Burridge Dominates & Group B become 'The Entertainers'
Group A Race 1
Burridge and Hay got the best of the start from the front row with Burridge taking the lead. Brett Kennedy made a return to racing, led Steve Rushton, Justin Anthony and Dean McMahon. Series new comer, Chris Sharples sat in 8th, Murray Kent was next, Richard Gresham running in Pierz Harrex's E30 was 10th from Neville Haines. The beautifully presented BMW of Bruce McKenzie was next in 12th, from Woodcroft's Torana, Dan Cuda's Chickadee Commodore making a welcome return in 14th and Jamie Spence and Leon Kemp rounding out the field.
Drivers quickly settled into space before Kent had an issue and went backwards through the field on lap 2, later discovering a small piece of rubber had lodged in the carburettor, his race done and not the ideal start for the new Torana.
Lap 3, saw Cuda gain a spot on Woodcroft and another on McKenzie with a smart move past the bus stop for 9th.
Rushton blew an engine and retired, sadly the Commodore's weekend over before it really got going.
By lap 4, the leaders had strung out with Burridge leading from Hay, Kennedy and Anthony. A gap to McMahon, who was being kept honest by Sharples, Gresham coming to grips with the borrowed BMW, Haines, Cuda, McKenzie, Woodcroft and Spence with Kent off the tail of the train.
Kennedy was caught by Anthony, the green Bimmer showing great pace once again.
Spence ran wide through the gravel in Karrassel after discovering Rushton's oil from his earlier dramas and retired to the pits to remove the offending gravel.
The yellow Monaro's of McMahon and Sharples continued to run nose to tail, Haines and Cuda doing likewise until Cuda got by the 99 past the old bridge before over taking Gresham on the same lap.
But out in front it was all Burridge, showing amazing pace to record a 56.39 on his way to a 4 second victory from Hay who had a 10 second gap to Kennedy who just held out Anthony for 3rd.
The yellow Monaro's of McMahon and Sharples only .3 apart for 5th and 6th with a gap to Cuda, who made up 6 spots to finish in 7th.
Gresham, Haines and McKenzie filled out the top 10. Kemp gained time on Woodcroft but not enough to pass, last of the finishers in 11th and 12th respectively.
Group B Race 1
Joel O'Farrell's Alfa sat on pole with Chris Begg along side, the first three rows of the grid filled with cars qualifying in the 61's. Nick Linton failing to start the race after a breaking an axle in qualifying after finishing 7th.
Begg lead them away from the line with Anger and Phoenix in pursuit, Phoenix running wide on oil on the outside of Karrassel and dropping back to 6th, as did a few other competitors which shuffled the pack. Tony Vaughn dropped a couple of spots as a result of this but gained them again by the end of lap one.
Begg held a small gap to O'Farrell and Anger with Dean Rice a touch behind in 4th. Ashley Hooper in his return to the category also jumped Phoenix for 5th.
Stuart Walker make up 3 spots on lap one to sit 7th. Tony Vaughan, Dean Solomon and Adrian Blackwell rounding out the top 10.
Adam Pye returning in the Retro Motorsport Commodore sat in 11th, ahead of Peter Jolly's BMW, and Warwick Douglas who had a spin exiting Karrassel on lap 1. Mark Giorgio and Malcolm Douglas at the tail of the field.
By lap 3, Walker had moved up to 5th, picking off Hooper and Phoenix, before setting out after Rice.
Warwick Douglas sliced his way through the back markers, steadily moving forward through the early stages to end up behind Adrian Blackwell.
Phoenix got by Hooper down the straight and held his line through the kink for a strong pass under brakes at Karrassel.
Walker put one on Rice and set out after Anger after O'Farrell pitted with a fuel pump issue.
Lap 6, Begg lead from Anger with Walker closing fast. Rice had Phoenix for company and Solomon got past Vaughn's Commodore down the main straight.
Walker got by Anger past the bus stop set off after Begg for the lead.
Down the order, Pye, Jolly, Malcolm Douglas and Giorgio were having lonely but trouble free drives for 11th through to 14th.
In a race to the line, Walker beat Begg by 0.03 of a second, breaking out on the way and starting slightly down the order for race 2.
Anger finished third, his recent form continuing. Rice managed his wheel spin issues and held out the Phoenix BMW for 4th and 5th.
