Tailem Bend Cancelled due to SA Sporting Car Clubs date change

An email communication from 2018 captain Paul Vernall was sent out confirming the MG Racing event at Tailem Bend has been cancelled after a lot of work behind the scenes.

The email is below


Evening friends,

Firstly let me apologise for not sending something out about this earlier. We were frantically working on this until late yesterday.

By way of background, please find the following information:

Late last year we agreed to go to Tailem Bend in 2018 as part of the SA Sporting Car Club, the person we were in communication with and who provided confirmation of us having our own grid,  left the SA SCC shortly after.  I made contact with another person (Keith Williamson) who helped us when we went to Mallala in 2015, who was as helpful as we could ask but pointed out some challenges. In February he guaranteed us entries would open early March, this then was late March.  Unbeknown to us during this time Keith also left the club and it became apparent that a number of new faces were brought into the SA SCC, but very few had experience in motorsport or event organisation.

On 10th April we were notified that the SA SCC were planning a single day race meeting on the Saturday instead of a two day state round like normal. At the same time The Bend advised us that “a club needed to book Friday for practice”. It became apparent that the SCCSA had assumed that The Bend would operate in the same way as Mallala. We pushed the SCCSA to hold an event on 8th & 9th June. In light of the uncertainty surrounding Friday activity, Phil made contact with the MGCC SA who were nothing short of amazing and agreed to change their supp regs, increase the event permit and level of officials, to include MG & IB Racing during their sprint day.  Success we believed, at least 2 days of racing at the Bend!

The SA SCC then held a meeting on 26th April during which they discovered that they could not gain the help required to run an event on Friday 8thJune and that they could not fit a race meeting into 1 day. On Friday morning, 27th April, Phil contacted the SCCSA to learn the outcome of the meeting. Essentially, they can not run a 1 day event and would therefore look at moving the event to the weekend before. During the conversation, it was clearly indicated to Phil that the facility and / or Clerk of Course would also likely have an issue with competitors qualifying or racing if they have never practiced at the circuit. Another reason why the SCCSA needed to organize a Friday practice.

The shift of weekend played havoc with our plans, as you can imagine – so Phil and I spent endless hours planning and trying to organise people to run a race meeting on Saturday including track hire to give us a 2 day race meeting.  We made contact with flaggies, officials, the MSCA, TSOA, MGCC, Track Time Motorsport, PSCRV + PSCR NSW, Formula Vee’s etc. etc. the list just goes on and on…  We got to the point of approaching MGCC Vic members who run the local state round to go over and run an event for us… Yes that’s how far we went!

Whilst each club displayed overwhelming enthusiasm to run a one day meet (even to the point of verbal approval), each was unable to convince the respective committee. Last Friday evening while down at Phillip Island we received an email from the final club that we had approached, again in the negative.

Where we are now:

Phil is now contacting the MGCC SA to advise them of the situation. We will also contact all the other partners we have put deals in place with for the weekend in Adelaide.

Some of you have expressed interest in still attending the Sunday MG Challenge; we certainly encourage this. Others have indicated a desire to enter the weekend prior. The only thing that I would mention in this regard is for you to check that you will be able to qualify if you do not run Friday practice. Many have indicated that they are not able to run on the prior weekend and can not justify the travel and expense for 1 day.

Due to the above, the committee has been left in a position where we essentially must drop this round from our calendar. Quite a few competitors, certainly after last weekend, need some time to fix cars, engines etc. We feel the best course of action is to allow those people time to do so and consolidate numbers for Winton FOS where we intend to push for another strong field to continue the trend in 2018. During this time we may look at a fun event , similar to that held at Winton last month. We will keep you informed.

We hope you can understand the amount of time and effort that went into trying to make this event work, in what proved to be some of the most challenging dealings we have ever encountered. We are sorry that we could not make this happen and assure you that next year we will have concrete plans in place for events that are properly organised.

With kind regards

Paul Vernall

2018 Captain