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Gatton Sprints 2012

posted Mar 21, 2012, 4:23 AM by WCC QLD   [ updated Mar 21, 2012, 4:31 AM ]

The Downs Motorsport Club hosted the Gatton Sprints on the St Patrick’s Day / F1 weekend of 17 and 18 March. The event reprised the weather conditions of last August’s Leyburn Sprints with abundant liquid sunshine on Saturday making the paddock muddy and the track slippery. Sunday was dry and pleasantly cool.

The organizers have a new President, with Jamie Lawson taking over from Warren Southee. Warren has done a great job during his tenure, but hasn’t left his copy of Ray Stevens singing “The Streak” for Jamie to broadcast.

The number of competitors from the Westfield Club was down on past years with only six starters keeping the club flag flying, but it was a very successful weekend with 3 first places, a second and a third.

Observers who camped for the weekend were John O’Reilly, dispensing wisdom and wit plus Nick Clarke and Andrew Christy who, in combination, substantially lowered the average age and raised the average IQ of the members in attendance. Visitors during the day were Denise Vandersee who lent her serene presence to proceedings on both days and Ron and Pam Roduner who visited on Sunday. Ron had been forced to withdraw from competition in his Skelta a few weeks prior owing to an unplanned contribution to his doctor’s next Mediterranean cruise. Thankfully Ron is recovering well, but his wallet is still in intensive care.

 Mr Westfield was unable to provide his usual guiding influence for the weekend. The famed Blythe conveyance, with its hydraulic wheel chair friendly terrace and expansive plastic patio, is normally the congregating point for Westfield disciples on such a weekend, and was sadly missed by the badly pissed.

Fortunately Brian Tedman had arrived on Thursday and very kindly reserved a suitable space for all. The Tedman Winnebago was a more than adequate substitute in providing a refuge from the rain and the burnouts. Brian’s generosity was very much appreciated by all.

Rod Gibb’s Minister for Quality Control, Jan, was also sadly absent this year owing to a bad back, apparently from carrying Rod’s hockey gear over many years. It is understand that she told Rod to puck off by himself this time.

Other absent Gatton stalwarts were Bruce and Marilyn Chamberlain and Ross Rundle. They too were missed. Ross has sold his Westfield and wrongly considered that was sufficient excuse to leave the team without its psychological crutch. Ross has probably never considered himself to be a crutch, but that is how the emotionally disturbed see him.             

John Webster has gone soft like many of the more mature members of the club and arrived with a tent. A sensible thing too, considering the downpour all Saturday.

David Christy had a new tent to replace the plunge pool he had at the Leyburn inundation last August. Even though he is not a Roman Catholic he also had some green plastic mats at the entry to the tent in recognition of St Patrick’s Day. To be sure, if John O’Reilly can paint his clubby orange, anything is acceptable.

The Westfield group was joined by Frazer owner Steve Bensen. Steve has previously run at Gatton as former owner of a red Toyota Celica GT4. Will Charlton will now have a source of spare parts for his Frazer if Steve is not vigilant.  In the spirit of St Patrick, Steve introduced his Irish acquaintance, Eanan Feiritear who was running a very pretty AE86 Toyota Sprinter. 

An unnamed Westfield tent dweller launched an audibly apparent air biscuit at a late hour one night. This caused a lot of accusations to flow from a nearby tent with the four mixed gender non-Westfield inhabitants each blaming the others in their tent for the atmospheric disturbance. Ah, the memories of boys having fun at Gatton.

Friday night involved the trek to the Gatton View Hotel for liquid and solid sustenance followed by the longer wobbly walk back.

The activity on the track was a bit restrained in the damp conditions on Saturday with no serious dramas apart from David Christy leaving the track backwards at the last chicane and scattering the flag marshals. The only problem was that Fred’s Photos captured the entire embarrassing sequence on film and the displaced witch’s hat removed the right hand mirror.

John Webster replicated the feat at the same spot on Sunday afternoon, fortunately avoiding damage and photographic evidence.

Ray Vandersee’s usual sprint Skelta is on its way to the USA for a run at the annual Pike’s Peak International Hillclimb in July driven by previous Pike’s Peak class winner, Jeff Denmeade. Ray had a rare spin in his blue, softly set up Skelta, also without damage to anything apart from the lap time. 

Despite the damp conditions, surprisingly few of the 150 Gatton Sprints competitors were rendered incapable of running for the full weekend.

Overall, despite the weather and the small number of club members attending, it was another great weekend of motorsport and questionable behaviour.

The final results for the weekend are as follows:



Fastest time (seconds)

Class place

Overall place

Christy, David

2000 Westfield




Donka, Steve

2004 Lotus Elise




Gibb, Rod

1998 Westfield




Tedman, Brian

2000  Westfield




Vandersee, Ray

2009 Skelta G- Force




Webster, John

2005 Westfield




Photos taken by Fred's Photos can be found for each person at the following links.. David Christy, Steve Donka, Rod Gibb, Brian Tedman, Ray Vandersee and John Webster.

Additional event photos will be added to the club gallery when available.

Full event results are now available on the Downs Motorsport Club Site.