Event Reports

Close Finish at Tunbridge

Several WDCC crews and a number of helpers made the trip to the sleepy township of Talbot for round two of the Victorian Club Rally Series. Daryl and Troy in the trusty red Celica, Steph in the Datsun 1600 and Shaddy and David in the Triple 9 Astra.

Most competitors were keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast in the lead-up to the event as a number of severe weather warnings had been issued. Fortunately the weather was kind and there was only a few patches of water for crews to negotiate with most of the roads quite dry and offering plenty of grip.

The roads on offer were typical goldfields style roads with some faster sections mixed with a number of narrow and twisty goat tracks. The event was a mixture of mapped and route charted sections across four stages repeated twice. Unfortunately the second pass of the long 24km stage was cancelled due to some muppets throwing things at competing cars.

Steph and Steve had some dramas with the 1600 with an apparent broken throttle cable halting progress early on but were able to rejoin to complete the second half.  image-0-02-07-b9d254494fddea53d52801893f3043960086b41ad5f2252630c3890d6f80c2ca-V

Daryl and Troy had a strong result, leading the event from the first stage but were gradually overhauled by the WRX of Lee and Dougherty. The celica would fall short on the last stage and eventually finish second buy only 6 seconds, one of the closest finishes in VCRS history.

The next event on the VCRS calender is the Nissan Nightmoves in June.


Bendigo Tyre Centre Cooper Memorial Rally 2017

Matt Lee and Annie Dougherty (Subaru WRX) have come away with a win at round one of the Victorian Club Rally Series over the weekend. WDCC put on the event in the forests around Noojee and Poweltown to the east of Melbourne. Many WDCC members assisted in the organisation and on the day running of the event that was widely praised by most competitors.

Cooper Memorial-24

State-wide heavy rain in the lead up to the event threatened to reduce the distance of the event. Fortunately the region escaped the brunt of the deluge, and the solid well built roads were able to present up well by the time the first crews arrived on Saturday afternoon.

The event strayed from traditional rally formats of recent times offering both day and night sections. Crews competed over four sections in daylight and another four longer sections at night. The compact format allowed crews to complete the course in time for a meal and a beverage after the event. The close proximity of the spectator point, as well as a live stream to the rally base allowed service crews and spectators to keep an eye on the action.

drone shoot of cooper

Justin Walker and Steph Richards (Ford Escort) were the early pace setters on the opening two stages. Unfortunately, it was to be a sad day for the escorts with the crew having issues in the afternoon sections, at this point the crew of Lee/Dougherty were able to take a commanding lead. They would go onto take four stage wins throughout the day and night to extend their lead at the final control.

Cooper Memorial-34Cooper Memorial-8

Consistency rewarded 2015 series champions, Cary Seabrook and Rhiannon Philpot-Hale, despite reporting differential issues after the daytime stages; they maintained their tempo and were second outright and first 2WD in a Datsun Stanza. Luke Simpson and Ryan Humphrey’s made a spectacular return in the Hyundai FX Coupe, thrilling spectators and recording two fastest stage times on their way to third outright and second 2WD.

Congratulations to the provisional special award recipients thanks to Bendigo Tyre Centre;

1st Outright Matt Lee/ Annie Dougherty 700 Bendigo Tyre Centre Dollars

2nd Outright Cary Seabrook/ Rhiannon Philpot-Hale 500 Bendigo Tyre Centre Dollars

1st Novice Andrew Crimson/ Lucas Hunter 350 Bendigo Tyre Centre Dollars

Most Spectacular Luke Simpson/ Ryan Humphrey’s 350 Bendigo Tyre Centre Dollars

A huge thank you to the competing crews, officials and organising committee who all enjoyed a great event with many crews pleading to see a return of the event in 2018.

Provisional Results;

2017 Cooper Memorial Provisionals E3

Photos courtesy of Ivan Glavas and Jimmy Rooke


Bumper field hits up Nissan Night Moves

Round four of the Victorian club rally series headed to the Heathcote forests for the Nissan Night Moves on Saturday 18th June. It was one of the strongest fields that the event and the series has seen in recent years with numerous previous VCRS champions keen to tackle the tricky roads of Heathcote.

The event, much to the delight of competitors, was ran as a fully road booked event with a number of WDCC crews taking part. We had Brian and James in the big Nissan, Daryl and Troy in the celica, Chris and Jimmy the much loved by all MR2 and Steph navigating in a 1600.

Daryl and Troy suffered a gearbox failure in section two and proceeded to ‘spectate’ for the rest of the evening. Brian and James had an issue free run and finished in seventh. Chris, aside from a sick navigator, was happy with the evening and narrowly missed out on a top ten buy just one second. and Steph navigated her way to a fantastic 14th position.

Outright winners were Luke Sytema followed by the flamboyant Andrew Bell.

Please watch the links bellow for some great ‘bagging it up for Gargamel’




Gil Davis Memorial Rally VCRS 2

Three Western District crews took part in the Gil Davis that was based at the spectacular setting of the Powelltown Recreation Reserve. Brian and Dan in the freshly rebuilt Nissan, Daryl and Troy in the red Celica and Chris and Seb in the re engine MR2. The HRA ran event was sure to offer some stunning roads that offered up a variety of conditions from dust in some places to rain and fog in others.

Upon receiving the ‘road book’ we all discovered the entire route was to be fully mapped and with the exception of a caution on a transport section, we would all have to put our faith in the triangles on the maps.

Brian and Dan had a smooth run and with much of their competition floundering would soon be climbing the leader board to place first two wheel drive and third outright.

Daryl and Troy had a relatively issue free run but the times were uninspiring and finished eighth outright. This was still positive as the Celica had not returned from an event with the control arms intact for some time.    

Chris and Seb were happy with their run having proved the performance of the MR2 and despite not partaking in the final stage were still content at the end of the event.

The next event in the VCRS is The Daryl Tumbrige on the 7th of April in Amphitheatre  




George Woods Introductory Trial

The George woods introductory trial was run on the weekend where myself and Daryl (King) decided to give the re-modeled MR2 a bit of a test. There were 7 stages most of them mapped with a few tricks in there which Daryl with the experience of Paul and Troy sorted out. Darkness fell in Powelltown and it was time to head into the forest. We were having a blast and letting the back of the car hang out until, about 5km into the first stage where we had to fix a leaking a coolant issue. But we got it back going and finished stage 1.  ‘Was that fix on the hose alright?’ I asked. I received a tentative answer.  Stage 2 is where Daryl started to relax a bit and get into the flow and even had a bit of a laugh. My driving style could best be described as cautiously erratic.MR2 George Woods

Back at service we sorted the cooling system.  We were lucky enough to get a dust gap for the next stage because the car in front of us broke a clutch on the starting line. (note to self: use handbrake for hill start).  By the end of the night we had apparently set a fastest time on one of the stages, found out that sideways=awesome/scary, passed a Datsun, had a close encounter with a parked car and “kissed” an embankment. Not bad for a first time navigator, thanks Daryl and a re-modeled MR2.

In all it was a great night out in the forest.

Chris Barrett.

If you are a WDCC member who has recently participated in an event please email a brief report/ images to wdccweb@gmail.com