Collingrove wrap up!
10 October 2010 / Posted by Brett Phillips
Images: Thanks to various photographers, circa October 2010.
The sun may have set on the 2010 Collingrove Cup in Adelaide, Australia, but there are many of us already thinking about 2011 and how rad it will be to get back to such a unique track. In short, the inaugural Collingrove Cup was awesome! Well thought out, well organised, well run and well subscribed. Brought to life by the SAGRA (South Australian Gravity Racers Association) over a perfect long weekend, and with the help of some great sponsors (I must declare GBHQ was one), its hard not to think why this event can't turn into one of the best the country has to offer.
The Sporting Car Club of SA owns and operates the Collingrove Hillclimb track in South Australia's Barossa Valley. It is situated approx 7km south of Angaston off the Angaston — Mount Pleasant Road and about 45 minutes to a hour from the out skirts of Adelaide.
It has been in operation since the early 1951 and has seen some of Australia's better known hillclimb vehicles and competitors. The track itself is 750m of challenging asphalt, climbing nearly 70m from the start line to the finish. Some of the images shown above tell the story of how unique the track is, from tight twisting cambered corners at top of the track, to long flowing banked corners and fast straights towards the end. For spectators the track offers so many vantage points and full views of the track from start to finish its great.
In recapping some of the many highlights about the weekend, you would have to say that the overall excitement about Adelaide's first ever organised gravity event carried all of the riders and volunteers throughout the weekend. You could tell that all the riders were genuinely stoked to be competing and riding such a unique track and with such a friendly vibe. There were 7 gravity bikes floating around (6 until Sholto decided to sprain his thumb) and 3 in the final. Racing all weekend was tight and spectators were treated to a great show.
Safety was at the top of the list for SAGRA with really tight marshalling and communication over the course of the two days. Well positioned hay bails lined the most tricky areas of the track and while there was a few injuries, most were contained to the odd sprain or dislocation (perhaps with the exception of Sue). With a control tower half way down the track, there was tunes pumping out the PA most of the day and the sweet voice of a mad Canadian calling the shots.
The SAGRA crew decided to shorten the track for the juniors and save them from the last super steep decent and crazy 90 degree finishing turn. A move that made the huge banked corner aptly titled 'the wall' one of the last opportunities for passing before the line. It was a technical track with a great combination of tight corners and speed. I have to say that the racing from the juniors was one of the highlights of the weekend, with close 'no holes barred' riding combined with some top shelf crashes. I love how these guys just bend rather than break!
There was also an amazing effort from the guys and girls in the kitchen with a great selection of hamburgers, salad rolls, drinks and munchies served all day. It definitely made the difference when it came to getting heaps of runs in and making sure you stayed hydrated.
Transport up the hill was another massive plus, with Collingrove having a separate transport route around the back of the track. This obviously meant that the track didn't have to be closed and you could ferry riders up and down all day without delay.
Overall the facilities were fantastic, clean and really efficient. Hopefully next year SAGRA will be allowed to have on site camping for those competitors that didn't have local accommodation along with transpor