Season 2015 was another successful one for Marque in the Viva Auto Repairs Mazda MX5, with class wins in production sports 1601-3000cc at both series held by the Sporting Car Club of SA at Collingrove Hillclimb Complex, and a second place at the All New Mazda MX5 South Australian Hillclimb Championships. The Wintercup is South Australia’s premier hillclimb series and is held over 4 rounds. With outright positions up for grabs by any competitor, due to points being awarded for getting closest to or improving the class record by the biggest percentage, competition is always fierce. A competitors best 3 rounds count towards the points, and our class was contested by up to 6 cars that were all closely matched. 4 of these were Mazda MX5s with a Honda S2000 and a Porsche 944 also entered in some rounds. Marque won 3 rounds and was second in the fourth, but couldn’t get close enough to the class record to seriously challenge for the outright award.
The other hillclimb series is the Collingrove Challenge Cup, and works on the same principle as the Wintercup, for points, but is open to all entrants whereas only members of the Sporting Car Club are eligible for the Wintercup. This is run over 3 rounds and competitors must compete in all rounds. Marque won all rounds here and ended up fourth outright for the series.
The South Australian Championships were held over 3 days in September, with Friday being a practise day and 11 passes of the hill run on Saturday and Sunday before a Top Ten shoot out for cash prizes. With 3 other competitors in MX5s and the Honda & Porsche competing in the class, it soon became apparent that Fletcher Bolton would take the championship in his very fast black MX5. Marque finished second with Michael Bishop third in another MX5. Michael Bishop’s car had a relatively new computer system on it, and mid afternoon Saturday developed issues. Thinking that the problem was crank or cam sensors, some phone calls were made, & it was organised that Marque would get the sensors from a friend’s wreck early Sunday morning. This meant that he would miss the first run of the morning, but he insisted on helping his fellow competitor. Once back at the track, the sensors were replaced and the car was still not co-operating. At this point Marque invited Michael to drive his car as a second driver for the rest of the event. Michael gladly accepted.
The Viva Auto Repairs MX5 also competed in the Marque Sports Car Association’s Supersprint series, which was run at the Mallala Motorsport Complex over 5 rounds. This is a competition where cars run against the clock, but with up to 18 cars on the track at any one time, over 5 lap sessions. 5 runs a day give competitors great value for money, and awards are given for best results over 4 rounds, but competitors must complete all laps of a round for it to count. Although Marque had a rare DNF in 1 round, after the clutch master cylinder failed after only 320,000kms of use, Marque still won the class for Modified Marque Sports Cars under 2000cc. In association with the supersprints, the MSCA also runs the Peter Hall Memorial 6 Hour Relay
To top the year off Marque and the mighty MX5 travelled to Ararat, for the King of the Hill hillclimb in late November. This event also holds the Peter Hall Cup, which is an interstate SA versus Victoria challenge, with points awarded in each class with entrants from both states. Both Marque & Michael Bishop won their respective classes, with Michael’s wife Melanie improving greatly over the weekend to take out the “Queen of the Hill” trophy for fastest female competitor. To top that off South Australia retained the Peter Hall Trophy with just a 1 point win over the Victorians. Other events that we competed in were the Air BnB Australian Masters Games Hillclimb, the inaugural Cams Club Challenge and the Eden Valley Tarmac Hillclimb.
The Masters games earned Marque a silver medal in class, while the Mazda MX5 Club team finished 5th in the Cams Club Challenge, which was a great result. 18 teams competed in the challenge, with 2 of our 5 team members having never run at Collingrove before, and consistency within the team throughout the day was required. The inaugural Eden Valley Hillclimb was a hastily put together event, which was only announced about 6 weeks before being run. There were a minimal number of classes and the MX5 was entered in the under 2 litre 2WD class. With several high powered fully prepared race cars entered in the class, the chances of a high place finish was very slim, but Marque still finished in the top 5 in a class of 12 cars. It was a well run event and most competitors were eagerly waiting to see if it returns next year.
Now with 2016 well underway, a new season is soon upon us, and with at least 9 hillclimbs, 5 supersprints & the Peter Hall Memorial 6 hour regularity team relay on the calendar, a tidy up of the car is in order, before heading out for another season spent having great fun amongst wonderful friends. Hopefully more success is on the horizon, but the thrill of competing will be reward enough if that doesn’t eventuate. Thank you to Viva Auto Repairs, ULX110 oil Custom Blend Motor Oils, Bob Jane T Marts Modbury Triangle, City Plastics, JH Southcotts, Australian Clutch services & Penrite oils for your support in 2015, and hopefully we can continue a successful association into the future.