BRYANT PARK HILLCLIMB, 8th November

CLUB MOTORSPORT RETURNS

The easing of Covid-19 restrictions across the State has heralded the return of club level motorsport to Bryant Park in the Haunted Hills near Yallourn. A closed Gippsland Car Club hillclimb event was held under new Covid-guidelines last Sunday. No spectators, no canteen, no scrutineering, social distancing and masks were the order of the day, but forty-two entrants, including three Sporting Register members fronted up to tackle the 1600m Clockwise Figure Eight configuration of this picturesque, undulating circuit.

Jim McNiven contested the Over 2-litre Improved Production class in his BMW E36 M3. He finished 5th out of twelve cars in the class with a best time of 66.05. Jim’s times were very consistent – his seven runs varied by little more than 1 second.

Finishing 3rd in the Under 2-Litre Sports Car class was Ian Maud driving his Fiat X1/9. A lot of development work has gone into this car recently, but it’s fair to say that Ian is still looking for improvements. His best time of 69.00 came on his 7th and final run after a spin and some clumsy pedal-work on a couple of earlier runs.

It was good to see Eric Irvine returning to the track this year in his Porsche Boxster. Unfortunately, Eric only completed a couple of runs before discovering he’d worn his rear tyres down to the steel belts. Eric kept his wife Kathy company whilst spectating for the rest of the day, but his best time of 69.95 was good enough to place him second in the Over 2-litre Sports Car Class.

Ex-Sporting Register Member, Mark Revitt-Mills, who many of you will know, managed to crash his Saloon Car Commodore into an earth bank, damaging the steering and some bodywork, but thankfully sustained no injuries to himself. I am sure the car will be back for the next event.

This year’s Victorian Hillclimb Championship was cancelled after just two rounds.  Next year’s series is due to begin at Rob Roy in January and there are plenty of competitors, including yours truly, looking forward to getting back on the track.

Steve Schmidt

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