MOTHER Nature held the trump card in the recent motorkhana on the Burrungule property of South Eastern Automobile Club president Curtis Boyd.
Motorkhana tests are normally set up from the Motorsport Australia codebook and layouts are carefully measured to ensure performance times are on par with the record books.
However, SEAC is able to run its own series without referring to historical records for Driver Performance Index scoring, as is used by many other clubs.
Raw times are listed and added together to give the fastest results and a handicap system is used to compensate for different car sizes for the handicap score.
Having a large working area, Boyd was able to massage the book tests and stretch them to the side instead of the conventional upright setups, giving seasoned motorkhana riders something to think about.
Throw a little rain on the grassy track and the results are something of a lottery, but there were huge smiles on everyone’s face after the last test was over.
Under rookie manager Leon Chugg, a total of eight tests were staged and run twice, with a small entry of 12 drivers enjoying a day of high-level competition.
Ken Trimnell was on the pace early on with a time of 30.14 seconds, followed closely by Ashton Slotegraaf (31.14) and Jason Sims (31.28).
All times were within 15 seconds of each other, to set up a day of competition.
Faster times presented for the second attempt on the same course, the first three remaining the same.
Trimnell continued his fast times in the second test, ahead of Sims, with Ollie Pohlner in third place.
However, with a drying track, Damien Wilson clocked the best time at 42.47 seconds, fending off a big charge from Phil Wilson and Pohlner.
The next layout featured reversal action, with Slotegraaf setting the pace with a time of 69.35 seconds, from Sims and Josh Munn.
In the second run, Sims rose to the challenge with a run of 55.06 seconds, 14 seconds better than his first effort, ahead of Slotegraaf and Damien Wilson.
The next test included a garage for a change of direction and to be a challenge for some.
Trimnell again set the pace with 59.33 seconds to edge Geoff Wilson and Sims.
On the second attempt, Sims led the field at home with 56.05, ahead of Trimnell and Pohlner.
Layout five included a downhill section over wet grass and proved to be a challenge.
Damien Wilson showed some flair to top the list with 41.58s, just ahead of Sims and Munn.
In the second run, Pohlner put it all together for the best time of 41.14, ahead of Slotegraaf and Sims.
A wide layout for the following tests required plenty of driving inputs, with Sims setting the standard with a time of 51.01, from Trimnell and Munn.
Trimnell turned things around in the second run with a time of 49.62, just ahead of Munn (49.65) and Sims (49.98).
A rider favourite, the spiro slalom proved popular and Sims showed the peloton how to do it, posting a fast time of 57.71, just ahead of Trimnell in 57.78 and Phil Wilson (58.25).
Munn topped the list in the second run with an impressive time of 53.89, an improvement of 11 seconds.
Trimnell also cut his first run by about three seconds but had to settle for the second, against the still improving Pohlner.
The final charge of the day lost a few riders the way but Munn showed style with a fast time of 83.73 seconds, closely followed by Pohlner and Sims.
In the second heat, most riders improved their first time.
Phil Wilson made it look easy and stopped the clock at 82.58 seconds, just ahead of Damien Wilson (83.37), with Pohlner in third place with a time of 84.05 seconds.
After the tests were completed and the scores tallied, Sims took first place with his total of 884.81 seconds, followed closely by Trimnell (895.55) and Phil Wilson (925.41).
Damien Wilson (932.02) took fourth, with Munn rounding out the top five with his time of 943.30 seconds.