ICC Round 4 – BMW Club Regularity Run Lakeside International Raceway
Words by Shane Murphy. Photos by Vyvyan Black and Shane Murphy.
The 2017 Interclub Challenge has certainly been a challenge with events having to be re-scheduled for all manner of reasons.
As per previous years, the BMW Club was the event host with Beyond Blue the worthy focus of the day and the recipient of all funds raised. The 2017 Lotus Club Queensland team consisted of Vyvyan Black in his 1968 Elan Plus 2 (and your author) in the Green Machine – maybe Vyvyan’s Elan could be the Blue Machine!
Having no favourites, equal photo coverage is given to both team members, it’s beyond the authors control not to feature once again “the Green Machine”.*
For the uninitiated, a regularity run is a very technical exercise, a mental challenge not suited to all; in fact it was so challenging I only partly entered the event, challenging the event organiser to grant me a late entry.
The field was divided into teams of up to five cars, largely around club lines. Given that Vyvyan and I were the only Lotus Club entries, compounded by my late paperwork, we were buddied up into the randoms, my team was The Late Comers and Vyvyan’s The Triumph Troupadors. Four running groups were bundled up to spread the number of cars on the track at any given time.
The event format is simple: nominate a lap time, then stick to that time all day long. Points are lost for lapping faster than the nominated time (1 point for every 0.1 seconds faster) and for lapping slower (2 points per .1 seconds under).
Each group was given a morning practice session from which each driver had to nominate their lap time for the four regularity runs, that sounds fine in theory, but of course in the morning it absolutely bucketed down with plenty of standing water and in places sheet water racing laterally across the track, very interesting!
Vyvyan, a regularity novice and driving Lakeside for the first time, entered the Happy Laps held just prior to the main event, a strategic move to get a feel for the track and the local climatic conditions.
Lapping in the rain at Lakeside was very exciting with plenty of offs, including a big off into the muddy kitty litter by me, embarrassingly on the cool down lap!
The practice was run, times nominated, the weather conditions were poor and of course the nominated time would be problematic if the rain stopped and the track dried, which of course it did.
Clearly a number of the teams were very good at regularity runs and by the time we had run in three sessions, leaders were emerging, tragically the The Late Comers and The Triumph Troupadors were not at the pointy end of the points tally. Vyvyan was dealt a major blow during his second run when his throttle cable came loose and he had to coast to the pits with no power.
We soldier on and as the afternoon progressed the weather cleared, the sun shone and the track dried out.
Clearly not challenged by the regularity concept many of the drivers took advantage of the clearing conditions and went for it, including yours truly and a certain Plus 2 driver. My fellow team members raised the odd eyebrow and I started lapping twenty seconds or so below my nominated time, of course my justification was that we were out of contention so why not.
Over $21,000 was raised for Beyond Blue, so a great day and a brilliant outcome.
A special thanks to Denis Weisz BMW Club Co-Motorsport Director and his team, a lot of background work goes into event organisation, looking forward to next year.
*Editor’s Note: Actual image count is Green Machine 6, Blue Machine 2. So we evened things up by making the banner photo a Blue Machine feature!