Anybody who finds static car shows a little ho-hum should make the effort to visit Geelong’s annual Revival extravaganza. There are so many things going on, you would be hard pressed seeing everything in just one day. Whether your interest is in exotic sports cars, vintage fashion, speed boats or God-forbid, classic caravans, there seems to be something for everyone.
The quarter-mile sprint along Ritchie Boulevard is the backbone of this event which in 2016 celebrated its 60th anniversary. Although no longer the spectacle of pairs of cars racing each other head to head, the Sprint is still a terrific opportunity to watch an amazing collection of vehicles being driven hard.
Saturday’s sprint caters for contemporary sports and touring cars, rally cars, open wheeler racing cars and Clubman sports cars. Sunday takes a step back in time as the vintage and classic cars and bikes take to the track.
Club members Mike Whitford, Graeme Hollingsworth and Steve Schmidt participated in the Sprint this year. Mike ran his black and gold, JPS-liveried BMW 635CSI on Saturday and consistently achieved times in the low 14 second bracket with Runs 3 and 4 both stopping the clock at a blistering 14.1.
Graeme, with assistance from Doug Armour, spent a few late nights in the shed tidying up a number loose ends preparing the 4.3 litre E-type for its inaugural competition event. Somebody, however, forgot to attach the fire extinguisher bracket, so some hasty drilling and self-tapping occurred in the pits on Sunday morning prior to arrival of the scrutineers. The E-type looked and sounded magnificent, but finding traction on cold tyres with a heavy right foot was a bit of an issue. The Jag’s best time of 15.0 was set on the last of its four runs. Disappointed by not breaking into the 14s, Graeme has vowed to return next year to give the Jag’s another chance at achieving its full potential.
Steve’s Mini Marcos GT made its third consecutive appearance at Geelong’s Eastern Beach Sprints. It’s the only competition event the little Marcos regularly competes in because it’s the only event where having your helmet jammed against the roof lining isn’t a hindrance to the driver! Being Cooper S powered, light weight and front-wheel-drive, wheelspin is always going to be a problem off the line. Steve’s third run was cleanest away from the start and resulted in a time of 15.6 which was within hundreths of a second to that achieved in 2015 and 2014. Without some extra horses it might require a different driving technique to go any quicker – I wonder if slipstreaming Graeme’s Jag would be allowed?
This year the Revival introduced a Hillclimb event into the weekend’s program and as a result of support from CAMS and the Victorian Hillclimb Association, the Geelong team were given the honour of hosting this as the first round in the 2017 Victorian Hillclimb Championship. The venue is located in Eastern Park about 1 kilometre south of Eastern Beach; it utilises the roads and grounds overlooking Corio Bay. The 900-metre track is very narrow and quite bumpy, there are 6 corners, including a very tight hairpin bend, and there is a 20-metre change in elevation over the course. It was a well-attended event with more than 80 competitors contesting all the regular classes during this 2-day event where drivers received two runs at the track on each day.
Fresh from his class win in the Australian Hillclimb Champioship, Ian Holdsworth brought his RX7 turbo down for a run on Saturday and achieved a best time of 42.07. Unfortunately Ian was unable to hang around and forfeited his runs on Sunday, but his Saturday time was good enough to secure second place in his class. David Anderson and Jane Vollebregt set up their portable equippe with all the comforts of home under some shady trees and occasionally ventured out for a drive in their respective MGB roadsters. David’s best time was a 42.95 which placed him second in the small capacity Sports car class, whilst Jane finished fourth in the Marque Sports Car class with a best time of 50.05.
As is often the case with new venues, especially one that is as technical as this one; some drivers exploring the limits of adhesion, pushed their cars a little too hard and sustained some damage as a result. Those charged with track layout responsibilities will hopefully learn from this weekend’s experience and incorporate some improvements before next year’s Revival Hillclimb.
Video link to Steve’s in-car camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVU5tJA2V9Q
Video link to one of Graeme’s starts: https://www.facebook.com/GSCCR/videos/pcb.772614016211157/772613859544506/?type=3&theater
Photos from Mike Whitford, Malcolm Hayes, Graeme Hollingsworth and several FaceBook contributors.