Ashton’s President’s Prattle for March, 2021

Ashton in the Elite at the HSRCA's February Track Evening

Our dear President Ashton is back to share the latest Club Lotus Australia news as we head into March, along with a few tales of his own motoring adventures.

Ashton’s President’s Prattle for March, 2021

Ashton Roskill

Well, here we are in March already.

We’ve had the first committee meeting of the year (minutes on the members area of the website), and started to get organised for what is looking to be a busy year, thankfully.

As well as a busy social schedule (Tom was heard to comment that the calendar looks better than it has in many years), including two Tyre Kicks each month in NSW, the Fish and Chip runs in WA and periodic gatherings in South Australia, we have the makings of a much better motorsport calendar. The CSCA sprints, HSRCA calendar, and SSC days are all spinning up, then there’s the Targa calendar which looks as though it should all be back on track, and the night sessions being organised by Simply Sports Cars, the HSRCA and others.

The social schedule in NSW is being augmented by Tom’s periodic lunches, the Shannons Day and possibly the All British Day (TBC). We also have a full calendar from both the newly revitalised WA chapter (many thanks to Lena and Adrian for leading the charge there) and from the ACT chapter (thanks to Neil T for getting things up and running).

With February already vanishing in the rear view mirror, there were a fair share of highlights, and several lowlights, the most notable being the passing of John Bando. Thank you to Daniel for allowing so many of John’s motorsport friends to attend the funeral, and I am sure John would have loved that Sydney turned on a fine sunny day. It was a huge testament to a wonderful man that so many turned up to farewell him. Rest in peace John, you will be much missed, particularly at the racetrack!

On which subject, the NSW CSCA championships kick off with the CLA event on the 28th March at Wakefield. Entries have already started to pour in, so if you want to join the fun, be quick! It’s always a fun day, as much for the highly social aspect of the day as for the fun on the track.

The following weekend (which was going to clash with the Grand Prix, now moved to November), the HSRCA will hold their Autumn Festival, also at Wakefield. For those interested, there is now Supersprint and Regularity on the dance-card, making for a much broader sphere of interest. I’m expecting all the usual suspects will be down there for the race categories, and it would be lovely to see more cars joining the slightly less stressful Regularity, for example.

Also on the subject of motorsport, congratulations to Lotus for taking so many podium spots at the recent Targa High Country. Particular congratulations to all of our members who, by all accounts, had a thoroughly enjoyable and successful weekend. Targa kicks into gear with the hope that border relaxations stay in place, and Targa Tasmania is slated for the 19th-24th April, with at least four Lotus cars contending for the competitive GT Sports Trophy class.

This week the first of the SSC track days kicks into gear at Bathurst. I’m disappointed not to be there, getting the gearing right for the Elite so it doesn’t rev out on Conrod was going to be a difficult ask in a short space of time. Have fun up at The Mountain and I look forward to seeing the evidence.

Ashton in the Elite at the HSRCA's February Track Evening

Image by, and thanks to, Jeremy Dale

On a much lower key note, I took the Elite out to Eastern Creek/SMSP for one of the twilight evenings ten days ago, and despite the showers keeping the track pretty consistently slippery, a great time was had by most! OK, so lap times were not exactly earth shattering, but as usual when it rains, balance wins over raw power 🙂 And thank you to the Jaguar that left its spoor on the racing line. At least you could see the purple oil slick clearly!

Running under lights is a bit odd, particularly when the headlights on the car you are driving are at best described as a pair of candles. But it was a useful shakedown, and we found the reason for the rear end feeling a little twitchy on over-run – let’s just say I have some additional bolts on my spanner check list! Photos with grateful thanks to Jeremy Dale and Seth.

Right, better get this to Tom; I very much look forward to seeing you out and about over the coming months, and in the meantime, keep it safe, upright, and mostly on the blackstuff,

Pip pip,

Ashton in the Elite at the HSRCA's February Track Evening

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