The Italian Connection Trophy
The Italian Connection Trophy (ICT) is a social motoring event with the added objective of raising money for charity.
“If you love your wheels, you won’t want to miss being a part of one of the best touring road events on the calendar The Italian Connection Trophy
To quote one of our competitors”
“Awesome roads, amazing scenery and great company! One of the best experiences of my life!”
The 3-day event uses totally sealed roads from start to finish, protecting those precious machines. Using exciting and challenging roads, entrants will drive the Alpine passes, picturesque valleys, lush farmland and historic towns – the ICT encompasses them all. Plus there’s further driving challenges with exciting Speed Tests, Khanacross and Motorkhanas taking place each day..
And while having an amazing time we are also looking to raise some much-needed funds for an extremely worthwhile charity The Duchenne Foundation www.blueball.org.au .
Below you will find regular updates on this year’s ICT.
2014 Photo Gallery is now live
For those of you that have not experienced the Italian Connection Trophy I have included some photos of the extraordinary roads and scenery we experience over the three days. For a complete photo profile go to the gallery to check out over 200 images of the 2014 ICT.
CONGRATULATIONS PETER AND PHILIP OLSEN OVERALL WINNERS OF THE 2014 ITALIAN CONNECTION TROPHY!
They also won the Dealer’s Challenge Trophy for McCarroll’s Motors.
It’s important to note that this was no “flash in the pan” last year Peter and Philip came third and Peter won the Motorkhana and the year before (their first year competing) they came sixth. This year they actually won every section.
Philip ignored the significant difficulties he has to contend with every day and got on with the job at hand. Even in the Fiat Panda that left Peter Olsen a tad underwhelmed they got it done. Needless to say Peter didn’t defend his Motorkhana title in this year’s car.
Congratulations to new competitor Nick Wood for his win of the Motorkhana section. The Passat is a big machine to throw around a Motorkhana course and interestingly he also came second in the speed tests. I think Nick is one to watch in 2015.
Also congratulations to another new competitor Garry McGrath for his win of the Sprint Section. His beautifully tuned Holden Walkinshaw performed impeccably. Interestingly all three place getters in the speed tests were Guest Marques.
Where were the Ferrari’s, Maseratis and Lamborghinis we had better do something about that in 2015…
Here are the major place getters congratulations to all:
We should also congratulate Jon Dickson and Cecelia Olsen for their win of our first Guest Marque Trophy. Jon was also selected to receive the inaugural Peter Doig Memorial Trophy awarded for his dedication to the rally over the years and the charity we support The Duchenne Foundation.
Jon has competed in all but one of the ICT’s and is definitely one of faces of the ICT. His diligence in fund raising, his generous nature is enhanced by his genuine concern and passion for doing the right thing makes him a perfect recipient. Peter Doig I am sure would have heartily concurred.
Finally the Phoenix Award presented to an individual or team that has overcome adversity to rise from the ashes with spirit and passion.
This year the well deserved recipient began his fight back at last year’s ICT when his beautiful Dino Ferrari had to be flat bedded back to Melbourne. He fixed the car and was the first registration for this year’s ICT.
Just after that he had nasty accident and about two months before the rally called to say he may not be joining us. You can’t keep a good man down, he relinquished the driver’s seat to his friend Allan Robins also a very good driver and took on the navigation role. Roger Greenway was certainly well deserving of this year’s Phoenix award.
Well what a great rally this year. We had the most entries in its history, we covered our costs for the first time, the weather was outstanding and the roads extraordinary.
We ate very well we made new friends and caught up with old ones.
What was particularly pleasing for me was the returning crews not just from last year but from the beginning; Lido Russo, Frank Vasile and Joe Parisi from the very early rallies, and returning after a year’s absence Julian and Helen Besestri and Wayne Green and Ben Doig.
We had a large helping of competitor spirit this year but all in good humour.
In an effort to keep things interesting, we added some new and challenging roads like the Omeo Road and the spectacular drive up Mount Buffalo and we increased the number of Speed tests and Motorkhanas.
Some of our crews just came to have a wonderful drive, mix with a great bunch of people and enjoy the conversation and then there were others who wanted that trophy.
From all reports thus far everyone had a terrific time and that is just what we intended.
Before we get into the rally proper a lot of activity happened on the day before; most cars and crews arriving on this day, Wodonga Car World opened their service bay for our scrutineers so we could ensure all our entries were up to scratch – they were.
Then back to the Manor House for the Mayoral Reception where we received the Clerk of Course’s briefing and shots of Limoncello courtesy of ICT regular Domenico Cece.
Unfortunately Dom couldn’t join the rally because of a broken car but he made sure we had our Limoncello the best you will ever taste. Then to our traditional Reunion Dinner and what a reunion it was, the Manor House excelled itself serving the best food we have ever had there, it was a great way to start a terrific three days of unmitigated fun.
Day one took us on the Omeo Road that now has the entire length now sealed. There were quite a few drivers and navigators that experienced some gastric challenges, phrases like “…never again…” “…I thought I was going to die…” were overheard but there was no denying what an extraordinary drive it was. The difficulties may have been influenced by the altitude nevertheless the other locations were wonderful – Bright, a jewel sitting in amongst the high country, Hotham Heights, still no snow but beautiful in any season then down through historic Myrtleford and home for a well earned beer and dinner at La Maison.
Day Two was another new road we wound our way up the 1,700 metres or 5,000 feet road to the top of magnificent Mount Buffalo. There the team from the Albury Wodonga District Car Club prepared a hearty lunch for us; then a nippy ride down the mountain via Bright and enchanting Mount Beauty through historic Yackanandah and home.
The Saturday night dinner was held in a converted railway station aptly called Broadgauge another special evening.
We discovered that this night was Tom Snook’s fiftieth anniversary of his involvement in motor sportso a very noisy toast was raised.
The music was retro and all played on old vinyl records – another great evening.
Day three was the big day for extra competition with Motorkhanas and Speed tests at two different locations. Corryong Airport and a Test Track in Wodonga but the day began with the final observation legs of the rally travelling through Granya, Jingellic Tintaldra and on into Corryong.
Everyone was chomping at the bit to get out onto the runway to see what their cars would do over the quarter mile but they also had to contend with two complicated Motorkhanas.
Once all the tests were done it was back to the Manor House for a few drinks to talk over the last three days of adventure and enjoyment.
Our Victory Dinner was held at another fine Albury restaurant, Café Victor who put on a terrific spread for us.
As we always do we raised some money with an auction, sold some merchandise and collected money that had been raised in the lead up to ICT.
I am trying to ascertain exactly what was donated as there was some direct donations, some collected on the night and some coming as I type this, once I know the total I will post it in the next newsletter.
It was a terrific night to end the 2014 Italian Connection Trophy and it is fitting that we thank the people that have supported the ICT.
First and foremost it is the crews that turn up every year in their beautiful machines to compete or just enjoy what the ICT has to offer. I have produced literally hundreds probably thousands of events over the past (unnamed number) decades. I can say that the ICT is one of my all time favourites and it is because of the people that are involved, the competitors, the officials, the sponsors, people who are providing our comforts and supporters.
Rarely could you find such great bunch of people and I for one really appreciate it.
A special thanks to Tom Snooks, Steuart Snooks, Bruce Morisset and the ICT Marshalls, The amount of time and effort put in to make this event happen is significant and they are focussed on giving competitors some challenges, new experiences and above all give everyone a great three days.
Also we must thank David West and the team at Albury Wodonga District Classic Car Club who provided much of the marshalling and scrutineering over the three days not to mention lunch at Mount Buffalo
Our sponsors this year have provided another outstanding level of support including: Quantum Printing, Albury City, Fiat Chrysler, 105.7 The River, Tygon Engineering, Hue Graphics, Wodonga Car World.
Then the people that provided the merchandise we sold: Ferrari, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Pirelli and the Illawarra Brewing Company.
While not a sponsor, The Manor House always steps up and provides outstanding service for us.
Finally a huge thank you to Domenico Cece who sent a case of his world famous Limoncello so we could finish our meals in a proper Italian way.
Domenico did insist on one proviso; on the last night we were to share shots of Limoncello at the end of the Victory Dinner and raise a toast to our mutual late friend Peter Doig – we gladly honoured that request.
Thank you to everyone that makes this event what it is.
16th – 18th May 2014
You can’t keep a good man down Jon Dickson is currently swanning round Europe and he has sent his ICT hat entry from Holland.
Welcome Back to Jon Dickson – Team Tazio he is bringing back his beautiful 1953 Porsche Spyder 550.
His 2013 co-driver daughter Alex has since been married and is away so can’t join her Dad but Peter Olsen’s daughter Cecelia has put her hand up to navigate, so we have almost a full family of Olsens competing! Cecelia last navigated (and came second) with the late great Peter Doig in 2012.
So now we have Peter Olsen, winner of the 2013 ICT Motorkhanas, third in the ICT rally overall, son Phil navigated, Cecelia came second the year before – is this the beginning of a motoring dynasty?
Remember the ICT hat competition? Well, Tony Harris three year veteran of the ICT was in Freemantle recently and encountered a chap called Bon Scott (actually a bronze statue) nevertheless Tony placed the ICT hat at an elegant angle and is now a contender for that fine bottle of Barolo.
Does this mean that AC/DC supports the ICT?
Still 10 weeks to go and we have a full house!
