Last race of 2012 was not without drama.
Qualifying went pretty much as expected in Over 2 Litres with a particular highlight being the result for Mark Ellis for two reasons. He got through it without mechanical woes and set his fastest time of 64.19.
Ashley Barnett was the shining light with a 62.95 in his first drive of the Beds Plus Monaro. Jason Wilson and John Callegari, both struggling to get a clear run, returned times of 65.33 and 65.93 respectively.
Michael Green led the way in the Under 2 Litre with a time of 67.00, with Geoff Duckworth chiming in with 67.35, Joseph Carrucan with a 68.00 and newcomer James Mckinnell a 68.89 in his newly acquired Integra. There were casualties with Mike Green blowing a rear main oil seal and Ashley Seisun blowing his clutch.
The three contenders for podium finishes in Over 2 Litre lined up in the first four pole positions and the first drama followed before the start. Jason Wilson, desperate to get the jump on main rival John Callegari broke the start and received a 60 second penalty.
Ashley Barnett powered away and raced on his own with Wilson and Callegari 2nd and 3rd, before Wilson was relegated to 8th with the penalty. This promoted Gus Chapel to 3rd.
With the main players out for the day, Geoff Duckworth brought home the Under 2 Litre class followed by Tim Riley and Don Simpson.
There were two casualties with James Mckinnell pulling out with clutch issues and Joseph Carrucan with unspecified mechanical issues.
Mckinnell would return for the next race. Not so Carrucan.
More dramas. Reverse grid race presented no real issues but as the field sorted out there were big dramas.
Loss of power and a strange rattling under the bonnet caused Barnett to coast around to finish the race, unaware at that time that a rocker nut had worked loose and the rocker and nut were floating around on top of the head and it was with more luck that good judgement it didn't lodge anywhere where it would cause a "major."
Callegari ,on lap 2, was fast closing on Wilson and Gus Chapel to vie for the lead but missed the apex at turn 5 and had a close encounter with the inside tyre wall, before getting back and continuing, dropping five places..that ruined his chance for the flag.
Wilson, in the meantime was leading the race when he was forced to retire with rear wheel issues. Chapel continued on to the flag, with Mark Ellis and Wayne Chrystal filling the minors, their first podiums for the year, with Callegari just falling short in his chase.
Geoff Duckworth again brought home the Under 2 Litre ahead of Tim Riley and Mr. Consistent, Brad Wheeler. Don Simpson had withdrawn before the start with brake rotor issues. James Mckinnell, who was driving impressively for his first time, sadly also retired when the repairs effected to his clutch compounded further and the car gave it away. Duckworth led Riley home by 2.5 seconds with Wheeler tonking away a lap behind. Once again the championshp excitement was not there in this class as both main players were out.
The three main players for the Championship in Over 2 Litre lined up for the last race after Wilson sorted out his wheel issue.
Barnett made it to the formation grid as they were winding up their motors, following frantic but successful efforts to repair rockers, dry sump pulley and belt and rewiring the crank angle sender unit.
At this stage the IPRAWA championship position was not secure. Barnett and Callegari had to finish to protect their positions from Wilson.
Barnett raced with some trepidation in the early stages, doing enough to stay in front. Mid race he realised that all appeared well with the repairs and that's the last anyone saw of him except the officials in the towers.
Callegari and Wilson were engaged in a close but hard fought duel, with Wilson diving through at turn 7. Shortly thereafter he probably wished he hadn't as he contacted Mark Ellis very hard, which, fortuitously for Mark straightened him up, but allowed Callegari to get back in front.
The battle continued, until Wilson received a mechanical black flag, then a black flag, ending his season in disappointment.
Callegari went on to finish 2nd with Mark Ellis finishing ahead of Gus Chapel and Wayne Chrystal for 3rd.
The dramas continued. Geoff Duckworth, going for three on the trot pulled up on lap 6 with fuel pressure problems and was last seen cheering on the rest from the wall approaching Colb.
That sadly left only 2 finishers in the Under 2 Litre with Tim Riley leading home Brad Wheeler.
Ironically, when Ducky went to get his car after the race it fired up first shot and drove him all the way back to the pits.
All in all, a sadly depleted group saluted the judge by the end of the day. 7 out....7 standing.
Still, and most importantly, there were no injuries, except perhaps psychologically........which is the way it should be. Good racing guys.
As a matter of interest...why don't a few of you ladies get behind the wheel...or then again, having seen the way a few of you drive....maybe not........
only joking....only joking.