The Weeks of Speed Mount Porcupine Apex Drive Hill Climb roared into life on Sunday, with entrants ranging in age from 14-year-old junior Maverick Kemenyvary to 75-year-old Dr Andrew Walker.

Gunnedah Motoring Enthusiasts Club president David Garth said the event was a huge success despite very inclement weather on Friday and Saturday hindering the setup.

“The sun came out for the untimed practice starting mid-afternoon on Saturday,” he said.

“Several vehicles took advantage of it and new competitors were able to come and try.”

Nineteen vehicles faced the starter on Sunday, as some competitors had initially pulled out due to threatened rain but the event ended up being run in “fantastic conditions” with the Apex Drive surface providing good grip.

Also assistant clerk of course for the motorsport event, David Garth said it was pleasing to see the many families of visiting spectators take advantage of the courtesy bus provided by GME.

“The day’s competition was fast and furious, with no incidents,” he said.

“The father and son team of Brian and Luca Cox from Tamworth, headed the field in the open wheeler under 2-litre class (T5U2), with Luca setting the fastest time of the day recording a below 30-second  time of 29.86 ascent of the hill, while Brian achieved 30.91 seconds in a new vehicle, still being sorted, before a soon-to-be-fitted much more powerful engine.”

A “sleeper” Mitsubishi Sigma family wagon of Ray Wedd from Grafton (Subaru WRX underneath) came in third position overall clocking 33.03 seconds, fastest ‘tin top’ vehicle, beating all the Holden and Ford big guns snapping at his heels.

“Ray commented that Apex Drive is very quick and the corners come up fast,” Garth said. 

“The big guns following Ray Wedd were Dave Rodger’s Falcon GT (33.2), Darryl Morrison Falcon V8 (33.98), Craig Albertson’s Ford XR6 (34.21), Wayne Toomey Ford Escort (34.21, Paul Zibens’ Holden Commodore (34.71) and female hard charger Kate Slingsby’s Commodore V8 (35.01).”

Clubman’s were popular with Kees Van der Horst (33.51), well ahead of Bob Abberfield (36.54), edging out Laurie Pascoe (36.63), with visiting 75-year-old, Dr Andrew Walker from Toronto registering  40.74 seconds.

At his first Hill Climb, the youngest competitor, 14-year-old Maverick Kemenyary, from Tamworth, was consistent and achieved 39.61 seconds.

“Local Mullaley  representative Jason Bannister (37.30) drove the wheels off his bright yellow Holden ute,  but was well beaten by Greg Thomas in his blue Commodore (36.88),” David Garth said.

“Ian Kelly of Gulargambone drove his historic Ford ute like a farmer, clocking 38.62 seconds, while Narrabri’s Bob Rees’ 1960 Turner Alexander, with some well driven runs, stopped the clock at 40.54 seconds.

“The slowest competitor was event secretary Geoff Hood in the GME Club car, Mitsubishi Lancer which went up in 42.45 seconds.”

Geoff Hood thanked Gunnedah business houses for their support, both financial and in kind, which helped the club offset the costs. He said a review will be held before planning future events. 

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