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Celebration revs up

Saturday, 23rd May, 2015

Barrier Sporting Car Club members are keen for a big reunion next week. Front: Nick Hatzi, Marie Wecker, Rhett Baldwin and Kevin Woodman. Back: Wayne Lee, Bill Lenton and Mick Baldwin. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel Barrier Sporting Car Club members are keen for a big reunion next week. Front: Nick Hatzi, Marie Wecker, Rhett Baldwin and Kevin Woodman. Back: Wayne Lee, Bill Lenton and Mick Baldwin. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel

Five decades of mud, sweat and tears will be celebrated at the Civic Centre this weekend as the Barrier Sporting Car Club (BSCC) holds its 50 year anniversary.

The milestone will be marked by dinner with guest speaker and rally legend Ross Dunkerton on the Saturday night, before a recovery day at Avondale Station on Sunday.

The weekend will be an ideal opportunity for former members and motoring enthusiasts to bask in the rich history of the club which formed on May 2, 1965.

The BSCC was originally founded during a meeting at the Zinc Hall with an aim to foster motorsport in the Silver City.

Its formation came about after the demise of the Broken Hill division of the Vintage Sports Car Club, which had previously raced on the Hillclimb track near Mundi Mundi lookout, and the old horse racing track at Silverton.

The death of a competitor saw the Hillclimb track closed, but the BSCC put in a lot of work in its early days to improve the track and have it reopened.

Its efforts were in vain however, as Confederation of Australian Motorsport officials travelled from Adelaide to inspect the course and deemed it unfit for racing.

The amount of work needed to bring the Hillclimb track up to standard was beyond the BSCC’s finances, so it instead turned its attention to other events such as navigation trials, motorkhanas, scavenger hunts, economy runs, fun runs and social events.

Before long the club boasted around 160 members and was hosting rounds of the South Australian Rally Championship (SARC) with up to 60 cars competing.

The Donlee Rally ran for 15 years as an SARC meeting, and the club also hosted three Australian Rally Championship rounds in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The 1980’s also saw the club branch out into a variety of other off-road events, but the downturn of the mining industry in the 1990s saw a lot of members forced to leave the club to seek employment elsewhere.

The number of events gradually dwindled over the years, but a small band of dedicated enthusiasts kept the club going and by the late 1990s and mid 2000s the club was again running a round of the SARC, while another round of the competition was run in the city just last year.

Today the club still has around 40 members and a healthy crowd is expected at the Civic Centre with at least 120 people expected to travel back to the city for the celebration.

“We’re expecting quite a few, but it’s not just open to members, anyone from the public can come along,” said club president Kym Andrews.

Tickets to the dinner are $65, and can be purchased from Baldwin Automotive in McGowen Street no later than Monday, May 25.

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