19 March story
The Phillip Island Classic has reached new heights in 2010 with 595 entries received – 535 turning up for the event.
The feature marque for 2010 is Alfa Romeo. The international contingent at the event has been well received with a rare sight of Alfas from many decades in action. Walking around the paddock area on Thursday and Friday it is hard to pick the most desirable as each one of them has its own story to tell in the history of the Alfa Romeo.
Many are hoping the weather to not repeat itself from last year, but upon arrival at the track on Friday it was wet, and of course my regularity event was first out, and held in these wet, wild and slippery conditions. The day soon cleared, however, and we were blessed with probably the finest weather I’ve seen at the Island in recent years.
It’s not just the magnificent collection of Alfas and my MG that are drawing people attention. The Formula 5000s are back, this time with over 35. Many of these cars have shared the ship of Australian cars returning from New Zealand and all will also take part in the AGP next weekend. It has also been good to catch up with many of the Australians that we shared time with at Hampton Downs and Pukekohe in January – many racing their cars at the Island.
A superb collection of 1980’s Formula 1 cars is here at the Island too with Guido Belgiorno-Nettis practising both his 156/86 Ferraris (one acts as the spare if the other breaks-down!), Ian Ross with the Beatrice-Lola, Les Wright (Bennetton), Peter Landen (March RAN) and Peter Burson in his BRM P201. Les Wright made it just to the end of pit lane in practise when the diff broke (lucky it happened there and not at full speed). Belgiorno-Nettis out-classed the field setting quickest lap of 1:31.1 – three seconds clear of second grid position of UK visitor Andy Newell who is driving a delectable Brabham BT26 Coswroth-DFV.
Report by Charles Rogers