First Autocross Round saw a hot weekend, no rain, and a medium field out to battle.
The track held up really well and the day went so smoothly with only two restarts needed that we finished six runs before lunch. The drivers voted at lunchtime to drop the first run and add two runs in the afternoon.
Beau and Nathan stepped up to share a flag marshall's post. Taking turns in between their runs they worked well together. Both also helped Don clear debris off the track and reset cones. Thanks Beau and Nathan.
Honorable mention to Patricia McLeod who shared her Swift (an ex Junior driver's road car, Tijana Bond - and yes, Pauls daughter) and with husband Stuart after his Lancer succumbed early in the day to a fuel regulator problem.
The fastest lap of the day was from Barry Clark with a 48.04, although Robert Clark (no relation) was 1st Outright by 4 secs from Barry. Basically came down to a worst dropped run for Robert to split the 0.05 difference before dropping the round (Albeit Robert was that 0.05 ahead) There were no AWD entrants.
Notable performace, looking at the overall results was Alex Niven, 5th OR and 1st Junior. Best of 1:44.03, with a very consistent last final 3 runs. So C class for the win, B class were 2, 3 and 4 then Alex. Well done.
Was a lovely Sunday, and thankfully not April Fools day (being the 2nd). A good field of 32 turned up for the 4 laps per run Sprint, where just your single fastest lap counts.
The track was a little loose early, and a couple of rut/berms through the sweeper, and the right off the back straight made it interesting because there was no way to avoid them and be fast. As the day wore on, and the water truck got into action, the track got faster. There were two retirements during the second run as the Vivlios's in the dual entered WRX succumbed to water leak (from memory) that was in a difficult place to fix at the track. Of the remaining 30 drivers, 28 put their best time during the last run.
A, B, D and E clases all had 6 or so entries and the competition was pretty good. The closest class was D, where Tim Crase in the Mazda 3 MPS was quickest at the 1/2 way mark by a second or so, from Ian Maguire in the good looking (and declared Best Presented car) red Commodore, with Lloyd Robertson only 1/10 of the pace and Robert Maclaurin a further 1/2 sec back. Greg Woodbridge was another second back and Beau Watson (doubling on flags with Nathan Suchting) was doing alright as well, apart from a spin that knocked a tyre off a rear wheel but was repaired. So after 5 runs Tim and Robert had shared the fastest times, but at the end Robert had to settle for 4th by 0.07 secs (48.34), with Ian Maguire's 48.27, 0.02 off the lead in third, Tim Crase's 48.26, 0.01 off the lead in 2nd and Lloyd Robertson putting down a 48.25 to win, in what is the closest top 4 (0.07 secs) I can remember in 20 or so years.
In the Juniors it was siblings Alex and Sam Niven with James Bonnici. The Nivens had a scare as the Lancer let an awful lot of smoke out after run 2 or 3, but after a bit of work in the pits and (strangely) topping the oil up the Lancer was full noise for the day. Strange really, often when the smoke gets out things stop. Alex taking the win from Sam and James, but all three improved every run, and set their best times on the last run. Great job and always fun to watch.
C Class was pretty much as expected with some very differnt cars. Robert Clark taking the win in the lovely MK1 Escort Twin Cam 2.3, Bruce Dan 2nd in the BMW and Graeme Haynes 3rd in the mighty Beetle (old school one).
Holly Kilbride, in the Ladies Class, was driving the GB Galant that Jeff and Ethan normally use, as they were in a Toyota Levin in A Class. Patricia McLead was driving the Swift and Nancy Stricklen in a Protion Jumbuck (not a vehicle one sees every day). All three ladies improved throught the day with Holly taking the win from Patricia and Nancy. All three took about 5 secs of their best lap from run 1 to run 6.
Speaking of the Levin, they were up against another father and son pairing of Paul and Leyton Bond in the GA16 powered Pulsar that has seen many laps at the track. Alos in A was Nathan Suchting in his Lanos and Russell Sticklen in the Jumbuck. Early on and the Bonds had a slight margib over the Kilbrides, but run 4 saw Jeff put a few tenths on Paul, and for the KLevin it just kept getting faster. End of the day and it was Jeff by 0.19 over Ethan, with Paul 3rd, Leyton 4th and then nathan and Russell. Notable was Russell Stricklen dropping from aRun 1 1:01 to a Run 6 53.5. Great job.
The 1600-200cc B Class was atight affair, where at the half way mark Allen Coles (Peugot) had 2/10ths on Ric Ganderton (Excel) with Barry Clark (BMW) 1/2 sec back. Stuart McLEad (Lancer) and John Coles (Peugot) were separated by 0.2 and just off the podium. Stauart edged out John, then Ric was pushed back to 3rd by a great l;ast run from Barry Clark (47.60), but a very consistenm last run from John Coles, with 3 laps in the 47 sec bracket, saw him take the win by 0.08 with a 47.52 last lap. He neede it because his second and third laps were just off Barry's time.