Currently our entry number is 30 with four more pending so we are almost officially full. Our Clerk of Course tells me he can fit in another five entries bringing us up to 35! If we were just touring we could take up to 45 entries, but with our Motorkhanas and speed tests we would be getting back in the middle of the night – so 35 it is!
We have now taken over the entire Manor House Hotel for four days.
The Manor House our home for four days in May(STOP PRESS: We have just received confirmation that Fiat Chrysler is now fielding two entries, not one as first thought.)
Our Clerk of Course leaves in about two weeks for the final course survey. This time he will take his team with him as this trip is to finalise the road book and observation questions, as well as the Motorkhana and speed test layouts and limits. The Supplementary Regulations will be distributed on 16th April.
We have some more very good news. Fiat Chrysler has confirmed it will once again provide a car free of charge to the official Duchenne Foundation team, Tiina Raiko and Angela Solomou.
Also McCarroll’s Motors of Chatswood are, for the third year, providing a car for Peter and Phil Olsen. For those who don’t know, Philip Olsen suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Phil has become a favourite of the ICT family.Phil with his trophies and Angela Solomou one half of the Duchenne Team Even though Phil can’t get around much unless he is in his (very fast) motorised scooter, for the rally he can sit in the passenger seat and navigate his dad, which he does superbly. They came third last year. So our sincere thanks once again to the great people at McCarroll’s Motors. Albury Council is holding a Mayoral Reception for the ICT at 6.00 pm on Thursday 15th May. It will be held in Hovell Street Park. A special area is being reserved for all the ICT vehicles to be on display for the duration of the reception. As the ICT is growing, and one of our important missions is to promote the Duchenne Foundation, we have engaged a public relations director this year. Her name is Liz Swanton. Liz is a specialist in motoring and motorsport. One of her current clients is Bentley Motors, which entrusts her with cars that cost more than a small house! Liz worked with us a few years ago and we are delighted to have her back. As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I went to Albury to make final arrangements for the ICT including scoping out new (and good) places to eat. First I can confirm that the Albury Wodonga and Districts Car Club will be preparing a barbecue lunch for the entire group on top of Mount Buffalo on Saturday. For a good dinner in a country location, it is always a bit of a challenge with large numbers but I am pleased to say that with the expert guidance of locals we have located three very different but excellent venues.
As is traditional we will be having our reunion dinner at the Manor House on Thursday 16th May. On Friday we will be eating at a restaurant called La Maison right on the NSW/VIC border.
On Saturday we move just over the border to Wodonga to a restaurant called Broadgauge situated in the old Wodonga Railway Station and, finally, for our victory dinner we will be at Café Victor right in Albury. It is fitting that our last dinner should be truly authentically Italian and this restaurant certainly is.
Don’t forget: AUTO ITALIA, Lawns of Old Parliament House, Canberra: Sunday, 30th March, 2014.
ICT Sponsor decides to compete in the Rally!
Clinton and Sandy Van de Stadt owners of Quantum Printing and one of the ICT’s most important sponsors have decided to compete in the rally and purchased a very nice Alfa Romeo GTV V6.
Clinton and Sandy Van de Stadt’s Alfa Romeo GTV V6
Welcome to another Guest Marque we are reaching the limit of guest marques so Nick Wood it’s good to have you on board. Nick is driving his very nice looking 2009 VW Passat CC.
Nick Wood’s 2009 VW Passat
Mercedes Club of NSW enters the ICT
Welcome Nick Harris driving another guest Marque. Nick is driving his 2012 C-63 Mercedes sedan.
Nick Harris’s Mercedes C-63
Another new entry and fellow member of the Mercedes Club Vince Thompson is driving a very classy 1983 380SL nicknamed “DELILAH.
Vince Thompson’s 380 SL “Delilah”
A very healthy turn out at Lido Russo’s Cavallino Restaurant for coffee and a chat, Lido was expecting around fifteen – twenty cars about fifty arrived a strong contingent of Italian Connection competitors turned up.
A few who came for coffee last Sunday
Welcome Shalin Perera new addition to the ICT driving his 2005 Lamborghini Gallardo.
Shalin’s 2005 Lamborghini Gallardo
We also grabbed a shot of Lido’s stunning 1968 Fiat Dino Convertible at his Cars, Coffee at the Cav event. The photo is courtesy of the President of the Fiat Club of NSW Tony Studans this is the car Lido will be driving in the ICT (as long as it doesn’t rain).
Lido’s 2014 ICT entry his 1968 Fiat Dino
We were a bit worried about the 2012 ICT winners Dana Dupere and Todd Gilmour joining us this year because Dana is recovering from an injury, I am delighted to announce that Dana has beaten her malady and today we have confirmation that they are joining us again.
We have started 2014 with a bang with a record number of registrations lodged by the end of last year this guarantees we have a start for the seventh Italian Connection Trophy.
Some new roads and we add more opportunities to in the Motorkhanas and the speed tests. Our Clerk of Course has already conducted a full survey for this year’s ICT and we have prepared a special overview of the three day event; just click on this link - http://www.italianconnection.com.au/ICT_2014_3_day_overview.pdf
We welcome all the new and returning ICT entries. Here are just some of them:
We are delighted to announce a former competitor from the early days of the ICT Muzio Cantarella is returning this year. Muzio will be driving a Fiat 695.
2008 ICT winner Lido Russo confirmed he will be driving his beautifully restored 1968 Fiat Dino Spider convertible. Lido and Silvia may need to be rugged up if they intend to have the top down ready for those sometimes very brisk May morning starts.
Lido and Silvia ICT 2008
Winners of last year’s ICT Ian Allison and Warren Smith are both returning this year but in separate cars; both will be driving the same model Fiats a 1997 Coupe 20V Turbo. So we will have two people in identical cars defending their titles separately…
|Ian Allison and Warren Smith preparing for the 2013 ICT|
Warren Smith and David Filipetto at the 2011 ICT Start
Dominic Votano who returned last year following a break and who won the 2013 Speed Test is leaving his Holden at home and bringing his 2000 Porsche 911 Millennium.
Dominic Votano’s Speed Test defender
Domenico Cece a very popular competitor who, besides being a very nice guy also brings along a serious supply of his extraordinary Limoncello. Domenico will drive his bright red 2007 Maserati Gransport.
Domenico Cece “resting” in his Maserati Gransport at the 2012 ICT
Another one of our guest marques is being driven by new competitor Peter Richards. Peter will be driving his 1972 MG B
New ICT entry Peter Richard’s Guest Marque 1972 MGB
The last time we saw Joe and Charles Parisi was in the 2009 Italian Connection. We have just received their registration form but the vehicle description has been left blank, that’s because they are still deciding which machine will end up on the starting grid.
Another guest marque joining the fun and it is their third year is Karen Maric and Ken Churcher driving their sometimes fast moving lounge room the 1979 Chrysler Regal SE.
Karen Maric’s and Ken Churcher’s 1979 Chrysler Regal SE
After deserting us for the F1 in Monaco last year (and we understand) Julian and Helen Besetri are returning in 2014 this time driving their 1978 Ferrari 400A.
Helen and Julian Besetri’s 1978 Ferrari 400A
2013 competitor Roger Greenway brings back his immaculate 1974 Dino Ferrari. Roger advises that the 308 is in perfect shape.
Roger Greenway’s pristine 1974 Dino Ferrari
Also as I mentioned in my recent email Fiat Chrysler has officially confirmed their support and participation in the 2014 Italian Connection Trophy.
They are keeping their choice of their entry vehicle close to their chest right now after all they do have a few to choose from…
Welcome Giovanni Melisarri another new entry representing The Italian Made Social Motoring Club is driving a very lively 1973 Alfa Romeo 105 coupe 1600 GT Jnr.
Mel Giovanni Melisarri ‘s Alfa Romeo 105 1600 GT Junior
We welcome the return of all women team Tiina Raiko and Angela Solomou who will once again drive the official Duchenne Foundation entry. Tiina or Angela will be touch in the coming weeks and months to offer any help if you want assistance in fund raising for our charity. Obviously fund raising is entirely optional but if you want to help either of these classy ladies are ready to assist. By the way they won the ICT in 2011.
A few months ago I launched a completely unrelated competition, just for a bit of fun. A challenge to anyone who owns an ICT hat to send in a shot FROM anywhere you might be in the world from Sydney to Siberia.
A very nice vintage bottle Barolo will be presented to the most creative shot. We will all judge the best by a round of applause at the Victory Dinner. We have a few great shots already but we need more. We have shots from South Africa, Mount Vesuvius, Rome, Isle of Capri just to mention a few.
Warren Smith ‘with ICT hat’ at the Trevi Fountain
As you may have read in the recently distributed profile of this year’s ICT the road to Omeo has finally been bitumised giving us a whole new route to take. The scenery will blow you away.
We may encounter a bit of snow but we’re ready…
Just hitch ‘em up and “Mush Mush”!
On behalf of the ICT organising team we wish everyone a great holiday season, enjoy the company, the cars, the drives and the destinations.
Have fun but keep safe.
Buone Feste Natalizie
GET YOUR 2014 REGISTRATIONS LODGED BEFORE 23 DECEMBER!
Clerk of Course begins charting the 2014 ICT
Tom Snooks our Clerk of Course is leaving in a very few days to begin surveying the courses for 2014. Already he has discovered some new and extraordinary roads. This will be the first of three surveys to design courses and challenges that will test but deliver up some fun as well.
