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Winton 2016
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Jaguar Car Club of Victoria - Winton 2016

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Winton 2016

 by David Jonas

Hitting the Hume highway at around 5am and peeling my way through rain and sleet I could be forgiven for thinking “what am I doing”. The news report was saying to be prepared for rain, high winds and hail storms! Arriving at the track at 7am I was greeted with the usual hive of activity; cars being unloaded from trailers, scrutineering in progress and driver registration underway. Gavin and Lynda had done a superb job in documenting all entrants, including car groupings, driver information packs and our program for the day’s events.

It was pleasing to see an entry list exceeding 80 with 9 of these from interstate. Some were multiple drivers for the same car as there were 66 cars entered. Jaguars represented the bulk of the entries with 41 cars plus other makes. This event gets better each year and the JCCV was delighted to host 9 young drivers all under the age of 21. Interest by our younger members is growing. Equally, we were delighted to have 6 entries from our lady drivers. These ladies put in some credible times given that early in the day the track was very wet.

Our Clerk of Course, Mike Daley, made the call that it was a wet track and as such, slick tyres were banned until further notice. After the first practice session we were hit with a savage rain storm and all track activity was suspended. This did not last long and soon we were seeing small rays of sunshine.

With scrutineering completed our chief scrutineer,Neil Litchfield, commented that sometimes the more experienced drivers forget some of the more basic and obvious requirements. Fortunately most of these were of a minor nature and quickly solved.

The early familiarisation and practice sessions were uneventful; there were however a couple of harmless spins and one car leaking power steering fluid was black flagged. Two entrants suffered mechanical issues such as seized brakes and overflowing catch tanks, but nothing too serious. While we had a mixed field of Jaguars, it was notable that we had a very strong contingent of Mk1 & Mk2’s and of course the sleek E-Types.

During the lunch break we were treated to a demonstration run by the club’s Mk1 captained by Kevin Brown. This is where this race car is in its element and although Kevin was restricted in pushing the car to its full potential, it still commanded our attention while it was circulating around the track.

After lunch the Clerk of Course declared that the course was “not wet” meaning that race slicks could now be used. The track had dried out due to the sunshine and the high wind. Cars such as the XJS’s and the Sprinter XJ’s could now be driven to their full potential.

This is the first time that we employed the “Dorians”; a timing transducer attached to each car that sent signals to the team in the timing box, so individual times could be recorded with complete accuracy. The timed runs for each group, 6 in all, produced some very interesting results. Some of the reasons why we stage these track events is to hone your skills as a driver and at the same time give you insight into the capability of your car in a safe environment.

As the day rolled on is was evident that there were few hick-ups. This is testament to the planning and organisation that Gavin and Lynda Moore had put into the event. Equally, the team of volunteers did a sensational job as there were no disruptions or changes that had to be made.

Once the day was completed on track many of us made the journey back to Wangaratta to get ready for the traditional Dinner and Trophy presentations at the Wangaratta Gateway. Everyone was keen to continue the camaraderie of the day, with many arriving early, whilst the team were busy working out who the winners and grinners would be. The evening proceeded with good food, good wine and good company and lots of laughs. The highlight of the evening was the auction run by Don McKay and Damien Moloney in their inimitable style, as a “double act”.