Category Archives: Cars

Review – Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

6 Sp E-Gear

4.2 seconds and a simple click of a right hand gear paddle…….  that’s all it took for me to pilot 490 thousand dollars of Italian supercar to 100kph along an Eastern beaches road in Sydney last weekend.

I managed to let Lamborghini Australia to set me loose on a half a million dollar car on a sunny Sydney day but how did this event occur? Well a close friend Mr X (we shall have to call him) is in the market to part exchanging supercar A, a very accomplished well awarded supercar of a Bavarian nature for supercar B which could be a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. I was asked by my close friend Mr X to come along and test out the car on a bit of an advice basis.

P5100416.JPGNot something you find parked in the middle
of the pavement on a normal Sydney day

Ok to put it another way, normally when friends ask for some help it’s to drive a rusty old pickup van full of dusty belongings as they move house at the weekend in return for a thankyou Pint down the pub afterwards. But when the call comes in to help test drive a brand new Lamborghini for a 2nd opinion for the morning, all bets are off.

In actual fact I spent 2 days with the car, a morning with the car in Eastern Sydney followed by some socialising with Lamborghini Sydney and onto the racetrack at Eastern Creek Raceway in Western Sydney in the following days.

Where’s the Keys

Picking up the car from the Lamborghini dealer we went over the usual mass of buttons configuration you normally go over when taking a luxury car for a drive. The most important buttons in this car (apart from the key of course) were the roof up and down button for the Spyder’s roof, equally as important is the button to raise and lower the front lip of the car by 3 inch’s . This is an $8,200 option but I’m sure it would pay for itself in saving front lip replacements in no time at all, saving a lot of embarrassment at the same time, and trust me in a bright Orange Lamborghini everyone is watching you from the pavement.

P5290491.JPGThe key to an Italian powered heart

Lip raised by 3 inches we pull off from our temporary parking space on the pavement of a busy Sydney street and down onto the road and were off into the busy inner city roads. The first thing you notice driving in traffic is that this isn’t such a hard car to drive as you would expect relating to older supercars. The Lamborghini development 6 speed semi-manual gearbox know as E-gear does a very good job at letting a pretty bad driver, if you were, safely control the 382kw (513hp) V10 engine nestling behind your back in its mid engine configuration.

In traffic the paddle controlled E-gear really is easy to use with a simple up and down automated-manual shift action which shifts incredibly quick. Advice by Lamborghini when city driving was to shift up when comfortable but let the e-gear system downshift automatically when it drops to around 1000rpm for you, just concentrate on the perfect up-shifts.

This did start to feel natural after around 20 minutes of driving I found. If you do decide to downshift at slightly higher rev’s the system carries out a short and punchy throttle blip simular to the Ferrari 360’s first introduced semi-manual system just a lot quicker. This downshift blip generates a little bark from the V10 engine as if it’s complaining about slowing down; fortunately this is usually as you’re coming into a corner and you’ll soon be putting your foot down to exit the corner and keep the engine happy by releasing its long legs again.

P5100417.JPGEntire rear decking engine cover made from a painted Carbon Fibre panel

The E-gear is a rather costly optional extra at $25,700 and I would love to compare the Gallardo with a 6 speed traditional gated manual box but with sales figures showing that approx 75% of Gallardo’s sold in Australia are E-gear equipped there must be some converted die hard E-gear lovers out there putting their money where their mouth (or fingertips) are.    

Onto the engine, the heart of what a lot of this car is about. It really is no secret this is probably one of the best engines I’ve come to experience so far in my life, it really is,  eclipsing my previous most impressed engines of TVR’s Speed Six and Porsches GT3 3.6 flat 6. Let it be known, no one builds a large capacity rev hungry engine like the Italians do, it must be something in the pepperoni that does it, they seem to come out spicy and smooth in one.

The amount of power and more importantly waves of jaw smacking torque on tap from the 5 litre V10 really makes your brain wake up like it does to a double short black with added Tabasco sauce. You see from a V10 engine there really is no lack of power down low like there is with 4 or even 6 cylinders, there’s no need for superchargers, no need for turbo’s and defiantly no need for nitro or anything else you care to bolt or squirt into your engine. With 10 cylinders at your control it’s all about just pure on demand power right through the rev range on command like a court order to a judge.