Hooper out dragged Solomon to the line by half a second, the improving Tony Vaughan was 8th ahead of Warwick Douglas who made up 4 spots for 9th with 10 seconds covering the first 9 cars.
Blackwell was just off the pack in 10th. with Adam Pye in 11th, Peter Jolly 12th, Malcolm Douglas 13th and Mark Giorgio rounding out the finishers in 14th.
Group A Race 2
Chaos ruled at the start of race two for group A with Brett Kennedy and Steve Hay touching after the kink on lap 1, with Hay dropping three spots.
Anthony had a big look down the inside of Kennedy through Hungry but backed out and dropped a bit of time to the Commodore.
By lap 3, Burridge was on pace and had a small gap to Kennedy, same to Anthony who had McMahon and Hay for company fill the mirrors of the lightning quick BMW.
Behind Hay a gap opened up to Cuda who had his own safety buffer to Gresham, Haines, Kent, Kemp and Spence.
Cuda caught and got by Hay on the main straight, as Hay suffered a deflating tyre from the lap 1 touch, retiring next time around.
Anthony and McMahon put on a great small car, big car dice for 3rd with Haines getting by Gresham on the main straight for 6th.
By lap 7, Burridge was 2 seconds up on Kennedy, who had another 2 on Anthony and McMahon, the yellow Monaro showing great pace in only its third meeting.
Cuda wasnt far behind but had a 4 second buffer over new comer Sharples.
Kent over took Gresham who was still learning how to tame the borrowed blue BMW after his own issues on Friday with the 2002.
With the laps winding down, Haines did a great job keeping the crowd entertained by backing up Kent, Gresham, Woodcroft and McKenzie in the Bob Jane BMW with a gap to Kent and Spence.
Cuda slowed with a flat tyre and was unable to pull into the pits, parking the Commodore on the outside the right hander on to the main straight. Kent appear to follow in sympathy, making it into to the pits with a flat right rear.
Despite being at the tail Kemp recorded a PB of 60.38, the Diet Coke BMW making steady gains after moving to Group A earlier this year.
At the checker, Burridge took his second win of the afternoon by 9 seconds to Kennedy who had Anthony hot on his hammer after getting away from McMahon.
Sharples continued his good weekend with a strong 5th with Haines holding out Gresham by the narrowest of margins for 6th.
McKenzie, Woodcroft and Kemp all lapping in the 60's rounding out the finishers .
Group B Race 2
Begg got away well and lead into Karrassel before having a spin in front of the tightly bunched field.
Cars took avoiding action every which way, except for Stuart Walker who ploughed the Commodore into the door of Begg's BMW.
Solomon in the yellow E30 was the big benefactor from the chaos, gaining 4 spots and jumping onto Rice's tail for third before a clamp down was called.
Half a lap was all the was required for the two damaged cars to gather themselves up and get going to safety.
By lap 3, Anger and Rice had a half second gap to Solomon and Phoenix who had got by Hooper in Karrassel with Douglas joining in the fun getting by the 17 Ford for 5th as well.
Blackwell, O'Farrell and Vaughan were back a touch with Pye, Jolly, Douglas and Giorgio having their own battles down the back.
Rice got by Anger through the kink and opened a slight gap to a gaggle of cars including Anger, Solomon, Phoenix and Douglas. Blackwell was a few seconds behind in clear air as was Hooper.
The small but appreciative crowd were glued to the dice that had formed at the front of the Group B field. The best race of the day so far with 7 cars running within 6 seconds of each other lap after lap with no touching.
Rice's issues from the previous race of getting the power down were solved and the 33 Commodore cleared the group by a second or so,.
Anger and Solomon were having the drives of their life, both knowing that one mistake could cost them 6 spots in an instant.
Phoenix and Douglas looking for opportunities at Hungry and Karrassel with none presenting.
The slower pace of the pack allowed Blackwell and Hooper to tag along for the ride.
Anger had half a moment coming past the old bridge but held position until the finish.
Rice took the win, his first in the category from Anger, Solomon was 3rd, Phoenix, Douglas, Blackwell and Hooper rounding out the pack, only 6 seconds separating the group.
O'Farrell was setting quick times in the Alfa but started too far back to impact the leaders finishing 8th.
Tony Vaughan was 9th with Pye and Jolly having a great scrap for 10th and 11th.
Malcolm Douglas, Giorgio and Linton rounding out the field.
