Historic Winton 29-30 May, 2016 – Winton Raceway, Benalla, Vic.
Historic Winton reached its 40th birthday this year and what a celebration it was. With over 110 solo and sidecar entries, the promoting club, HMRAV, were well pleased with the turnout. Competitors had come from far and wide to race on Winton’s twists and turns. Included in the entries were 16 Harley and Indian “Hand Shifters” who were there as part of Round 2 of HMRAV’s Hand Shift Battle. The hand shifters all pitted together and when not out on track, parked their bikes in the sunshine allowing the spectators the opportunity to get a close up look at these venerable old war horses. Practice and qualifying got under way Saturday morning in crisp but clear conditions. In fact we were blessed with the weather as we had clear skies and sunshine all weekend. First out to qualify were the Vintage, Class C and P3 250/350 solos. Keith Campbell put his Class C AJS on pole, with Peter O’Neill fastest P3 250, Greg Watkins fastest P3 350 on his Manx and Stan Mucha the quickest Vintage on his 1926 8 valve Indian “Altoona”. Warwick Ellis from NSW led the Hand Shifters on his Indian. Sidecar qualifying saw the Knight/Rumble combo put their Kellett Suzuki P5 on pole. Tim Loone and Craig Longhurst were the quickest of the P4’s and Geoff and Wal Dodd’s fastest P3. Great to see Lyn Jones and Stu Gorrie out having fun on their P4 Mini Cyclecar as well. P3 500 and Unlimited, P4/P5 250 and 350 qualifying once again had Keith Campbell on pole, this time on his 500 ESO Special. Stan Mucha was fastest P3 Unlimited on his 750 Norton and Ben Shaw on his P5 250 and Pete Large P5 350 the quickest in their class. Final qualifying saw Scotty Webster quickest P5 Unlimited on his Moto Martin Suzuki. Stacy Heaney was fastest P4 Unlimited on the XS650 club’s racer. Special mention to Wayne Donehue for bringing his road registered 750 Commando into 2nd place in P4 Unlimited. Mark Lithgow was fastest P5 600 on his GPZ Kawasaki, Lindsay Russel quickest P5 500 and Peter O’Neil fastest P4 500 on his Suzuki. Two groups of races followed with Keith Campbell taking solo wins on everything from Class C Ajay’s to Honda 350s. Scotty Webster cleaned up in P5 Unlimited, chased home each time by Bernie Leen on his 1100 Honda. The Knight/Rumble combo took out the sidecar races but Tim Loone and Craig Longhurst spoilt the P5 party by pushing their P4 Honda 836 up into 2nd in both outings. Nice to see Doghouse Dave Philpots and Jason Skewes finishing the day on their P3 1200 Sporton outfit after having gearbox dramas at this event last year. The Hand shift Battle was in full swing with Bill Brice first home in R1 and Ross Bolding in the second, both on 750 Harley’s. Day two once again dawned fine. Everyone was at the track early, eagerly looking forward to the day’s events. Sunday at Winton is always a great day as it features special trophy races and handicaps.
In the Bill Luke Memorial race, Keith Campbell continued his winning ways, followed by Bob Rosenthal and Phil Paton. The Sidecar Handicap was won by Bruce Flack and Warren Grubb on the Flack Engineering P4 Honda after a hard fought race that at one stage had 8 outfits bunched together through Winton’s infamous sweeper. The Ken Lucas Handicap was won by Stacey Heaney on the XS650, just holding out a fast finishing Keith Campbell. Harley took out overall honours in the Hand shift battle with young Mason Birthisel receiving the coveted “Rider of the meeting” award from his racing peers. At the end of the weekend we’d had another great meeting featuring some incredible machines, plenty of skilful riding and only a few crashes. HMRAV’s next major race meeting is the Southern Classic, held at the State Motorcycle Complex, Broadford, 5th and 6th of November. As well as completing the third and final round of this year’s Hand Shift Battle, the “Southern” will feature 4 hard fought legs for every class plus all the usual feature races and sidecar handicaps. Keep an eye on HMRAV’s website: www.hmrav.org and Facebook page for further details.
Keith Campbell had a very successful weekend on all sorts of machines.
Stan Mucha was quick on his 750 Norton.