15-17 October 2010, Baskerville, Tasmania
Saturday morning the track was fining up, but news was coming through of snow on nearby mountains. Fortunately, this did not arrive. Fine weather ensued for most of the day with only light sprinkles of rain hitting cars and the track in various sessions.
In recent years historic motor sport in Tasmania has been on a downhill slope, until some new ideas and fresh enthusiasm from members of the MGCC formed a committee that has ignited the flame for the sport in the apple isle in the past two years.
The history goes back much further than that with the Baskerville circuit first opened in 1959 after being completed in 1958. Although housing is now starting to approach the circuit remains, and we understand that neighbouring properties wishing to build have guidelines imposed stopping them from building too close to the track.
The 2km circuit is short, but has all the ingredients of a challenging race track. For the spectator the hill as you enter the property provides an ideal vantage point of the entire circuit. The entry list is small, but quality with 120 entrants across 7 fields.
The depth of regularity in Tasmania provided most of these entries, but it is hoped that many of these car owners will get a real taste and promote themselves to racing grids in the near future.
I was put in regularity group 3, along with fellow BGT owner from Newcastle, Bob Blayden who like many others from the mainland had travelled to the event. Being marketed as an MG event the majority of competitors from the mainland were Victorians.
In previous outings with Blayden his GT has being much faster than mine, having had the engine re-build and modified. It wasn’t so at Baskerville as Blayden had continual fuel pressure problems when under hard acceleration, both up the hill after the esses and along the back straight.
In our ten lap practise/qualifying session i found myself held up by a Ford Cortina after making it passed Blayden early on. Another Cortina, driven by Greg Ellis passed me as he was being held up too, but quickly I got back in front, but having to apply the brakes two or three times whilst in a corner I still could not get past as the Cortina had slightly more power along the straight. On the last lap I managed to get alongside on the back straight, but to my astonishment the Cortina started moving across on me, pushing me toward the left of the track. Suffice to say my fastest lap was the last at a 1:21.
With this hold up in mind I took a gamble and decided that i should be 2 seconds quicker than this, so I nominated a 1:19, a time which I managed to maintain and better – finishing in second place on the nominated time results. My first top three ever!
The second run Saturday afternoon saw me knock a further few seconds off the lap time, posting a string of 1:16 and 1:15.
Report by: Charles Rogers / HRA