P5290487.JPGTypical Lamborghini angular lines of the engine cover and wing mirrors

I found with the torque delivery of the car you could be on a flat bit of road, a hill, straight or corner, you didn’t need to recognise what gear you were in, you request power and it delivered and boy does it deliver. Anything over 5000 rpm and the flaps in the exhaust open up, combined with a shove in your back of pushing torque is produced with a scream from heaven from the exhausts bouncing off any object in the vicinity back to your ears, it’s just so much to take in at once. It makes you want to place the engine into this 5000+ rpm band again and again (we did on the track but more on that later) as it is just an intoxicating experience you savour.

I’ve often wondered watching old Clarkson on Top Gear for years when driving Lamborghini’s, he looks like he’s going to explode with excitement like a kid in a lolly shop if a bit over the top, but I found myself re-enacting the same emotions inside. Finding a section of inner city tunnel with no speed cameras around I wanted to keep blasting though this tunnel creating this symphony of Italian V10 singing to my ears again and again and from the thumbs up of other drivers in the tunnel I didn’t seem to be the only one enjoying this Italian petrol fuelled opera.

P5170431.JPGUnlike the coupe version the engine is hidden from view normally

Taking one of my favourite twisty test routes in the Eastern beaches area I drive often I started to learn to trust the sheer amount of grip this car has. This is due to 2 things really, its super wide tyres with 235’s on the front and 295’s on the rear and very low centre of gravity, but also due to the 4 wheel drive system putting all this 500 odd HP down on the road so efficiently like only 4wd does so well.

A series of sweeping left right turns showed also that although the suspension is setup slightly softer than the hardtop coupe version to comfortably absorb all the roads little battle scars of badly done road repairs, it is still resistant against body roll as the cars weight shifted from side to side. I have to say the suspension in the Gallardo is really sweetly setup in my mind; it communicated the feeling of the road but blotted out its imperfections nearly as well as a German tourer would in its stride. Comparing to a Ferrari 360 I had the pleasure of driving a few months ago; the Gallardo certainly had it licked in body control and controls feedback to the driver.

P5290486.JPGInterior a mixture of Italian sculpting and German functionality

An interesting thing happened during my drive which I felt just would not be the same if I was driving the same road on the same day in the like of a Ferrari model. People actively old and young were really positive to me in this bright Orange Lamborghini driving around with the roof down. Not once was there a frown of ‘snobbyness’ regarded to me with in fact a multitude of thumbs up and shouts of “that’s one sexy car” from people of different ages and backgrounds.

In fact there was a fun 15 minutes when a young guy in his old Blue Alfa Romeo, he must have been in his early 20’s chased me around the windy back roads with one hand on his steering wheel and one using his camera phone. Crazy I know but he was having the time of his life chasing down a rarity of a car like this in his neighbourhood grasping for footage on his mobile phone to bragging rights to his mates down the pub later that night it felt.

P5290485.JPGNot a tourer of a car by any means, best to send
the luggage ahead for the weekend away

Back to the task in hand, surveying the neatness of the interior it seems very more German by design than the Italian’ness extravaganzas of an Italian Ferrari or ‘plushness’ of a Maserati or Aston Martin. Everything is laid out stylishly and purposefully where function and design are equal although you cannot help noting all the borrowed items from the Audi parts bin. Like certain switches laid out throughout the cabin and of course the steering wheel which shouts ‘RS4’ at you with its flat bottomness every time I look at it, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we all know the build quality and reliability your getting.

I found the $6,700 rear view camera option, which can just be toggled on and off at any time, to be quite useful when reverse parking as it is hard to judge the length of the rear of the car as there is a lot of space between where your sitting and the rear end of the car. This could save some embarrassing/costly nudging during tight parking. Lamborghini are swift to always tell you that the car is no larger than a Ford Focus but somehow when driving it you always feel it is a little bit wider than it actually is but that confidence of size will surely come with time of ownership of the car.

