Posts Tagged ‘bathurst’
After recently wrapping up the 2012 NSW Hillclimb Championship with one round remaining, Mudgee driver Doug Barry has boldly predicted he can win the Bathurst Real Estate Australian 2012 Hillclimb Championship on November 2-4, and in doing so join the 100mph (160km) club. Barry drives a car that has already won the championship on four occasions, a Lola T8750 F3000. Allan Hamilton was the first to win with it at Victoria’s Gippsland Park in 1989, and then West Australian Gary West won again at Gippsland in 2004, and in ’06 and ’08 on the Esses course. The event will be run by the Bathurst Light Car Club, and it will be the 68th edition of this historic championship, and the eighth occasion it has been run at Bathurst. It will also be the longest and fastest of all time, as it will be the first occasion it has been conducted on the 1.7km Mountain Straight course, which runs from the hump on Mountain Straight and finishes just before McPhillamy Park. The outright record for the Mountain Straight course is 39.35seconds, set by Sydney driver Tim Edmondson early in 2011 when he won the NSW Championship round driving his imported British Gould GR55B. However he has twice been faster than that time, the most recent in late August when he clocked 36.91secs, and on each occasion was under the 100mph (160kph) average, which is remarkable given it is from a standing start. He has admitted that on the telemetry it shows 250kph twice. Since he bought the Lola at the end of 2008, the 50 year old Barry has been learning the trade of driving an open wheel racing car, for it is the first time he has competed in anything but a tin top since starting motorsport in 1988. A motor mechanic by trade, the grazier from a farm some 20kms from Mudgee, started competing in drags and lap dashes, before moving up through supersprints and hillclimbs to circuit racing in production cars driving an AP5 Valiant complete with press button gearshift. He had an extended break away from motorsport in 1994, and then in 2005 following a medical scare and on the advice of a doctor he returned to the wheel driving an Alfa Romeo GTV V6, which was soon replaced by a Mitsubishi Evo 2, which he sold to Bathurst’s Scott Tutton in ‘08 when he purchased the Lola to run in the NSW Hillclimb Championships. In his first three years in the championship he finished 6th outright, then this year turned it all around, finishing second in the first three rounds, and then won the Bathurst round on the Mountain Straight course, and came within 0.01 of a second from Edmondson’s record. He then went on to win the next three rounds, and in the penultimate round at Huntley finished second to Edmondson who had missed the majority of the season, which was enough to wrap up his first title. Just over a week ago in the final round at Newcastle’s King Edward Park, he finished second behind former rally champion and dual Holden and Ford factory driver Dave Morrow in his 1.3 litre Krygger Suzuki. It was the veteran Coffs Harbour driver’s first round victory. “We had a new compound tyre, and we were in trouble with the rear end, it just wouldn’t stop sliding”, said Barry. “Dave (Morrow) really took the fight to me and ended up on top. But he really deserved it so good on him. “I’m really looking forward to the Australian titles at Bathurst. I like that hill, it’s better than the Esses, for I hold my breath the whole way up, and I can’t on the Mountain Straight. Besides it really suits my car, and if there are no driver brain fades, I’ll back myself to take it up to all challengers.” Barry is certain to get all the challengers he wants, for already there are in excess of 110 entrants from all around the nation. Edmondson will start the event favourite in the Gould with its superb ground effect’s and its 3.5 litre Nicholson McLaren V8 powerplant. Renowned Sydney hillclimb race car builder Ron Hay will also be competing in his Synergy Dallara. It has a Dallara chassis which was raced in Japan before being imported to Australia, and purchased as a rolling chassis by Hay. The New Zealand based Synergy company were then entrusted with the job of building a special hillclimb engine, 2.4 litre’s and weighing just 100kg. Also a contender for Sunday will be Malcolm Oastler and his new weapon, the Dallabusa, a Dallara with a Hayabusa engine, a car that should be very fast and attract a considerable amount of interest of interest this weekend. The former Australian champion from Victoria Brett Haywood, has also entered his 09 Haywood, and there are two other drivers who as yet have not entered, but if they do will be among favourites. They are four time champion Garry West, with his latest project, an imported British Pilbeam MP 82, which was last used by Sydney’s Tom Donovan, which is being fitted with a super charged Nissan SR20 2.3 litre, The other strong possibility is Queenslander Dean Tighe with a Dallara 395 , the same as Ron Hay has. Tighe has fitted a 4 litre EV in the back with a Reynard F3000 gearbox. The Bathurst real Estate 2012 Australian Hillclimb Championship is also supported by the Bathurst RSL Club, Rydges and Repco.
