STEVE GLENNEY WINS INAUGURAL EDEN VALLEY HILLCLIMB
Accomplished South Australian tarmac rally and circuit racer, Steve Glenney clocked the fastest overall time at the inaugural Eden Valley Hillclimb behind the wheel of an Australian Motors-prepared 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10.
Held on Sunday 13 December 2015 over a closed-road section of Sedan Hill Road between Keyneton and Sedan, just east of the Barossa, the Eden Valley Hillclimb attracted an exciting and diverse starting field of 86 entrants from across South Australia.
Glenney clocked a blistering time of 1-minute 41.136 seconds on his fourth and final passing of the event’s technical 3.5km course. Glenney’s impressive time also gifted him a Class F (4WD 0001>OVER) win. It wasn’t an easy win for Glenney, with Enfeld’s Henry Beasley in his 2004 Lancer Evo 9 setting a time just 6/100ths of a second slower. 25-year old Beasley gained impressive pace over the day, missing out on the win by a tiny margin on his final run. Third quickest was Henry’s father, John Beasley, again in a Lancer, this time an Evo 4, with a time of 1-minute 41.953 seconds.
“This was an extremely challenging hillclimb course, which makes it really
“I GOT it about three months ago. It has a long competition history in Australian gravel rallying but recently has been extensively modified. It has a very special engine, which was built in the UK by Connaught who design and build modern BDA Escort engines. It’s a 2.4 litre twin overhead cam engine, which produces over 200 horsepower.
“The Eden Valley Hillclimb was its first event – the most I had driven it was off the trailer. I actually competed over this road as part of the Eden Valley Rally in 2005 or 2006. The road has been resurfaced since then, which is why it was so perfect for this event.
“The late and great Colin McRae really reinvigorated Ford Escorts in the UK when he built up a MKII. The Escort was the classic rally car back in the 70s and 80s, I had always wanted one, and this one ticked all the boxes.
“I love the sound of it more than anything else. It’s got that raw, simple sound of a classic car. No computers, just twin 48 webers. You hear that induction noise and it takes you right back.
“I plan to do some SA rally championship events in it next year as well as Rally Australia. Duncan Alston, who is a former McLaren team mechanic, does most of the work on my cars – so it’s in good hands. I’m pretty hopeless with mechanics and get into trouble if I touch them.
“My first foray into motorsport was in the early 2000s.”
“IT’S A replica of the GT350, which is the most iconic Mustang of all time. I bought it in 2005 to do Targa Tasmania and Classic Adelaide. I have had it now for 10 years and have done lots of events in it.
“I have a team of guys that still today help me with, three blokes who have been involved from day one and there always seems to be a carton a beer around the place when we’re working on it – which is what makes it great fun.
“Motorsport has been a part of my life for a long time. I can remember going to Mallala to watch the Neptune Race team and the likes of Norm Beachy, Jim McKeown and Peter Manton.
“I started out in dirt rallying in the early 1970s but I started competing more seriously when I bought my first Porsche 356 and joined the Porsche car club. My real introduction into motorsport came when the Ford Motor Company entered myself and John Stoneham (the cartoonist) in the 1992 Targa Tasmania in Ford Laser TX3, which had finished second outright at the Bathurst 12 Hour the year before. A car I would eventually come to own.
“After 13 Targa Tasmanias and 8 Classic Adelaide events, I’ve recently decided to concentrate more on circuit events. I’ve always competed with the attitude ‘I want to have fun today’. I enjoy competing and I enjoy the people I compete with.
“I am very fortunate to have a collection of classic cars that I use regularly. I am a massive Porsche 356 fan, and I currently have three of those.”
“IT STARTED off as my daily drive about five years ago. I started modifying it a little bit, which eventually got a little out of control so I took it off the road. I put a new motor in it, which is a 2-litre 3SGE Beams, out of a Lexus. I always had the dream of doing tarmac rallies so I started out doing hillclimbs to learn the car and nut out a few problems and finally last year (2015) I did the Classic Adelaide Rally, which was just awesome but that wasn’t without a few troubles, and I only got to run one day.
Now I am just keen to keep progressing it as a tarmac rally car and to continue to have fun at hillclimbs.
“I do a little bit of work on it myself but I outsource the fabrication and engine work.”
“I WAS very influenced by the late Peter Hall, ‘Mr 240Z’ from South Australia.
“I happened to live near Peter and saw his own 240Z in action and knew straight away that I had to have one.
So I got this one in 2004 and I slowly brought it up to Group S racing specification.
Peter was responsible for the engine and driveline.
“I quickly came to realise these cars had one big flaw, that is they don’t stop and in Group S you have to use standard brakes, which are just hopeless. That’s really what led me to tarmac rallying, where brakes are free – so I slowly converted it into a tarmac rally car.
“Its handling is what I love most about the car. It’s vice free. You can drive it really hard.”
rewarding to get it right,” said Glenney.“It’s technical and its grippy surface really suits any vehicle, which makes it accessible to anyone interested in having a go.” With the event’s competition structure permitting double entries, Glenney was able to share the Evo with its owner, Michael Flood, who was but a couple of seconds adrift of Glenney’s times on each of his four runs.
“Between our runs we were making small changes to the car’s set up to make it easier to drive and more predictable, which obviously paid off for us on the day,” said Glenney.
The rest of the event’s other class winners and their quickest times were:
(2WD 0001>1600cc): Stephen Short, 2000 Future Racer (1:50.270)
(2WD 1601>2000cc): Oscar Matthews, 1984 Toyota AE86 (1:48.077)
(2WD 2001>3000cc): Tim Knappstein, 1969 Datsun 240Z (1:48.217)
(2WD 3001>4500cc): Henry McLeay, 1986 Toyota Corona (1:44.439)
(2WD 4501>OVER): Craig Haysman, 1981 Triumph TR7 V8 (1:49.411)
(4WD 0001>OVER): Steve Glenney, 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 1:41.136)
4WD Gravel Tyres 0001>OVER): Stephen Mee, 1991 Mazda Familia GTR (2:03.045) “Overall, we’re extremely pleased with the running of the inaugural event,” said Auto Corsa Group’s Stuart Benson. “Feedback from competitors, spectators and local community groups involved has been really positive. Over the next 12 months we will be seeking further feedback from our customers and stakeholders to help us further refine and build on the event for 2016.”