P5170439.JPGOptional rear view camera mounted into the electronically raised rear wing

The fabric folding roof is very efficient and quick at raising and lowering but has to be done at a complete standstill unfortunately. Porsche has been creating convertibles what you can open and close the roof at speed for many years now, it would be nice to see a roof design of this type on a car in this premium price bracket. That said the roof does open and close cleanly and quite quickly. When the rear engine cover opens, you can look back and see this entire engine cover is made from carbon fibre to save some rear end weight. When the roof is in the closed position you can lower the rear window with a button to allow some natural cabin air circulation and with a side effect of this it allows the engine noise to roll into the cabin from behind which is a welcome addition to the cabin when in the mood.

Let’s test some numbers, to the Track squire!

A couple of days pass and I am joined again with the Gallardo Spyder but this time it’s at Eastern Creek Raceway Sydney to test some of its big performance numbers out. There were no briefings on how to handle this car on the track but after completing a morning on the track in my own Lotus Elise pulling in some competitive lap times and some coffee and complimentary pastries, my brain was switched into gear ready to tackle the task.

Piloting half a million dollars worth of car travelling at very much past drivers license destroying speeds is no task to be taken lightly, needless to say my first couple of laps were taken at nana speeds to embarrassment of those colleagues watching in the pit. Remembering how focused the cars driving experience was from two days previous helped me sink back into feeling that the car is capable and I started to exploit it.


Eastern Creek is blessed with one of the longest straights of any racetrack in Australia and coming onto it from the last corner free from any entanglements with the law I was determined to experience what this 382kw (513hp) and 376 Lb ft of torque felt like. Hovering the rev’s Mid way through 3rd gear coming onto the straight I floor the accelerator and the car lunges towards the horizon towards its peak at 8000rpm, before I know it we’re there and a pull on the right paddle and we’re in forth, air pushing against the car now as we are really picking up speed but the engine has surges or power relentlessly pushing again towards its 8000rpm limit but now in 4th. Another flip of the paddle and we’re into 5th and now pushing 240kph, a good 30kph’s over what I’ve ever had my own Lotus going at this point but I’m starting to run out of straight track and nerve.

 At this point I let off the gas and cleanly slide through turn 1 of the track at 200kph, the now warmed up tyres and aerodynamic forces helped by the now automatically raised rear wing pushing the car down firm as we corner at such high speed. The rear section of the track is a series of twisty corners which are easily dispatched in 2nd and 3rd gear. I could have easily stayed in 3rd gear with all that torque from the engine on demand on the majority of the track but it’s just too much fun to hear those angry loud barks from the exhaust when the throttle blips on the downshifts, ok so yes I was enjoying this a bit too much now.


Bull loose on the track

Top speed, if you had a long enough straight, is measured at 315kph (195mph), due to aerodynamic drag to handle this speed I’d imagine this would have to be undertaken with the roof up and a tot of rum for the driver of course. Acceleration comes to 0-100kph in 4.3 seconds for the E-gear version unless you’re a seriously fast manual shifter. With a weight of 1570 Kg’s you can see just how well the 4wd system deploys the power and torque of the V10 engine so well to attain such great figures.

The brakes stayed solid throughout the session with 365mm 8 pot disks at the front and 330mm 4 pot disks at the back both made of steel. There is a carbon brake disks alternative on the options list, I believe, but for the duration of my session I did not experience any brake fade to talk of, despite the fact they probably cost the same as the GNP of a small African country.

Back into the pits and a few throttle blips in neutral to announce the fact the Lamborghini is back and its clearing its lungs and I park up to relax and collect my thoughts of the experience.

P5290489.JPGBeautiful curves and a late afternoon sun only
an Italian supercar can create this look

Conclusion –

An amazing car of power and finesse when driving and strangely enough from its steering feel and precession handling I would liken it to a Porsche GT3 in many ways. Maybe this is from Audi’s thought process behind the car, “Ok you Italians create a V10 revving masterpiece engine like you do, make sure you add some Italian flare and passion and it must create a soundtrack that makes all revheads go weak at the knees and us German professors at Audi will create a working car around your engine”.

I think this has led to a car with the passion of Italy but the knowhow and German reliability of Audi, in other words it won’t have the reliability of a Italian supercar and cost you as much as a Italian supermodel to keep happy. This, for me then, is approaching what car heaven is all about, a usable, reliable, real driver’s car, and uniqueness (well in these parts – Australia) to round it off. I can’t wait to experience its successor the Gallardo LP560 when it arrives on our Australian shores early 2009 and how the experience could be improved.

