James Rodda and Dave Langfield have won Rally Wattle Range, the first round of the South Australian Rally Championship held recently on April 26-27 in the South East region of South Australia. In a tough event where simply finishing was an achievement in itself, Rodda came through to claim his maiden victory by over two minutes and took maximum championship points over the diverse set of stages.
The pairing of Michael and David Krichauff drove a consistent yet fast event to claim a solid second place outright in their class P5 Subaru.
The final place on the podium went to the Galant VR4 of Mt Gambier locals Paul Heenan and Andrew Kreisl. It was expected that local knowledge would certainly play into the hands of the Galant’s of locals Heenan and Brown, and this was certainly the case.
In a fantastic effort considering it was their first ever rally in a new car, Jamie Pohlner and Ben Judd claimed fourth place in the ex Sam Brand GC8 Subaru. This must have been a special result for the crew, because other than two khanacross events earlier in the year, this was their first serious event.
The top five was rounded out by Barry and Helen Lowe in the thundering VB Commodore. This is fast becoming a very popular car on the national historic rally circuit, and Barry has stepped it up to a whole new level for 2013. The old Holden V8 (itself a wild motor) is out, replaced by a Nascar spec Chev V8. I was told that this engine arrived from the US producing over 800hp, and that Barry has tuned it down to a more reliable 550 for gravel work. It has that spine tingling high pitched wail that is only produced by very seriously tuned race engines, and throws massive rooster tails of dust and rocks wherever it goes. Continue reading →
Have you ever found yourself out driving on a sunny afternoon, and purely by chance discover an incredible little section of road you never knew about? You drive it for the first time with a grin on your face, and maybe even double back for another go at it. And then you start to think…. ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we could close this little section of road off for a hillclimb competition?’
That’s precisely how this previously unknown little country track, 10km out of Victor Harbor on the Yankililla road, became the fastest hillclimb course in the state. Now in its fourth year, the two day Mt Alma Mile event has quickly gained a reputation as a showcase for the state’s high performance tuners, as well as an accessible challenge for grassroots amateurs looking to test themselves against both the hill and other competitor’s cars.
You would very rarely ever find yourself at Mt Alma on the other 363 days of the year because it’s a road that kind of links nowhere to nowhere, and the fact that it turns to dirt at its summit even further reduces the likelihood of using it.
This is a huge shame, and every year I attend Mt Alma the sheer beauty of the countryside slaps me in the face, as if almost in laughter that this stunning countryside is just over an hour from the city yet I only ever come here once a year. Motorsport aside, you could just come here for a lazy Sunday picnic and have a great day out.
This has to be one of the most scenic pit paddocks in South Australian motorsport. Continue reading →
The DNA Rallysport crew of Declan Dwyer and Craig Adams have won the Walky Stages Rally, claiming their third South Australian Rally Championship in the process. Competing over the fast and marbly roads in the Truro area an hour north of Adelaide, the crew overcame early crank angle sensor problems to convincingly win the nine stage long event.
The Rally Power Motorsport team of James Rodda and Claire Ryan were once again struck with their mystery misfire issues that have plagued them at previous events, but managed to hold on to second place throughout the event, also earning them second outright in the championship. It was a crushing blow for James and Claire, as after over 6 hours of problem diagnosis and tuning on the dyno at Graham West Workshop in the week prior to the event, they really thought they had finally found and fixed the problem.
Simon and Yvette West had an excellent result to claim their first ever podium, finishing the event in third outright position.
Past Australian rally champion Barry Lowe, co-driven by Helen Lowe, claimed fourth outright and first in the Classic class in their thundering VB Commodore. I think I’ve said this after every event, but the rumbling V8 under the bonnet of this thing sounds incredibly mean, and when on the special stage it seems to be in a perpetual state of wheelspin and sideways action, throwing up big rooster tails of dirt and rocks. No complaints from me!
And as expected, Barry needs a considerable supply of fresh Michelin gravel tyres to sustain all that sideways action. Yes, Barry actually brings more sets of rear tyres than stages to events! Continue reading →
It takes a dedicated group of individuals to organise a motorsport event, and a lot more goes on behind the scenes than any spectator or competitor usually realises. What’s even more amazing is when a group of volunteers decide to run a completely new type of event that’s never been run before. In addition to the usual myriad of organisational tasks, there are a few other hurdles that need to be overcome such as finding a location, finding a way to fit it within the event structures of governing bodies (ie CAMS), and last but not least, actually convincing competitors and spectators to come.
