Magic as Usual
November 24-25 2012
A short report by Nat Soft and H. Earsay Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould.
Triffic weather, a good field and good racing marked a fabulous Island Magic – an event that always turns on a great spectacle. This meeting would be a real decider for the HTCAV championship.
Thirty-one cars fronted for qualifying and it looked like it was going to be on among the big boys up the front. Darren Collins, who has made this meeting’s trophy race his own over the past few years was way out in front in the now completely sorted Camaro with a 1.49 flat, the ever-improving Rod Hotchkin in the blue HO in the 50s, Mustang pilots Harry Bargwanna and John Harrison and Michael Hibbert’s Charger in the 51s just ahead of Leo Tobin’s Mustang in the early 52s.
Local hero Scott Slater headed Stuart Barnes Mustang, John Burke’s Charger and James Frolley’s Mustang to round out the top 10. Fastest Nb car was Brent Trengrove in 11th ahead of Mark’s Bewster Torana and the fastest of the smaller cars, Russell Pilven’s Datsun.
The Saturday afternoon 8-lapper saw two notable retirements, the flying Michael Hibbert and Leo Tobin, the former having had a dream run in MoPar reliability, the latter continuing a run of bad luck and this incident would change the championship results dramatically. Darren Collins loped away from Harrison, Bargwanna, Barnes and Slater, with Hotchkin not having started. Ben Read proved fastest of the Mazdas, Brent Trengrove copped a penalty; in total there were seven DNFs.
Sunday morning’s 5-lap race saw the setting of a new Under2 -litre record with Russ Pilven cracking 1.54.01. His three strong finishes during the weekend lifted him to a clear points lead in the club championship after Leo Tobin’s engine woes. But Rod Hotchkin was back in business, winding himself up through the five laps to 8th from the back of the grid, ready for the final. Darren Collins cracked a 1.49.00 neat at the front leading home Harrison, Bargwanna, Slater, Trengrove and Frolley.
In the 8-Lap Hornet Press Graham Slater Victorian Historic Touring Car Trophy race in the afternoon, winner Darren Collins went even quicker to record a 1.48.79, getting oh-so-close to Paul Stubber’s 2006 record of 1.48.62 in his Camaro, Bargwanna in second place bested Harrison, with Slater’s Torana just .75 of a second in arrears for fourth. A 10-second gap followed to Bill Trengrove, Barnes and Burke and Glenn Miles’s Chargers, with Read Mazda hot on their tails. Rod Hotchkin’s challenge evaporated with an off relegating him from a charging second to 14th. Amazingly this is Darren’s fourth victory in this event, the first driver ever to achieve it.
Overall, Mark Brewster and Alan McKelvie were the next fastest XU1s, NSW’s Mayne and Rogerson the next Mazdas and Smallman’s BDA and David Brown’s Datsun the next quickest Under-2 Litre cars. In big Nb, Team Termite (Bill and Brent Trengrove) held sway over John Clarke in Mustangs, Richard Fairlam’s EH had the legs on Steve Watt, while John Luxmoore, Ian Pringle and Mick Stupka were the sole entrants in their classes.
A ripper end to the year’s racing…