END OF YEAR FUNKHANA & BBQ, Whitford’s at Neerim Sth – Sunday 6th December

It was with some relief that the 31 degrees Bureau forecast was reduced to a more comfortable 24 degrees by a cool, but somewhat blustery east wind, that also helped clear any dust created by the more enthusiastic participants of our annual breakup funkhana.
Mike and Di Whitford graciously hosted this year’s event on their picturesque dairy property just north of Neerim Sth. It was great to see so many members at this penultimate event of the year and the display of cars lined up in front of their house looked spectacular. Mike and Di had invited Fiat Car Club members Peter and Lyn Bartold to join us for this event and it was a pleasure to have them joining in and driving their Fiat 500 Abarth with enthusiasm. Mike had been looking after the front paddock for months in the lead-up to this funkhana, and after a final mow it presented very nicely as our ‘khana venue with a good covering of short green grass and not too many rough patches. The view from the house towards the east over this front paddock and the undulating green pastures disappearing into the distance was very impressive.  Most competitors, however, were more concerned with this one particular patch of ground. They found the surface quite slippery at first, but there was traction to be found once the tyres bit their way down into the dirt.
Four tests were conducted with a different starting order on each test so as not to disadvantage the same people on each run. The first test was the ‘Circular six flag pick-up and return’ which has become a regular at this event over the years. The driver and passenger collect 6 flags from around the course and then after circling a central flag place them all back again. It requires a reasonable amount of speed, accuracy and co-ordination between the driver and passenger. The best time on this event was achieved by Sandy Goddard driving her MGB with Dave Anderson looking after the flags.
The second event consisted of three sets of three gates and a passage section that drivers had to drive through in any sequence, but without using reverse gear. Most people took longer to work out the most efficient and quickest route, than they did to complete the test, but several competitors still lost their way and recorded WDs (Wrong Direction). Ian Maud won this one in the Toyota MR2, making best use of its oversteering mid-engine setup.
The third event was more of a traditional motorkhana style test, with drivers circling in ever-decreasingly sized loops away from the start and then increasing them again towards the finish. Once again there were several WDs, no doubt caused by giddiness or over-enthusiasm. Hayden Fowler had his new bride Alison calling directions from the passenger seat (or acting as ballast as Hayden suggested) and made it to the top of the list on this event.
The final test was a V-shaped version of the flag pick up event and it was won by Dave Anderson in the V8 MGB with Wayne Eccles handling the flags whilst holding on tightly amid the dust clouds created by Dave’s heavy use of the right foot.
When all the results were tallied there was very little between the top four competitors, but with consistent runs on each of the four events, the overall winner was Allan Richards driving his MG Midget with son David acting as flag bearer and ballast.
The funkhana was followed by a BBQ in the Whitford’s front garden which was very well attended and enjoyed by all. The massive mobile BBQ made cooking easy and for that we thank Ian Holdsworth, Glenn Campbell and the Warragul Rotary Club.

Thanks also to Phil Barnard who must have taken hundreds of photos during the afternoon. A selection can be seen in the galleries below.


Place     Driver                 Vehicle       Test 1    Test 2    Test 3   Test 4   TOTAL
1 Allan Richards               Midget       108         73            74          126      381
2 Hayden Fowler             Sprite          101         86            73          125      385
3 Ian Maud                       MR2            115          71             75         127       388
4 Mike Whitford             Mercedes     112         77            79          124       392
5 Lyn Bartold                   Fiat 500       113         90            93         138       434
6 Alex Weymouth           Alpine          129         100          82         135       446
7 Peter Bartold               Fiat 500        153          79           79         156        467
8 Ed Denovan                 Alfa GTV      103        87     WD146       134        470
9 David Anderson          MGB V8       112         119          140        106        477
10 Sandy Goddard         MGB              99        104    WD146       129        478
11 David Richards          Mini             122     WD130        76         159        487
12 Max Engellenner     Corolla          116          85     WD146        141       488
13 John Weymouth      Alpine           112     WD130        84         167        493
14 Eric Irvine            Fiat Spider        116    WD130       122         130       498
15 Graeme Hollingsworth  Merc       120       120           136         134       510

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