P5290481.JPGSummary –

Spec as tested: E-Gear transmission, Anti-theft System, Lifting system, Rear camera, Branding package, Electric & heated seats

Base Price: $460,000
Price as tested:

Positives: Best current convertible supercar there is, amazing tractable V10 engine, Everyone see’s you coming
Feels larger than it is, V10 engines thirsty, Everyone see’s you coming

Rating out of five: 5

Words Mark Bedford, Photography Mark Bedford & Luke O’Neil


Wakefield Park track session

Last Weekend myself Rob, Banzi, Murad, Sarge and a few other friends all went to Wakefield park racetrack for a bit of practice. Wakefields great for track practice its a tight twisty track and with absolutely nothing  to come off and hit well apart from other cars on the track so watch out for them.

We spent a lot of practice time on our racing lines and speed through the corners and I got my personal best (PB) time down by a full 5 seconds to 1:13.5. A professional racing driver did it in my car in 1:11 that’s 2 and a half seconds a lap slower than a paid professional driver, that’s not that bad in my books 🙂


At one point on the last turn just before the straight I went from understeer to a big oversteer situation and the back came out but I managed to catch and regain control before launching up the main straight. It’s in the below video I put together although its over so quick in the video it felt like things slowed down for those 2 seconds in time.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S – Porsche’s most powerful car ever

We all knew it would be coming soon, the range topping absurdly over the top powered Cayenne turbo S to take wife, kids and the family dog to near to warp inducing speeds. For if the previous range topping Cayenne Turbo was not enough for you with its 368 kW (500 hp) V8 engine and Acceleration from 0-100kph in 5.1s was not enough here comes a sledgehammer of performance figures.

The engineers from Leipzig have tweaked the Turbocharged Cayenne’s 4.8 litre V8 to now provide 404kW (550 hp) of power and an extra 50 Nm of torque through a modified exhaust and engine control improvements. This improvement of power and torque brings this latest 4×4 powerhouse SUV the title of Porsches most powerful production Porsche ever, increasing on the Porsche GT2’s power output by an additional 20hp.


Black painted grills and fan inlets the only front design changes

The exterior of this classy beast hasn’t really made any changes for the better, this won’t please the fan base of ‘Cayenne visual looks’ haters with no substantial changes being made to the Cayenne Turbo’s looks. As standard the 21 inch SportPlus alloy wheels are fitted at all four corners and at the rear a quad port aluminium exhaust system with sports silencers give the car a slightly more sporty roar under throttle pressure.

To stop all this 2.4 tonnes of luxury SUV in its turbo infueled pace are 6-piston 410 mm brake disks up front with 4-piston 370 mm’s at the rear. The carbon ceramic brakes as shown with brightly coloured Yellow brake callipers are an option as always on this Cayenne and susprisingly as a Porsche range-topper not fitted as standard.

The Turbo S comes complete with all of Porsche’s trick suspension technologies such as variable height air suspension, ride-control height and Porsches Active Suspension Management (PASM) system as found on all of Porsche’s sportier high-end, higher priced models.


From the rear a slight design change in the quad
exhausts are the only real difference

On the Interior most of the Cayenne’s option packs are now standard on this range topper, with sports seats with memory, aluminium door panels boasting  the ‘Turbo S’ naming, two-tone leather interior with exclusive colour choices, and Porsches great sat-nav system ‘Porsche Communication Multimedia System Management’ (PCM) all as standard.

With the Cayenne Turbo retailing at $215k, expect the Cayenne Turbo S to go on sale soon with a Porsche sized premium on top of that, my guess around the $240k -$255k mark.


In other Porsche news, the new Porsche Web Cinema area of the Porsche website has just been opened. This is a showcase of all of Porsche’s great online videos they have crafted which are some of the best in the business as far as car manufacturing marketing videos go. A few movies of Porsche’s historic motor racing are contained also along with some recent footage of Porsche attempt at the Transsyberia Rally 2008, check it out.


