By Shane Murphy, Photos by Shane Murphy, Vyvyan Black and Dick Reynolds.
In late 2016 CAMS announced the Club Challenge Australia, with an event to be held in each state. For many a reason, not enough entries were received so the Queensland event was cancelled.
Fast forward to 2017 and the event was back on as a one day team Hillclimb, with entries open to all CAMS affiliated Sporting Car Clubs. Of course, LCQ is a sporty kind of group so Dick Reynolds put his hand up to be team captain, rounded up the troops and put a team of five together, appropriately tagged as Lotus 1.
• Dick Reynolds – 1988 Caterham Seven – Clubman Sports Cars up to 2000cc
• Vyyvan Black – 1968 Lotus Elan Plus 2 – Group S
• Jon Young – 1988 Caterham Seven – Clubman Sports Cars up to 2,000cc
• Zaid Latif – 2005 Lotus Exige S2 – Production Sports Cars, 1601 to 2000cc
• Shane Murphy – 1968 Lotus Seven – Clubman Sports Cars up to 2,000cc
Our team line up, if not a mixture of the Good, Bad and Ugly, then fast and less fast, but a formidable team no less. The scoring for the event was measuring the delta between the class record and the elapsed times of the day, with substantial prize money available for first second and third places.
We knew we were in trouble when Dick, Jon and I, competing in the Clubman Sports Cars up to 2000cc were in effect competing against the class record set by Brian Pettit (who is a gun) at 44.18, statistically it would be very hard to get close to that time, thus our delta would be very high. Zaid too was up against it and even with a very hot lap of 48.68 ended up at a delta of 106% against the record of 46.91.
Vyvyan on his first crack at “The Cotton” set a personal best of 58.41, but was pegged against an existing class record of 48.54, don’t forget to ask Vyvyan about his tow point!
As the day progressed we tumbled down the leaderboard, however as usual with Lotus guys and girls we continued to have a ball, Zaid and Dick trading best times all day; at times Dick looked to have lost the will to live, disappearing for consolation time; Shane and Vyvyan set personal bests and Jon was smoking all day, setting some fast times as well.
As we approached the last few runs, Dick, ever anxious to best Zaid, resorted to fiddling with his tyre pressures looking for that one thousandth of a second. In the round up Dick set a 48.52 and Zaid a 48.68, very close indeed.
Gayle and Jen worked the timesheets and videography all day, produced cups of tea and slice when required and were stoic in their support for their respective menfolk.
Annoyingly on Vyvyan’s last run of the day, he had a gearbox gremlin and was stranded on the short run to corner one. Luckily a trailer was available and the team rallied to get Vyvyan’s now motionless Elan over to Greg Bray’s workshop ready for Greg’s return from his UK holiday and to get things sorted out.
Congratulations to the HRCCQ Team, the Five Shades of Grey Team and the SX3Qld Team who ran First, Second and Third respectively, a well-deserved reward for a big day’s driving.
Next year, if CAMS run the event again, we should lobby to have the scoring methodology altered to measure the time deltas run on the day. Now in that format we may be closer to the pointy end, which is where we should be!