WITH the smell of dust and petrol in their nostrils more than 100 competitors took to the Boisdale Hillclimb track Sunday, November 17, to race against the clock as part of the Noel Burley Memorial Hillclimb.
One of the most prestigious events on the Maffra and District Car Club calendar, the Noel Burley Memorial Hillclimb marks the end of the club’s racing season.
Running for more than 30 years, the event honours car club stalwart Noel Burley who succumbed to cancer in 1980.
Nicknamed Noddy, Mr Burley joined the club by accident in 1967 after purchasing a Mini 850 in which he entered and won two Maffra Car Club events, winning a complementary membership to the club.
He served the club in a number of roles for many year, organising events such as car rally movie nights, armchair rallies, races and working bees at the Boisdale Hillclimb track.
He often acted as a steward on race days.
Noel Burley was named Maffra and District Car Club’s clubman of the year in 1970.
According to Maffra and District Car Club member Adrian Britton Noel Burley was one of the key organisers of the Maffra Car Club’s first hilliclimb even in 1968, helping to establish the track itself.
Today the Boisdale Hilclimb track is a favourite of racers and spectators alike.
“Noel did a lot of promotion in the early years of the club,” Mr Britton said, explaining how Mr Burley had his own radio show.
“At the time he was also a reporter for reliability trials, rallies and motokhanas, as well as being an organiser and competitor,” Mr Britton explained.
A fan of all facets of motor sport, particularly the organising of rallies and motorcycle racing, Noel Burley’s scoring and timing systems for motorcycle enduros in the 70s was adopted throughout Australia and is still used today.
A family friendly event, the Noel Burley Memorial Hillclimb attracts generations of competitors, with Mr Burley’s adult sons Peter and Paul continuing their father’s involvement in the club.
This year the brothers presented the Noel Burley Memorial Hillclimb trophy to event winner Bruce Webster who ended the day with the fastest time.
With excellent weather conditions all round it was a great day for all competitors, with junior winner James Jorgenson and female winner Chelsea Hickling also presented trophies.
“It never rains on Noel Burley Day,” Peter said.
With 200 registered members Mr Britton said the Maffra and District Car Club has a big focus on junior drivers.
“We have a junior development program for those who don’t actually race,” Mr Britton said.
“We prepare three or four (programs) each year, with instructors teaching them about car control rather than about speed or time,” he added.
At the conclusion of the race, all gathered to watch Noel’s sons Peter and Paul Burley present the outright winner of the day Bruce Webster with the trophy for his incredibly quick time of 41.37 seconds.
Junior driver James Jorgensen was awarded the junior trophy for his time of 42.25s, and Chelsea Hickling won the women’s trophy with 45.92s.
In attendance on the day were some past members and early organisers of the Maffra and District Car Club, which included a parade lap with the likes of Peter Ryan in his FJ Holden, and John Scott in his V8 powered VW Combi.
Class A: B Jones 47.56, K Hickling 48.01, D Hickling 48.42.
Class B: J Seymour 45.31, N Seymour 45.64, G Crawford 45.71.
Class C: J Blandford 47.51, B Bye 49.63, D Pool 51.36.
Class D: D Saddington 45.68, P Speekman 45.78, J Seymour 46.37.
Class E: R Renooy 48.01, R Duve 49.61, A Stockdale 49.61.
Class F: A Patterson 46.14, B Vandongen 46.22, C Stevenson 46.4.
Class I: K Pridmore 42.17, D Bridle 42.42, M Muir 42.47.
Class K: B Webster 41.37, M Grigg 41.41, A Kovco 41.7.
Class L: C Hickling 45.92, E Jones 47.13, H Deason 47.98.
Junior class A: N Henderson 47.43, Ethan S 50.24, K Hanks 50.92.
Junior class B: L Seymour 46.36, K Coleman 46.98.
Junior class C: L Henderson 47.2, L Britton 52.03, P Mahoney 52.7.
Junior class D: M Coleman 46.93.
Junior class E: K Renooy 48.48.
Junior class F: J Johnstone 46.74, J Jones 47.49, L Jorgensen 47.74.
Junior class I: J Jorgensen 42.25, M Bridle 42.31.