Race Results and Reports from the 2014 944 Challenge Series.
The 944s drew the early slot with qualifying at 9:10 on Saturday. The ideal morning conditions saw times tumble from Friday practice, and it was very tight and competitive, with the top 9 covered by less than a second. CLW, Mills and Misuraca slotted into the top 3 spots, with Finn and Stutterd doing a good job to land fifth and seventh on the grid respectively.
Race 1 saw Misuraca rocket off the line into first by Turn 1, but chaos unfolded with Stanic, Beller and Imrie coming together into Turn 1, and the whole field dodged left and right to avoid the carnage. This allowed the leaders some space, with CLW and Misuraca engaging in a herculean struggle for the lead, which saw CLW misjudge an ambitious move into Turn 1 and slide off the track, giving Misuraca the win and allowing Mills to take second away from CLW in a close third.
Finn held on for a nice fourth, with Graham Smith not far behind, Anthony Westway and Petrusic kept out of trouble for a strong sixth and seventh, with Imrie and Stanic recovering to eigth and ninth
Happily, all cars knocked out in Race 1 could get onto the grid for Race 2, and the field was rewarded with a cleaner start. Misuraca and Mills pulled away off the line, and a fast starting Graham Smith stole into third. Mills passed Misuraca around the outside into the Dandenong Road corner for the lead, and CLW made his way back into third behind the leaders, where he and Misuraca resumed their battle from the previous race. The long time competitors and friends got a bit too friendly into Turn 1, with a slight touch causing Misuraca to spear off into the wall.
In the meantime, Stanic and Howe stopped on track due to separate incidents, and the resulting yellow flags made it very difficult for those trying to find a way past. Case in point was CLW all over the back of Mills, who was desperately trying to hold onto the lead, and a last lap lunge resulted in contact between the team mates, seeing Mills off and stuck deep in the gravel trap. CLW cruised through for the win, Finn scoring second place and Stutterd with a phenomenal drive from the back of the grid to third. A noteable mention was Catrina making it up into tenth.
The result of the third and final race was fully up in the air, and four cars contested the lead into Turn 1. Four into one didn’t work out well, with Finn and Stutterd coming together heavily, and both their weekends were finished. CLW and Imrie emerged from the chaos, with CLW edging away into the lead. Behind, Taubitz and Gallagher spent the race wheel to wheel in an evenly matched battle.
Ultimately CLW found his dominating form winning Race 3 by over five seconds, Imrie took second place and his maiden podium, and Beller fought through from his disastrous first race to claim the last step on the dais. Doug Smith and Michael Westaway scored an impressive fourth and fifth, with Stanic and Misuraca cutting through from the back of the grid into sixth and seventh. Millar was a notable top ten placing with ninth.
So all in all, an action-packed weekend which should provide some spectacular TV footage. And we’ll be back at Sandown to do it all again in two months!
Vic State Circuit Racing Championship, Phillip Island.
944 Challenge Round 2 Phillip Island-April 12/13th 2014- Friday practice was fun and full of excitement, threatening weather saw a wet session in the arvo. John Stanic puching the limits and understeering off the track through the hayshed at wharp speed. Harrison Imrie performing what would have been judged a 10-10-10 in dancing with the stars with a perfect 360 also through the hayshed. Danny Stutterd also finding the grass, pushing to find the limits to be competitive in the hectic 944 pack. interstate driver Shane Howison taking advantage of the new lease car from Hi Torque Performance also making his debut enjoying the Island and had a smile from ear to ear. Jimmy Gallagher spreading more glass than a chinese lantern factory with his expedition onto the rough stuff at turn 12 causing his rear hatch window to part company.
Saturday- Qualifying was dry thankfully and saw a great battle for pole position for race 1. Ever competitive and recongnisable Lj Plumbing car no 47 of John Stanic taking line honours from Adam Mills and Clw.Well done guys.
Race 1- A dry 8 lap race shared as a split grid with saloon cars saw the no 47 Rocketship of John Stanic again setting the benchmark taking out race 1 with a fierce battle with Adam Mills and Clw. Unfortunately Dicky Howe had a dnf with car gremlins.
