07/12/2017 AMF Adelaide Rally

With a name change from Classic Adelaide to Adelaide Rally came a new format.  Traditional longer stages were replaced with short 2-3km stages to become a Rally Sprint format.  Collingrove Hillclimb and Mallala racing circuit north of Adelaide were added to previously used roads.  Some of the short ‘sprint’ stages would be repeated, and run in reverse too.  The Rally Sprint format is friendly for insurance and requires less road closure marshalls as less road junctions are used, but spectators lose out.  The new style event attracted 241 entrants, with around 40 unlimited speed competitors.  The remainder comprised numerous Prima Tour participants, and groupings of Audis, BMWs, Aston Martins and Mercedes, as well as the more spirited Spirit Tour and Challenge Tour categories.

THURSDAY

Rain and drizzle would provide trying conditions in the tighter, twisty roads, especially when combined with a lot of horsepower and bravado.  The traditional Gorge Road stage (run west to east) was divided into Stone Hut (SS1), Paracombe (SS2) and Gorge Road (SS3).  Two of the tour competitors, including one in a Ferrari crashed and there would be some explaining needed to their partners and accountants!   After Gorge Road, came the two runs up Collingrove before a lunch break.

Rain fell on the Millbrook stage (SS6, in the Chain of Ponds area) for the first half of the field but had stopped in time for the faster cars.  Several drivers got twitchy in the treacherous conditions but most avoided any obstacles.  A section of Gorge Road was next but in reverse and in Paracombe area the entrants tackled Old Norton Summit Up (SS8), but stopped well short of the famous Scenic Hotel.  The two remaining stages were Ironbank (SS9) comprising Ironbank and Sturt Valley Roads reversed from previous years, and the Stirling stage (starting adjacent Heathfield) using Scott Creek Road (downhill) before the very steep climb up Morgan Road near Ironbank.

In Modern Competition, Bates would win ever stage except SS10 where Calder would triumph and SS8 where they tied for the fastest time.  Paris would score most of the 3rd fastest times with Farkas in a 2001 BMW M3 claiming a few too.  In Classic Competition, apart from Collingrove Hillclimb, Kaplan would win all stages with Selley, Gunson and Mathews trading the next fastest times.  Mathews and Gunson would claim the two Collingrove stage wins.  In the Modern Challenge category which comprised 4WD cars, the 2015 Subaru STi of Perkins would come out on top winning most stages except SS6 (the west stage) and SS10 which Reynolds would claim.  Downing would equal Perkins for 1st on SS9.  In Classic Challenge , Ephgrave in a 1983 Porsche 911 SC would win stages 2-5 and 7-9 to be the convincing Leg 1 winner.  Hevera in a similar car would have many 2nd fastest times and was fastest on SS6 and SS10, but faltered on SS9 with only equal 11th fastest.  In the small contingent of Category S entrants Van Diemen in a Mitsubishi EVO 8RS claimed 7 of the 10 stage wins to squash the effort of Streckeisen in the big Nissan GTR who held the overall lead for a few stages.  Of note was Irishman Frank Kelly’s three 2nd fastest times.  In Regularity, Modra (4.8 secs penalties) came out on top at end of Leg 1, followed by Gill (6.8secs) and Auld (8.6secs).

Leg 1 Results for 1st 2nd and 3rd for the various competition categories:

Modern Competition: 1) Neil Bates/Coral Taylor – 1994 Toyota Celica ST205, 2) Ben Calder/Steve Glenney – 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6.5, 3) Paris/Paris – 1993 Porsche 964 RSR 3.8

Classic Competition: 1) Kaplan/Penney – 1984 Mazda RX7 Grp B, 2) Matt Selley/Hamish McKendrick – 1985 Hartge H35-24, 3) Matthews/Masters – 1984 Toyota Corolla

Modern Challenge Competition : 1) Perkins/Brabbins – 2015 Subaru STi, 2) Reynolds/Reynolds – 1999 Nissan R34 Skyline, 3) Downing/Webber – 2011 Subaru WRX STi

Classic Challenge Competition: 1) Ephgrave/Beeston – 1981 Porsche 911 SC, 2) Hevera/Cavill – 1983 Porsche 911 SC, 3) Gan/Hart 1978 Porsche 911

Category S Competition: 1) Van Diemen/Mohr (2003 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8RS), 2) Streckeisen/Dale (Nissan R35 GTR), 3) Kelly/Campbell (1975 Ford Escort)

Regularity: 1) Modra/Trewren – 1991 Toyota Corolla GTI win Cam, 2) Gill/Gill – 2003 Porsche 911, 3) Auld/Gillett – 2002 Porsche 911

 

Photos from Thursday’s Stone Hut stage (SS1)

 

Photos from Thursday’s Millbrook stage (SS6) in the wet!

