Come and Try Hillclimb – Collingrove

4th June 2017

Regular TSOA members will know that Neil has done a lot of recent work to his car, small things here and there to get it to rev faster, smoother and handle better, resulting in new Personal Bests at Mallala. His motivation is to keep ahead of me. When I first joined him at Mallala 5 years ago, he was slower than my PB now.

If Neil’s changes would result in a faster Hillclimb time was yet to be proven, then the opportunity arose to participate in the Sporting Car Clubs Come & Try day. Neil didn’t have to twist my arm too hard to join in, Roger also had his arm twisted and the 3 of us entered the recent Sunday event.

We all know it has been a cold start to winter. The official forecast for Springton was -1 overnight. Imagine living in that tree! So as I got up that morning, I donned my thermals before my race attire and I set off at 6:30ish to top up the fuel in my TR7 and met Neil at his place to travel in convoy along some of our favourite twisty roads up & over Tea Tree Gully and beyond. My car had warmed up by Neil’s house and I was thankful I had racing gloves to wear to brave the very cold morning.

Some spirited driving ensued, up through the hills, and shortly before Chain of Ponds, I spied some fancy LED lights, synonymous with Audi, in my rear view (yes, I was chasing Neil again) and Roger joined in our TSOA convoy as the ambient temperature dropped around us. Through Birdwood at 50km/h I nearly had to pull over to call the RAA due to my car underheating. I never thought I’d ever need antifreeze living in Australia until that point. My body was frozen through several layers of clothes, the heater useless and my driving came from the knee as I lost feeling in my toes and feet. I found out later the gauge in Roger’s Audi RS3 reported it as minus 4.5degrees.  Brr.

But spare a thought for the couple of guys who tailed us from Mt Pleasant, making the journey from the City in a Clubman. No roof, no side windows. My TR7 suddenly felt like an oasis.

But clear skies and no breeze made way for an absolutely beautiful winter day at Collingrove. I made sure I was basking in the sun like a lizard on a rock and soon was ready to have some fun.

The day was very well run, beginning with not your ordinary slow orientation drive up the track, but a free go, straight up, so we could feel how it would be at a realistic pace for the day. I cruised up at 47 seconds. Neil and Roger about  42 seconds each.

We all got 4 more runs and plenty of time to talk to strangers about Triumphs and with each other about how to get across the finish line the fastest, comparing times etc. Dave Wilson made a visit in his Saloon to add a Triumph to the spectators car park.

My best time for the day was 41.3 seconds. A PB for me, 5 years ago, the best I managed was 43.5 You can view my quickest 3 laps on YouTube through this link.

We were all ready for one more run at the end of the day, but it ended abruptly as all runs were completed. We all had big grins on our faces anyway. Neil got a new PB, and of course it was Rogers PB being the first Competitive event in the Audi.

And of course, we knew we had the drive home ahead, now with feeling in fingers and toes, through the twisty bits at more than the recommended speeds through the bends on warmed up tyres and roads. Smiles all round.

Duane Kaak

One Response to “Come and Try Hillclimb – Collingrove”

  1. Duane Kaak Says:

    Thanks to Roger for posting this Article for me!

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