Record-Breaking Racing at Heritage Touring Cars Phillip Island Series Opener


Record-Breaking Racing at Heritage Touring Cars Phillip Island Series Opener

And that’s a wrap! Round 1 of the Heritage Touring Cars series took place over 11th to 13th of March as part of the immense 2016 Phillip Island Classic, and saw some awe inspiring racing take place.

The Phillip Island Classic is a highlight of the Australian motorsport calendar, and an honour to be a part of. It made for an exciting backdrop as the record Heritage Touring Cars grid got under way in the series opener.

Private practice was held on Thursday and provided competitors some particularly wet and challenging conditions. Not the ideal way to get the cars dialled in, but that’s racing!

The event kicked into top gear on Friday with competitors opening the taps in qualifying and producing an exciting session from which Carey McMahon emerged on pole position in the 1990 Benson & Hedges Ford Sierra RS500.

And this is just one day after telling us that he’d be happy just to run in the top 5!

Event patron and Australian motorsport legend, Jim Richards, put in a legendary lap to secure second place on the grid in the same Group C JPS BMW 635 CSi Coupe that he raced in period.

Terry Lawlor completed the top three in his ’92 Sierra RS500.

Racing conditions for the remainder of the weekend were perfect, as noted by Heritage Touring Cars’ Chris Bowden.

“The weather on the remaining days was great for racing! Jim was a star all weekend, putting that Group C racer right up there every race. Awesome stuff!”

At the end of play David Towe just barely snuck by Tony Alford to sit atop the Group A leaderboards with his BMW M3. Jervis Ward, also aboard an M3, rounds out the top three.

Jim Richards had an excellent weekend in his period BMW 635CSi Coupe to emerge at the top of the leaderboards. Milton Seferis and Russell Keam were competitive all weekend long, finishing the weekend in a very close second and third respectively.

Staying with Group C, we saw some record-breaking runs over the weekend. Jim Richards set a new outright Group C lap record, lapping the Phillip Island circuit in a feisty 01:45.41 on the Friday.

Justin Nilsson broke the under 3-litre Group C record that had stood for 11 years on Saturday, setting a 1:49.96 in his Nissan Pulsar Exa turbo.

Racing performances were exemplary throughout the field, with event organisers praising the series for its clean driving.

“With the exception of one incident, the weekend ran very smoothly.”

“Peter Doulman praised the field for the rolling starts and race conduct. We’re very pleased to hear that, and must send our own thanks and praise to our fellow competitors for putting on a safe and exciting weekend!”

The Heritage Touring Cars series will resume in just a few weeks during Historic Warwick at Morgan Park Raceway, Queensland over the weekend of April 29 to May 1.

Image thanks to Brent Murray of At Speed Images