The new Porsche Web Cinema experince has opened its doors

Source: Porsche AU

More track time at Eastern Creek

Last Friday I managed to make a visit to a Eastern Creek racetrack Twilight session, it should of been called a twi-lite session with the amount of lite-weight Lotus there. Lots of the forum members from the group came to have some fun from 5pm after work to sun down at 9pm.

I dragged my dad down to the track after a hot hour long drive to get to the track in 30+ degree heat, it was too hot for even the air-con to handle with the roof on.


dadandpetertalking.jpgDad and Peter from Aussieelises by Rob240’s Lotus Exige Cup 240

I managed to convince a friend at work, Sarge to bring his new VW Golf R32 to the track also. At just 1 month old he wasn’t worried about running it’s V6 in smoothly obviously. Also a friend from work Murad came too, it was his first time he saw a whole group of Lotus cars before being more a Ford/Holden V8 fan and he said he was very impressed with them he said.

Sarge strapped a Video camera to the inside of his windscreen and at 8:30pm as the sun was setting this video was recorded. It was Sarge’s first ever time on the track so he was following my slightly more experienced lines on the track as best he could. He did very well for his first outing on a race track, I was very impressed with his quick learning and speed.

Anyway sit back and relax as we see a brand new 2007 VW Golf R32 chasing down a 2007 Lotus Elise R at Eastern Creek raceway, Sydney AU.

After the Track session work was all over I took Murad for a blast to a couple of the roundabouts outside the racetrack and back. I think it blew his socks off 🙂

Elise R – explanatory walkthrough video

Damien and I filmed an explanatory walkthrough of my car today in the National Park and he was the cameraman. I edited it all together in Adobe Premiere Pro, I haven’t done any video editing or a while so I as quite pleased with the results! I filmed this for a certain audition Sanna and a couple of friends said I should be going for early in 2008, more on that at a later date. Anyway for now it’s up on YouTube for everyone to have a watch of.

Deposit down on the GT3 RS

I did it! I bought the GT3 RS! Well pre-ordered it, number 5 in Australia 🙂

I took the Porsche Careerararraaara S out and it was frankly a bit ‘boring’, on paper its as fast if not a tiny tiny bit faster than my Lotus Elise R but it felt really un-interesting, not what the sports model Porsche 911 should of felt like in my mind. Surges of power with precession it wasn’t, it was well planted on the road but not what I was expecting from the ‘daddy’ of all sports cars Sport model. Then came test driving the Porsche GT3 5 minutes afterwards for a true ‘back to back’ comparison and it was a marked improvement to say the least.

Porsche997_front.jpgEverything was instantly better, the seats were more snug and safe feeling, the steering wheel was smaller, more comfortable to grip and gave a more direct ‘attached to the road’ feel, the suspension also gave this feeling too, Yes I can ’feel’ the road again, and when setting the PASM active suspension to its hardest setting it felt nearly as stiff as the Lotus, great!

Next came testing out the 3.6 litre heavily tuned Porsche motorsport  engine the GT3 is fitted with. It was a savage beast up behind me with a good shove of accelerative power when pushing the throttle in all areas of the rev range so very usable in any gear. The car felt like it was sucked onto the road when you pushed the accelerator hard and with the car going EXACTLY where you pointed it, I gained confidence driving this $300k supercar in the matter of 10 minutes. Still at this stage I wasn’t blown away, not to the extent of having hairs on the back of the neck move and not making me want to shout “how do I buy one”.

997 GT3 RS.jpgWe put down the windows, pressed another clever button (there’s a lot of technology in this car) that opened the flaps in the exhaust, and from then on every prod of the accelerator came a roar through the windows. It seemed that all the song and dance of this car comes from it shouting outside the car not inside, the sound coming through the windows now was just AMAZING! The best experience of sound I’ve ever had from any car. This thing driving though a main street of shops sounded like a race car straight off of a race track with everybody straining to see what this thing WAS.

That was the moment I had to set this as my next petrol headed goal in life to work hard and one day be proud and excited to bring this back to my own garage.

