Drivers slide into khanacross action

Sunday proved to be a pleasant day out for the 22 willing and eager competitors that had entered the Limestone Coast Off Road Club khanacross held at the Boyd property at Burrungule.

New to khanacross activities, coordinator Jason Sims was thrown in at the deep end, starting the day’s competition with 21 pairs of eyes all watching on to see where the slippery bits of the muddy course were in the short ‘n’ sweet opening test.

Damien Brand – who was not competing for series points – rocked up in his CanAm Buggy, complete with mud slinger tyres and set the pace by a huge margin from the rest of the field.

Sam Thomas running the Ford Focus rally car also turned up with some grippy tyres and collected second spot for the first three courses, but had to work harder in the afternoon when the track dried out a little.

Jason Sims – always one to enjoy a skid – had another successful outing in the family Celica as he “learnt” what the front wheel drive car needed to get around the track markers.

Missing in action for quite a while, Bradley Harry made a welcome return to motorsport in his tidy Toyota Starlet.

Seasoned campaigner Dale Cagney struggled to get his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution to change direction early in the day, but persevered with the understeer/oversteer situation until the track dried out a little, where he could use some of the enormous power available to go forward instead of sideways.

Relative newcomer, Kyle Johnson looks as though he will be taking after his father.

Ian has a chequered past as a successful rally driver and going by Kyle’s performance in the slippery conditions he showed considerable car control, steering his Nissan Pulsar through the maze without penalties all day.

Another driver showing car control is in his genes, Henry Sims is gaining experience at each outing and also has family history, with dad Jason another successful rally driver.

Muddy conditions caused the 4WD cars all sorts of problems and Ken Trimnell tried everything he could to make the Subaru behave.

Oliver Pohlner is another of the juniors with a big pair of shoes to fill, as his father, Jamie also has a trophy cabinet full of awards to show car control is in the family, but Ollie is improving at every outing.

Big cars and muddy conditions can be fun, but not quick when on road tyres as Phil and Geoff Wilson, Bruce Hamilton and Connor Grant all found the going a bit slow with the heavier cars taking considerable effort to keep on the move.

Subaru Outback campaigner Christopher Catalano is another junior member of the club and is also learning how the wagon reacts to all sorts of conditions.

Octogenarian, Bob Byham headed the three generations that had entered the day. Bob still prepares all three cars for each event himself and son David treks across from Bacchus Marsh to bring sons Zachary, Alexander and Lukas over for the visit.

At the conclusion of the day, Brand emerged on top in his CanAm recording a time of 829.34 seconds.

He was closely followed by Thomas, who recorded 1010.65 seconds in his Ford Focus.

The first competitor chasing points was Sims (1032.37 seconds) who just edged out Harry by 13 seconds for series honours.

With the weather holding off through the day most competitors had a huge smile on their face on the way home.

The next SEAC event will be the State Championship round Autocross being held over the June long weekend.

With a little help from the weather gods, it should be an enjoyable outing, with the entry list over half full at time of print.

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