Roots in racing – the Porsche Cayenne Medical Car

DSC_0386Doctors and Porsche’s, it’s a marketing match made in heaven, right? But as we all know (highlighted by this excellent video), as much as the public opinion of Porsche may be linked to the medical and legal professions, its real roots are in racing, not posing. (seriously, watch the video).

Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 10.07.08 PMAnyone who attended the recent Clipsal 500 or watched it on TV probably saw this colourful Cayenne chasing the field on the opening lap as the medical car and didn’t think twice about it. The 4.8 litre V8, 309kw Cayenne GTS carries the chief medical officer, other medical staff and their equipment and is the first response vehicle in the case of a serious accident.

DSC_0388However a closer look reveals a fascinating livery designed to celebrate 2013 as the 50th anniversary of the immortal Porsche 911. The entire car is covered in racing and rally posters from the 1960’s and 1970’s, from the Rallye Monte-Carlo…

DSC_0394… to the Targa Florio, the 24 hours of Daytona and everything in between.

DSC_0392Now of course one could argue the significance of using the Cayenne as a platform to celebrate the 911, given that many view the Cayenne as the car that first started the bastardization of the Porsche brand. But I prefer to view it another way; the Cayenne is without a doubt an excellent cash cow, and over the last decade has provided Porsche with the capital needed to make the 911 what it is today. Would the 997 GT3RS 4.0 be so divinely brilliant if the Cayenne didn’t provide the funds enabling its development? The Cayenne has probably done more for the 911 than most diehard’s would care to admit.

Either way, let’s hope the fate of the 911 tribute Cayenne medical car is a little better than last year’s Panamera that preceded it…

Clipsal 500 2013 – The Race Days

DSC_0540After what felt like a week of waiting, Saturday was finally race day for Australian GT and the Koala Motorsport team.

However the first race wasn’t until 530pm on Saturday, which left a little time in the morning to get out and do some spectating.

DSC_0294Everyone seems to have their favorite spots to watch from around the track, and mine is the tight series of corners from Turn 4 to Turn 7. The only real downside is the lack of big screens, however free grandstand seating, lovely shade trees, nice surrounding houses and for some reason fewer bogans than other parts of the circuit make it top of my pick.

DSC_0295The slow corners also give you time to get a good look at the cars.

DSC_0377It also gives you the opportunity to have the most interesting conversations with other punters. I met one guy, drinking a beer at 930am, who told me he’s going to buy an Aussie Racing Car as soon as his work compo payout comes through, and another chap who informed me that some of the V8 Supercars have CD players so the drivers can listen to music to ‘get them in the mood for racing’. DSC_0420DSC_0421At Turn 7 you can stand practically right on the apex of the corner. As a normal spectator, it’s about as close to the action as you can get.

DSC_0615The Saturday crowds were huge, and the majority of our morning was spent letting people look over and sit in the 360. I have a memory as a 12 year old kid of a race mechanic letting me sit in one of the Ferrari’s at Clipsal, probably in about the year 2000. This time, a 12 year old kid came up to me and started asking about the Ferrari. First thing I did was ask him if he wanted to sit in it, and he jumped at the opportunity. I see it as just paying back the favor! Continue reading

Clipsal 500 2013 – just chillin’. A relaxing day 2.

DSC_0029With no on track action, Friday of the Clipsal 500 ended up being quite a relaxing day for Koala Motorsport and most of the other Australian GT competitors. With no particular reason to be at the track, I personally had a bit of a sleep in and then arrived around mid-morning. Somehow after sitting around chatting in the shade, a long lunch, and then a stroll around to check out the off track displays, the day seemed to slip by quite quickly. But it was a wonderfully relaxing way to spend the day, and an ideal way to re-charge the batteries for the racing to come.

DSC_0264It’s funny how you settle into a routine after a while, and Friday was no different. The GT Lounge employs a barista to make coffee for anyone with access to the lounge, so the day began with one of his fantastic brews.

DSC_0001The only real work that needed doing was to fix yesterdays damage. It didn’t need to be fixed from a physical point, however its always good to have the car looking as nice as possible when it goes out. First job was to remove the old, scraped sticker from the quarter. Ray Ebel from Get Marketing stopped by to help us out.

DSC_0002The paint where the door was dented was cracked and about to fall off, so Ray first applied some clear film over it to hold the cracked paint in place. Continue reading

Clipsal 500 2013 – a flaming day 1

DSC_0221After the relaxing day that was Wednesday, we approached Thursday with a great deal of excitement. Everybody was sick of waiting around, and just wanted to get out on track and get the event proper underway.

DSC_0003Yesterday’s post highlighted that we were one of the few crews who made the driver take his own tires to the Pirelli truck. This morning we even made him clean his own windscreen!

DSC_0014But before we could get out on track, we had a drivers briefing to attend. It was actually a bit of an interesting experience. The only circuit racing drivers briefings I’ve been to have been for low level club events, and they seem to feel the need to go through everything in the most minutest of detail. This one was different – the race officials assumed a basic level of competence and experience to be racing at this level, and kept the briefing short and sweet with just the points relating to this specific circuit.

DSC_0013However it was still a drivers briefing, which by default means the drivers have to show at least some level of boredom.

DSC_0019The briefing was finished by a talk from driving standards observer Steven Richards. Most of his talk focused on the notorious Turn 8, which has been responsible for more than its fair share of wrecked vehicles over the years. You can really only go single file around that corner, so it was decided that whoever has the nose in front at the 150m braking marker gets the corner, and the other has to back out. Continue reading

Clipsal 500 2013 – A wet and soggy day 0

DSC_0001As I sit here and type, the sound of rain hitting the tarpaulin roof is almost drowning out the arty folk behind me discussing tonight’s Fringe shows. There’s lots of random old wooden doors scattered around, and a rigger is climbing over a stage, just to my right, readying it for tonight’s performance. The place is almost empty, except for the odd staff member who walks past, eying me off. I am of course sitting in the Fringe artists bar, my Clipsal lanyard and Koala Motorsport shirt causing me to stand out a little more than the mo hawked gentleman to my left. The lengths we go to for free wi-fi, right? I guess it’s kind of convenient that the artists bar offers this service and is located right next to the Clipsal circuit.

DSC_0012So why the on-location upload, and the lengthy, somewhat irrelevant intro? Well, for Clipsal 2013 Any Given Reason will be trying something a little bit different for our coverage. We’re jumping on board and helping out as pit crew for Brenton Griguol, racing his Ferrari 360 Challenge in the Australian GT category.

DSC_0014And instead of solely reporting on the event at its conclusion, I’m going to (attempt) to file a report at the conclusion of each day. I’ll save a couple of juicy posts for later (there’s only so much time, and so much free wi-fi), but in these series of posts I’ll be trying to give an insight into what it’s like to race a proper Ferrari GT car on the Adelaide Street Circuit. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it should be fun!

DSC_0162This, and the Fringe artists bar, will be my office for the next 5 days!

DSC_0009As far as the team is concerned, today was a pretty simple day of setting up. Brenton (aka Goober, left) and Simon (right) have taken care of most things in the leadup. Here they’re pictured doing something important, like real a real pro race team would. Continue reading

Is Formula 1 coming back to Adelaide?

Any Given Reason has learnt that preliminary talks are reportedly underway with a view to bringing back the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix to Adelaide in 2016.

Whilst the idea is still in the very early stages of gestation and nothing is even remotely formal yet, our reliable source informs us that it is planned for Formula One to return to Adelaide as a night race in late October, and be held on the weekend before Bathurst. The Clipsal 500 would then be moved to the weekend before the Grand Prix creating a solid week and a half of motorsport action in the heart of the CBD. Continue reading

Larrousse and Toleman F1 at the Clipsal 500

I’ll round up my coverage of the 2012 Clipsal 500 by taking a quick look at two vintage Formula 1 cars on static display. The thing that makes these cars special is that both of them actually competed at the Adelaide F1 Grand Prix on this circuit back in the day.

The first is this 1985 Toleman TG185.  Continue reading

Alan Jones’ 1980 World Championship winning Williams FW07B

The absolute highlight of the Clipsal 500 were the three vintage Formula 1 cars on display. Given that practise for the Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne starts tomorrow and that I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon to attend the race, I thought it would be topical to take a look at these beautiful old machines.

The only one to turn laps of the track was the 1980 Williams FW07B that Alan Jones drove to his 1980 World Championship win, becoming only the second Australian since Sir Jack Brabham to win an F1 World Championship. The sound of it’s Cosworth DFV is something to behold. I can’t describe how incredible it was, so I shot this video of the William’s parade laps:

Continue reading

Clipsal 500 2012 – The V8 Supercars

As much as some of us would like to think otherwise, the main drawcard of the Clipsal 500 is obviously the V8 Supercars. And in a lot of respects we’re quite privileged here in Adelaide – we have the first race of the season which is arguably the biggest of the whole year and we have a city that completely embraces the race that runs through it’s CBD streets. I’ll avoid giving a blow-by-blow account of the V8 races and results at the Clipsal (this can be found anywhere really and it’s interest is arguable), but will rather just give a quick overview of a few of the things I noticed around the pits.

All of the V8’s were carrying specific Clipsal 500 branding on the front doors for the first time. I wonder if they’ll take a page from the rally world’s book and have a different door sticker for each event?

While we’re looking at Triple Eight Race Engineering Commodore, I found the paint scheme to be quite amazing. Here and from most angles it just looks like Vodofone’s signature dayglo orange…

… but get it in the sunlight and it’s actually a pearl metallic paint. And it is actually paint too – almost all of the cars in the field have a full digitally printed vinyl wrap these days. Continue reading

Clipsal 500 2012 – the “support categories”

For me, the term ‘support categories’ at the Clipsal 500 is just a little ironic. I think the V8 Supercars are the support category, and that Australian GT, Carrera Cup, Formula 3 and Touring Car Masters are where it’s at. I was tempted to report on the Clipsal 500 weekend and completely ignore the V8’s, but I’ll write a separate post about them later. For now, let’s look at the good stuff…

The Touring Car Masters provided good racing, as usual. Sadly the Porsche’s didn’t end up figuring in the results although in Sundays handicap race Greg Keene started on pole and managed to hold off John Bowe and Brad Tilley to stay in the lead for more than an entire lap. Sadly Amanda Spark’s 911 was punted off into the wall here when John Nelson attempted to pass on the inside and locked a brake. The poor 911 looked heavily damaged, but a closer inspection revealed it was just mostly fibreglass damage to the front guard and bumper. I have no doubt it will be repaired and back out for the next race. Continue reading