The grasskhana this year was very kindly hosted by Bob and Shirley Bennett once again in Shirley’s horse paddock at Eyreton. It really is an excellent venue. With the wet winter the paddock promised to be nice and greasy, but this did not prove to be the case and the condition of the course was green and firm which may be of interest to the horse racing types. The weather was fine with nor-westerly winds forecast for the afternoon and with this combination an excellent time was on the cards.
We were joined this year by the Mercedes Benz, VANZ Unlimited and Rover clubs, and as a result there were over twenty cars and drivers taking part which turned out to be a really good manageable field and provided plenty of competition. At the last minute the Lotus club was keen to join us as well but the committee felt that this would potentially have resulted in too large a field which would have consequently taken too long for all to have their runs. This was regrettable and hopefully we can get together for a grasskhana with the Loti next year. That would be interesting. There was a good Triumph turnout with the usual assortment of Spitfires, GT6, Vitesses, TR6 and Herald, and it was great to see Bob and Shirley giving Shirley’s MX5 the beans – I’m still waiting to see the TR8 though. These were joined by Rover SD1s, a Range Rover, Jeff Berry’s impressive custom van, and assorted Mercedes and other Europeans.
The intent of the day and emphasis of the event, as always, was on driver skills and not on out and out competition. That sentiment lasted about as long as Rocky’s pep talk. However, when you have a sinister black Mercedes E55 tank with traction control and blacked out windows pitted against Britain’s most delicate and finest, some determination may have been considered necessary. This need didn’t eventuate and most, but not all Triumphs dispatched the large Merc to where it belonged. Most of us were content to cruise round the course listening to “Summer Holiday” except for Ron Brooking and Rocky Hamilton who adopted a more “Wild Things” approach. Road Rage Ron started each run with a grunted, “what do I have to beat” before disappearing in a cloud of dense dust that engulfed the stupid time keeper (me) who forgot about the nor-west that was accurately forecast. These two put in some pretty admirable times until the two Andy’s arrived in their Spitfire Mk3’s and set about putting in some seriously proper ones. After embarrassingly rolling a tyre off a rim, a humiliated Andy Hughes of the red Spitfire resorted to wearing Biggles gear to regain some credibility while Andy Colombus of burgundy Spitfire fame showed a stunning display of rear wheel tuck-in (even when stationary) that would have had a Triumph engineer weeping with joy. It didn’t affect his times one little bit. After two of the three courses they were running very comfortably 1st and 2nd, but then took off in formation with a cheerful TTFN without waiting for the last course. This was a bit unfortunate as it left Ron and Rocky to slug it out over the top two places, as is common. The outcome without further ado is that Rocky Hamilton is again the winner of the Bob Bennet Trophy for 2010 with Ron Brooking runner up and Peter McDiarmid in 3rd place. Congratulations all.
Thank you Bob and Shirley again for providing such a good venue for this event. It always makes for a great day. Tony Ussher