The lure of competing on the world famous Mount Panorama racing circuit will see a rookie hillclimb racer fighting for fastest ‘tin top’ honours in the Bathurst Real Estate 2012 Australian Hillclimb Championship to be conducted at the iconic circuit from November 2-4 by the Bathurst Light Car Club. A seasoned Sydney race driver, Steve Anslow will be in the Over 3000cc Sports Sedans class in his Quality Racing Mazda RX-7, a car that is a real wolf in sheep’s clothing, as it is powered by a 6 litre V8. The Quality Racing Mazda came about in 2007 when on the advice of his youthful grandson Jack Edward Smith; Anslow purchased a vehicle to build as a race car, an FD RX-7 due to its superb chassis and great handling. “Alas, its (RX-7) quirky rotary engine soon proved to be a weak point when subjected to the rigors of endurance racing, which was our main focus, and eventually we chose to transplant a lightweight Chevrolet LS2 6.0 litre V8, which surprisingly maintained the beautiful balance of the car and made it a rocket,” Anslow said. “It’s a perfect combination of chassis and power-plant and such a buzz to steer. Even though it has been built to be a fast but no fuss endurance car with lots of extra weight in extra roll cage, a large battery, heavy endurance seat, truck air conditioning, diff cooler, transmission cooler, extra-large radiator, 13 litre engine oil capacity and 100 litre fuel cell it should still be awesome fun and should be fairly fast up the hill if I’m brave enough to plant it. I am really looking forward to it, I can tell you. “To be able to participate in the Bathurst Real Estate Australian Hillclimb Championships at Bathurst is beyond a dream. I never thought for one minute that I would ever do such a thing but when the opportunity came along I grabbed it and I heartily thank the organisers. They have given me a dream that I never even dared to dream,” he said. “We only live once; anyone can compete in grass roots motorsports and you just never know where that will take you. It is taking me to Bathurst and I am already buzzing.” Anslow and the RX-7 have a good record in endurance racing, having won the Wakefield 300 in 2011, finished third in 2010, fourth in 2009. In sprint racing, Anslow won the inaugural AASA State Championship at Wakefield Park in July of this year. Another Winton 300 is on the program this year, a week after the Bathurst Real Estate hillclimb, and the Bathurst 12 Hour in February remains a possibility. A comparatively late starter in motor sport, he has however been a long time racing tragic, and attended his first Bathurst in 1970 just after his 18th birthday. After growing up as a racing cyclist he knew the adrenaline buzz of being right on the edge of grip at speed. That feeling of knowing that one little bit faster and it’s all over. “The next year I was there when Bill Brown rolled the GTHO along the Armco right in front of me at Skyline. Another time someone (Tony Roberts) drove a car straight off Skyline – no fences then – these guys were nuts. “My Dad was car crazy and worked for Brian Byrt Ford. When he brought the actual Bathurst race GTHO to the Corrimal Caravan Park at Christmas it was pretty cool. Imagine your dad turning up at Christmas for a week with Jamie Whincup’s actual V8 Supercar to drive around – in those days it was considered fairly normal. “I think these experiences instilled in me a love of cool cars and my Mazda RX7 V8 is right up there on my list of desirable cars – I love it. There are already in excess of 110 entries for the event, which will be run on the 1.7km Mountain Straight course, ensuring it will be the fastest championship of all time. The Bathurst real Estate 2012 Australian Hillclimb Championship is also supported by the Bathurst RSL Club, Rydges and Repco.
