Perfect spring weather all weekend prevailed over Eastern Creek for this year’s spring HSRCA meeting – this was after stormy conditions on Friday night.
The meeting paid tribute to the late John Dawson-Damer, and was supported by 5 Lotus’ from his collection. Daughter Adelica raced the Lotus Elite, while the 16, 39, 49 and 79 Formula One cars wre on display.
The 49 was the 2006 winner driven by John Smith. The 2007 running of the Memorial Trophy race was full of surprises as Les Wright made an uncharacteristic jump off the start line and was penalised with a 1 minute penalty, but nevertheless provided a superb display of motor racing history having a great early dice with Richard Carter in the Elfin 600B (who shortly after pulled off with mechanical problems), then having a race long duel with Paul Hamilton.
Paul eventually won the race from the Brabham of Tim Kutchel and the Elfin Afla of Ross Hodgson. It was good to see Max Lane out in his newly acquired Brabham BT18, and finished seventh overall.
The feature race for Group S Production sports cars saw a great battle between Brian Taylor and Terry Lawler (both in Porsche 911) nose to tail for several laps before Lawler’s car began smoking – initially small puffs, but later intensifying. This happened around the same time that Bill Pye made his way past Lawler and began to hunt down Taylor to soon after claim the race victory after coming from rear of field. Undoubtedly the race battle went to Spud Spruyt and Brett Morse, who swapped places on numerous occasions, but unfortunately were swamped on the finish line by Phil Verwoert in his 2.7 RS Carrera – the MGB duo finishing o.02 seconds apart!
The feastest cars of the meeting was the grid of P, Q & R group cars, of which some 30 cars entered. The race was on in the feature 12 lap scratch race between a brace of RALT RT4’s and Guido Belgoirno-Nettis, driving the ex. Alberto Ferrari 156GP. Sean Whelan stormed away with the race lead early on keeping the far superior Ferrari at bay. Chris Farrell meanwhile was making his way through from starting from rear of grid to after a few laps make it past a number of similar cars, including those of Holland, Calvert, Burness and King & the Matich of Aaron Lewis and the March of Andrew Makin.
Guido, on the second last lap, began to attack Sean Whelan getting closer and closer with every corner till a split-second of memory fade spun the car one and a half time coming on to the main straight, stalling the car in the process. Fortunately, he was able to move it away from the racing line. The finish was an all RALT podium. Dice of the race went to Andrew Making in the March 73B who pipped Vince Holland in the RALT RT4 on the finish line by 0.018 seconds.
Sunny conditions prevailed faultlessly throughout both competition days with Greg Watson making it three wins from three starts in the Formula Ford events – taking home the John Leffler Shield.
John Virgo made the trip from South Australia with his Riley Special to win the final two events, but the dice of the final feature race went to Greg Prunster and Max Pegram who swapped positions throughout the event – Prunster eventually pipping Pegram on the finish line.
Max Brunninghausen made a terrific start in the Chevron B8 leaping to 4th briefly before the front powerplants got into gear. Bob Tweedie launched the mighty Elfin MS7 into the lead, managing to hold off Jamie Larner in the RALT RT2 sports car for the first two laps before Larner made it past to an eventual race winning gap of 14.6 seconds. Good news for Tweedie was posting his fastest lap on the final lap of 1:37.89
Russell Kempdich drove his newly acquired Porsche 956 seeting good pass for the first few laps getting up into 3rd before retiring with mechanical problems.
Battle of the weekend went to the Brunninghausen versus Tim Berryman (Matich SR3) duel, which went on in all three races always swapping positions at least twice each lap before Berryman won the battle across the line by 0.0080 seconds!
Final event for the weekend was for Group N Production touring cars. Bill Trengrove started from pole in the 64 Mustang bogged down on the start with plenty of wheelspin – Wayne Rogerson made the excellent start in the Mazda RX2 pulling away to an early lead to Trengrove gathered his thoughts and position coming back and unleashing the power of the 289 Mustang down the main straight, but the lead continued to swap with Rogerson and the second Mustang of Greg Teofer. Meanwhile the quick Queenslander, Ethan Lind stormed through from rear of grid to fight his way into this dice for the lead.
The eventual result was a hair-raising finish to this year’s Eastern Creek Historic’s as Trengrove pulled out along the straight, lapped a fellow competitor at the same time as passing Rogerson to be the first to greet the chequered flag. And by the narrowist of margins – Trengrove won by 0:0.0080 second
(Anti-climax came soon later with the roar of the Trengrove Mustang as he obviously didn’t see the flag in the concerntration of the finish.
Report by: Charles Rogers / Historic Racing Australia