REPORT: 2015 R2 Bathurst Esses Hillclimb

Malcolm Oastler

OASTLER’S MAGIC SPECIAL!

Date: 28/2/15 | Host Club: Bathurst Light Car Club

Close to ninety entrants rolled up to the line for Round 2 of the NSW Championship on the traditional Esses course, the first day of BLCC’s annual double header extravaganza.

The weather gods were smiling and all was good in NSW’s Central West. The early start to the season and other commitments had caught a few people out for Round 1 but it was felt that the Bathurst weekend would be a good indicator of form for the coming year.

Newly crowned Australian Hillclimb Champion Malcolm Oastler (OMS 28), set the tone with an opening run of 23.31s, closely followed by past state and national champ (and outright record holder), Tim Edmondson, (Gould GR55B) on 23.66s.

Ron Hay held on to third outright with a string of 25s runs – Image Courtesy Eileen Barlow

Veteran hillclimber Ron Hay (Synergy Dallara) took up the chase in third ahead of a hard charging Phil Heafey (Mitsubishi Evo, 27.74s) and Round 1 winner Dave Morrow on 26.53s.

On only his second run Oastler stunned the crowd, setting what became FTD (22.36s) as Edmondson battled in the pits to correct a gearshift issue that was making the driving somewhat unpredictable.

Subsequent runs saw Oastler go no faster but Edmondson had a real go on run 3, closing the gap to 0.84s. Hay held on to third outright with a string of 25s runs while Heafey tried to produce an upset for the Tin Tops.

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(L) Darren Read (R) Zac LeLievre – Image Courtesy Eileen Barlow

The wily Coffs Coaster, Dave Morrow (Krygger Suzuki) was next quickest with a string of 26s runs to keep ahead of Darren Read in the open wheel Minetti Monster. Meanwhile Canberra’s Zac LeLievre (Westfield Megabusa) continued his lightning performances, bringing up seventh outright with a best of 27.62s. Denis Russell took out F/L up to 750cc unopposed while long time racer Kevin Lewis (Dallara) was quickest in F/L 1301-2000cc ahead of Darval Thomas (JWS).

Paul Finch (aka The Silver Surfer) made a triumphant return to hillclimbing in the PRB and couldn’t help upstaging Matthew Windsor (Envoy) by dead heating on 28.63s.

Kevin Leggett (Exige) was quickest Marque Sports car (over 1600cc) ahead of Garry Angel (Elfin), James Pearson (RX7) quickest Marque Sports over 3000cc.

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Kevin Leggett (Exige) was quickest Marque Sports car (over 1600cc) – Image courtesy Eileen barlow

Wollongong’s Peter Brown (BAP Clubman) was quickest Supersports ahead of Nigel Buttriss (Gipps Clubbie) and Garry Hobson (Porsche GT3) was quickest in 2F Prodsports.

Another long time competitor, Warwick Agustin (Mini) was best of the smaller capacity Sports Sedans with Steve Turner (MINI) best of the 2-3 litre ones. Phil Heafey was again quickest of the over 3litre S/S ahead of Matt Halpin (Torana) and Andrew Robertson Nissan 200SX.

Colin Mayman was best of the beetles ahead of Glenn Torrens, the well travelled Commodore of John Gilbert took out 3J ahead of Martin McLoughlin (Torana) and Adam Kane (Commodore).

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David Isaacs (Evo) claimed 2nd in late Model Imp Prod class – Image courtesy Eileen Barlow

In S(b) Bob Wootton (Lotus S4) took the honours while Tony Dixon (Skyline) edged out David Isaacs (Evo) and Craig Albertson (Falcon XR6) in late Model Imp Prod (incl FI). Peter Dixon (Monaro) lead the charge in Late Model (excl FI) ahead of the Commodores of Chris Weir and Alan May.

RRNL up to 2.5L went to Nicholas Elsen (Honda) ahead of Matthew Cameron (Skoda) and John Ribeiro (Toyota 86). RRNL AWD saw Michael Hill (Skyline) on top from Eric Thorpe (Evo) and Danial Hollier (WRX).

The well supported RRNL over 2.5L was again the preserve of Dejan Buneta (evil black Supra) from Tony King (MX5) and Tim Burt (Skyline). In Unreg NL Rob Black (Commodore) was best ahead of Miles Hoare (Tatus) and Christoper Yee (Skyline).

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(L) Dejan Buneta (R) Rob Black – Image Courtesy Eileen Barlow

With such a response its’s going to be an extremely competitive year right across the field. Some upsets are assured but the growing number of new competitors and a varied mix of cars heralds in a strong new era for NSW hillclimbing.

Alan Barlow – NSW Hillclimb Championship Website Editor

RESULTS SHEET:

courtesy Bathurst Light Car Club

PHOTO GALLERY:

Courtesy: Eileen Barlow – ebarlowphotos.com

Courtesy: Luke Lammers of Lammers Foto Phone: 0422 788 847 – Thank you

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