Clark to test his mettle

CLARENCE Valley motor race ace Doug Clark begins his 2011 racing season this week, with an appearance at the Phillip Island Classic Festival of Motor Sport.

The international Phillip Island circuit, located south of Melbourne, has attracted in excess of 550 entries with cars and drivers from all over the world taking part.

This “weekend of speed” is recognised as one of the biggest events in the Southern Hemisphere.

Possibly regarded as a veteran in the sport, Clark will be competing in the Group A and C divisions of the 2-litre class; he has dominated this class for several years.

Racing his Group C Toyota Celica, Clark captured the 2010 Australian Group A and C under 2-litre club championships despite not contesting all rounds.

This continued on from earlier successful recent years when he proved difficult to be beaten in this class on the national scene.

This car that Clark competes in was first raced at Bathurst in the1978 Hardie Ferodo 1000, with Clark as co-driver to Jeff Harris.

Following on from that appearance, Clark continued to race at Bathurst in various Toyota Celicas, culminating with a class win in this historical event, driving the Chickadee Chicken Toyota Celica with Graeme Bailey in 1980, possibly the highlight of a long and successful career.

Preparation for this year’s Phillip Island event has been under way since the completion of the 2010 season with Clark doing all his own engineering work for the car.

The ever-reliable engine has been refreshed, together with changes to the suspension and a complete safety check undertaken to ensure another successful season.

Part of this preparation was a test day at Morgan Park circuit at Warwick, where the Celica was put through its paces without any major problems.

This Celica is now more than ready to attack the circuit for this year.

Phillip Island’s weekend program will be busy for Clark and crew, with practice and qualifying scheduled for Friday.

This will be followed by races on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Doug Clark Toyota Race team are confident that their No. 66 Toyota Celica will continue with its ultra reliability and with continuing development will remain at the top of the class.

There is no doubt that Doug Clark has the ability and the experience to continue with that dominance.

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