Barry a contender for challenge

THOSE wanting a sneak preview of some of the leading contenders in November’s Bathurst Real Estate 2012 Australian Hillclimb Championship at Bathurst should be at Mount Panorama this Sunday for a Bathurst Light Car Club’s Mountain Straight Hillclimb.

Many drivers will be competing in the hillclimb using it as practice for the Bathurst Real Estate event that will be conducted on the same course on November 2-4 in what looks certain to be a record breaking event.

Among those that will turn out on Sunday are four of the top NSW contenders, led by Mudgee grazier Doug Barry, who currently has one hand on the NSW championship winning trophy with two rounds remaining in this year’s title race.

Barry will be driving his Lola T8750, a car that has won four previous national titles, three driven by West Australian Garry West and the other by Victorian racer Allan Hamilton.

Sydney’s Peter Edmondson, a three time NSW champion, and national class champion in 750cc, 1300cc and two litre is still looking for his first Australian outright championship.

Edmondson will drive his Gould GR 55B, a purpose built hillclimb racer fully imported from Great Britain.

The Gould’s ground effect are second to none, and is powered by a 3.5 litre Nicholson McLaren V8 engine.

Renowned Sydney hillclimb race car builder Ron Hay will also be competing on Sunday in his Synergy Dallara.

The Hay entry has a Dallara chassis which was raced in Japan before being imported to Australia, and purchased as a rolling chassis by Hay. The New Zealand based Synergy company were then entrusted with the job of building a special hillclimb engine, 2.4 litre’s and weighing just 100kg.

Also a contender for Sunday will be Malcolm Oastler and his new weapon, the Dallabusa, a Dallara with a Hayabusa engine, a car that should be very fast and attract a considerable amount of interest of interest this weekend.

However, Edmondson has achieved a 100 mph average run, that coming when he won the annual BLCC speed weekend in December 2011 with an amazing 37.69secs run, but as that was recorded in a club event, it was not eligible to become an outright record.

That time however is still a club record, and as Sunday’s practice climb is a club event, the winner will need to brake the 160kph average time to break the record.

The actual outright record, is 39.35seconds, set by Edmondson early in 2011 when he won the NSW Championship round driving the Gould GR55B, and then in the same event this year Barry at the wheel of his Lola came to within 0.01 seconds of that time.

The winner on Sunday should not only earn the tag as favourite for the Bathurst Real Estate Australian Hillclimb Championship in November, but there are currently drivers from at least three other states in the process of building or rebuilding cars for their November date with the mountain.

At 1.7km’s the Mountain Straight course is the longest climb in the nation, and starts from the hump on Mountain Straight and finishes just prior to the McPhillamy Park gates.

The event starts at 9.00am, and spectators are welcome around the top of the circuit to watch the action, which will see the front running cars reaching speeds up to 250kph around the top of the circuit.

* * *

WITH seven events remaining in the 2012 V8 Supercar Championship, three of those are in NSW, which is pretty amazing on its own.

The first of the premier states three events is this weekend, when the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship resumes with the Sydney Motorsport Park 360 at the Sydney Motorsport Park, formerly Eastern Creek.

The V8 Supercars will be running on the original circuit, a fast and flowing 3.93-kilometres venue running anticlockwise, and fast and flowing, very much in the mould of many European tracks. They will only be on track two days, as they attempt to cut costs.

The format for the Sydney Motorsport Park 360 will consist of two races, the first time a two-event format has been used at the circuit by the V8 Supercars Championship since 2005.

There will be a 140-kilometre (36 lap) race on the Saturday and a 220-kilometre (56 lap) race on the Sunday with both soft and hard tyres used in each race.  

The Sunday race will be the longest V8SC race there since 2004, when Rick Kelly won a wet 67-lapper - his first solo race win.

Teams will have the use of 16 hard and eight soft tyres for the two races - it’s the first time the soft tyre has been used for racing at the venue, though teams ran on them at last year’s Pre-Season Test Day.

The Sydney Motorsports Park V8 Supercars Championship is making its return to the Sydney Motorsport Park at Eastern Creek, having last raced there over four years ago in March 2008

In a bid to cut costs for teams, the meeting will be held over two days.  

To make up for the loss of the Friday, there will be two 30-minute practice sessions on Saturday morning before the 20- minute qualifying session and 140km Race 18.

There is a further practice session on Sunday morning heading into qualifying and the 220km Race 19.

Support categories for the weekend include the Aussie Racing Cars, Formula Vee, Production Sports and Improved Production/Production Touring. 

IN THE PITS: With Brian Nightingale.

IN THE PITS: With Brian Nightingale.


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