Maffra motorkhana hopeful of inspiring fellow clubs

Friday 20 March, 2020
There is always something special about events that take place under lights, especially when it’s in the twilight hours of the day.
And that is exactly what makes the Maffra and District Car Club’s summer motorkhanas so special.
This weekend, the club has chosen to run their eight test motorkhana at their Boisdale Hill Climb car park, where they expect around 25-30 of their regular competitors to attend.
While the event will start during the day, it will finish under the setting sun and orange sky with the final few tests to be lit up by the location’s lights – a unique factor to this impressive motorkhana.
With a number of larger motorsport events in Australia unable to proceed in the short term, the motorkhana organiser’s Gary Cook was pleased they could still get the support to go ahead.
“We’re very excited to run this event as it’s been a lot harder than normal to get it off the ground due to all the restrictions currently in place,” Cook said.
“We had discussions on whether we should proceed or not, but most of our people indicated they wanted us to press ahead, so we eventually decided to continue with events while we still can.
“We’ve had really positive feedback since making the decision, because we’re trying to give people an outlet in these difficult times and if we can get anything to proceed, we will take the opportunity.
“It’s not a large event, I would expect around 40 people in total to be there, 25 of which are competitors and that’s why we’re pressing ahead. The hill climbs we run here are quite large, so that will have its own set of challenges.

“We have let people know there will be changes to the usual structure, which I don’t think will come as a surprise to any of them. We’ve had to think outside of the box to keep people’s confidence in us up.”


While the club is grateful they’re still fortunate enough to be in a position to run with appropriate precautions in place, Cook is hopeful this weekend could encourage other clubs of a similar size to hold their own events.
“I hope this event inspires some of the smaller clubs around the country to persevere. There are few cancellations at the moment, but we’re going the other way because we don’t run large events,” Cook explained.
“It’s not like we’re a Supercars race meeting. We’re on the completely opposite end of the scale so I think we will be okay, as long as we take the necessary precautions.
“Our president is keen to keep going until we’re told we can’t. We think that point will eventually come but we don’t want to jump the gun anytime soon.
“One thing that has definitely helped us get this event off the ground is the communications from Motorsport Australia, because without that support and information, I would have been lost as to what we could do and I really appreciate it.”
As with most events that have chosen to go ahead in the coming weeks, the club will be taking extra precautions to make sure they comply with the regulations set in place for all events around the country.
From researching the virus’ symptoms and implementing effective social distancing methods, to removing all tables and chairs from the canteen area and cancelling the driver’s briefing, Cook believes the club is ready to hold the event.
“Because most of the competitors are regulars, we don’t need to have the drivers’ briefing in person. I will be giving them all a handout,” Cook added.
“I am only going to have a brief for new competitors and that will comprise of two or three entries at best.  Lunch is also going to be served differently as it’s where people generally congregate.
“It’s tough, but we’re doing what we have to give people a chance and we’re looking forward to it.”

The club will be taking entries for their motorkhana on 21 March, with more information available here.

*Motorsport Australia is fully aware of the evolving situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and understands that it is having a significant impact on the community, including those involved in motorsport.

However, Motorsport Australia believes that many events can continue to go ahead, with the appropriate precautions and infrastructure in place.

Click here for more information.

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