A Sunday Safari – the morning drive

agr_drive-2Enough with the extended winter already! Sure, we’ll be counting our blessings when it’s still green and lush deep into the start of summer, but by October we should be enjoying crisp mornings and warming sun instead of sideways rain and flooding. I love a good rainstorm, but here’s to hoping we’re close to the end of it for now.

agr_drive-7A quick check of the BOM website last week revealed that mid to upper twenties were forecast for the weekend, so the obligatory SMS message went out. ‘Sunshine at last – Red Berry Espresso, 7am Sunday’. A few friends had been caught out by the surprise warmth and didn’t have their steed’s prepared in time, but nonetheless eight of us arrived in four cars for the first shorts and shirts drive of the season.

agr_drive-1An overnight rainstorm threatened to derail our plans (I thought we were done with the red blotches on the weather radar), but thankfully the morning dawned warm and dry. Albeit the golden sunshine, radiant blue sky and caressing cool breeze of the previous day had been replaced by clouds and wind and the promise of afternoon rain, but we were stoked to finally bare our pasty white arms and legs for the first time in months.

agr_driveAnd it seemed that everyone had a good excuse to give their car a run, other than for the simple pleasure of driving. The Classic Adelaide Rally is only a few weeks away, and we all have some sort of involvement.

agr_drive-6KVS (not pictured here, this is the other Karl) has again entered his 944 in the Thoroughbred Trophy category with Alex Visintin co-driving. KVS has just got the 944 back on the road after some carefully considered suspension tweaks and other improvements and was keen to see how it handled in the hills.

agr_drive-5Tim has entered the Tour in his E21 323i, and has just got it back on the road after some pretty tricky head work and a triple Weber conversion.

agr_drive-12The sound of a BMW straight six breathing through triple DCOE’s is nothing short of glorious.

agr_drive-9I have had my Fiat X1/9 back on the road for a little while, but this was the first chance I’ve had to take it for a proper drive since having it dyno tuned. The guys at West Torrens Dyno Centre are nothing short of wizards, and have got the little 1498cc single cam percolating better than it ever has. The power (in relative Fiat terms) seems almost too good to be true so I’m kind of waiting for something to go pop, but I guess if it lasted 34 dyno pulls over a week long period then it’s probably pretty good to get me to breakfast every few weeks. The Fiat itself isn’t entered in Classic Adelaide, but it will be in the parking lot at Victoria Park while I jump into the co-driver’s seat of Guy Standen’s Alfa 2600 Sprint.

agr_drive-4And finally, completely stealing the show and making our cars look practically invisible, was Tim Pryzibilla’s Jager liveried, IROC inspired Porsche 911.

agr_drive-3Tim is also entered in the Thoroughbred Trophy category at Classic Adelaide, and was using the drive to properly re-settle the springs after some suspension-out work before a test day at Mallala later this week.

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agr_drive-13After too long spent sipping coffee and talking all things motorsport (“I didn’t get out of bed this early to stand around and talk, we could have done this at 10am instead…”) we piled into the cars and hit the road. It’s pretty intimidating sitting in a tiny Fiat and having your mirror filled by a Jager Porsche.

agr_drive-14We let Tim go in front, not for speed reasons but because Luke and I wanted to soak in that heat exchanger-less flat six roar from behind. Even though I’m pretty happy with how my Fiat goes, Tim has almost 250 more horsepower and not much more weight than me, so there was never a contest to begin with.

agr_drive-15In fact the morning wasn’t about going fast at all, as it never really is for people seriously involved in motorsport. Anyone with much track or special stage experience knows that, other than being downright foolish to try, it’s not possible to go even close to the speeds we do when we compete, so why bother? It’s more fun just to relax, to enjoy the experience of driving the cars and to properly take the Adelaide Hills’ scenery in.

agr_drive-16agr_drive-22agr_drive-17agr_drive-21We parked up at Lenswood so that the passengers could swap around between the cars.

agr_drive-18Everyone gravitated to the 911 at any opportunity. I wonder why?

agr_drive-19agr_drive-25agr_drive-20We departed for another quick squirt to grab some breakfast at Cudlee Creek, before heading back down the hill to tuck the cars away before the rains returned.

It was pretty much the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning – bring on more of the same during the coming summer months.

agr_drive-23Words and photos by Andrew Coles

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