Well the winning SMU run unfortunately ended on the weekend – a departing circlip putting an end any hope of chalking up a third straight win for the team in recent outings.
In what can only be described as the perfect race venue with perfect conditions, the flag dropped for Saturday’s Harvestco King of the Dunes Portland race. The mass start making it all the more thrilling for spectator and crews alike. After a mad rush to the first corner (as always!) there was some great racing and fantastic duels. The track was the best that could be remembered for a few years and it was a race that didn’t disappoint the large crowd that showed up.
The SMU #7 Jimco was in full flight with the Shane Wilson Ford Ecoboost starting to show some signs of it capabilities. Unfortunately our circlip and driveshaft had a severe argument which led to a quick divorce, ending any chance of taking out the race with just on three laps in the first heat after leading.
In the SMU Pits ably led by Tim Collard, and in full flight (!), the team were amazingly able to get the car up and running again for the second heat. With Leigh Baughurst Wells back in the hot seat after a year’s sabbatical, the car didn’t miss a beat in the second heat to win by 7:08 minutes over the 120km.
A massive congratulations to Aaron James and the team ably led by Luce for the weekend for taking out the event in what was a fitting comeback for the team. Sometime there are good endings to off road stories!
The Portland Dune Buggy Club and sponsors are to be thanked and congratulated for what was one of the best Portland events in recent memory. The presentations and effort that had gone into the race was enormous and the large crowd on hand were extremely appreciative. A special mention to Glenn and Courtney Wilkinson who took out the inaugural Neil Hanson Race Directors award. After a trying day it was good to see them with a smile on their face at the end of it.
Saturday night exceeded expectations (is that possible!) with a great time had by all with many familiar faces around the campfires. The 6 am wake up call the next morning, however dampened the day, as the team headed back to Melbourne.
Great race, great fun and the SMU #7 Jimco definitely going the best it has since creation!
A big thank you to Tim Collard, Shane Wilson, Johnny Webster, Brad Chasemore in the lead up and on the day. Not possible to go racing without the boys.
And special thanks to our partners:
Shane Wilson Competition Engines
Albins Off Road Gear
HJC Helmets – Kris Trotter – best helmet on the market!
Dynamic Wheels and Tyres
Colombo’s Family Restaurant Balwyn – best pizzas in Melbourne and huge function room – we do deals!
As for the next race for SMU Racing…..”destination unknown”!
See you at the track
Special thanks to JS Motorsport Photography, LC aerial (who have also done a great video from the weekend which we also link to our page later this week) and Turn 8 Photography for use of their terrific photos. To all other photographers there on the weekend thank you also – some great photos of this event floating around which is a credit to all given the difficulty of photography in the dunes!