As I write there are only 30 days to go until the 2019 Paynter Dixon Sydney MasterBlast featuring Muscle Car Masters, to be held on Father’s Day weekend.

The traditional Muscle Car Masters format has seen declining support in recent years, not helped by having to move the date away from Father’s Day to accommodate various category racing calendars.  This year will see a new package of the traditional mixed with some new ideas, in response to feedback from competitors and spectators.  In all likelihood not every special interest group will have all their preferences satisfied, but we believe the overall new package will present an exciting weekend of racing that showcases Australian motorsport heritage with some new attractions and angles.  Categories this year include Touring Car Masters (TCM), Heritage Touring Cars (Group C & A), Historic Touring Cars (Nb/Nc), National Sports Sedans, and Historic Sports Cars (Group S), plus Production Touring, Superkarts, and on the Sunday, Motorbike racing including a fantastic Le Mans start. On Saturday night there will be racing under lights for TCM, Group N, Group C and A, and Production Touring on the Druitt (North) Circuit!

More immediately, the next round of the 2019 State Motor Racing Championships is on this weekend (3rd & 4th August) and there is another strong entry list.  It is often said that some of the closest and most exciting racing is seen in ‘grass roots’ racing at State Championship events; the drivers and teams might not be big dollar professionals, but the standards of car preparation, pit crew support and driving skills are of the highest order.

Other upcoming events include the annual Council of Motor Clubs Shannons Classic display day, on Sunday 18th August.  There will be over 1900 cars motorbikes and other vehicles on display and parading on the circuit over the course of the day.

You might also want to note in your diary the 2019 World Time Attack (WTAC), to be held on October 18th & 19th (yes, Friday and Saturday). In addition to the ‘normal’ engineering masterpieces that are presented for the ultimate one-lap screamer competition, the big feature this year will be the latest in the Brabham line, the BT-62.  Many of you will have seen this car reviewed on Top Gear and/or the YouTube video of the record-breaking lap at Mt Panorama, and at the very least the idea of another sensational car with this famous name, built in Australia, should be more than enough to bring you along.  I’m sure there will be great interest in seeing if the BT-62 can threaten the times recorded by Mark Webber in 2013 (1:13.6) and Daniel Ricciardo in 2014 (1:11.23), both in the Red Bull RB7.

Members will recall that earlier this year long-serving ARDC Director Neil Turner retired from our Board, and that Neil and his wife Ronda were elected Life Members of the ARDC at our Annual General Meeting in May.  Neil’s retirement created a casual vacancy for an Elected Director position and I am very pleased to announce that at its July meeting the ARDC Board appointed Natalie Turmine to fill the casual vacancy. Natalie has been a Board Appointed Director since September 2017 and makes a considerable contribution to Board discussions and overall governance.  Nat is a Competitor Member for both cars and motorcycles, and is a keen participant on both 2 and 4 wheels.  Nat will serve the remainder of Neil’s term as an Elected Director, and will stand for re-election in May 2020.  The Board has begun considering the opportunity to fill Natalie’s previous position as an Appointed Director and I expect to keep members informed of progress.

Andrew Leithhead

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