Graham Smith in his Elise S
The 2017 South Australian Hillclimb Championship was held this weekend, over the 9th & 10th of September, at the Collingrove Hillclimb track in the Barossa Valley. Andrew Stevens has kindly prepared a report on the action, which you can enjoy below!
2017 SA Hillclimb Championship – Collingrove September 9 and 10
CONGRATULATIONS MARTIN WALLACE: SA Hillclimb Champion Road Registered 2 Wheel Drive
By Andrew Stevens
The South Australian Hillclimb Championships were held over two days on the 9th and 10th of September, at the tricky Collingrove Hillclimb track in the Barossa Valley.
The Sporting Car Club of SA recently put in a huge effort to upgrade the track, and the results were evident. Lotus had 2 competitors: Graham Smith moving out of Clubman sports into an Elise S in the Under 2L Road Registered, and Martin Wallace bolting a new set of Kumhos onto his recently-acquired Elise 220 Cup to take on the Over 2L Road Registered boys.
After people dialled themselves in on the Saturday, the fast times were to come on Sunday. The warm but overcast conditions were ideal for hillclimbing, with the sun making regular appearances and the red mist soon descending. The recovery truck did so many runs that it was in danger of having to do a re-fuelling run, and the newly installed guardrail got some unwanted attention.
Martin Wallace blasts up the hill in his 220 Cup Elise
Martin’s times improved until he was comfortably leading his class, enabling him to qualify for the top 12 shootout as the fastest two-wheel-drive road registered vehicle. His best time was comfortably under 36 seconds, which is a very quick run. Keeping it neat and quick is the secret at Collingrove and Martin was clearly committed.
Graham overdid things on Saturday at the tight hairpin up the top of the hill, proving just why some people consider the splitter to be a sacrificial item on Elises. After presenting the remnants to his wife at dinner, he fronted up on Sunday to keep a very quick MR2 and the rest of the 2L cars honest.
The extra cubes in the MR2 told at the end, but Graham had a ball, having extracted everything that the 1ZZ was willing to give, and talking about wanting more horsepower, a sure sign that the limit is being approached.
Another example of a couple of well-driven standard Lotus standing out on track, and being very competitive against significantly more modified vehicles.