By Phil Hart.
The Inter Club Challenge on May 5 was a motorkhana held at Willowbank Raceway. A motorkhana is a timed event that involves navigating a set course of traffic cones in a particular order and direction all whilst staying in first gear. I studied the courses diligently on paper. I went to University. How hard can it be?
Well, I suppose you had to be there. Eight dizzying courses were set by the Holden Sporting Car Club. Two runs on each course were to be attempted with the best of the two runs to count towards the overall score. In the Lotus Club’s attempt to outscore Ferdinand Porsche’s mob this year, we had assembled a fine team (on paper). Dick Reynolds and Shane Murphy in their 7’s, Sam Murphy in his S2 Exige, Tony Galletly in his nimble MX5 as well as me in my Elise. I have to say that none of us would have excelled at university as we ALL made one “wrong direction” in at least one of the courses. Luckily, none of us made two errors back to back which would have ruined our day overall.
Now, I have done a motorkhana in the Elise on a previous occasion and found it to have a terrible turning circle as well as being a car that had horrible understeer….not the best vehicle choice for a motorkhana. My recipe for success this time was to remove the drop link from one side of the front sway bar. Brilliant idea!! Removing the front sway bar SHOULD (in theory) reduce understeer. The only problem with my brilliant idea is that it didn’t work. I must reluctantly admit that my brilliant ideas often end this way. I felt better however watching Sam understeer all day as well, in his S2 Exige.
At the end of the day, Dick and Shane shone in their brilliant little 7’s. Sam and I wallowed in understeer in our Exige/Elises. Now Tony in his MX5 is usually a front runner with a combination of a nimble car and a wealth of crafty experience in these events. I did not get to see his runs as he was separated from the rest of the Lotus lads and placed in the “fast” group. Looking at the end results however, he would have been at the pointy end of the field had he not had a bad run at just one of the eight courses.
Doesn’t matter really….the British beat the Germans in the end. Next time, if you want to join in the fun, come along, take a motion sickness pill, and get dizzy as well.