April 1st and 2nd brought the 9th annual Mount Alma Mile Hillclimb. As the name suggests, this is a mile length (1.6 km) hillclimb on Mount Alma Road, Inman Valley South Australia. The track showcases an extremely steep ascent surrounded by scenic views of greenery and lakes as seen in the over head photo.
Moosified Images‘ (Lucy’s) PS13 Drift car (first time entrant)
From the competition side of things, the event is best suited to high powered cars. With a drag strip style starting dash towards the first corner, where the top level cars can reach speeds towards 200 km/hr. This obviously leaves a disadvantage where lower powered cars, such as 4A-GE corollas may only see speeds of 120 km/hr. So on the heals of this there are class divisions of:
- Standard Road Registered Vehicles divided into 1600-2000cc, 2000-4000cc, 4000cc and over as well as a Four wheel drive class.
- Modified Road Registered vehicles with the same divisions for 2WD and below and above 3500cc for 4WD
- Race/Rally/Drift 0-1600cc, 2000-4000cc, 4000cc and over for 2WD, and up to 3500cc, 3500cc to 5000cc and 5000cc and over for 4WD
Following the lengthy straight start is a left hand corner into a sweeping right hand bend. Competitors then shoot up towards a slow point coned chicane before launching out into a series of high speed sweeping corners, where commitment to carry speed through the bends will reward a fast time.
1st place 2WD – Andrew Campbell’s RB25 s14
The event is timed in a fairly unique way that awards consistency. The fastest driver is decided by having the lowest accumulated time. This implies that a consistently fast driver from run one through to the final run will triumph over a driver with a faster single run but slower runs overall. Hence a mechanical failure on one run can knock you out of the competition. Unfortunately this happened to 1st place contender and reigning 2WD champion Daniel Prior in his 1JZ s13 Silvia, whom on his second to last run was knocked out with an exploding driveshaft.
Daniel Prior’s 1JZ s13. Photo – Nigel Davies
In regards to South Australian motorsport, Daniel is best known for his success in drifting. Winning multiple rounds of South Australian drift championships as well as success at both Drift Challenge Australia and the Victorian Drift Championship. With the motor mounted back past the factory firewall, the car retains excellent weight distribution. Even after switching to a 295 wide Hankook z221 race compound tyre and a “win it or bin it” attitude, Daniel still worked hard to maintain rear traction all weekend in an effort to keep the brand new OriginLabo aero as flashy as possible.
MV +4000 cc 1st place and 6th outright 2WD Nathan Dale Racing NDR. Photo – STS Images
Following the provisional results, the top 12 drivers from 2WD and 4WD go into a shoot out to see who can achieve the faster singular time each round with the slower half being knocked out.
Podium finish 2WD
In dry conditions, consistent times of ~47 seconds will likely net you a position in the top 12 shoot out. However, early on day two weather conditions resulted in an extremely slippery track, favouring those such as the drifters that don’t mind a bit of oversteer and instability. Modified Registered 2000 – 4000 cc 2WD winner Carl Ward was prepared for the rain, coincidentally having a set of Toyo R1R handy to replace his Advan Semi-Slicks to help counter the unfavourable conditions. Carl drove consistently fast all weekend, wiping a couple of seconds off his personal best, resulting in the aforementioned class win as well as 8th position in the shootout and 11th 2WD overall. A wicked achievement for his last competition before retiring his SR20 powered Datsun Sunny 310 from racing in favour of a new purpose built racecar.
Carl Ward – 1st place MV 2000 – 4000 cc
Another competitor to keep an eye on is Justin Miller (Golden Sloth Racing – Time Attack SA80 Supra) in his extremely unique A80 Supra. It’s unknown what the motor set up for the car is. It’s rumoured that he’s ditched the 2JZ in favour of either a late model Nissan four cylinder, BEAMS 3SGE+T or Turbo LS1. Regardless, the car was taken off the dyno the night before the event and was ready for further race testing. With a large chassis mounted GT rear wing, full roll cage, dry sump motor, ultra rare TOP SECRET JP bonnet and a rear tyre size that starts with a 3, it’s a car that when fully developed will be a force to be reckoned with. With just 204 kw for the weekend (as to not rush testing), Justin still finished 5th in Race class 2000 cc – 4000 cc and 13th 2WD. Implying that with further development and the large Borg Warner EFR 7670 turbo pushing a few more hundred kilowatts the car will be a top contender in future years.
Photo – Riannon Newton
A massive thanks goes out to the event sponsors as well as all staff and volunteers that have made the event possible for the 9th consecutive year.
For more information and full results visit: