Having almost 70 years’ experience in motorsport, the Wollongong Sporting Car Club (WSCC) has been working wonders in the New South Wales hill climb scene, with their members passionate about their club and the sport.
WSCC Publicity Officer Wayne Penrose caught up with motorsport.org to discuss the club and its achievements over the course of its existence.
When and why was the club established?
Wayne Penrose: The WSCC was established in 1952. It was established due to the high number of motor racing enthusiasts in the local Wollongong area. Less than a year later, the Historic Huntley Hillclimb was established.
After almost 70 years, how is the club doing?
The WSCC currently has a member base of more than 100 people. The majority of these members are highly active and we are proud to say we have a healthy number of women and juniors also involved with the club.
As the WSCC focuses on family, developing juniors, club spirit and the general enjoyment of motorsport, our members seem to be satisfied with the club and everything it does.
So, is that something that would make the club unique?
WP: Absolutely, and it shows all of our members have close relationships with one another. Our members also have a large sense of support for all junior drivers and women drivers, which is fantastic. Last year we had around 19 women competing at one of our hill climbs, which was brilliant to see.
What has been a major highlight for the club over the past 12 months?
WP: The major highlight for the WSCC in 2019 was the massive upgrades at the Historic Huntley Hillclimb. The track has evolved with the assistance of many of the WSCC club members and the local Wollongong City Council.
The WSCC also won the New South Wales Hill Climb Championship panel’s ‘Club Award’ for its consistent support and entry into every single round of the 2019 calendar.
During some rounds, we boasted almost 25 per cent of the total entries.
Would it be right to say hill climbs are a big part of the club?
WP: Definitely, our biggest event each year is hosting one of the state hill climb rounds. At this round, some competitors and their crew attend, not just from New South Wales, but from interstate too. We get a lot of positive feedback from these competitors about the very steep and demanding course.
What does it mean for the WSCC to be affiliated with Motorsport Australia?
WP: It is very important for WSCC in affiliation with Motorsport Australia as it ensures a professional standard is maintained on the grassroots level of hill climb racing at the Historic Huntley Hillclimb.
This means that cars are maintained to a high standard, drivers are licensed and supported and the host club presents to all competitors a venue that is of a high standard to ensure the safety of all whom use it.
Is there anything else you would like to add or highlight about the club?
WP: WSCC is committed to ensuring a safe and fun family atmosphere, while incorporating the passion of motorsport. Once a year, WSCC holds a multi-club hill climb event for women and junior drivers only.
It’s probably a good time to also add how many Australian hill climb champions in both open-wheel race cars and tin tops come from WSCC. We seem to be a breeding ground for strong talent.
We also have a range of members who have won the prestigious Burson Future Star, Coral Taylor, Judith Rae/Administrator of the Year and Top Tintop awards over the course of its existence, which emphasises the talent we have here.