AFTER much confusion caused by Covid-19 scares in Mount Gambier, the all clear to run the fourth round of the McPherson Mechanical Autocross Series was given.
Director Curtis Boyd and Ross Shephard kept at it until the club received the conditional okay for the weekend’s activities to go ahead.
With the track layout receiving a tickleup late in the week, all that was needed would be some good weather and Mother Nature came to the party, with only a few dark clouds and a couple of sprinkles through the day.
Sunday’s racing would have been the best in the series so far, with the weather not giving a benefit or handicap to any of the competitors.
A good field of 37 drivers made the decision to come out and have a go and were rewarded with a fast track that went black (took rubber) after the first couple of runs, to give the serious challengers a good and consistent race surface.
It was no surprise to find the 4WD group at the top of the time sheets, with previous round winner, Simon Feil out to prove his Subaru WRX was the quickest on the SEAC Park Layout.
Nicholas Cagney, also piloting a WRX, looked to spoil the party for Feil, beating him home in the first two heats.
The pair traded places through the day and in the end were separated by 0.27 seconds after the five heats had been completed.
Jamie Pohlner has settled into the EVO8 he had been campaigning recently across the state events with some success and may have been guilty of trying a bit too hard to catch the Feil/Cagney pair, along with Dale Cagney in his EVO6.
Damien Brand’s CanAm Buggy is a purpose-built weapon in loose or wet conditions, but drops off the pace as the track goes slick.
His first couple of runs were right up with the other 4WD’s, but as the track too more rubber, his times dropped away.
Jason Winterfield’s Subaru Legacy is always well presented and he takes no prisoners when driving, mixing it with the top group.
While the first and second runs were on a slippy surface, once the grip level improved, his times came down but the gap reflected the big difference in technology and power of the more modern top runners.
Family bragging rights were up for grabs with the Wilson pair, dad Geoff and son Damien, who are always competitive.
Damien’s style suited the slippery early track, but could not match his father’s efforts, with the later runs giving the front wheel drive a slight edge.
Damien’s buffer ended up being just enough for the day to get the gong by 2.5 seconds.
Adam Jesse made the trip down from Bordertown and had a mixed day out with the Subaru Liberty, showing some good pace through the latter part of the day.
Falcon pilot, Dion Becker, pushed the big bird as hard as was possible all day, with some runs better than others, but all enjoyable.
Commodore pair, Barry and Jayden Edwards are usually up in the top 10 area.
Jayden hovered around that mark for his runs, but Barry put the enjoyment switch to on for with a couple of longer runs through the day.
Hyundai Excel steerer Anthony Tos brought out his rally-prepped machine and gave it a workout to see what it was capable of, with some respectable times and an enjoyable day of competition.
Preparation is now in full swing for the upcoming Legend of the Lakes hill climb to be held on October 29, 30, 31 at the Valley Lakes precinct.
Results: Simon Feil 10.05.89, 1st Class W; Nicholas Cagney 10.06.16; Jamie Pohlner 10.16.62; Dale Cagney 10.26.07; Jason Winterfield 10.52.16; Damien Wilson 11.01.42, 1st Class D; Geoff Wilson 11.03.74; Adam Jesse 11.09.22; Damien Brand 11.09.34; Dion Becker 11.12.65, 1st Class E; Anthony Tos 11.30.14, 1st Class C; Gary Brown 11.37.83, 1st Class B; Teresa Lipscombe 12.01.05, 1st Class L; Sarah Shephard 14.05.11, 1st Class J.