The Bristle Blaster smokes em while attrition knocks contenders out

The gaggles of MG history lead by Roger Chapman

Before the round we had 24 entries including the debut of MG Motorsport under the guidance of MG Motor Australia with a MG 6 Turbo. Withdrawals during the week of Phillip Island saw championship leader Vincenzo Gucciardo in the GB Galvanizing MG TF LE500 drop out and David Anderson in his MG B.

A cool windy day set in as the field set for qualifying, only to see drama immediately. Phil Chester didn’t make the pre grid with mechanical issues while Andrew Howell in the ZR Judd had an engine failure as he went to move out stopping him dead in his tracks.  Rodney Gibb in the Dreadnought ZT V8 made the opening two laps and would go no further.

On debut we saw Ursula Weidenmuller step back into the series in a TR6 and Barry Pritchett debut the ex Glen Wood MG TF Cup.

Jason Holmes had a good weekend in his ZR

Out of the gate it was Robin Bailey (B GT V8) with a 1:54.3 from Richard Milligan (B V8 Roadster) on a 1:55.1 and Chris Gidney (ZR) a 1:55.3 before Jason Holmes (ZR) came past on a 1:52.8 to go 3rd quickest. Paul Vernall (ZR) then surprised many with a 1:49.7 to go 2nd quickest splitting the V8’s.  Keith Ondarchie a 1:56.0 moved into 6th as first Triumph in the Invited British field from Geoff St John Cox (TR7V8), Mike Wood, (B GT V8) Barry Pritchett (TF Cup) on debut in the new car and James Brock on debut in the MG 6 with a 2:03.7.  Ondarchie would take no further part in the weekend with major engine dramas ruling him out.

Race 1 of 8 laps in distance we saw Phil Chester line up at the rear of the field. Bailey got the jump on Milligan and lead from Vernall, Holmes, Gidney as Chester moved to 6th on the opening lap.  Wood, St John Cox, Pritchett, Herlihy (MG F) rounded out the top 10. Brock dropping to 13th early on and pushing his way forward as the race went on.

Chester got Gidney on lap 2 and then both Holmes and Vernall on lap 3. Holmes moved past Vernall on lap 3 as Vernall begun to slow while St John Cox got passed Mike Wood for 7th place and Rose got by Herlihy for 10th, as Brock moved into 12th now and progressing forward.  On lap 4 Chester moved into 2nd place and in pursuit of Bailey and set a blinding 1:41.57 to set fastest lap of the race, Gidney moved by Vernall on lap 6 and Brock pitted with issues retiring on the same lap.  As if the drama hadn’t been big enough we saw Chester slow on the last lap and drop to 3rd later on confirming he ran out of fuel!

The Bristle Blaster

Race 2 Sunday morning and Vernall had now withdrawn with engine dramas, Chester and Bailey launched off the line with Bailey leading Chester and Milligan from Holmes, Gidney, Wood, St John Cox, Pritchett, Dunford and Rose. Chester moving into the lead on lap 2 while Wood and St John  Cox ran closely for 6th place.  Zwartaveen moved by Chapman on lap 4 as Chester set a 1:43.07 which would be the fastest lap of the race, Brock moving up into the top 10 on lap 5.

Chester lead the remainder of the race from Bailey and Milligan across the line as Holmes had a lonely race in 4th place and Gidney in 5th on a similarly lonely race. St John Cox got by Wood on lap 5 and Herlihy moved by Rose on lap 5 as Brock moved into 9th place on lap 5.   The final lap saw a great race for 10th place with Dunford moving into 10th from Rose, Mohacsi and Herlihy across the line.

Race 3 and Chester set off on a mission, his opening lap a 1:44.5 opening a 4 second lead, following it with a 1:43 and 1:42.6 (fastest lap) and driving away to a 27 second win from Bailey and Milligan.

Robin Bailey and Richard Milligan

Holmes again had a really lonely race for fourth while Gidney was 5th with a similarly lonely race.  St John Cox ran with Wood for most of the race before wood retired on lap 3, Herlihy had another close battle with Rose before retiring on lap 4 stuck in fourth gear.  James Brock got down to a 2:01 on his way to 7th place behind St John Cox ahead of Pritchett.

Rose, Zwartaveen, Dunford and Mohacsi had a good battle until Mohacsi dropped off, Rose winning the battle as Weidenmuller and Souter rounded out the finishers in 13th and 14th place. Chapman retiring on the last lap.