2014 State Series Round 1

Phillip Island

April 12 & 13, 2014

Report by Chris Ralph. Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould (All photos @ www.philwisewould.zenfolio.com)

After a week of very wet weather plenty of bone hard ‘wets’ were packed into trucks ready for the first round of the 2014 State Series at the Island in mid April.

Turns out they weren’t really needed, except possibly on the Friday, when it was more slithery than wet. Poor John Alessi slithered into a bank in the red Monaro and promptly ended his weekend, posting the only panel damage for the meeting.

Qualifying on Saturday morning was slippery too, as shown by Angelo Taranto’s 2.03.1 pole time. Second on the grid was Andrew Tickner with a 2.04.9 and no-one was more surprised than Tight-Arse Tickers himself. Known for not spending a dollar more than he needs to, he used his old very bald ones and grabbed second. Checking the date on the tyre walls later – 2007. Extremely chuffed with the value of those 2007 dollars and his front row spot he trotted off and strapped on a new set.

Third was Comp Sec Stephen Pillekers’ Torana at 2.06, just a squeak ahead of Brent Trengrove’s Mustang and Tim Fettel’s Torana. David Brown’s Datsun 1600 and Andrew Girvan’s Torana were in the 2.08s, followed by Karl Wittick’s Falcon, Darren Hill’s Porsche and Craid Miles rounding the top 10. Little cars such as John Eele’s Mini and my BMW were able to head out the V8s of Tobin, Cromarty, Chris Stern and Hotchkin, while in Nb Paul Trevethan’s Lotus Cortina led the Cortina GTs of Deveson and Luxmoore and the Alfa of Mike Bugelly.

Saturday afternoon, Race 1

That all changed in the dry Race 1 of course and Leo Tobin won by eight seconds over Angelo Taranto and Rod Hotchkin, with Stephen Pillekers fourth ahead of Brent Trengrove. Fettel’s Torana held out Miles’ Charger and David Brown’s Datto, Smokey Cromarty was next ahead of Hill’s Porsche, Karl Wittick and the editorial Bimmer. A bevy of Nb cars followed, Eeles heading off Luxmore, Deveson, Trevethan and Bugelly. Minor ailments sidelined Tickers, Andrew Girvan and Chris Stern (fuel).

Sunday morning, Race Two.

Leo Tobin and Ang Taranto crossed the line barely a second apart after a great duel but after being pinged 5 secs for jumping the start were recorded second and third behind the Hot Chicken Falcon. Stephen Pillekers claimed fourth from Andrew Tickner, hotly pursued by Craig Miles, with ten seconds to Ian Cromarty and another ten back to Chris Stern and David Brown with Karl Wittick completing the top ten. In the Nb class John Eeles scored the win as a fast Matt Baragwanath (2.01.9) sitting in for Paul Trevethan in the Lotus, was pinged five seconds for a jumped start, Johnny Luxmoore and Mike Bugelly completed the finishers. Darren Hill had a slight over-rev in the Porsche and nasty noises caused him to retire, Tim Fettel and Andrew Girvan heard something similar, not sure why the Deveson Cortina retired.

Sunday afternoon, Race Three.

Fourteen cars faced the starter for the last, with Leo Tobin electing not to start the way was left clear for Rod Hotchkin to carry off this 10-lap feature race, barely a second ahead of the scrapping Angelo Taranto and Craig Miles who finished barely a tenth apart. Ten seconds back Andrew Tickner was another ten ahead of Stephen Pillekers who managed to keep Chris Stern at bay. Not far behind was Ian Cromarty and Brent Trengrove with a gap back to Karl Wittick who had a minor problem. David Brown blew a head gasket but managed to coast from Lukey Heights to the finish to thwart the Editorial BM from making the top ten. Matt Baragwanath brought the Lotus home well ahead of FJ Luxmoore; Mike Bugelly retired after the rear brakes came on, making the Alfa very much slower.  He was very pleased with this rescued racer, this and a short appearance at the subsequent Statie showed everything to be in order except the gasping engine. Off to Vin Sharp to get the horsepower it deserves then it will step out to be a contender in the 1600cc Nb class later in the year.