|The Gippsland Car Club|
The Gippsland Car Club was formed in the early 1960’s by a group of local motor sporting
enthusiasts. The Club has conducted hillclimb events for many years, as well as
organising other types of events, including rallies, treasure hunts, motorkhanas and
sprint meetings. The Club also conducts social activities.
The Club is proud to be one of the few motoring organisations that can boast its own clubrooms and its own track. Most hillclimbs are held on closed public roads, and are only available for a few days each year. Gippsland Park is used on approximately 30 weekends each year, making it one of the most used hillclimb tracks in Australia.
Any person is eligible to be a member of the Club, and thus compete in motoring events, including hillclimbs. All that is needed to compete in most events is a roadworthy car, a crash helmet, a fire extinguisher and a racing licence, which is available from the Club Secretary. A monthly newsletter (Valve Bounce) is published to keep members informed of happenings within the Club. The Club conducts a number of championships each year, including a Club Championship, a Hillclimb Championship, a Sprint Championship and a Motorkhana Championship. Club Championship events are held at Gippsland Park, and at circuits including East Sale RAAF, Sandown, Calder, Winton and Phillip Island.
The conduct of the hillclimb circuit in Latrobe Road, Morwell is the main motor sporting activity of the Club. Both hillclimbs and motorkhanas are conducted on the track and its surrounds. Members compete in sprint meetings organised by other Clubs in Victoria.
A hillclimb is defined as a speed event along a track or course of more than 200 metres in length, which usually comprises a variety of gradients and corners. The winner of the event is the driver who can complete the course in the lowest time.
A motorkhana is a competition designed to test acceleration, braking and general manoeuvrability of vehicles and the skill and judgement of the crew members.
A sprint can be either single or multi car (super sprint), and is usually conducted on a permanent circuit. The winner is the person who records the lowest lap time, which is not necessarily the person who reaches the end of the lap first.
|The Three Phases of Gippsland Park|
Prior to 1972, the Club held hillclimb events on a sand/gravel track on a stretch of road
that was originally Latrobe Road. The straightening of Latrobe Road left a nice, windy
section of road that was ideal for hillclimbing. This section of road still forms part of
the track, but it is now asphalt.
The majority of the present track was completed in 1972, and was used in this format until 1986. The hillclimbing fraternity in Victoria immediately welcomed the track, as it gave them a much-needed new venue on which to compete. The asphalt surface was a far cry from the gravel of the original track, and it meant that the Club was able to conduct both State and National Championship hillclimb events. Rounds of the Victorian Hillclimb Championship have been held at the track every year since 1972. The major highlight for the Club during this period was the holding of the Australian Hillclimb Championship in 1977, in which well over 100 competitors from all states of Australia participated.
The realignment of Latrobe Road during 1986 meant that the infamous Morwell Hump became extremely dangerous – the Hump had to go, which it did in early 1987. The “new” track has been in use since that time, with a complete resurface taking place in 1989. The Australian Hillclimb Championship has been held twice using the current track, in 1989 and in 1999. The Club also acquired additional land from APM Forests during the mid 1980s, and extended the pit and spectator areas to allow a significant increase in both competitor and spectator parking.
The track is now able to be used in a number of configurations, which have the effect of adding to the number of hillclimb tracks available to competitors.
Many thousands of people competed in their first motor sporting event at Gippsland Park, and many of them have gone on to bigger and better things in the motorsport world.
|What Type of Cars Compete in Hillclimbs and Sprints?|
|Hillclimb and sprint events cater for all types of vehicles, from the humble family sedan to sophisticated open wheel racing cars. Classes are designed in such a way that people compete against other drivers in cars that are similar to their own. The types of cars that compete can be grouped as Racing Cars (Formula Vee, Formula Ford and Formula Libre), Sports Cars (Production and Open/Closed), Sports Sedans, Touring Cars, Improved Production (Club) Cars, HQ Holdens and Historic Cars.|
|The Victorian Hillclimb Championship|
|The Victorian Hillclimb Championship has been conducted as an annual series for more than thirty years. The Gippsland Car Club first held rounds of the Victorian Hillclimb Championship in 1972, and has held between one and four rounds every year since that time. The Victorian Hillclimb Champion is the driver who scores the most points at the various hillclimbs designated as rounds of the Victorian Championship. Rounds of the Championship are currently held at Rob Roy (near Yarra Glen), One Tree Hill (Ararat), Mt. Leura (Camperdown) as well as Gippsland Park.|