Qualifying for the Island Magic event was bright and early on Saturday morning as the 20 car field headed onto the circuit just after 9am.
Cameron Beller set the benchmark first up as he recorded a 1:50.4653 to top the times as the drivers set their first competitive lap, with Chris Lewis-Williams and Tony Westaway close together in second and third, with Chris’s 1:50.8269 just ahead of Tony’s 1:50.8873, with Vince Misuraca just behind in fourth with a 1:51.5914.
A small gap back to Brad Winter in fifth with a 1:52.5070, with Ken Rowland sixth on a 1:52.7637. Mark Taubitz was next in seventh position with a 1:53.2489, just ahead of Michael Westaway’s 1:53.2756, with Codey West (1:53.4850) and Dick Howe (1:53.7853) rounding out the top half of the field early on.
Jim Gallagher was eleventh with a 1:54.5303, ahead of Keith Marriner on a 1:55.6032, Marius Catrina (1:55.7580) Paul Crocitti (1:57.4298) and Ken Knight fifteenth after recording a 1:59.0622 lap. Pedr James was sixteenth with a 1:59.5012, ahead of Toni Andreevski (1:59.8340) Peter Doherty (2:00.5180) John Vainoras (2:07.1545)and Jim Mitchell, who was having engine cut off issues with his car as he recorded a 2:38.6168 before pulling off the circuit.
The top 5 all improved their times on the second lap, though the positions stayed the same, with Bellers fastest time now a 1:49.7070, from Lewis-Williams 1:49.7736, Westaway’s 1:49.8268, Misuraca’s 1:50.5769 and Winter’s 1:50.9391. Michael Westaway recorded a 1:51.1300 to move himself up to sixth, ahead of Taubitz who ran a 1:51.7553 and remianed seventh, with West running a 1:52.3243. Mechanical issues for West meant he was unable to continue and put an end to his session. Moving up to tenth was Gallagher after recording a 1:53.2066, putting him behind Rowland who slipped to ninth spot.
Crocitti moved up to eleventh as he improved with a 1:53.22518 to move ahead of Howe, with Catrina also improving with a 1:53.8737 to remain thirteenth for the time being, although he would not improve on this time throughout the session. James inproved to fourteenth spot with a 1:54.0139 with Marriner alsoimproving, but slipping to fifteenth with a 1:54.9578.
Knight was sixteenth with a 1:55.4846 as Doherty moved to seventeenth with a 1:56.4503 ahead of Andreevski on a 1:58.8351 and Vainoras now on a 2:03.4005.
Beller re-set the benchmark the following lap with a 1:49.2364, a time that he, no anyone else would beat for the remainder of the session as he secured Pole position. Lewis-Williams improved also with a 1:49.6309, with a time he would also be unable to improve on throughout the session. Brad Winter meanwhile, moved up into fourth position with a 1:50.1174, pushing Misuraca back to fifth.
Marriner also improved with a 1:53.8748 moving him to fourteenth between Catrina and James, while Vainoras lowered his time but remained nineteenth with a 2:02.4484.
Winter and Misuraca both improved on their times the next lap around, Winter with a 1:50.0532 with Misuraca running a 1:50.1361 while Taubitz also ran quicker with a 1:51.2001. Rowland slotted in behind Taubitz with a 1:51.7983 while Howe moved back up to tenth position behind West with a 1:52.4395.
James moved into thirteenth with a 1:53.8032 to be just ahead of Catrina and Marriner, while Knight and Doherty also both improved their times, with a 1:55.3277 and 1:56.0680 respectively.
Ken Rowland moved himself up to sixth on the next lap, running a 1:51.0114 to push back Westaway and Taubitz a position. James improved slightly with a 1:53.7001, while Knight recorded a 1:54.6557, though remained sixteenth, a time he was unable to improve on in the remaining laps. Vainoras lowered his best time again with a 2:01.9446.
Rownland improved again with a 1:50.8874, which would be his quickest time of the session, while Howe moved ahead of West into ninth spot with a 1:51.7855. Crocitti moved up to eleventh with a 1:52.4943, while James moved to twelfth with a 1:52.9232. Doherty (1:55.0749), Andreevski (1:55.7959) and Vainoras (2:00.3152) also all improved their best times, without a change of position.
Misuraca was able to pull out a great lap on the next time around, a 1:49.5340 which would move him up to second position alongside Beller, bumping Lewis-Williams back to third position where he would start alongside Tony Westaway for the afternoons first race. Winter also ran what would be his quickest time for the session, dipping under the 1:50’s with a 1:49.8507, just falling short from bumping Tony Westaway off the second row.
Howe moved himself up to sixth fastest when he recorded a 1:50.7303, while Crocitti moved himself into the top ten with a 1:52.2434 in his best lap for the session. James also recorded his best lap for the session with a 1:52.6940, though he would remain in twelfth position.
As the session wound down, Howe again lowered his benchmark with a 1:50.4537 to secure the sixth position on the grid for him, while Taubitz and Michael Westaway both ran their fastest laps also, thought Taubitz moved ahead fo Michael with a 1:50.9535 to a 1:51.0844 dropping Michael back to ninth fastest.
Marriner also moved up a few spots as he ran his best time of 1:52.8596 to moveup to thirteenth position, while Doherty also improved to sixteenth position with a 1:54.4083 – while Vainoras delighted himself when he ran his first sub 2 minute lap, recording a 1:59.6264.
The field was largely set as the session ended, with Gallagher running his fastest lap on the final lap, but his 1:53.1752 wasn’t able to promote him on the grid, while Doherty moved up one more spot to fifteenth as he ran a 1:53.5577 on his last lap.
So it was Beller and Misuraca on Row 1, ahead of Lewis-Williams sharing with Westaway on Row 2. Winter was next ahead of Howe, with Rowland and Taubitz sharing Row 4, with Westaway and Crocitti rounding out the first half of the field.
West would start eleventh and would no doubt move forward in the race, with James alongside him, with Marriner and Gallagher to share Row 7. Doherty was next with Catrina for company, while Knight, Andreevski, Vainoras and Mitchell would round out the grid.