2015 Winton Historics

Hot racing to welcome winter

Report by Darren Knight. Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould. (more pics available from www.philwisewould.zenfolio.com)

Race One

It was a Team Hansen lock out on the front row with pole winner Dennis O’Brien ('69 Mustang) grabbing an early lead while the boss, Daryl Hansen ('68 Mustang) bogged down slightly allowing Tony Hubbard (Camaro) to nip up into second place. A great dice erupted between Alan McKelvie (Torana) and Nick Cascone (Cortina) with Quick Nick all over the Torrie through the corners.

Further back the crowd were treated to a fantastic battle between the FJ Holden of Kevin Spokes and the Volkswagen Beetle of Gavin Sheahan. Australia’s Own and Herbie were never more than a car length apart and would continue a spirited contest throughout the whole meeting. Ian Cuss (Triumph) mixed it up with the ex-McKinlay Studebaker of Wayne Walters until the Trumpy pulled out after knocking the top off cylinder number four.

Hubbard fell off through the esses but kept the Chev straight on the grass and re-joined still in second place with Hansen now right on his back bumper. The Mustang eventually found a way past on the final lap to finish runner up behind O`Brien with Hubbard third. After a failing Dorian timer meant a grid position of 12th for his first race in the ex-Rob Braune Charger in nearly three and half years, Les Walmsley was an impressive fourth with Brent Trengrove (Mustang) fifth followed by Justin Elvin (Mini), McKelvie, Cascone, Peter Van Summeren (Escort), Jerry Lenstra (Escort) and James Frolley 11th in the Mustang, after also spending the last few years on the sidelines.

Race Two

Hansen got the jump this time to grab the lead until getting very sideways exiting turn two. O'Brien took full advantage and slipped through as McKelvie fell off shortly after and dropped right to the back. Hubbard retired from third place after breaking a rocker pin in the Camaro.   Walmsley meanwhile was pressuring Hansen for second and Trengrove harassed Elvin with the Mini proving hard to beat around Winton’s tight layout. Fellow Mini man Chris Cotton had an excursion but re-joined.

Hansen continued to get very sideways out of the corners as a tweak to the tyre pressures turned out to be not suitable for the cool conditions. O`Brien kept the vastly more sorted Fastback extremely neat and tidy throughout and took another untroubled win over Hansen in the `68 which is still only three full meetings old. Walmsley almost caught the Mustang at the flag to finish third, in front of Peter Van Summeren who had an incredible drive into fourth in his rapid Escort.

Elvin beat Trengrove into fifth with Cascone seventh then Lenstra, Linda Devlin (Mini, of course), Frolley then Geoff Davis (Mazda) who travelled from Adelaide only to end up battling another South Aussie in Mal Rutschack (Mini). Spokes turned the tables on Sheahan to make it one-all in the Volksie/FJ battle.

Race Three

Hansen hooked up nicely to snatch an early lead until falling off and losing several places. There was more drama further back as the back half of the field almost came to a complete stop having been blinded by dust after someone ran off at the esses. Hubbard’s charge from the rear also came unstuck at the esses after a half spin while negotiating the back markers.

Walters looped the Sturdybonker at turn one as did Spokes in the FJ, making life a lot easier for Sheahan in the Beetle. Walmsley posted fastest lap and began harassing race leader O'Brien in a great battle at the front. O'Brien kept his cool and kept the big Fastback right where he needed to, not giving the Charger any opportunity to slip through and went on to make it a clean sweep for the weekend. Van Summeren put in another great drive to bag third in front of Elvin, then Trengrove, Hansen, Cascone, Devlin, Frolley and Cotton.