It was a tough call not to cancel our annual Funkhana /Xmas Breakup at Neerim South, but with support from our hosts, Mike and Di Whitford whose property had received a drenching over the previous couple of days, we decided to go ahead despite the chance of showers, and most agreed that this was the right call.
With the front paddock groomed to almost golf-course standard, a Motorhome with annex and a pair of gazebos to keep the participants dry, we had a superb venue on which to conduct the funkhana. A fast, open course was setup using ten numbered gateways. Two runs were conducted on each of three test layouts with the course changing only slightly between tests to avoid damaging the surface too much. The first course was a simple run through the gates in sequential order 1 to 10. On the first run through, Locky Fowler (in his aunt’s old hand-me-down Toyota Corona wagon) set the fastest time with some tidy driving and well executed tail-slides. Paul Mogensen in his MX5 did better on his second run through, eclipsing Locky’s earlier time by 5 seconds to claim the fastest time.
The second test was a reverse of the first one, meaning that the gates had to be taken sequentially from number 10 through to number 1. Once again, the battle was between Locky and Paul for fastest time with Hayden Fowler also looking threatening after coming to grips with the understeering, all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi VR4. There was only about 4 seconds between these three drivers at the top of the leader board until Mike brought out the Quad Bike for an unofficial run to show how it should be done, and knocked another 4 seconds off. David Anderson also tried the Pontiac Firebird on this test, but had trouble keeping it pointed in the right direction and clobbered a couple of flags in the process.
The third test was a combination of the previous two. Drivers had to negotiate the gates numbered 1 to 10, do a u-turn and run back through the gates from number 10 to number 1 before garaging at the finish. To make it even more interesting a short shower of rain made sure the surface was very slippery. Paul, Locky and Hayden were the top three drivers once again, but a fraction of a second was enough to give Paul fastest time on this final test and overall victory over Locky by 9 seconds.
|DRIVER||VEHICLE||TEST 1a||TEST 1b||TEST 2a||TEST 2b||TEST 3a||TEST 3b||TOTAL|
|Locky Fowler||Corona Wagon||53.1||63.0||47.9||48.5||96.7||107.7||197.7|
|Hayden Fowler||Galant VR4||61.7||54.1||48.5||45.7||100.5 +10||100.9||200.7|
|Mike Whitford||BMW E30||65.1 +5||60.7||55.7||52.3||107.2||DNS||220.2|
|Frank Columbine||BMW 320ci||62.1||57.6||54.3||49.7||WD||122.8||230.1|
|Merv Swingler||Ford Falcon XF||59.5||67.6 +5||54.9||46.3||WD||126.9||232.7|
|Ron Brooks||BMW 335i||82.3||61.2||58.4||54.7||122.9||DNS||238.8|
|David Anderson||BMW E20||116.1||76.3||153.6 +5||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|David Anderson||Firebird||DNS||DNS||53.3 +10||DNS||144.9||DNS|
|Mike Whitford||Farm quad bike||DNS||DNS||DNS||39.9||DNS||DNS|
- A penalty of +5 seconds is given for every flag that is dislodged
- DNS – Did Not Start or contest the event
- WD – Wrong Direction
About 25 to 30 members and friends joined us for a BBQ after the event. Ian Holdsworth organised and delivered Warragul Rotary Club’s trailer BBQ which always does a fantastic job on occasions such as this. The BBQ was setup in the garden under a gazebo next to the house, and most guests were happy to sit on the wide verandah out of the weather where Di had provided a table of dips, salads and sweets.
Many thanks to Mike and Di for their hospitality and for once again letting us chew up their front paddock. Thanks also to Ian Holdsworth for organising the BBQ, and to Phil Barnard for his excellent photographic coverage of the event.