Round 1 Club Lotus Aust 11th March Wakefield Park
Round 6 Sprite CCA
Round 1 Club Lotus Aust 11th March Wakefield Park
It’s not very often you get to race on the full circuit of Sydney Motorsport Park but on the weekend of The Shannons Sydney Classic run by the CMC the Morgan Owners Club of Australia have a supersprint which opens up the Brabham Circuit! Yes that’s right on Saturday 12th August the full 4.5km circuit is available for your racing pleasure.
Head over the Morgan Owners Club of Australia website for more information but here is the Invitation Letter Morgan supersprint with the information on how to enter.
As the midlife crisis starts to go into full boost one starts preparing a “bucketlist”. As most of us know this is a list of things to do before you die. My own bucket list was ill-conceived, unprepared and really only contained one thing – a dash round the ring. Winning a trip to the CeBit technology seminar in Hannover last year provided the necessary catalyst.
I got in contact with RSR Nurburg who I’ve seen many times on YouTube. They seem to relish the Renault Megane and rate it highly as the best all-rounder available to tackle the green hell. The key contact Ray Shepardson, was exceptionally helpful and organised a RHD Megane RS 265 as the weapon of choice. Interestingly they only hire out the Megane in dangerous conditions due to its predictable handling, unless you are of course Sabine Schmitz.
Ray also suggested a few places to stay including the “Longhorn Saloon” owned by no other than the abovementioned Frau Schmitz.
Lap Day – worst possible scenario
There is a Murphy’s law that follows me around like a spectre perhaps because of my Irish ancestry. My outing coincided with “Mad Dog” Friday and a whole lot of rain making an already tricky circuit treacherous! You see in Germany, Friday is “car day” and every boy, man, girl and his or her respective dogs are out in their cars. Think of it as a high-tech Summer Nats without the mullets. Scary. To put it bluntly my undergarments were in danger of becoming a biohazard.
Getting to the circuit early gave me a fairly clear track free of spinning metal boxes. The excitable boys and the raced up Beemers were probably scared off by the conditions and the Megane’s impeccable sure-footedness made what I though was going to be an ordeal into a fun and highly rewarding experience. I drove the car way below its capabilities achieving 12 something minute laps. However I probably overtook more cars than overtook me so I think this weighed up as reasonable effort for a newbie. One thing for sure, “I’ll be back” (yes I know he’s Austrian).
Sabine and the Longhorn
I often go to trip advisor or booking.com and put a review on places I have stayed. They rate certain facilities in these establishments from Poor right up to Excellent. It’s no use doing that for the Longhorn saloon as the scale requires something higher than just plain ol’ Excellent. Arriving from Hannover with the family in a hired car, a female figure dressed in stable cloths, literally covered in muck, came to directly down to greet us. It was rather a surreal experience I must say. The voice was instantly recognisable as we the dark, determined eyes. “How was your trip” she asked. Slightly star-struck and taken aback I answered “not bad considering I drove all the way on the wrong side of the road”. Yes, I know, a great start – contact me for more lessons in the Denis Ryan School of how to win friends and influence people….l
I’ll resist the temptation to rave on but I will just say Sabine and the hotel’s staff member Melanie were fabulous hosts. The Saloon is an Oak log cabin fully imported from Canada with tons of cowboy and western paraphernalia. Both types of music stream from the internet radio. As busy as she is, Sabine took time to sit down with us and chew the fat. As we were the only ones there at the time so we had her and the establishment to ourselves until she left to do some more Top Gear filming in Kharakastan. There is a lot to do and Liam loved the animals and the horse rides. As for Sabine, she is an extraordinary person who is incredibly down to earth and has her fingers in many pies; a champion driver, horse rider, helicopter pilot and animal welfares, caring for many elderly or unwanted horses, dogs, cats , pigs, whatever. Wow.
So on that note it’s time I extend the bucket list. London to Sydney in a P76 – any volunteers?
This is a great day on a very technical ‘training’ track.
Garry Wilmington is a great host also.
Very Loud cars will not be permitted to run.
There is a cafe on site
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Address: 8 Prairie Oak Road
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Gary Wilmington’s Driver training Complex was again home to the Peugeot Car Club NSW’s Track Day. Organised by colourful club member Helen (‘Pinky 206′) , the day was well organised and had a good spread of cars and driver talents.
Peugeots, Renaults, Datsuns and Alfas where among the marques that made up a diverse field of entrants.
A part from a mobile chicane in the form of a white Renault 10, the track is regarded as very technical, highly safe and thoroughly enjoyable. Ernst and Sonja attended in the beautiful A110 , Gavin Wulff in the very tidy Corolla sprinter and myself in the very slow R10 tore up the circuit and finished the day with a smile etched in our faces.
Thanks to Helen and the PCC NSW for such a great day.