This is not really about cars but our young runner up last year Philip Olsen just starred in the Schools Spectacular and it was outstanding. Phil suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy he has become a favourite among us; last year navigating for his Dad Peter, they came sixth in the ICT and this year they came third. We could all learn a lot about courage and commitment from young Philip Olsen. Congratulations!
We have an airport for our Speed Trials
A recent new entry this year is Giovanni Melissari driving his 1973 Alfa Romeo 105 coupe 1600 GT Jnr. Giovanni is a member of the Italian Made Social Motoring Club.
Registrations rolling in!
2013 winner of the ICT Ian Allison has confirmed he is returning to defend his title driving his Fiat 20V Turbo. The next question is will his co-driver from last year and 2008 Warren Smith decide to enter the 2014 ICT in his own right to try and wrest the trophy from his old friend?
Also we are delighted that Roger Greenway is back for his second try in his immaculate 1978 Dino Ferrari.
2014 REGISTRATIONS ARE OPEN!
Yes we are at that time again the 2014 registrations are now open for the seventh Italian Connection Trophy.
This is the third year we will anchor ourselves in Albury travelling out to the Victorian High Country, the Alps and the Wine regions. Our C of C will be leaving in a couple of months for his first recce of the course. Tom assures me there are still plenty of roads, places and challenges that will impress and astound. We already know about a brand new road that will take us to some breathtaking views.
I can confirm we will be including three Motorkhanas and two Speed Tests in the 2014 event. We will be borrowing at least one airport again for this exercise. We will also be using the brilliant Barnawatha Test Track which those of us that were at this year’s event did a little test run on.
There will be some new and challenging inclusions in the event but I can’t tell you about those yet until we have completed all the preparations.
Manor House will accommodate us all again and we will search for new and tasty dinner locations in the coming months.
I am currently waiting on the design of the Peter Doig Memorial trophy and as soon as it is approved I will put it up on the website.
We will have some exciting announcements over the next couple of months and don’t forget Guest Marques are welcome.
Just for Fun
There is also a new challenge I am mounting just for a bit fun in the lead-up to next year’s rally. Last year a friend of mine who was not in the rally went on Safari to Africa. I told her to take an ICT hat and send me a photo of her wearing it on location which she did.
I mentioned this Warren Smith one of the winning crew of the 2013 ICT Trophy telling him I am starting a competition. Warren was in Italy recently and he sent me a photo of him outside of the Colloseum wearing his official ICT cap.
We don’t care what year the cap is but if you have been or are going somewhere in the world take your ICT hat and send me a photo. We will display them at the Manor House next year and we will select a winner who will receive some very fine wine.
Figure 1 Warren Smith – Winner of 2013 ICT in Rome – ICT Hatted
We have reduced the deposit amount down to $500.00 securing your registration to ease the impact on your cash flow. This is fully refundable until 31 December this year.
We need confirmed numbers by 31 December 2013 so if you are intending to join us please complete the attached form and send with your deposit before this date. As we all tend to put things aside until later and then forget about it I encourage you to do it now!
More to come! Attached to this newsletter is the 2014 Registration page.
17th – 19th May 2013
A TRIBUTE TO A VERY GOOD MAN AND GREAT FRIEND PETER DOIG
Yesterday I received a call from Ben Doig, Peter’s son who advised me that I had lost a good friend and a favourite and stalwart supporter of the Italian Connection Trophy and the charity we support the Duchenne Foundation.
Peter competed in all the Rallies except this year’s but more importantly worked diligently in garnering support for the ICT’s charity.
I know most of you know Peter and had become his friend he was an easy man to like. He was a close personal friend of mine and that of the Foundation’s Chairman Peter Hojgaard Olsen, Peter and I met last night and raised a glass to a special man.
Peter Doig didn’t just help when the rally was on, once he first learned about the Duchenne Foundation he made it his mission to help the cause and has been singularly responsible for raising tens of thousands of dollars and increased awareness of the disease.
Peter had been fighting a severe condition for some time and things appeared to be improving. He had a new job and just a week ago in his usual spirit sent me some images of an F1 hat
he was offering to auction off for the Charity. His passing was sudden and tragic and he is going to be missed by us all.
I am awaiting details of the services that will be held and with the family’s permission will share that with you when I receive the information, I believe the service will be held in Sydney but that is yet to be confirmed.
Peter was the epitome of the great spirit of the Italian Connection Trophy and all it stands for indeed he won a special award for the best rally spirit in 2011. This award is only presented when an individual or team are outstanding in their support for the event and the cause it supports.
I believe it is fitting that we re-name this award, so 2014 will be the introduction The Peter Doig Memorial Award.
I know you will join me in offering our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Julie, Ben and Peter’s entire family.
REST EASY MY FRIEND
2013 Italian Connection Trophy Wrap-up Newsletter
“Fantastic! Brilliant! Loved it! The best yet!”
These were just some of the comments from ICT competitors this year.
It was a great weekend, not without its dramas but that’s part of the adventure.
Congratulations to all the winners and place getters, these are listed later in this missive.
Where to begin?
Scrutineering at Wodonga Car World
Once again our friends and sponsors at Wodonga Car World provided their service bay for scrutineering carried out by senior members of the AWDCC.
Then it was back to the Manor House on Thursday evening for our now traditional Mayoral reception followed by the official briefing from our intrepid Clerk of Course Tom Snooks.
Domenico Cece ensured he brought a copious supply of his incredible Limoncello, just to keep us warm.
Then on to our Reunion Dinner the Manor House did us proud. There was a lot of catching up and speculation on the coming three days of competition.
7.30 am on a crisp Albury morning we gathered at QE II Park in the city centre.
We had to move day one and two around a bit because of unexpected road closures and on day two we were forced to invoke the alternate routing plan because our original route took us to Falls Creek which was covered in snow for the second year.
So day one took us on some fabulous roads, a bit foggy to begin with but when it lifted the vistas were something to behold. The trees were glowing ambers and reds the hills and valleys sometimes it felt just like you had driven into Monet painting.
Figure 1 Just a taste of the beautiful scenery
Day one was not without it’s dramas I was driving a little ahead of the pack and had just driven past the famous old Keotong pub swung around the a couple of bends and came within inches of crashing into a giant tree which we calculated had fallen across the entire road just seconds before.
Figure 2 The Koetong Pub with its special ceiling hangings
We knew this because a big semi drove past us going the other way at speed just as we came around the bend, very lucky.
So the entire rally was banked up waiting, waiting…
It was decided that we all retire to Koetong Pub which had just opened and wait for a trusty lumberjack with his chain saw to remove the blockage. The Pub thought all their Christmases had come at once.
Meanwhile the marshalling team were waiting for us at chilly Corryong Airport.
Remarkably we had barely finished our cappuccinos when Dominic Votano came back from his recce announcing that the road was clear. Within moments the Koetong invasion was over leaving a bewildered publican and his wife collecting half drunk cups of coffee.
I headed straight for Corryong Airport opting not to follow the rally route so I arrived before any cars arrived. The Boys from AWDCC had everything under control with the Runway closed to air traffic and marked out at one end for the speed test and the other end or the Motorkhana.
There was a lot of anticipation about the speed test and no one was disappointed well, except for the fact everyone all wanted to keep having another go. A lot begging went on but our C of C was strong and immovable.
There was some serious speeds attained and Dominic Votano in his extraordinary Holden Ute with its hand painted Red, White and Green bonnet won the prize.
Figure 3 Dominic Votano’s beast
Domenico Cece Maserati Grand Sport was second fastest and used most of what was left of his tyres so later he had some major adjustments to make.
Ken Churcher driving the classic Chrysler Regal one of the original eight cylinder moving lounge rooms had the time of his life. He had never had the chance to drive the car it these speeds before and it performed beautifully, not so nimble around the Motorkhana course unfortunately.
Tiina and Angela arrived in their little Mito and decided not to do the Motorkhana (Angela later regretted that decision) but wanted to do the speed test. Angela was the hoon (her words) so she drove and while she was complaining about the power of car when she drove back from the test she was absolutely delighted.
Figure 4 Angela Solomou ready for action
One of the original members of our exclusive little ICT club Jon Dickson returned this year after taking a year off brought his replica 1953 Porsche and it handles beautifully.
The one thing about this lovely car is that it has no roof; so Jon and his co-driver, daughter Alex have been seen rugged up in Artic resistant coats and hats to keep the chill off. Jon told me that he has a giant golf umbrella so when it rains they pull over and put the brolly up – very sensible.
Figure 5 John and Alex Dickson ready for the next leg
Roger Greenway’s stunning Dino was next and it performed beautifully but there was to be some issues with the car which I will talk about later.
Even the quiet reserved Bill Maslin (we refer to him as the Next Prime Minister or NPM for short) said in his much understated way “it was just like flying an aeroplane…”
One of the pleasures for me watching the Motorkhanas was seeing Robert Panetta in his rare almost perfect Alfa Z work his way around the course. Robert who brought his son Tim as his navigator told me later that they were both having a great time.
Another sleeping giant while it didn’t win the speed test it went very fast indeed and judging by the huge grin on Ian Allison’s face his Fiat Turbo had never driven this fast.
