By Shane Murphy. Photos by Dick Reynolds and Shane Murphy.
With a small gap open in our Lotus events calendar Dick and I, well mainly Dick with me tagging along for company, decided to fly the LCQ flag and give the Khanacross a crack.
For the uninitiated, the HSCCQ run both a motorkhana and khanacross type events, the fundamental difference between a motorkhana and a khanacross is as follows:
Motorkhanas are motor sport events designed to test the acceleration, braking and handling of cars and the skill and judgment of drivers. Most importantly, a motorkhana provides fun and enjoyment whilst practising and learning car control. Oversteer and understeer will be found in abundance, but at safe speeds under controlled conditions.
The word motorkhana seems unique to Australia and New Zealand, but similar events are known as Autotest in the U.K., Autocross or Solo in the U.S., and may be known as autokhana or gymkhana elsewhere.
A day’s event consists of a number of tests, generally selected from pre-determined layouts. The surface may be sealed (bitumen), or unsealed (grass or dirt). Cars compete one at a time, always starting and finishing in designated ‘garages’. Markers are witch’s hats or stakes with coloured flags atop, and time penalties are incurred if the markers are hit, or if an incorrect method is used.
Six to twelve tests make up the day’s competition, with winners being those drivers with the lowest total times, including any penalties. Different sizes and types of cars are separated into classes, meaning that more than one driver can take home a trophy. Khanacross fits in between mtorkhanas and rallysprints, introducing higher speeds, whilst not requiring high levels of vehicle modification.
Now that the facts are cleared up, let’s review the day!
As usual the event was run by Keith and Mary with military precision, the promise of 4 runs on each test. The afternoon runs are to be run in the reverse direction to the mornings runs, just to ensure no complacency sets in.
With only two Lotus Club Queensland members participating, the pressure was on to put on a good show, the scrutineer, Mary, noticed Dick’s slicks and quickly elevated him to the Specials Class, or was that the class for ‘specials’?
After the first run, The Green Machine had shown a clean pair of heels with a time of a little over a second faster than Dick’s, slicks and all. However, that was the last of it, as Dick commenced to ‘Gloat over the Field’ and set some pretty rapids times (on both courses) duking it out with the Dattos and the other top runners.
All in all, we had a blast, the final tally, Dick was third outright (behind the Dattos and first in Class F; I was seventh outright (oh the irony) and second in Class B.
A quick cold one for the road to finish out the day, looking forward to the DTC next month.