Round 1 notebook

Bruce Astbury debuted his circuit racing career having spent a number of years doing track days in various vehicles from Lotus, Clubman’s and many more.  Bruce purchased the MG TF LE500 of Vince Gucciardo and immediately took like a duck to water and had to fight against many experienced campaigners.  Astbury commented “its been a great weekend, I’ve absolutely loved it and enjoyed the step up from sprints.  I couldn’t of done it without Petrina and Alister’s support but its been great, I was surprised I won my class as well so that’s a good result on debut!”. Astbury intends to run the remainder of the 2020 season now he is starting to get his head around the LE500

Barry Pritchett made a return to his familiar Triumph TR6, after spending the last 18 months playing with an MG TF Cup car he quipped “im back where I belong, and life is much easier!”.  Pritchett will make appearances throughout 2020 but confirmed the plan to expand back to a 2x car Triumph team with Ursula Weidenmuller during 2020. “we had plans but they fell through, we will get there and we both want to be on the grid”

Caelan Chester made her debut, the 16 year old did her OLT on Friday before spending the weekend getting to grips with her MG F but she had a tough weekend, she had a gearbox ball joint snap during Race 2 after 5 laps meaning she didn’t finish the race, and a gearshift cable snap on the warm up lap of Race 3.  Not to be deterred Caelan is keen to keep going, “I really enjoyed race 2 until it broke, it was actually good, I passed a couple of people, I didn’t make any mistakes, so I cant wait for another round”.

Keith Ondarchie had a disasterous 2019 season, the team have clearly turned a page for 2020. Ondarchie managed to run in the top 5 all weekend and take home the honours for the Invited British 2 class.

Nahum Ayliffe is the sole MG ZS in the field, the wet brought him well forward before dropping back in the dry.  Ayliffe is keen to find his way up the field, “I have my eyes on Tony V and that ZR, so I need to see what I have to do to get there but I know weight is my issue and in the wet I can see I can mix it”.  Ayliffe is planning to do most of 2020 but hasn’t ruled out looking at a new weapon for 2021.

The Open 2 field was opened wide, despite Gucciardo’s clean sweep both Robin Bailey and Phil Chester lead races in their V8’s and Bailey appears to have found some mojo he lost during 2019.  Bailey doubled up by competing in the Sportscar/Aus GT combo and he the car got through the whole weekend.

We had three families active on the weekend, Caelan Litte Chester and Philip Chester as daughter and father while Mother, Father and Son combination of Jane, Tony and Richard Vollebregt were also on track.  Father and daughter Keith and Alana Ondarchie ran their Triumph Stag’s with father Keith coming out on top in the Invited British class honours.  During 2020 we expect father and son’s Andrew and Rhys Howell, Michael and Sean Herlihy, David and Paul Vernall to also join.