Everybody enjoyed our visit to Corryong Aerodrome
Then there were a couple of dramas evolving with a couple of over enthusiastic drivers on the country roads and couple of over zealous country cops dispensing their duty. Following the rally and some long discussions between me and the relative police officers we are all friends again with the police offering to assist next year with road condition reports etc.
Roger’s Dino Ferrari suffered a fatal malady after the first day. While I was not privy to the exact details suffice it to say that the electrics completely failed and there was no way a solution could be found in Albury. Roger had to flatbed the Dino home after the first day. Roger and Co-driver Alan drove a rental home but not before they slapped a couple of decals on their car.
Figure 6 Roger Greenway’s 1974 Dino Ferrari 308
We spoke later and I learned that the Dino is in complete recovery and Roger will be a starter in 2014.
We lost a Maserati before the start of the ICT with last year’s winners Dana Dupere and Todd Gilmour losing their car to a broken shock absorber just a day before the start. Disappointed but not phased they called and asked if they could bring their Audi instead of course we said yes.
The second day was almost without incident except Domenico Cece’s Grandsport arrived home with tyres down to the canvas. Not drivable for the last day and nowhere in the region sold the correct size tyres so we lost our second Maserati but rescue was at hand; our friends at Wodonga Car World while they couldn’t help with tyres gave Domenico their own Proton rally car to drive on the last day. Dom and co-driver Angelo had a great time driving this nippy and quite powerful Proton on the final day. They found some interim tyres for the Maserati that would get them home if they drove at 80 KPM all the way… ouch.
The last day was fittingly a real highlight, apart from some great drives on the last day the final destination was a fantastic test track at Barnawatha Wodonga just a few kilometres out of Beechworth
While the test track is not yet rated for speeds over 80 KPM (it will be for next year) the track apron provided a huge area for our last Motorkhana.
Under the watchful gaze of President David West members of the AWDCC once again laid out the Motorkhana track and stood ready to Marshal the final event of the 2013 ICT.
As I have mentioned before young Phil Olsen was navigating the Team McCarroll entry driven by his dad and chairman of the Duchenne Foundation. Phil’s mum drove the Tarago to Albury which carries Phil’s amazing electric transport. Since he got it a few years ago we have got used to him zooming around the paddocks and Motorkhana courses.
This year while we were waiting ever enthusiastic assistant Clerk of Course Bruce created an identical Motorkhana course but in a reduced size that would fit Phil’s machine and after the last car had done it circuit of the big course everyone clustered around the Motorchair Motorkhana Course to cheer on Phil in his quest to beat the clock and the witches hats.
A clean run a great roar of approval from everyone that rang around the entire circuit Philip now has a permanent entry number 9 displayed on his Levo OT C3WD
Figure 7 Number 9 ready for the Motorkhana in his Levo machine
There were some very good runs at this Motorkhana and pretty much everyone acquitted themselves brilliantly and there some surprises. One was Angela Solomou who actually won the Motorkhana at Barnawatha and had she driven the Corryong Motorkhana may have taken home the trophy but that was not to be another dark horse was the overall victor.
One final bonus for young Phil was a special run around the full size Motorkhana track in Jon Dickson’s Porsche, just before they took off his dad said “Are you all right?” the answer was a banshee yell from Phil “Full Speed!!! “ At the end you couldn’t get the smile of Phil’s face
Figure 8 Jon Dickson and Phil about to go “Full Speed!”
As a finale to the Test track we were invited to drive the full test circuit to get a feel for it in preparation for next year’s ICT when it will be rated for speed; Everybody agreed this was going to be a great feature for next year but that’s not to say we won’t do the Corryong Speed test again as well with possible multiple runs.
We all arrived back at the Manor House worn out but happy and ready for a cooling ale.
Everyone was anxious about the results to be announced at the Victory Dinner.
The traditional first award is always Phoenix Trophy. This recognises the competitor that overcomes adversity; rising from the ashes of disappointment to once again take their place in the competition.
Figure 9 Tony Harris and Official Presenter Trophy Tiina Raiko
This was won by Tony Harris who lost his car, was faced with a medical emergency and returned for the final day in a borrowed machine. Tony joined us last year for just a single day and was hoping to complete the entire rally this year. Tony was a very popular choice for the Phoenix Award.
Next came our first Speed Test trophy. The winner one of our most enthusiastic entries and past rally winner was worried that lack of traction was going to rob him of the title; but no, Dominic Votano got the best speed despite the wheel spins.
Figure 10 Dominic Votano and his Speed Test Trophy
Also Dominic and Tanya Arthur won our first Guest Marque Trophy
Next the coveted Motorkhana awards
Last year’s runner’s up were place getters once again Ian Allison taking out third place and when you know that his Fiat is built for speed not skipping around a Motorkhana it is definitely a reflection of Ian’s driving skills and his immaculate handbrake turns .
Second place was awarded to the Judd brothers in their fast and incredibly adaptable 1974 Fiat Arbath both received medals because Robert and David they took a Motorkhana each.
Figure 11 David Judd with his Motorkhana medal
First place was hugely popular Philip’s dad Peter Olsen won the trophy for the best Motorkhana performance in his brilliant little Giulietta generously provided McCarrolls Motors.
Figure 12 Peter Olsen with his Motorkhana Trophy
Next the big awards and third place had Peter Olsen this time with Phil on the podium only their second year competing last year sixth this year up three spots and in the medals a fantastic result.
Second place was the 2010 winner of the ICT Dominic Votano along with his Co-driver Tanya Arthur. Dominic outwardly enthusiastic and fun has proved to also be a very discerning and diligent competitor who is out to win. He adds some great spirit to the event.
Figure 13 Dominic and Tanya
The winner of the 2013 Italian Connection Trophy is probably the most deserving. The only competitor that has competed in the Rally every year since its inception. It is also fitting that his co-driver returned to join him as he was his co-driver on the inaugural rally later to enter his own car.
The winner of the 2013 Italian Connection Trophy is Ian Allison and Co-driver Warren Smith.
Figure 14 2013 Winners Ian Allison and Warren Smith
Celebrations went on into the night and thousands of dollars were raised for our charity the Duchenne Foundation.
Our hearty thanks go out to our sponsors: Albury City, Fiat Chrysler Australia, McCarrolls Motors, Wodonga Car World, Quantum Printing, Hue Graphics, 105.97 The River and The Manor House.
Our grateful thanks to the members of Albury Wodonga & Districts Car Club particularly David West President and Simon Kerr Secretary for their outstanding work and the biggest thanks to our Clerk of course Tom Snooks and Deputy Clerk of Course Steuart Snooks whose meticulous and discerning work resulted in the best ICT to date.
REMINDER: McCarrolls Motors is creating a special ICT calendar featuring Philip Olsen on his ICT Journey they will distribute thousands with all proceeds to the Duchenne Foundation which I am sure you will agree is a wonderful commitment from the McCarroll family for which we thank you.
The 2013 Italian Connection Trophy entries
2014 Italian Connection Trophy
Originally we were going to look at a new location for next year’s rally but I have been asked by a delegation of competitors to return one more time to Albury and the Victorian High Country. So with new challenges and tests available to us and you never know next year we just might get to have a Motorkhana at Falls Creek after two aborted attempts.
I will be sending out a little survey to get all competitors to complete. We do this every year and it really helps us improve the event. I will include a question about the location for you to formally respond to.
2013 saw a slight lift in competitors but not enough to cover our costs we have a minimum entry number of twenty cars next year. We will need to have confirmations of participation by 31 December because Tom and his team begin travelling the course to plan the event. From past experience a registration of interest doesn’t guarantee participation and indeed we began the 2013 event with 35 ROI. Of course all non-starters have perfectly legitimate reasons for being unable to join the event.
I will be sending a call for entries in October this year which we will need a response to by 31 December. If we have not got a minimum of twenty entries committed by this time we will not be able to proceed with event. This would be tragic in light of what we have done so far and the support the event provides to Duchenne.
So I urge all of this year’s entries and any other past competitors who enjoyed their participation in the event to think about joining us again next year and to talk to your car clubs and your friends about coming to be a part of the 2014 Italian Connection Trophy.
I hope to see you on the starting grid 8.00 am on 16 May 2014.
What some past competitors have said about the ICT:
”Awesome roads, amazing scenery and great company! One of the best experiences of my life!”
“Domenico Cece – Driving his Maserati Gransport
“I fell in love with my FIAT Coupe all over again after driving those roads.”
Ian Allison – Driving his 1997 Fiat Coupe Turbo
Dateline 1 May 2013
Almost there, click on the links below to check what we are doing doing each day.
In the next day or so we will be adding all the images of the competitor machines so keep checking back.
Dateline 14 April 2013
Just 8 spots left in the ICT for 2013
I thought you would like to see new ICT entry Roger Greenway’s beautifully restored 308 Dino competing in this year’s ICT. Remember the ICT is always on sealed roads so Roger and those of you that are concerned about gravel rash on your beautiful machines don’t have to worry.
Dateline 8 April 2013
Just 9 spots left in the ICT for 2013
Had a great day yesterday at Auto Italia in Canberra, it looked bigger than ever.
Caught up with a whole bunch of former and current ICT competitors during the day including David Judd who has confirmed his participation in this year’s ICT David is bringing his very nippy 1974 Arbath 124 Coupe. There was a lot of interest in the Rally with quite a number telling me they are going to sign up for this year’s event.
