Catch up with our friends in South Australia with this latest edition of Lotus Torque for June 2019, thanks to Andrew Stevens.
SA Lotus Torque
An occasional contribution from our South Australian correspondent
Images by Chris Burton and Joanne Cave
June Monthly Run
The second of June saw a small turnout for the monthly run. After the attraction of Zagame Lotus Adelaide in May, it might have been the absence of coffee and savouries at the Sikh Centre that influenced the numbers, or it could have been the miserable weather! It was no real surprise that the dominant cars were Evoras, which may well have been a first for an SA event. Something about that nice solid roof over your head and decent heating. David and Jan Hopper even forsook the Elan for the steel comfort of a (say it quietly) Holden, while the rest of the congregation consisted of equal numbers of Elises and Exiges, plus a Europa.
With the small crowd and the trees in the Adelaide Hills turning a wonderful winter hue, the boutique destination of Harvest Café at Mylor was the chosen destination for coffee, cake and conversation.
The Bend Interstate Challenge
Friday the 7th of June saw an Interstate Challenge event at ‘The Bend Motorsport Park’ at Tailem Bend. With 18 cars from Victoria and seven South Australian locals in attendance, the Lotus were assigned their own category (if not track space) for the day.
The day attracted plenty of SA locals out for a look at both the track and the way the Victorians go about their motorsport. Organised by Victorian trackrat Tim Schreiber, the day was run on the 4.95km International Circuit, providing a real challenge for the participants. Many of the Victorians were booked into the onsite Rydges for the Thursday and Friday night, while Mark Tiddy had arranged dinner on the Friday night in nearby Tailem Bend.
Dave (Hooters) Buntin had brought the flame-spitting Carbonator over to show off to the Croweaters, while a mix of near V6 and 2ZZ Exiges with various numbers in their titles, some S2 and S3 Elises in different guises, and a couple of re-engined S1s from Mike Moore and Josh Robbins ensured that there was plenty of diversity. The International Circuit is the same configuration that the V8 Supercars run at, so expectations were high for some fun.
The early sessions were spent learning the 18 corners and 4.95 km circuit with its combination of long fast stretches, tight, and multi apex corners. The locals who had snuck up for a familiarisation session a couple of weeks prior soon found their initial advantage whittled away, although Charles Hatcher was flying with decent boost and new rubber on his supercharged 111R.
The lap times remain a closely guarded secret, unless you get within earshot of one of the participants. It was pretty clear that everyone found the track challenging, and a real Lotus circuit. Not too many people claimed to have maxed a lap time, but a couple admitted to finding the limit.
There were a few non-finishers, with one Exige intent on depositing its wheel bolts onto the track, the odd spin (No David you can’t take turn five flat after all), and a shortened final session when an errant WRX excursion brought the day to a slightly premature halt, but all in all the day proved a great success, and most people progressively improved their times over the day.
The general air from those who had not visited ‘The Bend’ before was simple astonishment at the scale, professionalism and level of investment in the place (and it’s not yet finished!). Some of the quotes from the day included “this facility is next level”, “a great challenge – really hard to put a full lap together”, “Magnificent facility”, “What an awesome track!” and “If you pilot a Lotus regardless of the donk in the rear, you will find something in this circuit that suits you and your chariot”. Fair to say that it’s an impressive racetrack.
The day finished with dinner at the Tailem Bend Pub, where the lap times got shorter, the overtaking efforts more spectacular and Hooter’s excuses even more desperate.
Well done to Tim for organising the event, and for the Victorians for coming over in such numbers. It’s safe to say that the ‘Challenge’ went to Victoria this year, but hopefully they’ll be back to let us have another go.
All that’s left to do is convince the SSC boys to bring a LOTD to town, so that the rest of the Lotus community can enjoy the day. I must drop that into the conversation with Zagame Lotus Adelaide next time I drop by their Frewville showroom.
What’re the Chances?
I recently had to take my recently-acquired S1 Elise through the much feared Transport SA vehicle inspection at Regency Park. So, what were the chances of discovering another Lotus in line ahead of me? Gunther Schapel had dug his silver S2 out of storage after bringing it over from Victoria and was pleased to discover another Lotus owner for support. He whistled through, which made my dual visits and lengthy wait with my red car looking like a naughty schoolboy in the corner, as normal inspections whistled by, all the more depressing. But the Regency folk were fantastic and eventually came out waving the paperwork with a smile and “You’re good to go”. So two new Lotus on the road in SA in one day. Magic.
See You Soon
We meet up on the first Sunday of over month, usually at the Sikh Centre, but Zagame want us back so stay tuned.