Last Sunday I found myself sitting behind the wheel of my Mazda, helmet and race suit on, parked in the formup grid at Mallala Motorsport Park. To pass the time I was reading the live updates coming through Facebook on my phone from round 2 of the World Endurance Championship, the famous 6 Hours of Spa. As I viewed the photographs of the alien looking Audi’s and Peugeot’s racing wheel to wheel on the other side of the world, I was dreaming of a proper endurance racing drive.
But no time for that now. As soon as Michael Katsikitis came driving down pit lane, it was time to get serious. Now I’m not at all comparing the MSCA 6 Hour Regularity Relay to top level endurance racing, in fact it’s probably as far removed as you can get, but in that moment I might as well have been preparing to join the race at the famous Ea Rouge. As team manager Juke Jaksa came running over to strap the batton to my arm, I sped out onto the track as quickly as possible to begin my next hour-long stint behind the wheel.
For 2012 Any Given Reason entered a team into the annual 6 Hour. The event is officially called a ‘regularity relay’ and is reasonably simple in theory. Each driver in the team nominates a lap time before the event begins, and the winning team is the one that have stayed closest to their nominated times throughout the 6 Hours – there’s a complex calculation to determine this. A team can consist of 4-6 cars, and one car from each team must be on the track for the entire 6 hours.
We had Luke Jaksa doing a brilliant job as Catering Manager/ Team Manager…
One of our ‘official supporters club’ members arrived in a new Range Rover Evoque. I’m traditionally not a fan of small four wheelers but I think the Evoque is simply beautiful. The detailling is supurb, Range Rover hardly changed it at all from the original concept car and it feels almost like a bespoke design. I was lucky enough to take it for a short drive. #extrasafety
Driving was always exciting. There were 19 cars on the track, all of varying speed differences, and nobody would slow to let anyone past because they were afraid they’d ruin their lap time. That meant there was lots of dodgy passing under brakes and through corners, and in all honesty it was great fun. There were times out there when we were wheel to wheel racing – I remember once passing two cars into the Northern hairpin whilst another car passed me. That’s 4 deep! There were times when we were driving at speed just a few feet from other cars. Brilliant..
It really started to come down as Luke passed the batton through the window. I also did a full stint in the pouring rain and I can honestly say it was such good fun. The track was extremely slippery, and you were constantly finding the limits of grip, driving as fast as you physically could. My stock MX5 isn’t a powerful car, but in those conditions even the slightest application of power would see the rear end break out into long, beautiful slides. And it was a nice ego boost to pass cars that are normally 15 seconds faster in the dry!
As the clock struck 5pm the chequered flag was waived, and we gave all the drivers a clap as they filtered back into pit lane. It really didn’t feel like 6 hours worth – maybe the MSCA should consider a 12 Hour regularity relay!
Congratulations to the Scuderia Alfa Black team for winning the event. Out of 19 teams, Team Any Given Reason finished in 8th place, well inside the top 10. I’d like to say a huge thanks to the MSCA and it’s volunteers for running the event, to Michael, Mike and Lee for driving well, to Luke Jaksa for putting in a huge amount of effort to keep us organised and fed, to Josh Woenig, Luke Jaksa and Peter Myllynen for their help in running the team on the day and to Hammer Time for making our windscreen banners. Bring on next year, I’m thinking a top 5 finish is within reach?#Alfa Romeo #BMW #Mallala #Mazda #MSCA #MSCA 6 Hour #Regularity #Team