And so to the outright contenders in the 4WD E Class. Three EVOs versus three WRX's. Unfortunately the WRX challenge lost 2 runners early (Christos and Jimmy Vivlios), so David Micjan was the sole challenger to normal front runners Tracy Bavinton, Ant Bonnici (both in the EVO VIII) and Troy Moffitt in the EVO 6. After the first 3 runs Troy had 8/10ths on Ant, with David 1/10th up on Tracy for the last trophy. As the track got quicker Troy had nearly a second after run 5, so to the last run and Ant did a great consistent 4 laps with 45.25, 45.33 and 45.35, but Troy banged out a 45.03, 45.28 and 45.88 to take the win with the 45.03 v 45.25. Tracy was the 2nd last car to run, and needed a good lap to edge David out. They both did their best time on their very last laps, with Tracy's 46.50 edging David's 46.75 for 3rd. The Vivlios's both got a run in so were scored in 5th and 6th.
As always thanks to everyone who prepped and ran the event. Special thanks to Beau and Nathan for sharing Flag Point 2, and also to Rad Guerin who is nearly always there to help at Point 1. Kevin Parkes deserves a special mention as he fixed the alternator on the water truck in the morning after bringing Lloyds car out (has been doing some work on it also).
The Drivers Challenge is a 3 track event where a minimum of 2 runs per track is run, with the best time from each track being added and the best time of those provides the results.
A good turnout of cars to this first driver’s challenge of the year.
The day ran very smoothly and we were able to get through seven runs for the day.
It was good to see Wayne Poulier back for the win, with the Bonnici Yaris GR picking up 2nd OR with Ant pedalling.
The ladies were well represented in the podium results across the classes. Tracy Bonnici was third in E class (same Yaris GR) and Emma Crase was 2nd in D class behind dad Tim (in the shared Mazda 3 MPS).
Holly Kilbride in the classic Mitsi GB Galant won ladies 2wd class, with Patricia McLeod (Swift) and Michelle Baggerley (Esky MK2) completing the podium.
We missed the presence of Lloyd Roberson, a regular member who unfortunately woke up feeling under the weather. We wish Lloyd well and hope to see him back on the track next time.
Best 2WD was big bad Barry Clark in the B Class BMW (thats a lotta "b"s right there), 3rd OR and only 1/2 second behind Ant Bonnici in the Yaris GR, with Tim Crase next 2WD in the D Class Mazda 3 MPS, (4th OR) and Kevin Parkes a credible 5th OR in the N14 (not a SSS) 1600 Pulsar.
Best Junior was Alex Niven in the 1800 Lancer, who was an excellent 6th OR, and his time was 2nd quickest B Class, behind Barry.
The times from 5th to 9th OR only 2 seconds.
The highlight of the day was the heartwarming return of Cogo (Peter Coghlan) our water truck driver and club treasurer. It had been an incredible 32 years since Cogo last raced - in a Mini. This time he ran a similar style small car, a Swift. Welcome back, Cogo!
A smooth day with 7 runs completed. The track came up a treat during the day, and a cold start turned into a great day
A large turnout of Class D cars this round which is pleasing to see. Unfortunately Russell Stricklen had an incident that caused his car to become immobile during the last run of the day. Hopefully the damage is minimal and he will be back out at the next round.
Ant Bonnici headed the field all day in the Yaris, but behind him there was plenty of competition for the remaining podium positions.
After 4 runs, Robert Clark in the 2.3 Mk1 Esky was best of the rest with a 46.07, just ahead of Tim Crase (Mazda 3 MPS) and Barry Clark (BMW 320i). But the were others close by, with Allan Coles (Peugot) also in the 46 bracket.
Run 5 and Ant dropped the time, but Barry was still next best, with Tim Crase just pipping Nikki Duclos for the 3rd best time. Run 6 and Ant was a bit quicker at 43.50, with Barry and Nikki very close with a 45.69 v 45.87.
Run 7 saw Ant pump out a near identical (but marginally slower - 0.01) 43.51, to head the pack, but Nikki couldn't improve and got pushed down a few places in a hotly contested podium.
Barry Clark (B Class)- 45.54 final run cemented 2nd, Ian Maguire in the big V8 Commodore (D Class), had been there or there abouts, but pulled a beaut 45.72 to beat Tim Crase (also D Class) by 0.01, 45.73, to take the podium from Tim in 4th and Nikki was next (E Class) with the Run 5 45.87. So 0.33 secs covering 2nd to 5th.
Robert Clark (C Class)had some late issues and was next, in 6th and a Class C win, with his run 4 46.07, followed by Ric Ganderton and Allan Coles on identical 46.11's with Ric setting it first (Run 6 v Run 7), but when taken to the 1/1000th, Allan was ever so slightly quicker. Danny Ikin was 9th OR in the Falcon just pipping Emma Crase in the family MPS in 10th, with the big D Class field taking 4 of the top 10 spots..and 2nd to 10th was covered by 0.99 secs.
A shoutout to James Bonnici who achieved his first sub-50 second run with a 49.04 seconds.
Also great to see Coggo in the Mighty Swift having his first drivbe, outside of the water truck, in ....who knows how long but must be at least a decade if not more....
Congratulations to Sam and Katie who passed their Motorsport Australia event assessments!