Historic Sandown – six great races.

Report by Darren Knight . Pics by Pics by Phil Wisewould www.philwisewould.zenfolio.com

Running for the second year at the power circuit of Sandown, the Division One and Two format for the JUST CARS Historic Touring Cars again proved to be a popular split. Every race in each division provided close racing and tight finishes with winning cars just seconds apart as they crossed the line. Their racing drew the most spectators trackside and as ever, they were not disappointed.

Division One
Saturday afternoon. Race 1:

Pole winner Andy Clempson lost several spots off the line as his recently repainted `69 Mustang erupted in wheel spin on a damp, greasy race track. Darrin Davies (Mustang) grabbed the opportunity to lead in front of Andrew Whiteside (Mustang) as Peter McNiven (Mazda) rocketed up the order having qualified 14th. Clempson had a further setback after an excursion at turn two and fell way down the field.

In contrast, Daryl Hansen (Mustang) sliced through the pack after distributor issues in qualifying. Veteran John Mann (Camaro) was also on an early charge while Marc Tessari came into the pits after a bonnet pin dislodged on his thundering HQ Monaro. Andrew Lane (Mustang) battled F5000 racer Darcy Russell who was making his category debut in the stunning Boss 302 Mustang formerly campaigned by Stuart Barnes. Davies drove a copybook race to take the win from Mann and Hansen, who posted the fastest lap on the final tour with Whiteside next followed by the impressive Holden 308-powered Kingswood of Daniel Myers.

Sunday morning. Race 2:

Daniel Van Stokrom would line up for R2 after his Torana munched a gearbox earlier in the day, but incredibly would again fail to complete a lap when the naughty Torrie threw a belt. Davies led Mann and Whiteside in the early running as Clempson vaulted up the order into fourth by the end of the opening lap, having started tenth.

Queenslander Ian Mewett (Mustang) was looking menacing in the mid pack, overtaking cars at will and would soon be knocking on the door of the lead pack. The rapid rotary Mazda of McNiven went out with a brake issue as Brent Trengrove posted some quick times in his first meeting at the wheel of his Dad’s ex-Bill Meeke Falcon Sprint. Chris Stern (Mustang) fell down the order with gearbox woes after running well inside the top ten.

Hansen wrested the lead off Davies and pulled a handy margin on the last lap. After cresting the rise on the back straight and plunging into Dandenong Road corner the `68 Ford suddenly kicked sideways off the kerb and spearing across wet grass and into the Armco, ending his meeting. In the frantic final moments Mewett snatched the lead and went on to take victory from Davies, with Clempson third. Mann was next in front of Whiteside and Russell who was obviously acclimatising rapidly to the big pony car. Andrew Cannon was ninth outright and Nb winner again in his `64 Mustang.

Sunday Afternoon. Race 3:

Clempson made a great start in the final to grab an early lead as Davies’ chances evaporated with a visit to the pit lane. Van Stokrom was finally having a strong run and pushed his immaculate Torana up into sixth from the back of the grid until again his race ended early after four laps.

Whiteside was having another great run in second briefly before Mewett blasted past in the 351 Windsor-powered Fastback. Mann and Russell had an entertaining dice as did Cannon and Tessari while at the front Clempson came under attack from Mewett who eventually got past on the final circuit and wrapped up his second win for the day. Whiteside bagged third while Cannon was eighth and Nb winner – although Trengrove was only a couple of seconds behind in tenth in the Falcon Sprint.

Never having driven on the technical Sandown circuit before and with only limited experience in the big Mustang, two wins and a fine display of driving won Ian Mewett the Makulu Vehicle Storage Driver of the Meeting award, while his direct opposition, Andy Clempson, took the Repco Best Presented prize for his immaculate and accurate Union Shipping Moffat Racing-liveried Mustang, to go with his Hog’s Breath Traralgon Cup for Pole Position.

Division Two
Saturday afternoon. Race 1:

Brock Green (Jaguar) capitalised on his Futura Trailers pole position to grab an early lead, while further back there was drama at the end of the back straight as Len Read (Mini) clashed with David Belford (Volvo), the Swedish machine spinning but re-joining, while Read retired.

Peter Van Summeren (Lotus Cortina) and Harry Draper (Datsun) pushed Green all the way while South Aussie Paul Atkins (Cortina), Justin Brown (BMW) and David Forbes (XK Falcon) ran in close company. The well-reported health issues of presumed racing retiree (see Just Cars Issue 288) Fast Johnny Luxmoore miraculously righted themselves and Lazarus was back behind the wheel of his familiar red Cortina, holding out the S Series Valiant of Ben Dahlstrom, as Simon Browning (Cortina) harassed Lockie Wheeler (Volvo). Draper posted fastest lap on his way to snatching second from Van Summeren and that is how they finished, just a few lengths behind race winner Green. Rob Van Stokrom (BMW) was next followed by Geelong’s finest timber merchant Bill Trengrove (EH Holden).

Sunday morning. Race 2:

Van Summeren got the jump to lead race two before Green stretched the Jag’s legs on the long back straight and moved into the lead. Draper meanwhile was gathering back positions after dropping a few spots on the opening lap as a fierce all-NSW Mini battle developed between William Walker and Daniel Berry. Sandown SA debutant Evan Gobell (EH Holden) was quickly finding the circuit to his liking as he poured the pressure on the similar machine of Trengrove. Don Knight (Cortina) retired with a dead fuel pump as did Forbes who was also having fuelling issues. The unique front wheel drive Citroen of Michael Stupka was being kept very honest by the Volvo 144S of Wheeler as 83 years old Mini legend Ted Brewster carved his way through the field after starting at the back following a clash with the Mustang of John Clarke in R1. Draper pushed hard but could not quite catch Green at the end, who took another narrow win with Van Summeren third from Van Stokrom and Berry.

Sunday afternoon. Race 3:

Van Summeren made another quick getaway to head the field in the final before Green inevitably blasted by on the back straight. This time Van Summeren fought back at Dandenong Road with a great move under brakes but once again saw the Jag zoom past on the back straight next time around. Van Stokrom had a huge stoush with Draper before the Datsun found a way past as Atkins pressured the FJ of Phil Barrow with Knight not far behind. The long straights of Sandown continued to be a happy hunting ground for Green as he made it a clean sweep for the weekend in the same car his father raced during Appendix Js revival in the early 80s. Draper snatched second from Van Summeren on the last lap with the two BMWs of Van Stokrom and Brown next.