2014 Peter Howell Memorial – From racer and AORC President Ernie Hogg -
“Well the Peter Howell Memorial is done and dusted for another year. Congratulations to Ben Thomasen who had another outstanding drive, Mike Small and Shaun Russell for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
We started the day well when we qualified 2nd fastest with a good run and even better turn around the cone at the top of the qualifying sprint. Pole went to Richard Crabb and 3rd fastest was Ben Thomasen. There were 22 entries on the day.
Unfortunately we didn’t do so well in the race, crashing out in the 1st race on lap 3 of 7 sitting in 2nd place behind Ben Thomasen when we backed it into a corner and exited the track backwards down a bank. After several attempts at the impossible we decided to exit the car before it buggered off down the bank further so while we had some spectators put some weight on the front of the car, we climbed out of the buggy. It had been a long time since I’d watched the race from the side of the track, but fortunately it was reasonably warm. We were towed / winched out after the race was finished by Kevin Cooper and were able to drive our way back to the pits.
In the 2nd race we were making our way through the field from the back as the track got faster and faster when on lap 5 we lost a steering rod bolt on the hub end resulting in the steering rod being snapped off at the rack end which resulted in us clearing a path through some toitoi’s as the buggy decided to exit the track left. After levelling 30m of toitoi and gorse bushes we came to a rest, backed ourselves out of the toitoi’s, removed a sack full of toitoi’s and gorse from inside the cabin and drove rather drunken like to an area where we could pull over away from the traffic. A message was relayed back to the pits after the race and we were soon delivered a replacement steering arm which we fitted and once again we drove our way back to the pits.
Overall we were pretty happy with the day, in Race 1 it was a fine line between making it or not and we didn’t and in the Race 2, sometimes stuff breaks and there is not much you can do about it – that’s offroad racing!
We’d like to thank the organisers, volunteers, marshalls, lap scorers, registrars and scrutineers including the volunteers who helped with track setup on the Saturday for a great relaxed event especially Phil Cameron who was the Event Organiser and Clerk of the Course.
Also like to thank Graeme Sandford who climbed in the co-driver’s seat for the day and to Taine Carrington for helping in the pits and on the radio.”