Hot weather, hot racing
March 8-10 2013
Report by Darren Knight. Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould.
Former V8 Supercar driver Mick Donaher had set a blistering 1:48.9907 in qualifying at the wheel of father Laurie’s Mustang but it was Darryl Hansen (Mustang) who led into turn one in the opening race.
Donaher went through at Honda as third place Alf Bargwanna had Angelo Taranto (Torana) and the Mustangs of Harry Bargwanna and John Harrison all over him in an epic dice.
Grant Bingley (ex Ward Mustang) hit the grass at full noise entering the front straight but recovered but Andrew Broderick (Torana) was not so lucky. The XU-1 dropped a wheel off and speared nose first into the pit wall with fairly hefty damage the result.
Harry Bargs used some V8 grunt to power past Alf on the front straight, giving his brother a friendly wave on the way through. Andrew Cannon parked his Mustang with an oil cooler issue as Alf also retired after the Holden began to smoke.
Donaher won easily from Hansen who copped a time penalty post race having been adjudged to have jumped the start. Harry Bargs was then elevated to second from Taranto, Harrison, Steve Coad (Torana), the Falcons of Rod Hotchkin and Darren Smith, Andrew Whiteside (Mustang), the relegated Hansen and Nb winner Bill Trengrove (Mustang). Third fastest qualifier Leo Tobin (Mustang) did not start after the 302 Windsor made an ugly noise in qualifying.
Rob Marshall (ex Miceli Falcon) suffered a fuel pump failure at the start of race two and had to be pushed off after everyone did an excellent job avoiding the stricken big Henry, which had gridded up 11th. Stuart Barnes was also having issues with his immaculate Mustang and did not complete a lap.
Hotchkin made a great start to slip into second as Donaher again set up a winning lead. There was another massive battle for the minor placings with Hansen threading his way through into second. Ian Cromarty (XT) came in after throwing a fan belt while new boy Andrew Girvan (Torana) blew a head gasket.
Wayne Rogerson (RX-2) harried John Bryant (Falcon Sprint) who broke into the top ten and looked set to win Nb until a front calliper locked on with two corners to go.
Donaher won from Hansen then Hotchkin, Harry B and Smith who blew an oil cooler right at the flag. Island debutant Shane Atwell from W.A. finished an impressive 12th in the ex Peter Burchall Mustang. Bingley won Nb in 13th.
Donaher again led early in race three but suddenly slowed approaching turn twelve after the gearbox cried enough, putting him out for the remainder. Harry B and Harrison raced hard for second with Hotchkin coming in after a valve blew and deflated a tyre.
Coad and Taranto had a huge dice as Hansen was untroubled for the win with Harry B second from Harrison and Smith. Whiteside was fifth in an encouraging run for a car still early in its development. Bryant climbed from 31st on the grid to be tenth outright and win Nb.
In the final Rogerson made an electric start from 8th on the grid to almost nip at Hansen and Bargwanna off the line. Officials later deemed it was a little too electric and he received a jumped start penalty.
Smith got up into third until Harrison went through and began pressuring Bargwanna. Meanwhile brother Alf was back out having a guest steer thanks to a generous offer from Ian Sawtell after Alf’s own Torrie was parked after race two with a worrying vibration.
Hansen was never headed in a tidy drive and went on to win from Harry B and Harrison, the two smaller-engined Mustangs pushing all the way but not having the extra neddies to seriously challenge Hansen.
Smith was fourth from Whiteside and Taranto with Nb winner Bryant in seventh.