Calder? Hotter!

Family Fun Day

February 24  2013

Report by Chris Ralph and David Floyd. Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould.

Our second Club Day, the Graham Slater Fun Day Sprint, was a great success. Many thanks to everyone who entered and became involved.

As you’ll read elsewhere, it was touch and go whether it would get off the ground after the false start with once-was-a-hero Bob Jane and the subsequent negotiations with son Rodney whose company took over the Calder Park business just before Christmas. (Please Bob, can we have our money back?)

With everything ready to go but on hold we had to wait for the new Calder management to get it together. (Let it be said that they were helpful and wanted to get it all sorted. Full marks to Calder’s Melissa Sullivan and ultimately, Rodney.) The team swung into action, headed by Daniele and Mat Jager with Svengali David Floyd hovering in the background.

Appeals were made to the MG Car Club, the VHRR and the Marque Sports Car Association as well as our own members to support the event and the trickle of entries finally reached the point where we could be confident we wouldn’t lose our shirt a second time. The gamble had paid off…

On the day, she was a stinker, mate. Calder has two modes: too cold or too hot and the switch was flipped to Mode Two. But that didn’t stop everyone having a rippin’ good time. Not so good for the officials, especially the flaggies, most of whom came from the MG Car Club – not ours, more on that later…

From our Club thanks to Floydy, Daniele, Twiggy, Simon Browning, David Handy Dave and Phil Wisewould for the photos and stumbling through the man-eating thistles to get them.

A HUGE vote of thanks to David Vernall for his role as Clerk of Course and the flaggies he brought with him for the MG Car Club and to the Maserati Club’s Greg Aimers for the timing (for the second year) and to the scrutineers. We owe these Clubs big time and have a plan to pay back.

A few drivers overdrove, strictly against the Fun Day spirit and regs, unfortunately they were all from our Club. Won’t happen again, will it chaps…

For those who weren’t there, the runs were split between single driver and plus passenger. Cars ranged from early 50s Australian specials through the recently pensioned V8 Supercars and current Touring Car Masters devices, with Clubmans, sports cars and historic touring cars all in for the fun.

Bragging rights in the single runs were shared between Gavin Bullas in the TCM Falcon XA and  Craig Miles in the ex Dick Johnson Racing AU Falcon with Andy Clempson in his ‘Mr Green’ Fastback Mustang up there as well. It’s all irrelevant, but it’s on natsoft if you want to have a look

And the winner was:

Winner, what winner? Of course there isn’t a winner but both times we’ve struck a trophy and had Carole and Scott Slater present it to the person who best embodied the spirit of the day. Last year it went to John Clarke in his Mustang, this year John Alessi in the big red Monaro was the recipient. What did he do? He did a lot of runs and gave a lot of rides and he’s a good bloke. What else would you need?

Next time:

We’ll be running numbers on windscreens to making timing easier, we’ll have our own 2-way radios AND we’ll be having many more of our own members helping out… look to the article on club rego for more on this.

Chris Ralph

1 Very Bad Point & 3 Very Good Points Regarding Our Calder Day

Greetings all. Now I bet the phrase “1 very bad point” in the headline grabbed your attention, correct? OK, here are four key points from the Graham Slater Fun Day Sprint at Calder last month.

Very bad point.

Last August I suggested to the committee that we look at having another track day and could I check out some venues? They said yes. Broadford was not available and Calder was the next one on the list. [Two key reasons for that were no 75db noise restriction and its proximity to Melbourne.]  In September & October I liaised with the venue hire manager on several occasions and we eventually agreed on a date and a track hire fee of $5,600. This was paid in late October and then six weeks later we read in the press that Bob Jane has lost the right to operate the venue. His son, Rodney Jane, takes over and any booking fees paid to Bob Jane, are not to be honoured by Rodney Jane. We then find out that several other clubs have also been caught out, one to the tune of (allegedly) $21,000 and another to the tune of (allegedly) $28,000.

At this stage no club has received any of their funds back from Bob Jane which is very disappointing. His organisation was paid money in good faith and he was unable to fulfil the obligations for which his organisation was paid. [From a personal viewpoint, this is very upsetting. I have been involved in organising events since 1992, at numerous venues including several at Calder in the 1990s. To have been duped in this manner is unforgivable.]
We are currently working with other clubs to see what we can do to get our money back.

Very good point 1.

We then thought, maybe we could still have the day ? We revised the budget and liaised with the Rodney Jane organisation to see what could be done. A lot of time was spent in January with the hiring agreement being the main hurdle. But we made it happen and finally, three weeks before the event, we released the supp regs and entry forms.

Very good point 2.

For the Club’s second event, we wanted to get some succession planning happening with the organising committee. We made a good start last year with several people being on the organising committee. One of the main people involved, a 55 year old Caucasian male from Blackburn South, was keen to hand over the Event Secretary role to someone else. Danielle Jager put her hand up and did a fantastic job. Well done and many thanks Danielle.

Very good point 3.

We only had three weeks to receive entries. Emails, websites, phone calls, faxes and smoke signals were used to rev matters up. [I assume Twitter & FaceBook, whatever they are.]

The response from the entrants was fantastic. What a great effort by those to support our event at such short notice. They really made it happen, 63 of them. Many thanks.

We also knew some key people at other car clubs who helped, Greg Aimers from the Maserati Club did the timing for us, David Vernall from the MG Club was our clerk of course, several MG members came and flagged etc.

Finally, it was very pleasing to see Carole & Scott Slater attend, in their superb HG Monaro. Thanks for making the trip in that heat Carole & Scott.

So that’s it. We shall look to run another track day in 2014, at a venue yet to be discussed!

Signing off
David Floyd