Ngutunui hillclimb 2012

26 02 2012

Ran in the Hamilton Car Club’s superb Ngutunui Hillclimb yesterday, in perfect conditions apart from a little smear of drizzle early in the day.

Main aim was to serve as a shakedown for Targa bambina in 3 weeks time, so the pressure was on not to bend the car. So as we all know, in these situations the sensible driver backs it off a bit 😉

Was accompanied by my new co-driver for Targa, Derek Batchelor. Derek had a good day and was determined to find out if car sickness was going to be a problem so consumed about 5% of his body weight for lunch just before a run up the hill – no problem! – Well done mate, was a great day except for team leader forgetting the intercom lead………

The other major thing we wanted to check out was how the new Targa compulsory Federal tyres would run in road conditions – they are designed as a circuit tyre and I have had very mixed reports from Targa drivers about them. These range from “downright dangerous”, “only time I’ve spun on dry tarmac” (this latter one as we were lining up on first run!) to “they’re fine, not quite as sticky as the Dunnies, but get some heat into them and they’re ok”.

My experience yesterday was more of the latter view. Time up the hill (unofficially as yet) was 3 sec slower than the previous year on the Dunlops, but watching the footage side by side there’s absolutely nothing in it. And they felt a little more progressive on the breakaway and more controllable in a drift than the Dunlops. So from my perspective, on DRY tarmac they are pretty much as good as the Dunlops. In the wet though………??

Since the rebuild after the Ohakune crash the car has run 2 events perfectly. It is definitely as good as prior to the crash, so big ups to my service guru Andrew Johnston,  and rebuilder Ken Braun Panel and Paint.

Video is on YouTube here: Ngutunui Hillclimb 2012

Thanks to the organisers and all the marshals who made this event possible – well done, without you guys we’d all be parked in the garage at home. This really is an excellent event and always run around this time of the year. This year it is part of the National Hillclimb Championship

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