JUST CARS Cup just jumps with action!

Winton FOS August 4-5

Report by Darren Knight. Pics by Phil Wisewould

30 Historic Tourers descended on Winton for the second JUST CARS Cup in as many winter weeks. Seven New South Welshmen (and one from the ACT) bolstered the locals on the grid, some of whom were fresh from the Sandown JUST CARS Cup a few weeks prior.

Cup winner at Sandown was Victorian Club President Les Walmsley, looking to back it up big time in his silver Valiant Charger. Caught out on the wrong tyres in a qualifying that looked like it would be wet but wasn’t, Les had plenty to do from 8th on the grid…

Race One
The menacing black Camaro of Dean Neville started from pole but lost ground with Jason Humble (Mazda) rocketing away when the lights went out. Neville lunged around the outside at the first corner and tried to turn back in, only to cannon into Humble’s door and send both cars off the road. The RX-2 retired with a bent steering arm while Neville spun again after contact with the Cortina of David Schofield as he tried to climb back up the order.
Daniel van Stokrom (Torana) had qualified fifth and avoided the first turn fracas to slip into the lead, his Holden looking stunning after a freshen up by panel maestro and fellow competitor Richard Fairlam, who himself was having a strong run inside the top ten in his HQ Kingswood SS. Local legend Tony Hubbard (Camaro) was an early casualty with diff issues while the three BMW 2002s of George Dragovitch, Justin Brown and Rob van Stokrom kept very close company in a Panzer parade…

More drama developed at the esses after Walmsley nipped a front brake dicing with the ACT’s Ben Wilkinson (Mustang). A touch saw the Ford spin with the pursuing pack going every which way to avoid contact. The similar `68 Mustang of Daryl Hansen took to the grass before re-joining, only to find himself in the path of Brent Trengrove (Camaro) who cannoned into the rear of the Ford. Heavy damage to both eliminated them for the weekend.

Having set the race’s fastest lap Harry Bargwanna (Mustang) also copped damage in the melee with the safety car coming out to enable the extraction of Trengrove`s once immaculate Chev. Daniel van Stokrom resumed in the lead after the restart and held on for a well-deserved win in front of Walmsley and Alan Mayne (Mazda). David Noakes Jnr (NSW) had a great run into fourth in Dad’s BDA Escort, with an improving Joe Calleja next in his Mustang.

Race Two
Daniel van Stokrom led early in this four-lap warm-up for the main race until Walmsley pulled off a big move around the outside at turn one. Hubbard was on a charge from the back of the grid as Phil Barrow looped his immaculate (and incredibly fast) FJ Holden. Continuing, he mixed it up in a great battle with the Cortinas of Schofield and Johnny Luxmoore and the unique Volvo 142S of David Belford, that had earlier been keenly inspected by former Volvo Group A pilot, John Bowe. Another Swedish delight, an Nb Volvo 122S in the hands of category debutant (but classic rally star) Andy White, was well inside the front half of the field.

Former Mustang racer Bill Trengrove finally had his new Falcon Sprint circulating after starter motor dramas in qualifying. Former long-term owner, WA’s Bill Meeke, regularly won outright before the introduction of the later Group Nc (1965-1972) in the mid-nineties. Walmsley took the win from van Stokrom and last year’s JUST CARS Cup winner Peter McNiven (Torana). Wayne Rogerson (Mazda) was next then Bargwanna, Fairlam, Hubbard, Humble and Wilkinson, who had started at the back.

Race Three
The 17-lap JUST CARS Cup went no further than two corners for Brown as his Bimmer suffered a gearbox problem on the old front straight. Quick work by the marshals saw his car removed before the field approached on lap two but the Safety Car had been despatched anyway. After the restart McNiven resumed in the lead after a great initial start while contact between Bargwanna and Rogerson at the sweeper saw the latter’s Mazda spear off into the grass. Humble also ran wide with the RX-2 still suffering the steering and brake issues that would ultimately curtail his race.

Walmsley and Neville rounded up McNiven with Neville grabbing the lead into the esses. Dragovitch retired with a broken rocker as fellow BMW punter Rob van Stokrom came under attack from White’s Volvo. Fairlam’s consistent meeting continued with the Kingswood’s 308 Holden V8 proving handy on the long track straights compared to the tight confines of the original circuit.

There was to be no repeat Cup win for McNiven with the Torana coming in, as Neville built a small gap and went on to greet the chequer first. Post-race however saw the Sydneysider excluded from the results after failing to comply with a black flag shown for overtaking before the control line, following the green flag at the end of the safety car period earlier in the race. Walmsley collected the JUST CARS Cup with a happy Wilkinson rapt to bag second place in front of fellow Mustang man Bargwanna. Rogerson was fifth and class winner of the JUST CARS Cup for Under 3 litre cars Group Nc, while Phil Barrow collected the Under 3 litre Nb JUST CARS Cup after a great win in his amazing FJ Holden. Daniel van Stokrom won both Best Presented Car and Driver of the Meeting in a stellar weekend.

Next round for the JUST CARS Historic Tourers will be Historic Sandown, November 10-11. With a new Division 1 and 2 race format on the cards this has all the hallmarks of a ripper race meeting!