MX-5 Club Come and Try Hillclimb
16 August 2016 / Article: Andrew Digny Photos: Grant Webber & Rob Wilkins
Before another word is written, thankyou Josh Allen. Josh not only suggested the Hill Climb, he was the main organiser and then missed out on competing to also run the event (sounds of hands clapping). Also thankyou to all the volunteers and MG Car Club Officials that ran a seamless day that I’m pretty sure, all enjoyed (more sounds of hands clapping).
The MG Club Clerk of the Course conducted his driver briefing and commented that most new drivers tend to get 5 or 6 laps of the course completed in a day and are content to then go home with a smile on their face. Clearly he hadn’t been schooled in MX5 enthusiasm. Nearly every competitor, sorry participant (not an officially timed event) got at least 10 runs in for the day with the last driver remaining, tallying up an impressive 14 runs before the officials barricaded the track entrance. Clearly the message that the day was over, needed to be subtly delivered to me.
So let’s start with the ingredients, one 750 metre drifting, sorry I mean hill climb track with very small margins for error on a few corners and the ability for any MX5 to spin their rear wheels almost at will on a large portion of the track, add 30 cars, 32 drivers and sunshine and then begin.
Again, after never having driven on a hill climb track, I quickly learnt that there needed to be a fine balance between power application, steering and braking, even more so than a race track because the corners are tighter, the track narrower, there is more variation in the track camber and it’s all over in 44 to 52 seconds for most of the MX5 competitors, sorry participants, on the day. After watching all the driving that day it is hard to comprehend that the track record is in the 32 second region.
So what was it like. After the haze of red mist cleared after the first two runs, the second with an over-zealous throttle application before a cresting downhill corner apex leading to a slide followed by a series of counter steers to a thankfully ever diminishing side to side slide (I swear I was just demonstrating to the field an effective slide recovery), I consciously tried on the third run to avoid tyre squeal and low and behold the third lap was faster than the first and second laps. I managed to improve over the next few laps and by lap eight decided that discretion was more important than valour and traction control was re-engaged for a less eager finish to the day. It was interesting to note that as familiarity and awareness increased with each run, just how much the traction control engaged to overcome my track driving inexperience. Sad thing was that with traction control on, I still managed to get within half a second of my best time.
HILL CLIMB AWARDS
Fastest Unofficial Male Lap of the Day – Josh Fitzgerald
Fastest Unofficial Female Lap of the Day – Lindsay Green
Best Recovery – Myself and Helen Green
Most Rubber Left on Track – Robert Mumford and Patrick Bramston
Best Smell of the day – Sausage Sizzle and Burnt E85 always beats burnt clutch and burnt rubber!
Overall Winner – Everyone that attended.
More of Grant's Photos: HERE
More of Robs Photos: HERE
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The smallest amount of assistance can be the biggest help to the organisers.
To get involved or if you would like to know where help is needed, please contact the organiser of any upcoming motorsport event or talk to your local convenor for chapter events.
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