Has there been another sprint round so widely discussed than the one held on Sunday the 21st February? It all started when the CAMS calendar was finalised late last year and it was confirmed that the first round would be held in February.
I started checking the weather forecast, daily, 2 weeks out from the event. My hopes were building, the forecast looked mild. Unfortunately our luck didn’t hold out, when I checked the Sunday before the event the 7 day forecast predicted 39 degrees for the following Sunday.
As the week progressed Sunday’s forecast was gradually downgraded. By Friday the forecast was for 34 degrees, not great, but a temperature I thought was manageable.
As I made my way to Mallala I had time to contemplate what the day might have install for me. I remained positive, it was a beautiful morning, the windows were down and the GTV demanded I go faster.
After a delayed start the numbers of the drivers at the briefing was encouraging, 77 competitors took to the grid in the first session, including 13 AROCA members. The AROCA crew consisted of the usually suspect, with the addition of Gary Savis in his GTA and a returning sprinter Kim Thorpe in his Subaru BRZ; Kim sprinted an Alfa Sud in the ’90s. Ian Barrie was back in his newly acquired, deal of the century, red 147 GTA.
Andrew Scadding, Gary Savis and Ian Barrie hit the track early in search of a lap time and a grid position. When the dust settled and the officials found Andrew’s missing lap time the starting grid was finalised. I was more than concerned when Gary was a second faster than me, sitting behind me on the grid and was heard saying I never got out third gear on the back straight during early practice.
The flag dropped on session 1 and I was away. Look at me go, the GTV felt fast, no way was Gary and Andrew getting past me. Three corners down and with the go-fast pedal flat to the floor, I saw something blue in the corner of my eye; surely not, that’s a blue GTA going past me like I’m standing still. Never mind, Andrew’s still behind me; bugger, not anymore!
Most of the field made it through to lunch. I made the most of the lunch break searching CarSales for a suitable Formula 98 replacement for the GTV.
By the third session the attrition rate was on the rise, we were down to 62 starters. The GTV and I made it through without incident, unfortunately the same can’t be said for some of my fellow competitors. It was 2:30 by this stage and according to the Bureau of Meteorology it was 34.2 degrees at Rosworthy. I was done for the day, the temperature gauge on the GTV was on the wrong side of 80 and heading towards 120. I packed up and headed for the safety of air-conditioning and a cold beer.
41 brave competitors stayed for the fourth and final the session. Well done to David Parken, Justin Wanzek and Kim Thorpe for seeing out the day.
The fastest times for the day were as follows:
One final word; AROCA is required to provide flag marshals for the next sprint round on the 19th of June and I’m looking for volunteers to help out on the day. Without the flaggies the day wouldn’t be possible, so if you are a sidelined sprinter, a retired sprinter or someone considering sprinting why not volunteer 1 day of your time and have a fantastic day in return. I promise it won’t be 34 degrees in June!
Until next month remember corner speed is everything.