Tony strokes it home

Phillip Island State Round 4

October 13-14 2012

Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould. Words Chris Ralph

It was a relatively lazy three from the three for Tony Hubbard at Phillip Island after an uncharacteristic run of niggles in the mighty Camaro over recent meetings.

He won with relative ease over Rod Hotchkin in the blue GT HO in all events while the person who looked earlier to be the go-guy, polesitter Leapin’ Leo Tobin in the Mustang, was plagued in the races by brake trouble – not the sort where you have insufficient retardation, but too much. The bushes of a rod (not Hotchkin) in the brake balance area had become worn and reluctant to release things after this Tobin Brother buried his size 10 into the appropriate pedal.
Twice he roared from the back of the grid to join the top three before succumbing to this small but very annoying malady. The Overtaker is not happy being retarded.

Not having seen the Saturday I can however report that only Leo and Club Champ Russell Pilven in the Datsun 1600 failed to make it to the end in that day’s race, the latter due to a failed coil pack.

The Sunday morning race I did see the highly entertaining battle between Russell and Gentleman Jack Smallman in his BDA Escort. Like Leo, Russell roared through the field until he reached Smalls, who found he could exit corners a bit faster and so amused himself keeping “We’ve got the Power…” behind him to the finishing line, all in the most gentlemanly fashion, of course. The two caught Alan McKelvie by the time the reached the line. All three were grinning hugely as they peeled themselves out of their racesuits.

And regarding this item of clothing Jon Pillekers was lucky not to have to call urgently for the drycleaners after he went wide coming on to the straight and underwent a wild and grassy ride on the wet outer. He became bogged and couldn’t continue; luckily the only mud was external.

In the Appendix J Challenge, Paul Trevethan’s Lotus Cortina held sway on Saturday, his chief challenger, Len Read, having clutch hydraulics issues. This reversed on the Sunday morning but gremlins returned in the afternoon as the Lotus was again the front, before retiring. This allowed Simon Browning to over take the ailing Mini for an Nb win and PB time. When asked why clutchless gearchanges were a problem with a dog box, Len returned blank stare, grin and ungenerous character reference, in that order.

Robert Marshall has been doing very well, getting to grips with the big red ex-Miceli HO (famous fo’ his ho’s, yo…) and had inherited two third places before retiring in the last. His mate Kevin Galvin also joined the fray (and the Club) in a Monaro which treated its new owner with the typical disdain shown by many race cars to new owners – unreliability. Built in the 90s by the Youldens and driven initially by Luke in our races, it’s been in NSW for some years. Welcome Kevin, we hope the Mo stops being a Ho very soon…

In the last race, Rapid Russell Pilven took the last spot on the imaginary podium as John Smallman’s handling issues that disallowed him to pursue over nine long laps.

Indeed, with a number of cars retiring, disparate levels of performance and no close battles it challenging to keep up a bright line of patter, alone and high up in the commentary position. Reminded me of five equally spaced cars over 20 laps at Winton in the early 90s, the only bright moment being when chiropractor Justin Brown retired the XM Falcon, allowing me to suggest he was perhaps coming to make an adjustment…

With no such opportunities for weak wit available to me this day I blabbed inconsequentially to a miniscule audience, not even convinced the mike was working.

But soon folks, a little baby blue BM will rescue me (and unfortunate audients of my blither) from all this and I’ll be out there again on the right side of the Armco.

Can’t wait for Sandown, just hope I can remember what one is supposed to do and that the new car gremlins look on me kindly.

Chris Ralph