Fourteen vehicles and their drivers came to Wakefield Park to compete in Round 2 action run by Stock Cars Australia.
The field comprised of the following vehicle classes and their numbers
4 Stock Cars
4 Muscle Division Cars
Brendon Hourigan was the latest newcomer to the series after purchasing an OzTruck that had once been Lachlan Gardner’s steed in Queensland, the OzTruck had winning success in QR Sports & Sedans so it was a highly regarded OzTruck.
Gregory Morris found a way to keep racing after the #97 Pontiac and the #34 Chevy both required more work and the solution was to hop into a Holden to compete in the Muscle Division.
So the stage was set for four races with Practice, Qualifying and Race 1 taking place on Saturday and Race 2, 3 and 4 taking place on Sunday.
The race was shortened by a lap to be a seven lap race, thirteen of the fourteen entries taken the start with Aaron Hills unable to take the green after a strong qualifying run.
Stephen Chilby had built up a 5.4 second lead on Brett Mitchell after two laps and it soon got out to an 8.5 second lead thanks to a fastest lap of 1:04.1539.
Scott Nind moved up to second and Brendon Hourigan moved up to third soon after to bump Brett Mitchell down to fourth but nobody could catch the #226 as it crossed the finish line 9.90 seconds ahead of Scott Nind.
Laurence Mckinnon was the first Muscle Division driver home by finishing in ninth overall ahead of Rod Gurney, Gregory Morris and Andrew Grosse.
Race 1 Top 5
Stephen Chilby led the field to the green with the #16 of Scott Nind right beside the #226.
Aaron Hills jumped from 14th to 8th by the time the second lap was underway and set off after Corey Gurney in seventh.
The #41 Ford Thunderbird of Mick Heppleston was in the pits on Lap 2 and out of the race.
Scott Nind moved into the lead with a sizzling lap of 1:03.2424 and Corey Gurney passed Robert Marchese for sixth and Aaron Hills then moved up into seventh to bump Robert down to eighth.
Laurence Mckinnon, Rod Gurney and Gregory Morris were all close together in the battle for Muscle Division honours as the leaders closed in.
Andrew Grosse in the BMW retired from the race after lap 5.
Scott Nind dropped some time and it looked the #226 was coming up but the defending champion had an off and fell twenty-one seconds off the lead and this moved Brendon Hourigan, Danny Burgess and Brett Mitchell up a place.
Scott Nind crossed the finish line six seconds ahead of Brendon Hourigan to win his first race in the series.
Laurence Mckinnon held on to be the first of the Muscle Division drivers home in tenth followed by Rod Gurney and Gregory Morris.
Race 2 Top 5
Race 3 was for the full scheduled race distance of 8 laps so the field had a seven lap race, a ten lap race and now an eight lap race.
Mick Heppleston in the #41 Ford Thunderbird would not start the race after recording a DNF in Race 2.
Scott Nind led the field to the green for the first time but was soon overtaken by Brendon Hourigan for the lead.
Danny Burgess held on to third and Stephen Chilby moved up to fourth and was closing on the #7.
Andrew Grosse in the BMW lasted one lap before retiring from the race.
Stephen Chilby got past Danny Burgess while Scott Nind made up ground on Brendon Hourigan and soon Stephen Chilby punched out a lap of 1:03.9317 to get the margin between the leader and the #226 OzTruck down to 2.1 seconds.
Brett Mitchell was running comfortably in fifth while Aaron Hills was in sixth with Robert Marchese was close by in seventh.
Zac O’Hara retired after five laps which was a shame for the #27 as the car and driver were having a solid weekend.
Aaron Hills on his sixth lap clocked a 1:07.4074 to be his best for the race, three drivers had best laps of 1min 7sec range.
Scott Nind closed the gap to .1994 of a second with Stephen Chilby just 1.5 seconds off the lead as the chequered flag was getting closer.
Suddenly there was drama as Scott Nind and Stephen Chilby got together with the #16 Ford Mustang out of the race and the #226 getting back on track but fell down to fourth position due to losing over twenty-seconds.
Brendon Hourigan kept the #51 OzTruck clean and crossed the line 6.17 seconds ahead of Danny Burgess to win his first race in the category.
Laurence Mckinnon was the best of the Muscle Division drivers by finishing in eighth followed by Gregory Morris, Rod Gurney with Andrew Grosse recording a DNF after a lap.
Race 3 Top 5
Attrition started to bite into the field as they prepared for the fourth and last race of the weekend with Zac O’Hara, Mick Heppleston and Andrew Grosse being non-starters.
Brendon Hourigan led the field to the green flag and was 2.6099 seconds in front after the first lap with Stephen Chilby moving up from fourth to second place.
Scott Nind went from eleventh to eighth on the first lap as he started his recovery from his DNF in Race 3.
Stephen Chilby recorded a lap of 1:03.9184 to close the gap to 2.01 seconds and it looked like it was going to be a race reminiscent of the James Burge vs. Stephen Chilby battle at the same track in 2020.
Corey Gurney headed to the pits on lap 3 with the lone GTA going into retirement and Scott Nind moved up to seventh but his progress was halted from that point on.
The halfway mark of the race saw Brendon Hourigan’s lead cut down to 1.4902 seconds and Aaron Hills was closing on Brett Mitchell for fourth position.
The leaders were running in the 1:04’s with Stephen Chilby being slightly faster and on lap 6 the margin was down to 1.1918 seconds.
By Lap 7 it was down to 0.3890 seconds while Brett Mitchell got some space on Aaron Hills for fourth place.
Brendon Hourigan was slightly faster on Lap 8 to push the gap out to 0.4415 seconds while Laurence Mckinnon and Gregory Morris were battling for Muscle Division honours with Mckinnon prevailing over the Holden driver.
Stephen Chilby got the margin down to 0.2388 seconds and the race was on for the right to be the first to snag two wins on the weekend.
It was Brendon Hourigan who was the victor by winning race 4 by 0.5623 seconds giving the newcomer two wins out of the four for the weekend making it a great debut by the driver of the #51 OzTruck.
Race 4 Top 5
It was another historical round, a Stock Car won a race and it was also a Ford after years of dominance by Chevrolet plus Brendon Hourigan had a fantastic debut by winning Race 3 and 4 under great pressure, Brendon’s purchase of the #51 OzTruck was a wise decision.
If all five OzTruck drivers return for Round 3 and James Burge brings his #11 along, an unprecedented six OzTrucks will be in a Stock Cars Australia round.
The field will continue to grow as the #1, #34 and #97 Stock Cars will rejoin the field at some stage in the future and hopefully Trevor Crisp comes back someday and there’s a couple of cars being restored for competition like Adam Blattman’s Pontiac and Pontiac seen in the background when Adam taken his car home.
Peter Byrnes is expected to return in his GTA and there are a couple of GTA’s out there for sale so there’s plenty of action come.
Then you got the AUSCAR’s waiting in the wings as there could be four to six of them in action and there’s still a few OzTrucks hanging around in Queensland.
These are great times and hopefully by the time the series links back up with the AMRS action, they’ll be worthy of television time in the eyes of the powers that be though we already know that they are worthy of TV time.