Two Sporting Register events in two days is usually something the Committee tries to avoid, but hoping that a mid-week lunch run and an evening dinner run would attract different clientele, we went ahead and are happy to report that both events were highly successful, with several members even participating in both events.
The Mid-week Run to Tooradin has been written up elsewhere, but it should be noted that 41 members took part this month and that’s a new record for one of John and Jan’s regular events. With daylight saving making evening runs during the summer months more feasible, it was pleasing to see 30 members roll up in their sporting and classic cars for a spirited drive on some of our lesser-traversed roads, made that little bit trickier as shadows lengthened with the setting sun. Ray Youlden and Kevin Riley devised a circuitously indirect route from the Darnum General Store to the Yarragon Hotel which took participants out through Shady Creek and towards Willow Grove on some beautiful roads that many members hadn’t driven before. The route then descended back to Trafalgar where we crossed the highway and set off into the hills around Thorpdale and Childers before returning to the highway along Sunny Creek Rd and then heading back into Yarragon.
The 6pm start time was a bit tight for some, but Ray left a pile of route instructions on the picnic table at Darnum for any late-comers. Viv Wilson was waiting at the station for Clint to arrive on the 6 o’clock train, when it arrived they headed directly to Darnum in their Morris 1100, and caught up with the string of cars enroute. Those assembling at Darnum for the start heard the blast of horn on the highway as Graeme Hollingsworth gave us a wave on his way home in the Snap-on Tool truck. He and Debra caught us up later around Trafalgar in their Mercedes SL. The rest of the group set off from Darnum after a briefing by Ray and followed the printed route instructions. Kevin sprinted to the lead, but had his style cramped by a lumbering Landcruiser along Wilkes Rd that allowed others to catch up. The first photo-point was at the junction of Wilkes Rd and Balfours Rd near Willow Grove where most drivers executed a downhill, hard right turn. Karl Lintzen for some reason kept left on Wilkes Rd, but quickly turned the Porsche 944 around and headed back at a high rate of knots to regain his place in the convoy. Balfours Rd is a lovely little road that twists and turns its way along the undulating verge of the Latobe River flood plain. The road appears to be in good condition, but a couple of hidden whoop-de-dos had your correspondent testing out the race harness shoulder straps in the Cooper S, which has suspension tuned for circuit events and lacks a little compliance. I’m sure the Porsche and Mercedes punters never noticed a thing!
Childers-Thorpdale Rd and Sunny Creek Rd are regular Sporting Register favourites and offer tremendous elevated views over the picturesque countryside. They too, however, have their share of hazards with loose gravel often being washed onto the road after rains, making some of the corners rather treacherous. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves at the second photo point on a downhill, left hand hairpin bend in Sunny Creek Rd. It was great to see sporting cars being driven enthusiastically – not necessarily fast, but confidently with drivers appreciating the performance traits these cars offer.
Arriving in Yarragon at the tail of our convoy saw the town’s street parking full of sporting and classic cars with several locals admiring the collection. The hotel was a vibrant, bustling place with most of our group seated at a large reserved table in the Bistro. Talk was of the drive, the roads and the cars. It had been a perfect evening for a drive and we thank Ray and Kevin for making it happen.