The team at Ultimate Motorsport Events (and the Southern Districts Car Club) are no strangers to staging impressive events – the Mt Alma Mile hillclimb and Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally form their annual portfolio, so they were the perfect group of volunteers to run the first ever OZGymkhana event.
UME make no secret that they got the idea for OZGymkhana from the famous Ken Block Gymkhana practise videos, and the event was borne from the thinking that it would be pretty cool to run an event like that in Adelaide. The team picked Tailem Bend Motorsport Park (the old Mitsubishi testing and proving grounds) as the ideal location because of its mix of a long runway, skidpad and several curving access and test roads.
OZGymkhana runs on the principles of traditional bitumen motorkhana; you go from a standing start, navigate a series of obstacles and then finish when you come to a complete stop at the finish line. You are penalised by a few seconds for hitting cones, or penalised quite heavily for a ‘Wrong Direction’, ie going the wrong way through the test. The competitor with the fastest accumulated time after all tests is declared the winner. Continue reading →
Perfect weather and perfect track conditions accurately sum up Round 4 of the MSCA Supersprint series. Instead of going through each individual performance, I’ll focus on a few of the highlights of the day as well as taking a quick look at the Porsche club motorkhana which was simultaneously taking place on the skidpad.
Guy Standen had the 124 out in its final shakedown before our Targa Adelaide campaign next week. Apart from a minor gearbox issue which has since been rectified, the 124 performed faultlessly and is ready for 4 days of tarmac rally action.
This Evo 10 won the award for biggest spoiler and ended up setting a high 1.16. It probably should have been at WTAC in Sydney though, which was happening on the same weekend. Continue reading →
Gary Brown and Mike Dale have stormed to a close victory in the inaugural Rallye Wattle Range, the first round of the South Australian Rally Championship held on Sunday in the Wattle Range area of the South East.
The new pairing of James Rodda and Claire Ryan battled through gearbox problems over the last few stages of the event to finish first in class P5 and Second outright, 44 seconds behind Brown/Dale.
2010/2011 State Champions Russell Marker and Karien Heimsohn put in a strong and consistent performance to claim the final podium position, finishing 49 seconds behind the Subaru of Rodda/Ryan.
Brothers Trent and Aaron Long finished 4th outright, a fantastic result for their first ever rally! One can only wonder what these guys will do with a little more experience under their belts.
Barry and Helen Lowe drove the wheels off the thundering VB Commodore to win class P4 and finish a credible 6th outright. The big V8 sounded fantastic on the special stage, and could consistently be counted on to throw up the biggest, wildest rooster tails of dust and rocks everywhere it went.
Dan Day and Simon Orme were running second outright for most of the morning and were involved in a close battle for first… Continue reading →
It seems like just a few months ago that we were at Jarvis Subaru, launching the 2011 rally season with great anticipation. A lot has happened in the past twelve months in the rally world – new events, new cars, old favourites and a battle for the championship that came right down to the last stage of the year at Kuitpo. There’s no less anticipation this year, in fact there’s possibly even more with a whole range of new cars and competitors, a new event and the national shift toward 2WD cars. The 2012 launch night was a good kick off, and gave a really interesting insight into what we can look forward to in the coming months.
There are quite a few interesting cars coming out for the championship. The one I’m probably most excited about is Jeremy Browne’s Mini Cooper S. Continue reading →
So I went down tonight to check out scruitineering for the Kuitpo Forest Rally. The event is the fourth and final round of the South Australian Rally Championship, and it’s shaping up to be a cracker of an event. There are theoretically 5 guys who could walk away with a state championship under their arms.
I’ll be co-driving in the 0B course car, a bright orange GC8 WRX STI. Unfortunately this means I won’t really be out with the camera, so tonight at S&J was my only real shot to take some photo’s. Actually I take back the ‘unfortunately’ comment. As much as I love shooting, helmeting up and having a go on the special stage is always more fun
Some of my shots from the Robertstown Walky 100 this year. It was a fantastic event, and whilst rain threatened in the days before the weather for the event was supurb. However, the lack of cloud cover during the day made it bloody cold for the night stages – I actually reached the point where I was going and introducing myself to strangers in order to warm up at their fires.
For 2011 the Carlton Supercross was held at the gravel circuit near the town of Tissamaharama in the Hambantota district of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan super cross racing shares many similarities with traditional rallycross, however the chief difference is that super cross racing is conducted on a full dirt circuit. The Carlton Supercross formed part of the wider Carlton Super Sports festival which included rowing, target shooting and athletic events. The Carlton Supercross was round 1 of the Sri Lankan National Gravel Championship (encompasing both super cross racing and special stage rallying) and round 1 of the SLARDAR championship.