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Hutchinson Fastest Despite Engine Failure

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in Motor Sport, News

Queensland Hillclimb ace Warwick Hutchinson successfully defended his outright title on the flats of the historic Leyburn Sprints despite being forced to retire with engine failure before the end of the event’s 17th annual running on the Darling Downs last weekend. Hutchinson lost the engine in his specially-built Ultimate Power Steering Van Diemen single-seater after the fourth of seven scheduled runs on Leyburn’s 1.1 kilometre around-the-houses course. His last run of 46.727 seconds was his fastest, but he had to wait while closest rival Grant Watson took three more shots at the mark in his ProSport Eclipse sports car, ultimately falling short by just 0.419 seconds, before claiming the Col Furness Memorial Trophy at the end of a memorable weekend of grassroots motorsport. Watson finished second, ahead of Garry Ford in a V8-engined Ford Escort. A field of 199 drivers, a diverse line-up of classic, historic and performance cars ranging in vintage from 1926 to 2012, almost 100 Shannons Show ‘n’ Shine entries and perfect weather combined to attract a potentially record crowd. “Although we haven’t completed a final count, the two-day attendance is likely to be more than 10,000 and we all feel this was probably the best crowd we’ve ever had,” Sprints organising committee President Ann Collins said. “Everybody loved the event, whether they were spectators or competitors. The weekend went very well and everybody had fun.” Leyburn’s good-natured country atmosphere saw a packed campground, front-yard spectator parties, pig races at the local RSL on Saturday night, Country Womens Association catering for the volunteer officials and a rollicking trophy presentation during which the prizes – varnished rocks varying in size for first, second and third – were distributed from the back of a ute parked outside the 1863-licensed Royal Hotel. Rock recipients included the fastest Historic-category driver David Cross, who recorded a 49.313 second run in his 1976 V8 Bowin-Hay single-seater, fifth-best also in the overall classification. The oldest car entered, Andrew Wilson’s 1926 supercharged Amilcar AC, beat many newer cars with a 107th-fastest time of 58.917 seconds. The honour of slowest time, along with a special prize recognising sporting spirit, went to Graham Shipton, who brought his 1936, 680 cc. Auto Union sports car all the way from Adelaide to stop the clock at 1 minute 30.121. Proceeds from the not-for-profit 2012 Leyburn Sprints will assist Ovarian Cancer Australia, RACQ Careflight Rescue and numerous local community groups and projects.

Troy Marinelli

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in Driver Profiles, Motor Sport, News

Australian Driver Magazine wants to get to know the driver behind the helmet. With these questions you will learn a little more about who you are watching on track or racing against. Troy Marinelli is a qualified motor mechanic and runs the Midas workshop in the bayside suburb of Capalaba in South-East Queensland. Being a mechanic Troy was always around cars but did not get in to racing until 1997. It took a friend of Troy’s to get him started. Having a mad Mini owner living down the end of his street, Matt Read, Troy decided one day to pop in and have a look at all the hotted up Mini’s. From there Troy became involved and joined the SPARC racing club and began running in sprints. “From that point on I have been broke ever since”, said Marinelli. Having won multiple class and club championships, Troy’s goal is to win the CAMS Championship one year in Improved Production. Name:  Troy Marinelli D.O.B:01/10/73 State: QLD Race Car: Nissan Silvia Turbo – Improved Production Other Cars: Ford Escort – Improved Production Race Car Q: Are you the kind of person to have a backup plan? Yes but it never comes to fruition Q: Who are your motor racing heroes? Craig Lowndes/Dick Johnson Q: Most liked race track/event? My most liked event is the Phillip Island Nationals but Bathurst is up there as my most liked race track. Q: The best moment in racing you have had so far? Going thru the chase at Bathurst with the pedal buried on the floor and rev limiter banging. Q: Your ideal non-race weekend? Relaxing without the kids…lol. Don’t have an ideal weekend as long I am enjoying myself. Q: What was your first car? HQ Wagon V8 Q: When was your last infringement notice and what was it for? My last infringement notice was for speeding. I was out getting the paper on a Sunday morning. 69 in a 60 zone in 2009. Q: What is your favorite high? When my kids were born. Q: Who is your dream date? The Misses Q: Which film do you enjoy the most? Any war movies. Q: Is there anything you are afraid of? On land I am not a fan of snakes and while in the water sharks can keep right away. Q: What was the last book you read? Auto Action/ Catalogues in the mail Q: Name five things that you hate? Red flags, traffic lights, people turning up late, lying politicians and speed cameras. Money should be spent on other things. Q: Have you ever dyed your hair? No. Q: What did your teachers say about you in your school reports? Always said could do better if showed more interest. Q: Do you have any guilty pleasures? No Q: Do you collect anything? 5O cent pieces. Q: What was your worst buy? Big screen T.V from Brashes years ago.  Must have broken down 30 times in 2 years. Q: How do you take your coffee? White and One Q: What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve ever had? Can’t tell!! Q: What is the best thing that you can cook? Roast pork. Q: When was the last time you were really angry? Never get really angry. Final Word: Anyone thinking of getting into motorsport should just do it and stop thinking about it. I wish I had the chance to do it earlier in life. Great friends, great times and a great bunch of people involved. . Photos by Phil Melvin and Chris Nissen