Sunday-Race 2- What a day for racing! 7 laps and sunny weather proved to be a great for racing. John Stanic showing great race pace and close on his tail was the reigning 944 series champion Chris Lewis-Williams driving his very new left hand drive car. Vince Misuraca showed he wanted a piece of the pie as well finishing in 3rd position. Harrison Imrie steping up into 4th position showing he is up and coming and keen for a podium. The race took its toll with our new driver Howison swapping paint with Michael Westaway,one of our front runners Brian Finn having a Dnf due to car problems as well as our President Tony Westaway. Poor Dicky was a no-show but sorting out his own problems.
Race-3- Lights-camera-Action- Race 3 was all that! This race was good enough to be televised. It was like a “Dash for Cash”. Shortened to a 8 lapper saw more action than a 8 track porno movie. Stanic has the front then Clw taking him from behind,Imrie out the front then second trying the old reach around at Honda then G Smith being a voyeur managed to PULL OUT and blow by Clw and Stanic on turn 12 as he wanted the front position. Stanic fought back the backdoor boys taking Smith by surprise allowing him to finish in the rear of Stanic in second position followed by Millsy in a tight third. Cameron Beller also showed a great solo performance with a fourth place. Special mention to the out the back battle of the number 13 car of Jimmy Gallagher who fought extremely hard to keep the number 18 car of Ross Millar for the entire 8 laps to loose his position on the final lap to settle for a 15th place. great racing Jimmy. The ever so popular grass cutting award this round was a tough one between Brian Finns huge off at turn 1 onto the grass and the usual Danny Stutterds massive drift then fishtail onto the grass then back onto the track however after carefull viewing of both footage saw Danny take the award for technique. Well Done Danny. great weekend,very little damage, well done guys,bring on Sandown.
After slightly missing the start and spending most if lap 1 in 3, John Stanic has powered into the lead and won race 1 of round 2 of the 944 Championship at Phillip Island.
Shane is having a ball and driving great in the 944 renter racer prepared by Hi-Torque Performance. Qualifying 13th in his first race back in many years after racing Formula Ford and V8 Supercars in the late 90’s. Only 2 tenths would see Shane in 8th.
Look forward to hearing the stories after race 1. Good Luck!
John Stanic has claimed pole position for round 2 of the aPorschapart 944 Challenge with a stunningly fast lap. Adam Mills is next then CLW. All the results are on http://racing.natsoft.com.au/results/
Here’s hoping for dry conditions at 2.20pm for the first 8 lap race.
It was good to be back and fine weather greeted us for our first round.
Lot of entries with 20 cars participating.
Good to see a few old faces returning and a few new ones as well.
The pace was on early with Cam Beller and Vince Misuraca in the 1.36s for Saturday practice.
I had heard that others where sitting back and waiting for Qualifying to show their hand as they knew they where on the pace from their Friday practice sessions.
With Qualifying set for 12.10 Saturday anyone around 1.37 was going to be at the pointy end.
Vince came out and set a 1.36.8 to take Poll.
The next 5 cars were within .6 of each other.
Race 1 – 3.50 Saturday
Made up the podium with Chris Lewis Willaims 4th driving his new car for the 1st time.
Race 2 – 9.40 Sunday
Perfect track conditions meant a new lap record could be set.
Congratulations to John Stanic who, with Vince battle for the lead and came up with his 1st race win.
Watching the in-car video, it was a credit to both guys for clean but very competitive racing.
Well done big fella great result.
Race 3 – 1.30 Sunday
This was going to be fun.
Cars, track, tyres, drivers (Dick Howe) all overheating – it felt like an enduro, 10 laps, go out hard and fry tyres, ease into it, not sure?
Great end to the weekend with John Stanic grabbing another race win.
Vince – 2nd
CLW – 3rd
Cam Beller – 4th
Tony Westaway – 5th
Not too much damage from the weekend and everyone appeared to enjoy.
A couple of DNFs with Paul Greer and Brian Finn having to pull off the track in race 3.
Encouraging to see 20 entrance with another 8 or so, that I know of, due to return.
Great to see a 1st time winner and some different names amongst our field.
All cars are looking and presented well which can only be good for our brand.
I know this is a great series and we are lucky to have it, even in the mid to rear field there are some great battles going on which is the beauty of our one make series.
Thanks, enjoy and see you at PI 12/13 April.
I met young Sam who brought the Steve Courtis car, Peter from Rye who is in the middle of tidying up a 944, and Ryan who has just starred building his car. Hopefully they are aiming to join us this year. If you see them around at our next few meeting please make them welcome.
In the next coming weeks we will have the classified page on our web up and running, the contact point for this is CLW please feel free to contact him: email@example.com