Autocross back at SEAC Park

Support local, independent journalism

The SE Voice is the Limestone Coast’s only fully digital publication. Locally owned & operated, we deliver all the latest news & sport direct to your fingertips. We're run by a creative team of local journalists all based in the region. News as we know has changed - we're delivering it first and free. Thank you for your support in keeping local news alive.

Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Autocross back at SEAC Park

Action resumed at the South Eastern Automobile Club (SEAC) grounds at Compton late last month.

SEAC Park has a Motorsport Australia approved combination of tracks for the director of the day’s racing to choose from, to challenge the competitor and his/her vehicle control.

Club President Curtis Boyd put the director’s hat on for this Round 1 action of the 2024 Series and selected an anticlockwise lap for the mornings action.

Drawing the “coveted” Number 1 for the day, Gary Brown put the FG Falcon through the layout with his usual flair, showing all watching the race surface was very slippery and would need a lot of care in the early laps.

It was no surprise the 4WD cars of Dale Cagney (Lancer EVO6), Sam Thomas (Subaru WRX) and Luke Winterfield (Subaru WRX) were all going to be quick in the slippery conditions, with Cagney doing what he does well at “the park”, setting the pace for heat 1, from Thomas nearly two seconds behind.

Jayden Edwards was next home with the speedway style drive of his Commodore another seven seconds back, closely followed by Jason Sims in his 180B Datto.

Barry Edwards also drifted the Commodore in speedway mode and was the next one through.

Dion Becker, continuing on from a good 2023 season, was half a second behind Edwards’ effort with a similar gap to Luke Winterfield’s WRX in 7th spot, learning how the 4WD does things when being pushed to the limits in race mode.

Gary Brown’s first run saw a respectable 8th spot, John Whitehead was next in the Phoenix Buggy, struggling to get the power down on the track and John Heemskerk rounded out the top 10 for this heat.

Heat 2 featured the same track, now having been “swept” with the previous 27 cars having shifted the loose surface and formed a race line.

Cagney lowered his time a further 1.5 seconds and posted the fastest time for this heat, Sam Thomas ran a similar line to his first run and posted a similar time for second spot points.

Jayden Edwards found more grip and dropped his time by three seconds to get third spot, from Luke Winterfield in fourth, also pruning five seconds off his previous run.

Jason Sims bettered his first run by three seconds but dropped a spot to fifth with John Whitehead also going four seconds better in sixth.

Kyle Johnson was next home with a tidy run in the Datsun 1600, Damien Wilson was eighth, Barry Edwards had a similar time to heat 1 for ninth and Dion Becker finished 10th.

Heat 3 had a definite line now showing and Dale Cagney made it three from three with 1:48.03 seconds the time to beat on this run.

Sam Thomas made some changes and found speed to be up with Cagney’s time, stopping the clock at 1:48.43 seconds.

Luke Winterfield, driving the WRX 4WD for its first outing, also picked up some pace and held third (1:53.22), followed by Jason Sims (1:54.97), Kyle Johnson (1:56.26), John Whitehead also finding a bit of grip in the buggy (1:57.18), Barry Edwards enjoying his “Skid” 8th (1:57.56), Dion Becker (1:57.71) and Damien Wilson rounding out the 10 with his effort of 1:58.08 seconds.

Heat 4 featured the same direction with a good race line now showing, Cagney again lowered his run time, stopping the clock this run at 1:46.43 and points for top spot, from Sam Thomas’ best run of 1:47.14 in second.

He was followed by Luke Winterfield with a 1:51.05 seconds lap, Jayden Edwards (1:53.45), Jason Sims (1:53.70), Kyle Johnson with another tidy outing in the Datsun 1600 (1:54.29), Barry Edwards (1:54.77), John Whitehead (1:55.59), Damien Wilson (1:56.85) and Geoff Wilson’s 1:57.58 seconds run good for 10th spot points.

After a lunch break, the track direction was changed to a clockwise direction, with a minor change in one area for safety reasons.

Dale Cagney, enjoying a good day in the office, continued with the fastest time for the changed direction, stopping the clock at 1:44.84 seconds and getting maximum points for heat 5.

Sam Thomas still could not catch Cagney, having a good run but still just not quite there, a 1:45.34 seconds lap quite quick but only good for second spot points.

Luke Winterfield made it to third again with another tidy lap of 1:48.61 seconds, which was a good effort with the steep learning curve at the wheel of his tidy Subaru WRX.

Jayden Edwards again enjoyed the conditions and a 1:50.14 seconds lap gave him points for fourth quickest, Damien Wilson found the track direction more suited to his driving style and delivered a 1:50.19 seconds lap good for fifth.

Dion Becker made up for a misdemeanour on his previous run and locked in points for six with his 1:50.92 seconds lap, Jason Sims was next home (1:51.05) followed by Kyle Johnson (1:51.06), Barry Edwards (1:51.79) and John Whitehead with a 1:53.22 seconds run.

Heat 6 was again in a clockwise direction and Sam Thomas made it to position one with a very tidy run of 1:42.73, holding out a charge from Cagney (1:43.71) for second.

Winterfield was again third (1:47.32) and Jayden Edwards fourth (1:47.74).

Kyle Johnson found good speed all day was next home (1:48.56) from Jason Sims (1:48.97), Damien Wilson (1:50.95), Geoff Wilson finally pulling a good lap together (1:51.50), Dion Becker (1:51.52) and Barry Edwards (1:51.72).

The last blast for the first series was heat 7 and Dale Cagney corrected his previous run and put in a blinder to regain the top points, with a 1:41.98 seconds lap also the quickest for the day.

Thomas had to be bridesmaid again on this lap with his 1:42.38 seconds run just a little behind, but still a very quick lap of the park.

Luke Winterfield again found a good line and scored another third with a 1:46.57 seconds lap, closely followed by Jayden Edwards 1:46.94 seconds in the Commodore.

Jason Sims had a play in the tidy Datsun 180B for the day and put in another good lap of 1:48.96 seconds, followed home by Damien Wilson’s Nissan Silvia’s time of 1:49.34 seconds.

Kyle Johnson made it home in seventh with a 1:49.63 seconds lap, just good enough to hold out Geoff Wilson’s Peugeot 306 lap of 1:49.89 seconds.

Barry Edwards made it home in ninth spot with a 1:50.11 lap and John Whitehead filled 10th spot with the Phoenix Buggy getting around in 1:50.66 seconds.

Scoring for the 2024 series has reverted to the system used some years ago, with points awarded for each heat and added together to give top points for the day.

Why wait? Get more stories like this delivered straight to your inbox
Join our digital edition mailing list and stay up to date on the latest news, events and special announcements from across the Limestone Coast.

Your local real estate guide - every Thursday


You might also like