Report by Chris Ralph. Pics by various
This year’s JUST CARS Historic Touring Car line-up, the largest seen in years (75 cars entered with one month to go) boasts big names from across the continent – in both capacity grids. The 2022 Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motorsport will be a classic in every sense.
A new race division
This year a new capacity split (Under 2 Litres + Invited Cars and Over 2 Litres) is been tried to encourage closer racing. A bumper crop of smaller cars has taken up the challenge and the screaming four-cylinder brigade will really turn it on.
From Sydney comes Spencer Rice in the super rapid Alfa, flanked by David Noakes and Mark Lenstra in BDA Escorts. Locals David Brown in the Datsun 1600 SSS, Rob Burns in his Alfa, Peter van Summeren in his Lotus Cortina and Rob van Stokrom, BMW, will be fending them off, while behind them 12 Cortinas, eight Minis and many more will stream behind them in a field of almost forty. Included will be Invited Cars, refugees from the Over 2 Litre class who will be in there with the littlies to mix things up a bit!
Big bangers boom
But it’s among the big bangers where things are certain to get wild. The Camaros of West Aussies Paul Stubber and Aldo de Paoli can often hold sway, but this year John Bowe in Joe Calleja’s Fastback Mustang will be having none of that. Young Sydney gun Jamie Tilley in the Group Nb 289 Mustang carried all before him last year. The Fastback Mustang of Island expert Michael Miceli knows how to win here – three from three at the last meeting.
Plenty of potential winners
Darryl Hansen will have his new Mustang. Noted Sportscar, GT and TCM driver Keith Kassulke is ready to go with the ex-John Mann Camaro, matching it up with Geoff Munday’s similar car, Queensland’s Ian Mewett’s Fastback will have local Andrew Lane’s Fastback for company, along with Marc Tessari’s Monaro. And more firepower from NSW – Adam Walton’s Mustang, Stephen Scales’ Camaro and proven winners Harry Bargwanna and John Harrison in the lighter, nimble 289 Mustangs are regularly in the first half dozen.
Among the sixes Queenslander Craig Allan’s unbelievable Torana has a personal grudge match with Andrew William’s newly repaired car, while a trio of Chargers may be led by the fiery Rob Burns, who is a potential podium getter in both grids.
And now for added spice
Over the past few years Mazda RX-2 drivers have been having things their own way in the small car grid, now they’re unleashed among the big guns on the big stage – Jason Humble, Wayne Rogerson, Peter McNiven and now Darren Hossack have each shown they’re outright contenders against the V8s – now they get the chance to prove it on the big stage.
Three races apiece, JUST CARS racers a half-century old from the furious to the curious, tens of thousands of roaring horses – what a show! Make sure you’re there…