To Climb or to Climb, There is No Question

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in Motor Sport, News

The third round of the Tighe Cams Hillclimb series will be held at the MG Car Club Queensland’s Mt Cotton hillclimb track this weekend, 7 and 8 July. The current leader of the series is Adrian Holmes of Toowoomba in his Elfin Formula V. He is the only competitor so far this year to have beaten the record for their class. Other competitors will be hoping for better weather than has been experienced at the first two rounds to try to match Adrian’s achievement. The fastest cars so far seen in the first two rounds were that of Paul Van Wijk in his BK Z07 hillclimb special and Warwick Hutchinson in his powerful Van Dieman RF92-RPV02. Round one was Van Wijk all the way with a time of 42.05 in an event that saw plenty of cars sliding off the road and into the nuts. Round two had Hutchinson and Van Wijk fight it out all day for outright fastest time with the eventual winner of the battle being won Hutchinson by only 0.31 seconds. Another driver to watch out for is Danny Mischok in his Escort. Danny has been in the top six shoot out in both rounds this year and is pushing hard to beat his own record in the Improved Production class which he set in his old car in 2007. Competition starts at 11.30 on Saturday and at 8.30 on Sunday. Entry for spectators is free and are encouraged to wander through the pits to get a good look at the cars and to talk to the competitors and crews. The hillclimb venue is on Gramzow Rd, off Mt Cotton Rd, at Mt Cotton. Related Articles Queensland Hillclimb Season Underway Hutchinson Storms to Wet Hillclimb Victory Photo by Phil Melvin

Hutchinson Storms to Wet Hillclimb Victory

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in Motor Sport, News

The second round of the 2012 Tighe Cams Hillclimb series was not one for the faint hearted of driver as the weekend was full of sliding, spinning and slipping in the wet weather. Saturday afternoon saw competitors turn up to the Mt Cotton track wearing rain coasts and changing from their slicks to full wets as the rain was relentless. As drivers gathered round for the briefing, some old faces could be seen amongst the new and regulars. One of the old faces was Bill Norris who was having his first drive at the hillclimb in more then six years. When the event got underway the rain was still coming down strong and many drivers decided it was not time to hit the track. The few that did found the driving slow and treacherous with slow times being laid down. The fastest driver of the first run was Shane Merrick in his 2-litre Datsun 1200 Coupe with a time of 57.50 seconds. As the weekend went on Merrick posted his fastest time on run four with a 49.83 second pass. With is his best time posted on Sunday Shane ended the weekend first in class and 14th outright. The early battle for outright position was between Danny Mischok in his beast of a Ford Escort and Warren Robb in the Dino Kart. Danny chose to miss his first run of the day but took to the road on run two and set a fast time of 54.83 seconds. This was not fast enough to take the lead as Robb ran a 51.44 second pass on his second outing. Run three was faster again for Mischok but still not enough to take the lead. On his forth run Mischok would not see the finish line as the wet conditions got the better of this talented driver. With little damage to the car, Mischok would continue the event and set a time in the rest of the runs for the weekend where he ended first in class and fifth outright. Robb in the Dino would continued improving his times over the weekend and set his fastest time on run seven. This time of 47.53 seconds would set this driver up for a first in class and at third outright. Second place outright was taken by a driver who elected to run only five of the nine runs and the third of those runs would be his best. Paul Van Wijk driving the BKZ 07 chose the only dry run of the weekend to set a time of 45.82 seconds. With this time he walked away with a first in class and second outright for the event. The time difference between first and second was 0.31 seconds, but that was all that was needed for Warwick Hutchinson in his powerful Van Dieman RF92-RPV02 to take the win. Having not turned a wheel on Saturday and coming out on Sunday to post a 45.51 second run on only his second outing for the event, Hutchinson proved he is a force to be reckoned with this year. A number of other drivers were picking runs throughout the weekend trying to do all they could to be best in class and as high up the outright order they can. One of these drivers was Ken Graham in his Datsun 1600 SSS powered by a 2.4-litre engine. Going out in the rain on Sunday Graham set a time of 61.68 seconds but ended his weekend with a class winning time of 49.17 seconds. The next event on the Hillclimb calendar is the Queensland Hillclimb Championships on the weekend of June 2 and 3. The Championships always brings out the best in drivers and is an event worth getting to. Photos by Phil Melvin

