Tassie Tour 2008 12th February
Well we finished up with 9 cars and 12 people for the trip down south. As usual after getting on board the boat we congregated in the bar to meet / greet and go over the week’s itinerary.
Update: Video of Tassie Tour
Thanks to Sulio for editing this one. He's become quite the director.
Early morning we disembarked from the boat and met up in the car park at McDonalds for a bit of brekky and to check everyone was good to go. With full tanks and CB's on we drove out of town on a partly cloudy day. We wound our way through some great roads on our way to White Sands and encountered a bit of rain (for 20mins) along the way. We stopped for lunch at the top of Elephants Pass before we descended the official tarmac section which was being resealed in readiness for this year Targa Tassie.
This will be an awesome section now it’s sealed properly but unfortunately those pesky rocks are still littering the road. Then the usual sprint along the coastal road and into White Sands where we settled in, washed our cars and went down to the restaurant for a few drinks and dinner.
After a light breakfast we headed North up to... and stopped at one of Rob's old haunts over looking the bay for coffee and scones. Afterwards we had a nice drive down to Bicheno where we regrouped and decided to split into two. One lot wanted to do the Wineglass Bay walk and another lot decided to cruise to Port Arthur Lodge direct. And what a cruise it was - I got some video and we had a ball on this section of road. We stopped along the way for an extended lunch and also for a photo shoot on one of the 100 odd year old stone bridges. We all met up safe and sound in the bar prior to tea in the Lodge. As usual big hearty meals and good company ensured a great night.
We had a later start and headed down to Port Arthur (10mins drive) for a tour and walk around in nice fine weather. Some did the boat trip etc and some of us just did our own tour. The CB's were great so we could keep in contact at all times around the grounds. We all met up and headed off to Hobart via the "scenic" route.
I got some excellent video footage of this section of road where there was some great curves to hook into. Along the way to Hobart we had a Subaru Turbo join in with us and he didn't mind giving his car some stick. I revved my car a little too high on a straight stretch of road and unbeknownst to me threw an alternator belt.
We stopped for petrol and my car needed a push start. Since everyone had left I just got it going and drove. It started raining and the windscreen wipers wouldn't work and I noticed the battery was going flat. Only two blocks from Somerset the electric fuel pump finally drained the battery. We stopped and Dave went on and got me a battery but when I inspected under the bonnet I noticed a belt missing. Since I had a spare we threw it on and put the new battery in and we were away. (Thanks Dave).
We all booked in and went out for a great dinner together that night and finished up at the Irish Bar for the usual night cap. :)
After a late start we had a wander around Salamanca Market, had a bit of lunch on the run and a few of the guys went off to Huonville for a go up the river in a jet boat. There was a navy ship in town with 300-400 guys in town so we did a tour of the ship but this didn't help our chances partying away at the clubs that evening. Ha. Wes, Maggie and Rob found a great restaurant for dinner that night and a good meal was had by all. Some people retired early and others tried some nightspots full of steroid enhanced gay men, although I think some were straight. :-)
We were up early for the drive to Strahan and commenced the long yet scenic drive at 8.30am. This part of the trip went well and I managed to get some awesome video footage of Rob and Dave coming into Queenstown on the twisty road that was freshly sealed. What a road it was; nothing too crazy, just some spirited driving all in control along another Targa Tassie stage. We kept on to Strahan where we had a light lunch and boarded the cruise at 2.30. As usual the boat cruise was very relaxing and a good time and meal was had by all. (We plan on the train trip next time). We were all tired and retired early 9.30pm ready for the next day.
Greeted by a light sprinkle of rain we headed off to Cradle Mountain on what was to be the best roads for the trip and the most memorable driving stint in our lives for a few of us. Some action was caught on camera and others will be simply remembered for a lifetime. It was a sensational drive in, especially for Rob, Lurch and I. Long open stretches of road with open twisty section that you could really enjoy. Sorry, you had to be there. Anyway we all arrived and congregated at the Café for lunch. After which we headed up to Cradle Mountain for some happy snaps and a 2 hour walk around the Lake. To my surprise this walk went though some beautiful rainforest and the boardwalk made the trip very relaxing. Most of us ended up in our room to watch some video footage that Rob and I had taken after which we all congregated at Cradle Mountain Lodge for dinner. We retired at a reasonable hour ready for the next day.
Most of us headed off for Symmons Plains early that morning. Some didn't want to run and did their own thing (sightseeing) for the day. We arrived at Symmons Plains around 11am ready for some action. To my surprise the manager was happy for us to run only a few cars (5 in the end). Those running signed the indemnity forms and didn't waste much time getting onto the track. We literally had the place to ourselves and could run anyway we wanted. Truly a rare occurrence for a V8 Super Car track. Anyway Lurch was out there pretty soon lapping as fast as he could. Then Dave in his 350Z and Stuart in his Supra. These 3 cars lapped as long as they liked and we ended up just running one car on the track at a time because we could. Later I did a few laps but my drive shaft was a little bent so I didn't feel totally comfortable out there. But that is not to say I wasn't giving it to it. Rob also did a few short laps and 3.5 hours later we were all done. Official times were:-
Dave and Son Warrick times were with in .0:02 of a second of each other. So we decided since it was all done by hand to call it even at 1.05:02 in the 350Z for both of them.
I got 1.06:93 in my V8 Zed.
Scott got 1.08:6 in his Supra.
Brother Stuart got 1.09.1 in the Supra
Lurch did the most laps and got down to a 1.13:24
Rob only did a few laps in his Zed for a 1.14.
I must say this was a track day to remember and we thank the management of Symmons Plains for trusting us to act professionally and respect proper protocol which we did. Afterwards we all headed back to Macca’s in Devonport where we had a light dinner followed by a beer at the pub across the road before boarding the boat.
A great time was had by all and I would like to thank everyone who came along for looking out for each other and I look forward to organising the next trip. We all decided we should do this bi -annually so the next trip is planned for Feb or Mar in 2010 so get your cars ready. By the sounds we all have big plans for our cars before the next tour of Tasmania plus I will have to check the Navy isn't going to be in town. No accidents, no near misses and no speeding fines. It was great to see everyone respecting the locals by always cruising the towns at listed speeds.
Craig (AKA Member ZZZ8)