Words and Photos: John Lemm
The Action Line Marking All Historic Mallala meeting on 17-18 April returned historic racing to the South Australian circuit for the first time in two years.
Fifteen Group N Historic Touring Cars were joined by two Group S Sports Cars - Ross Jackson’s De Tomaso Pantera and Tim Lynas’s Porsche 928.
A further three Group N cars were entered in other events: Alan Dyer’s Holden FJ in Regularity; and HTCAV’s Darren Hossack’s Mazda RX2 and Brett Ferris’s Torana XU-1 in Supersprints.
Josh Axford’s Escort RS1600 was on pole for Saturday’s first race but was jumped at the start by the Falcon GTs of Kym Burton and Adam Smith. Axford then had his hands full holding off the battling Cooper S pair of Justin Elvin and Jason Armstrong for the remainder of the race.
On an oily track, Smith made a better start than Burton in Race 2, with Axford bogging down on the line and being passed by both Elvin and Armstrong.
The Escort was soon back into third, with Armstrong displacing Elvin for fourth, but the race finished a lap early under safety car after a collision in the Northern Hairpin between Geoffrey Davis (Mazda RX2) and HTCAV’s Philip Barrow (Holden FJ) partially blocked the track. The Holden made it back for the rest of the weekend but the Mazda was out with damaged front suspension.
In Sunday’s opener, Smith and Elvin both incurred a five-second penalty for a jump start, and although Smith led all the way on track, it dropped him to third at the end behind Burton and Axford, but just ahead of Armstrong. Elvin finished fifth, just ahead of Kirk Davis’s Mazda RX2.
The two Falcons of Burton and Smith pulled away from the field in the final, with Axford again just leading Armstrong and Elvin, before Smith had a wild moment, taking to the dirt towards the Northern Hairpin. Burton fortunately saw this in his mirror and came to a complete standstill on entry to the hairpin, Smith shooting across in front of him.
In a close finish, Burton led Axford across the line by a second, in turn just holding off Armstrong, with Elvin two seconds back. Davis was fifth ahead of Jackson, whilst a recovering Smith was seventh. A great weekend’s sport!