Healthy grids in all Historic Tourer classes helped celebrate 50 years of the ATCC with mainly fine conditions throughout the weekend.
The Mustangs of Bill Trengrove, Tino Leo and Andrew Cannon ran in close company up the front until the latter lost touch slightly with the spirited battle ahead of him. Despite having almost having no seat time in the past two years Leo put in some quick times. In the end Trengrove had a narrow win from Leo with Cannon third. Paul Zazryn (Mk II Jag) was a strong fourth from Sandown debutant Phil Shepherd (ex Bailey/Sluice EH) then Vic Waterhouse (Mk II Jag), Ian Pringle (Mini), Nick Cascone (freshly painted Cortina), the Graham Gulson Alfa (as if it would be anything else..) and Tony Pejkovic (EH). The Minis of Len Read and Paul Girt fought all the way to the flag for 11th. Phil Barrow (FJ) led home Dean Bryant (guest steering the Rob Southouse Humpy) even though the crank was found to be broken post race! An engine change later that night would see Barrow return on Sunday.
Trengrove dropped the hammer in race two and grabbed an untroubled win from Leo and Cannon then Zazryn, Waterhouse, Shepherd, Pringle, Read, Gulson, Girt and Pejkovic climbing back up to tenth after muffing the start. Cascone finished but would not return after dropping a cylinder. The final race again saw Trengrove streak away to take an easy victory from Leo with the flying Zazryn third in front of Cannon.
Fraser Ross in the ex-Marget Mustang made a great start to lead until Tony Hubbard (Camaro) blasted past on the back straight. Daryl Hansen (Mustang) gathered up John Mann (Mustang) and Ross to climb to second as the Charger trio of Rob Burns, Michael Hibbert and Les Walmsley battled hard until Les lost an oil line and retired. Harry Bargwanna (Mustang) was also out after breaking a shifter while Sandgroper Mark Jewell spun out after the throttle stuck open in his Torana. Leo Tobin (Mustang) vaulted up the order after qualifying down the field as Hubbard took a close win in front of Hansen with Ross next then Mann who was battling a miss. Burns was fifth then Hibbert, Denis O`Brien (in the Shearer Mustang), Brian Potts (HT Monaro), Gary Edwards (Torana) and Geoff Taylor (Mustang) in tenth.
Race two saw a controversial incident at turn one on the second lap. The safety car came out after Hansen and Hubbard clashed following an intense battle that also included Ross. Hansen was out while Hubbard lost many places. Ross led after the re-start and went on to win with a battered Hubbard second after getting past Mann on the last lap. Walmsley finished tenth from rear of grid with the amazing RX-2 of Ben Read in 11th. W.A.’s Stuart Young was the first Torrie home in 13th behind the Porsche of Mark Johnson. Hubbard did not reappear for race three while Hansen would start from the back but elected to use the race as a test session for the unfamiliar Yokohamas. Mann and Burns jumped Ross at the start but it wasn`t long before the lanky son of sports car racer Ian Ross took the lead and the eventual win with Mann second and Walmsley a strong third in front of Burns and Tobin. Further back former Cortina racer Stuart Barnes posted a finish after a troublesome weekend with his immaculate new `69 Mustang which would not have looked out of place at the annual Mustang Concourse at Dandenong Showgrounds the preceding weekend. Darren Knight Pole sitter Gary Collins (HRT Commodore) spun the bags off the line allowing Ross Donnelly (Seton Sierra) to lead until the Collins Walky blasted past on the back straight. Adrian Allisey (Smerdon Commodore) retired after a clash with Norm Mogg (HRT Commodore) and Stephen Perrott (Roadways A9-X) as did Donnelly with engine dramas that would end his meeting. Collins won from son Chris (Gp. C Commodore) with Mogg third then Perrott, Craig Bowering (ReCar Commodore), Ed Singleton (STP Commodore), Gary Kirwan (Gerald Kay Commodore), Bill Cutler (BMW M3), Lindsay Woollard (Roadways A9-X) and 1970 Bathurst third place man Don Holland in Shaun Tunneys ex Bob Forbes A9-X. Race two saw the ex Gibson Motor Sport HR31 Skyline of Carey McMahon climb the order after a race one DNF until he hit the curb at turn one after a big dice also involving Singleton and Cutler.
Witnesses claimed the Nissan shot at least three feet in the air before lobbing in the sand trap with just a little bit of damage to the front splitter. The Collins family finished almost side by side for another one – two with Mogg third. Neville Butler posted a finish in the debut of his ex John English RS2000 after fuel problems in race one. Gary Collins won the 15 lap final that featured a compulsory pit stop that required teams to affix a sticker to the front and rear screens.
Mogg went out early with gearbox dramas while Allisey leapfrogged Chris Collins during the pit stops and just held out the Group C machine in a great dice for second that went right to the flag. Mike Roddy (`85 Bathurst winning Jag) was fourth in front of Cutler.