Clean sweep for Andrew Williams at Mallala Historics
Report by Darren Knight. Pics courtesy John Lemm.
With the Easter Bathurst meeting now a regular fixture, the South Australian Sporting Car Club made the decision to move their annual Historic Meeting from Easter to the Anzac Day weekend.
A huge downpour on Friday night thankfully gave way to a spot of sunshine on Saturday morning, just in time for a small ceremony at the track to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. A handful of Victorians joined the locals along with Stuart Young from W.A. and the Daryl Hansen team from Wagga.
Patchy rain had returned by the time the field gridded up for the Race One in the late afternoon. Pole winner Kevin Stoopman (ex John Bryant Monaro) found he had no grip on the harder Bridgestones and immediately dropped a few spots. Hansen ('68 Mustang) utilised a new set of the recently approved Hoosier wets to good effect and took an early lead. It wasn’t long though until Andrew Williams speared his Torana down the inside and set up a race winning lead. Local Geoff Davis (Mazda) retired after a drying track cooked his wets.
Williams received a five second penalty for moving at the start but still had a big enough lead to claim the win from Hansen with Denis O`Brien an excellent third (in Hansens familiar '69 Fastback) on his Mallala debut. Mark Johnson (Porsche) bagged a well driven fourth place in front of the local '69 Camaros of Roger Oliver (who had elected to run on Hoosier drys) and Graham Jarrett. Stuart Barnes’ stunning Boss Mustang was next with Stoopman a slithering eighth.
Race Two saw the track bathed in floodlights with plenty of standing water adding to the spectacle. Mini driver Rob Ford rocketed off the fifth row of the grid to make it three wide momentarily heading into turn one. Likewise Johnson had made a bolter and slipped into second behind Hansen. Williams was soon back in command at the front after a cautious start with a bruising battle breaking out between Stoopman, Jarrett and Hansen. Oliver pushed hard but was hampered somewhat by a miss above 6000rpm.
ohnson rotated his 911 out of fourth place but eventually rejoined well down, while Ford went out with a plug issue. Williams took the win from Jarrett and Hansen with Stoopman next then Oliver, Barnes, Josh Axford (Twin Cam Escort) and former State Champ Rory O'Neill (Porsche). Race Three, Group N’s last event of Anzac Day 2015 was a Butchers Picnic with a few invited cars joining the Historic Tourers. Williams again was the victor from Oliver, Jarrett and Axford.
Cool conditions with the odd shower greeted the competitors for Sunday’s action. In Race Four, Jarrett made a great start to lead the field early as Stoopman and Williams engaged in an entertaining struggle for second. The Torana was merciless under brakes but the power of the Monaro kept Stoopman in the hunt. Eventually Williams got through and then dispatched Jarrett as Hansen dropped back with gearbox issues. Victorian Nathan Gordon retired his Torana as O`Neill and Johnson battled for Porsche honours.
Oliver entertained the hardy crowd with some sideways action in his grip-challenged Chev while Stoopman retired from the meeting with oil pressure issues after posting the fastest lap during his dice with Williams, who went on to take an untroubled victory from Jarrett followed by Oliver, Hansen, Barnes and O`Brien.
n the final, Race Five, Jarrett again got the jump on Williams to snatch an early lead with Oliver pushing his immaculate Camaro into second, ahead of the Torana. A huge dice erupted between the Mustangs of O'Brien, Barnes and Hansen as the two local Porches of Mark Forgie and O`Neill ran in close company. Williams had a big lock up at the end of the super-fast back straight but was soon into the lead anyway and simply drove into the distance to take the win and make it a clean sweep for the weekend.
Jarrett was second in front of Oliver who was relegated to fourth behind O'Brien after copping a five second post-race penalty. Hansen put up with his gearbox gremlins and just beat Barnes into fifth after a spectacular outside pass on the Boss Mustang with two corners remaining.