Heritage Touring Cars Open 2022 Season at Phillip Island Classic


Heritage Touring Cars Open 2022 Season at Phillip Island Classic

Images thanks to Bruce Moxon

The weekend of the 11th to the 13th of March, 2022, saw Heritage Touring Cars kick off its 2022 season at a massive edition of the VHRR’s Phillip Island Classic.

2022 Phillip Island Classic Heritage Touring Cars

435 entrants made their way to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the historic meeting, with many categories fielding capacity grids. Heritage Touring Cars enjoyed a great weekend of competition, with 26 Group C & A cars lining up for qualifying.

The front row was locked out by Sierra RS500s, with Jonathon Webb in his father Steve Webb’s ’92 Caltex Sierra very quick to find his pace. He put together a massive lap to secure P1 on 1:39.51 – a full three seconds clear of the rest of the field. Bryan Sala claimed a comfortable second ahead of the 1991 Sandown 500-winning GIO GT-R of Tony Alford.

2022 Phillip Island Classic Terry Lawlor

In Group C, Terry Lawlor steered the Bob Morris/Bill O’Brien Ford XD Falcon to eighth overall on a 1:50.45, followed by Chris Rose in the VH Commodore in ninth. Bill Cutler’s invited M5 followed in 11th.

Webb showed no signs of slowing once racing got under way on Friday afternoon, going even faster than he had in qualifying on his way to a win in the first race of the year. Sala held on, finishing just a second behind while Chris Stillwell moved the 1988 Caltex Sierra RS500 up into third for an RS500 podium lockout. Eddie Sansil strung together a massive lap on his way to a fifth place finish, coming within four one hundredths of Bill Cutler’s two year old 2-3-litre Group A lap record.

Lawlor found nearly two seconds on his qualifying time as he fought his way up into sixth, while Chris Rose moved up to eighth overall and second Group C. Michael Logiudice moved the Lucky 13 VK Holden into the top ten, while Milton Seferis put in a strong drive to finish 11th and third Group C after an early exit from qualifying left him without a time.

Image thanks to Neville Butler

That night, we gathered for a our annual trophy evening, to celebrate the 2021 season and recognise the efforts and achievements of those who were able to participate. Neville Butler kindly acted as photographer on the evening, and has kindly shared images of the trophy winners and evening festivities below.

2022 Phillip Island Classic Adrian Allisey Commodore

Webb was able to stretch out a comfortable win in race two on Saturday morning, taking half a second off Jimmy Vernon’s four year old over three-litre Group A lap record along the way. Sala retained his second place finish ahead of a threatening Tony Alford, who moved the Skyline back onto the podium. Ex-works 1990 BMW M3 Sport Evolution driver Eddie Sansil and Terry Lawlor had a good scrap over fifth and sixth, with the Group C driver claiming another comfortable class win. Rick Allen and Adrian Allisey put on a good show just behind them, with Allisey undertaking a recovery drive having finished 20th in race one.

With Allisey moving up, Chris Rose fell to ninth overall while maintaining second Group C. Some troubles saw Seferis exit the race early, Bill Cutler moving back into 11th overall. Jamie McDonald in the VN Commodore and Tony Sawford in the ex-Allan Grice Craven Mild A9X enjoyed an exciting dice during the race, while Stephen Axisa and Craig Foster were doing the same a short way back down the road. Axisa was able to get the better of the younger but less powerful Team Toyota Australia AE86 in the little Torana.

Saturday afternoon saw us out for a slightly longer race, which did little to slow Webb up front. Alford moved up to second after Sala was unable to start, and Stillwell claimed third ahead of a charging Allisey, who moved the ex-Leeson/Willmington Walkinshaw VL into fourth.

Rick Allen was able to move the Benson & Hedges BMW E30 M3 past Terry Lawlor, who finished seventh overall, first in Group C, just ahead of Chris Rose in eighth. Bill Cutler moved up into tenth. Meanwhile, Tony Sawford and Adrian Brady had a fun race, Brady recovering from an early mark in race two and moving the 635CSI into fourteenth.

Race four on Sunday afternoon was our feature event – a twelve lap race that lasted more than 20 minutes. Jonathon Webb was able to complete a clean sweep of the weekend, running away from the field with Tony Alford for a closely contested finale. Unfortunately, Bryan Sala had a DNF. After consistently fighting his way through the field over the course of the weekend, Adrian Allisey finished his campaign on the podium in third, just clear of Eddie Sansil. Chris Stillwell and Rick Allen had a great run to the checkered flag, enjoying a clean scrap to finish the weekend.

Mirroring the story in Group A, Terry Lawlor completed his Group C lockout, finishing seventh overall and enjoying some clear air between himself and Chris Rose in eighth, second Group C. Bill Cutler also moved up in the feature event, finishing ninth overall.

Tony Pallas and Jamie McDonald, and Steve Axisa and Carl Muller made the most of the longer event, finishing with less than a second between them after more than 20 minutes of competition.

2022 Phillip Island Classic Celica

The 2022 Phillip Island Classic was another excellent edition of the iconic Australian historic motorsport event, and a great way to get back on track after an extended summer break. Heritage Touring Cars would like to extend a massive ‘Thank you!’ to the VHRR for hosting, and the many volunteers, competitors, spectators, family and friends who supported the event.

Now that we’ve opened the taps, we have no intention of letting off. Heritage Touring Cars will be at the HRCC’s Autumn Historic Warwick at Morgan Park Raceway in Queensland over May 14 and 15, heading to the HSRCA’s Sydney Classic over the 11th and 12th of June. The second half of the year will find us at the Winton Festival of Speed August 6-7 and we’ll finish in Tasmania with the Baskerville Historics at Baskerville, September 16 – 17.

Images thanks to Bruce Moxon. Visit him at his Moxophoto Facebook page if you are interested in more shots, or one of his very reasonable image packages.

2022 Phillip Island Classic Heritage Touring Cars

Images of the trophy evening, with thanks to Neville Butler