FRIDAY

Friday brought clear conditions, much to most drivers’ relief.  The first stages of the day took the entrants north of Adelaide to the Mallala racing circuit.  A short motorkhana style stage around a skid pan first before the Mallala circuit itself.  A run up Ansteys Hill 1 (SS13) next to the suburbs was next, followed by a repeat of Chain of Ponds roads from the previous day but in reverse.  The famous tight hairpins of Corkscrew Road would be next (SS15), but the short stage excluded the climb down Montecute Road.  Ansteys Hill and Corkscrew would then be repeated before the entrants converged on Gouger Street for the traditional Friday evening street party which gives the people of Adelaide a chance to get up close and personal with the cars.  But the Formula 1 cars and some signature cars of the AMF Sprints completing a parade along Wakefield Street and Grote Street arguably stole the show.

In Modern Competition, Bates would claim all stage wins except SS12, the Mallala race circuit and Calder would have to settle for a swag of 2nd fastest times.  Paris started strong but it would be Heaton finishing 3rd outright in Leg 2 with five 3rd fastest stage times.  In Classic Competition,  Kaplan would pilot his RX7 to six stage wins to trounce the opposition.  The remainder would be a mixture for drivers scoring 2nd and 3rd fastest keeping everyone guessing who would claim 2nd overall.  It would be Mathews who also was fastest on SS17 ahead of Selley.  Hoff in a MkII Escort won the opening stage at Mallala skid pan.  In Modern Challenge Competition, Perkins would finish the day 35secs clear of 2nd overall Reynolds after having been fastest on 4 stages.  After having had a shocking Leg 1 with a very large penalty, Carruthers in a 2004 Subaru WRX STi would restore some pride with 3 stage wins but still held the overall last place.  Classic Challenge provided a real mixed bag, but Ephgrave was the pick of the bunch with 4 stage wins to retain the overall lead.  The big mover would be Beck in the 1971 Mazda RX2 winning SS16 on top of some other good stage times.  Gan in a 1978 Porsche 911 claimed the opening stage.  Hevera would win SS13 and SS14 only to have it go pear-shaped on SS15 and he was out of the event.  In Category S, Streckeisen was desperately trying to claw back time on Van Diemen and would beat his main rival on 5 of the stages with Van Diemen only claiming two fastest times.  Bush in a 1998 Toyota Corolla WRC would claim the first stage win of the day.  In Regularity, Gill (11.2secs penalties) had swapped places with Modra (12.7secs), and Bull (17.8secs) had crept up to 3rd overall eclipsing Auld.

Leg 2 Results for 1st 2nd and 3rd for the various competition categories:

Modern Competition: 1) Neil Bates/Coral Taylor – 1994 Toyota Celica ST205, 2) Ben Calder/Steve Glenney – 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6.5, 3) Heaton/Ash – 2016 Ford Focus RS

Classic Competition: 1) Kaplan/Penney – 1984 Mazda RX7 Grp B, 2) Matthews/Masters – 1984 Toyota Corolla, 3) Matt Selley/Hamish McKendrick – 1985 Hartge H35-24

Modern Challenge Competition : 1) Perkins/Brabbins – 2015 Subaru STi, 2) Reynolds/Reynolds – 1999 Nissan R34 Skyline, 3) Downing/Webber – 2011 Subaru WRX STi

Classic Challenge Competition: 1) Ephgrave/Beeston – 1981 Porsche 911 SC, 2) Gan/Hart 1978 Porsche 911, 3) Beck/Gillespie – 1971 Maxda RX2

Category S Competition: 1) Van Diemen/Mohr (2003 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8RS), 2) Streckeisen/Dale (Nissan R35 GTR), 3) Kelly/Campbell (1975 Ford Escort)

