Adelaide Motorsport Festival Windy Point Hillclimb – Coming Soon

Windy Point Media Shoot 1254There 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

Windy Point Media Shoot 1252Any 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.

Windy Point Media Shoot 1256Rene 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.

Windy Point Media Shoot 1253The 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.

Words and photos by Andrew Coles

Driven – Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk7

LausanneFerrari 709Imagine the board meeting when the idea of the hot hatch was first mooted. ‘Sir, we’ve done some in-depth market analysis and determined that not everyone has the ability to own both a practical hatchback and a sports car. Let’s build a hatchback that looks tough and is also a hoot to drive’. ‘Jones, well done. Gents – to the production line!’

LausanneFerrari 720It’s an idea so plainly obvious today, but back in the day it was a revelation. For decades before there had been practical cars that were fun to drive, such as the original Mini and the Alfasud, but their brio was an almost incidental byproduct. It wasn’t until the 1975 launch of the Volkswagen Golf GTI that a hatchback was specifically engineered and marketed to also be a sports car. The hot hatch category is oversaturated today, but when the GTI was launched the term didn’t even exist. The GTI is one of a very small group of cars that actually created its own market segment.

LausanneFerrari 724The white Mk1 you see here is an immaculate example of the first true hot hatch, owned by a local Adelaide enthusiast who campaigns it regularly both in the hills and in club motorsport events. Its 1600cc, Bosch K-Jetronic injected four makes 80kw which is respectable for the day, even more enticing considering it has just 810kg to pull gleefully around. The black fender flares make it look that little bit tougher, and the GTI hallmarks of a red grille surround, tartan seat trim and a golf ball shifter knob are there for the first time.

LausanneFerrari 710The Mk7 GTI next to it has just been launched to critical acclaim, and this particular example is the closest in specification we could organize – it’s the same shade of white, a traditional three-pedal manual, and it has the trademark GTI hallmarks of a red grille surround, tartan seat trim and a golf ball shifter knob. Continue reading

Volksfest 2013

DSC_0222The Volkswagen scene continues to amaze with its sheer size and diversity. Regardless of your particular automotive tastes, there’s a type or style of Volkswagen to match and a bunch of enthusiastic people out there doing it. The annual Volksfest, organised by the Volks Enthusiasts Club of SA, is Adelaide’s biggest dedicated Volkswagen show and the place where bug’s, buses, water cooled and a huge variety of anything Volkswagen or Volkswagen based comes to meet.

DSC_0538AGR has long been a proponent of the fact that when it comes to a car show, the location is the single biggest factor contributing to a good day. Volksfest was previously held on a closed road in Port Adelaide and that was brilliant, but the organisers have really outdone themselves and for 2013 somehow managed to secure Elder Park, in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD, as the venue.

DSC_0283A rock ‘n roll band played the famous Rotunda and the show fanned out radially from there, with the Festival Centre & Intercontinental as backdrop on one side and the impressive new Adelaide Oval re-development just a stones throw over the Torrens. Continue reading

Eurofest 2013

DSC_0457It only feels like a year ago that we heard of and attended a new show called ‘Eurofest’, but in fact it was three. Organized primarily by the BMW Drivers Club of SA and held on the grounds of the National Motor Museum at Birdwood, Eurofest was run by a fresh, younger group of enthusiasts and promised to offer something a little different from the other shows out there.

DSC_0468Personally, I thought it was a top day out but if there was one criticism to be leveled, it’s that it was predominantly a BMW/Mercedes-Benz show. For some reason a lot of other European marque clubs didn’t get behind it, which I thought was a shame given the potential of the concept and the energetic crew making it happen.

DSC_0521But after attending the third Eurofest, I’m proud to say that this event is quickly coming of age and the turnout this year was simply brilliant. It was still a predominantly German based field, which is to be expected, but what impressed me the most was not the country of origin of the cars but the sheer number of styles and cultures that harmoniously clashed on the lawns of the mill. Continue reading

The VW Syndicate 10th VW-Audi meet, Kaufpark, Goettingen

DSC_0064The Volkswagen-Audi scene in Europe, and more specifically Germany, is quite unlike any other scene anywhere in the world. What’s impressive is the sheer size of it; the high quality of the cars and the boundaries that are pushed in trying to create something new. If you take a look at a lot of the trends influencing modified cars around the world, a fair percentage of them originated from the German Volkswagen scene.

DSC_0165Any Given Reason happened to purely stumble upon this show in Goettingen, central Germany. Whilst it was tiny compared to the likes of famous shows such as Edition 38, its approximately 300 cars still provided a good indication as to the trends currently influencing the scene. Given that the Volkswagen/Audi scene is all about trends, this is a perfect chance to take a look at a few of them.

DSC_0087The first trend that’s been around since the dawn of time and doesn’t look to be going anywhere soon is the classic Volkswagen Golf/BBS mesh combination. And why would want to change it? It’s a look that’s been honed to perfection. BBS could be found on everything from Mk1’s right up to the latest Mk6 and 7. Continue reading

The WRC Finland Experience

DSC_0049Finland is and always has been the Grand Daddy of rallying. The spiritual home; Mecca for those of us who prefer our motorsport sideways through the forests and gravel roads of the world.

DSC_0814Since the 60’s the 1000 Lakes Rally, now known as Neste Oil Rally Finland, has been the crown jewel in the WRC calendar. So if you’re going to see a WRC event, this is the one to see, right? Well at least that’s the vague theory that caused me to venture as far north on this planet as I’ve ever been before to see some bloke’s with funny names drive small hatchbacks way too quickly through some trees. Put like that it seems like a bit of a daft endeavor, but it was anything but.

