24 Hours – Hours 4-6 Report
4 - Slicks Again
Three and a half
hours into the race and it was time for the bravest to put slicks
on again. The 05 Monaro and the Lamborghini were among the first
to change rubber, Luke Youlden at the wheel of the Italian V12,
and carrying on Paul Stokell's fine recovery. Allan Simonsen would
be third man in: "It's so tough when you lose time like that.
We can gain a few seconds on the leaders, but we can't gain six
laps. We just have to wait and see. But this is a very quick car
- and I love driving in Australia. It's much better than sitting
around in Europe. I will be driving Mark Coffey's 550 Ferrari. What
a shame we haven't got it here."
had been setting some good times in the 24 Cirtek Porsche, and was
on his in lap to hand over to Herman Tilke, and have slicks fitted,
when he hit the wall at the top of the circuit - front and rear
contacts unfortunately. The team changed a rear control arm and
sent Tilke out, but a close look at the car on the TV screen revealed
trouble at the front. The track designer - no, not this one, Bernie
ones - pulled the car back in for a new front end.
designs them and Jonathan hits them," was a classic Rob Schirle
comment. Tim Harvey was frustrated, but acknowledged that Rowland
had done a good job - until that in lap.Harvey enjoyed his opening
stint. It wasn't exactly planned that he'd start gently, then get
down to the same 2:16s as David Brabham: "I'd only done six
laps yesterday - so I took a few laps to build up to speed. Then
they told me they didn't want 2:16s, but 2:18s!
hit a large piece of undertray on Con-Rod Straight, which caused
Pat Pearce enjoyed his
long stint at the wheel of the Mosler. When he got it a little bit
active at the steering wheel at the top of the circuit - "I
locked a brake coming down the hill" - Martin Short got on
the radio and "Gave him a phone call,"
message to Charles Lamb was to "be careful," because getting
to the finish is the first target for this organised bunch. They'd
lost a lap when the safety car came out for the downpour, and another
when the wiper played up, but Pearce was thrilled to spend nearly
three hours at the wheel, in such 'mixed' conditions. "We'd
already pitted for fuel and slicks before the rain came, so I had
to pit on slicks, and was broadside in the pit lane entry - from
side to side three times."
The race pattern hadn't
changed much in the fourth hour - except that the Lamborghini had
moved ever further up the order. The Mosler was a couple of laps
ahead though, so further progress might be a long job.
1. 05 Monaro 84 laps
2. 427 Monaro –20 secs
3. 48 Ferrari 83 laps
4. 54 Porsche
5. 7 Porsche
6. 6 Porsche 82 laps
7. 420 BMW
8. 900 Mosler 81 laps
9. 20 Lamborghini 79 laps
10. 888 Porsche 78 laps
11. 70 Porsche 77 laps
12. 8 Porsche
13. 4 BMW 76 laps
29. 24 Porsche 69 laps
40. 66 Morgan 57 laps.
5 - Still Dry
Of the leading bunch, the 420 PHR BMW and the 888 Porsche
have both suffered delays, reasons currently unknown.
The safety car
came out for the second time at 18.42, after Fabien Coulthard's
Touring Car came to a halt on the track, but seven minutes later
we were back racing again. Headlights typically came on around this
time, but dusk won't be until nearer 20.00.
changes at the front, except for the above PHR cars - and the fact
that the Monaros ended up right together on the track, Kelly in
05 ahead of McConville in 427.
followed Klaus Engelhorn in the 48 Ferrari, and despite being a
lap down, the Italian was looking as though he could get that lap
back either side of 19.00. Ten the Monaros got the message and suddenly
reeled off 2:17s, against the Italian in the Italian car and a 2:18.
and Quinn (in the VIP Petfoods Porsche) were the next fastest men
on the track.
at the front is the Ferrari chasing the Monaros - with the Falken
54 Porsche still well in touch with the BE Ferrari.
has been flying along in the Morgan, consistent laps in the high
twenties - with a best lap, by Neil Cunningham, of 2:25. Come on
the Moggie! Cunningham will soon begin to gain places hand over
fist at this rate.
The 420 BMW
had the tail (prop) shaft fail, dropping it down the order - it
was actually stationary at 19.00.
1. 05 Monaro
2. 427 Monaro –14 secs
3. 48 Ferrari 105 laps
4. 54 Porsche
5. 7 Porsche 104 laps
6. 6 Porsche 103 laps
7. 900 Mosler 102 laps
8. 20 Lamborghini 101 laps
9. 70 Porsche 99 laps
10. 8 Porsche 97 laps
11. 420 BMW 97laps
12. 11 BMW 96 laps
32. 24 Porsche 87laps
39. 66 Morgan 77 laps.
6 - Ferrari Form, Lambo Passes Lamb
Some snapshot fastest laps at approx. 19.30:
McConville, Monaro 2:19
Simonsen, Lamborghini 2:20
Erdos, Porsche 2:20
Kelly Monaro 2:21.
The Gregg Kelly
2:21 was atypical, but when the Monaros ease up, the chasers can
match or beat them, when the pros. are at the wheel.
The BE Ferrari
effectively lost the lap with Klaus Engelhorn driving the third
stint - but as the TV images switch to (bloody) rugby, MONTERMINI
GETS THE LAP BACK! Now we have a race on our hands .... and at 19.50
Montermini sets a 2:15.860.On that lap he was five seconds faster
than the Monaros. Which would you rather watch? A waffly Holden
or a screaming 360?
passed Charles Lamb for seventh place before midway through the
20.00, six hours into the race, the Moggie has stopped somewhere
on the track, and the SC is out: Montermini has got the lap back,
and pits straight away - for Brabs we reckon.
But, we can't
yet work out how the Ferrari has suddenly lost, not gained, a lap....
perhaps a badly timed stop, presumably a stop it had to make? We'll
go and find out.
1. 427 Monaro
2. 05 Monaro –6 secs
3. 48 Ferrari 130 laps
4. 54 Porsche 129 laps
5. 7 Porsche
6. 6 Porsche 127 laps
7. 20 Lamborghini 126 laps
8. 900 Mosler 125 laps
9. 70 Porsche 123 laps
10. 8 Porsche 121 laps
11. 11 BMW 119 laps
12. 420 BMW 118 laps
25. 24 Porsche 108 laps
36. 66 Morgan 97 laps.
Shit. Moggie out with