Round 6. Phillip Island – Race 2

Round 6. Phillip Island – Race 2

Despite the predictions for no rain until later on Sunday afternoon, there was a sprinkling on the Sunday morning – and as the first class to hit the track an hour later, there were still some wet patches on the track as the reduced 14 car field of Porsche 944s set off for what would be their first race for the weekend.

As the lights went out it was Cameron Beller who made the best start and led into Turn 1 ahead of Vince Misuraca in second and Chris Lewis-Williams in third. Brad Winter moved into fourth position ahead of Michael Westaway, with Robert Lange making a great start and moving up to sixth place in front of Tony Westaway.

John Goddard prevailed from the side-by-side battle he had through Turn 1 with Mark Taubitz to move into eighth with Ken Rowland slotting into the tenth position. Andrew Jackman was next through in eleventh ahead of Ben Raphael who got the jump on Keith Marriner. Pedr James started from pit lane after his overnight gearbox swap and was the last of the runners on the first lap.

Lange made his move into the Top 5 with a pass on Michael Westaway under brakes for Honda corner for the first time as Beller started to eke out a small gap up front.

Lap 2 and Ken Rowland made a strong move on Taubitz around the outside of Lukey Heights and into braking for MG to take the ninth position, meanwhile Lange had a drama coming around the final two corners and dropped two positions behind the Westaway brothers again, and set about trying to close that gap again.

Marriner moved himself into twelfth position on Lap 3 with a move past Raphael as Beller dipped into the 1:49 second category – the lap times a bit slower than usual due to some dampness through the last few corners ensuring there would be no new lap records set this race!

The next move for position was Pedr James catching and passing Raphael to move into thirteenth position on lap 5. Up front the battle for 2nd position remained close with Lewis-Williams trying to find a way past Misuraca, and for fourth Michael and Tony Westaway closed up to the back of Brad Winter to make it a three car battle.

The positions would remain as they were however, with Beller taking the win at the end of the 7 laps 4 seconds clear of the Misuraca/Lewis-Williams battle which was settled in Misuracas favour. Winter held on for fourth position with both Michael and Tony Westaway with less than a second covering the three cars across the line.

Lange was seventh and unable to close up to the battle in front of him, but held a comfortable gap to Goddard behind him. In ninth position was Taubitz, unhappy with the handling of the car but was gifted the position back by Ken Rowland after he had a spin at Siberia on the last lap. This also allowed Andrew Jackman through, who crossed the line right on the tail of Taubitz for his first top ten finish in the series.

Rowland recovered for eleventh position, with Marriner in twelfth, and James and Raphael rounding out the field.

In the battle for the Victorian State Race Series,, this meant that all Misuraca had to do was finish 10th or higher in the last race to secure the State Championship – however this is Motor Racing, and anything can happen….

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