Versluis was determined not to let Shirvington past in race three. Sitting close on each others heels, eventually Versluis hung onto a 3 tenths lead from Shirvington, with Barry only 5 tenths back for third. Excellent racing and fun to watch.
The Excel race series was spectacular. Watching 20 of the same little car go round making a huge racket is hilarious. Jigging ad jinxing back and forth, the swaying little beasts got under way off the start grid with an almighty roar. Speaking with Nathan Gotch before the race, he explained “…that with so many of these vehicles sold, they are very cheap to acquire, even cheaper to get spare parts for, making them the ideal lightweight, easy to build and fix, economical on the budget race car, and they can be extremely nimble and quick.” But did I say LOUD!
While the V8 Supercars were bouncing off the walls at Homebush, the Festival of Sporting Cars (FoSC) was busy conducting a two-day race meeting, with nearly 40 events, for Historic and Invited Sports, Racing and Touring Cars, plus Sidecars and even a Come and Try field for novices to get used to circuit competition.
The various races and regularity events attracted over 120 entrants over the weekend and provided close competition and plenty of track-time for everyone.
The layout of this circuit enabled FoSC to present novices and experienced drivers with a challenging drive that was rewarding when they got it right. As innovative as ever, FoSC ran fields as diverse as a dedicated Datsun Z Consistency, a Veloce Racing Association Challenge for Alfa Romeos and the final round of the Excel Racing Championship series – the latter being won by Nathan Gotch, with Ian Kegg and Michael Hiscoe as runners-up – plus the more familiar Sports, Racing and Touring car categories.
A regular feature of FoSC meetings, was the presence of the Masters – a group of legendary racers, including John Leffler, Spencer Martin, Bruce Stewart, Ray Gulson and Mal Brewster (with guest instructors Geoff Pike, Rob Jardine, Denis Tobin and Mike Dyer) – who provided driver education for anyone who wanted expert advice.
The combination of this kind of mentoring, the experience of well known Event Director, Charles Jardine, and a down-to-earth approach to motor sport, means that FoSC and the ARDC can deliver enjoyable, affordable competition for a wide range of enthusiasts.
On a lighter note, one pit-crew member who camped overnight was surprised to be awoken by a fox tugging on his trouser leg – can’t imagine that happening at a street circuit!
All in all, for FoSC, its competitors and officials the meeting was a resounding success and a gratifying conclusion to the year’s activities.
– words and pics by Rob Annesley
Thanks to Dave Nichols ( FoSC) for his assistance with this report.