Record Numbers for International Rally of Queensland

Written by Lee McKenzie McKinnon on . Posted in Motor Sport, News

A record 100 vehicles, including 13 from overseas, have been entered for the Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast at the end of this month. The entry list includes drivers from as far afield as Britain, Sweden, India and Japan, who will pilot some of the world’s fastest rally cars in round three of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship. Chris Atkinson, Australia’s most successful international rally driver, will lead the fight in a Skoda Fabia S2000 for the Indian MRF team, with Indian Rally Champion Guarav Gill in an identical second car recently imported from Europe. The pair has claimed a win apiece, one second and one third place in the previous rounds in New Zealand and New Caledonia, setting a major catch-up challenge in Queensland for the defending Asia Pacific Rally Champion Alister McRae and his factory Proton team from Malaysia. McRae, a former British Rally Champion, has yet to take a podium place this season while teammate PG Andersson of Sweden, a two-time Junior World Rally Champion, has scored only a second place in NZ. However, McRae, Andersson and the British-run Proton team may draw benefit from their concurrent experience in the 2012 Super 2000 World Rally Championship, Andersson having won at his home event in February. Leading international contenders in the class for two-wheel drive cars will include former Production World Rally Champion Karamjit Singh of Malaysia – popularly known as the Flying Sikh – in a Japanese-entered Proton and Frenchman Jean-Louis Leyraud in his New Caledonia-based Citroen C3. Round three of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship promises to be no less competitive, with four-time champions Simon and Sue Evans returning to the sport in a new two-wheel drive Mazda 2 to rival the Italian-built official Honda Jazz team of Simon’s younger brother Eli and the experienced Mark Pedder. In the four-wheel drive category, 24-year-old Perth driver Tom Wilde is an impressive leader after winning the first two rounds. A total of 24 cars will contest the BARC, while 23 are listed for the 50th-anniversary Queensland Rally Championship opening round. With a crack Classic field including Neal Bates (Toyota Celica), Ross Dunkerton (Ford Escort) and Jeff David (Porsche 911) and 10 entries in the new Side-by-Side Rally Challenge including Cody Crocker, Michael Guest and V8 Supercar star Tim Slade, the Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland has never offered spectators a greater line-up of top talent or diversity of cars in its 44-year history, says Event Director Errol Bailey. “This will be a spectacle not to be missed, whether you are a dedicated rally fan or a casual spectator looking for a great family outing,” Mr Bailey said. “We are bringing truly world-class drivers and world-class cars to the Sunshine Coast – and Australia – for the only time this year and if people haven’t seen them in action before they will be amazed at the skill and speed. “With competitive stages or meet-and-greet activities at two Caloundra locations and at Kenilworth, Imbil and Pomona, the rally provides plenty of opportunity for spectators to be part of the action and we’re hoping for big crowds to welcome the teams.” The Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland will kick off with a free open-air “Start Your Engine” party at Caloundra’s Kings Beach from 6pm on Friday 25 May. Drivers will turn out for autographs and there will be food, drink and a live band. The rally returns to Caloundra Aerodrome on Saturday night for the “Main Event” Super Special Stage, featuring two stage runs on the closed runways, spectacular Pro Drift cars and fireworks. After a service stopover at Kenilworth Showgrounds on Saturday morning the field covers forestry and shire-road stages across the weekend at Imbil and Pomona, before finishing in Imbil on Sunday afternoon. Mr Bailey said the big entry list demonstrated a healthy following for rallying in Australia and the Asia Pacific region and would bring wide attention to the Sunshine Coast and Gympie-Cooloola regions. “A field this size will mean an estimated 2000 team members, supporters, media and officials visiting for up to a week. Those from outside Queensland make no secret that the Sunshine Coast’s warm autumn weather, scenery, tourist attractions and facilities and the welcome, as well as a cracking competition, are all reasons they enter the Brakes Direct International Rally of Queensland,” he said. “We also expect extensive media coverage and bigger audiences for our dedicated national and international television broadcasts.” Early-bird tickets discounted until 21 May are on sale from $20 at www.rallyqueensland.com.au or the events centre in Caloundra for spectating at the Main Event, Imbil stages and the BP Ultimate stage at Pomona. Entry is free for the Start Your Engine Party, Kenilworth service stopover and Hella Service Park and official podium finish at Imbil. The adult ticket price for the Main Event is $25 if purchased before 21 May, but a total saving of $30 on the gate price is available by purchasing a $45 Event Super Pass providing unlimited access to all venues. . Evo and Toyota photo provided by Duncan Wild

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