The Townsville City Autosports Club Inc. conducted their last competitive event for 2009 on the weekend of November 21 and 22 with the Charters Towers Gold Rallysprint.

Thirteen competitors lined up eager to pace note the course and weren’t they excited when they saw what the track had to offer them! High speed straights, hairpin turns, twisty bits, the odd creek washout and an interesting mixture of ups and downs through the quarry with a big water splash for anyone who got it wrong (thankfully no one did). All of this five minutes from the town centre around the council-owned airport reserve.

As with all small club events there wouldn’t be enough people if navigators didn’t do double duty with drivers and first timer, 15 year old Lauren Sutherland jumped in the deep end navigating for Ken (Stumpy) Long (MK1 Escort) and also Sam Woodger (Datsun 1600). She must have picked it up navigating quickly with Sam Woodger taking third outright closely followed by Stumpy in fourth outright only 24 seconds behind.

There were three other female navigators, Deb Melrose who partnered hubby Lance in their MK1 Escort to claim first in class B and sixth outright, first timer Wendy Hickey who sat beside Nathan Mullins (R30 Skyline) who suffered a puncture on the first run and a broken axle on the second run. Another axle was sourced from Townsville and replaced on Saturday night only to break again on the second run on Sunday leaving her with not much seat time but thoroughly enjoying every minute.

Janet Johnson, sitting beside her other half Ross, didn’t make it to the end of the first run when a back shockie let go, spearing them into a ditch which bent all of the driver's side steering back up into the floor pan. After a shortened event it was back onto the trailer and Ross commenting "Bring on 2010!" 

Shane Ogilvie and Ken Maluga took outright honours and first in class D in the V8 Ford powered Maverick ute in the first event Shane has completed all year (old proverb – to finish first, first you must finish and that’s what he did). Peter Trezona and Wade Hickey held onto second outright and first in class C by one second in Peter's standard R32 Skyline (watch out for this competitor when he gets some new tyres for 2010 as he was running on borrowed old rally tyres).

Charters Towers local business man and TCAC member, Colin Ugarte, negotiated with the council to use the land and the club members can’t wait to go back next year as all said it was a brilliant track and being so close to town everyone gathered at the same steakhouse for dinner on Saturday night making for a very social weekend, so thanks from the club to Colin.

For full results go to

Results:  Outright Totals for the 12 stages:

1st Outright – Shane Ogilvie / Ken Maluga; Ford Maverick ute; 0.43m 44s

2nd Outright – Peter Trezona / Wade Hickey; R32 Skyline; 0.45m 51s

3rd Outright –  Sam Woodger / Lauren Sutherland; Datsun 1600; 0.45m 52s

Class placings:

Class B:

1st -- Lance Melrose / Deb Melrose; Ford Escort MK1; 0.47m 46s

2nd – Leif Hickey / Grant Cooper; 1981 Mazda 626; 0.48m 26s

Class C:

1st – Peter Trezona / Wade Hickey; R32 Skyline; 0.45m 51s

2nd –  Sam Woodger / Lauren Sutherland; Datsun 1600; 0.45m 52s

3rd – Ken Long / Lauren Sutherland; Ford Escort MK1; 0.46m 16s

Class D:

1st  – Shane Ogilvie / Ken Maluga; Ford Maverick ute; 0.43m 44 s

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