Brands Jubilee; 3rd July – Rear Disc braked Grid
Wow! What an entry – they were all there – at least 10 proven race winners all of whom were potential winners here. Yes all our well known runners were here with interesting newcomers Johannes Kistler from Switzerland in his Lotus 22, Richard Nitschke from Adelaide in the Elfin Catalina, Jan Goeckman in the futuristic Gemini Mk 4 and returnee after some years Jason Williams in the family Lotus 20 with Pietro Vergnano from Italy in a Brabham BT6.
Well, it looked more like racing than qualifying – many of the front runners dicing together as if it was the last lap – perhaps not the best way to eke out the last 1/10 or so. Typically Sam Wilson and Andrew Hibberd – so closely matched chased each other round inches apart – Hibberd decided he’d had enough of this, dropped back a few hundred yards – and set pole time!
So when have we seen such quality in depth – so evenly matched – the first 8 all within 1 second – as related Hibberd just eased pole by .002 seconds from James Murray and Westie Mitchell in his fascinatingly unique De Tomaso.
Marty Bullock having his last race before returning to Perth to organise the Western Australia contribution to the World Series, had a fuel line detach and completed only 1 lap at race speed.
It gives an idea of the closeness and competitiveness to note that 7th, 8th and 9th were Sam Wilson, Jack Woodhouse and Stuart Roach – each one a proven Superstar!
As expected, the race was a cracker – Murray led into Paddock off the grid pursued by Hibberd & Jackson with Rossi, Mitchell, Wilson, Roach and Woodhouse following closely.
By lap 3, Hibberd had found a way through and Murray and Jackson circulated side by side in a heartstopping manner. Wilson was making up ground from his unusually far to the rear Grid Position.
On lap 5, a tap from behind, caused Roach’s Alexis to break an upright and strand him, bringing out the Safety Car while the car was removed – this bunched the already close field even closer!
The restart came on lap 7 with the order unchanged but several cars were on the move upwards – Wilson particularly passing Mitchell and Rossi before becoming involved with a close scrap with Jackson which continued to the flag.
Grant was making up places from a relatively lowly grid position – passing neatly and safely in the Sykes Merlyn.
Marty Bullock made up 13 places with his now repaired pristine Lotus 27 but sadly Vergnano’s Brabham expired on the first lap.
So, Hibberd eased out a 2 second lead from Murray with Wilson just failing to catch Jackson before the line – the order Jackson, Wilson, Rossi, Grant, Mitchell were covered by 2 seconds!
The fastest Lap recorded by the first 8 runners varied by less than half a second!
A glorious race to finish off a glorious day.
By Bob Birrell