Skills pushed to the limits

TOP RUN: Ken Trimnell used his Subaru to good effect on Sunday to claim the khanacross victory in changeable weather conditions.

CHANGING conditions at the Mount Gambier showgrounds provided a real challenge for drivers who participated in a khanacross on Sunday.

The Limestone Coast Off Road Club held the event in weather conditions which made it akin to a lottery as to whether the course had plenty of grip, or resembled a skating rink.

Also as Round 5 of the South Eastern Automobile Club khanacross series, the event was well attended, with drivers keen to gain extra points and improve their tally for the year.

However, a dry-ish track was required to post a quick time and Mother Nature threw up plenty of curve balls through the day.

Course layouts were not forgiving and had plenty of penalty markers to get in the way if the driver erred in speed or direction.

With more than the odd one or two cones taken for a ride down the track, at a cost of five seconds each, drivers pushed hard in their run against the stop watch.

In the early test runs most drivers were cautious and looked to feel out the grip level that varied across the layout in texture as well as moisture.

Those that threw caution into the wind paid the price for a cone or two, as loss of control on the hot mix in the middle became evident as the surface had little-to-no grip when any moisture was present.

Ken Trimnell took fastest time in tests 1, 2, 3, 7 and 8 in his 4WD Subaru WRX and claimed the points for Number 1 spot with his tally of 376.64 seconds and free of any penalties all day.

Damien Wilson got the chocolates in tests 4, 9 and 12 with the Nissan Silvia S13, while Phil Wilson’s Soarer found some traction in tests 5 and 11 for quickest time.

Bailey Perryman brought out his Hyundai Excel and proved to be competitive all day, with fastest times in tests 6 and 10 and at the pointy end in a few more.

Suzanne Crowe, pedaling her beloved WRX with enough enthusiasm to be consistently quick, but not get into trouble ended her day in second spot with a total of 385.81 seconds and penalty-free for the day.

Bradley Harry returned to the action after some time away from competition and drove the Toyota Starlet faultlessly all day to be rewarded with third outright spot and a penalty-free tally of 387.59 seconds.

Perryman’s Hyundai did the job all day and he made fourth outright with his total of 393.64 seconds.

Struggling for grip all day, Phil Wilson drove well in the big Toyota Soarer to keep to the track, with only a pair of cone penalties added to his total, 403.09 seconds resulting in fifth outright.

Murray Height has been gaining confidence in every outing and exploring the limits of the Toyota Corona.

This time he drove well in the tricky conditions to list at sixth outright with a penalty-free total of 411.49 seconds for his day out.

Toyota Corolla pilot Curtis Boyd enjoyed the smaller car, with his total time of 419.05 seconds including a couple of cone penalties good enough for seventh.

John Whitehead took to the track in his neat Toyota Celica Hatch and showed good speed in the tricky conditions to finish his day in eighth outright and a total of 423.13 seconds including a couple of cone penalties.

Lindsay Beare pushed the Commodore every outing to the max to come home in ninth with a total of 429.54 seconds for his penalty-free day.

Rounding out the top 10, Damien Wilson’s effort got the points with his total of 432.97 seconds including a few penalties along the way.

The next event on the SEAC calendar is a day/night autocross at SEAC Park on Saturday, November 20.

Good spectator viewing can be had from the side of Megaw Road or enter the complex and sign in at the Covid desk.