GUMLEY IN COMMAND!
If its Queens Birthday weekend its time to head to the Northern Rivers of NSW to enjoy Grafton Sporting Car Clubs traditional hospitality. The event is placed the week after the Queensland titles and this can be a bit of a problem if you have hassles up north as Mudgee farmer Doug Barry found this year.
After knocking the corners off the Lola, at Mt Cotton “Super Doug” was required to apply lots of midnight oil (and more than a little fencing wire) in order to make the show. But true to form make the show he did. Peter Gumley (Wortmeyer SCV) took the lead on the first run (45.20s) and was never headed.
Next was Coffs Harbours’s Dave Morrow (Krygger Suzuki), Stuart Inwood (Nissan GTR), Steve Moxon (Axtell Suzuki) with Tamworth’s Neil Farr (Bowin Hay). Heading towards the final runs, Gumley was firmly in command but there was still a little drama to be had.
On the final tour the venerable SCV split its crank case just short of the finish line but still managed to ring up FTD (43.05s) – just two hundredths outside the record!Not to be outdone Doug Barry attacked the final turn but a combination of sticky throttle switch and possibly some oil saw him spear off the last corner and gently plough the outfield with the front wing end plate.
All repairable but he had to settle for fourth outright. Neil Farr was next up in second outright and made one last charge to grab the lead only to have the rear wing collapse on the final corner, fortunately without further damage to car or driver. Now, that must have been a bit exciting as well!
Meanwhile almost unnoticed, Dave Morrow (now trying Avon radials) used a little local knowledge and slipped into third outright. The pairing of Searle Courtright and Steve Moxon fought out the next two spots with Stu Inwood (GTR) again claiming Top Tin Top award and a class record in Late Model Improved.
Next quickest was the fast finishing pair of Ford Escorts driven by Garry Ford (Sports Sedans) and Graeme Wilkinson (a new Imp Prod record) with Jon Bown (Green Machine Altin) in tenth outright. Heath Campbell pipped “the missus” this time with a new record to be best Beetle in Improved Prod.
Others to gain new records were Terry Johns (Espirit Sports 1300), Lee Falkner (Datsun 260Z), Darval Thomas (MGF), Dennis Roohan (VP Commodore) and Steve Purdy (Little Red Car). The win cements Peter Gumley’s lead in the NSW Championship and he didn’t appear to be put off by the engine problem, adding “Well, Kombi bits aren’t that expensive…”.
Alan Barlow – NSW Hillclimb Website Editor
- Doug Barry looked astonished to receive an award from GSCC acknowledging the big effort he had put in to make the start. In reply Doug commented that that if he had received an award for every late night he’d had while growing up, he would have a huge collection.
- We were waiting for Mike Allen repeat the previous weekend’s trick of knocking off Steve Purdy by a few hundredths on the last run. Steve made sure this time and kept his best run for last.
- Commiserations to Greg Sticker whose Westfield was down to three cylinders by the end of the day. Don’t worry Greg the, Cappuccino didn’t seem hampered by only three pots.
- A big thanks to all the hard workers at the Grafton club, they seem to have a knack of running a relaxed, fuss free event. The weather was great too.
- Hurry back Tim (Edmondson), don’t give Peter and Doug any breathing space.