Wrapping Up the Heritage Touring Cars 2018 Series Finale at Historic Sandown


Wrapping Up the Heritage Touring Cars 2018 Series Finale at Historic Sandown

Images thanks to Brett Ensinger

Heritage Touring Cars’ iconic Group C & A Australian touring cars rolled out one last time for 2018 to wrap up the series at Historic Sandown over the weekend of the 10th and 11th of November.

Situated close to the heart of Melbourne, Sandown International Raceway is an iconic touring car venue that played host to both Group C and Group A in period. With two long straits that give the cars an opportunity to open up and sing as well as some iconic corners, it’s a great touring car circuit.

Twenty competitors made the trip to Victoria, with a particularly strong entry from Group C. Heritage Touring Cars followed Regularity and the Hyundai Excel series out on Saturday morning, making for an impressive juxtaposition as competition proper got under way with qualifying. Pole position was set by up-and-coming professional driver James Vernon in the 1990 Benson & Hedges Ford Sierra RS500. James went on to win each race, so for our round wrap-up we are going to focus on the achievements of our Heritage Touring Cars drivers.

Tony Karanfilovski went fastest, pushing the ex-Glenn Seton Peter Jackson Sierra to a blistering 1:16.0. David Holc followed up with a 1:20.8 in the GIO Commodore VN, while Aaron Cameron was the fastest Group C driver, setting a 1:24.3 in a Torana A9X. Aaron was the first of an absolutely packed mid-field, with the majority of the Heritage Touring Cars field running between 1:24 and 1:27, promising a great weekend’s racing ahead.

Tony Karanfilovski took his qualifying pace into Race One on Saturday afternoon, running a somewhat lonely race to finish well clear of David Holc. Adrian Allisey and Michael Roddy were able to get the better of Aaron Cameron under race conditions, with Cameron nevertheless taking Group C honours and improving on his qualifying time to set the fastest Group C lap. Jeff Trembath claimed second Group C aboard the Advance Australia VC Commodore that 1980 Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones drove in the 1981 James Hardie 1000 – the only time a reigning Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion contested the race.

Adrian Allisey managed to squeeze even more pace out of the HRT VL Walkinshaw in Race Two to lead David Holc home. While it may have been a little quiet out in front, the mid-field was very busy indeed. David Towe, Jeff Trembath and Ed Singleton were able to get past Karanfilovski, who ended up in the midst of a fierce mid-field battle that included Michael Roddy’s Tom Walkinshaw Racing Jaguar XJS, Norm Mogg in an ex-Holden Racing Team Commodore VL and Aaron Cameron’s A9X.

Just a second or so behind them was another scrap that featured John Mina’s XD Falcon, Anthony Sawford’s A9X Torana, George Nittis in the XE Falcon, Phil Verwoert’s well-sorted Mazda RX7 and Lindsay Woollard’s Re-Car Commodore VC.

The final race of the weekend, and the 2018 Heritage Touring Cars series, was held just after lunch on Sunday afternoon and saw the Legends of Bathurst head out for a thirteen lap feature event. Adrian Allisey was able to hold out the pursuing David Holc over the course of the endurance epic, with Tony Karanfilovski climbing up the ranks to follow them home.

Michael Roddy found himself in the midst of a great Group C dice, with Milton Seferis finding his feet and climbing to the top of the class in the ex-Peter Janson Commodore VH. George Nittis was right on his tail in the Murray Carter XE Falcon, his fastest Group C lap not quite enough to bump him into the class lead, but enough to narrowly edge out Jeff Trembath.

Thanks to the VHRR for bringing together a magnificent collection of historic race cars and hosting yet another brilliant Historic Sandown.

With that, we reach the end of another magic year in Heritage Touring Cars racing. Heritage Touring Cars is grateful to be supported by an awesome community of people who put in a lot of work behind the scenes, as well as on the track, to share the love of historic Australian touring cars with the world. We take to the track to enjoy the cars, circuits and community, to celebrate Australian motor racing history and to share our passion with likeminded souls.

That said, we’re racers at heart and we can’t help but enjoy some good-natured competition along the way! Congratulations to the following drivers who have steered with the most consistent quickness throughout 2018. David Towe sits at the top of the Group A leader board, with David Paterson finishing the season in second place and Tony Pallas third. Ed Singleton topped the Group C tables, followed by Neville Butler in second and Tony Sawford third.

Thanks to all of the volunteers who support the sport, organisers who give us the opportunity to race these spectacular old cars and all of the drivers, mechanics, families and friends who make up the community and make it great. We’re can’t wait to do it all over again next year.

The Legends of Bathurst will return in 2019. Stay tuned to www.heritagetouringcars.com.au.

Images thanks to Brett Ensinger. For more see Brett’s Flickr page here.