Words by Shane Murphy. Pics by Dick Reynolds, Jason McGarry and Shane Murphy.
Planning for the November 2020 Summer Hillclimb commenced shortly after the Winter Climb’s conclusion. Lessons learned from the new format and in the 2020 “Year of the COVID” morphed into an even more efficient driver focused affair.
Improvements included a Friday afternoon sighting run, ensuring competitors could scope out the state of the track ready for Saturday’s competition.
142 entries, COVID limited of course, no spectators again, no echidnas or sprained ankles to worry about.
Predictions of 30-degree days manifested in a hot and dry track with limited leaf matter and very little tree sap or residue on the pavement.
Pre-race preparation included Dick’s improved 150hp (super) engine, Peter Quinn’s Targa spec suspension and Robin Manning’s improved roll cage, just in case! Pat, Jon and Shane polished our cars and concentrated our driving skills.
Sadly, Zaid’s Exige was still in the shop getting an engine and gearbox upgrade and Jason’s lime green machine was having ECU problems – both cars therefore could not make the starting line-up.
Luckily for Jason his backup was the Exige, so all was well.
Evan in his 750hp supercar was a first timer to the Hill and relished in the Friday sighting runs.
Peter as usual, had the LCQ pit area roped off, with tents erected, getting our pits established was without fuss. Many thanks, Peter.
Friday trackside concluded with drinks and burgers at the Land and Sea, a few laughs and we were ready for Saturday morning.
All clubman cars, irrespective of age or engine size were in one class, so bragging (gloating) rights were high on the agenda
The entry list included;
Clubman Cars up to 2,000cc
Number 40 – Jon Young
Number 41 – Dick Reynolds
Number 42 – Shane Murphy
Sports Cars up to 2,000cc
Number 126 – Pat Richards
Number 127 – Peter Quinn
Sports Cars 3,001cc to 5,000cc
Number 37 – Euan McGarry
Number 88 – Jason McGarry
Production Cars 2,000cc to 5,000cc
Number 112 John (Ross) Johnson
Production Cars over 5,000cc
Number 91 – Evan Lambkin
Racing Cars enclosed up to 2,500cc
Number 110 – Robin Manning
After the first untimed run, it was obvious to all competitors that with the super clean track, very hot conditions, fast times were to be expected.
Competition was fierce, Jon remained one eyed about his performance.
Highlights of the weekend included Curtis McGarry refining his pit crew performance getting the transponder swap time between dad Jason’s and bother Euan’s down to an impressive eight seconds, rivalled only by the Williams F1 crews pit performance.
All LCQ team members managed to pull off personal bests over the two days with Dick setting a very impressive 63.8928 followed very closely by Pat Richards 64.1002, Euan McGarry 64.1667, Shane Murphy 64.5642, Peter Quinn 65.0076, Jason McGarry 66.2896, Jon Young 67.0120, Evan Lambkin 70.7888, Robin Manning 73.2147 and Ross Johnson 73.5611. Plenty of sweat and energy expended in the plus 30-degree temperatures.
The only technical issues over the event were some minor electrical gremlins within Dick’s engine bay and a slipping clutch for Peter Quinn. Both problems were sorted quickly with deft mechanical handiwork.
Over the weekend, and just to reinforce the unforgiving nature of the track, we witnessed a number of fairly major incidents. Luckily nobody was injured, but some major vehicle damage was incurred.
Fantastic organisation by the Noosa Hillclimb (Bruce, Committee Chair) and (Jonathan, Event Competition Manager).
In 2021, all things being equal, the Noosa Hillclimb Organising committee is contemplating holding three events, the first being in March. This takes the event into a whole new level. Planning is also underway to broadcast the event via a broadcast unit and a series of cameras on each corner. Now that would be something.
The next Hillclimb is notionally set for March. Watch out for the entry notification in the next few months.