Ashton’s President’s Prattle for December, 2017

President's Prattle

Caroline and I wish you and yours a wonderfully happy Christmas and a very happy New Year.

It has been quite a year, and has rather felt like a headlong rush, with the wonderful culmination being the Christmas party today at Craigieburn. We had a fantastic turnout with 90+ members and their families coming along. The sun shone all day (and I forgot the suncream, so I am a little red now!), lots of us met at Loftus Oval for the run south, and Ed and Kath Burton very kindly opened their lovely house up for morning tea, which was splendid. Thank you so much Ed and Kath, and please pass our very grateful thanks to Ellie too. Grateful thanks to Anne B for the idea of going to Craigieburn and for making it all happen – an inspired choice, and one we may have to put on a regular visit list, particularly as the drive there is so much fun.

Working back over the year as I had to before standing up in front of the assembled throng today, I realised that although we were concerned that the social side of the calendar might be denuded by the lack of general meetings, in fact we have managed a lot of very high quality events – the 60th Anniversary Elite celebrations organised by Brian Caldersmith being a particular highlight. One thing we haven’t done much of recently however is invite speakers to come to talk to the Club, and I would value feedback from you on whether having speakers on motorsport-related matters would be interesting? If so, some names of the sort of people you might like to hear speak would also be useful! And/or subjects that are of interest. Drop me or Tom a note and we’ll add it to the to-do list for 2018.

Speaking of which, January is only just round the corner, and as this is the last note from us before February, I should remind you that entries for the CARnivale event at Parramatta Park need to be in shortly, and we have also just received the entry form for the Concours d’Elegance run by Sam Movizio which is elsewhere in here – both these events happen on Australia Day, which of course means we won’t be writing to you again before then! So if you like the idea of either, please get your entries in sharpish! I’ve no doubt it’ll rain, but there you go!

Motorsport has continued to go from strength to strength this year, and for much of that we have two groups to thank enormously. First up, for the CSCA and CAMS Supersprint series, our gratitude as ever to Mike Basquil knows no bounds, and now we add our thanks to the wonderful Motorsport Committee of Dave, Craig and Cathie, Mel and Gino and Jen – I am immensely grateful to this team for stepping up to help, and am very much looking forward to our CSCA Supersprint on March 11th, even if I don’t know what car will be in one piece for it!

The second crew to thank are Lee and his team at Simply Sports Cars (aka Lotus Australia), our importer and NSW distributor. Their boundless enthusiasm for the Lotus marque, combined with the efficient service and cheerful and welcoming demeanour make owning a Lotus an even more pleasurable experience than it was already. And on top of that, this year they have continued the very successful Lotus Only Track Days (LOTD) and put even more support behind the Targa events, with particular emphasis on Targa Tasmania and more recently Targa High Country. I know most people think that a Lotus is most at home on a track (and I don’t disagree) but honestly, for smiles per mile, I find it hard to beat tarmac rallying. Our little cars really box above their weight in this game, as was witnessed by the multiple podium places achieved at Targa High Country. So if you have been wavering, come down off the fence and join us next year – it is the best fun you can have with your clothes on.

Right, I think that’s enough from me. I do hope you and your families have a wonderful break, and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year once we are back from a Cornish Christmas.

While we are gone, keep safe, upright and most importantly on the blackstuff!

Pip pip,

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