ICC Rounds 5 & 6 Night and Observation Runs

Night Observation Run – Round 5 ICC

By Shane Murphy.

At MG Car Club’s Rocklea rooms we did what we always do – we mulled around the start line with a nervous air, discussed tactics, consumed an array of hamburgers, instant coffee and soft drinks, and felt like the events to come meant we were about to plunge into a cold, black abyss.

Lotus Club Queensland approached Round 5 of the challenge with a clear mandate: outrun and outscore the Porsche Club. We were semi-confident of a reasonable result, given team leader Tony Galletly’s previous experience and intimate knowledge of how these mysterious events were run.

The briefing started; MGCC event marshal, Malcolm Spiden, outlined the rules. Dead set he was “Speaking in Tongues”, my navigator and I laughed… what had we gotten ourselves into? Oh well, we decided to just go for it and work it out along the way.

LCQ fielded four teams, father and daughter combo Elspeth & Tony Galletly, Ken Philp & Daryl Wilson, Jon Young & Dick Reynolds and myself with eldest son Sam. A nice line up and a chance for Tony and me to spend time with our offspring.

Some would say each time had a natural advantage or handicap; I will leave those descriptions to the readers, however in no fixed order, the phrases; too fast, too old, too blind, too bald, dark horses and outright contender were bandied about!

Off we went; Jon was clearly smokin’, Dick was a little green around the gills, Tony and Elspeth were calm and under control (and fast), Daryl and Ken were lost and Sam and I just laughed the whole night long as we diced with a Porsche Cayenne, who incidentally, we beat even though he finished two minutes ahead of us.

Overall Lotus Club Queensland increased our lead on the Porsche club by 5 points and after 5 events Lotus Club Queensland heads the scoreboard.

Lotus Club Qld 76
Porsche Club Qld 71
Alfa Romeo Owners Club Qld 55
MG Car Club Qld 53
BMW Car Club Qld 52
Holden Sporting Car Club Qld 36
Z Car Club 17
Sprite Club Qld 0
WRX Club 0
MX5 Car Club 0
MG Car Club Gold Coast 0

The course wound around the southern side of Brisbane (very foreign territory for me), the instructions were broken into seven sections, compounded by being held at night;

  • Traditional
  • Tulip
  • Mud Map
  • UBD Square
  • Map Trace
  • Intersection
  • Street Name

The primary objective was of course to decipher the instructions, run the course in the shortest distance and answer all of the questions. Much easier said than done.

There were 14 starters: 4 Lotus Club, 1 MGCC, 3 Alfa Romeo CC, 3 Porsche Club, 1 MR2 Club and 2 BMW. The event was won by a host club driver; however spectacularly Lotus Club members finished 2nd, 4th 7th, and 12th. Navigator fatigue played a major role in the outcome, with a hint of nausea wafting over the finish line.

Like all good management protocols, the review and assessment phase of a project is critical, key lessons leant:

  • Husband and wife teams would not be helpful
  • Always start with a full tank of petrol
  • Don’t enlist a navigator who is short sighted and needs glasses
  • Don’t enlist a navigator who has a nervy dispensation
  • Don’t enlist a navigator who suffers from motion sickness


Interclub Challenge Round Six – Observation Run (Burpengary East to Kilcoy)

By Liam Philp. Photos Shane Murphy.

ICC Round Six was held by The Northern Districts Sporting Car Club and the Lotus Club contingent were once again in a dominant position. With two hands on the Club outright trophy and bottles corked for a possible 1,2,3,4,5 finish in the Individual outright championship, competitors looked set for a day of intense map scrutinising and Broiler spotting.

For those unfamiliar with the format of an observation run, teams are given a non-specific road book, a map and a set of questions which must be answered. Points are gained for correct answers, but are also gained and lost depending on the distance traveled between each checkpoint. The run was not timed, so teams were able to go at any pace they wished. No navigation aids were permitted bar the map supplied, very old school navigation with no Google Maps and Street Directories at the contestant’s disposal.

The day began with run in the cold up to the starting rendezvous at Burpengary for a much needed coffee to go along with route and road book analysis. Some teams spent up to an hour debating road choices and highlighting maps, whilst others tried to guess what the clues could possibly mean. After a quick briefing, we scurried off towards the first checkpoint. Martin and myself led the Lotus contingent out of the blocks in his Elise, followed by Phil and Gail in their Lotus 911 GT3 with Shane and Jennifer in the Seven behind.

In the fiercely competitive pre-86 road registered class; all three aspirants (Shane in the Green Machine, Peter Stringfellow in his Stanza (the Sprite off the road with engine troubles) and Kent Krieseker in his 911 Porsche all fronted hunting for those championship points.

The route, which featured some of the regions finest views, was more than tempting to go for a punt on. But the crews had to restrain themselves to make sure they did not miss any clues to the questions which, unfortunately, we did. We were taken from Burpengary, through the Beerburrum and Glass House Mountains to Kilcoy, where the tour finished in the beer garden of the Kilcoy Exchange Hotel, with a refreshing ale and lively chatter about our various shortcomings as navigators.

Curiously even though we all navigated the same route, very few of us crossed paths all day

The event was a huge success for the club. Phil and Gail Hart placed second, the highest placing lotus club members, Martin O’Brien and I made a four-way tie for third and Shane and Jennifer Murphy placed ninth. In the Individual Outright Championship, Phil Hart Leads Martin O’Brien by only four points, with myself in third, Shane Murphy in fourth and Dick Reynolds in fifth. Our combined efforts have increased our lead to eight points in the Club Championship, further solidifying our position with three rounds to go. The next round should be hotly contested.