The Millmerran Auto Club has made a successful return to competitive motorsport, with 39 members featuring part of the first club dirt sprint for the year.
Despite the club holding multiple come and try events in 2020, it was unable to host an official dirt sprint as a result of COVID-19, which ultimately extended its off-season until last weekend.
Taking place at the club’s home base at Reserve Raceway, competitors got multiple runs of three and a half laps around the 850 metre dirt course in order to post the fastest time in their respective classes.
With all competitors split amongst eight classes, there were plenty of mini battles within the event, the most entertaining coming in the event’s biggest class – the 3501cc-4150cc cars.
Very little separated Daniel Kelly and Lachlan Mansbridge throughout their seven runs with the former having led for the majority of the day courtesy of his third run. Kelly then bettered his own time with his fastest go on the last attempt – before getting a major scare from Mansbridge who came within one hundredth of a second on his final run.
The only driver to go faster than both the Class 4 duo was Michael Middleton in the 4150cc & over class. Like Kelly and Mansbridge, Middleton saved his best until last, claiming victory in Class 5 and going outright fastest.
There was a family battle royal in the All-Wheel Drive class as Murray Parker edged out son Ben by less than half a second.
Having had a slow start, Ben went much quicker than his father on runs four to six, before Murray showed his experience behind the wheel and pipped Ben by less than a second on his last run– both drivers rounding out the top five fastest times.
Another notable result saw Jack Larkham go fastest in the special junior category - the youngster comfortably claiming the three-car class having posted an unbeaten fastest time in his fourth run.
Following the event, Club secretary Emma Otto was thrilled with how their first meeting for the year went.
“It was great to be back, especially since it was the first competitive event since 2019,” Otto said.
“Last year we did some come and try days but we didn’t do any full race meetings, so it was good to get everyone on board again, especially since there were more cars involved. Just showed how keen our people were.
“We have a pretty new committee, so for us there was a lot of positive feedback and appreciation for getting the club back to the motorsport. There were a lot of people to stay and thank us for putting on the event.
“For us, it’s a fantastic event because it’s open to anyone who has a car and a passion for the sport. It’s a cheap way for people to have fun in motorsport the right way.
“As for the competition itself, it was a really tight game where they got a bit competitive. Especially with the Parkers who were neck and neck all day. They weren’t the only mini battle going on ether so it’s just great because there are so many family friendly rivalries going – it certainly makes it interesting”