Individual brilliance inspires Island's state round

Wednesday 08 May, 2019
Photos: Revved Photography
More than 240 entrants have put on a show at Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit for the CAMS Victorian State Circuit Racing Championships’ second round in 2019.
It was a weekend that was dominated by individual masterclasses, as a number of the 10 categories witnessed clean sweeps and undefeated reigns throughout the two-day event. 
Headlining the weekend was the popular Hyundai Excels series with 58 cars on track, however the category was dominated by one with Benjamin Grice registering a clean sweep, winning every race of the weekend.
Finishing in second place with three runner-up finishes was reigning category champion Michael Clemente, while only one point separated Nathan Blight and Jordan Caruso for third.
The weekend’s next biggest category experienced another clean sweep, although this time the 39 Improved Production Cars were led by an unchanged podium.

Reigning category champion Luke Grech-Cumbo took out top honours over BMW drivers Nathan Robinson and Robert Braune who finished all three races in second and third respectively. 

Number one seed Philip Chester’s second-race win in the MGs & Invited British Sports Cars was enough to seal a tight victory over runner-up Vincenzo Gucciardo.

Race-one winner Robin Bailey occupied third place, but Gucciardo would count himself unlucky after ending the day with second places in the two races, however Chester’s victory was worth more points allowing him to leapfrog Gucciardo.

Porsche 944 defending champion Cameron Beller continued his brilliant start to the 2019 season with three perfect wins on the island.

Beller’s comfortable victory came at the expense of Lyndon Watson, who finished with three runner-up finishes and outright third placed Anthony Westaway. 

In Sports Sedans, Dean Camm and his Chev Corvette were too strong for the rest of the 27 other drivers as he picked up wins in every race of the round.
It was another unchanged podium for all three races as Holden Commodore pilots Francois Habib and Terry Hamilton ended the weekend in second and third.

Another category, another domination and in the HQ Holdens, it was Andrew McLeod who reigned supreme over the 16 other drivers in the one-make series.

As John Wise comfortably sealed a gallant second, the efforts of eventual third placed Andrew Magilton can not go unnoticed after recovering from a second-last in the first race to claim two runner-up finishes in the next two to seal third.
In one of the only categories not to have a clean sweep, Historic Touring Cars winner Michael Miceli knocked off fellow Ford Mustang pilot and reigning champion Darryl Hansen to claim two wins from three races. 

Hansen ended the day on the same amount of points as Darren Collins after the Chevrolet Camaro driver managed to secure a victory in the first race over the two Mustangs.

Jake Rowe’s two wins in Formula Vee were just enough to secure the round win after Heath Collinson grabbed a late victory in the category’s final race to scare the round winner.

With four of the top five cars being Sabres, Nicholas Jones’ third place in the Jacer 98 was a welcome inclusion as only one point separated him from fourth placed Adam Slattery. 

As usual, Formula Ford had both the Formula 1600 and Formula 1200 cars share the grid as defending champion Brendan Jones won an extremely tight battle in the 1600s over John Connelly. Rounding out the podium was Byron Thomas.

In the Formula 1200s, two race wins was enough for Spencer Ackermann to take the class over Benjamin D'Alia and Matthew Holmes.
The final category of the day was another shared grid with the 20 cars taking part in the Saloon Cars and BMW E30 enjoying a competitive weekend, dominated by outright and Saloon winner Travis Lindorff.
Finishing behind Lindorff in the class were Anthony Beare and Daniel Johnson, while Jeremy Payne triumphed in the BMW category ahead of Alex Jory and Brian Bourke. 
The next round of the CAMS Victorian State Circuit Racing Championships takes place at Winton Motor Raceway on 15-16 June.