A wet day greeted the entrants in the 2023 amplauto Willunga Hillclimb, a run up the closed road section adjacent the main Victor Harbor Road between the historic town of Willunga and Willunga Hill service station. The greasy conditions would test those intent on getting the jump on the other competitors. A total 140 cars were entered but the wet weather scared off quite a few, who would prefer to keep their valuable cars intact and not have armco souvenirs1 Only 96 started in the end, with 80 finishing the day. A total 17 WRX Impreza Owners Club (WRXSA) members had entered but this was whittled down to 10 that started the day.
Dan Day in his 1000hp Subaru WRX (a regular top of the podium entrant, fresh from his Legend of the Lakes win) was intent on stamping his authority early and posted an aggregate time 10secs faster than all others after the first 3 runs. Douglas Johnson, also in a highly modified Subaru WRX was going to give it a red hot go to challenge Day, but would need to find something special to get sub 1min 20secs times. As the track started to dry out and the rain/drizzle held off, the times started to plummet for the competitors.
In the end the saying to finish first, you must first finish rang true, and Dan Day’s Subaru ground to a halt with oil pressure problems on one of his runs putting him out of contention this year. The opportunity now lay in the hands of Johnson and he was not going to let it slip through his fingers. Johnson would join the sub 1min 20secs club with a fastest time of 1min 18.960, one of one 2 drivers to record the sub 1min 20secs times on the hillclimb. On aggregate times, Johnson would top the podium 9.36secs faster than Nick Streckeisen in his Nissan R35 who finished 5.51secs ahead of Oscar Matthews in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VI.
Here are selected photos (of all the photos taken) from the event, covering a few of the runs. Turning up in the middle of runs the cars have been grouped into their “run groups” I saw. Contact me via the website if you are interested in any photos and others not on the website.