Occasionally groups of members and friends take the opportunity to organise unofficial drives and activities that may have been inspired by previous Club runs, in preparation for future activities, or just for the hell of it!
Last month’s Le Tour De Alps certainly aroused interest in having another run up to the high country, so Kevin Riley put together a two-day run that included the Great Alpine Rd from Bruthen up and over Mt Hotham, an overnight stay in Bright and a return trip via Murtleford, Whitfield, Mansfield, Eildon, Marysville and Warburton. The total distance was around 900km and the roads selected were perfect for some spirited driving, exploiting the sporting capabilities of the vehicles involved.
Kevin drove his very capable Mercedes SL55 AMG; Rob Morley, his slightly less formidable SL350; Rob Coustley chose to bring his BMW M3; Steve Schmidt gave the Z4 its first extended outing; Ray Youlden left his new, classic Benz at home opting instead for the potent little Focus RS hatch and John Fowler brought along his new Mustang 5.0 – the only non-German car in the bunch. All cars performed well and although nobody was aiming for outstanding fuel economy, the comparison of fuel used by the different models was an interesting talking point. Ray was surprised at how thirsty the Focus could be when utilizing the turbo regularly. The 3-litre twin turbo Z4 seemed to be the least thirsty of the bunch, but one could never describe it as frugal!
It was interesting to see patches of snow on the summit of Hotham and the surrounding peaks despite an unprecedented string of days with well above average temperatures. The Ovens and King Valleys looked lush and verdant with the rivers flowing swiftly. Being mid-week, the traffic was light and although we were held up a few times by heavy vehicles, it was nice to see several drivers unselfishly pulling over and letting us through on roads where overtaking was difficult.