Also just received confirmation from Phil Walters who is driving a Guest Marque his 1970 Mach 1 Mustang, affectionately called ‘Big Red’. That should put the cat amongst the pigeons…
Tom Snooks our C of C was also out on the weekend doing his final survey of the course and I will be travelling to Albury in the next week to make final arrangements.
So if you are thinking about it NOW is the time to go to the registration page download and complete the registration form and email, fax or post it back to us; and remember this event is all on sealed roads so those of you that are concerned about gravel rash on your machine you don’t have to worry.
Dateline 27 March 2013
CHRYSLER STEPS UP TO SUPPORT ICT 2013!
We are delighted to report that Chrysler now handling Fiat and Alfa Romeo in Australia has stepped up to support the ICT.
It is providing a car for the official Duchenne Foundation team made up of our only all woman crew Tiina Raiko and Angela Solomou.
This is in addition to the support provided by Alfa Romeo Fiat dealers McCarrolls Motors Artarmon and Wodonga Car World that are also sponsoring us.
So once again huge thanks to Wodonga Car World, McCarrolls and Chrysler.
The Supplementary Regulations have been finalised and distributed to all confirmed entries and are up on the website.
Bill Maslin has confirmed he is driving his VW Golf and while he won’t be competing in the Motorkhanas he will be challenging the Corryong Airport speed test. I think he may have installed a secret jet turbo…
Roger Greenway is a new entry and will be driving his immaculate 1974 Dino Ferrari 308 a photo shortly.
We are going to miss rally favourites Wayne Green and Ben Doig this year. On their final leg last year something quite devastating happened to their Alfa Spyder and it was given a quiet but respectful burial.
Hopefully the boys will be back with Alfa Spyder Mk II in 2014.
This year we have an all woman team returning after a year’s hiatus. Tiina and Angela actually won the rally in 2011. They drove the official Duchenne Foundation Car and were organising all the fund raising which resulted in tens of thousands of dollars being raised. Welcome Back!
They are a great team and wonderful people besides being very smart and committed competitors so watch out guys. Welcome Back!
To give you an idea of the itinerary and timing following is an abbreviated schedule:
|Thur 16 May||ARRIVAL DAY|
|Mayoral Reception Manor House||6.30 pm|
|Reunion Dinner Manor House||7.30 pm|
|Fri 17 May||DAY 1: TO MT BEAUTY – OMEO – HOTHAM HEIGHTS – BRIGHT – ALBURY:|
|Breakfast Manor House||7.00 am|
|Start Display QE II Park||7.45 am|
|Circuit parade of Albury CBD||8.10 am|
|Start in Albury||8.15 am|
|Falls Creek Motorkhana & Refreshments||11.00 am|
|Arrival Omeo for lunch||1.00 pm|
|Arrival Albury||5.20 pm|
|Dinner Location TBA||7.30 pm|
|Sat 18 May||DAY 2: TO KOETONG – CUDGEWA – CORRYONG – TINTALDRA – JINGELLIC|
|Breakfast Manor House||7.15 am|
|Start in Albury||8.15 am|
|Arrival Corryong Airport Motorkhana & Speed tests||12.05 pm|
|Arrival Corryong township for lunch||12.40 pm|
|Arrival Albury||3.45 pm|
|Dinner Location TBA||7.30 pm|
|Sun 19 May||DAY 3: TO JINDERA – RUTHERGLEN – GLENROWAN – OXLEY – MILAWA – BEECHWORTH – BARNAWARTHA – ALBURY|
|Breakfast Manor House||7.00 am|
|Start in Albury||8.00 am|
|Arrival Oxley and Lunch||12.30 pm|
|Arrival Barnawartha||3.15 pm|
|Barnawartha Test Track Motorkhana||3.15/3.25|
|Finish celebrations||3.45 pm|
|Victory Dinner Location TBA||7.30 pm|
Get those forms in forms please do it now www.italianconnection.com.au and then follow the links to the registration page which you can download, complete and email, fax or post to us.
If you have any questions call Robert on 0438 848 048 or email email@example.com
Well here are in the second week of March just nine weeks to go until the ICT 2013 is off and motoring. It’s time for anyone still not registered to get it done.
Our new divisions are filling fast our Guest marques are almost full.
We are delighted that McCarrolls Motors in Artarmon New South Wales has for a second year committed to providing young Philip Olsen and his Dad Peter with an Alfa to drive in the ICT.
It is very important to note that this is not about selling more cars (although we hope they do) the McCarroll family is committed to trying to make things better in life.
In fact they will be preparing a special Italian Connection calendar this year featuring Phil in his prep for the ICT and his competition experiences. They will distribute this far and wide and all the proceeds will go to the Duchenne Foundation.
This just expands the great spirit of the ICT and all who drive in her
A very big round of applause for the McCarrolls!
All you drivers with Italian machines don’t forget AUTO ITALIA ON 7 APRIL; certainly one of the best car shows around. Auto Italia is set in the beautiful grounds of Old Parliament House in Canberra.
We will be there.
If you have been reading our newsletters and checking the web site you will have noticed I have been mooting a speed test being added to your challenges.
I am delighted to announce that we have just confirmed that Corryong Airport will be the location both of the Saturday Motorkhana and the speed test. Top Gear style we are using the runway for the speed test.
Those of you that competed in the 2008 ICT will remember our adventure at Tumut airport and race driver Lucio Cesario taking the Mayor of Tumut for a 260 km an hour spin down that runway in his bright yellow Ferrari 430, awesome stuff – the Mayor was never the same again…
It will be interesting to see how veteran ICT competitor Jon Dickson will fare in his 1953 Porsche 550 Spider or new entry Nick Kelly in his beautiful 1976 Ferrari 512 BB.
I also predict we will see some fireworks from the Maseratis.
We have just received the registration from the 2010 winner Dominic Votano who is returning to show us all how it’s done.
This means all but one of the six ICT winners is coming back to challenge for the first spot again and the possibility of being the first to hold up the ICT winner’s Trophy for a second time.
Some of you may already know that our honourable C of C is an inductee into Targa Tasmania’s Hall of Fame.
I have just been advised that Tom Snooks has also just been inducted into the CAMS Hall of Fame.
Ladies and gentlemen we have motoring royalty as our Clerk of Course.
TOM SNOOKS from all of us at the ICT our heartiest CONGRATULATIONS!
See below for the official announcement
Quote: (‘Australian Rally Championship’ website)
“At a lavish gala presentation overnight in Canberra the Australian rallying community welcomed the first ever inductees into the Hall of Fame. In total 13 distinguished individuals were introduced ranging from drivers, to co-drivers, to officials and administrators.
In alphabetical order the Hall of Fame inductees are Neal Bates, Peter (Possum) Bourne, Garry Connelly, Ross Dunkerton, Harry Firth, John Large, Jack Murray, George Shepherd, Tom Snooks, Doug Stewart, Donald K Thomson, Ken Tubman and Bob Watson.”
An extraordinary 45 years in event administration has seen Tom Snooks travel the length and breadth of the country, helping the successful running of numerous events as an official, a PR man, an administrator and a Clerk of Course.
The honour roll of events Tom has been actively involved in is too numerous to canvas in one go, but the highlights read as a testament to his determination and drive across an immense variety of roles.
From the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon, through the Ampol Trial, Dulux Rally and South Cross of the ‘70s, as a CAMS administrator in the early ‘80s and Wynns Safari into the mid ‘90s before a change to Clerk of Course for Targa Tasmania through to the early 2000’s.”
Karen Maric a first time ICT entry preparing for her second Motorkhana run in the 2012 ICT in her Chrysler Regal.
Karen described a her first time experience as”…The best time of my life!!!!!”
The face of the 2013 ICT young and old join together to challenge for the 2013 Trophy
Happy New Year!
Here we are mid January just four months before the start of the sixth ICT. We are very excited by the response, registrations are coming in thick and fast and we want to finalise entries mid February.
Our C of C Tom Snooks has been out and about in that dreadful heat plotting the courses for the three days and he has come up with some brilliant drives. It must have been a bit weird navigating these areas in 45 degrees that that were covered in snow last time he was in there.
I have included some indicative maps and descriptions that Tom Snooks has provided. The challenges are going to be a bit more intense this year. These are by no means complete there is likely to be a lot of tweaking going on as we approach the start. See at the end of this newsletter.
Three Motorkhanas two in new locations and the third back at Falls Creek in the hope there is no snow at least on that day.
We are staying at the Manor House again which proved to be a great venue and very nice hosts. I will be seeking out new restaurant experiences for our dinners and I promise great food and terrific atmosphere every night.
There will be a welcome cocktail event on Thursday 16 May followed by our traditional re-union dinner and this year it looks like a number of crews that competed in the earlier rallies are returning so I think it will be a great evening.
Young Phil Hojgaard Olsen is coming back for a second go along with his Dad Peter Chairman of our charity the Duchenne Foundation. They came in at a very respectable sixth last year with Philip picking up a special Trophy as the youngest navigator in the history of the ICT – just fourteen years old. Philip has told me they are aiming to come first this year so watch out!
Phil’s Sister Cecelia shared navigator role with another new rallier Bob Polkinghorne in second place getter co piloting Peter Doig’s Alfa Spyder.
Peter Doig has had a few health challenges over the past year or so but in his inimitable style does not let it get him down always positive and he has told me he is back again this year. Keep up that winner attitude Peter we’re all thinking of you.
