OK Doc, First The imp specifications & workshop manual had been publicly published, & given to the ARDC specification people before the fiasco of discovering that the parking lights were too low to meet roadworthy requirements. Thus all Imps in the race were lowered to their original planned ride height, correcting that ridiculous camber of the front wheels. There were from memory 7 Imps & & 7 Vivas in the race. Some of them were driven by those occasional racers Who could not be relied on to see faster cars coming up behind them, or to clear the way for them sensibly when they did. Some of the faster car drivers developed a tendency to push past a bit roughly when this happened. It was this that allowed me to show the Imp was the best handling & quickest car down the esses that day. Pete Geoghegan in the Cortina pushed past me rather abruptly going over Skyline. I could understand this, as following one of the slow drivers down the esses could cost seconds. However I got my back up at being pushed off the road over skyline, & chased him down to Forest Elbow. There he was most surprised to find my Imp underneath him going into the corner. This caused him to become so crossed up, that it was the end of Pit straight before he caught me again. A lap in an Imp. The thing could get up to 60, [MPH} up pit straight, & be driven straight into Hell corner flat out, looking for the smoothest line. Even then the drag of cornering slightly up hill was enough to slow the car to 40 coming out. The long run up mountain straight allowed you to reach 70 MPH going into Castrol/Quarry/XL or what ever you remember the corner at the top. Again the cornering effort took many MPH off the car, you had got it just right if you still had 54 MPH at the exit. Not much happened on the run up to the cutting, which again could be taken flat if you got it just right. Quite often the cutting required a little roll off going in, to settle the driver rather than the car. Exiting at a little over 40 MPH, it was still flat all the way to the Dipper. Skyline could require a little lift if you were off line due to traffic going in. The Imps brakes were great, & a quick hard hit before the dipper, & another hard one for the Elbow, & it was a painful hard run down Conrod at 78 with your foot jammed against that terrible pneumatic throttle thing wondering if this really could be full throttle. Another short hard hit on the brakes at about 90 yards for Murrays, & off for the next one. Some one had left a pack of cigarettes in the parcel tray, & not lighting one was murder. My eternal thanks to my mate Max Stewart, who went to considerable effort to accelerate slowly enough out of Forest Elbow on one lap, to allow me to keep up long enough to pick up a tow from his Triumph 2000. He dragged me through the flying eighth at 107 MPH, which made the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald nest morning. The 1100cc Vivas had us on toast by about 200 yards up mountain straight, we had about 100 yards on them around the rest of the place. The photo below shows my Imp chased by Spencer Martin in a Viva, Which do you think looks the more comfortable?
Published on 03 January 2021
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