All smiles as BLCC enjoy perfect return

Monday 12 October, 2020
Photos: John Tonks
The Ballarat Light Car Club (BLCC) has enjoyed a successful return to motorsport with its first autocross for 2020 going off without a hitch.
Running at the club’s designated area at Ballarat Airport, 40 drivers took part in the autocross on Saturday, with each getting five attempts at posting the fastest time on the 1.4km course.

As it was the club’s first outing since COVID-19 lockdown laws came into place in March, it was also its first time running in conjunction with Motorsport Australia’s Return To Race strategy.

Despite the autocross being run in a completely different manner to previous events, Clerk of Course Ian Brain was thrilled with the smoothness of the event and was proud how all members responded to the changes.
“We had a great track, the competition was great, everyone put in a lot of effort and everything was done in good spirit. People were just ecstatic to be back,” Brain said.
“We were a little worried in the lead up as we thought there would be some resistance to the requirements because it was very different, but every single person recognised what we all needed to do together and it just ran fantastically.

"Things ran really smoothly and some of the changes that we had to make because of restrictions, we will implement permanently because it made the event run better than we could have imagined.

“I was also so pleased with the camaraderie amongst our members. For example, when two competitors had issues with their cars, many others offered their own so those two wouldn’t miss out. That sort of behaviour is just fantastic and it made us really proud.

“It was truly a wonderful day and for me, motorsport at grassroots level is alive and well and we were just so thrilled to be back and have some great times.”

Competition wise, it was a tight battle at the top as Ben McKee edged out Richard Gay for the win after his three fastest times equalled to a total time two seconds faster.

Across the first four runs, each driver posted the outright best time on two occasions, but it came down to the final run where McKee steered his Subaru Liberty to the fastest time within the whole event, while Gay could only watch from the sidelines as he didn't go on the final run.

Paul Gladman comfortably rounded out the top three, while the battle for fourth came right down to the wire as Stacy Elson’s total score was just four tenths better than Pokey Haddon’s final tally. 

The next major autocross for the Ballarat Light Car Club will be the Geordie Fawcett Memorial Autocross on 6 December, with the club to announce any new events in the coming weeks. 
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