2011 winners Angela Solomou and Tiina Raiko also our first all girl team are back to try to regain their trophy but it won’t be that easy because the winner of the first ICT in 2008 Lido Russo is back and has told me he intends to come home with the trophy.
Not sure what Lido is driving this year, he just sold his 1984 Ferrari 308 to a friend of mine who is going to drive it in this year’s ICT
Stop Press: I have just received official entry douments from the 2010 winner Dominic Votano he is driving a guest marque 2010 Holden LBC.
Dark horse and great rally team Ian Allison and his co-driver Lindsey Cox have pledged to make this their first win of the ICT, second place in the Motorkhana last year (it was all in those handbrake turns) not only are they founding competitors of the ICT but they are generous to a fault providing wonderful support for our charity.
Another ICT original returning this year Team Tazio under the direction of Rally veteran Jon Dickson, there is a chance Team Tazio will field two entries this year stand by for news on that.
Waiting to grab it all is a big red growling Maserati Gransport driven hard by newly dedicated ICT competitor Domenico Cece.
Then there are last year’s winners of the ICT Motorkhanas car fourteen driving a guest marque. Entered by one of our major sponsors, radio station 105.7 The River driven with panache in the Motorkhanas by Kev Poulton and Dave Brunton. We are reliably informed that Dave and Kev are out to make it two in a row.
The guys that we hold up as epitomising the good times of the event Ben Doig and Wayne Green lost their Alfa Spyder GTV on the last leg of the last day and it did appear that its troubles were terminal. So we’re hoping that there has either been a resurrection or the birth a new machine standing by boys…
Bill Maslin a great guy finding time in his busy life in the NSW Premier’s office Bill does great things for a many charities and always makes time to be part of the ICT probably driving a guest marque this year either a VW Golf or he has been threatening for a few years to bring along an Audi TT.
New rallier last year Karen Malec driving her 1979 Chrysler Regal enjoyed herself so much she has been threatening to turn up with a much springier entry this year.
I will start to post images the entry vehicles on the website as they are revealed some competitors are keeping their powder dry when it comes to letting on what they have decided to drive.
If you are considering joining the rally and haven’t done it before rest assured you will be made very welcome by our regulars. Equally if you are a first time rallier the event is designed so you get a chance to learn about rallying in the early stages remember last year’s winners had never entered a rally before.
Many of our entries have taken the opportunity of teaming father and son or daughter as well as coming with partners. One thing we can guarantee is that you will have a fabulous time.
We are approaching the time when we need to begin confirming numbers for the event as we do have a limit to the number of entries we can accept, so don’t delay, go to the website www.italianconnection.com.au and then follow the links to the registration page which you can download, complete and email, fax or post to us.
If you have any questions call Robert on 0438 848 048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Following is some competition data preliminary maps so you can get an idea of where we are going.
One secret to success is not to ‘assume’ the answer is not as straightforward as it may seem!! Four levels of points will apply this year instead of the three of 2012:
- 10 points if exactly correct
- 8 points if not exactly accurate
- 5 points if not the correct answer but the answer given was from the specified location (not used in 2012)
- 0 points if no answer; or answer is such that was not at the location
The course will be checked twice by separate ‘checkers’.
THE REGULATIONSAll aspects of the competition will be set down in a set of regulations and these will be available in early March. These regulations will set down how the competition will be carried out and contain necessary definitions of what to look for so that there is no (limited?) misunderstanding between the organisers and participants!!!!!
A SUMMARY OF THE COURSE
Albury – Mt Beauty – Falls Creek – Omeo – Mt Hotham – Bright – Albury.
Great run up the Kiewa Valley top Mt Beauty (changed from 2012 course in that we cross the Kiewa River three times); then twisting mountain roads to Falls Creek and to Omeo; also from Mt Hotham to Harrietville; followed by plains run back to Albury via Bright.
There won’t be many questions on this day as it is essential to for participants to keep moving as this day will be over a total of 425 kilometres and event with an 0815 start (vehicles start at one minute intervals) finishing the day may be in darkness for some participants (dark by 5pm if heavy overcast).
Albury – Hume Weir – Koetong – Cudgewa – Corryong – Tintaldra – Jingellic – Granya – Albury
Day Two runs over 350 kilometres in the true north east of Victoria and is an unique opportunity to explore this part of the country, which one normally doesn’t pass through. We firstly examine the Hume Dam from a variety of directions (see below) …………………
…………….and then travel east through undulating country to the lunchbreak at Corryong and then we follow the Murray River from Tintaldra back to Albury, taking in Walwa, Jingellic, Thologolong, Granya and Talgarno.
Albury – Jindera – Howlong – Rutherglen – Glenrowan – Oxley – Milawa – Beechworth – Barnawartha – Albury.
Sunday sees a 300 kilometre run mainly through the flatlands of the north east wine country with a finish through undulating country around Beechworth; Includes visits to Rutherglen Wine Centre, Baileys of Glenrowan, Sam Miranda of Oxley and Brown Bothers of Milawa.
Start 0815 – Finish 1700, motorkhana at Falls Creek
Start 0830; Finish 1530, followed by motorkhana
Start 0815; Finish 1530, followed by motorkhana
MORNING TEA/LUNCH BREAKS
Morning Tea – Falls Creek 1100
Lunch – Omeo 1300
Lunch – Corryong 1200
Morning Tea – Rutherglen 0940
Lunch –Milawa 1245
THE ITALIAN CONNECTION RALLY
We’re on our way to the sixth ICT 17 – 19 May 2013
Imagine this: It’s 7.30 am on a crisp May morning, you and your co-driver are sitting down to a steaming hot breakfast and the room is full of forty odd other rally crews all speculating on where they will end up today; in the mountains, amongst vineyards in the wine country and what about the Motorkhana, what’s the course going to be like. The air is filled with excitement and anticipation. This is the first day of the sixth Italian Connection Trophy – The South East Australia Touring Road Rally.
This is a weekend full of challenges, the promise of delicious food and fine wines at the end of a day’s competition plus great company and camaraderie of other like-minded competitors.
This is what some of our competitors said about the last ICT.
“Awesome roads, amazing scenery and great company! One of the best experiences of my life!
“Domenico Cece – Driving his Maserati Gransport
“I fell in love with my FIAT Coupe all over again after driving those roads.”
Ian Allison – Driving his 1997 Fiat Coupe Turbo
“Todd and I had a fabulous time, met some great people and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on fantastic roads through gorgeous countryside, and then we completely surprised ourselves by winning! It was a wonderful experience especially for our very first Rally. The event was really well run which made it an especially fun weekend.”
Dana Dupere – Driving her Maserati Spyder
Each start and finish will occur in Albury New South Wales providing an easy journey to the start for competitors from Victoria, the ACT and New South Wales.
One of the unique features of our start location is that just moments out of Albury City you find yourself on some of the most awesome roads and stunning countryside in Australia.
Looping out of Albury you will experience an unforgettable and glorious three days, driving exciting and challenging roads; Alpine passes, picturesque valleys, lush farmland and historic towns – but only on sealed roads. And in between the road stages, challenges of a different kind – Motorkhanas to really test those driving skills and for the first time an optional speed test on a test circuit.
Each day the you will take off from central Albury driving through breathtaking scenery into the Victorian High Country, Wine Regions the Victorian Alps, the Great Dividing Range taking in locations like Falls Creek, Rutherglen, King Valley, Mount Beauty, Beechworth, Mount Buffalo, Omeo and many others.
On Thursday 16 May there will be an Official welcome cocktail party and later that evening we will hold the traditional ICT re-union Dinner, all competitors invited.
Then on Friday we begin with all cars assembling at QEII Square where an official will signal the start of the ICT start procession which is an honour circuit of Albury; then the flag drops for some serious competition.
We are absolutely delighted that the Albury Wodonga & Districts Car Club is once again supporting the event and indeed playing a very important role in the marshalling of the Motorkhanas.
We are proud to announce our sponsors from the fifth ICT have all confirmed they will support the rally again in 2013 and we sincerely thank them for that support.
Register now for the 2013 ICT just download the registration form, complete it and email to email@example.com or fax it to Robert at (02) 9960 1744
See you at the start!
RALLY ALERT CALL FOR ENTRIES
Are you or your Club looking for a long weekend Touring Assembly event with motorkhanas and a speed event or two? If so, consider The 2013 ICT it is the sixth Italian Connection Trophy.
In 2012 we anchored the event in Albury and each day travelled on a new adventure into the Victorian High Country and Wine Districts. The experience was both special and unique the drives were amazing and the competition intense every 2012 competitor has confirmed their participation some bringing new entries along with them.
This event keeps evolving and getting better and this year we have expanded our formal entry categories:
In 2013 we are dividing the competition into three divisions.
Italian Marques Open Division – twenty places available
Italian Marques Dealer Challenge – Ten places available
Guest Marques (non-Italian entries) Division – Fifteen places available
This means there will be additional divisional trophies struck both for the Rally and the Motorkhana but there will always be an overall winner for the Motorkhanas and the Grand Trophy Winner of the whole event.
We will base ourselves in Albury again next year. Right next door a great new test track in Wodonga will be complete in time for next year’s ICT so we will not only move our last Motorkhana to this track but this is where we will be adding the new speed test to the program.
The next ICT is being held from Friday 17 – 19 May 2013 and will feature three Motorkhanas and for the first time a speed trial section as well three days of competitive touring competition.