Aussie Elise’s Trip to the Victoria alpine region

Well the title says it all really, this was a long time planned trip to the beutuful alpine regeion in the state of Victoria which in the winter time is Victorias main skiing area. The trip was organised a good 3-4 months beofre it happened and was planned ot be one of th elarget trips the Aussie Elises group had ever arranged before. A total of 17 cars, 14 couples some of the best alpine driving roads in Austrlai and a round trip of some 3000km’s so this was a REAL trip and was goinf to be some REAL fun 🙂

A comeritive psoter and car stricker was made up for the trip by group member Zed which he obvuildy spent some time on, it looked great!


































The plan of events was to drive from Sydney early morning to Bright on the Friday, all couples to take part in a treasure hunt on the Saturday and then to take a leasurely drive back home on Sunday at your own speed.

Friday – The drive to the Alps

9 of us had arranged to drive from sydeny togther and we met up at 5am down at the Sydney Opera house, im not used ot being up that early at all so hence I look pretty tired in the photo.


I was glad to report we had started and the odomete had been reset to 0km’s 🙂





Our 2nd meetup location was a service station up the motorway where a few more members joined us, the weather started to improve so a lot took their roofs off their cars too.





My Elise and my friends Banzi’s Elise parked together, he has made a few extra modifications to his and it looks almost like its a Lotus Exige if you look quickly at it.





The guys still debating roofs on or roofs off





A few hours of drviing in and we reach the Murray river which seperates as the border between New South Wales and Victoria. We in Victoria the state of smoother better looked after roads, which is sports cars drivers love. Here we are following a older Lotus 7/Caterham 



 Our poor friend Zed had a bit of a crash and we stopped ot come to the rescue. What happened was he stopped to take photos of us all aand hundreds of ants manged to crawl into hs car. He started driving again and they were all over him and he paniced and came off the road going pretty fast! You can see how far he came off the road in this photo!



It was all a bit of teamwork to get his poor Lotus off the rough stuff and back onto the tarmac. His low car struggled to get through the long grass acting as a lawn mower. It took quite a few of us and some smooth throttle control to just about get him out! It was hot and we were sweating and all brething in exhaust fumes but we all laughed. Zed’s poor car under the skin was pretty badly damed though 🙁 All from having ants in his pants 🙂




 627 km’s in to the drive to Bright and we were only three quarters of the way.





Sanna did some of the driving too and she stayed up to speed with the guys well. I am very happy with my new union jacks under the indicators which Zed gave to me as a present.





A fellow Aussie Elise’er, Morris as we were having a chat driving side by side through one of the country towns’ 




 We arrived in bright after around a 800 km drive and driving all day. It was arranged that we took over the Bright Brewery for a ‘Beer Apreciation course’. We were so tired form the drive and had a real fun for beer and having a relaly good time. Everyone was so friendly and great fun. The girls had their own seperate area stocked with wine’s to keep them happy.



Saturday – The Treasure hunt

Saturday was the main day and and a large teasure hunt with clue’s and objects you had to find and people you had to speak to. It was very well organised by my firiend Ashton he has put a lot of homework into making it a great day in a 150km by 150km playing area.



We all stayed in seperate lodges/B&B’s as there wasent anywhere big enough to take 20 lotus’s and their owners. We stayed in the Arcadia motor lodge and here we are warming up the engines before we meet for breakfast.





Breakfast was in a lovely cafe right out the back of the Bright Brewery where we were all until late the night before. Over breakfast the rulkes for the teasure hunt were explained, the clue packs were given out and some hints at the prizes.






 This was Sanna’s breakfast, pancakes and icecream and fresh berries, her favourite.






All the cars lined up at breakfast, just before we jumpe din them and the treasure hunt started. All the locals had never seen so many Lotus’s in such a normally quiet village.






We didnt have time to take many photos during the tresure hunt as it was so franic trying to work out the clue’s and driving to where we could find the answers. This photo was taken driving up one of the mountains, Mt Hotham which in the winter is a ski resort. The fog made for some amazing views during the drive on top of the mountains but in the valleys it was beautiful and clear.



 We decided after looking at the map to go a back way via a short dirt track to save some time and get ahead of the others. It turned out the drirt track was infact 38km’s long!! and the map we were given wasent to scale! It took us an hour and quarter to do 38km’s and the car was sliding all over the place not being desinged to go on muddy soggy mud.




