Action aplenty

By Benalla Ensign

Winton Motor Raceway, Benalla Airport and surrounding roads played host to the Australia’s Best Driver’s Car competition last week.

Thirteen performance cars valued at no more than $250000 were judged in a number of tests including straight-line acceleration and time trials.

There was a mix of vehicles including coupes, sedans, roadsters and hatches.

With a mix of four, six and eight-cylinder engines with front, rear and all-wheel drive.

More than $1.2 million worth of vehicles were tested during the competition, covering 1700km collectively.

Organisers estimated that the cars burned through more than 5100 litres of fuel over five days, enough to keep an F-16 Fighting Falcon in the air for six hours.

Luke Youlden, the 2017 Bathurst Champion, was one of the drivers and said Winton was chosen as the location because of its first-class facilities as well as the ‘‘amazing roads’’ in the area.

‘‘Winton Motor Raceway is a terrific track to test the cars on because it has a really good mix of slow, medium and high-speed corners, plus a decent straight, which is great for the bigger cars that have more power, it gives them a chance in the competition as well,’’ Youlden said.

‘‘Benalla Airport was the venue we used for our acceleration testing, 0-100km/h and 400m sprints.

‘‘This form of testing was important... to give the judges an impression of how the cars perform in a straight-line situation.

‘‘The runway we used at the Benalla Airport was a slippery surface, so similar to road conditions.

‘‘You are always going to get better times at a drag strip or race track because the surface conditions are a lot better, but I feel we managed to find a good balance to make sure the judging conditions of ABDC were as close to a real-world road experience as possible.

‘‘I grew up in Victoria and spent a lot of time in the Benalla area as a child, especially at the Winton Motor Raceway.

‘‘My dad was a race car driver, I used to ride my push bike around the track to watch dad, and now I’m back here in a work situation.

“It’s always good to come back... Winton Motor Raceway is actually my test track for the V8 Supercar team, Erebus Motorsports, who I race with.

‘‘I do a lot of miles around the region, but not a huge amount in road cars like those I drove for ABDC, it’s a nice change and lots of fun.’’

Judges will now collate all the results and a winner will be announced on in mid-May.