November 28-29, 2014
Chris Ralph with Stephen Pillekers. Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould.
On his mission to reclaim his Sandown and Phillip Island lap records from the local cheeky upstart, fellow Camaro driver Darren Collins, WA’s Paul Stubber arrived at the Island with the first box well and truly ticked. His sub-record qualifying time of 1.47.5 left no doubt that the second box would also get the pencil. In R3 he would go even quicker, and a faithful Old Yella, first log booked in 1999, would be put in the truck with an amazing 1.46.8 beside its name.
Spectators would witness Paul’s outstanding car control, honed by years of drifting mighty sprint cars and currently by racing most weekends at important historic meets around the world, and see a car with suspension work developed to match his skills.
Behind him a battle raged over the weekend between two white monsters – Darren Collins’s Camaro and Andy Clempson’s new Mustang, finishing in that order, but by very narrow margins. Harry Bargwanna and John Harrison’s 289 Mustangs were in the mix and SA member Stuart Barnes’ 69 302 Mustang claimed the first non-podium position in the trophy race after Harry and John retired.
An interesting battle between the Capris of Tony Gilfuis ran all weekend with the latter finally edging away in the final, and regular NSW visitor Jerry Lenstra had a smooth and trouble free run in his rapid BDA.
Alan McKelvie’s Torana was a Friday casualty from damaged cam lobes, the same malady saw Glenn Miles proceed no further than qualifying, while a clutch rattle had the same result for Paul Dobson’s 289 Falcon.
In R1, WA’s Shane Atwell had a trousers moment as a left hand front wheel parted company, but he returned and ran strongly in the subsequent events. Bill Trengrove was trialing a new quad Weber set up in the Mustang and packed it away, while Andy Clempson’s fuel calculator must have been faulty, cough, cough. Far from shutting the door, John Harrison’s Mustang was opening it, requiring a decent slam on a drive through, while Stuart Barnes in the Mustang and Scott Slater in the XU-1 were enjoying such a nice dice they had a little kiss.
In R2, the Slater Torana engine became a holy relic when number one piston got punchy at Hayshed, generously spraying Tim Fettel and Stephen Pilleker’s with lots of lovely hot oil. Ian Cromarty had a leaky timing case in the Falcon and wisely retired. Fettel’s Torana would show a suspect bearing in R3 and do the same.
Another great Island Magic meeting to end the year, with the force majeur of Stubber the big talking point, but great racing through the field in his wake.