After the dirt road the car was filthy on the outside, the new union jacks made it throgh alright though 🙂





There was a prize for the best photo of the day so I did this to my car in the dirt and I came 2nd for it and made a lot of people laugh 🙂




The dinner after the treasure hunt, everyone had a LOT of fun and it was one of the best things i’ve done. For making the mistake of driving on the dirt road for 38km’s for an hour and a quarter I was voted the w#$ker of the day award and received a wrist support band 🙂





 The grand prize for the Teasure hunt with 600 odd points was my friend Peter who we worked closely with throughout the day. Sanna and me came 2nd out of 15 teams, thats not bad!



Sunday- The drive home

On sunday we all made our way home in seperate groups, me and Sanna went back with Banzi and Doc who were really good drivers and we had a amzing drive back through the scenic mt kosciusko national park. It was I tink the best drive i’d had in my life it was truely amaing all the way, like a 3 hour long rally stage, jsut amazing roads that felt were buitl for a sports cars.


The final time most of the cars were together before we left to return to Sydney.






The final photo, a brief stop next to this beautiful tree blossoming, the colours looked amazing next to Banzi’s car.



6 months in of Lotus ownership & no regrets

I have just realised I joined the Aussie Elise’s forum one year ago on the 22-October 06 and I thought I would remember my Lotus ownership expericen since then with the fun I’ve had since that date.

I ordered the new Elise R 12 months ago from Jayson at Rick D’s after a long decision on wether I actually needed a sports car or to go for a sensible car. In the end after a few persuasive comments from my lovely other half and even from my parents in the UK who loaned me a bit of the money they said “to enjoy myself while I was still young” and “to go for it son”

I went to Rick D’s and very nervous I put down my deposit for a $120k+ car and started the wait…….
Jayson handed me on a piece of scrap paper the words and told me ‘if im into the internet I should check it out’. Well being in the IT industry I thought I would, and I found myself a wealth of knowledge and information at hand.

My car didn’t take the 3 months of build and shipping as expected but in fact 6 months, but during that time I was hanging out on the forum not posting at all but really watching and learning about what I was to expect in owning one of these cars.

During the wait the long term forum member and owner of a Blue Exige Cup 240, Rob240 contacted me by private message and through conversation we became friends along with many other forum members who made contact and gave me much advice which I was very grateful for and which proved very useful for the future.

Lotus apologised for the extended wait of the car during the build process and sent me on a track day on Eastern Creek in a Lotus Exige S where I met Rob in person and Mat (found on the forum also) who taught me how amazing the car is and how amazing a driver he is with hsi racing experince of many years icon_smile.gif

So 6 months in and the car arrives. I got a call from Jayson to come pick it up tomorrow. I rush down with the misses and in Rick D’s storage area, fresh from the factory in Hethel UK is the car of my dreams all new and shiny and waiting there for me.

Over the next 6 months I have been enjoying a Burrows Drive Day at Sydney Eastern Creek racetrack every 2 months along with meeting up with some of the guys on the forum for drinks and thoroughly enjoying the ownership of a modern Lotus.

It has given me no technical problems, has returned a great Km per litre compared to most other cars on Aussie roads and has given me so many enjoyable drives on the country roads surrounding Sydney, especially the Royal National Park, the Putty road up to the Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains Bells line of road.

Everyone I meet when with the car just wants to talk about the car, its design, its look, its uniqueness. I offer for them to have a sit in it and to explore its features with me and it makes there day it seems icon_smile.gif

So now we lead to today where I have been a member of the forum for 12 months now signing up on the 22-October 06, and I have gained so much enjoyment with participating in the postings online I have decided in becoming a forum sponsor, effectively paying for my involvement in it’s great worthwhile online AU based community. I have signed up to join the large forum members trip organised by forum member Ashton and others in November and generally look forwards to hanging out with the fun and friendly Lotus ownership community they seem to have here in Australia in the future.

