Every second counts in tight round

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Every second counts in tight round

The South Eastern Automobile Club (SEAC) conducted a double header event over the weekend of 11th & 12th, Round 2 of the SEAC series and Round 1 of the State Autocross Series being run over Saturday afternoon and evening, then Sunday morning, until lunch time.

Running the event this way gave competitors from away the ability to travel on Saturday morning and return home Sunday afternoon.

Paul Height put the director’s hat on “again” to setup a challenging weekend’s activities, ably assisted by Alison doing the secretarial work so necessary to get these events up and running.

After scrutineering had been completed, action commenced about 2.30pm in perfect weather conditions with a good track surface presented to the eager 36 entrants for the day’s competition for both series.

Three runs took place before dark and a tussle at the top took place between local “gun” Luke Winterfield in his Subaru WRX and away competitor Oscar Farnden driving a very similar vehicle.

Both these blokes are developing drivers, Luke having competed at SEAC for some years as a Junior, pedalling a Hyundai Rally prepped Exell with good success and Oscar still listed as a Junior, from Southern Districts Car Club (SDCC) and blitzing the competition at his home track.

Round 1, Oscar set the pace with a 1:49.39 seconds lap of a “new” track layout, Luke having his shake down lap next with a 1:52.80 seconds, closely followed by Jayden Edwards driving the wheels off his 2-wheel drive Commodore, 1:52.83 seconds for 3rd points.

Another “away” competitor, Matt Kirby from Warrnambool driving a Ford Laser also found a quick line for 4th (1:55.57), John Whitehead 5th (1:55.84) in his Phoenix Buggy, Damien Wilson, Dion Becker, Jason Sims, Chris Simmons and Barry Edwards 10th rounded out the top 10.

Round 2, Farnden again at the top (1:49.76) from Luke (1:49.81), J Edwards 3rd (1:51.55), Dion Becker finding a good line for 4th (1:52.34), Nick White finding his way home and using every inch of the available track in his trusty Commodore 5th (1:52.62), followed by Guy Tyler, Chris Simmons, John Whitehead, Steven Leo and Jason Sims.

Track conditions remained “good”, with a couple of areas opening up and a lot of loose material thrown out to catch the driver that went a little bit off the race line, bogging the car down.

Heat 3 and Luke Winterfield got the top spot with an excellent drive (1:49.01) from Oscar Farnden (1:49.34) Jayden Edwards again pushing the top pair, (1:50.28), Dion Becker 4th (1:51.61), Nick White 5th (1:51.85), ahead of Tyler, Damien Wilson, Matt Kirby, Chris Simmons and John Whitehead.

After a short break for tea, Round 4 commenced in the dark, with Farnden 1st (1:50.78), Winterfield 2nd (1:50.93), Becker moving up to 3rd with a good run (1:50.42), Jayden Edwards 4th (1:52.17), Tyler 5th (1:53.05), D Wilson, Nick White, Jason Sims, Barry Edwards and Chris Simmons.

Round 5, second run in the darkness, with a little fog and dust to contend with, Luke Winterfield made the top of the sheet with a 1:48.43 seconds run, Farnden next (1:49.07), Tyler 3rd (1:50.89), J Edwards 4th (1:51.31), D Becker 5th (1:52.57), Nick White, J Sims, B Edwards, Chris Simmons and Kyle Johnson.
Round 6, final run for Saturday’s competition, Farnden (1:47.79) from Winterfield (1:47.86) the gap 7/100ths of a second, 1 and 2.

Jayden Edwards 3rd (1:50.42) again using all the available track with his “speedway style” throw it in sideways effort.

Tyler again did well in the all-black Magna for 4th points (1:50.67), Dion Becker another good drive in the Big Bird, 5th (1:51.26), Nick White also a very sideways driver in the Commodore 6th (1:51.31), then Simmons), Kyle Johnso, Jason Sims) and Oliver Pohlner making it to the 10th spot with a good run in the dark.

Being one of the up-and-coming Juniors, like the other Juniors, they do not get a lot of practice in night driving, so a good achievement for Ollie to do that well at night.

Timing was just right as the completion of the night runs beat the fog rolling in.

Sunday, action resumed after a short briefing in the morning and the track had a bit of a touch-up from the club grader

Farnden slept well apparently, returning to competition again at the top (1:42.31) of the time sheets for the reverse direction, from Luke Winterfield (1:42.94), Jayden Edwards 3rd (1:45.67), Jason Sims 4th (1:46.78), Simmons 5th (1:47.07), Nick White, Dion Becker, Barry Edwards, Damien Wilson and Matt Kirby.

Sunday’s second run, Farnden continued at the Top (1:41.00) with Winterfield chasing (1:42.01), Simmons 3rd (1:43.97), J Sims 4th (1:44.62), D Becker 5th (1:45.21), Jayden Edwards, Nick White, D, Daniel Oldaker and Kyle Johnson.

The third run for the morning, Farnden was again fastest, with an excellent run of 1:40.58 seconds for the Suby Pilot.

Nick White made the 2nd spot on this run, 1:44.08 his best for the day.

Jason Sims missed by 1/100th of a second and had to be content with 3rd (1:44.09). Winterfield tried a bit too hard and lost time (1:44.67) to be back in 4th spot.
Dion Becker had a good go in the Falcon and got 5th spot (1:44.90), followed by Simmons, Jayden Edwards, D Wilson, B Edwards and Kyle Johnson.

In the penultimate run, Farnden continued at the top with a 1:42.21 seconds run just enough to hold off a charge by Luke Winterfield (1:42.51) in 2nd spot, J Sims 3rd (1:43.77), Nick White 4th (1:44.16), Simmons 5th (1:44.65), then Damien Wilson, Jayden Edwards, Kyle Johnson, Daniel Oldaker and Matt Kirby.

Last run-in excellent weather with a roughening track, Oscar Farnden ended the weekend with another quick run (1:41.38) with Luke Winterfield 2nd (1:43.13) with another good drive.
Jason Sims made 3rd again (1:43.24), Simmons 4th (1:44.33), Nick White 5th (1:44.91), followed by Kyle Johnson, Matt Kirby, Damien Wilson, Dion Becker and Barry Edwards.

As can be seen from the times through the weekend one second can cover 5 drivers.

Results are yet to be finalised and separated into the SEAC and State Competitions.

As always SEAC has a shortage of officials to help run the many events through the year.

Anyone keen to be involved in Motorsport, but not compete, can get close to the action as one of the many officials needed to help on the day or leading up to the event.

Contact the club, or one of the members and ask about how to be involved.

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