Blaxland resident Glenn Thomas and Springwood's Stewart Temesvary were part of the Mazda MX-5 Club of NSW's four man driving team 'Panorama Mountain Men' who won the Victorian 6 Hour Relay at Phillip Island on Sunday, July 28.
The win means the team set a record, being the first team to ever successfully defend their title at the Phillip Island event. The competition secretary of the MX-5 Club of NSW, Ian Combes, congratulated the team and stated "winning the Victorian 6 Hour Relay once is hard enough, but doing it twice in a row is a whole different level."
Temesvary credited the win "to the depth of experience of the drivers, meticulous planning, great pit crew and team work combined with the superb handling Mazda MX-5 sports cars".
Regularity Relays are more about driving consistently than outright speed. Drivers nominate a lap time and are penalised for going too fast and receive bonus points for coming close to that time. When you consider changing weather conditions and up to 50 teams on 4.6 km of track, you begin to appreciate the challenge.
Thomas, Temesvary and the team were able to consistently achieve lap times within 2.5 seconds of their nominated times, while accumulating no penalties over the six hours of competition, to end up setting a record score for this event with a final score of 46,599 points, 13,729 higher than the second placed team and more than double the score of the team in third place.
"Sometimes there is a very fine line between glory and disaster with these events," said Thomas. "On one lap I was driving too fast and could have been penalised, possibly losing the event for the team. The team were sending me urgent signals to slow down, I lifted my foot off the accelerator and ended up with a lap time 0.0089 of a second short of incurring a penalty, earning us maximum bonus points for that lap!"
The team expressed their gratitude to the MX-5 Club of NSW and their major sponsors Blue Mountains Mazda, Blackheath Automotive and Emu Signs for their ongoing support and enthusiasm.
Since the current combination of drivers joined forces about two years ago the team has competed in five regularity relays, with four wins and a second place, arguably making it the strongest team currently in this form of motorsport.
"Going into this event we thought it would be pretty hard to take the trophy home again this year. So now we're looking at fine tuning our strategies to win a third time. Is it possible, who knows?" said Temesvary.