2009 Muscle Car Masters

September 6 2009

Words Darren Knight. Pics courtesy James Smith

Big fields and fantastic racing again characterised what must now surely be Eastern Creeks biggest meeting of the year. Nb delivered 30 plus cars with the huge Nc grid split into two divisions based on qualifying lap times.

Mustang men Greg Toepfer and Bill Trengrove had fantastic battles in the opening two races with Toepfer taking both victories by the slimmest of margins. Three time race winner at last years event, Scott Fleming (Lotus Cortina) pushed hard to be third in both races but just ran out of legs to beat Trengrove to the line. Andy Clempson parked the Mustang early in race one after suffering a suspected cracked head during qualifying.

Alan Boughen (Customline) and Phil Barrow (FJ) ran strongly mid pack despite being the two oldest cars in the field – the four wheel drum brakes doing their job nicely by not slowing them down! Not far behind were another two interesting cars in John Shuttle`s magnificent Mk. II Jag and the enormous bellowing four door Galaxie of Chris Strode with 390 cubic inches of Ford big block power providing the Len Lukey flashbacks.

Trengrove just held out Toepfer in race three followed by Fleming and Lynn Brown (Alfa GTV) with Ross Muller (Chev Nova) just edging out Mike Dyer (Grahame Hill Mustang) for fifth. Santimo Di Carlo continued his epic battles with fellow Mini maniacs David Wheatly and Darren Burnes. In the feature race Toepfer made the early running with Fleming taking over second from Trengrove and then setting his sights on the Pony Car out front. Sensing the developing big car/small car battle the crowd became fixated on the engrossing dice for the lead – the Mustang having the legs down the straight while the Lotus closed right up in the corners.

Toepfer looked set for the win until a half spin at the turn nine hair pin on the final lap allowed Fleming and then Trengrove through before Toepfer rejoined in third. As one the grandstand leapt to their feet and then applauded as the little Lotus crossed the line for a popular win. The crowd also warmly applauded Toepfer for his efforts. Ben Wilkinson pushed his amazing EH up to fourth with Dyer inches behind in fifth.

Nc (Division One)
With his own V6 Capri at his disposal Glenn Seton again demonstrated why he is rapidly becoming the man to beat in Historic Tourers – nationwide. Mick Donaher (Camaro) set a faster lap time in the opener but still had to settle for second behind the two-time ATCC Champ. Alan Reid ran wide and lost a few spots on lap one but fellow Falcon steerers Jack Elsegood and Russell Wright had a close battle for third while the rapid Torana of Ethan Lind was right behind in fifth ready to pounce all race. Fellow Queenslander Simon Phillips fell down the order and Alf Bargwanna looped his XU-1 at the hair pin. Elsegood scored third after Wright ran wide at turn ten on the last lap. The Saturday afternoon race was cancelled after a big bingle in the Central Muscle Cars.

Race two on Sunday saw Donaher take an early lead before Seton went through and was never headed. Lind just beat Donaher for third. The Monaro of John Bryant suffered heavy damage after contact with the Mustang of Darryl Hansen at the hair pin with Hansen retiring soon after. Former Muscle Car Masters pole winner Andrew Williams (Torana) retired after the oil catch can came loose. Seton made it a clean sweep with victory in the feature race while Donaher held out Lind for second after another big dice with Elsegood next then Vince Macri (Torana) narrowly in front of Phillips. The sight of Des Wall in the ex Geogehegan Mustang and Peter Sportelli in the magnificent ex Thomson Big Block Camaro driven at full noise was a definite highlight together with the usual frantic dicing.

Nc (Division Two)
Bill Attard (RX-2) was also undefeated in all three races though unlike Seton he had to work a little bit harder for the wins. Greg Luca (Torana) swapped the lead with Attard several times before having to settle for second with Andrew Whiteside (Charger) completing the podium in race one. David Noakes debuted the ex Don Knight Escort, now with Forrest flares and a BDA power plant replacing the Twin Cam under the re-livered bonnet. Marc Ducquet was also back in his thundering 1963 (and a half) 427 Galaxie.

After finishing fifth in race one Nick Marentis (Torana) pushed Attard all the way in race two, falling just short at the flag with Whiteside again third. Bob Sudall (RX-2) took another fourth place. Attard and Marentis again finished one and two in the feature with Jason Foley (Falcon) third and Mark Jewell (Torana) climbing up to an excellent fourth from 12th on the grid.