2014 PHILIP ISLAND CLASSIC

There were ten vehicles that assembled in Drouin for the run to Philip Island, and another couple of late starters that caught up enroute. It had been about 6 months since I’d visited the Island and it was a pleasant surprise to see the infuriating road-work speed limits on the Bass Highway removed and the new road open that bypasses the roundabout at Anderson.  Once onto the Island it was the usual slow drive to the circuit where we reassembled and found our parking area with a view overlooking Turn One. Our people then dispersed to wander through the car parks, the various club displays and the pits, or to watch the races from any of the freely accessible viewpoints around the track.

Glenn Campbell and Rodger Chapman were racing their MGBs in the Group S Historic Sports Car events, so I called in to their pit area to wish them well and ended up working on Glenn’s car to diagnose an electrical problem with the oil pressure warning light. Rodger’s answer to the need for more speed was to reset the rev limiter a few gazillion rpm higher – and it seemed to work judging by his improved placing in the afternoon race.

There must have been another dozen or so Sporting Register members floating around who had made their own way to the circuit. I had a chat with Gus Luke, who was working as a Fire and Rescue Marshall, he noted that the event this year had so far run very smoothly with only a few minor incidents that required their assistance. One could have spent a couple of hours perusing the Car Club display areas with collections of everything from Morries to Maseratis. Mike Whitford had his Fiat Dino on display in the Fiat Car Club area and I repositioned the Bugeye to the Sprite Club area to help add some support to their display.

As usual the pits were open for all comers and it was a joy to walk in and out of the garages inspecting and taking photos of some very impressive machinery, as well as talking with the mechanics and drivers as they prepared for their next race. The atmosphere was very open and friendly.

The motorsport events all seemed to have full grids and the racing was serious and hard fought. There were several well-known professional drivers competing in the cars that they drove when they were new, and there were many famous touring cars, sports cars and open wheel racing cars that brought back fond memories – especially of the touring car battles in the eras prior to the V8 Supercar farce.

All in all, it was a terrific day out and probably as close to a Goodwood Revival experience as you can get without leaving the country.

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