Best Baskerville ever

Report by Bruce Thomas. Pics courtesy Angrymanphotography.com.au

Baskerville Raceway, just 20 minutes from Hobart, is the longest continuously running motor racing circuit in Australia. The October Historic meeting is now Tasmania’s biggest circuit racing event outside the V8 Supercars at Symmons Plains and key to supporting the Baskerville Foundation, which is raising funds to re-surface the track and improve amenities to ensure Baskerville’s long term future.

The 2015 meeting was by far the most successful to date. With more than 200 entries across 11 categories and 46 races, a record crowd saw some highly entertaining historic racing. Entrants and spectators came from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

The journey across Bass Strait was made easy by the Spirit of Tasmania, a main event sponsor. Several competitors drove their race cars on to the Spirit on club permits – the noise inside the hull must have been impressive!

Glenn Seton in the Peter Sportelli-owned ex-Bryan Thompson Camaro did battle with local Camaro driver Darren Pearce. The two Camaros were a stirring sight with Pearce, showing tremendous car control and intimate track knowledge, emerging victorious. Evergreen Rusty French brought his Touring Car Masters Porsche to race in the Muscle Car Cup category against a strong field of local race cars. Kim Barwick in his Nascar-engined VK Commodore was the class of the field but the Toranas of Andrew Webster, Jarrod House and Adam Williams stole the show with a three-abreast dice in the final race that took everyone’s breath away.

Also on hand were some exotic cars supported by the Dutton Garage including Kieran Patel’s 1983 Le Mans class-winning Porsche 930, the one-of-a-kind FVA-powered De Tomaso F2 run in period by Frank Williams and the ex-Roger Penske Lola T192. Recently retired racer Greg Crick was re-united with his very first race car, a 48/215 Holden, and showed all his skill by lapping competitively and consistently in Regularity Sedans.

A 25-car Group N Under 3 Litre field provided some entertaining racing. Local driver Lachlan Thomas took overall honours, his maiden win, in his fast 1300 Escort. Fiercely fought tussles included local Lance ‘Spike’ Jones’ BMW and super-hard driving Sydneysider Jerry Lenstra’s BDA Escort with the pair coming together several times.

Hobart driver Rodney Creed in his PRB Clubman took out honours in Group S. Noel Clark achieved a clean sweep of the open wheel events in his Elfin 700 while Phillip Harris’ Brabham BT23 and Paul Hamilton’s Elfin 600 classic F2s provided a stirring site circulating in close company. Open wheel and invited sports cars were the Sunday grid walk feature which was very popular with the crowd.

The meeting is run as a 2+4 format and a record entry of 42 motor bikes provided some close and entertaining racing. A Rallycross demonstration was held on Saturday night as a pre-cursor to an expanded competition in 2016. A strong crowd remained for the twilight demonstration led in spectacular fashion by former Australian Rally Champion Simon Evans.

Planning has started for the 2016 event. Information on Baskerville Historics is available via the Facebook page “Baskerville Historics” or via the Hobart Sporting Car Club web site http://www.hobartsportingcarclub.org/

Come on down, Victorian drivers – we’ll make it worth your while! Remember, the earlier you book the Spirit of Tasmania, the better. So many things to see in Hobart these days – it’ll make a great holiday.