Sporting Triumphs – June 2013

The 1st Sunday of May marked this year’s running of the MSCA 6 hour team regularity event at Mallala. 18 teams were fielded this year with the TSOA providing one team made up from a mix of South Australian and Victorian Drivers. Roger Lange again was team manager and was assisted by an enthusiastic and capable pit crew. Roger had set the team an objective at the team meeting which was “to have fun”.

Bill Berlemon and John Tuohy volunteered as the batten runners— we made sure we had the youngest and fittest members for this important role. Dean Berlemon was in charge of the pit board, complete with a new set of magnetic numbers that didn’t fall off over the pit wall. Last year we had to try to retrieve numbers that had fallen off over the pit wall which lead to some inventive provisions to retrieve them. Arrand Ellery, Rod Carey and Rick Staehr were allocated timekeeping duties and Phil Bagust scribed the times. The pit crew worked like a well oiled machine. Cherri Lange provided the team with her great homemade muffins –delicious! – and delivered the lunch orders. Meranie Vermeer was our official photographer on the day.

Three drivers made the trek from Victoria, regular visitor Andy Ansell in his “Chocwedge” TR7, Ian Cowie GT6 and first timer at Mallala, Ed Ferguson in a TR7V8. South Australia was represented with regulars Neil Martin and Duane Kaak both in TR7V8’s. Robin George who was a late scratching at last year’s event was the final member of the driver line-up in his clubman.

Ian Cowie had a few mechanical issues on Saturday in free practice and thought he had overcome them for Sunday. Practice Sunday morning revealed that he still had some issues that still needed sorting and was pulled over by the officials when he entered pit lane for loosing excessive oil. Unfortunately for Ian his mechanical issues stayed with him and he was unable to fully complete his first run.

The other 5 drivers and cars performed consistent and without incident. Our team was heading for a great result but unfortunately because of Ian’s mechanical problem, we forgot to advise race control that he was a scratching, and we were penalised for one driver and car completing less than 10% of the total laps allocated. A hard way to be taught a lesson. On the bright side we weren’t the only ones to fall foul of this rule and finished 15th.

Did we meet our objective? If the smiles from the drivers and pit crew when the cars return to pits is anything to go on, then we sure did achieve our objective!

Until next month.

Rick Staehr

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