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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