So, there I was, enjoying the afterglow of a couple of craft beers, when the shadow of Club President Steve Kirby loomed over me. Fearful of what might happen next, I began to consider my fight or flight options. But before I could sprint out of the door, Steve growled “In Ed Neumeyer’s absence I have decided you must design and set up this year’s gymkhana course.” The news hit me hard and had me trembling uncontrollably. The closest thing I’d come to designing a gymkhana course was when I was in charge of the funkhana at the 2015 La Quinta California Healey Week. And a gymkhana, with its emphasis on speed, was a far cry from a funkhana, with its emphasis on... you guessed it...
fun. Suddenly, I began to visualize cars careening into solid objects as the result of an unsafe course. Then there was the other possibility; multiple DNF (Did Not Finish) results caused by drivers missing turns as the result of an overly complicated course. Once I’d calmed down, however, I realized that I all I needed to do was consult the one unimpeachable source of gymkhana course design....Google! And, I wasn’t disappointed. After a few clicks, there before me were multiple gymkhana course designs. After reviewing several designs, however, I decided most of them would be too complicated for drivers not used to the conventions of gymkhana traffic cone layout. So, I settled on what I thought would be a very simple course that most everyone could follow, with speeds so low that the chance of incidents would be nil. And, my plan worked in this regard, as everyone I talked to said they couldn’t follow the course in anything but first gear. Unfortunately, the many turns, one on top of the other, also necessitated many quick decisions as to where to aim one’s car. And, that’s where my great plan stumbled. Yes, I fell into the trap of designing a course with so many quick succession turns that many drivers missed one or more of them and as a result the list of DNF runs was long indeed. I can’t say I wasn’t warned about this trap. Every time I drove the course in my Honda Odyssey to make course adjustments, my ever observant wife kept yammering in my ear that the course was still too tight. Of course, I blew her off as misinformed neophyte.
Okay, with my confessions out there for all to read, let’s move on to the results.
The day of the gymkhana, May 14, 2019, dawned bright and clear. The Lake Elsinore Storms Baseball Team parking lot was paved with nice smooth asphalt and the lot had only a few light standards to avoid. As the starting time of 1:00 pm neared, Healeys of various descriptions began trundling into the parking lot.
By the time the event was ready to commence, 16 entrants had arrived. Each was allowed one practice run and three timed runs. Of the 16 entrants, nine had at least one DNF among their three timed runs. On the other hand, 14 entrants had at least one run with no errors. The entrants were divided into seven classes, with the winners in each class noted below: