Scouts Rally SA 2014

ROSA_2014_Saturday (46)Scouts Rally SA once again returned to the Mount Crawford Forest and the northern hills over the weekend of August 1-3 for three heats of intense gravel rally action on some of South Australia’s most challenging roads.

ROSA_2014_Sunday (12)Taking the outright event win and victory in round four of the Australian Rally Championship was Scott Pedder and Dale Moscatt in the Walkinshaw Performance prepared Renault Sport Clio R3. The pairing narrowly claimed victory in all three heats which was enough to snatch the lead of the ARC.

ROSA_2014_Saturday (50)Claiming second place was Brendon Reeves and Rhiannon Gelsomino in the quick little G2 Mazda 2. It was a close battle for much of the event however the Mazda 2 was struck with problems, including non functioning windscreen wipers in heavy rain and the loss of a rear wheel on SS20 when the studs broke, forcing Reeves to tripod back to service. Reeves was able to match the pace of Pedder when everything was working correctly, but these niggling problems kept him down at this crucial point in the championship. With two rounds remaining, Pedder managed to snatch the championship lead. Continue reading

Burning the midnight oil

Barry_LoweAs I write it is exactly 29 days until Scouts Rally SA, the South Australian round of the Australian Rally Championship. There are many teams out there burning the midnight oil to have their cars ready for the event, including crowd favorite and twice Australian rally champion Barry Lowe and a group of his close friends who are finishing the build of Barry’s brand new VB Commodore gravel rally car. After over 2,500 hours work in the past few months, it’s actually closer to completion than it looks but there is still a fair way to go.

This thing is going to be an absolute weapon. All info, specs and photos are under embargo until Rally SA, however Barry was kind enough to let Any Given Reason share this sneak preview. The engine is the same one used in his previous VB – a NASCAR GM race 6.8 V8, limited to a shade over 8,000rpm and about 700ish horses for reliability. As for the rest of the car? You’ll have to wait and see…

Look mate, it’s a VC Monaro!

DSC_0167The car you never knew existed…. doesn’t exist. But it’s a rather interesting prospect, isn’t it? Imagine this with a Brock 5.0 V8, flared guards and wide rims. And in Marlboro livery tearing across the mountain? That’s all kinds of awesome.

DSC_01741980 Opel Monza 3.0E. I did a double take when I saw this freakishly perfect example for sale at a service station near Innsbruck, Austria.

DSC_0177It just goes to show that the ‘world car’, a concept so mooted by Ford and Volkswagen as the easy road to auto manufacturing profit these days, isn’t really anything new at all.

DSC_0173So this poses the question: Imagine you were to import this to Australia and convert it to right hand drive, a relatively simple task I assume given the easy supply of old Commodore parts. You’d also replace the Opel grille and badging with local GMH items. If you took it to a car show with a comprehensive information board explaining how this is the long lost VC Monaro concept car that never saw the light of day, how many people do you think you’d fool?

DSC_0175Of course not the diehard enthusiasts, but I’m sure you could have some fun with it.

DSC_0011And while we’re on the subject of odd Opel/Holden bedfellows – VT Commodore much? These slightly narrower Opel Omega’s have been fooling me for weeks.

Words and photos by Andrew Coles

The ‘race rage’ 2003 HRT V8 Supercar

Sitting on the showroom floor of Adelaide BMW was probably one of the most famous Australian racecars of the past three decades – Mark Skaife’s 2003 Holden Racing Team VY V8 Supercar.

Flash back to 2003, and both Mark Skaife and the Holden Racing Team are at the height of their powers. It’s the last race of the season at Eastern Creek, and Skaife has been trying to pass Ingall for several laps. But it’s more than that, because second place in the 2003 championship would be decided by that race.

Skaife ducked down the inside around a corner and drew lineball with Ingall coming out. The stewards view is that Ingall moved across, sending Skaife into the wall and out of the race. But it’s what happened after the incident that made the headlines. On Ingall’s next lap around, Skaife runs to the edge of the track to shake his fist in understandable frustration. Ingall then swerves toward Skaife and powers on, swerving away at the last moment.

It was quickly dubbed ‘race rage’ and became one of the most famous moments in V8 Supercar history…

… and one of the protagonists involved is sitting on a showroom floor in Adelaide.

The cars of the legends dinner

Even the biggest mysteries of the world have a way of explaining themselves. In a previous post I mused as to why there was a HDT Bathurst Torana sitting on the showroom floor of Adelaide BMW, and as it turns out it was merely there a little early for last night’s Legends Dinner. Any Given Reason reader Tom Gilbert tipped me off (thanks Tom!), and it seems that somebody had the brilliant idea to assemble some of Australia’s most important race cars in the same room as the drivers who drove them, and invite whoever was lucky enough to hold a ticket to have dinner with these automotive and human legends.

Unlike Tom I wasn’t lucky enough to hold a ticket for the dinner, so I did the next best thing – I dropped in for a 730am visit the Sunday morning after in the hope of catching a glimpse of some of these cars. There were a couple of guys from Adelaide BMW cleaning up around the showroom, and they very kindly allowed me to come in and have a look around. The solid lineup of HDT cars was very impressive.

This Torana has lived many lives. It was originally used as a rally car by Colin Bond, and was then transformed into an unbeatable sports sedan and driven by Captain Peter Janson. It’s been restored but a small patch on the roof has been left showing the many historic layers of paint that lay beneath. Does anyone have any more info on this car? Continue reading