Group A Race 3
Burridge lined up on the front row on his own, with Kennedy choosing to sit this one out after finding metal filings in the oil filter, continuing a terrible 2016 for the normally quick and reliable 2015 QTCC champion.
Steve Hay had gained two spots by Karrassel on the first lap and was 6th by the end of lap 1 after starting rear of field from his race 2 DNF.
Burridge and McMahon settled in at the front with Anthony pushing hard in the green Bimmer.
A small gap back to Haines, Sharples and Hay, the BMW's of Gresham and McKenzie were next with Woodcroft in 9th, Kent coming through after also started rear of field in 10th.
Spence and Kemp rounding out the field.
Hay continued his rapid rise up the results, picking of Sharples then Haines and headed off after Anthony.
Kent got by McKenzie on the approach to Eastern Loop, to only give the spot back next time around when Gresham had a spin on his own in Hungry, the 74 Torana taking avoiding action on the grass.
Lap 8, Hay got by Anthony through the kink and loomed large in McMahon's mirrors.
Burridge lead by 6 seconds to McMahon, Hay and Anthony.
Haines was doing a great job holding out the younger Sharples for 5th, Kent clearing McKenzie again for 7th.
Woodcroft and Spence were having their own battle, their retro livered cars looking great together, cutting lap times in the low 60's.
Kemp battling away on his own in 13th with Gresham rejoined and catching but last on the road.
At the checker, Burridge got his hat trick, from the fast closing Hay with McMahon and Anthony separated by half a second.
12 second down the road, Haines held out Sharples after a great battle for 5th and 6th with Kent and McKenzie in clear air.
Woodcroft and Spence were close at the line, the Torana leading the Commodore home.
Kemp and Gresham rounding out 11th and 12th.
Post race Steve Hay received a 30 second penalty for a jumped start, dropping him to 10th in the results.
Group B Race 3 - Sunday
After Race 2's start dramas and close racing at the head of the field, race 3 had an air of anticipation in the pits.
Stuart Walker returned in the 37 looking as good as new but Begg was out for the weekend, the BMW unlikely to return to racing due to the damage from the previous day.
An even start with Rice leading them to Karrassel from pole. Anger, Solomon, Phoenix and Douglas were bunched up like George Street on a Friday afternoon.
Blackwell pulled wide for a look but nothing gained and tucked back in front of Hooper, O'Farrell and co getting through ok.
Walker starting from the rear of field had picked off the back 5.
A 10 car freight train formed with none of them able to gain enough of an advantage to make a pass.
Lap 4 Solomon had a big look on the outside of Anger for second down the main straight, the Commodore holding position this time by.
Rice was out front, as he was in the previous race but not as dominant. Solomon was busy, trying to pass Rice as well as doing his best Max Verstappen impersonations and blocking like a pro. Phoenix was held up by a second a lap and unable to pass Solomon, Douglas wanted to go quicker but couldn't.
Anger had a gearbox issue with 4th gear and dropped positions down the grid after putting on his usual high quality showing.
The pace of the front runners, while not on qualifying pace, allowing the Commodores of Vaughan and Pye to join the 10 car train.
Jolly and Linton ran nose to tail for most of the race, separated by only a car length.
On lap 8, Phoenix had a lunge at Solomon in Karrassel and lost pace on the exit, giving up a position to Douglas on the exit.
Malcolm Douglas and Mark Giorgio resumed their battle, this time Douglas getting by the Falcon but not getting away.
At the checker, Rice held on for the win from Solomon posting his best result in QTCC. Douglas was third to Phoenix, Blackwell running well in 5th, Walker up to 6th from the rear in a great drive.
Anger battled on with the gearbox issue for 7th.
Hooper, Vaughan and Pye rounding out the top 10. First ten cars separated by only 6 seconds.
Linton had a big brake lock up into Hungry on the last lap and missing Jolly by inches, the two separated by half a second at the finish.
Malcolm Douglas likewise held Giorgio out by 1.2 seconds.
Joel O'Farrell failed to finish.
In the pits after the race, there were many stories to tell. Smiles and respect a plenty as all drivers up and down the grid had given their all and put on a hard, clean and highly entertaining race.
Group A Race 4
Dan Cuda didn't start due to brake issues relating to yesterdays flat tyre. Hay started towards the rear after the 30 second penalty was applied from race 3.
