Mount Alma Mile Hillclimb 2014

MtAlma2014 1276Kevin Mackrell has thundered his way to another consecutive 4WD outright victory in the Mount Alma Mile hillclimb, held recently at Inman Valley on the scenic Fleurieu Peninsula. Behind the wheel of his all-conquering V8 powered Datsun 260Z, Mackrell held a firm grip on the two-day event, overcoming a five second penalty to take the win.

MtAlma2014 1277The 2WD category was won by Clinton Faustmann in the REVS/Faustune prepared FD RX7, who wrangled the flame spitting rotor up the hill slightly quicker than Jason Unkovich, who claimed third outright 2WD in the same car.

MtAlma2014 1320The big battle all weekend was between Mackrell and the Supaloc Racing Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera of Kevin Weeks, now sporting a fresh twin turbo setup. Weeks was still a fraction off Mackrell’s times, but the noise of the forced induction Italian V10 outclassed the 260Z in every way. It was spine tingling and worth coming just to listen to it alone. Continue reading

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2013 Willall Mount Alma Mile Hillclimb

DSC_0702Have you ever found yourself out driving on a sunny afternoon, and purely by chance discover an incredible little section of road you never knew about? You drive it for the first time with a grin on your face, and maybe even double back for another go at it. And then you start to think…. ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we could close this little section of road off for a hillclimb competition?’

DSC_0711That’s precisely how this previously unknown little country track, 10km out of Victor Harbor on the Yankililla road, became the fastest hillclimb course in the state. Now in its fourth year, the two day Mt Alma Mile event has quickly gained a reputation as a showcase for the state’s high performance tuners, as well as an accessible challenge for grassroots amateurs looking to test themselves against both the hill and other competitor’s cars.

DSC_0016You would very rarely ever find yourself at Mt Alma on the other 363 days of the year because it’s a road that kind of links nowhere to nowhere, and the fact that it turns to dirt at its summit even further reduces the likelihood of using it.

DSC_0029This is a huge shame, and every year I attend Mt Alma the sheer beauty of the countryside slaps me in the face, as if almost in laughter that this stunning countryside is just over an hour from the city yet I only ever come here once a year. Motorsport aside, you could just come here for a lazy Sunday picnic and have a great day out.

DSC_0013This has to be one of the most scenic pit paddocks in South Australian motorsport. Continue reading

“What’s the bet that we can’t find a $200 car, buy it, and race it tomorrow? That’s only $50 each…”

This is the tale of 4 knockabout blokes, and their spur of the moment quest to find a car, buy it, prepare it and race it – all in less than 24 hours.

Our story begins at the Southern Districts Car Club’s Go-Kart night at Kart Mania on Saturday night. After a thrilling and physically tough race, myself (second from left), Damian Reed (third from left), Mark Williams (fourth from left) and Patrick Chan (not pictured because his race result sucked) decided to head back to Patrick’s for a post race beer or two.

As these things do, conversation soon turned to the following day’s dirt motorkhana at Lanac Park, and it turned out that none of us were going as no one had a suitable car. And then at about 10pm, a comment was flippantly made; a casual off the cuff statement that was the cause of some semi-serious laughter.

“What’s the bet that we can’t find a $200 car, buy it, and race it tomorrow? That’s only $50 each…”

Never has this meme been more accurate.

Nek minnut, everyone had their phones out and was surfing Gumtree. “I’ve found a Pintara at… oh wait, it’s an auto”. Our criteria was that it must be a manual, it must fit into our budget, it must have at least a day’s rego and it must be available that night.

Shortlisted cars included a Holden Apollo and a luxury spec Volvo 740 (an auto, but the leather and sunroof almost justified it). Damo thought he was onto a winner when he found a manual VH Commodore. It was $500, but Damo was confident he could talk the owner down. We had a good laugh watching the text message conversation with the serial Commodore owner, but unfortunately it had no rego and the guy couldn’t sell it to us until Monday. Damn. Continue reading

OZGymkhana series – Gymkhana1

It takes a dedicated group of individuals to organise a motorsport event, and a lot more goes on behind the scenes than any spectator or competitor usually realises. What’s even more amazing is when a group of volunteers decide to run a completely new type of event that’s never been run before. In addition to the usual myriad of organisational tasks, there are a few other hurdles that need to be overcome such as finding a location, finding a way to fit it within the event structures of governing bodies (ie CAMS), and last but not least, actually convincing competitors and spectators to come.

The team at Ultimate Motorsport Events (and the Southern Districts Car Club) are no strangers to staging impressive events – the Mt Alma Mile hillclimb and Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally form their annual portfolio, so they were the perfect group of volunteers to run the first ever OZGymkhana event.

UME make no secret that they got the idea for OZGymkhana from the famous Ken Block Gymkhana practise videos, and the event was borne from the thinking that it would be pretty cool to run an event like that in Adelaide. The team picked Tailem Bend Motorsport Park (the old Mitsubishi testing and proving grounds) as the ideal location because of its mix of a long runway, skidpad and several curving access and test roads.

OZGymkhana runs on the principles of traditional bitumen motorkhana; you go from a standing start, navigate a series of obstacles and then finish when you come to a complete stop at the finish line. You are penalised by a few seconds for hitting cones, or penalised quite heavily for a ‘Wrong Direction’, ie going the wrong way through the test. The competitor with the fastest accumulated time after all tests is declared the winner. Continue reading