2018 Noosa Winter Hillclimb

Story by Pat Richards, photos by Shane Murphy.

Friday 8th June loomed as a showery and bleak day as all the competitors arrived to claim their sites and present for the usual scrutineering. This was followed by a “Grand Parade” down Hastings Street, but unfortunately for all the skies opened up and sent everyone home early.

Not to be deterred we dried ourselves, reapplied our mascara and headed out for a cold beer and burger at the Land and Sea Pub. This was a relaxed social occasion, with everyone being very generous when it came to shouting rounds of drinks to ensure their rivals were less than sharp the following day or better still over the required limit to compete. One of the competitors declared that his S2 Elise was gold in colour, this greatly amused one of the women who had always thought it to be more of a mustard or perhaps even “Baby Poo”.

Saturday arrived and we had the usual starters – Peter Quinn (Spin Doctor), Jon Young (Puffing Billy), Dick Reynolds (TPE – Tyre Pressure Expert), Shane Murphy (Skipper), Pat Richards and a newcomer – Paul and Trudy Carroll – formerly from NSW but now residing at Cooroy.

The threatening weather of the previous few days had cleared to a reasonable but cool day. The day progressed with intense rivalries (see feuding) continuing from previous years. Everyone was offering free advice on tyre pressures and best racing lines. The days racing didn’t offer anyone particularly fast times – maybe the track wasn’t warm enough, but the rain held off and we were all able to get consistent grip and the resultant racing was enjoyed by all.

Sunday saw us all back at the track – a spectacular setting in a National Park making this a very special event. The weather again fine but still cool. As the day wore on the competition predictably became more urgent with competitors starting to look for any edge. One very well-known club member coerced his lovely wife into taking up the role of “Brollie Dolly” – duties included wiping the gravel and dust from his tyres immediately prior to his runs. Another competitor managed to complete his fastest run for the weekend with a spin over the finish line, however in doing so the track was blocked and the following car had his best run of the day destroyed. This was a great shame and we would all like to think it wasn’t an intentional act. Only one person knows the answer to this.

Results: The fastest of the Lotus Club was again Mr Reynolds with a 66.27 second run. The fastest trip up the Hill for the weekend was again once Michael Von Rappard in the open wheeler (Dallara powered by a Hyabusa). Michael is the current record holder and arrived this year with a supercharger added to his always beautifully prepared rocket ship. Interesting to note that all the extra power did not lead to a PB for Michael. It is still difficult to imagine being able to ascend The Hill in in 51.05 seconds?

As the Lotus marque continues to gain attention and popularity around these events it was great to have the Queensland Lotus Dealership represented with a glorious looking Black Exige Sport 350 on display in the pits for the weekend. This drew lots of admiring spectators and our thanks go to Scott Robinson for foregoing his weekend to be part of this event. As much as we all tried, we could not convince Scott to let us “test drive” the Exige up The Hill – maybe next time??

At presentation Scott awarded the trophy for “Best Presented Lotus” to Paul and Trudy with their super tidy yellow Elise S – 2016. A good way for Paul to kick off in a new state although I am not sure we should be offering any civilities to cockroaches at this time of the year. Hopefully we will see plenty more of Paul and Trudy in upcoming events and social outings.

In summary – a fun and social event and I expect that all will be back in November for the next event – a warmer track would be expected to lead to faster times. As usual the good company was the highlight of a great weekend.

See you all there in November.