Sunday the 27th of March found us at Wakefield Park, with eighty-odd friends putting final touches on a dazzling array of motoring machinery, ready to kick off 2022’s motorsport season with round one of the CSCA super sprint series.
We were pleased to welcome Hassan Aly, Derek Mock and Garth Selig for their first CSCA event. We had previously met Derek at the recent Targa High Country, and are glad to see him enjoying CSCA super sprinting as well. Garth has been a long-time friend of the club, helping Ashton Roskill and Syd Reinhardt prepare and develop their cars, and also runs an Elise he and Hassan share. Along with the drivers joining us for the first time, it was wonderful to welcome back Rob Bryden, now piloting a VW Scirocco, after some time investigating the world of tarmac rally.
In a shocking turn of events, the day dawned dry, offering up a track in fine shape for super sprinting. Of the 79 starters, Martin Duursma went quickest and was in a class of his own, setting a 1:05.02 in the 2018 Exige 430. Richard Wodhams was not far behind, putting in a quick lap in the 2006 Elise for second overall, fastest P2, on a 1:06.42. Third was Peter Taylor in a 2016 Exige, who clocked 1:07.25, fastest P3.
With the top three stretched out across just over two seconds, the remainder of the top ten were all crammed into one. Peter held a slim margin to Gregory Baker, who was piloting something rather different for this top ten – a 1992 Nissan Pulsar GTiR emboldened by some well developed go-fast bits. Greg’s 1:07.40 put him at the top of R3.
Colin Rudd continued his consistent performances into the new year, piloting the 2018 Elise to fifth overall and fastest M2, with frequent rival Liam Sheppard just over a tenth behind in father Craig’s 2006 Exige Cup. The pair were followed by ARDC driver David Zilm, who steered a 1993 Skyline to seventh overall, second R3.
Back to CLA competitors and Len Goodwin was back behind the wheel of the 1964 Elan 26R, setting the fastest CD1 time of the day – a 1:07.94. Hassan Aly joined us for his first CSCA run, consistently improving throughout the day to finish on a 1:08.17 – comfortably inside the top ten and fastest R1.
Mark Meletopoulo fended off Rob Bryden in the VW Scirocco to secure the final spot in the top ten and go fastest R2, with Rob finishing on a 1:08.48 in eleventh and Graham Allen half a second back in lucky thirteenth.
With the Evo of Grahame Baxster and R35 Nissan GTR of Peter Beswick nabbing the next two spots, Brett Sevens, Seve Madden and Chris Pearse organised a ridiculously close finish, on 1:09.3254, 1:09.3259 and 1:09.3305 respectfully. In my time preparing our wrap-ups, I don’t think I’ve ever seen two drivers separated by just a few hundred thousandths of a second!
Brett was driving Colin Rudd’s car, after Colin very kindly offered him a drive while his car was with Simply Sports Cars. This was also Chris’ first run in his new Exige 420, having handed in the keys to the blue Exige V6.
Peter Deller broke the Lotus streak, although not the Club Lotus streak, with a strong time in the Commodore he shares with brother John (1:14.9971). Meanwhile, Derek Mock picked it up again, steering his 2015 Elise to a strong 1:10.64 in his first CSCA event.
Craig Sheppard was next up, borrowing his car back from Liam long enough to put in a good time. Meanwhile, Melanie Valdes managed to sneak away from her incredible efforts behind the scenes to have a run. She piloted the 2007 Exige S she shares with Gino Valdes to a 1:11.29.
Garth Selig piloted Syd Reinhardt’s 1961 GSM Dart, which he helped build and develop, for the day. He managed a 1:12.44 in just twelve laps, before the engine note he helped produce got the better of him, pinging the noise meter twice. It was wonderful to see the similarly noisy (and similarly prepared) ‘62 Lotus Elite of Ashton Roskill back on track, with Ashton setting a 1:13.67.
We were pleased to see Jake Hobbs, a young driver with a lot of experience, in action in his 2007 Civic, setting a 1:14.48, with Graham Hobbs just a little ways back, running a 1:19.58 in the same car. Fellow Civic pilot Derrick Cho was back in the swing of things, having first joined us last year, and piloted his 2002 car to a 1:15.62, while Tina Cho steered a 2016 WRX to a 1:16.76.
Thank you to everyone who took part! With 25 Club Lotus Australia drivers setting a time, we made up nearly a third of the already-strong entry.
Thanks as well to our incredible motorsport committee, who worked tirelessly to put together a smoothly-run and very enjoyable event. To highlight just a few, Mel and Gino Valdes steered the ship, Evan Jones acted as clerk of course, Tom Devitt was our chief steward and Mike Basquill managed scrutineering. That’s not to mention all of the competitors and club members who took time out of their day to help scrutineer, marshal and do anything else they could to ensure a fun sprint for everyone.
And finally, thanks to Wakefield Park for hosting and supporting a most enjoyable day.
We’re looking forward to a full and much more consistent season of motorsport with everyone this year. Entry to round two, at Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday the 23rd of April, kindly hosted by the Sprite Car Club of Australia, is already open. Head to the Motorsport Australia members portal to enter. We’ll look forward to seeing you there!