Noosa Hillclimb – Winter 2017

Words by Shane Murphy. Photos by Dick Reynolds and Shane Murphy.

The Winter Challenge, a unique event staged in the Tewantin National Park and held in (as the name suggests) mid-winter, with clear skies, no wind and daytime temperatures of around 25 degrees – couldn’t get any better.

Autobarn/Southern Cross Sheds were the major sponsors and the weekend featured Australian muscle cars. Veteran racer, Dick Johnson, was a key ambassador for the event and was in attendance for both Saturday and Sunday, signing autographs and chewing the cud with one and all – a great effort by one of Australia’s racing legends.

Plenty of improvements were on show, with LCQ members Peter Quinn and Jay Bowden both on the organising committee.
The track proved to be fast with new bitumen on the inside of many of the curves.

LCQ fielded a strong crew, featuring;

Zaid Latif – 2005 Elise 1800cc (Sports Cars post 2000 and under 2000cc)
Peter Quinn – 2002 Elise 1798cc (Sports Cars post 2000 and under 2000cc)
Dick Reynolds – 1988 Caterham Super Seven 1700cc (Slicks) (Sports Cars pre-2000 and under 2000cc)
Jon Young – 1988 Caterham Super Seven 1610cc (no Slicks) (Sports Cars pre-2000 and under 2000cc)
Shane Murphy – 1968 Lotus Seven 1500cc (Sports Cars pre-1980 and under 2000cc)

Missing in action, for reasons only know to themselves were Jason McGarry and Pat Richards. The consensus was that Pat was worried about Peter’s recent good form and that Peter was on track to post a faster time, so Pat decided to scoot off to Ireland for a chilly winter break and Jason, well he just offered no excuse at all.

With the warm weather and new surfacing, the track record was broken. Unfortunately there were many crashes over the weekend, including our Rob Manning in his Mitsubishi FTO GPX.

Sunday morning provided a real challenge for the paddock as a team of officials worked the grid and breathalysed all entrants. A collective sigh went up when all LCQ members blew a big 0.00.

Winners are grinners, Dick was very pleased with himself and the results showed.

Zaid Latif battled a big field all weekend, finally taking out first in class, Peter Quinn picking up a close fought bronze.

Dick Reynolds was highly motivated all weekend to “best” a very young Brock Paine, ultimately Dick took out the Silver with Jon snuggling up to fourth place.

I finished in third in class, clearly outpaced by myself and offering no explanation as to why I could not improve my times over the six runs, may be the Summer Hillclimb will treat me better.

Dick’s fastest for the weekend was a 64.02, Zaid a 64.94, Jon a 67.4, Peter a 67.41 and Shane a 70.44.

The trophies were handed out, cars packed, trailers hitched, road tyres re-installed, beers sculled, and the drive home. November is only a few months away.