There seems to be something of a renaissance in the grassroots sport of hillclimbing of late, with existing events like Mount Alma and Legend of the Lakes enjoying great popularity and several new events coming on board. The latest of these is the Windy Point Hillclimb, to be held on Saturday April 12 as part of the upcoming Adelaide Motorsport Festival.
Any Given Reason recently had a small preview of the event, attending an Advertiser photoshoot with two cars set to race up the hill – two cars that couldn’t be more different yet will likely achieve a similar goal. The Willall Pilatus R35 GTR is a seriously impressive looking animal in the flesh, its bare carbon bodywork and aero aids fighting for attention. It has the power to back it up too, running the famous AMS Alpha 12 engine package with a bespoke Willall Racing gearbox and a long list of supporting modifications. With Sebastian Lip behind the wheel it will be one to watch up the hill, fighting for an outright victory no doubt.
Rene Felkl’s Volkswagen Beetle doesn’t fight for your attention so much, rather it lulls you into a false sense of trust with its sheer cuteness. It isn’t until you start looking a little closer that you notice the details and begin to wonder just how serious this car is; and in his friendly, smiling ways Rene ducks around your questions without actually giving away his secrets. Then he casually drops into conversation that he managed sixth outright at Legend of the Lakes, and you become slightly confused as to what exactly is going on here. This little Beetle will certainly be one to watch.
The first Windy Point Hillclimb looks set to be hugely popular. Entries are already full, and if you’re planning on spectating make sure you get there early to secure a good spot. Any Given Reason will be competing down the back of the field in the little Alfa Romeo, so see you there!
More information including the entry list can be found here.
It’s easy to become complacent but our very own Mount Panorama circuit, just two hour’s drive from Sydney, is firmly up there in the small handful of the world’s truly great circuits. The only problem is that if you’re not a dedicated V8 Supercar fan, there isn’t really a lot of other top-class racing that happens there to attract your attention. Outside of the main game it’s mostly a calendar of club racing and corporate drive days.
That was, however, until the arrival of the Liqui-Molly Bathurst 12hr and its rapidly growing momentum. Finally The Mountain is now graced with a sports car event exploiting the most of its undulating, twisting, climbing and dropping 6.2km of smooth, freshly laid tarmac. An event/circuit combo that attracted 13 top level international teams, building a bumper field of 44 cars.
There have been endurance races for production cars at Bathurst before (notably the 12hr events of the early 90’s and a pair of excellent 24hr races in the early 00’s), but those races never really managed to gain the traction the current 12hr has. That’s probably because of a few factors, the primary of which being that we now have a solid international GT3 class which enables these cars to be raced all over the world under the same rules. That’s a big deal for manufacturers, because the likes of Nismo Japan can build an R35 GTR for Le Mans and also get race mileage (ie promotional value & return on investment) from it in other smaller events. Continue reading →
Fierce competition is good, and from motorkhana to Australian GT it’s often the tick of the stopwatch and the heat of the moment that provides that last bit of drive and incentive to shave every last tenth. Strong competition breeds the best and whilst there’s a definite joy in competing to your limit, it’s often far from relaxing.
That’s where a bloke named Roger Dutton – barbeque extraordinaire and mechanic for Adelaide based Formula 3 and Carrera Cup outfit Team BRM – comes in. Roger is involved in motorsport at a far higher level than most, but also knows the value in relaxing and enjoying it from time to time, and has pretty much built his own personal Mk1 Escort around this ethos. Through his sideline business Retrogarage, Roger has started organising track days at Mallala where the focus is very much on enjoyment.
Any Given Reason was invited to join the fun by longtime reader Tom Gilbert, so with instructions to meet up with the gang at the BP on Portrush at 630 on a Wednesday morning, I threaded my way through the dawn of peak hour traffic, knowing something far more interesting than a desk would be waiting for me at the other end. These suspicions were confirmed when an immaculate 356B and a throaty 964 Carrera 2 pulled onto the forecourt as if on cue. Continue reading →