2023Competition ReportsNews

Mallala Maestro

All Historic Mallala

22-23 April 2023

Report by Darren Knight. All pics by John Lemm – MSI Media

Paying back the Western States for their clean sweep of the Phillip Island Classic, Darren Hossack took five from five at the 2023 Mallala All Historic. With three events each day the action didn’t stop.

Before The Bend there was Mallala Motor Motorsport Park and the little circuit 60 clicks north of Adelaide is still going strong some 62 years after its birth. Devilishly hard on brakes, the former RAAF training base promotes close racing and seven JUST CARS Victorian Historic Tourers journeyed across the border.

One of those was Phil Barrow, who along with a few helpers including ultra-enthusiastic wife Kellie had incredibly repaired his mangled Humpy in time after a rather big impact with the pit wall at Phillip Island.

Race One 

No stranger to the place thanks to his Championship winning days in Sports Sedans, polesitter Darren Hossack (Mazda) was eclipsed off the line by locals Josh Axford (BDA Escort) and Kirk Davis (Mazda) but fought back to take the lead. Davis came under attack from WA’s Graeme Woolhouse (Mustang) and the Toranas of local Mark Blyfield with WA’s Stuart Young in extremely close company.

Returning to the driver’s seat after some years, prolific Group C touring car collector Willi Van Wersch retired his XY Falcon with fuel pump issues, as fellow Ford pilot Adam Smith showed impressive braking ability in his XW Falcon, cimbing from sixth to third on the last lap, as Hossack bagged the win with Axford second.

Post-race grid box penalties hit Ian Pringle (Mini), Davis and Smith, bumping Woolhouse into third.

Race Two

Hossack again reeled in the fast-starting Axford and to build a handy lead, as the fired-up duo of Smith and Davis moved up the order after their post-race demotions.

SA duo Jason Armstrong (Mini) and Brett Munns (Torana) retired with engine woes while Pringle and Johnathon French (Mini) duked it out, as did the Cortinas of rapid locals Stuart Barnes and Paul Atkins with new HTCAV Life Member Les Walmsley.

Returning to Mallala after 22 years Don Knight (Cortina) harassed the Mazda of Geoff Davis as Barrow spun into the infield thanks to an errant stone inside the car that rolled underneath the pedals and messed with Phil’s fancy footwork.

Blyfield nabbed Woolhouse to grab sixth on the final lap as Hossack cruised to victory over Smith and Axford with Davis not far behind. 

Race Three

The red flag came out on the opening lap after Pringle found the Woolhouse Mustang facing the wrong way at T3 and hit the Ford right between the eyes, with big damage the result.

Walmsley sustained front end damage as he just clipped the Pringle Mini. All drivers emerged relatively unscathed though Pringle was quite sore.

Smith grabbed an early restart lead before Hossack came from miles back under brakes to demote the XW back to second. Kirk Davis’s rocket start headed Axford and Justin Elvin (Mini) as Evan Gobell (Torana) just held out WA’s Cono Onofaro (Mini). Knight retired with a throttle cable issue (which Barnes had also suffered) as Hossack took the win ahead of Smith and Davis.

Race Four

Thanks to several helpers Walmsley lined up a bit battered but mobile. Smith and Axford made neat starts while Kirk Davis’s attention-grabbing T1 moment saw his Mazda squirrelly on the kerbs, Blyfield having to button off and dropping a couple of spots as a result.

Van Wersche careened off into the big sand trap at the top of the circuit. The red flag did come out to extract the Falcon which then drove back to the pits under its own power.

After the restart Smith pushed hard but could not hold out Hossack who won the shortened three-lapper with Axford third. Further back, Barrow just held out Walmsley in a great battle on the final lap.

Race Five

Hossack made his customary cautious start but was soon through on Kirk Davis then Smith to build a small buffer. The wily Blyfield again kept Young at bay with the latter in turn harassed by fellow Sandgroper Dan Forster (Mini).

The man behind Racer Industries trackside service Gordon Cox (Mk. II Cortina) mixed it up with the ex-Ben Wilkinson EH of Don Costello as Knight retired with more throttle problems.

Smith lost a couple of spots mid race after gear selection issues but then charged back up the order only to hook a kerb and clout a wall just in front of a run off area that would have allowed the unlucky Smith to escape damage.

Barnes was having a happier time by holding out Walmsley as Hossack made it a perfect score for the weekend with Kirk Davis second in front of Axford and Elvin.

All the interstaters loved the amount of track time and the relaxed nature of the meeting, with many vowing to return. SA Historic Touring Car Cup winner Hossack said he’d be inviting plenty of drivers slower than him to come over!