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Westies at the 2011 Leyburn Sprints

posted Nov 27, 2011, 5:09 AM by WCC QLD

By David Christy

Twelve members of the Westfield Club put their lives on the line as competitors at the 16th running of the Leyburn Sprints over the weekend of 27 and 28 August. It wasn’t that the racing was dangerous; it was just the chance of being either drowned in floodwaters or buried in mud. The rain bucketed down all Saturday which made the track a little treacherous for those on slicks and hardly any better for those with treaded tyres. Luckily the weather on Sunday was perfect, clear and warm, which allowed the slick shod cars to make good time after the nerve wracking conditions of the previous day.

The upside of the wet weather was that temperature at night didn’t sink to the levels of a penguin’s posterior as is normally the case at Leyburn. Even though it was not as cold as usual, the wet conditions made it less than pleasant. Fortunately Jim Esson came to the rescue, as usual, with his welcome contribution of 4 tonnes of firewood, a 44 gallon drum fireplace and 20 litres of moonshine. Your contributions are always greatly appreciated, Jim.
The Westfield club set up camp in a different spot from last year having been located in four different campsites in almost as many years. In fact, the club has become like the lost tribe of Israel seeking a new location for its synagogue, as bad habits, such as trimming things and selling the off cuts as calamari rings, make them unpopular amongst the locals. Not that Westfield folk indulge in such cruel and sinister practices; their bad habits are much more insidious than that.  

Our new location this year was over near the school corner in close proximity to a semi trailer that housed, what the sign writing said, were toilets and showers. The first part of the description was accurate, but unless one enjoyed a golden shower, and a survey indicates that not too many of our members do, no showers were to be seen. For that activity a long walk to the showers behind the tennis courts was required.

Whilst not too badly located if the weather is fine, with the downpour on Saturday, the camp site’s cow paddock location became a mud wrestler’s paradise, and, as also revealed in the survey mentioned earlier, it is not a pastime pursued by many of our members (probably the same people as those with those quaint shower habits). As a consequence, getting cars to the starting grid became a difficult chore that persisted all the next day in spite of the return of fine weather. Fortunately there was a large puddle just near the start that allowed competitors to drive through and wash off the mud, wet tyres being preferred to wet and muddy.

This year, the RSL was the venue for great meals and a well stocked bar at very reasonable prices. Not only that, service was provided by people who actually seemed to be pleased to be doing their job. This was in stark contrast to the pub which, in the last few years, has taken to overcharging and providing lousy and less than civil service. The evidence that it wasn’t just the Westfield group who thought that, was the lack of numbers at the pub on Friday and Saturday nights. I suppose we shouldn’t be too scathing about the pub, the poor folk running it are obviously still in recovery mode after their charisma by-pass operations.  

In addition to the competitors, the social side of things was enhanced by the attendance of the usual upholders of the high standards of the Westfield morals in the form of Eric Blythe, looking down condescendingly upon his followers from the lofty heights of his hydraulic back porch, Gary Chisholm, Jim Esson, John O’Reilly with the record number of kilometres on his car’s odometer , and Jeanette and Peter Triggell. James and Dominic were also there to add their Shakespearean eloquence to that of the other well spoken folk from within the Westfield group. Other visitors were Ron Roduner’s mate Brad from the table tennis fraternity and Will’s Victorian mate Rob. These poor blokes will have gone home from the weekend with a considerably altered view of what constitutes acceptable behaviour of allegedly mature gentlemen. Bread was broken, wine goblets brimmed and the munificence of the individual tables was generously shared like a good church gathering though made up of drunks totally lacking most social graces.
Will Charlton had some battery problems with his diesel 4WD when he connected an inverter to it to power his 240V medical appliance overnight. With a flat battery and high compression diesel motor to crank, it was another unwanted chore for Will to confront each morning. At least he was still alive to carry out that job. 

On the competition, as you can see from the following table, the Westfield club had a very successful event again, with seven out of twelve on the podium in the various classes. As usual, Ray Vandersee was outstanding with a second place overall out of some 215 competitors in his road registered Skelta G Force, only 1.8 seconds behind a turbocharged 2.6litre Van Diemen open-wheeler racing car on slicks.  

The pleasing thing about the Westfield club is its lack of racial prejudice. We are happy to have anyone who wishes to join us no matter what type of car they drive, because we believe it is the social aspect of aiming to enjoy ourselves that is important. It doesn’t matter if you drive a 5hitbox clubman made by a bunch of drunken Kiwis, an unreliable, oil dripping refugee from the final days of British Leyland, a malformed locost or a pack of badly assembled nuts and bolts from the state that can’t win a State of Origin Rugby League match. Those who drive the Aryan pure Westfields are happy to have you on board even if it is only to provide a hapless target for tasteless jokes when the sun goes down.




Best Time

Class place

Westfield Club place

Overall place

Will Charlton2006 Fraser - 1,848 ccGrp 2B Marque Sports  up to 2L58.6730sec



David Christy2000 Westfield  - 1,588 ccGrp 2B Marque Sports  up to 2L55.1237sec1st


Steve Donka2004 Lotus Elise S - 1,798 ccModern Sports 1.5L-2L60.2883sec5th


Rod Gibb1998 Westfield  - 1,587 ccModern Clubman57.9891sec3rd


Stephen Foss2008 Westfield XTR2  - 1,298 ccModern Clubman57.8766sec2nd


Noel Paterson1975 Triumph  TR6 - 2,498 ccPre- 1979 Sports


Stuart Paterson1995 Westfield - 1,800 ccGrp 2B Marque Sports  up to 2L55.57662nd


Brian Pettit1995 Westfield - 1,600 ccGrp 2B Marque Sports  up to 2L58.7193sec4th


Ron Roduner2008 Skelta - 1,998 ccModern Sports 1.5L-2L63.72217th


Brian Tedman2000 Westfield - 1,600 ccModern Clubman64.43925th


Ray Vandersee2009 Skelta - 1,997 cc s/cModern Sports >2L49.4597sec1st


John Webster2005 Westfield  - 1,589 cc turboModern Clubman56.90711st