Over the weekend of Oct 5th and 6th Vintage Car and Bike owners raced their vehicles at Baskerville Raceway, Old Beach Tasmania. Despite horrendous winds, crowds gathered in spectacular numbers and supported these great veterans, throughout the weekend. Though many of these vehicles maybe in their dotage, don’t be fooled. They were driven with passion and ferocity around the challenging Baskerville circuit, engines roaring, tyres squealing in mortal combat. Vehicles raced in different classes, from Historic Motor cycles through regular sedans, sports cars and muscle cars. The pride and joy of many owners, it was obvious countless hours of blood sweat and tears had been spent building, maintaining and refining these vehicles.
For all this dedication there was not one who held back on the track. Many careered round corners on two and sometimes one wheel as the pushed their charges to the limits. Racing lines were abandoned in attempts to round the next competitor, No quarter was given. Yet back in the pits the combatants laughed and joked like the old mates they were. It was all a great game. The banks of spectators lining the hills above Baskerville Raceway, fed off the atmosphere and stayed to the bitter end. Many it seemed camped overnight or arrived at the crack of dawn. Elaborate camps were set, with full service food and drink facilities, tents and seating. Team colours, flags and banners were liberally sprinkled through the crowds and all had a story to share. But it was the racing that took centre stage. Whilst the muscle cars roared at breath taking speeds, it was the production cars that seemed to provide the greatest spectacle. Evenly matched, they hustled side by side round every corner, leads changed with every lap, cars often airborne around the climbing corners or squealing rubber as brakes grabbed for last second braking. Every race had something that had the audience up on their feet. The Mini Cooper, a long favourite of the public, provided not only some dramatic moments during racing but also turned out in numbers for the lunchtime, Hobart Mini Garage Grid Walk. Minis appeared from everywhere to fill the final bend ahead of a short procession to the Starting Grid, with a Bagpipe Band. And the crowd appreciation was shown in the numbers that massed to the grid to view these iconic veterans. After lunch it was back to the racing. No post-lunch nap, nor any let up on the gas peddles. Amongst the cars also came the Vintage Motorcycles. There were many who were amazed at the speed these vehicles travelled at. Many a photographer has a blurry image of a two wheeled speedster flashing by. Some may not even have the speedster. It was a weekend to remember for many reasons, but most of all it was the camaraderie. For all the passion on the track, there was not a moment when the event was anything but a great family day out.
© Robert Oates | BALLANTYNE Photography