VICTORIAN HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP Rd.8 BRYANT PARK, Haunted Hills. 18th August

Even though this was the penultimate round of the Championship with the outcome of some classes already determined, a good field of about 80 competitors assembled at Bryant Park to contest the 1400 metre Figure Eight configuration of this fantastic track. Unfortunately the gale-force westerly winds which had been battering the State for about a week stepped up a notch and made being outside very uncomfortable.

From the Start line the track drops downhill though a series of quick turns and a sweeping right-hander onto the ‘Cross Over’. In this configuration of the track you turn left after the Cross Over onto the lower loop section which rises, falls and rises again dramatically through a series of tight bends, some of which are approached blind. Eventually you make your way back to the ‘Cross Over’ which this time leads into a dog-leg onto the uphill back straight which is the fastest section of the track. The final section, which follows on after the straight, is made up of a long fast right, left and right turn again before climbing to the Finish line which is actually lower in elevation than the Start line. It’s a great track to drive, but because of its complexity, a real challenge to put that perfect lap together.

Jim McNiven and his son Peter shared Jim’s Honda S2000 in the Sports Cars 0-2000cc class with David Anderson (MGB) and Jane Vollebregt in her recently repaired MGBGT, which was damaged at Rob Roy last month after snapping a rear leaf spring. Peter won the class with a very fast third run of 61.22 seconds, this was about 2 seconds faster than his father could manage and fast enough to place him at 8th outright. David placed third in the class another 3 seconds behind Jim, with Jane a little bit further back in fourth place.

Steve Schmidt only had one other competitor in the Historic Touring Car Class 0-2000cc, but after a good tussle on a sometimes rain- dampened track, his Cooper S prevailed over the Cortina GT of Darryl Combridge .

The final round of the Championship will be held at the DECA driver training complex at Shepparton on September 22nd. That’s always a great track to drive and a fantastic way to finish off the season.

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