconds, Bullas next then the ever improving Clempson, Burns, Cannon, Burchel, Taylor (again the leading Torana), Stoopman and Miceli. Fastest lap: Hubbard 1:32.3838 (lap six).
Race Three (10 laps)
Dark skies prevailed but the track began to dry as Hubbard led Bullas and Burns in the early stages. Bullas grabbed the lead at Dandy Road before Hubbard struck back at turn one, only to run off and fall back, the exhaust dislodging later for good measure. Burns held second until MacLean stormed through from the rear of the grid. Knight retired with a broken throttle cable as John Luxmoore (Cortina GT) led Dean Bryant (Escort 1300GT) and Rod Evans (Cortina GT). Tino Leos entertaining battle with Cannon ended after he grazed the fence and retired, joining Miceli who again suffered brake dramas. Bullas built a big lead as the real interest centred on the battle for third, Hunter slowing on the last lap after losing second and third gear and coming under pressure from Ward. Bullas took the chequer in front of MacLean, Hunter just edging out Ward by a bees manhood for third. Burns was fifth, then Clempson, Cannon, Walmsley, Taylor and Mark Brewster (Torana). Hubbard recovered to 11th, also claiming fastest lap with a 1:24.2039 (lap seven).