Island Magic proves major success once again

Tuesday 28 November, 2023
Photos: Revved Photography
One of Phillip Island Auto Racing Club’s (PIARC) most popular calendar events returned over the weekend, with a number of exciting categories uniting for the 2023 Island Magic.  

Held at the famous Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, more than 140 competitors took part in the 33rd edition of the two-day event, headlined by the Sports Sedans’ Ramada Resort’s 50K Plate race.  

This year's winner of the popular race was Michael Robinson, who dominated the race from the front row to take victory by an impressive 13-seconds ahead of Richard Newman.  

Francois Habib rounded out the podium places, while the battle for the remaining places in the top five saw only three seconds between the fourth placed Ben McLeod and Milton Seferis.  

The other two category races in the final round of the Victorian Sports Sedans Series saw Dean Camm (race one) and Newman (race two) taste victory, making it three different race winners in as many races. However, it was Habib who would take round honours with two podium finishes.  

There were another seven categories taking part in the weekend, including the Porsche 994, Improved Production, Historic Touring Cars, Formula Ford, Formula Ford 1600, Formula Vee and Australian Formula Open (AFO).

AFO was entertaining throughout the whole weekend as the inaugural season saw the title fight go right down to the wire.  

Trent Grubel held a healthy 20-point lead heading into the round, but it was Ryan How who would ultimately clean sweep all three races and take the round win.  

However, despite taking near maximum points, How still fell short of the title by a narrow three points.  

There was action aplenty in the other open wheel categories on the island, with Formula Ford and Formula Ford 1600 sharing the track and seeing multiple race winners throughout.  

Tim Hamilton was the round winner for the 1600 with two wins from three races, with Thomas Kalamakis stealing the win in race two.  

Meanwhile, Eddy Beswick won both of the Formula Ford Duratec races ahead of Jack Bussey and Bailey Collins respectively.  

It was a different story for the remaining open wheel category, with Daniel Reynolds clean sweeping the weekend's Formula Vee races in a dominant performance across the two days.  

Reynolds wasn’t the only driver to complete a category clean sweep as South Australia’s Adam Poole asserted his dominance in the Improved Production behind the wheel of his Holden Monaro.  

Two race wins from three races saw another Queenslander in Craig Allen take top honours in the Historic Touring Cars, while Porsche 944 saw three different drivers taste victory, including Cameron Beller, Adam Brewer and Jamie Westaway.  

But in the end, the round belonged to a driver who didn't win a race at all in Chris Lewis-Williams. Lewis-Williams secured a fourth category title by finishing in second place during all three races. 

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