Overall I just wanted to say that after one year of ownership I am glad I have purchased a Lotus car with the fun it has given me, im grateful in all the help everyone on the forum has provided and I am glad in finding such a great online community and with my family for helping me. icon_biggrin.gif

Trackday no. 2

It was my 2nd ever track day yesterday and I was back at Eastern Creek Sydney again for another very well run Burrows Drive Day affair where the rich get to play with their toys.
As it was my 2nd time on the Eastern Creek track I opted to try and jump into the intermediates group for which I was accepted which was good. I knew the track in my head a bit this time, and being in the intermediate group I was allowed to get to the pits and warm up the car after just 20 minutes of safety briefings this time.
There were a few Lotus club people that came, with Rob and his Blue Lotus Exige Cup 240, James in his Red 8 year old 111s Elise, Angelo (my new dentist) bringing his Lotus Sport Exige GT3 car that he’s currently mid championship with for the 2007 Australian GT championship and lastly Mal with his Black Lotus Elise (not sure exactly what model).
The weather held out well all day with just enough cloud cover to stop it getting uncomfortably hot but enough to make the track surface hot enough to help the tyres start to melt for grip nicely.
During the day one of the best Lotus drivers in Australia maybe even the world currently, Dean Evans drove me in my own Lotus Elise, he’s a great driver and after near 10 laps of tuition of me in the driver’s seat he got me to shave around 4 seconds off my lap time! Here’s the now famous video on YouTube of Dean racing in the Elise Trophy that’s been all over the internet in circles.

Another highlight of the day was for me and my friend Rob to take the keys to a brand new Black Porsche GT3 (one of his friends) for a few km’s drive outside of the racetrack. We were on public roads so we couldn’t experience what it was capable of really but needless to say its power was almost brutal being the fastest naturally aspirated production Porsche ever created. It would be a dream of mine to experince this car in a proper situation some time and a dream to own one, one day.
In the pit garages, Rob’s lovely Blue Lotus Exige 240 Cup in the forground checking oil/water levels e.t.c before we go out on the track for our first session. Note the large dice, I think these are an extra 10 hp for Rob’s car im sure!
My Elise in the foreground with James and his Red Elise and Angelo Lotus Sport Exige GT3 in the background
James and Rob getting to know each other.
The inside of Angelo’s Exige GT3, built purely to win a GT championship in which it did in the UK 2006 GT championships.
A close-up of the cramped drivers cockpit area and large drivers LCD display
My favourite and dream car of now in my favourite colour, the Porsche GT3 RS, unfortunately for me new for new price its nearly 3 times the cost of my car also 🙁
I can’t get enough of this car, when I’m bored on the internet I just read up pages on this car.
From all design perspectives it is just the perfect offering of a track car from Porsche’s motorsport division
Cars cooling off in-between sessions, time for water and a discussion for the drivers.
Of course Ferrari were very well represented again, with 6 owners bringing their cars this time.
A stunning Lamborghini Murcielago was also there with its owner
Always a very menacing looking car. I’d have one over a Ferrari any day by choice.

1 bike and a Lotus

Well it was a long way but a motorbike and one of your best mates and your favourite sports car makes for a good days blast through the Australian countryside and what a blast it was, here’s the summery:
Here are the photos from Saturday’s road trip with AC to the Hunter valley and back in a day. He was on his bike he’s had for 5 months now and I was in the Lotus. We left at 8am and arrived back home after dark at 6:30pm. It was a long day of hard driving and we covered 520km in one day. We visited a couple of vineyards, we bought some wine and visited the Hunter valley olive centre and bought some Olives and some Jam for Sanna. We stopped at some quiet places on the way and met a few of the locals. We arrived home very tired, I fell asleep with the TV on in bed at half 9 but it was worth it.
Keep on trucking, were getting the km’s under the wheels now, long straight roads for many km’s followed by twisty sections for many km’s.
A quick stop to stretch the legs were needed quite often.
Cruising along at a nice 60kph, time to look around.
Ah Broke the south West gateway to the Hunter Valley as we come to a rest from driving the lovely ‘Putty road’ famous for being one of the best driving roads in the Sydney region.
Lots of fatalities on the front of the car from driving at high speed for many hours, but they were fun hours and we saw lots of different roads and sights, oh there were some vineyards along the way and the bottles of wine made it in one piece in the small boot back safely too.
Next trip we made a plan to do the south coast roads, Wollongong and beyond, date TBA.