BRISBANE'S STREET RACE
5 June 2009
For the first time in almost 90 years, apart from the odd rallying Super Special stage, motorsport has taken inside Brisbane with the Cootha Classic hillclimb held on the slopes on the home of Brisbane television, Mount Cootha.
The 1.5km up and down course took place in front of a large and enthusiastic crown over the May 30-31 weekend with 220 cars (from an entry of over 350) taking part in the inaugural running which featured Formula 1 cars, World Sports Cars, front running Targa cars with Jim Richards setting fifth fastest time for the weekend in his Porsche, below, Sports Sedans and some of the countries fastest Hillclimbers.
Bill Norman’s GEK Sports (built up from bits and pieces of Normans long hillclimb career) just pipped Allan McConnell’s Van Diemen for FTD with Ray Vandersee (Skelta G-Force) third. Ron Hay’s Hay-Honda won fastest historic while fastest historic sedan saw Ethan Lind pip V8 Supercar driver Kevin Heffernan and rally driver Bruce Dummett in an all Torana battle.
There was also a parade of motorcycles with some of Gregg Hansford Grand Prix Kawasakis featured. The original Mount Cootha Hillclimb occurred back in 1916, continuing its brief run into the very early 1920s after which Brisbane race fans had to look further north into Pine Rivers shire (Strathpine/Lakeside) or south to the Gold Coast (Southport/Surfers Paradise) or west to the Darling Downs (Leyburn/Lowood/Morgan Park) where South East Quuenslands racing circuits evolved.
Brisbane’s 150th birthday celebrations prompted the event which is the first of what is hoped to be an annual running. Almost 15,000 spectators is estimated to have watched the impressive backdrop of racing cars sprinting up the old abandoned Mount Cootha road over the two days.
MARK JONES (Article reproduced from Issue 107 of Motorsport eNews)
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