South Australia’s Lotus Torque for December, 2019

Chris Burton On Track at The Bend

Images thanks to Andrew Stevens and Bruce Hannant

All the news from South Australia in December, 2019, with thanks to Andrew Stevens.

SA 01 SA Lotus Torque

An occasional contribution from our South Australia correspondent

photos: Andrew Stevens, Bruce Hannant

Well, spring has definitely sprung, with the weather warming, and the grass browning, it’s time to drag out the Lotus and enjoy the countryside around Adelaide.

Collingrove Hillclimb Championships

SA Hillclimb Championships

October 20th was a busy day in Adelaide, with the SA Hillclimb Championship at Collingrove in the Barossa Valley, and an Open Track Day at The Bend Motorsport Park. There was a big turnout at Collingrove for the three-day event, with superb weather, and the usual excellent organisation from the SCCSA.

Graham Smith in his 2ZZ-powered Elise S

Graham Smith in his 2ZZ-powered Elise S

Graham Smith was hopeful of a good showing in his 2ZZ engine Elise S, while Melissa Ford had her very pretty black Elise S out as a substitute entry after breaking the gearbox of her Mallock sports car. Graham soon found himself in a battle with one of the Bishop clan in a well-prepared and very quick Mazda MX5. Try as he might, and despite posting a personal best on the hill, the Mazda managed a time just outside his grasp.

Melissa Ford takes a tight line into the first corner

Melissa Ford takes a tight line into the first corner

Mellissa wasn’t quite as quick, but was happy with her progressive improvement, and surprised at just how good the Elise was on the hill after a gap of over 5 years.

They’re both hoping for some more Lotus competition next year.  There are worse ways to spend a Sunday!

Chris Burton ready to go at The Bend

Chris Burton ready to go at The Bend

The Bend Track Day

On the same day as Graham and Melissa were battling the twisty confines of Collingrove, some of the SA Lotus crew had fronted up at The Bend for one of the Open Track Days. Featuring everything from professionally-run F3, Radicals and Porsche Cup cars through a wide range of sports and track cars to road going weapons, the day offered a chance to tackle the flowing and demanding International Circuit.

The Bend groups entries by their lap times and suitability to make it as enjoyable as possible. The track is really demanding with the corners coming thick and fast, and only the long pit straight for a rest. The sessions are run on a 15 minute rotation, with a break for lunch, and nearly everybody behaved (a Radical or two excepted) and the day was run pretty much to schedule.

Scott Testi experiences the rise and falls of The Bend

Scott Testi experiences the rise and falls of The Bend

Chris Burton had his V6 Exige, with recent SSC charge-cooled supercharger upgrade on slicks mixing it with the quicker track cars, while Scott Testi had his Elise SC running in the road car group. Both behaved and saw continual improvement, with both posting a personal best (the extra grunt in Chris’s case being a helping hand). Scott was enthused enough to start talking about wheels and various upgrades to do some more events in 2020.

November Run

Another beautiful spring day saw the SA crew headed through the Adelaide Hills to Meadows on our November Run.  With a great blend of vehicles, the line-up of Lotus in the main road certainly brightened the street. With discussion on recent trips to the UK, plans for joining in at The Bend, the prospect of the LOTD at Bathurst in the New Year, and the dispensing of advice on the ‘essentials’ for taking your Elise (or Exige) on track, the morning was over in a flash.

The Bend ‘Interstate Challenge’ 2020

After the success of the VIC v SA challenge at The Bend earlier in the year, 2020 will see a two-day experience over the June 7th and 8th weekend.  This will give locals and inter-staters a chance to see why The Bend has just been judged as the global Motorsport Facility of the Year.

Sunday June 7th will be a Victorian MSCA event, followed by Monday June 8th (Queens Birthday public holiday for both States) with a Lotus group within one of The Bend’s Open Track Days. You can register your interest on Aussie Elises.

Zagame Adelaide has been active recently promoting their Adelaide Motorsport Experience over the December 3-7 period and a new Supercars ‘Cars and Coffee’ late in November.

The Adelaide Motorsport Experience kicks off at Tailem Bend.  Combining motorsport with great dining, including an evening at Penfolds Magill Estate, the event includes a Zagame Owners Track Day at The Bend Motorsport Park, with instructors on hand to help, followed by three days of the Adelaide Rally in a special Zagame Tour group.

Over the three days, the event takes in closed road stages in the Adelaide Hills before heading south into McLaren Vale and onto the Fleurieu Peninsula.  The fun culminates in Adelaide’s East End on the final night for a street party.

The inaugural Zagame Supercars and Coffee is being held on Sunday November 24th at the Henley Sailing Club in West Beach. Zagame are inviting everyone with a Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Lotus, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Bugatti or any other special performance vehicle. Polish it up and join them for a coffee to help make this a fabulous morning for supercar owners and enthusiasts alike. Lookout for news in the New Year.

A Huge Thank You

It wouldn’t be right for me to sign off for the year without a huge thank you to Simon Messenger for his stewardship of Lotus Notes over the last two years. He’s invested an enormous amount of effort in bringing you our monthly showcase with news from all over Australia.

Over the period we’ve had lots of discussions, a few cajolings, the odd “you’ve missed the deadline – again!”, a hundred or so email chats, breakfasted on the Mooloolaba foreshore, and shared stories of dealing with motor registration organisations. He’s a genuinely nice bloke, who has invested an enormous amount of effort in bringing you our monthly showcase of Lotus news from all over Australia. From all of us in SA – Thanks Simon.

Cheers and safe motoring,
Andrew Stevens

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