A bunch of tough Holdens and Fords in the Touring Car class line up to have a go at the track

June 13, 2016

South Burnett residents were in rev head heaven when the inaugural Wondai Street Sprints roared into action at the weekend.

The event, organised by the Motors In Motion committee, went off almost without a hitch, although organisers were still tearing their hair out with minor changes within hours of the racing starting.

CAMS track inspector Ian Mayberry, who came up from the Gold Coast for the event, picked up some changes that had to be made on Saturday morning, but these were quickly rectified by painting a few lines, and placing out a few more hay bales.

Mr Mayberry said the track surface was excellent.

“South Burnett Regional Council should be congratulated for an excellent job.”

The 100 entrants raced against the clock over the 1.6km course. Each had the opportunity of running the course 10 times, five times on each day.

The fastest time was recorded by Toowoomba driver Ray Vandersee in his own designed and built race car, a Skelta G-Force.

Vandersee set the course record of 57.20 seconds.

Next best were the openwheelers of Darren Duffield (58.09) and Vikki Paxton (58.88) who both recorded their best times on their ninth attempt.

Duffield spun out on his last attempt at beating the clock (see below).

The slowest lap time was recorded by Justin McCarthy in his Austin 7, while still exploring the circuit on his first lap: 123.27.

McCarthy’s times improved during the meet to 109.51.

The starting line was hectic over the two days, with vehicles rolling up and then roaring off in a cloud of burned rubber.

Some competitors found the two sets of chicanes on the long back straight tight, especially the two open-wheelers.

However, the chicanes were necessary otherwise the entrants would have gathered too much speed.

Organisers positioned grandstands at strategic points around the circuit to allow spectators to gain a better view of the racers.

Spectators also took the opportunity to wander freely around the pit area and chat to the drivers.

They were entertained by commentator Will Hagon who kept up a non-stop commentary – about the cars, drivers and motor sport in general – for the two days.

A shuttle bus was kept busy running backwards and forwards from the parking area to the racetrack, ferrying passengers across for the racing.

Retired driver Will Charlton with motoring guru Will Hagon … Hagon kept the commentary flowing almost non-stop for two days and could be heard all over the course thanks to the effort put in by Lester Janetski from Protec Light & Sound

* * *

Street Sprints

Some of the vehicles lining up to race were unusual … like this 1967 Toyota Crown …
.. and this 1951 split-screen Morris Minor V8 that had somehow misplaced its old sidevalve engine
Russell Curtis, from Wamuran, was minding Justin McCarthy’s 1936 Austin 7 … the body is totally made from wood, except for the bonnet
When was the last time you saw a stationwagon racing? This 1987 Nissan Skyline seemed to be handling the chicanes with ease
Vikki Paxton, from Yatala, was having trouble keeping her slicks warm on Sunday when the temperature dropped

Organisers Kevin Krosch and Denis Carroll could breathe a sigh of relief when racing began

Organising committee member John Box with Cr
Ros Heit

Paul Ledgerwood, Fernvale; Deputy Mayor Cr Kathy Duff  and committee member Malcolm Rea

Cr Danita Potter and Cr Roz Frohloff … South Burnett Regional Council were major sponsors of the meeting
He may be an old f**t, but this Ford Escort driver was still smoking up his tyres

* * *

Sunday’s Crash

There were a couple of spinouts – and more than a few dislodged witches’ hats in the chicanes – but the only real incident happened on Sunday afternoon.

Darren Duffield in his RPV01 open-wheeler lost traction on the tight last corner of the track, slamming into a hay bale barrier.

Unfortunately for the Brisbane-based driver, the bales caught alight.

Marshals were quickly on the scene with fire extinguishers, to be joined almost immediately by a rural fire brigade truck.

Duffield was examined by ambulance paramedics and taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

His mangled racer was hauled away on a tilt-tray.

TOP: The 2.6 litre RPV earlier in the meeting CENTRE LEFT: Rural firefighters extinguish the hay fire CENTRE RIGHT: Duffied is loaded into an ambulance BOTTOM: The RPV looking the worse for wear
(Photos: southburnett.com.au and John Miller)

* * *


Sundays show’n’shine was held on the cricket oval, just across from the sprints track.

The good roll-up of vehicles attracted an appreciative crowd of onlookers, who were only momentarily distracted when the RPV crash happened just nearby (see above).

The competition was sponsored by Shannons Insurance and the winners were voted for by the public.

Local agent Col Rogerson distributed trophies for:

  • Classic Sedan pre-1966: Humber Super Snipe – Roy and Rebecca Welling
  • Classic Sedan 1967 – 1986:  LH Torana – Mick Baker
  • Classic Sports Car pre-1966: MGA Coupe – Dave Hall and Lyn Hayward
  • Classic Sports Car 1967 – 1986: Falcon Hardtop – Barney Horne
  • Vintage / Veteran – Chevrolet Ute – Kev Perkins
  • Classic Commercial – EJ Ute – Wal
  • Modified / Hot Rod – Ford Tudor – Mark and Vicki Muller
  • Motorcycle – Harley Davidson Fatboy – Jeff Evans
  • Modern – (Car 69)
  • Club Attendance – Goomeri Chrome Bumpers
Former speedway motorbike racer Col Rogerson, right, from Shannons, presented the “Best Motorcycle”  trophy to Jeff Evans for his Harley Davidson Fatboy
There was a big roll-up of Harleys but this customised Fatboy deservedly won the trophy
Barney Horne, from Wooroolin, won Class 4 with his 1975 Falcon XB hardtop
Mark Muller’s 1932 Ford Tudor won the Best Hot Rod trophy
Lyn Hayward and Dave Hall won Class 3 with their all-original 1960 MGA coupe
Kev and Jan Perkins, from Cushnie, took home the Vintage / Veteran trophy for their 1926 Chev truck
A “Monkeemobile” – a heavily modified Pontiac GTO – attracted a lot of attention …
… as did Bruce McKenzie’s hand-built Ford GT40 Mk 1B … the fibreglass body panels were made from the original GT40 moulds and there are 135 hand-made aluminium panels; the vehicle – which is a tribute to 1968 when Ford GT40s won both the Drivers Championship and the Constructors Championship – has a 305 CID Ford motor and is fully road registered; Bruce spent about 3000 hours building the car

Stan Baker, from Wondai, and his 1997 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Springer

Fran Hyde, from Wondai, with her 2014 Indian Chief
Kay and Keith Hosking, from Redcliffe, brought along their 427 CID 1966 Corvette
Another vehicle attracting attention was this Chevy Ratrod trayback ute

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