Noosa Summer Hillclimb 2017

Noosa Summer Hillclimb Classic & Sports Car Challenge 10-12 November 2017

Words by Shane Murphy. Photos by Vyvyan Black and Shane Murphy.

The 20th Anniversary of the Noosa Summer Hillclimb featured a diverse range of competitors and machinery, which is part of the unique nature of Hill climbing. Zaid’s Exige featuring on all the promotional material.

Four of the original 1996 runners competed this year, including our own Allan Conway in his 1960 Seven.

As usual for this time of year, the weekend weather forecast was unpredictable, with the possibility of patchy rain over the two days, quite unnerving considering the unforgiving nature of the track.

A strong line-up for Lotus Club Queensland

• Dick Reynolds – Caterham 7
• Vyvyan Black – Elan Plus 2
• Peter Quinn – Elise
• Pat Richards – Elise
• Euan McGarry – Hyundai
• Jason McGarry – Caterham R300
• Alan Conway – Lotus 7
• Dean Amos – Lotus 2 Eleven
• Glen Amos – Lotus 2 Eleven
• Zaid Latif – Exige
• Shane Murphy – Lotus 7

Support crews consisted of Gayle, Jen and Robyn. James and Rebecca, Mal and Daryl ventured up to Noosa for a look see.

A special thanks to the organisers who provided Lotus with the prime pit area including fully erected tents, we were able to present the brand and display our club banners front and centre.

Friday was hot and dry and with our pits established we took part in the invitational parade on Hastings Street at Noosa. The parade was great fun and we finished the afternoon with a cool beer at the Noosa Surf Club.

Saturday arrived and it was hot and dry, fast times looked to be possible. Vyvyan and Euan being first time Noosa competitors paced the pits nervously.

Jason lined up in his new Caterham R300, over 200 horses under his boot, “Holy Guacamole”

Incredibly, Jon Young was seen to be eating breakfast, we knew how focused Jon was!

Allan’s weekend started precariously with a flat (brand new) battery, a faulty fuel pump and to make matters worse a gear box failure last on Saturday. The most embarrassing memory of the weekend was Zaid and Gayle bogging their support vehicle in the pits, twice.

As Saturday warmed up the times dropped, however by mid afternoon the rain started and it seems our best times had been run.

Jason set a 66.5 out of the box, plenty of upside as he mastered the sequential shift and horsepower to boot. Not sure who had the biggest grin, Jason or Euan (having his first crack at “The Hill”)

The organisers do a great job with 154 runners; however, the operational Achilles Heel is the publication of the run times, with three cars on track at any time, it’s a hell of job, waiting an hour or two after each run for the times to be printed and stuck to the wall of the organisers caravan is a little out of sync with the otherwise flawless organisation. The manual handling of the runs times can cause a little tension, just ask Dick about his 85 second run and his casual conversation with the timer around the veracity of that time! While you’re at it ask Dick about the scrutineers pinging him for running slicks.

Sunday was gloomy with the rain setting in early, a wet and wild ride all day, so Saturday times were not bettered. Credit to the organisers who toiled on in the rain and we all got out scheduled runs in, however quite a few of the competitors chose to sit it out so the program finished an hour early.

So, onto the results;

Jason was first in the Sports Cars 2000 to Current – 0 to 2,000 cc
Zaid was second in the Sports Cars 2000 to Current – 0 to 2,000 cc
Dean was second in the Sports Cars 2000 to Current – 2,001 cc and over
Allan was third in the Sports Cars Pre-65 class
Shane was first in the Sports Cars Pre-1980 0 to 2,000 cc

In the battle of the Elise’s, SEQ vs CQ, Pat vs Peter, Titanium vs Gold, it was Peter who topped the charts.

Apparently Pat went all out on wheels and tyres to beat Peter up the Hill, he did on a 67.82 but he’s was still off Peters best time on the winter hill of 67.42 (When he was off in Ireland).

A great club result, Allan received a special commemorative award for being one of the 1996 competitors. No major incidents over the weekend, just a few minor offs, and to top of a great weekend, the traffic on the highway back to Brisbane was light.

It’s only eight months till the Winter Event.