Round 2. Phillip Island – Race 2

Round 2. Phillip Island – Race 2

Some heavy rains and winds befell the Phillip Island circuit overnight, but some dry weather and strong wind in the morning helped dry the track as the 944’s lined up in the pre grid area… only for the sprinkles to start to fall as the cars commenced their warm up lap.. Catrina was an unfortunate no-show for Sunday after some prior commitments prevented him from being able to stay for day 2 of racing, so grid slot 13 was left vacant.

Vince Misuraca made a blinder of a start from grid spot 4 to lead into the the first corner, overtaking both Cam Beller & Lewis-Williams who shared the front row. Jason Miller did the same and also passed John Stanic & Beller to be 3rd behind Lews-Williams going into Southern Loop. Ryan Woods did the same from grid slot 9 while Dick Howe went nowhere as the car stalled when he dropped the clutch. The order coming out of Turn 2 was Misuraca, Lewis-Williams, Miller, and Beller side-by-side with Stanic. Tony Westaway was next with Woods hard on his tail in 7th after getting around Brad Winter, with Mark Taubitz in 9th from Pedr James in 10th. Michael Westawy was 11th followed by Jim Gallagher, Dick Howe who got going, Ken Rowland and Ben Raphael as the rain started getting heavier…

Beller made a great move down the inside to get past both Lewis-Williams and Miller into Honda, while Stanic was escorted onto the slippery astro turf exiting Honda and dropped behind Westaway and Woods entering into Siberia. Coming out of Siberia, Misuraca and Beller had a moment which allowed Lewis-Williams into the lead from Miller, with Misuraca in 3rd and Beller back to 4th ahead of Woods who overtook Westaway for 5th around the outside of Lukey Heights – plenty of wet weather pace on board the #67 car.

Behind that though – Stanic wasn’t finished with his dramas however – as he had the ultimate underwear changing moment going through Hayshed as the car rotated around 360 degrees – and continuing without ever leaving the black stuff! It certainly got the attention of the following Winter and Taubitz – James capitalised and overtook Taubitz around the outside of Lukey Heights while Gallagher took avoiding action as Stanic gathered things up, and Howe was able to pass Westaway to move into 10th place.

Across the line for lap one it was Lewis-Williams from Miller, Misuraca, Beller, Woods, Westaway, Winter, James, Taubitz & Howe. Stanic started his recovery drive and got back past Westaway down the straight, as well as Howe whose car started misfiring down the straight and he pulled off to retire. Behind Westaway was Gallagher, Rowland and Raphael.

Woods made his way into 4th on lap 2 as Beller made a mistake and understeered off in the wet through Southern Loop and dropped back to 6th position, as Stanic passed Taubitz for 9th on the inside to Southern Loop also. Gallagher continued his move forward finding grip off the racing line in the damp conditions as he passed Westaway around the outside of Honda,and then into the top ten passing Taubitz around the outside of Lukey Heights while Stanic moved past James down the front straight to end the second lap as Gallagher closed on the two of them.

Lap 3 and Woods was able to get into third, passing Misuraca as Beller mounted his recovery drive, setting the races fastest lap on lap 3, as Gallagher moved up to 9th disposing of James on the run into Honda corner.

The rain started getting heavier on lap 4 as the times started slowing, as Misuraca made his way back ahead of both Miller and Woods to get back into 2nd, while Stanic & Gallagher made their was ahead of Winter who was struggling as the track got wetter, and Taubitz moved back ahead of James around the outside of turn 11, while Rowland put the grass handling characteristics of his new car to the test – but would rejoin the circuit without any damage.

As the track got wetter, Woods pounced on the leaders, and made his way into the lead while Misuraca had some issues and dropped back to 6th. Lewis-Williams was now 2nd from Miller, Beller passed Westaway to be 4th, with Westaway 5th. Gallagher was up to 7th after a mishap for Stanic at Honda dropped him back to 11th behind Winter, Taubitz & James. M Westaway was still 12th and struggling in the wet, ahead of Rowland and Raphael.

Woods extended his lead as Beller moved up to 2nd passing Lewis-Williams and Miller, knocking the New South Welshmen off the podium.

Woods continued to provide a wet weather demonstration as he stretched his lead to a 6 second victory across the line – ahead of a great recovery drive from Beller, and solid races from Lewis-Williams, Miller and Tony Westaway to round out the top 5. Misuraca was 6th from Gallagher, and then James – who was able to take advantage of the traffic and Brad Winter going up the escape road at Honda, to pass both the Bradwin car and the Zantek machine of Taubitz – the latter trying hard to get the spot back in the race to the line but ultimately just falling short by a tenth of a second. Stanic was able to move back into 11th ahead of Winter, Rowland and Raphael. Despite the tricky changeable conditions, another great clean race, and a new Race winner in Ryan Woods! Ryan would no doubt be looking up how to perform a rain dance for this afternoon for the final 10 lap race!

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