Some of the action from the 2018 Mount Alma Mile Hillclimb (Sunday), the 10th running of this event. Entrants are divided into 3 ‘packets’ of cars with the more powerful and rollcaged cars in the last packet. Entrants generally have 2 practice runs on the Saturday, and then up to 4 timed runs on the Sunday to determine the Top 12 cars in 2WD and top 12 cars in 4WD categories. These 24 cars run again in the Shootout series at the end of Sunday. The top 12 is whittled down to the Top 6 in each category and then the Top 3 in each. One little mistake such as hitting a cone can bring your whole weekend undone as it incurs a 5 second penalty. Missed gear changes are also another curse.
With the Lamborghini Gallardo of Kevin Weeks out after 2 cylinders went kaput (he still had more cylinders than most competitors!) and there were no spare Lambos in the car park for parts the overall honours fight would undoubtedly be between perennial winner Kevin Mackrell (Datsun 260Z hybrid), Keir Wilson (Nissan R35 GTR) and Nick Streckeisen (Nissan R35 GTR) and perhaps a fast Mitsubishi EVO Lancer or even some of the 2WD specialist cars, eg Daniel Prior. Keir Wilson had been producing astonishing times for the first 200m in excess of 200kph….consistently. The other drivers at the pointy end could only muster 180-200kph times for this distance. However Wilson would somehow lose time up the mountain somewhere on every run. As a result of this, this let the consistent Mark Rundle in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8 into the final 3 competition.
In the 2WD Shootout category the final 3 came down to Andrew Campbell in a Nissan Silvia S14, Glenn Latter in a Mazda RX7 Series 6 and Daniel Prior in a Nissan Silvia S13. Making the top12 had also been Daniel Crisa in Nissan Skyline R32 GTST, Ryan Probert in a Nissan 200SX S14, Cark Ward in a Datsun Sunny (not of the tame variety), Jason Jordan in a Holden Torana, Mick Argoon in VK Commodore, Matt Frith in a Nissan Skyline and Anthony Norris in a Nissan 200SX. Both Limberts, Scott and Greg sharing their Mitsubishi Mirage hybrid. In the end it was Daniel Prior adding another biggest Mount Alma Mile trophy to his cabinet. Ltter would be nd and Campbell 3rd.
In the 4WD Shootout category scraping into the top 12 were Mark Williams in his GT4 Toyota Celica although the bonnet wasn’t the standard article due a embarrassing error prior to the event, Garry Dodd in a Subaru WRX, Phillip ‘Bobo’ Bunker in a Subaru WRX hatch and the Beasley family of father and son, John and Henry in their Mitsubishi Lancer EVOs and both Limberts, Scott and Greg sharing their Mitsubishi Mirage 4WD hybrid. Kevin Mackrell’s Datsun 260Z started producing some minor smoke out of the Dry Sump Breather (vent pipe located behind the door) and this increased on each Shootout run indicating something wasn’t quite right with the car However Kevin Mackrell mustered all his skill he could to keep the Nissan R35 GTR of Streckeisen and the Mitsi of Rundle at bay to claim the 10th anniversary of Mount Alma Mile crown. When questioned about the breather smoke he would say the car’s oil temp had been running extremely hot on the last two runs and it was a real mystery to him. He even said he thought the engine was going to let go on the last run somewhere in the middle sector. Kevin also said it was the hardest of his Mount Alma Mile wins against the new emerging talent.
Shootouts – Top 12 > Top 6 > Top 3 (2WD and 4WD in each)