Legend of the race

Smithton’s Lance ‘Spike’ Jones retired with his second Baskerville Historics title under his belt on the weekend. Picture: Ashleigh Force. 

Motorsport. Lance ‘Spike’ Jones has done it again, for the last time. 

Racing in the Baskerville Historics at Baskerville Raceway in the south on the weekend, the Smithton driver announced his retirement from the competitive sport. 

Taking his trusty 1970 BMW 2002 TI through the qualifying round, Spike recorded a time of 1.02 seconds to qualify in pole position. He went on to win five from five races in the under three litre class with a best lap time of 62.7. 

Although this time is a full second slower than his personal best on this track, the veteran racer is proud of the performance. 

Battling both wet and dry conditions on the track across the weekend, Spike says he makes the most of whatever the weather throws at him. 

“I don’t mind the wet but I’d much rather it be nice and sunny for the spectators,” he says. 

“I’d like to mention a special thanks to all the Smithton spectators who travelled to watch me race.” 

He described the hill as “chockers” with supporters from all around the country.

“It’s getting bigger and bigger every year.” 

In his fourth Baskerville Historics event, having won the title once before and the runner-up place twice, taking the title home one last time was a high note for Spike to retire on. 

“It’s hard work, and I’m 74 years old,” he says.  

“I never celebrate wins, I just acknowledge the flag masters and stick the thumb up to say thank you to the spectators but this time I wound down the net and had the hand waving out the window the whole lap,” he says, remembering the memorable moment. “Everyone cheered – it was a fantastic send off.”

Spike’s career of close to five decades in racing was recognised not only with a Baskerville Historics title but also with the Historical Racing Car Club of Tasmania Perpetual Trophy. He was also awarded the most outstanding performance at the annual event. 

While he will step away from competitive racing at a national level, there is not much that will stop Spike from enjoying a leisurely day behind the wheel on the track in Tassie. 

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