The Audi Race Experience is the pinnacle of the Audi Driving Experience program that was launched in Australia in May this year. It allows committed, sporty drivers the chance to join a very exclusive group of people that have piloted the formidable Audi R8 LMS GT3 race car. The car that is used for the Audi Race Experience is the very same vehicle that successfully defended Audi’s 2011 Bathurst 12 Hour victory – the mighty ‘Kangaroo’ car – although it now wears a new livery. Last week, three Audi Race Experience customers joined an elite group in driving the 2012 Bathurst 12 Hour-winning Audi R8 LMS around the picturesque Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. It is the first time that any Audi customer has been offered the top-tier Race Experience program outside of Germany. Audi’s Chief Driving Instructor, Steve Pizzati, said it was an incredible experience to be able to offer the three drivers, all without previous racing experience, the chance to get behind the wheel of such an incredible race car and teach them how to drive as though they were preparing for a race. “It was great to see these guys, successful businessmen in their own right, so genuinely excited! They were like school kids and their enthusiasm was infectious, even for me,” said Pizzati. “The idea of driving a race car like the R8 LMS sounds great, but when you’re finally getting buckled into it, the reality of the situation can be terrifying! It’s a serious car and Phillip Island is one of the fastest racetracks in Australia; even in a road car you can reach speeds of 270km/h. “But the success of the first day was testament to our first group: they slowly worked through their trepidation because they had instructors sitting right beside them. And in that kind of environment, it’s essential to have that instant feedback, because there’s just so much going on and it’s all new. “By the end of the day, our drivers showed huge improvement as they extracted more and more of the race car’s potential. With the help of our data analysis program, they gained as much as ten seconds per lap.” All three drivers followed the succession plan that forms the basis of the Audi Drive Experience, progressing through three levels of tuition in specially-selected vehicles from the Audi performance S and RS range. In the final tier, a unforgettable drive around Phillip Island in the Audi R8 V10 road car goes some way to preparing them for the scintillating performance of the R8 LMS racecar.
Cast your mind back to the 1960’s, Bathurst was a goat track and you could drive your race car there. It was a time when fearless men raced their daily driver on a track that had no real safety considerations, especially when we look at the race tracks of the 21st century. Cars like the Mini Cooper, the Ford GT Cortina 1500, Ford Anglia, Wolsley, Holden Torana and Volkswagon were all out there racing together. No roll cages, no safety harnesses and street tyres. These were the pioneers of modern racing and production cars. With the V8 Falcon soon on the podiums from the XR GT through to the XC Cobra, Ford became a major player in motor racing. Holden had dominated early with the Monaro and this rivalry between the Ford and Holden camps soon created a divide in the nation….those with blue in their blood and those with red. The late 70’s saw the introduction of the mighty Torana SLR5000 which tamed the Mountain like none before. Cars like BMW and Datsun, Charger and Jaguar were all making their own impressions on the people’s motor sport. The 1980’s saw a shift with the production cars; they now had flares, huge wheels and the big banger engines. Turbo cars also came to the fore as did the rotary and the big local cars were worried. With the late eighties and into the early 90’s, it was the turbo powered 2-litre cars that dominated and the V8’s were out of favour. The Ford Sierra dominated race tracks here and in the UK, but the racing public had a thirst for the glory days of V8’s and the shift was on. With the return of the V8’s there was a move away from production based cars which by the end of the 90’s was all but complete, however this did not signal the end of Production Car Racing. Production Car Racing took its own path and thus began the series that we now know as the Australian Manufacturers Championship, where the cars to beat all begin with Evo. The Mitsubishi Evolution IX and X are the bench mark cars of the category today, but that does not mean they always win. The Subaru WRX STi and the BMW 335i have taken wins over the more fancied Evo X and the Mazda MPS has made its name as a giant killer at almost every race meeting in the series. With the Mighty Holden HSV Commodore and Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo front runners, cars like the Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Corolla, Holden HSV Astra, Proton Satria, Honda Integra and the BMW Minis are just some of the cars making up today’s category where there is something for everyone. For more information on the Australian Manufacturers Championship go to www.apcc.com.au or find them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/2011.AMC Production Car Racing: Motorsport at its Best! Words by Daryl Martin