We are delighted to confirm that Tom Snooks will return as Clerk of Course.
The package includes four night’s accommodation, plus breakfast as well as dinners in a variety of restaurants around the district.
We cordially invite any club members that are interested to complete the enclosed Registration of Interest and return to us ASAP as we expect that positions will be filled quickly this year.
We are very pleased to be supporting The Duchenne Foundation again in 2013.
Exciting developments for the 2013 Italian Connection Trophy
Following a wonderfully successful and very enjoyable fifth ICT we are already in the planning stages for the 2013 Rally.
While we built a great new template for the ICT this year we are always trying to improve the event to keep interest, competition and the fun factor strong.
In 2013 we are dividing the competition into three divisions.
- Italian Marques Open Division – twenty places available
- Italian Marques Dealer Challenge – Ten places available
- Guest Marques (non-Italian entries) Division – Fifteen places available
This means there will be additional divisional trophies struck both for the Rally and the Motorkhana but there will always be an overall winner for the Motorkhana and the Grand Trophy of the whole event.
Also we have been advised that a great new test track in Wodonga will be completed in time for next year’s ICT so we will not only move our last Motorkhana to this track but we will be adding a speed test to the program.
We see all this as upping the competition and is bound to add some spice to the competition particularly between the Italian and the non Italian Marques.
To receive a 2013 Registration of Interest form please email firstname.lastname@example.org . Once we have received your completed form we will ensure you receive regular updates on the progress of the event. Please send to your friends and fellow club members that might want to join us next year.
Official entry forms will be sent to those that have registered interest later this year. Keep checking the website for new information www.italianconnection.com.au
Proudly supporting the Duchenne Foundation www.blueball.org.au Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy the deadliest disease you’ve never heard of
ICT WRAP – UP
Well the 2012 ICT is done and dusted and we have had a unanimous vote that everyone had a great time.
The event changed significantly by not travelling between Sydney and Melbourne but anchoring the ICT in Albury halfway (almost) between the two cities so travels to the start or to get home was much easier for everyone.
The great thing about Albury is that just a short drive out of town and you are in magnificent country and Tom Snooks our Clerk of Course made sure we experienced some of the best there was on offer.
We are gathering photographs and will be posting them shortly.
It was not just a great driving experience the 2012 ICT will be remembered for some outstanding highlights and some drama.
First our generous sponsor Wodonga Car World opened their service bays so AWDCC Scrutineers could check all ICT vehicles ensuring their safety for the three day event.
Then the Mayor of Albury had put on a welcome reception for us. We all felt a bit like celebrities, legends in our own lunchtime…
This was also the occasion when for the first time everyone got to sample Domenico Cece’s world famous Limoncello. Suddenly the reception got a little more animated. Our main concern was that would everyone would remember what was said at the briefing that followed?
Domenico, who was driving a Maserati Gransport in the rally, brought enough inventory of Limoncello to supply us all an after dinner shot of this amazing stuff. We are all converts. Thank you Domenico for your commitment to our education of important Italian traditions.
Then onto our traditional re-union dinner where everyone caught up with each other or was introduced as a newbie and gathered into our ICT community.
Friday – The Start
There had been a lot of rain but lo and behold at 7.30 on Friday morning it was dry. We had a great collection of escort cars arrive including the Mayor’s partner Nick’s Classic MG, and David West, president of the AWDCC, brought his beautiful vintage 1928 Lancia Lambda.
We all felt like stars with Prime television and The River 105.7 outside broadcast, the latter being our media partners, and a healthy collection of media photographers.
As we formed up for the start the temperature started to plummet.
We had scheduled a stop and a Motorkhana at Falls Creek. We knew there may be some snow so we kept monitoring the situation. After receiving the reports of clear roads we decided to go ahead.
The timing was impeccable as all the competitors were on their final approach to the village when the heavens opened and dropped a huge dump of the white on them.
Not to put too fine point on it but the Motorkhana became the Motorkhana on Ice not quite a Disney spectacular but very exciting. After four brave souls had a go we thought it best to abandon it. The rest of the rally that day became a great drive because our planned route became impassable.
Hats off to the Motorkhana Stewards from the Albury Wodonga & Districts Car Club; the boys had spent the morning setting the Falls Creek Motorkhana course up and then spent the next two hours doing a lot of foot stamping to ward off the cold while they waited for us to arrive, hardy lot the AWDCC.
Everyone arrived home at the Manor House safely where we all gathered for a much needed ale or two before going off to dinner at the SS & A Club, another sponsor of the rally. The food was very good and the club even provided a band to entertain us for the evening. A lot of discussion about the extraordinary scenery we drove through during the day and viewing of photos of the Falls Creek adventure and predictably some queries around some of the day’s questions. Tom handled them with aplomb. It was a relatively early night as we had a busy day ahead of us on Saturday.
Saturday took us to the wine country where I was reliably informed that Rutherglen not only has some fine wines but some extraordinary hot pies that were sampled. I am searching for the name of the place as I didn’t write it down – one of our stalwart competitors will oblige I hope. On to Myrtleford, a traditional stop for the ICT, to coincide with their La Fiera annual Italian Festival; the weather was a bit patchy but festival goers still came out in their thousands.
For those that didn’t know; the ICT was responsible for the creation of La Fiera. On our first visit in 2008 the whole town and town council embraced the event with hundreds joining us for dinner that year. The mayor turned up there was a choir and all this happening without our knowledge. Needless to say we were all delighted.
Noel Stone, a prominent Myrtleford resident, who has since become a good friend and an ardent supporter of the ICT, decided it was a perfect opportunity to encourage visitors to the town at a time when there was little tourism activity, so Noel created La Fiera.
La Fiera is now so popular the ICT is just one of the highlights; a fantastic initiative by Noel to promote his town.
I arrive first as I have to ensure things are in place. I always take a little time to check out the Fiesta and engage in my own little tradition; to find the roast chestnut stall with their massive chestnut toasting pan. I got my bag of hot roasted chestnuts and continued my tour.
Then to the Savoy Club where we all had lunch just prior to taking over their Car Park for our second Motorkhana. A few hundred enthusiasts lined the barriers to check out the cars and chat to the crews.
The stand out was car 14 the entry that was put in by our media partners The River 105.7. To be honest we thought the guys from the River were there mostly to support the charity and enjoy the drive when Kev from The Breakfast Crew showed us in no uncertain terms that was definitely on a competitive mission as well, with Kev doing the course in 37.8 sec, more than 2 seconds better than his nearest rival.
That night we joined hundreds of other people at Kinross Woolshed, a far cry from the quiet function room provided to us the night before. This was a place where residents and visitors to the area came to party. We thought it a great place to hold a raffle for our Charity so Peter Olsen’s family (Peter’s the chairman of the Duchenne Foundation) moved into the throng and did some serious selling, raising more much need funds for the Charity. Everyone was terrific and willing to part with a few dollars.
We arranged a bus for those that wanted to imbibe a little and after our now mandatory glass or two of Domenico’s Limoncello those that hadn’t booked the bus were understandably cautious on their drive back to our hotel.
Sunday, the weather was perfect, a crisp and crystal clear morning saw competitors lining up at the start ready for the final day with a route that stretched from the Hume Weir through Old Tallangatta, Mitta Mitta, Dederang and Yackandanda to finally arrive back into Albury at 3.00 pm.
However, there had been some very noisy activity at the finish location for a number of hours prior to the Rally arriving in time for its final Motorkhana. The Albury Wodonga & District Car Club who were hosting and marshalling all our Motorkhanas used the course for a special AWDCC Motorkhana of their own from 12.00 noon until 3.00pm; so there was a continuous stream of spectators checking out the considerable driving skill of the competitors. In the adjoining Hovell Tree Park cars were lining for their Show and Shine.
A crowd of onlookers were waiting patiently for the first rally cars to arrive and in they came the first a Sunday-only competitor, local resident Tony Russell driving in his guest marque, a brand spanking new black Ford. Tony had a great time and has booked in for the whole rally next year.
Then in they came one by one until all but one had finished, we knew something was up because Undies (Vic) and Matt in the Technical Back-up car also was absent then Domenico walked over and advised me that Wayne and Ben in the Alfa Spyder and veteran of the last four rallies had lost their engine in a massive cloud of smoke. It was unfixable so they had to leave it on the side of the road and the back-up team brought them in. Wayne was pretty philosophical about it and promised to find a new engine or new car for 2013.
At about 3.15 pm the AWDCC’s cars moved out of the Motorkhana area and joined all the cars in the Show and Shine areas making way for the ICT cars to form up for their final Motorkhana. Pretty much everyone was to compete in this event except of course for Wayne and Ben and also Bill Maslin in the VW Golf. The only reason Bill didn’t compete was the car was his Grandmother’s and she was also his co-driver! I don’t know this for sure but I have a suspicion that some rules were laid out for Bill that included a “don’t bend my car” rule so Bill thought he had better not risk it.
So all the course marshals are in place, Steve is on the Microphone calling the shots and describing the action. The course is laid out in the Aquatic Centre Car Park it’s a long course with plenty of challenges.
The champion Motorkhana driver for the Car Club did the course in a bit over 37 seconds. He does this sort of competition all the time so we weren’t expecting that fast a time but our drivers certainly pushed the envelope. It was a great atmosphere.
After the crew briefing all drivers walked the course but not before young Phil Olsen in his Ferrari red rocket wheelchair drove the course to a huge cheer as he entered the finished garage.
