Wrapping Up a Massive Weekend at Morgan Park for 2018’s Historic Queensland

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Wrapping Up a Massive Weekend at Morgan Park for 2018’s Historic Queensland

Lead image thanks to Ian Welsh / Shifting Focus Photography

Held over the 14th & 15th of July at the magnificent Morgan Park Raceway in Warwick, the Historic Racing Car Club Queensland’s 2018 Historic Queensland was a runaway success. Heritage Touring Cars joined the record field to contest Round 3 of the 2018 series.

Watching the entry list surge past all expectations and buzz build to fever pitch, we knew that we were in for something special with the 2018 edition of the HRCC’s Historic Queensland. The event did not disappoint, attracting a record 270 entrants and a crowd estimated to exceed 5,000.

Conditions were absolutely perfect for motorsport. Cold mornings gave way to sunshine and temperatures in the 20s, meaning nice cold air for the cars to breath and enough sun to get some heat into the circuit. Fellow racers and spectators lent a magic atmosphere to the event and we had a brilliant weekend playing with the monumental field of historic sports, formula and touring cars.

Heritage Touring Cars at Historic Queensland 2018 by Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh / Shifting Focus Photography image

Historic Queensland celebrated 70 years of Holden, but that didn’t stop Terry Lawlor from putting a Ford on P1 after qualifying. Lawlor steered the Shell Dick Johnson Sierra RS500 around Morgan Park in 1:21.779 to grab the fastest lap and please the Ford crowd after Norm Mogg’s Holden domination at Muscle Car Masters.

Duncan MacKellar followed in the 1990 Italian Superturismo Championship Schnitzer BMW M3, with Tony Karanfilovski third in a second RS500 – Glenn Seton’s Peter Jackson car. Both cars struggled to find their feet in the first half of the year, so we were thrilled to see them out at race pace in Queensland.

Glenn Gerstel took the top spot in Group C, followed by Ed Singleton and Lindsay Woollard, the three drivers comfortably in the top ten overall.

Racing got under way just after lunch on Saturday, and Duncan MacKellar and Terry Lawlor immediately went out and put on a show. The two were neck and neck throughout the event, with MacKellar just barely edging the M3 ahead of Lawlor at the chequered flag. Tony Karanfilovski was close behind in third, with the top three well clear of the rest of the field.

In the tightest competition of the race, Justin Matthews snuck past the ex-Murray Carter XE Falcon of Glenn Gerstel. This left Gerstel within reach of Ed Singleton in the STP VH Commodore, himself under serious pressure from Wayne Clift and Adrian Allisey, who were both charging. The dice would produce a photo finish, Gerstel crossing the start/finish line just nine hundredths ahead of Singleton, followed a few tenths later by Clift and Allisey. Lindsay Woollard brought his Re-Car VC Commodore home just behind them in third Group C to complete the top ten.

Race two on Saturday afternoon was a handicap race for the Lloyd Bax Trophy. This event shifts up the order by arranging the grid into three groups, with the faster cars at the rear of each group.

Heritage Touring Cars at Historic Queensland 2018 by Stephen McKay

Stephen McKay image

After a great run in race one, Wayne Clift charged to victory in the handicap. He was followed by Frank Binding in the Army Reserves Falcon XD. Tony Karanfilovski was first home of the front runners, narrowly outrunning a very quick Duncan MacKellar. The result saw Wayne Clift, Tony Karanfilovski and Duncan MacKellar claiming the top three spots in Group A.

Frank Binding’s second overall comfortably gave him the Group C win. Building on his consistent weekend, Lindsay Woollard brought the Commodore home in second, fifth overall. Greg Keam was right behind him third Group C in his Ford Escort.

Ian Helsdon, Neville Butler, David Paterson and Tony Pallas developed a fun rivalry in the mid field and showed off the variety of the group in the process. With Helsdon aboard a very late Group A Toyota Corolla Sprinter, Butler was the lone Group C driver in his Escort. Paterson followed Butler home, putting his signature Bob Holden ’83 AE86 Sprinter up against the mighty Group A Jaguar XJ-S of Pallas.

Sunday morning saw the field roll out to contest race three and decide the two major trophies of the weekend – the Glenn Seton for Group A and John French trophy for Group C. After the upheaval of Saturday afternoon’s handicap race, Terry Lawlor was back on top in the RS500, pulling out a second lead from Tony Karanfilovski by the end of the race. Duncan MacKellar started the race at the back of the field, but charged to third with a supreme drive in the Schnitzer M3.

Heritage Touring Cars at Historic Queensland 2018 by Stephen McKay

Ian Welsh / Shifting Focus Photography image

Ed Singleton had a stunner of a race, bringing ‘Elvis’ up to fourth overall just a few seconds behind MacKellar’s M3 and comfortably claiming the Group C win. Frank Binding followed in seventh overall. Phil Verwoert had a great run, moving himself up into eighth overall and third Group C and leading Lindsay Woollard and Peter Jones, who were hot on his heels and separated by just a few tenths.

Duncan MacKellar was able to claim his second race win of the weekend in Sunday afternoon’s golden winter sunshine. Ed Singleton managed to squeeze even more pace out of the Group C Commodore to claim an impressive second overall. Justin Matthews capped off a great weekend in the 1984 Capri Components Ford Mustang with a third place finish.

Further splitting the Group C & A continuum, Phil Verwoert fought his way up to fourth overall in the Group C Berklee Mazda RX7. Wayne Clift followed to claim fifth overall in the Group A VK Commodore. Group A standings saw MacKellar lead Matthews and Clift, with the Group C top three Ed Singleton, Phil Verwoert and Lindsay Woollard.

Heritage Touring Cars at Historic Queensland 2018 by Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh / Shifting Focus Photography image

Two lap records fell in the final race of the weekend. Peter Woods absolutely smashed his own record for 2-3 litre Group C touring cars at the circuit, going four seconds faster than his previous mark with a 1:37.266. Duncan MacKellar was also able to take a chunk out of fellow M3 pilot David Towe’s Morgan Park 2001 – 3000cc record, setting a mark of 1:22.026.

After the weekend’s competition, David Paterson holds on to his lead in the Group A standings, with David Harris jumping into second and bumping David Towe to third. Group C sees the order rearranged, with Neville Butler moving into the top spot followed by Tony Sawford and Ed Singleton.

With that, Historic Queensland 2018 is in the books and will surely be remembered as a highlight of 2018’s motorsport calendar. We would like to send a huge ‘THANK YOU!’ to the HRCC for organising and running a truly special event!

Round four will see the Legends of Bathurst migrating south to tackle Tasmania’s iconic Baskerville Raceway over the 22nd and 23rd of September. Until then, stay tuned to www.heritagetouringcars.com.au for more from Heritage Touring Cars – the Legends of Bathurst.

Coming Up:

Round 4 – HSCC Baskerville Historics, Baskerville, Tasmania, September 22-23

Round 5 – VHRR Historic Sandown, Sandown Raceway, Victoria, November 10 – 11

Images thanks to Ian Welsh / Shifting Focus Photography

Images thanks to Stephen McKay