Ashton’s President’s Prattle for April, 2021

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

Ashton’s President’s Prattle for April, 2021

Wow, April already. March was a ripper!

OK, so it started with a wet Carrs Park Tyre Kick.  But we had the first round of the CSCA sprints, superbly organised by our most excellent Motorsport Committee, and that made up for it, and then some! The sun shone, the track was fast, the times fell, good times were had by all. And I got an electrical gremlin which sidelined me for the second and third sessions. But all in all, a great day was had by all! Report elsewhere in here with all the gory details!

Ashton and Syd at the HSRCA Autumn Festival

The prior weekend, also at Wakefield Park, for the HSRCA Autumn Festival, could hardly have been more different weather-wise. It was cold, wet and blustery, and I think the fastest lap I managed was 1.27! I did have a lot of fun chasing Syd around in his delightful Dart, so all was not lost by any means.

Socially things seem to be starting to return to a semblance of normal too – I even paid my first visit to Melbourne in over a year, courtesy of the Melbourne Club where Giles and I regaled a (surprisingly) full room about the delights of the Peking to Paris rally. There was nearly an hour of Q&A afterwards, suggesting we hadn’t bored them to death, and they were kind enough to give us both a magnum of champagne for our troubles, which was a delightful tilt to the fact that Prince Bourghese, who won the original race in 1907, won a magnum of Krug.

Sad news from Lotus that the last of the Elise and Exige variants will come off the line soon, and with them the end of probably the most successful commercial period to date in the history of the marque. So let’s hope that whatever is to come will be even more successful, particularly as it will herald in the hybrid era for Lotus, on their way to an all-electric future (apparently the three models due to be launched this year will be the last combustion-engined cars, albeit with electric augmentation). Hopefully that’s good news for all those owning petrol-powered Lotus cars…. in about 30 years time.

Which does beg the question, how does one service and maintain a hybrid car? I’ll leave that one hanging out there.

The saddest news for me this month, however, was the sudden passing of Gerry Crown, the octogenarian winner of no less than three Peking to Paris rallies, and the only person on this planet to have competed in all seven of the re-runs since 1997. Having said that, his funeral and wake were filled with laughter, happy memories and lots of family and friends, just as he would have liked it. The expression ‘colourful character’ could have been invented for Gerry, and the world will be a less colourful and exuberant place for his passing.

Gerry passed away almost at the same time as another great of the motoring world – Muddly Talker (Murray Walker). Although I never knew Murray personally, my early memories of watching grand prix are peppered with his enthusiastic commentary, often confusing, always amusing. I do hope the emerging generation are developing some good’uns to replace these wonderful people who are leaving us.

Right, on that slightly sombre note, I’d better get this off to Tom so I don’t hold up Chunkies any longer than necessary. I do hope you are all keeping well, looking forward to a slightly drier period now that La Nina has officially ended, and staying safe, upright and on the blackstuff (mostly),

Pip pip,
Ashton

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