Nugget Nationals 2017: Round 2 – Haunted Hills Pt.1

Feeling sick and snotty, I dosed up on some cold and flu tablets and dragged myself out of bed early Saturday morning to head down to Bryant Park for round two of Nugget Nationals at the infamous Haunted Hills hill climb track.

As per my last post, I’m not competing in Nugget Nationals this year and opted to not enter this event in any car at all. The plan was to help run the day and take some photos.

Shortly after I arrived, I heard the sound of a familiar car driven by my co-organiser TJB. However, this was a Nugget event, so I should not have been able to hear the sound of his car arriving.

Hrmm interesting, whats the CRX doing here?

As I looked out over the track, I mentioned to Tom that I’d forgotten how fun this circuit looked.

“We’ll it’s not my fault you make poor life decisions and choose not to enter…but someone has just dropped out. Do you want to take their spot?”

Eh? I hadn’t packed a helmet or tools, I was still on my daily tyres and I hadn’t even bothered to fill my car up with petrol prior to arriving (have you seen the price lately? It’s almost a $1.50 for 98RON)!

But you know what’s cool about having a daily driver that’s always ready to track?

Well… it’s always ready to track.

And I guess by default, that also means I’m always ready to track. Thanks to Jally for lending me her helmet. 

After emptying my car out, Perry was ready to go.

The only thing in my car was the delightfully floral cloth (shown here) that I use to carry car parts around on.

After sign in, I did a quick whip around to say hello to the drivers as they arrived.

Dave has recently quit rotary life to try his hand at boxer life.

Kam has recently quit Audi life to try his hand at being even more baller as f**k life.

Christophe is at the track with his turbo K11 one week after getting married. What a perfect honeymoon. Congratulations bud and HBD!

Willer had convinced his friend Mark to join us for his first track day ever in his Micra.

The borrowed car crew – Vu and Brad have very trusting friends/bosses.

No ego’s here. We all get a long! Mitsu Nug next to a 1M not so Nug.

It’s been a while since we have run a day at Haunted Hills, and drivers briefing is particularly important due to the elevation change and undulation which is found on this circuit.

The track can be run in multiple configurations and with no warm up runs, it’s up to the driver to make the one hot lap count.

It’s notoriety for being an unforgiving track is for a very good reason. It has caught many a driver off guard and left battle scars on cars which require a little more than a buff to get out.

With very little margin for error you have a choice of run off which is either:
1. Off the side of the cliff
OR
2. Into the side of the cliff

After heavy reinforcement of the “Try not to crash” rule, we all lined up for our first run of the day on the “Clockwise” configuration.

Rear wheel drive party.

As I walked around catching up with everyone it became evident that we’re all getting a  little bit older. The conversations around the pits have changed from going out and partying to buying property/getting married/starting families.

You’d think it’d be a recipe to retire from the silly motor sport thing we do but the field today proves that it will always remain a constant. The passion really never dies.

Newly wed J.Chuc manages to squeeze in a track day before heading off to Europe a few hours later!

All our track days are family friendly and also family car friendly.

Great to see Trung back out in style with a 65.8.

Iain and his dad file out for the sighting run. Mega adorable. Happy Birthday Iain and well done on the 65.4!

A while back, I test drove this Silver Roadster for Matt when I happened to be in Sydney. He purchased the car and it then made it’s way to Melbourne via a track day at Wakefield. When Matt decided he wanted to keep his other Red MX5 instead, Steve decided to quit on his other Mazda to purchase this one.

Confusing? Yes.

The “Community Roadster.”

67.4 for Steve and a personal best for how much fun can be had in a Mazda at a track day.

No matter how many times I see it, there’s just something super cool and humbling about seeing Nugget after Nugget lining up to go on track.

This makes me happy.

Perry and I head out for our first run together at this track and my feeble attempt to warm up the tyres resulted in one pathetic wheel making a woeful screech.

See that over there? I’m going to try not to hit that.

The downhill section is always a little sketchy, and maybe it’s because I’m far more confident in a Nugget, but damn this seems like way more fun than when I drove the MX5 here a few years back.

A best run (and default PB in this car for me) of 67.0 in the clockwise layout.

Now if I think this is a sketchy track with 54 kilowatts, spare a thought for Brad who came along in possibly the most inappropriate car for a hill climb…a 2jz powered 400 jiggawatt World Time Attack car with gearing set up for the straight at Sydney Motorsport Park!

Pay attention Brad!

66.2 for Brad.

Kam took me out for a lap in his GT3.

TBC but it might be a bit quicker than a big block Echo – I know hard to imagine right?

63.6 for Kam.

“Prettiest car of the day” award goes to…

Sweet baby cheezus.

No altitude problems here for Tin with a run of 67.9.

The fastest Nug in this configuration was taken by this infuriating Daihatsu Sirion that haunts my dreams.

Congrats on the 64.4 Viv!

Heathcliff the Nugget was also suffering from a runny nose this morning and didn’t feel like coming to the track today so Henry the CRX elected to take his place instead.

The black Honda spent the day trying to chase down the pesky green one.

59.9 for TJB.

Unfortunately for Tom, the green one was driven by someone even taller than he –  Haunted Hills reigning world champion* Rhys.

*Not actually his title but it might as well be,
Rhys has won a lot of stuff here and set records for being stupid fast.

Home ground advantage.

Rhys PB’d again today and set the fastest lap time for the Clockwise configuration with a time of 58.73.

Full Clockwise results can be found here.

To be continued…

***
Maybe to repent for the fact that I haven’t posted much in the last 6 months, I’m going to post far too much and make this a 3 part event wrap up.

Part 1: Morning and “Clockwise” runs.
Part 2: Afternoon and “Figure 8” runs.
Part 3: Nugget Nationals Round 2 competitors and results coverage.
***

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2 thoughts on “Nugget Nationals 2017: Round 2 – Haunted Hills Pt.1

  1. Pingback: Nugget Nationals 2017: Round 2 – Haunted Hills Pt.2 | Noisy Ninja

  2. Pingback: Nugget Nationals 2017: Round 2 – Haunted Hills Pt.3 | Noisy Ninja

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