Race Report by TIM RILEY, WA Sporting Car Club.
“The Bend Motorsport Park is really best described as awesome. That description applies to the Hotel, Race Reception area, Restaurant, and WOW – what a track!
“Eight IPRAWA members made the 5400-km (3360-mile) round-trip from Perth, Western Australia, to Tailem Bend in South Australia to race the 4.95km International Circuit Near Adelaide. Whilst our fortunes were a bit mixed, our overall performance in the heats & finals secured WA a victory in the State of Origin competition. Go WA! The grit and determination of the WA competitors is perhaps best displayed by Brooke Newson’s West Coast Smash Repairs team. Her WRX suffered an engine failure. A replacement engine was found and fitted, but it too then failed! Game over.
“The camaraderie in IPRA was best illustrated after the newly–balanced tailshaft failed in Q1 on the Escort of WA’s Ron Coote. It broke the gearbox in half and did extensive damage to the bell housing. A local competitor loaned Ron a brand new dogbox that got him back out in time for Heat 1. Here’s the remarkable part of the story: The gearbox owner told Ron not to worry about removing it after the event, just to freight it back from WA where it could more conveniently be extracted. Anyway, enough of that – what about the racing? The field was huge, with about 100 cars competing.”
“I cannot really say much about Under 2L, as I was competing in it. The Final was won by Queenslander David Waldon, in a Mazda RX3. Fastest lap was a 2:09 which would have equated to about P10 in Over 3Lt. Awesome quick! WA was under-represented here with only Ron Coote (Escort) and Yours Truly Tim Riley (U1600 Corolla) coming home in 19th and 20th places respectively. Timbo, in the Corolla had a problem. Fuel tank too small! The new Pace Motorsport engine was first used a fortnight earlier, and just drank fuel – 30% more power is gr8 until you have to race 60Kms! Err, maybe 30% more fuel consumption? The answer was to run the four heats on two tanks of fuel to assess the likely problem for 12 Laps (60 kms) of racing. Riley went off hot mixing it with 2L Peugeots and Renaults, before having to go into ‘fuel saving mode’. Notwithstanding that, Timbo was quick enough to get his hands on the silverware for 2nd place U1600″.
“WA’s Glen Melling had gremlins in the Jasmat Steel Commodore all weekend. The dramas were overcome, but lack of points sent him to the Repechage which he led early only to suffer a tyre delamination. A very sad tale. Delaminations apparently occurred on a number of other heavy powerful cars. Garry Edwards probably took a knife to a gunfight in his U3L BMW, but he had a grin bigger than Africa on his face. He finished 8th in the Medina Auto Services Beemer”.
“What a race! Favourite, Tasmanian Ray Hislop started his Falcon a little further back than one might have expected, due to a puncture in one of the heats denying him vital points. Challengers were determined not to let the Tassie Tiger have his third Nationals Title easily. The serious challengers from WA included Matt Cherry (pictured right) and his Monaro and John Callegari (Commodore), with plenty of competition from South Aussies Scott Cook in a Silvia and Adam Poole’s Monaro. ” Adam got ahead from the start followed by Matt and John.
“But the sensation was Ray Hislop. He rose to 5th at the end of Lap 1 and 2nd by Lap 2, before an unseen incident dropped him to 6th. Apparently dirt on the track from a previous off fired both Ray and Adam into the bush. While Adam kept it straight, Ray suffered worse and had to do it all again. And he did just that!”
1st Ray Hislop (TAS)
2nd Matt Cherry (WA)
3rd Scott Cook (SA)
4th John Callegari (WA)
“I mention John, as he had an issue with lapped traffic and lost the final podium spot by a mere 1/100 second – after 60km of racing. The only other WA competitor was Reuben Romkes(Monaro) who finished – that’s a challenge in itself – in P18. To me, the greatest win of all was our camaraderie, followed closely by the WA State of Origin victory.” Tim Riley, IPRAWA
EDITED by AC
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