2016Competition Reports

John Brash Dash 2016

The Flashest Dash of All

Calder Sunday 21 February 2016

Report by David Floyd Clerk of Course – on behalf of the organising committee: Geoff Vernon, Dean Bryant, Andrew Tickner and Peter Owen.  Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould.

Greetings all… A few weeks ago the club held its fifth sprint event. This year we named the event after our beloved member John Brash who we lost so early, last year. He would have been proud to see the fun we were having.

For the record, the Club commenced running its own annual competition events in February 2012 when Michael Hibbert suggested we go to Broadford. That event was a winner and the next four, all in February of the subsequent years, have been held at Calder. It is really pleasing to that we have a core group of five to organise the event and then on the day, so many of our members come to help.

Planning for our 2016 event started in August 2015 but we ran into a bit of a problem as several key officials from our 2015 event were not available, namely the Deputy Clerk of Course, the Assistant Clerk of Course, the Event Secretary, the Chief Scrutineer and the Chief Timekeeper – not the ideal start!

However this meant opportunities for others and three of our members stepped up, Geoff Vernon as Event Secretary, Dean Bryant as Assistant Clerk of Course and Eddie Dobbs as Chief Scrutineer –  a great effort, thanks lads. The pre-event work was also greatly assisted this year by Andrew Tickner who co-ordinated all the flaggies and other officials leading up to the day.

It was very pleasing that 93 paying customers supported the day. (2014: 75, 2013: 87) from touring race cars old and new, open wheelers from Formula Vee to Formula 5000 to contemporary performance cars. All enjoyed the excellent weather and the convivial relaxed atmosphere of this ‘Fun Day’ meeting that opens the year for the HTCAV. The variety of cars was a real sight: can you recall any other club sprint where you’d see a Simca Vedette, a superb 1970s Lola, a Hyundai Excel and so many other marques represented?

With the sponsorship liaison with Just Cars ‘just announced’, stickers were on hand to apply to any car with a windscreen, in celebration.
The key to this meeting’s success is the ability to take passengers around a racetrack at full race noise and close to race speeds – or at least, fast enough to put a huge smile on the helmeted faces of those clinging on in desperation…

It’s also a great way for drivers to thank people who have helped in the previous year as well as testing out any modifications that may have been made over the holiday break.

Wives, girlfriends, kids, race crew, sponsors and general helpers eagerly lined up for their ride – in fact, so popular were the passenger sessions the HTCAV is talking of having a majority of them at next year’s event.

Our event log showed we had 25 track sessions for the day, five open wheeler sessions, seven passenger sessions and 12 driver-only sessions. We also had 136 passenger disclaimer forms all signed up by the end of the day.

We provided free BBQ lunch to competitors and officials again this year but with help from the Sunbury branch of the Lions Club who cooked all the food we brought. This helped free up our members for other official duties so it was a win–win situation.

Many thanks to all our officials: Geoff Vernon, Dean Bryant, Andrew Tickner, Gordon & Tom Cox, Dave Martin, Michael Hibbert, Simon & Robin Browning, Tony Claringbold, Jim Collins, Lindsay Cripps, Eddie & Margaret Dobbs, Peter & Emily Sneddon, Glenn Boyd, David Brown, David & Michelle Forbes, John Luxmoore, Stephen Pillekers, Rob Southouse, Mick & Mary Stupka, David Twigg, Les Walmsley, Ted Perkins, Ian & Steve Watt, and finally, our champion marshalling area team: Peter Owen, Brian, Caroline and Daniel Peterson.

Next year we are looking at possible running a twilight event, untimed, especially if the over-the-top chicane is in place, (politely) not having any open wheelers there and grouping the competitors for the morning session.  So that’s it. Great to be involved and we plan to hold our next fun day sprint in February 2017.