By Darren Knight. Pics Neil Hammond
Minis and Mopars dominated proceedings at the 32nd Historic Winton. Two first time winners in Ian Pringle and Anthony Ramadge (both in Len Read powered Cooper S`) won the Nb scratch races while Rob Braune and Michael Hibbert (both in Chargers) finished one-two in both Nc scratch events. The weather was again fantastic save for a small spittle late on Sunday
In the opening race pole winner Henry Draper (Mini) soon found himself immersed in an all Cooper S dice of massive proportions at the front. It all came unstuck though at turn one when Lindsay Seibler (Mini) locked a brake whilst diving up the inside of Roger Howard (Mini) and connected. Pete Melick (Mini) had nowhere to go and retired with damage while Howard lost many places but continued. Richard Fairlam (EH) was the leading non-Mini qualifier in sixth but his attack ended after an oil filter dislodged and dropped all the Holden`s oil. After qualifying an impressive tenth Helen Lindner (Mini) was right in the mix until she happened upon said oil and spun off entering turn one, bringing the car to a stop but falling right down the order. Pringle took the win from Ramadge and Draper with Phil Reynolds (Mini) and Seibler next then impressive Winton rookie Nick Cascone (ex Cleaver Cortina) sixth. Brent Trengrove (EH), John Bourke (EH), Colin Doolan (Cortina) and Paul Girt (Mini) were next with Eddie Dobbs (FE) just outside the top ten.
In the handicap Team Holloway almost made it a one-two with Michael leading James until Michael Stupka (Imp) displaced James for second place (obviously those mud flaps were to blame eh James?).
Pringle lead early in the final scratch race while Cascone dropped from fifth place after a lose in the esses. Ramadge slipped through into the lead as Draper had a huge battle with Seibler for third until breaking free and then getting past Pringle to move into second. Ramadge took the victory under darkening skies from Draper and Pringle who just held off Seibler with Reynolds fifth narrowly in front of Doolan. John Bourke (EH), Howard, Girt and Fairlam rounded out the top ten.
Pole man Braune was quickly into the lead as Ray Challis` (Torana) first ever race at Historic Winton suffered a set back after a spin exiting the sweeper. Kevin Heffernan (Torana) also fell off, this time exiting turn two and losing third place in the process. The dice of the race was between the Toranas of Alf Bargwanna and Gary Edwards for third as Braune hung the tail out for lap after lap much to the crowds delight. The increasingly competitive Hibbert was never far away and pushed Braune to the flag with Bargwanna just beating home Edwards in fourth. Peter Burchell (Mustang) was fifth after a great battle with James Frolley (Mustang), the seventh placed Paul Cruse (Twin Cam Escort) pushing them all the way. Heffernan recovered to be eighth then Lawrie Nelson (Dobbs Torana) and Stuart Brown (Torana) in tenth.
Race two started without Frolley after a fuel pump problem ended his meeting. Braune again hooked up nicely to lead Hibbert as Edwards found a way past Bargs after another ding dong tussle. Rory O`Neil (Porsche) retired with a guard folded onto a tyre and bent steering after contact with Brendan Hare (Capri). Braune won from Hibbert and Edwards then Bargwanna, Heffernan, Brown, Cruse, Burchell, Challis and Nelson.
The handicap saw a clash between Hibbert and the Porsche of South Australian John Nelson, the latter retiring with a crunched guard. Ian Watt (Triumph 2.5 PI) led for some time until eventual winner Hare and Lawrie Nelson went through.