History will be created at Mount Panorama on 2-4 November 2012, when the Bathurst Light Car Club (BLCC) conducts the 68th edition of the Australian Hillclimb Championship (AHCC), the eighth occasion it has been run at Bathurst, and for the first time it will be held on the Mountain Straight side of the iconic circuit. The Mountain Straight climb starts from the top of the hump on Mountain Straight adjacent to the Winery, and climb’s the mountain in race direction to the finish located near the police compound just prior to McPhillamy Park. At 1.7 kms, the Mountain Straight course is the longest and fastest hillclimb course in the nation, and several drivers are expected to join the ‘100 mph club’ during the event. The two main protagonists are Sydney automotive engineer Tim Edmondson, and Mudgee grazier Doug Barry. The outright record is 39.35seconds, set by Edmondson early in 2011 when he won the NSW Championship round driving his imported British Gould GR55B, and then in the same event this year Barry at the wheel of his LolaT8750 F3000 came to within 0.01 seconds of that time. However, Edmondson has achieved a 100 mph average run, that coming when he won the annual BLCC speed weekend in December 2011 with an amazing 37.69secs run, but as that was recorded in a club event, it was not eligible to take the outright record, but it is still a club record. The BLCC are being swamped with enquiries about the event, prompting Clerk of Course David Robinson to say it is creating unprecedented interest. “One way or another I’ve been involved with several of the Australian Hillclimb Championships here in Bathurst, and I’ve never seen so much interest. The club has an amazing number of 620 names of interested competitors on its data base, and we’re pretty sure we’ll reach our maximum of 150,” Robinson said. “The event will be run over three days, with practice on Friday November 2, and then official runs the remaining two days. “You will see the serious ones here next month, when we (BLCC) conduct a club event on the mountain Straight climb on August 26th as a practice event for the big one. “We do have a launch for the hillclimb on the 27th of this month, and then we’ll be making an announcement on a very important naming rights sponsor” Robinson said. The AHCC is the second longest running motor sport championship in Australia, behind only the Australian Grand Prix, and this year it will be held on 2-4 November, with practice on Friday and official runs the following two days Saturday and Sunday. While this year’s championship will be the first on the Mountain Straight side of the circuit, the course in recent years has been run as part of the BLCC Club Championship, particularly at the season ending Speed Weekend late November or early December, and in recent years as a round of the NSW Championship. This year celebrates 74 years since the Mountain Straight course was first used as a hillclimb on the ‘Old Bald Hills’. In 1938 the circuits first ever hillclimb was conducted on the Mountain Straight side of the circuit by the Light Car Club of NSW, and saw the late and legendary George Reed of Bathurst win on what was dirt and driving his ’34 Ford Roadster. All AHCC’s run at Mount Panorama were conducted on the Esses course, starting in 1956, when run by the Australian Racing Drivers Club and won by the late and great Lex Davison in his Cooper Vincent. The remaining six were organised and promoted by the BLCC, with 1967 and Greg Cusack winning in the David McKay owned Repco Brabham, then again in 1976 when the event was run in partnership with the Manly Warringah Car Club and won by the late Peter Hollinger in his Hollinger Repco. It was next run locally in 2006 when Wollongong’s Peter Gumley won his first of ten championships driving his SCV, and then he won in Bathurst again in 2000. The remaining two AHCC’s on Mount Panorama were conducted in 2004 and ’08, and won on each occasion by West Australian driver Gary West in the Lola, Barry is currently campaigning.