Images thanks to Brett Stevens and Seth Reinhardt
Club Lotus Australia had the honour of hosting round one of the 2021 CSCA series at Wakefield Park on Sunday the 28th of March, 2021. After 2020 threw us into a spin and comprehensively curtailed our CSCA series from seven to only four rounds in 2020, we were thrilled to reset and kick off a fresh season of motorsport.
After a torrential rain event the previous weekend carried on into the week and left Sydney dealing with flooding and rain damage, Sunday dawned cool, crisp and clear in Goulburn, warming up to produce a very pleasant day and a very fast circuit. 25 Club Lotus Australia drivers set a time, making up a third of the entry and 70% of the top ten once the final chequered flag went out.
We were very pleased to welcome eight new Club Lotus Australia members who ran with the CSCA for the first time on the day. Anthony Schinkell, Chris Daniells, Louis Chan, Mike Moore, Andrew Dovey, Tina Cho, Derrick Cho and John Rutherford all enjoyed their first run with the CSCA and we look forward to seeing them at more events in the future.
Whilst the CLA Motorsport Committee faced some new challenges with the recent compliance changes related to COVID-19, the day ran very smoothly thanks to our event secretary David Mackie, who oversaw the events of the day. All drivers had the opportunity to drive six sessions and overall driver behaviour was excellent, with few recoveries during the event. We did have 26 keen competitors speeding up too early out of the dummy grid in the earlier sessions, the excitement of being back on circuit resulting in warnings and in some cases penalties to drivers.
The fastest time of the day went to Stephen Hooker in the superbike-engined 1997 Jedi Mk. 4 single seater. He pushed the little racing car to a 1:04.17,
Martin Duursma was the quickest Club Lotus Australia driver just a few tenths behind Hooker on a 1:04.56. Tim Mackie went third quickest in his 1997 Elise, circumnavigating the circuit in 1:05.28 and to finish first in R1 from a field of 15 class competitors. The top four CLA drivers on the day were within a second of each other, with 2020 CSCA Driver Champion Richard Wodhams setting a personal best on the day by piloting his Elise to a 1:05.47.
Louis Chan was our next quickest driver, lapping Wakefield in 1:06.65 in the 2018 Lotus 350 Sports for fifth overall and second M3. We were happy to see Mike Moore from Lotus Club Victoria in his well-prepared 1998 Lotus Elise S1 coming home in 6th position on a 1.07.33.
Colin Rudd had a great run to set the fastest M2 time on a 1:07.45 in his lovely 2018 Elise. He managed to pull a few tenths out on the hotly-contested last few spots in the top 10, with MG Car Club Newcastle driver Paul Nudd, Mark Meletopoulo and Gino Valdes separated by just a few hundredths by the end of the day, all running 1:07.7s.
M2 drivers Christopher Daniell and Liam Sheppard were closely matched, finishing on a 1:08.38 and 1:08.50. Brothers Peter and John Deller muscled their Commodore around Wakefield in very similar times as well, with Peter setting a 1:08.64 and John a 1:08.96. Len Goodwin is back on top pace and finished the day just behind them, setting a 1:09.05 to be quickest CD1 in the stunning little Elan 26R.
Nine cars set 1:10s, with Steve Madden and Chris Pearse getting things going by finishing just a few thousandths of a second apart on 1:10.1838 and 1:10.1895. Graham Allen went fourth M2 on a 1:10.49, Paul Tilse in the Cayman GT4 second M3 on a 1:10.54, and Andrew Dovey from Lotus Club Victoria on a 1:10.95.
Craig Sheppard managed to borrow his Exige Cup 240 back from son Liam to set a 1:11.16, just sneaking ahead of Melanie Valdes who is continuing her march up the timesheets – 1:11.88 on the weekend for fourth P2. Unfortunately, Mel lost her PB to an overenthusiastic entry onto the track, resulting in a speeding pit lane penalty which saw her session times deleted! She also shared how incredibly grateful she was that Tim Mackie shared his last few litres of petrol, allowing her to run the last session of the day.
Terry Waugh piloted the magic Renault Sport Spider to a 1:12.10 to finish seventh in the large and varied R1 category. Next up was our fearless president Ashton Roskill, who looked like he was having a lot of fun hassling cars several decades younger and many decibels quieter than his Elite. He ran a 1:14.19 to go quickest in AB1.
Image thanks to Brett Stevens
A few tenths slower, Anthony Schinkel had a good run in his BMW M135i on a 1:14.54, as did Derrick Cho who made good use of his 2002 Honda Civic’s nimble handling to set a 1:15.64 securing third in M1.
We were very pleased to welcome Tina Cho for her first run with the club, being new to track events it was only her second time on the circuit after a recent track school day. She drove her 2016 Subaru WRX to a 1:20.85 after continually improving throughout the day.
Image thanks to Brett Stevens
James Kinghorn in his 2002 Nissan Pulsar and John Rutherford in the ‘92 Civic completed our excellent Club Lotus Australia representation at the sprint, on a 1:24.59 and 1:29.64 respectively.
The Lotus CSCA rounds are 100% run by CLA volunteers, and we would like to extend a huge ‘THANK YOU!’ to everyone who contributed to a successful and enjoyable season opener. Volunteers including Mike Basquil, Tom Devitt, David Mackie, Keith Edwards, John Culvenor, Brett Stevens, Leigh Fuller and Dru Lydon, took time out of their weekend to contribute as officials, grid/flag marshals and other roles around the circuit. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. We simply would not have a club-hosted grassroots motorsport events without you!
Thank you to Wakefield Park Raceway for hosting, together with their helpful staff who ensured safety measures were met, and of course to all of the drivers who supported the event and friends who came out to enjoy the community and support their mates.
The MG Car Club Sydney is set to host round two of the series at Pheasant Wood Circuit in just over a week on Sunday the 18th of April. Entry is open now, so check out the details, and go give Pheasant Wood a run and support the series.
The following images are thanks to Brett Stevens
The following images are thanks to Seth Reinhardt