Baskerville Blast

Historic Baskerville 21-23 September

Report by Chris Ralph. Pics by Angryman Photography

What a great little circuit Baskerville is. The new surface is smooth and grippy, the amenities have been improved and the surrounding amphitheatre lets you see virtually every part of the track in action. It has ups and downs, a blind crest, banked uphill corners, reverse camber down hill corners, straights, switchbacks and much more: a ‘mini Bathurst’, as once described.

What’s more, the contained feeling in the pits helps every competitor get that old-time feeling of fun and camaraderie – just what you might expect from the longest running dedicated race circuit in Australia. Which makes it a very fitting place for a historic meeting…

The photos from Angryman Photography tell the story; I was lucky enough to spectate Sunday morning when the track was greasy and saw some great driving. In the much better supported GrpNb Under 3-Litre and Under 2-Litre Nc class (19 cars) young local Lachie Thomas who runs the Group N Australia Face Book page was outstanding in his ‘second’ Escort 1300, pressed into duty when the hot one had a problem – catch the in-car for the full experience.

Henry Draper didn’t have the proper head on his car, saying he didn’t really care about not being up the front but was up the front anyway; the Holloways had and excellent time with James very quick in the white Mini, Bill Trengrove enjoyed giving the EH a run, while SA Cortina men Stuart Barnes and Pres Paul Atkins continued their never ending battle. of the crow-eating Mini pilots Justin Elvin and Ian Pringle, the former was the faster, setting new track records and winning the Mini-only race.

But nothing works like track knowledge and up the front were members Spike Jones in the BMW and Phil Shepherd in the familiar silver EH who ran first and second throughout, except for the last when Justin Elvin took second step on the podium. 74-year old Spike won every event and was awarded Driver of the Meeting – a fitting end to a long racing career, shared as always with his knowledgable wife and manager Aileen – well done and congratulations to both!

A scant nine cars fronted the bigger capacity class, with hard-charging Darren Pearce in the Camaro expected to take honours, which he did, although in the greasy race that I saw Scott Cordwell in his Torana led for several laps before the track dried out slightly and normal order was restored.

Two of the field were the gargantuan WA Galaxies of Mike Moylan and Don Behets, crowd favourites as they raced closely together, with Behets edging his way in front. The good news is that these two are now coming to Historic Sandown to spice things up ever further…

Historic Baskerville is a top experience all round for drivers and spectators alike – it’s a bucket list job that’s easy to tick off!