Club Profile: Hervey Bay Motor Sports Association

Tuesday 14 April, 2020
Photo: CH Images
Situated along the picturesque Southern Queensland coast, the Hervey Bay Motor Sports Association has been giving the region’s passionate motorsport fans an outlet to get their thrills behind the wheel. caught up with Hervey Bay Motor Sports Association President Phillip McHardy to discuss everything to the do with the Motorsport Australia affiliated club.

Talk us through the establishment of the Hervey Bay Motor Sports Association and what it was like?

The club was established in 1993 and became affiliated with Motorsport Australia in 1995. It originally started after a few guys wanted to come together and combine all the area’s motorsport disciplines together. There was a lot of motorsport taking place in the Hervey Bay area at the time and a lot of people really enjoyed it – especially the younger generation.

How many members does the club have currently?

Approximately 75 members- all ranging from rally and Targa drivers through to street speed competitors. When I first got involved with the club, it was down to about three members. But now we powered through to that 75 members. The current administration has certainly done a wonderful job in bringing the club back to being successful.

What does it mean for the club to be affiliated with Motorsport Australia?

Being part of Motorsport Australia allows the Hervey Bay Motor Sports Association to organise and compete with certainty and under good rules and regulations. It also allows us to guide and nurture future officials and motorsport stars.
For the Hervey Bay Motor Sports Association, it’s great to know everything we’re doing is correct, as well as having the support from Motorsport Australia too. Whether it’s insurance, questions or help with officials, we really feel looked after.

What makes the club unique?

There are few things, but I would say it has to do with our locations. We have two active locations/circuits/facilities?? which offer a good variation to our competitors. There is one in Hervey Bay and one in Maryborough – the Maryborough one is great because the whole track is visible to spectators.
Another great factoid for our club is that prior to March, we hadn’t cancelled an event in over three years. While we had to postpone a few this year due to the current world situation, to follow through with every event before was a great effort.

In that case, it would have been a really busy 12 months for the club?

We had a very successful year last year within our own club racing and some members even went on to do well at external events. Off track, the club received a financial grant, which we used to build a shade structure and canteen. In 2018 we purchased an electronic timing system in 2018, which picked the club up and has taken it to another level. We are certainly getting more runs in now because of it.

The club was obviously planning to have another big year in 2020, what are your plans once the sport can resume in some capacity in the coming months?

This year we were, and still are, hoping to host the Queensland State Khanacross Championship. We felt it would help raise the club’s profile and it’s another reason we were thrilled to get both the timing system and renovations complete. At this point of time, there is not one in Queensland, so we were working on having it during the October long weekend. There is still a possibility we could and it really would be great for the club to host it.

What is the main focus of the club outside of the desire to host the state event?

Our club is diverse. We have a range of people with different experience and we focus on the development and culture. Right now, we have a lot of juniors racing, around 10-15 at each event.
Our weekends are focused on having some good old family fun and not racing for sheep stations. It’s generally under a controlled environment where you can do it safely and have a great time.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We’re trying to focus on having good racing weekends with a little healthy competition between members, although we don’t take results too seriously. Probably because of this culture, we get around 40 cars to each meeting as opposed to the 15-20 that used to turn up. A lot of hard work has gone into improving it.
The club has also worked with Dunga Derby on a community run event to fundraise money toward Rally for a Cause. This is something that we look forward to participating in every year.
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