Vrrooom Report for November

There are just a couple of final events for the year to report on, and then it is a whole new 2008 season to look forward to. A new event for our calendar each year will be the Adelaide Hills Tarmac Sprint – a one day tarmac rally that takes in some of the closed sections used for the Classic Adelaide. It provides a practice opportunity for those entered in the Classic, but also allows other enthusiasts a taste of tarmac rally conditions for just one day at a fraction of the cost of the big event. Ian Wilson did the former in his TR7 V8 tarmac car, finishing 4th overall, and with a class win.

The 2007 TSOA National Rally hosted by Victoria was held from 3rd to 11th November and centred activities on Phillip Island and the south eastern Gippsland area of that State. Competition events comprised a Hillclimb at Morwell and track day at the fabulous Phillip Island circuit. The track day included a Super Sprint, Regularity competition, passenger laps (at about 80% speed) and parade laps – a little bit of something for everyone.

Neil Martin’s TR7 didn’t make it past the Tollgate on the day of departure due to fuel / carburetor problems. Unable to find a quick and permanent fix, Neil parked the TR7 and hitched a ride with John Wood in his GT6. The first day of the Rally is traditionally reserved for the Concours event but judging of the best cars had to be postponed due to heavy rain that fell all day. No complaints though, as everyone needs the rain much more than looking at shiny cars. It did make us a little nervous about the Hillclimb the following day though, as Morwell is not very nice when wet.

Not to worry – Monday turned out to be sunny and dry. There were just three competitors in the Hillclimb event from SA, being Bryan Young in his Vitesse, Rod Carey in the AMI Spitfire, and Roger Lange (that’s me) in the Dolomite Sprint. Morwell is a great little track – not a true Hillclimb in the climbing sense, but a short circuit that goes up and down and around, returning to the starting pad. What this means is that competitors get two runs in succession, which is just great! After an excellent day’s competition, Roger finished equal 4th outright, and winner of the modified saloon class with a time of 39.60, Rod posted a best of 40.98 and Bryan 45.04. Excellent fun! The quickest time of the day went to Brian Falloon (Qld) in his potent TR5 with 37.73

The track day at Phillip Island was also blessed with sunshine but a wind down the main straight would take a bit from potential maximum speeds during the day. This day was also the opportunity that the Concours judges were looking for the complete their job. Many of the cars being judged were also competing in track events, so it was a little unusual to go out for a flog on the track, and then come back to a reception of judges wanting to pore over your car. It all seemed to work though, and the favoured entries took home the silverware. Roger’s Dolly shone again (literally) with a Competition Class win.

Given that the main reason Neil Martin wanted to attend the National Rally was to experience the track events, it seemed such a shame that he would be destined to become a spectator. Roger offered him a drive in the Regularity event in his Dolomite Sprint, and you just couldn’t wipe the smile from Neil’s face! Not only that, but Neil came a close second in the competition! (He was to become a winner later in the Rally though, by taking out the major raffle prize!)

Roger’s Dolomite showed some potential in the Sprint, posting a best lap of 2:10.30 and once again winning the Modified Saloon class. Rod Carey put in lap times not up to where he was a lifetime ago in the same car,  but nevertheless, put in a best lap of 2:14.20. Neil Martin’s times in the borrowed Dolly were consistently around 1:20 and Bryan Young’s Vitesse produced a best of 2:34.40. Of the National Rally entrants (i.e., not recognizing day entrants in the Sprint, just the Rally trophy winners) Brian Falloon was once again the class act to beat, with a best time of 2:00.10, second went to Grant Turnbull in a borrowed TR8 with 2:03.90 and third to Greg Morsillo (TR7 Sprint) with 2:06.80. NSW took home the Competition Cup as overall team winners from both events.

Everyone enjoyed a great day, even Kevin McEnroe who had trailered his TR3 to the event. He and Chris thoroughly enjoyed their parade laps around the track at Phillip Island, as did John Wood in his GT6. Next year we look forward to the Rally being hosted by Queensland, and with their programme already well developed, I am sure that they will get excellent support next September – full details on the web site soon.

The only other event to report on was Round 4 of the SA Race Championships held on Nov. 17 with Ian Wilson (TR7 V8) competing in the Sports Cars races. Ian only qualified 9th with a best of 1:19.95, but improved to finish 3rd in the first race – best lap time was 1:14.12. From then on, gremlins struck, with a no-show for Race 2, and a DNF for Race 3. Keith Williamson (Farrell Clubman) also competed at this meeting in Historic Racing / Sports category.

Then it was time for the Classic Adelaide Rally. I have reported this event elsewhere on this site.

That’s enough from me . . . see you trackside!


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