HSCCQ Motorkhana – Interclub Challenge 2015

Shane buckling up
Story by Dick Reynolds, Photos by Shane Murphy.

It’s not every day you find yourself with the weight of a car club on your shoulders. That’s good, because Shane Murphy and I probably wouldn’t cope.

As you may know, Shane and I were running 2nd and 3rd in the ICC Individual up to this event, with no hope of winning if Jason Arnold from the Porsche Club turned up.

Lotus looked like a mathematical certainty to win the Club award, thanks to the huge effort by all Lotiiphiles during the year.

Jason Arnold turned up!

Thank you and good night.

Oh all right, I will fill you in on some of the details…

A sunny sky with the threat of rain greeted us, with 43 cars ready to compete, a great turnout for a Motorkhana, so all good on the ICC front and the HSCCQ’s coffers!

Early pit drama included Margie and Cameron spending the best part of an hour erecting a very fine gazebo, complete with mosquito netting. Well done you two, unfortunately for LCQ we camped up right next to the garbage truck which oozed bin juice all day, which was a little nauseating.

Lotus represented by Shane Murphy (ancient Seven), Tony Galletly (MX5), Martin O’Brien (impossibly quick Elise S), Ken (even more impossibly quick Caterham) and Liam Philp (MX5), Cameron Campbell-Brown (Yellow Elise – so cheerfully quick) and yours truly in a MUG.

The drivers briefing offered up the usual precautionary rules and outlined six courses, apparently some of the easiest available, but nevertheless with sinister names, including Hallway, Corridor, Mothballs, Bowler, Top Hat and the aptly named Twist, pretty daunting for first timers but logic always prevails when you hit the gas pedal.

We get split into 2 groups and compete at 3 trials at each end of the Willowbank Drags Carpark.

Competition included everything from Scott Longton’s Queensland Hillclimb Championship 2015 winning special (Scott came second to Brant Rayment’s first in the same special) to – well a Porsche or two! (Terrible sentence that, but I’m sure you’ll work it out!)

Rule number 1, do not hit a cone “plus 5 seconds” or do not get lost “no time recorded” was the mantra.

Steve Blackie made a great pit crew member, wielding umbrellas and video cameras with aplomb, his very smart Esprit catching many of the spectator’s eyes.

We are all scooting along beautifully, well up the rankings, till two things happen. One, the weather goes to shit in a bucket, and two, our aging or hungover brains start letting us down. (No pressure Dick, but if you WD this run you will go from 5th outright to 35th at best!). Luckily for the competitors the hail storms that were lashing Brisbane missed us, but alas we did get soaked, correction, those with open cars got soaked, Liam, Tony and Martin were looking very smug.

Still, Tony in the MX5 starts blasting up the rankings, relishing the wet conditions. Liam starts to dry out and out-perform Dad; Dad gets the hang of the new setup. Martin finally realises you really can put the foot right down. Shane discovers just how quick a well driven Seven can be in the tight stuff, and I – well I finally caught my old nemesis Stewart Bell in his MX5.

If you took the time to analyse the results, you find that most of us beat someone else at some time or other. So in the end it was more about consistency than outright pace, a perfect event for the ICC really.

Of course no one was keeping count, but many cones were skittled and alas a few competitors were challenging the “judges of fact” with fancy navigation tricks which sometimes included the course as prescribed.

One of the timing keepers was taking great delight in announcing to all those within earshot if a navigation error was made, “wrong, wrong, wrong” was the cry!

Probably the most fun I have had at a Motorkhana, and I really, really hope a few more Lotus people turn up next year to make it even more fun.

Results are on the website, but suffice to say,

In the BR class, Dick was fastest followed by Tony (4th), Shane (5th), Martin (8th), Ken (9th), Cameron (12th) and Liam (14th).

In the outright ratings Dick again led the charge finishing 2nd overall, supported by Tony (6th), Shane (9th), Martin (13th), Ken (14th), Cameron (28th) and Liam (41st).

But more importantly, Lotus 19 points and Porsche 18 points, ensuring our overall ICC victory for the year.

HSCCQ cleaned up on the day with 20 points, due to the fact that they drove our arses off!

Thank you Keith; Mary; Scott and the crew from the HSCCQ (Holden Sporting Car Club Queensland) for a great event, and all the Lotus guys for turning up to what proved to be an exhilarating and successful day of motorsport.