Sala turns the tables
Bryan Sala made his Bathurst 1000 debut as a 17-year-old in a privateer Ford Sierra Turbo in 1991 he could only dream he’d finish ahead of a Shell Sierra and a factory-built Nissan GT-R.
Twenty-six years later he turned the tables on machines and drivers that headed the field in the 1991 Tooheys 1000 by winning four of the five Heritage Touring Car sprints at the 2017 Phillip Island Classic. What’s more, he was aboard the same Sierra at the Victorian seaside circuit in which he finished 10th in his first Great Race. However, unlike one of Sala’s earliest outings as a teenager, his Tyrepower Sierra wasn’t sporting a windscreen banner which read, ‘Bryan Sala: a kid in a hurry’.
The only other race winner at the PIC was Chris Stillwell, aboard the exDick Johnson Racing Shell Sierra, who suffered mechanical dramas later in the weekend. Apart from Sala, the most consistent of the frontrunners was the GIO GT-R of Tony Alford, which finished in the top three each time.
Jim Richards, victor with Mark Skaife on the day Sala made his Bathurst debut, posted three wins in the Group C division in Pete Sturgeon’s BMW 635CSi after retiring from Friday’s sprint. Milton Seferis (ex-Peter Janson Commodore) was top of the Group C pops in the other two races.
The next HTC outing is Bathurst’s non championship round over Easter, April 14-16.