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RACV Traffic Service employed eight on-the-road spotters, including Noel Sampson and Vi Dolphin (below, beside their Ford Anglia sedans). Victorian car owners are being increasingly targeted by thieves and vandals, according to figures released by the Crime Statistics Agency and RACV Insurance. Entries are now open for this year’s Fire Awareness Awards, which focus on reducing the incidence and effect of fires. Victorians Graeme Sedgwick and Paul Lawson thought their participation in the iconic Italian race was over before it began, but then they got an offer they couldn’t refuse.
RACV has supported an inaugural Swinburne University campaign aimed at making road safety messages heard.
With an expected cold snap expected to sweep across south-east Australia in the coming days, RACV is warning to take extra care when driving. Get information about RACV’s reimbursement of Rental Car Excess for claims both overseas and within Australia.
Holden is facing one of the most important and challenging periods in its history as it ends local manufacture and becomes a full-line importer. The stream of Euro vehicles began with the reintroduction of the formerly Opel-badged Astra and its convertible sibling, the Cascada. The current Insignia has been around for a number of years overseas, so at this stage Holden is only releasing one variant – the sporty VXR model. The German-built Insignia, with its sophisticated drive­train and advanced safety features, is one of the most technically advanced Holdens ever. We didn’t have a great deal of time to drive the Insignia in normal conditions but on the road we found it to be a capable sports sedan. There are three driving modes that adjust the suspension and steering, throttle response, transmission shift points and the operation of the adaptive all-wheel-drive system. The premium sporting attributes continue to the interior with comfortable, heated, leather-appointed Recaro front sports seats.
The new Cherokee is a combination of sports car, cruiser and SUV with all the benefits and compromises. William Light’s DAS Racing finished fourth overall and suffered severe fogging overnight which slowed them dramatically.
Many schools entered in the Energy Breakthrough performed well, with Flora Hill Secondary College’s ‘Beefcake Productions’ and Berwick Secondary College’s ‘Firestorm’ winning their respective categories in a highly competitive Pedal Prix. Berwick’s ‘Firestorm’ flew in the Friday night qualifying and their strong all-male year 11 and 12 team are now in a strong position for Maryborough in nine weeks time.
The Category 4 entry from Berwick HPV & Cycling Club, ‘Australian Made’, finished just behind ‘Firestorm’ in fourth place overall and fourth in their class. Throughout the race ‘Beefcake Productions’ was in a close competition with the highly acclaimed Aberfoyle Hub School’s ‘Raging Hubcaps’. The team also secured the Design and Construction element for Category 2, a remarkable result considering that the vehicle was constructed from scratch in eight weeks.


The weekend didn’t start as well as it ended with their bus being stopped at a weigh bridge for an hour on their way to Murray Bridge.
The school’s category win in Wonthaggi in March, combined with such a strong finish in Murray Bridge is certain to put them in a good position for the Energy Breakthrough. Tim and Rowan rode with Sam Brennan, Jess Doxford, Alyce Heritage, Ryan Pollard, Tristan Tippet and Jess Thomas.
It seems that the competition for Category B at the Energy Breakthrough is heating up, with Weeroona College taking the overall win at the 6 hour Maroondah Grand Prix on September 4 and Flora Hill’s strong year.
The ever strong Aberfoyle Hub School won Category 1 once again, potentially priming the school for another victory in Maryborough in November.
A number of representatives from the RACV Energy Breakthrough Planning Committee were invited to the event to review and identify aspects of differences between the two events.
Peak-hour traffic conditions were monitored within a 10km radius of the CBD and reports broadcast every 10 minutes. The turbo-charged 2.8L V6 petrol engine is from the same family as that in the Commodore and is built in the Melbourne engine plant. It is able to distribute up to 100% of the drive to the front or rear wheels, and is combined with an electronic limited slip differential (LSD) in the rear to direct drive to the tyre with the most grip.
The standard mode does an impressive job of balancing the sporting intent of the VXR, with surprisingly good ride quality for a car on 20-inch wheels and low-profile tyres. BYR decided not to return in 2005, deciding to take some time off as the team focuses on their studies and careers. The tight and fast duel effectively ended at 10am on Sunday when the toll of the the race began to tell on Team Ballistic’s vehicle (pictured below left).
This incident lost the team 40 minutes and gave Blue Shift a commanding 13 lap buffer – one which they held to the noon finish. Reliability was an important focus for us this year.” The team was made up of former students at Hamilton Secondary College, South Australia.
The overnight temperature dropped to 3 degree overnight and many vehicles suffered fogging problems as a result. Both schools have entries and are preparing vehicles for the RACV Energy Breakthrough, Flora Hill took out the Junior Secondary (Category 2) and Berwick Senior Secondary (Category 3). Firestorm finished third overall with a number of scraps down the side of the vehicle, but in winning Category 3 for the fourth year in succession have sent out a strong signal to challengers in November.
A spirited comeback from the Flora Hill team enabled them to achieve an impressive 6 lap category victory.
The team comprised of five boys and three girls – even though the AIPP has no gender requirements – in preparation for the Energy Breakthrough. Speedster Rowan Nankervis also managed to put the vehicle on its roof during the ‘Top 12 Shootout’ on Saturday morning – a closed qualifying session designed to decide the top 12 places on the grid. They were strongly supported by their pit crew: Rodney Hall, Brayden Mooney, Call Rydge, Cael White, Jayden Wilson and Alex Wruck.


Andrew McLachlan, Chairman of the AIPP, said “The two events are very different and they will never be the same. After 'catching the bug' from his older brother, Nigel helped launch the RACV Energy Breakthrough program at Eaglehawk Secondary College with his dad and some mates way back in 1998. Holden intends to take advantage of General Motors’ global catalogue and a third of new models will be of European origin.
The Insignia, which was also previously badged as an Opel, is one of a new generation of ‘halo’ cars for Holden, the sort of vehicle that the brand hopes will attract and retain customers who have been loyal to the company’s Australian-built Commodore over several decades. In normal operation it is predominantly front-wheel-drive but it makes for a very capable performance car, as demonstrated by the ability of this system during a day of driving on ice in New Zealand.
The weighting and feel of the hydraulic steering system with variable electronic adjustment was good in normal mode. There is also a Sport setting plus a VXR mode for those looking to obtain the maximum performance from the car. It was interesting to see the range of techniques used to reduce the fogging problem – including car-style demisters, computer fans and innovative vents. It’s also good to set goals that we go out and achieve, such as coming here and racing successfully,” Tim explained after the event.
Members of Bendigo Youth Racing were also with the team providing support and advice, having won the AIPP overall in 2003 and 2004.
There are good points about both events and its good to see that we are working to improve each event.” It is unclear at this stage whether representatives from the AIPP will be in Maryborough in November. He participated in the RACV Energy Breakthrough for four years before volunteering to help with the event commitee after he finished his VCE in 2001. This means Members from RACV can now enjoy exclusive benefits.Book a rental car with Thrifty New Zealand.
This performance focus also extends to the brakes with a highly regarded Brembo braking package. Rowan made up for the incident during the race, with a strong one hour and 50 minute stint on Sunday morning. Rowan also managed to roll the vehicle as the pace car came onto the track for the lap of honour at noon on Sunday. Rowan was the only rider to have a rollover and both times were outside of the race – indicating the importance of smooth riding for success.
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