Drivers embrace new layout

SETTING THE PACE: Jason Sims works his way around a new layout in the South Eastern Automobile Club's recent motorkhana event at Burrungule. Pictures: CHRIS OPPERMAN

MOTHER Nature held the trump card for the recent motorkhana at South Eastern Automobile Club president Curtis Boyd’s Burrungule property.

Motorkhana tests are normally set up from the code booklet of Motorsport Australia and layouts are measured carefully to ensure the performance times are on an even playing field for the record books.

However, SEAC is able to run its own series without referring to historic records for Driver Index Performance scoring, as is used by many other clubs.

Raw times are listed and added up to give the results for outright fastest and a handicap system is used to offset the different car sizes for handicap scoring.

Having a huge area to work with, Boyd was able to massage the book tests and stretched them out sideways instead of the conventional vertical setups, giving the seasoned motorkhana drivers something to think about.

Throw in some rain on the grassy track and the results are somewhat of a lottery but there were huge smiles on all faces after the last test was completed.

Under the guidance of novice director Leon Chugg, a total of eight tests were set out and run twice, with a small entry of 12 drivers enjoying a top day of competition.

Ken Trimnell was on the pace early, with a time of 30.14 seconds, closely followed by Ashton Slotegraaf (31.14) and Jason Sims (31.28).

All times were within 15 seconds of each other, to set up a competitive day.

Faster times presented for the second attempt at the same layout, with the top three remaining the same.

Trimnell continued his fast times in the second test, ahead of Sims, with Ollie Pohlner in the third place.

However, with a drying track, Damien Wilson set the fastest time at 42.47 seconds, holding off a big charge from Phil Wilson and Pohlner.

The next layout included reversing action, with Slotegraaf setting the pace with a time of 69.35 seconds, from Sims and Josh Munn.

On the second run, Sims rose to the challenge with 55.06s run, some 14 seconds better than his first effort, ahead of Slotegraaf and Damien Wilson.

The next test included a garage for a direction change and to be a challenge for some.

Trimnell again set the pace with a tidy 59.33s to head Geoff Wilson and Sims.

On the second attempt Sims led the pack home with 56.05, from Trimnell and Pohlner.

Layout five included a downhill section on moist grass and proved a challenge.

Damien Wilson showed a bit of flair to head the list with 41.58s, just in front of Sims and Munn.

On the second run Pohlner put it all together for fastest time of 41.14, from Slotegraaf and Sims.

A wide layout for the following tests required plenty of input at the steering wheel, with Sims setting the standard with a time of 51.01, from Trimnell and Munn.

Trimnell turned the tables in the second run with a time of 49.62, just ahead of Munn (49.65) and Sims (49.98).

A drivers favourite, the spiro slalom proved popular and Sims showed the pack how to do it, with a quick time of 57.71, just ahead of Trimnell’s 57.78 and Phil Wilson (58.25).

Munn topped the list on the second run with an impressive time of 53.89, an improvement of 11 seconds.

Trimnell also reduced his first run by some three seconds but had to settle for second, from the ever-improving Pohlner.

The last charge for the day caused a few drivers to lose their way but Munn showed some style with a quick time of 83.73 seconds, followed closely by Pohlner and Sims.

On the second run most drivers bettered their first times.

Phil Wilson made it look easy and stopped the clock at 82.58 seconds, just ahead of Damien Wilson (83.37), with Pohlner in third place with a time of 84.05 seconds.

With the tests completed and scores totaled, Sims claimed the number one spot with his total of 884.81 seconds, closely followed by Trimnell (895.55) and Phil Wilson (925.41).

Damien Wilson (932.02) claimed fourth position, with Munn rounding out the top five with his time of 943.30 seconds.