Regularity: 1) Gill/Gill – 2003 Porsche 911, 2) Modra/Trewren – 1991 Toyota Corolla GTI Twin Cam, 3) Bull/Foster – 2003 Mazda RX8

 

Photos from Friday’s Corkscrew 1 stage (SS15)

 

 

Photos from Friday’s Corkscrew 2 stage (SS18) and Wakefield/Grote Street parade and Gouger Street party

SATURDAY

The event headed south for the dual hillclimb stages of Willunga Hill and Wickhams Hill (with both repeated), before lunch in the main street of Uraidla.  This section of the Adelaide Hills would be the focus of the following stages for the rest of the event.  Norton Summit Road (the new one), Basket Range and Deviation Road stages would all be repeated, but short versions of their Classic Adelaide Rally namesakes.  The entrants then headed down the hill to complete the final stage of the event, the Victoria Park sprint circuit after the AMF Sprints competitors had completed their runs for the day.

Bates simply dominated Modern Competition, winning all but two of the stages which Calder won.  Farkas in a BMW M3 would record some very good times but sat in last place.  Heaton maintained his 3rd overall but was over 3mins behind Calder.  In Classic Competition, Kaplan’s six fastest stage times was enough to keep Mathews at bay who tried hard with four best stage times.  Selley and Paterson in a 1974 Porsche 911 RS would dice for the next fastest.  Gunson in a 1971 Ford Mk1 Capri would take out the final stage around the Victoria Park Sprint track.  In Modern Challenge, Reynolds threw everything at Perkins, taking 5 of the fastest stage times against Perkins’s four but it wasn’t enough.  Carruthers would again be strong, taking the opening stage win and some 2nd places but earlier penalties were simply too much.  Nightingale in a 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6.5 TMEwould record the fastest time around Victoria Park.   In Classic Challenge, Ephgrave held a healthy overall lead and to ensure he kept this he recorded five more fastest stage times.  Behind him there was a real squabble for stage wins with Gan, Beck, Kidd and Crabb, driving a 1978 Holden GTS all recording stage wins.  Crabb’s late form pushed Beck off the last podium spot.  In the smallest category, Category S, only 4 cars remained.  Streckeisen made his intentions clear, trying to run down Van Diemen’s lead, taking out SS 19 and SS20 to be only 6.8secs behind overall.  But Van Diemen found something extra to win six stages compared to Streckeisen’s five.  The overall margin would be 39secs in the end.  Kelly would record three 2nd fastest stage times.  In Regularity, Gill (25.2secs penalties) would be declared the winner, followed by Bull (31.5secs) and Auld (38secs).  Dinham in a 2009 Ford FPV Ute (300secs) would be excluded from the event after exceeding the overall 140kph speed limit three times….clearly not understanding the rules of Regularity.

Leg 3 and Overall Results for 1st 2nd and 3rd for the various competition categories:

Modern Competition: 1) Neil Bates/Coral Taylor – 1994 Toyota Celica ST205, 2) Ben Calder/Steve Glenney – 2000 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6.5, 3) Heaton/Ash – 2016 Ford Focus RS

Classic Competition: 1) Kaplan/Penney – 1984 Mazda RX7 Grp B, 2) Matthews/Masters – 1984 Toyota Corolla, 3) Matt Selley/Hamish McKendrick – 1985 Hartge H35-24

Modern Challenge Competition : 1) Perkins/Brabbins – 2015 Subaru STi, 2) Reynolds/Reynolds – 1999 Nissan R34 Skyline, 3) Downing/Webber – 2011 Subaru WRX STi

Classic Challenge Competition: 1) Ephgrave/Beeston – 1981 Porsche 911 SC, 2) Gan/Hart 1978 Porsche 911, 3) Crabb/Visser – 1978 Holden GTS

Category S Competition: 1) Van Diemen/Mohr (2003 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8RS), 2) Streckeisen/Dale (Nissan R35 GTR), 3) Kelly/Campbell (1975 Ford Escort)

Regularity: 1) Gill/Gill – 2003 Porsche 911, 2) Bull/Foster – 2003 Mazda RX8 3) Auld/Gillett – 2002 Porsche 911

 

Photos from Saturday’s Victoria Park Sprint stage (SS31), final stage of the event