2015 Ventkhana

With the forecast of heavy rains in Perth on the weekend, we wondered how much weather we’d actually get at our venue. We’d certainly find out by mid way through the weekend!
23 Venturers and seven leaders put their hats in the ring for the much anticipated Ventkhana 2015. Whilst camp was being set up outside on Friday evening, some of the Rally Action team were in the shed, furiously working to have one of the cars ready to start on Saturday morning. The smallest car in the field, a Suzuki Alto had a broken driveshaft. The replacement part brought up from Perth was not a direct match and some lateral thinking, some patience (and some blasphemy) was required to get it all back together and running.

shephards_warningThe wind had already picked up by late Friday, and Saturday morning dawned to a blood red sky making for some spectacular pictures and an omen of things to come. The Venturers were divided into six teams with a mix of 50/50 of new and experienced drivers. All the teams had at least one new driver and as a true team exercise, most had Venturers from different units.

With a nice straight forward 2 lap run of a figure 8 course, the racing started before we moved onto a motorkhana in an open area. We used a straight slalom test as the drivers found their feet with handling aVK_2015 car and the competition. As the morning moved on we combined elements of Motorkhana and Khanacross together creating different tests to keep everyone on their toes.

With the wind biting, we stopped for a lunch break around midday and got ready for the afternoon. By the time lunch was over, the weather had moved in. Steady rain now fell and coupled with the strong wind, it was cold!
We set up one of our service tents as a shelter for waiting drivers. Anchoring it down proved interesting and any thought of adding a side as wind break was futile. Whilst we had our timers warm and cosy inside a heated car, the venturers and leaders found a novel way to remain comfortable. They’d stay inside the cars until it was literally time to race, then jump out and either find a space in another car or brave the cold under the service tent for a few minutes then get back in the car after it had finished the test.
That worked well for competitors, however a few case hardened (or frozen) spectators (and the clerk of course) spent most of the afternoon under the service tent or braving the elements.
VK_16The rain did add another dimension that none of even the most experienced junior drivers had seen before – racing in the wet. Now wipers, slippery patches and the odd puddle came into play as well as concentrating on where they were going and actually driving. The leaders often acted as both co-drivers and demisters, wiping the inside of the screens before each run.

Regardless of the conditions, the overwhelming majority wanted to keep racing and so we did. Eight tests were run in the wet and around five o’clock, we called it a day. Ironically as we packed up and found the warmth of fires and shelters, the weather cleared.

Rain did fall again overnight, however Sunday morning dawned dry. Some teams had spied the results during Saturday 11212143_849409068467723_4578465005694259639_oevening, and the race was on to see who could take top spot. Using several configurations of one of our tracks on higher ground, we ran eight more tests. Whilst most parts of the track were dry, a few slippery sections caught out some. Some spins, overshoots and one landing in the centre of a truck tyre lining the test provided entertainment as the sun occasionally broke through the clouds.
As midday approached, we wound up the racing to give everyone a chance to pack up before the rain hit us again.

After 27 tests the results were in.
Sixth place was taken by Team 1 in the Orange Corolla. Comprising of Bunbury and Maddington members, leaders Bruce and VK_3Steve had a great weekend. Driven by members from Warwick, team five took fifth spot in their blue Charade. Neil sat in the passenger seat and the team set a fastest time on Saturday too. Leader Graham co-drove members of Leschenault and Whaleback to fourth place in the maroon Pulsar of team 2. The team also won the best presented award for their resilient and accurate “cyberman” from Dr Who lashed to the roof. With a fresh set of wheels under the veteran car in the field, Donna led team four to third place. It was a great result for the Warwick members in their blue Pulsar. A week out from the event Whaleback didn’t have a car or a co-driver. Rally Action team member Andrew happily agreed to co-drive and his chariot would be the red Alto. Resembling a single slice toaster on wheels, members of Whaleback and Warwick took11110445_849408991801064_8493988168655305763_o the car to second place. At one point during the weekend, the team had led the event by just under half a second. There was only one place left, first. Mark sat alongside Venturers from Warwick (team 3) in their green Pulsar and took the win. They finished the weekend without penalties and set several fastest times.

Thanks to all the leaders and units for making the weekend such a great success. Thanks to Bushy and Jess who timed for the whole weekend too. Special thanks to Rally Action team members Rohan and Jace VK_11who watched from the organisers point of view (having participated in several VK’s themselves) and did everything from helping replace a universal joint in a truck to setting out and picking up cones.

Click Here for Ventkhana 2015 Results

The next Venturer Motorsport is RallyVent on the 29th & 30th of August.

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