Notes from the December meeting

Those of you who could not attend the HRA’s December meeting on 13 December sure missed out. It was a gala night and we had a record number of members and guests in attendance. For the benefit of those who could not be there here are the President’s notes from the meeting.

President’s welcome

Welcome to the HRA XMAS meeting which will be your most memorable night of the year! (Some of you lead boring lives!) Even wild horses couldn’t keep my darling wife away.

So what have we achieved in 2018?

  • We have had been fortunate to have had the opportunity to compete in a myriad of motorsport and social events throughout the year.
  • We have won the VCRS Championship for the fourth year in a row!
  • We have planned a ripper season with no less than 9 HRA events rounding off with the Alpine on the last weekend of November.
  • A new website – Canoe and others have worked tirelessly to deliver what must be the best club website in the world. Thanks Steve.
  • Financially speaking, we are in the black and poised to continue our fiscal responsibilities into 2019

Competition report

The George Derrick Memorial Rally and State Election were held on a wintery 25 November with the “Derrick” seen by many as the preferred event. Congratulations to the CCRMIT in being able to relocate the event to Boisdale / Heyfield in short time. Run as both a VRC and VCRS, HRA members performed well in both fields.

Within the VRC, husband and wife team Ben & Cathy Hayes took the honours with Grant Walker taking out two wheel drive and 4th O/R. Peter Ellis navigated his way to 1st in class and 7th O/R whilst Paul and Anthony Lahiff, Steven Oake, Graham Wallis, Brian Ward, Nicola Testa, Nigel Walters, John Carney and Tracey Dewhurst rounded off the finishers. Unfortunately Barney Hogan, Stuart Burgess, Steve Lane and Adam Wright failed to finish.

Congratulations to HRA members Ben and Cathy Hayes taking out the 2018 Focus on Furniture Victorian Rally Championship.

The new Victorian Rally Champs. Congrats to Ben and Cathy on a sensational year. Pic by B Team Rally Media

The VCRS was always going to be a hard-fought event with HRA, CCRMIT and Nissan separated by a mere 99 points leading into the last round. The event was wet with an attitude of driving to finish being adopted by many but not all with a number of crews falling victim to the wet. Chris Ellis was the stand out HRA navigator on the day enabling yours truly to finish 3rd O/R, Adrian Stratford and Kain Manning in 4th and David Gallacher in 8th O/R. Priscilla Lewis and Damion Smith rounded out HRA finishers. HRA members of the DNF variety included Ray Garrad and Nick Wright, Joe Wilson and Martin Warneke and Steve Kenway. Scoring the top three drivers and navigators per club, the HRA prevailed taking out the 2018 VCRS Club Championship for the 4th year in a row. Golly has produced stickers which identify our success for members to proudly display where they see fit.

2019 will be a big year in motorsport with 9 HRA events calendared. I have calendars available. 7 VRC’s are planned and 6 rounds of the VCRS (none piggy-backed).

Guest Speaker – Mr Barry Ferguson

Barry Ferguson and Warwick Smith, who navigated for Barry. Pic by B Team Rally Media

Whilst we are fortunate to regularly be amongst true heros of our sport, occasionally we are offered to opportunity to hear from others whom we also hold in high regard. The time has now arrived to sit back, close your eyes and picture yourself sitting alongside our guest speaker as he traverses the days of long-distance challenging competition.

(Joel invited Mike Mitchell to the stage to introduce Barry Ferguson. Barry then gave us a very entertaining talk and recounted some takes from his time in our sport. See future post with a recording of Barry’s talk.)

Joel closing Barry’s talk: 

I was recently made aware of circumstances surrounding one of your Southern Cross events whereby you commenced the event with only one set of tyres as you were short on funds. Your service crew was made up of one mechanic and many enthusiasts and they worked out that when Rauno Aaltonen replaced his partially worn treads, his old rubber would service your needs perfectly. You proceeded to set four fastest times which surprised the “Professor” to the point that he approached you afterwards and asked what tyres you were using. You responded, “The same as yours Rauno”. By the way, I spoke with Peter Jansen yesterday and he sends you his regards.

Thank you for making your way down to us Barry and thanks also to Alan Baker and Graham Wallis for your work in making sure that Barry didn’t have second thoughts.


Our charity partner for this meeting’s raffle will support Rural Aid founded in 2015 to provide a support to rural Australia as they understand the needs of primary producers and aim to lend a hand when times are tough. Please see Terri for tickets.

Please welcome John Doutch and Paul Mollision to present their pictorial view 2018

Event Presentations – Grand Autocross Tour

Club Annual Awards

LtoR: Steve Hollowood, Trent Smith, Jeff Lee, Dee Knight and presenter, Barry Ferguson. Pic by B Team Rally Media

4 very special awards are now to be made. Would Barry like to come back to the stage to present the following awards:

  • The John Armitage memorial trophy for: MOST IMPROVED DRIVER 2018 – Jeff Lee
  • The Wal Harris memorial trophy for: MOST IMPROVED NAVIGATOR 2018 – Trent Smith
  • The Hilary Garth memorial trophy for: OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR 2018 – Dee Knight
  • The HRA CLUBMAN OF THE YEAR 2018 – Steve Hollowood

General Business

With sadness I announce the passing of Sue Wasson on November 24th following a battle with cancer. Sue and her partner Peter Morrison were both HRA and Pakenham Auto Club members and competed in several Alpines. Sue was a valued member of the Excel Rally Series, co-driving with Peter and others. She mentored many juniors in the VRC and also ran a number of events within the VCRS.

Many competitors, officials are not aware of the level of personal accident insurance cover they are provided for within any CAMS sanctioned event. I have been in touch with the principal broker whom has clearly defined the coverage and provided me with a link to assist us in understanding the cover. Let me know if you would like the link.

Don’t forget the February meeting and Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 13th February 2019.

Joel then closed the meeting.

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Barry Ferguson, Lindsay Adcock in the Southern Cross Rally. Pic from Warwick Smith’s collection.