2012 Phillip Island Classic Over 3 Litre

Top weather, top racing

Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould, Jim Jones, SDpics & Rob Lang. Words Darren Knight

Pole man Fraser Ross (Mustang) leapt out to an early lead in race one as the sweet handling Mark Johnson owned Porsche of John Bowe was gobbled up on the front straight by Darren Collins (Camaro). Second fastest qualifier Ron Moller (Camaro) began to drop down the order with oil surge issues while fellow Sandgroper Bill Meeke battled handling issues in his Falcon Sprint.

The Toranas of Scott Slater and Andrew Williams had a great dice for Holden honours as Ross won from Tony Hubbard (Camaro), Daryl Hansen (Mustang) and Collins with Bowe a brave fifth against the V8s.

Collins hooked up well to lead off the line in race two in contrast to Roger Oliver who smoked the bags gloriously in his stunning Hugger Orange Bob Jane themed `69 Camaro which was making its race debut. Hubbard made a big dive on Collins at MG, the two Camaros running wide and allowing the third placed Ross to squeeze past and into a race winning lead. Rod Hotchkin was the first of the Falcons and found himself in a big battle with John Harrison (ex Nichols Mustang), Slater, Harry Bargwanna (Mustang) and Bill Trengrove who was again the leading Nb racer in his Mustang. Hubbard pushed in second but could not catch Ross with Hansen holding out Collins for third.

Race three again saw Collins lead before Ross got through as Williams charged through from the back after a DNF in race two. Graham Hill (Mustang) had an off and nudged the bank with the rear of his pony car while a couple of laps later the red flags came out to end the race after Daryl Hansen spun resulting in a collision with Harrison. Thankfully all drivers were unhurt although their ’Stangs will all require some panel massaging of varying degrees. Results went back a lap with Ross winning from Hubbard, Hansen and Collins.

The final looked set to be a cracker with the first six cars all extremely close in the early going until Collins lost an oil line at Siberia. The Chev and a number of other cars speared into the gravel in a huge cloud of oil smoke. Hubbard and Bowe rejoined after losing a few places while Hotchkin retired with a cracked sump. Oliver also came in after popping a tyre following several lock ups in the still to be sorted Camaro which looks to have enormous potential. Ross had escaped the drama by being narrowly ahead of Collins and went on to win from Leo Tobin (Mustang) who moved up into second on the very last lap when Bargwanna had a starter shear off causing other damage

The late Graham Slater would have been very proud of son Scott who took a very popular third in the famous number 47 Torana. Slater senior had organised sponsorship for the tourers for over a decade and his passing not long after last years event was a big blow to the category.