Burridge lead McMahon, with Haines getting the better of Anthony first time around.
Kent picked up a spot on Sharples for 5th with Hay looming large behind the new comer.
On lap 2, Anthony got by Haines into Hungry, and Kent picked him off also to move up to 4th. Haines dropping back to resume battle with his new sparring partner Sharples.
Woodcroft held a small gap to McKenzie, likewise to Spence, Gresham and Kemp rounding out the rear.
But Hay was on the move, picking off Sharples, then Haines before McMahon had a lose exiting Hungry, leaving Anthony nowhere to go, the two front runners suffering damaged front ends from the contact. The BMW headed back to the pits for a quick check but was turned off, the Monaro blocking the track as a clamp down was called for. A sad way to finish what had been a great weekend for both drivers.
On the restart, Burridge held a small gap to Kent with the rest of the field bunched after the tow truck intervention.
Lap 13, Gresham had a look down the outside of McKenzie on the entry to Hungry but ran out of room, sliding off onto the grass and rejoined down two spots, with Spence and Kemp benefiting.
Hay was flying, getting Kent through the Kink and Burridge exiting Karrassel for the lead on the final lap and went on to take the checker by .6 of a second.
Haines lead Sharples by less than a second for 4th and 5th, and Woodcroft, McKenzie and Spence crossing the line in a tight pack for 6th to 8th.
Gresham recovered one spot from Kemp for 9th and 10th respectively.
Group B Race 4
If there is one thing Group B does a great job of providing, its variety. Solomon joined Rice on the front row, with Douglas and Phoenix next, Walker and Anger, Hopper, Vaughan, Pye, Jolly, Linton, Malcolm Douglas and Giorgio. O'Farrell missing in the Alfa.
Solomon got the jump on the bigger car of Rice, Blackwell ran wide through the Kink to avoid the traffic before finding the black stuff again by Karrassel.
Anger and Walker jumped Phoenix and Douglas in the chaos before Jolly had a spin of his own doing through the Kink, the Black Bimmer hitting the outside tyre wall sideways at speed.
A clampdown was called before a full course red and all cars returning to the pits.
Jolly was ok, the car not so much with right side damage.
On the restart, Solomon proved his previous move was no fluke, leading them into Karrassel for the first time. Douglas got by Rice with Blackwell, Phoenix, Anger, Walker, Hooper and Vaughan reforming the band from race 3.
Anger made a great pass on Phoenix into Hungry for 5th and Vaughan dropped two spots to fall behind Pye and Linton.
Giorgio made his only blemish of the weekend running wide through the Karrassel sand after a brake booster failure, rejoining after dropping some time.
By lap 4, Solomon was putting in his best race laps of the weekend in the low 61's, and a 60.9. Warwick Douglas doing likewise with clear track, breaking out twice with consecutive 60.8's.
Rice was third with a gap to Blackwell, Anger, Phoenix, Walker and Hooper.
Walker getting by Phoenix into Hungry and Vaughan recovering one lost spot from Pye.
Walker continuing to recover from his starting position, getting Anger for 5th and settling in behind Blackwell.
By lap 7, Solomon was fending off Douglas for the lead with a small gap to Rice, Walker and Blackwell, with a another gap to Anger, Hooper and Phoenix.
Linton and Vaughan had dropped Pye and were battling for 9th and 10th.
Walker got by Rice in Karrassel and Vaughan took Linton to make up for his earlier mistake.
Phoenix got by the Hooper Falcon through the Kink for 6th.
At the checker, Solomon took his first win in QTCC and a new PB. Douglas was second across the line but later received a 13 second penalty for the breakout.
This elevated Walker and Rice into 2nd and 3rd in the results, a fine recovery from Walker and a great weekend for Rice.
Anger held Phoenix out for 4th by a 10th of a second with Hooper just behind in 7th.
Douglas's time penalty had him 5th behind Anger and in front of Phoenix by 0.04.
Tony Vaughan made a great recovery to finish 8th on the road, just behind the Hooper Falcon but broke out twice in his last two laps of the weekend.
Linton having a good run, getting into the 61's for 9th with Pye in 10th, Malcolm Douglas in 11th and Giorgio in 12th.
1st Steve Burridge
2nd Chris Sharples
3rd Neville Haines
1st Dean Rice
2nd Ian Solomon
3rd Gary Anger