THE third running of the Mount Gladstone Hill Climb event on the road to the Mt Gladstone lookout near Cooma was held on Sunday in near perfect weather.
In a total of 37 entries, there were even more local district drivers involved this time. Of particular interest was the entry by local Cooma boys Jozeph Nassar and Logan Crawford. Logan who is 14-years-old and attends St Patrick's School in Cooma, was lucky enough to take turns driving his friend Jozeph's 1985 Toyota Celica.
Logan has previously only driven around the paddock on the family farm.
"The most exciting thing was getting the chance to drive fast on bitumen," Logan said.
Jozeph is 17 and is in year 11 at St Mary McKillop College in Canberra. Jozeph, who his L plates had a slightly different view.
"The best thing is being able to drive on my own without dad sitting next to me in the car, and to be able to cut the corners and not worry about any other cars coming the other way," he said. Their trusty old Celica was bought for $100, so a minor scrape during the day did not upset either of the boys, and they plan to do some work on the car and return in October for the next planned event.
The boys' entry is consistent with the Car Club's objective of getting younger people involved in the club; and it is possible to get a CAMS licence from 14 years of age to compete in events like hillclimbs. "This is a great way to get younger people involved in the club and improve their driving skills" according to organiser Peter Heeley.
Cooma Shire Councillor Rogan Corbett was also on the hill in an old Nissan Pulsar.
"It was a great day of fun and a good organising team," Mr Corbett said.
"There is a really friendly atmosphere with all the competitors and the officials, and everyone enjoys the competition on this really good road."
Another interesting entrant was Louise Roy from Wollongong who was the sole female driver. Louise completed five runs in her BMW 323i. "I used to race Formula V's, and as a race driver, you never want to retire. I have been driving competitively since I was 17," she said.
Once again, Warrick Cuthbert in his AWD Nissan Skyline was the fastest driver on the day up the 1 km long hill with a best time of 41.68s, and some of the previous class winners were once again successful. Nevertheless, there were also a number of new winners. Trophies were awarded to class winners where there were two or more entries and for fastest time of the day. The winners were:
- Type 1-2 (standard 2WD production up to standard with limited modifications), 0-1600cc Tom Ballard junior, Mazda MX5. Fastest time 49.21s
- Type 1-2, 1600-2000cc Harry Katsanevas, Renault Clio. Fastest time 50.10s
- Type 1-2, 2000-3000cc Matthew Ferguson, Ford Fiesta. Fastest time 46.78s
- Type 1-2, over 3000cc Rodney Forsyth, Porsche Cayman. Fastest time 46.80s
- Type 3 (further modifications allowed), 0-1600cc Bob Fulthorpe, Toyota AE86. Fastest time 48.45s
- Type 3, 1600-2000cc Mark Wyatt, Toyota Celica. Fastest time 47.77s
- Type 3, over 3000cc Stephen Pambury, Toyota Spyder. Fastest time 42.83s. Once again this was the most popular class with 6 entrants.
- Type 3 AWD, over 3000cc Warrick Cuthbert, Nissan Skyline. Fastest time (and fastest time of the day) 41.68s
- TypeSV-3, Karl Battison, Locost Clubman. Fastest time 43.64s.
Car Club Publicity Officer Ian Hampton expressed thanks to all the club members who worked tirelessly to set up and run the event. "Putting this on requires so many helpers, and the assistance from others like Stuart Dean from M&T Motors who provided towing services for the day. We also get help from others like the SES who provided first aid assistance which is very much appreciated" he said.
The next Mount Gladstone Hill Climb is planned for Sunday October 26 after the end of the ski season. Details and entry forms will be on the Cooma Car Club website.