When Living Choice resident Doug Tilley received an invitation from BMW/MINI to participate in the Classic Adelaide Rally on 18th and 19th November, he jumped at the chance. “Being a petrol head all my life, this was my golden opportunity to have some serious fun,” he said.

Doug’s first requirement was to go to Mallala Motor Sports Park for some driver training. “We spent the day in class and on the circuit, firstly with a qualified racing driver then on our own. What a buzz already. This event is a rally so one needs a navigator. Judy’s son Grant Sterzl was my choice and so our team was ready for the big event.”

Day 1 was scrutineering where the car was checked out by CAMS scrutineers and once passed, they received their number and decals. “The street MINI Cooper suddenly became a racing MINI Cooper. What a difference a couple of numbers on the side makes. Shannon Insurance also placed a SHANNON sticker over the front windscreen as they were chief sponsors. We were ready to go!”

Day 2 was an early start as they had to negotiate 21 Special Stages. “These stages are where the road is closed off to the public and you go flat out hoping not to lose control and hit a tree or rock face. Some of the stages had names which related to their degree of difficulty and type such as Corkscrew Gulley, Chain of Ponds, Paris Creek, The Gorge and Scott Bottom.”

Doug said good cornering was more important than speed. “Being able to use the whole road straightened out the corners somewhat and we were going through corners designated at 35 or 45 kph at around 80-85 kph. It was a huge buzz for driver and navigator.”

Fortunately driver, navigator and car all came home in one piece and already they are talking about next year. Did they win? “In our category called the Touring Category there are no winners, just grinners,” smiled Doug.