Images thanks to Melanie Valdes
Sunday the 10th of November, 2019, saw us rise from a sleepover in the country to head to the thrilling conclusion to the 2019 CSCA series, very kindly hosted by the Triumph Sports Owners Association at Wakefield Park.
Goulburn started things off cool and crisp, but by the time activities commenced a near perfect, if a little windy, late spring day welcomed competitors to a fun final sprint of the year.
78 runners were confirmed for the event, spread across six groups. This meant that six runs were possible and 8+ minute sessions became the norm as the day progressed.
Soon it was the drivers briefing, the Group 1 contingent ready to go on the dummy grid. Lotii were prevalent, even if a few usual suspects were absent, choosing to spend a few days frolicking in the snow at Targa High Country instead.
So, on to the results, and again Lotus is at the pointy end, filling five positions in the top ten!
Fastest marque car of the day went to Tim Mackie with a 1:05:8 – what a fantastic time and also fastest in R1. The HPE was exhausted at day’s end, as it was dual entered with Tim’s son Tom (more on that later). The pair made it work hard, even requiring it to blow its nose after an excursion at the Fishhook by TM. Awesome driving as usual.
Next up was “GARRY”, the V6 Exige of Brett Stevens with a 1:06:8 (fastest in P3). This was a PB by Brett and it’s great to see the car and driver in sync as Brett continues to march up the order, finishing the day 3rd outright behind Tim. Great job.
Next up Liam Sheppard came home with 1:08:0, fastest in M2 and 6h fastest on the day – setting a PB and oh so close to the 1:07s. Liam really had the car moving and continues moving up the grid in every outing – a strong result. The fastest four-cylinder Toyota-based non-modified Lotus on the day.
Colin Rudd followed with a 1:08:4 for 8th position – another PB and a fantastic result – 2nd in M2. Colin keeps moving up the timesheet as well and had an exciting battle with Liam during the day. Awesome driving Colin.
Len Goodwin had the 1964 Elan firing with a sensational time of 1:08:4, heading the field in CD1. This is one of the best looking cars in the track and immaculately presented – just like the team and driver. What a car and what a driver!
John Deller bought the Commodore home with a 1:08:5 and didn’t put a foot wrong all day. Steve Madden set a 1:08:97 and pushed hard all day to head P2, to what I believe was a PB. Occasionally the black Lotus exiting from plumes of dust!
Competing in M1, Rex Hodder was next up with a 1:09:2. Rex chased this time throughout the event and nailed it in the final session – the big smile said it all. The fastest of the non-supercharged Toyotas and a great drive!
Gino Valdes slotted in behind Rex with a 1:09:3 for second place in P2 – very tidy steering and another time set later in the day. Craig Sheppard ‘nicked’ the car from Liam and set a 1:11:9 for 3rd in M2.
Now for one of the drives of the day courtesy of Tom Mackie. Tom had been to Wakefield once to drive it and get a feel for the circuit, sadly not in a Lotus. He started slowly, getting a feel for the car (especially a rear wheel drive HPE) and started moving up the grid.
Session by session, lap by lap, his times improved – cheered on by the Lotii contingent. One slight excursion was forgiven by the mentor (Tim – only to have his own later in the day). Starting in the 1:23s a 1:14 looked to be an outstanding result before, on the last lap of the day… 1:12:2! What a drive! Mentor and student had big smiles at the day’s end. It won’t be long until Tom is up near his dad.
Melanie Valdes was next fastest and fastest lady driver of the day, posting a 1:13:4. Mel keeps improving each event and will soon head into the ‘11s’ and below. Great driving and both Mel and Gino finished with big smiles on their faces.
Terrance Waugh in the Renault Spider set a 1:13:8. A quick drive and an exciting and unique car, beautifully presented – as are all Terry’s cars.
Peter Deller set a 1:15:1 in the Commodore and Paul Tilse in a first drive in the BMW M2 set a 1:15:3. Lovely to see and welcome Paul, we look forward to seeing the M2 at more events and moving up the grid.
Graham Allen has had his Elise Sport 220 for just six weeks and is using it as it should be used. He continually improved throughout the day and set a 1:16:7 in the last session with another big smile – showing what Lotus ownership is all about.
Gemma Gibson posted a 1:20:3 in the Elise S. Her continual improvement is wonderful to see and we can’t wait to see what she gets up to in 2020. Brilliant driving Gemma!
At the end of the day there were plenty of smiles, a few PBs and all cars heading back to their respective homes safe and sound. We’ve enjoyed a magic 2019 and spending these days with such a wonderful crew is great fun all round.
We now turn our eyes onto 2020 and look forward to more and more Lotii on the grid. Club lotus Australia will be first out of the blocks in 2020, with our annual sprint held on the 14th of March, 2020, at Wakefield Park. Put the date in your diary now and get involved in the best motoring community in the country, if not beyond!
Thanks for all your support in 2019!
Yours in motor sport, signing off until 2020,
The Club Lotus Australia Motor Sport Committee.