by Tim Riley
Gellan Breaks U2L Lap Record
Grant Gellan was rewarded for his superb performance all year with a new Under 2 Litre Lap Record in Race 1. The morning was very cold, with Tim Riley noting only +2oC in some localities as he drove in. As we all know, cold dry air is good for power and Gellan used it well.
IPRAWA had a good field of 18 cars entered, and welcomed new member Steve Turpin in a nice looking 6 Litre Commodore.
Reuben Romkes romped home in his 6L Monaro with a time of 62.1 seconds for Pole position, followed closely by the Autostrada 3.2L BMW M3 of Nic Mitic just 0.07 seconds behind. The Jasmat Steel Commodore of Glen Melling made a welcome return to the track taking P3 on the Grid.
Gellan stamped his Under 2L authority early by qualifying P4 in the lovely black Escort Mk 1
Nic Mitic won the race by just over 1 second, from Michael Sciorio in the AAA Windscreens WRX. Glen Melling matched his Qualifying position, crossing the line in 3rdplace.
Then there was Gellan in the U2L Escort.
Newcomer Steve Turpin may have been a bit surprised to have an Escort in his face, but for hist first time out, he put in a jolly good drive to come home 5th.
Pole sitter Romkes dropped to 6th place with gearbox issues.
Meanwhile, Jason Sinclair in the JWS Systems U3L BMW M3, was having throttle body dramas, but managed to limp home in 12th place chased hard by Neil Pollard in the U2L Loans 123 Civic.
Then there was the race at the back. Riley (U1,600 Corolla) vs Ron Coote (U2L Escort) went head to head. RWD Eski launched ahead of the FWD Rolla off the start. Riley was unconcerned, as it could be argued that a U1.6L is not really racing U2L, however; The Eski became a “bit loose” after about 3 laps, and Timbo thought hmmm go for it. After passing each other about 5 or 6 times, lots of late braking duels, and having a lot of good clean fun, Riley prevailed by 0.3 seconds.
Mitic backed up his Race 1 victory with another win, again from Sciorio’s, this time though Melling could not repeat his performance as he had failed to start to a crank-angle sensor problem.
Turpin found the sand-trap at Turn 6 and that was where he stayed for the duration.
All of this left the door wide open to that leading U2L man Gellan for the final spot on the podium. Next best in U2L was Pollard’s Civic who managed to beat Sinclair’s struggling M3, the pair coming across the line in 10th & 11th place respectively. Sinclair’s struggles were such that Riley’s Corolla was closing in on the M3 towards the end of the race.
Then came the U2L cars of Coote and Randle Beavis, trailed by the U,600 Civic of Brad Wheeler, who had managed to fix an elusive misfire.
Romkes’ gearbox dramas had worsened, so he did not start
This time Sciorio (WRX) beat Mitic home followed by that peski Eski of Grant Gellan. Melling made a good recovery to 4th after fixing his sensor gremlin.
A strong and varied mid-pack was dominated by Adrian Scharenguivel 5th (Commodore), Kevin Simonsen 6th (WRX), Turpin and Wayne Chrystal 7th & 8th (Commodores), Sinclair who had fixed his throttle problem 9th (M3), Mark Jolly 10th (4L 6 Cyl Falcon) and Rachel Beers 11th in another Commodore.
This time out, the Coote vs Riley battle was firmly settled in Ron Coote’s favour.
Class Winners for the Day
Over 3 Litre: Nic Mitic – 70 Points
Over 2 Litre: Jason Sinclair – 75 Points
Under 2 Litre: Grant Gellan – 75 Points
Under 1,600: Tim Riley – 75 Points
Finally, IPRAWA is grateful to our principal category sponsors Healthway for their ongoing support this year. IPRAWA is proud to support the Make Smoking History campaign. As always, a huge Thank You to Yokohama, and also thanks to additional sponsors Jasmat Steel Fabrications, JP Pallets, Racing Dynamics and P1 Racewear. Please support the health message and the companies that support our racing.