Competing in Australia's fastest racing series - Formula Holden

Phillip Island - Melbourne - Round 1

Phillip Island decided to play nice with weather this year so the car took the opportunity to teach us a few lessons.

Practice 1

One half lap…blah. Sprung out of gear on the first corner, felt unpleasant in gear change department for the next few corners and wouldn't select anything past Lukey. I managed to roll back to the pits where we checked the linkage but the fault was obviously internal… yuk

Spent the next few hours repairing gear selectors

Practice 2

Went out with newly welded gear selector. Slipped out of gear on the first corner, felt unpleasant for the next few corners… and yes you guessed it. Wouldn't select anything and didn't manage to roll back to the pits..

Spent the next few hours repairing gear selectors


Went out with newly sourced and modified gear selector on slicks. Started raining on lap 2. I managed to stay hot on the slicks for a few laps and got some reasonable times. Came in for wets and managed to miss getting in any laps by a couple of seconds. It is terrible to be popping and banging down the pit road and at 55kph with a guy pointing a radar gun at you and watching a marshal standing with the witches hat that they close the pit exit with looking at his watch. I literally missed it by 2 seconds.

So far the weekend isn't going well. We qualified 9th on the grid.


Well here is an opportunity to loose everything and gain nothing. Did a few laps to make sure it's happy but really just took a look at the track to make sure it went the same way it did yesterday but without the rain…

Race 1

This is where we do well. Got a shocker of a start and a couple of guys got past but settled in well and kept on the tail of Mark Ellis and Terry Clearihan. On the first lap Terry tried to put on move on Mark down the inside to Honda. I didn't think it had much hope on cold tyres and you could see the marbles on the narrow entry to the corner. It didn't work and Terry lost the thing altogether mid corner. I'd been watching and as we exited he started to spin to the inside so I went behind. Unfortunately he let the brakes off at the last minute and the car rolled backwards into my path and we hit wheel to wheel. Now we have a tricycle… I drove the car over the kerb onto the grass and walked away. So much for last years perfect finishing record

Spent the next few hours sourcing parts and putting a front corner onto the car. Luckily the wing wasn't damaged. Mark Elllis had most of the parts (Thanks Mark) and with some other stuff from Hocking and Carrigs we were ready for race 2

Race 2

Sheesh. This is my favourite track. We've driven for 15hours to get here. We've worked like idiots for three days and spent lots of money we don't have. It must be about time to do some actual laps.

Got a good start in race 2 from the back of the grid and settled in to watch what happened. Les Crampton was behind and I was being held up. Having been on the receiving end of one of his passes before (and having the crushed vertebrae and neck pain for the rest of my life to prove it) I let him through to see if he could do it to them instead. Well they did it to each other without Les's help and after a couple of laps there was some racing space and it was pretty straightforward to breeze past and drive away. There was no hope of catching the Doc so I just cruised home happily savouring the opportunity to be on this circuit in a car like this. We are pulling almost three Gs through turn 1 and our car always seems to work well here.


Due to the carnage in race 1 and 2 we managed to finish second in the Silver Star class for the weekend much more by luck than judgement although the Doc has leapt away to a 25 point lead.


John Mahony and Kresten came down from Melbourne and helped out for the weekend. Pete Dulding did the big drives with us and made that much less of a strain than it usually is and worked hard in the pits too. Of course Rebecca did anything and everything to make it happen and keep it going, still the best.

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