STCC Championship Round 8 Robinson's Estate, Hillsborough 30 December by Mark Vaughan
The Club's annual return to the picturesque Robinson Estate on the outskirts of Hillsborough saw Robert jr undertaking Clerk of the Course duties for the days sport. Five sections had been set along the river bank, with hills 1 to 3 adjacent to the log cabin and hills 4 & 5 in the field through the gate across the lane.
The usual tyre pressure differential was applied giving the live axle competitors a major advantage with the wet ground conditions and ensuring that any independent team looking for a podium result would have to fight hard to regain the handicap.
Most of the sections followed routes similar to previous years with some minor deviations incorporated to provide greater tests for the fourteen teams gathered on the day.
Two rounds were held prior to a short break to allow Robert the opportunity to alter the hills and at that stage John McKinney held the advantage with 7 penalties lost with Tom just a couple of points adrift. Mark Vaughan led the independent cars on 14 from Clive Gracey and Mervyn McKinney tied on 17, one clear of Brian Edgar. George Elliott and Bryan Vaughan were slightly off the pace perhaps struggling more with the tyre pressures on 24 and 27. In Class B David Webster had assumed his usual place at the head of the field on 21 from Simon Gracey 26 who had opened a gap to the chasing Andrew Kidney on 36. George Burton and Chris Stanley were having a close battle with only a few points separating them. Tommy Reid had returned to the hills for the first time in a number of years to lead Graham Jennings by 4 points.
The remaining two rounds saw Tom McKinney closing out his second win of the season with Mark Vaughan closing down John McKinney to snatch second place on the very last hill. The remaining Class A teams finished in close order with just 3 points covering four teams. In Class B, Simon Gracey put in some determined climbs to ease into first place from David Webster. George Burton eventually opened the gap to Chris Stanley with Geoffrey McKay pulling clear of the remaining teams.
Yet another enjoyable event at this beautiful venue and as always the hospitality of the Robinson family making it a real family day out during the festive season.