Noosa Winter Hillclimb – August 2020
Words by Shane Murphy. Pics by Dick Reynolds, Jason McGarry and Shane Murphy.
This year, the Noosa Beach Classic Car Club teamed up with the Sunshine Coast Motor Sport Club to revitalise the event. This year’s Hillclimb, postponed since June, was restructured around COVID-19 restrictions, resulting in many changes, however even with these COVID changes, a new and vastly improved format was born.
Unfortunately, the Friday Hastings Street parade and the Friday welcome drinks suffered the fate of many social outings and were cancelled completely.
With entrants limited to 125 cars, no spectators and only one pit crew member per car, the paddock, usually a bubbly mass of humanity, was remarkably serene and bush like. You could even hear the crickets chattering in the background.
The course was lengthened by about eight metres, the bitumen was well swept, the earth gutters cleaned, the track was fast and stable.
In a clever move, the remarkably unreliable historical timing system was updated to include Natsoft software and Westhold timers, as a result times were available immediately after each run – a fantastic improvement.
Due to cost cutting, the option of road registered cars retuning to the paddock via the main road was eliminated, however with groups of forty cars all parked up at the top of the course waiting to be ushered back down the track, a great social setting was introduced as drivers all chatted about their recent run and compared times and g-forces etc.
The most remarkable improvement over previous events being that we each managed ten or twelve runs, the tyres even keeping a little heat in them between runs. Congratulations to the joint organising committee.
With numbers limited due to administrative restrictions and the clash with the Hillclimb Championships, the LCQ team was missing a few key runners, we certainly missed Zaid and Gayle as foundation members of the Noosa Club.
The entry list included;
Number 19 – Shane Murphy – Clubman – ADR Tyres – 0 to 1600 cc
Number 13 – Jon Young – Clubman – ADR Tyres – 1601 to 2000 cc
Number 15 – Dick Reynolds – Clubman – ADR Tyres – 1601 to 2000 cc
Number 37 Peter Quinn – Sports Cars – ADR Tyres – 1601 to 2000 cc
Number 36 – Pat Richards – Sports Cars – ADR Tyres – 2001 to 3500 cc
Number 47 Jason McGarry – Sports Cars – Race Tyres – 1601 to 2000 cc
Number 75 Paul Carroll – AWD Non-Modified – ADR Tyres – 3001 to 5000 cc
Number 112 John (Ross) Johnson – Modified Passenger INC SUV – 3001 to 5000 cc
The fastest time for the weekend was set by Trent Laves in his Nissan S15 200SX with a 58.8557, unfortunately Trent put the Nissan into the wall on the final run of the weekend… she is a treacherous strip of road.
As usual the weekend is a hive a fun and this year was no exception. A little drizzle on Saturday afternoon was the only hiccup, otherwise we were blessed with temperatures in the mid-twenties on both Saturday and Sunday
Smokin’ Jon suffered a blowout during his four-hour trip to Noosa on Friday, luckily for Jon he was able to race tape his boots together and get on with the important affairs.
Observers noted that Pat was really on pace the whole weekend, a steady diet of pies and baked beans was clearly part of his winning strategy.
Peter Quinn, clearly an important and potent player in the world, kept us safe as he paraded around the pits in his HI Viz jacket as a COVID-19 security officer.
Luckily for Dick there was enough bandwidth for his g-force analysis of each run.
Unluckily for Jason, he got rear ended on the dummy grid by an overzealous driver warming up his tyres, a bit of panel beating required to straighten hs rear end out.
In a remarkable turn of events, Dick and Shane dogged each other’s times all weekend, even on sighting laps. It’s uncanny how close the elapsed times were on each run.
Jon managed to lead the B1 – Formula Open Wheels – (Race Tyres) – 1301 to 2000cc class for most of the weekend. It would have been a brilliant result for Jon if he could have maintained his form and pulled out a win, all things considered.
Newby John (Ross) Johnson, put in a steady first-time appearance in his 260 hp Toyota 86.
Flick Coffee managed to keep us all caffeinated all weekend. If you ever need a Coffee Van at your event, Flick is your answer.
LCQ featured big-time on in the results:
Shane won class C1 with a PB of 65.0776.
Dick finished second in C2 with a 65.3214.
Jon a strong third in C2 with a 66.9961.
Peter brained E2 with a 65.6768.
Pat nailed E3 with a 64.5833.
Jason romped it in F2 with an impressive 61.5950.
Paul and Johnno setting times of 71.2370 and 75.4258 respectively.