DSC_0719For the first time on my little tour, I wasn’t alone. It actually all started on an infamous evening; Saturday 24th of November 2012. After the Southern Districts Car Club go kart night back in Adelaide, Australia, Patrick Chan (left) and myself (right) were discussing our respective upcoming trips to Europe when we realized we’d both be there at the same time. Rather than meet up at some generic bar or tourist hotspot, we checked the WRC calendar and decided that Finland was as good a place as any. Later that night we would of course go on to purchase 2Festi and race it the next day and the rest is history, but the Finland seed was planted. Further conversation a few weeks later revealed that our mutual friend, David Rudzitis (middle), would also be in Europe at the same time. Such serendipity! Eight and a half months later, three Australian rally fans were converging on the Finnish city of Jyväskylä from three very different directions.

DSC_0148The first thing that needs to be said about Rally Finland is that it is, without fail, the most spectator friendly rally I’ve ever been to. As the most famous WRC event with arguably the highest speeds I was expecting the spectator access to be pretty poor. And having to spend 65 euro on day 1 to buy a pass to see any of the stages or service park initially confirmed my expectations.

DSC_0478But once you buy that 65 euro Rally Pass you have full and complete access to the event. In Australia you usually avoid the designated spectator points because they restrict what you can do, but not in Finland. Over here a spectator point means you can still watch from where you like, but you have decent food stalls, a bar, toilets and car parking. Continue reading

Jyväskylä, Finland – Volkswagen Golf MkIII

DSC_0741When you hear the spool of a turbo and the whoosh of a wastegate you don’t usually expect to turn around and see a MkIII Volkswagen Golf. The Scandinavian countries are well known for their crazily modified cars, so I guess it should have been no surprise.

DSC_0743And the fact that the local police seemed to turn a blind eye to the semi slicks, lowered ride height, bolt on fender flares, full roll cage, seats, harnesses and side exit exhaust is even better. I’ve got no idea what craziness resides under the bonnet, but it looks like a brilliant little streetable track toy.

Eurofest 2012

DSC_0008The second running of the Eurofest show at the Birdwood Mill took place last Sunday 2nd December. A fresh idea from the BMW Driver’s Club of SA, Eurofest aims to bring together as many European cars as possible in one place.

DSC_0252Whilst the aim of the show is to encompass all European cars, at this stage early in its life Eurofest still has a very heavy German influence. There were examples from Fiat, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Renault, Vauxhall and Ford, but BMW and Mercedes Benz definitely made up the bulk of the show.

DSC_0162The other cool thing about Eurofest is that it’s predominantly a ‘young’ show, put on and organised by younger people. I don’t mean to comment on age, but just to say that a persons age has a lot to do with the way they modify their cars, and there was a lot of stuff at happening at Eurofest that you wouldn’t otherwise see – proper stance, airbags, big power upgrades  and insane levels of detailing.

DSC_0221You’d never see something like a ‘bagged E28 at an event like Climb to the Eagle. Not better or worse, just different. Variety is the spice of life, right? We’re lucky that we can see this diversity at the different events we have.

DSC_0316Having said that, the car of show was awarded to this pristine 1953 Mercedes Benz 300S. Continue reading

Sightings – The Hawaii edition

The cool thing about being into cars is that no matter where in the world you travel, you’re just as likely to run into people that share the same passion. Sure, they might be into different cars or styles than what you’re used to, but the passion still runs the same and you’ve got common ground.

We decided to spend a few weeks in Hawaii for entirely non car related reasons – sun, sand, surf, hiking and escaping the cold Adelaide winter being the primary motivations. But with this common ground in mind I decided to keep an eye out and my camera ready for whatever new automotive discoveries I would make during our trip. This is a short chronicle of what I found.

Supercars were very thin on the ground. I heard rumours of a few Ferrari’s getting around, but this Aventador was all I saw. But that figures I guess – the islands are small, the speed limits are low and the roads are most definitely not suited to 700hp monsters. No, idle bliss is king here.

I like the fact that this GT3 actually did have a disabled parking permit. It must have been sneakily obtained – Porsche is probably one of the least disabled-friendly manufactures, and the GT3 is probably the single worst car for a disabled person.

No sports cars here – Hawaiian transportation is all about working out how to get your surfboard to the beach. Be it on your bike…

… on your Chevrolet woody coupe…

… in the back of your VW… Continue reading

Driven – 2012 Volkswagen Scirocco R

Volkswagen Scirocco’s have always been very pretty cars. Based on the Golf chassis, in its three generations since 1974 the Scirocco has always taken the sportiest mechanical components from the Golf lineup and repackaged them in an attractive three door body. Except this time for the Scirocco R, Volkswagen has taken it one step further. The 2.0-litre turbo is the same as you’ll find in the much more expensive Audi S3, and the car we drove was fitted with Volkswagens excellent DSG semi automatic dual clutch transmission. With 261hp being delivered through the front wheels you’d expect it would be an entertaining drive, so a trip into the Adelaide Hills was the only true way to answer this question. Although Scirocco’s have only just landed in Australia and this car is one of the very first in Adelaide, it’s actually not a new design. Volkswagen first teased the world with its IROC concept car back in 2006. The IROC (which was actually badged scIROCco) featured a slightly different grille and the trademark oversized concept car wheels, but it was essentially the production version in thin disguise. Not a lot else was said until early 2008 when Volkswagen entered the Nurburgring 24hr with a pair of unreleased but production ready Scirocco GT24’s driven by, amongst others, Hans Stuck and Carlos Sainz. The Scirocco officially went on sale in 2008 in Europe, and despite a few grey imports we are only just getting the Scirocco R now, some 4 years later. Continue reading