Easter Pilgrimage to The Mount
Report by Chris Ralph. Pics courtesy James Smith
Forty five cars set out for qualifying for the Historic Touring Car events supporting the major Bathurst 6Hr event at Mt Panomara at Easter. Five Sc Porsches and an Sa Austin Healey fattened the touring car grid, which ranged from Minis to Camaros in size and capacity.
Eight HTCAV members took part: John Harrison, Andrew Whiteside, Bill Trengrove, Brent Trengrove, Chris Stern, Stuart Barnes and John Clarke all rode Mustangs, Tony Gilfuis cantered the Capri and Nathan Gordon hoofed the Holden Torana; for Chris, Tony and Nathan it was the first pilgrimage to the Unholy Mount.
Vince Macri took pole in the Camaro from Dean Neville similarly mounted, John Harrison waving the Club flag in third and Andrew Whiteside in 7th, ahead of Bill Trengrove in 10th and Tony Gilfuis in 13th. Stuart Barnes slotted into 15th, with Chris Stern, Brent Trengrove and Nathan Gordon, three quarters of the Geelong contingent filling 28th, 30th and 31st.
Only completing two laps, John Clarke was not listed as a qualifier. But he ended up with more racing than poor Nathan Gordon who snapped a crank in two in qualy, ruining his weekend comprehensively and massively disappointing our cheery chappy for days.
In Race 1, Vince Macri was victorious over Brad Tilley’s Mustang, with our lads Harrison and Whiteside in 3rd and 5th, then Bill in 7th, Tony Gilfuis in 11, Stuart Barnes 14th and, getting used to it all, Chris Stern in 16th just a few seconds ahead of Brent Trengrove in 18th, while John Clarke hauled the Nb Mustang into 34th.
Race 2 saw Brad Tilley turn the tables on Vince Macri, with the consistent Harrison and Whiteside again in 3rd and 5th. The Geelong mafia then formed a bloc of Bill Trengrove, Chris Stern and Brent Trengrove in 8-10th, with Tony not far back in 14th, John Clarke now up to 30th and Stuart Barnes suffering some sort of misadventure to be listed as the last finisher.
In the final, Vince regained his dominance over Brad Tilley, this time the wailing Mustang Darryl Hansen filled third (check the YouTube in-car footage, he canes out every available rpm) ousting John Harrison to 4th ahead of Michael Anderson’s Falcon and Andrew Whiteside’s Mustang in 6th slotting in just nine seconds ahead of Bill Trengrove in 7th, who in turn was just three seconds ahead of Chris Stern in 10th, obviously getting his Mountain Bum on. Brent came home 12th and Tony Gilfuis 15th, Stuart hauled up to 20th from the back of the grid and John Clarke again finished 30th.
It was a good weekend for everyone except the unfortunate Nathan Gordon, whose ratio of three engines in five meetings signals a re-think about his engine building arrangements. Club member Keith Davidson is now looking after the red motor and Nathan is expecting reliable racing for the rest of the year.