2015 Sunny Fun Day at Calder

Sunday 15 February 2015

An editorial observation

It was the day after Valentine’s Day and dutiful lads (and a couple of fast ladies) had earned enough brownie points to come to the Club’s fourth Family Fun Day Sprint, and the third in succession at Calder.

Three years ago the weather was boiling hot, last year it was cold enough for Handy Dave to sell out of heavyweight Club parkas, this year it warm and sunny. As noice as one could expect from this famously intemperate track.

While last year had a wide variety of vehicles including a number of historic open wheelers, this year a single Clubman stood out from an almost wholly tin top field. Numbers were down, costs were up, and we made a slight loss – but all in a good cause – serving family motorsport and having FUN!

That commodity was enjoyed by all, competitors and officials alike. One senior member, touched by the sun, rendered a rather awful end-of-day Bowiesque song of thanks to Race Control for their excellent handling of the day’s event, a sentiment expressed by many others, albeit in slightly less garish a fashion. Luckily there were no accidents and one minor DNF to upset the flow of the day. Most of the action was in the morning, fields thinned out as the warm afternoon offered other attractions apart from baking on a treeless plain.

The fun rides were very popular and mention must go to the Cruse Escort, Hotchkin Falcon and others for their fine efforts in attempting to brown the trousers of passengers young and old. Notables who usually serve the multitude had the chance to canter around: Gordon Cox took a moment from supplying on track spares to whizz about in his swift little Nissan AWD thing, Greg Miles whose Historic Racing TV and historic touring car videos are under-appreciated works of wonder, slipped around silently in his Skyline. But I bet there was a GoPro in there somewhere…

Thanks to all our Club members who stepped up to the plate to help out, it is really satisfying to see us growing an experienced team who can run these days flawlessly. The boundless nervous energy of Clerk of Course David Floyd galvanized all, so please read the proper report on the day, from the selfsame.

The proper report

Greetings all. In mid February the Club held its fourth sprint event. One’s first task is a huge thanks to the most important people on the day, the 75 (ish) paying competitors, who are our fellow motorsport community members and customers. Well done for supporting our event.
The Club’s competition events started in February 2012 when Michael Hibbert suggested we go to Broadford. That event was a winner and the next three, all in February of the subsequent years, were at Calder.

At our February 2014 event we identified several items that we could improve on including grouping the quick supercar type cars together, more personnel in the marshalling area and better co-ordination of the flag marshals. The organising committee of Danielle & Mat Jager, Matt Baragwanath, Peter Owen, Dean Bryant, Geoff Vernon and the author then went and worked on these matters. We had a couple of meetings at Bells Hotel and recruited Andrew Tickner as our flag marshal co-ordinator.

Entries started coming in during the weeks leading up to the event and we then needed to get some flag marshals happening. Peter Owen sent out a QuickNews late one night asking for and at 8:00 a.m. the next morning, Angelo Taranto emailed me and said, yep, I can help all day (good one, thanks v. much). Then throughout that day, Simon Browning said yes, so did Ian Watt, Lindsay Cripps, Eddie & Margaret Dobbs, Chris Ralph, Andy Clempson, Pete Melick, Justin Brown, Tony Claringbold, and Michael Hibbert (who also got there at 6:30am to help at the main gate – thanks v. much Michael). This sort of help made it a lot easier for Andrew Tickner and I to get the flag roster happening.

We had around 75 competitors (last year 87) and scrutineering was well handled by a good VHRR mate Phil Chapman and his fellow CAMS scrutineering panel members, David Parrot, Andy McCall and Ray Dunster. You can always count on those guys to help us, good one indeed.
We made sure driver briefing was on time, early at 8:25 a.m. for a club sprint and that it did not go on too long. At some club sprints that one attends, neither of those two characteristics happens but it is vital if you want track action to start just after 9:00 a.m.

Our first session was at 9:15 a.m. and Peter Owen and his marshalling crew of Louise Simmonds, Jennifer Pillekers and the Peterson family, Brian, Caroline, Chelsea & Daniel did a great job running that area all day.

Our event log shows we had 26 track sessions for the day so drivers got plenty of track time. The all-day passenger sessions, very unusual at club sprints, proved popular again this year.

Gordon Cox and Jervis Ward did a great job with the BBQ and many thanks too to Dave Martin (Handy Dave) who brought the trailer full of drinks and apparel. He did a great job with the apparel, selling $735 worth – thanks a lot Dave.

Final “thank you” list: Danielle Jager as Event Secretary, handling the entries and associated admin tasks so well; Mat Jager, our Clerk of Course in training, Matthew Baragwanath, long time motorsport friend of Peter Owen and me, it was great to have his experience (Deputy Clerk of Course); Andrew Tickner for co-ordinating the flag marshals and Dean Bryant for equipping
the recovery vehicle so well and doing the recoveries that were needed. Apologies to anyone I have omitted.

So that’s it. Great to be involved and as Ian Watt observed from his flag point and mentioned at the February club night, very good driving standards by the competitors, well done lads & ladies. We plan to hold our next fun day sprint in February 2016.

Signing off
David Floyd (Clerk of Course)