2008 Muscle Car Masters

Eastern Creek, Sept.6-7 2008

By Darren Knight. Pics James Smith

The fourth annual Dads Day power party continues to grow each year. More legendary drivers and cars put in an appearance and race entries are still climbing. Nearly 30 Nb, an amazing 90 plus Nc and the biggest Group C & A grid ever seen combined for some fantastic action across the two days. Nc was separated into two divisions based on lap times from qualifying. Saturday was wet and soggy but Sunday brought glorious sunshine and a dry track, which ironically led to more incidents compared to the wet Saturday.

Scott Fleming (Lotus Cortina) was a standout performer all weekend. Pole position, three wins and running at the pointy end in the final until retiring, proved his blistering speed.

Saturday: Race 1.
Fleming was never headed in the wet opening race, while Eastern Creek debutant Andy Clempson (Mustang) bagged second place half a minute ahead of Ben Wilkinson (EH) after an excellent drive in monsoonal conditions.

Saturday: Race 2.
Conditions abated slightly for Race Two but the order remained the same with Clempson having led the opening lap before Fleming nipped up the inside. Bill Meeke (Falcon Sprint) had a couple of moments trying to climb up the order while Paul Trevethan (Lotus Cortina) snared another fourth after qualifying third fastest.

Sunday: Race 3.
Dry weather was the norm for Race Three with Fleming soon back out in front but the highlight was the performance of Garry Brown (Nova). The Queenslander looked strong in second place until Greg Toepfer (Mustang) eventually put him back to third, though Brown was still well clear of Clempson, Max Ulrich (Mustang) and Meeke at the finish. Mike Dyer (in Grahame Hill’s Mustang) bagged seventh right on the line after blasting past a hapless Bob Hayden (EH) and Ken McGann (Cooper S) who in turn just beat David Moran (Mustang). After a sensational 11th outright in race one Jerry Lenstra (Imp) posted a DNF with heavy frontal damage.

Sunday: Race 4
The recent discussion about safety during start line incidents will no doubt come up again after not one but two accidents in the final event. Lining up mid pack, the gorgeous Mk.II Jag of Victor Waterhouse was cleaned up by the Cortina of Kerry Hughes on the grid with very heavy damage to both cars. At the restart Ben Tebbutt (Cooper S) ended up in the wall after some jostling, with the Safety Car despatched for a lap to remove the bent Brick. Meeke finally had the Sprint in stride and moved into the lead. Phil Taylor (EH) retired with frontal damage and Fleming suddenly slowed on the front straight whilst in second just after starting the last lap. Meeke won comfortably from Toepfer who was handed a 60 second penalty post race leaving Ulrich second and Brown third. Alan Boughen in the crowd favourite Customline put in an absolutely stunning drive from the back of the grid after brake problems surfaced in race three. Tenth outright and lap times in the 2 mins flat region were just reward for the trip down from Bris-vegas.

Nc. Division One

This turned out to be no less than a two man war between Simon Phillips (Torana) and Glenn Seton (Capri).

Saturday: Race 1.
Seton won the wet opener but was pushed by Phillips who still set fastest lap by nearly a second. Scott Bargwanna took father Alf`s Torana to third whilst uncle Harry`s Capri expired early as did the Bo Seton machine. A yellow flag just after the start of the race saw several competitors get swamped by those following who did not heed the yellow. The race saw the reappearance of Mark Duquet`s awesome 427 Galaxie after an absence of a few seasons and a very pretty 3 litre BMW CSL (a.k.a. Batmobile) driven by Pete McNamara. The sight of John Bryant back behind the wheel of his Monaro was also great to see after his fearsome F5000 crash at Phillip Island earlier this year.

Saturday: Race 2.
This saw Jason Humble (RX-2) bolt off the third row to mix it up early with Seton and Phillips. Jose Fernandez (Doug Westwood Falcon) retired with distributor issues that would plague the team all weekend and Harry Bargwanna spun, bringing out the Safety Car. Matt O`Brien (HQ Monaro) also spun as Phillips took a hard fought win narrowly over Seton. After a great drive Humble just beat Jack Elsegood (Eric Standford Falcon) to third with Vince Macri (Torana) next.

Sunday: Race 3.
This saw a dry track with another disaster for the Bargwannas in store, both Scott and Harry retiring. Macri also came in after holding down fourth. Bob Cox (Mustang) was slicing through the field until spinning back down the order with Rob Braune (Charger) and Darren Pearce (Mustang) engaging in a great dice for fifth. Seton took another extremely close win over Phillips with Elsegood third and Mick Donaher (in father Laurie`s Camaro) next then Braune.

Sunday: Race 4:
After climbing to tenth in race three Fernandez was out early in the final race with dizzy woes and Cox parked the Pony with suspected valve train problems. Yet again Seton was hounded by Phillips all race but triumphed in the end with Elsegood just beating home Pearce for third. Scott Bargwanna bagged sixth from the rear of the grid and Cameron Tilley (Pacer) had his best finish with an eighth.

Division Two, Saturday: Race 1 & 2.

Paul Axiak (HQ Monaro) won the opening race on a very slippery track with Greg Young (McNamara BMW 2002) a fine second from Ray Challis (Torana) in third. Young made the most of the even wetter conditions for race two with an almost flag to flag win from Daryl Hansen (Mustang) who was sixth in the opener with Axiak, Leigh Turner (ex Kevin Stoopman Monaro) and Toepfer (HQ Kingswood) next. Leo Jameson (RX-2) had climbed to third outright until a spin at the hairpin while Challis relinquished fourth after a pit stop.

Sunday: Race 3
The dry conditions for race three helped Axiak to hook up nicely and grab the lead until Hansen powered past. A black flag (one of many metered out over the weekend) for an alleged jump start put Hansen way back down the order as Toepfer and Greg Luca (Torana) engaged a big dice for the lead. Toepfer looked set to take a close win until the gear shifter came out just before the line allowing Luca to sweep past for the victory. Steve Land (Capri) just beat Andrew Whiteside (Charger) to third with Brian Potts (Monaro) edging out Alan Reid (XY Falcon) for fifth after a big dice also involving the Falcons of Joe McGinnes and Jason Foley.

Sunday: Race 4.
Toepfer did not front for the final which saw Reid grab the hole shot and leap from sixth on the grid to snatch the lead into turn one. Luca spun out of second as Whiteside and Peter O`Brien (XY Flacon) argued over third until the Charger copped a black flag (as did Land and Luca). Des Wall (Geoghegan Mustang) continued his inexorable climb to the front and took the win from Reid, O`Brien, Hansen and Potts. Mark Jewell (Torana) just beat Mick Terry (Torana) home for sixth after a great battle. The Mustang of Michael Bugelly and XW of McGinnes came to grief on the last lap, both cars sustaining major damage after hitting the inside wall exiting the hairpin.