The great variety of cars in the rally meant there was going to be some very different times set.
Clean first runs with the best times achieved were Matt Di Petta in his BMW 325i, Domenico Cece in his Maserati Gransport, Ian Allison driving his 1997 Fiat Turbo and The River’s entry this time driven by Dave Brunton so the second run was crucial. Domenico was fastest on the first run.
The second run and Domenico smoked it in Gransport with Todd in the Maserati Spider just 0.47 seconds behind.
We all returned to our hotel to have a beer or two and catch up with each other before heading off to our traditional Victory Dinner this held at the wonderful old reception and function venue Adamshurst built in 1891 as a private residence for George Adams.
We arrived to a roaring fire in the traditional fireplace and after some celebratory glasses of fine champagne we got down to an excellent dinner.
A few speeches to thank our wonderful band of supporters and sponsors and then to the much awaited results announcements.
We began with the Phoenix Award this is to recognise resilience in adversity the ability to come back grit your teeth and soldier on. This was well deserved by its winner Karen Marec and Ken Churcher. They drove a 1979 Chrysler Regal, our first American entry. They lost the brakes of the car on Saturday and it was a significant challenge to find someone in the region that was able to not only work on the car but also provide the correct parts. They arrived in Myrtleford in time to watch the Motorkhana. Karen vowed she would compete in the Albury Motorkhana.
Remember the best time was 40.47 seconds. Karen’s first go at the Albury track had her finish in over 73 seconds to the huge cheers of the crowd Karen smiled but wasn’t finished yet her second run was an incredible 20 whole seconds faster arriving into the garage to even bigger cheers.
A very well deserved award and Karen has already committed herself to the 2013 and is currently looking for a car.
Then a special Award; After coming to the starts and finishes of the rally every year, Peter Hojgaard Olsen, Chairman of the Duchenne Foundation, and his son Philip who suffers from DMD entered the event after McCarroll’s Motors generously lent them a black and beautiful Alfa Romeo 159.
Young Phil is just 14 years old and is having trouble getting around so normally special arrangements need to be made for him but not this time! This time he was ensconced in the passenger seat with his maps and instructions and he directed his Dad with skill and confidence. Never done a rally before and they came sixth a brilliant result for a newbie and with a 14 year old navigator. We struck a special Trophy for the Italian Connection’s Youngest Navigator.
Then on to the Motorkhanas. Falls Creek had to be abandoned but not before some brave souls had a go at our first Motorkhana on Ice including Matt Di Petta in his BMW 325i, Julian Besetri with his nippy Arbath sliding a perfect figure eight, Wayne and Ben in the Alfa Spider were not to be outdone with snow deluging the entire course and Peter Hojgaard Olsen throwing his Alfa 159 around in showers of snow and ice. So results didn’t count, but in the words of Ben Doig, we will always remember the 2012 ICT because of the snow at Falls Creek.
So Myrtleford Motorkhana next and then to Albury. It was always about the accumulated times from the Myrtleford and the Albury runs. That meant that the winners of the Motorkhana trophy were The River crew who had a total time of 77.26 seconds –congratulations Kev and Dave.
To the absolute shock and amazement of Ian Allison he came second, shaking his head as came up to collect his medal mumbling “…I never get anywhere in Motorkhanas…” . Well Ian there is a lot to be said about efficient clean runs. Well done Ian.
Finally we are getting to the big ones and the places are very close in fact there is a tie for second place Charles Di Petta in the BMW and Peter Doig in the Alfa Spider. The place was decided by a tie breaker event that our C of C devised earlier and second place was won by Peter Doig and his crew, which numbered two so Charles and Matt Di Petta a very worthy third place. On Friday, seventeen year old Cecelia Hojgaard Olsen, on Saturday and Sunday local Wodonga resident Bob Polkinghorne this was the first ever rally for Cecelia and Bob so they were seriously chuffed as we hung their medals around their necks.
Peter Doig stepped into compete after the very late withdrawal of our all girl team because of a serious health scare for one of them. I am pleased to report she is now on the road to recovery.
Now the big announcement the winner of the 2012 Italian Connection Rally…drum roll
The winners are new competitors Todd Gilmour and Dana Dupre in their 2005 Maserati Spyder Congratulations guys.
The evening finished on a high with a lively auction for some fantastic items donated by Ferrari and Pirelli, we will let everyone know what we raised for our charity when we get the final tally from the Foundation.
So we had one more thing to do – have our final shots of Cece’s Limoncello rounding off a perfect Victory Dinner.
The new location with its instant access to some fantastic roads and scenery has been a big hit, our new C of C Tom and deputy Clerk of Course Steuart Snooks designed some amazing routes. We got a great big tick because we were based in one hotel making the three days much more enjoyable with no packing and unpacking needed every night.
All in all a very successful ICT
Next year more exciting changes and challenges but one thing won’t change our commitment to give everyone an amazing three days and our commitment to supporting our charity the Duchenne Foundation.
We will be back in Albury next year the 2013 ICT begins on Friday 17 May.
|ITALIAN CONNECTION TROPHY 2012|
|COMPETITION RESULTS FOR DAY THREE – SUNDAY|
|LISTING IN OUTRIGHT PLACING|
|CAR||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||TOT DAY 3||PLC DAY 3||DAYS 1-3||PLC 1-3|
|# higher place on tiebreaker determined by Special Tests (Garaging & Reversing)|
|ITALIAN CONNECTION TROPHY 2012|
|SPECIAL TEST AND MOTORKHANA RESULTS|
|Special test results are used where ties are achieved|
|#Distances in centimetres; penalty 100 cm for hitting; 200 cm for missing test|
|**Time in mins and decimal minS||Car 2 Albury incl penalty for wd|
Check out our TV commercial
THE ITALIAN CONNECTION NOW OPENS ENTRIES TO ALL MARQUES
ICT 2012 also known as the Italian Connection opens entries for ALL Marques including Australian, American, Japanese or Korean cars for the first time in it’s five year history we have decided we want all you lovers of the road and your machines should get the chance to enjoy a wonderful event.
A classy German joins the fray a 1978 Mercedes 450 SLC
We are delighted to welcome yet another newcomer to the ICT Clinton Van de Stadt. Clinton’s company Quantum Printing based in Albury has sponsored the printing of all those classy looking brochures and posters you see around the place for the ICT for which we are most grateful. Clinton’s bringing a beautiful 1978 Mercedes 450 SLC. The only danger with this car is that it is so comfortable you might nod off on the way around the course so the navigator has an extra task – to ensure Clinton doesn’t get too relaxed.
Here comes another Maserati
Dana Dupre and Todd Gilmour are joining the ICT and bringing along a 2005 Maserati 4200 Spyder, very cool indeed.
The Di Pettas are back to defend their Motorkhana title!
We are delighted to welcome back last year’s winner of the Motorkhana Matthew and Charles Di Petta. Matt ripped up the Motorkhana last year in his Dad’s 1970 Alfa Romeo GTV 1750, an extraordinary driver. There is a rumour he is looking to get seriously into drifting. This year Matt is driving his own baby, his bright red 1989 BMW 325i so Charles can breath a sigh of relief and his Alfa can continue to recover from its slight bruising.
Welcome to another new addition to the ICT Helen & Julian Besestri are driving their Abarth – very nippy around the Motorkhana circuits I predict.
Welcome to new ICT competitor Dana Dupere driving his beloved 2005 Maserati 4200 Spyder. Looks like there are going to be some Maseratis going head to head this year. Photo soon.
PHIL GETS HIS ALFA
If you have been keeping up with the ICT news you will know that young Phil Olsen along with his Dad Peter, the Chairman of the Duchenne Foundation (our charity) are going to join the rally for the first time this year. Phil, who is a Duchenne MD sufferer has become a favourite amongst us attending the starts and finishes and helping promote the event at Auto Italia. While Phil is very excited about being in the event he was a bit underwhelmed by the fact his Dad was driving a VW Golf (we allow European marques). Just yesterday I received a call from an excited Peter Olsen telling that McCarroll’s Alfa have decided to give Team Olsen an Alfa to drive in the ICT. Phil’s birthday is tomorrow (he’s fourteen) and his Dad telling Phil he’s in an Alfa is the best birthday present he could get.
So a huge thank you to Stefano Tommasini the General Manager at McCarroll’s Alfa Romeo for his generosity and support
So watch out all you ICT competitors don’t let the wheelchair fool you Team Olsen will be smokin’ from the getgo!
THE BOYS ARE BACK!
Dedicated ICT Competitors Wayne Green and Ben Doig have confirmed they are competing again this year. There is no doubt they have the Italian Connection Trophy firmly in their sights- You better watch out Tiina and Ange they mean business although with a hat like that can we take them seriously!
Rob’s Blog #9
I am delighted to report that last year’s champions our only all woman team have confirmed they will be defending their title.
Tiina and Ange have thrown down the gauntlet to any women or men who want to try and wrest the title off them.
Beginning to get calls generated from the Radio and TV campaign.
Ian Allison founding competitor of the ICT has signed on again driving his 1997 Fiat Turbo
Rob’s Blog #8
Timing and Itinerary
SPECIAL INFORMATION RELEASE
The Italian Connection Trophy, a touring road event for motoring enthusiasts, is an organised driving tour of some of the most beautiful country in North East Victoria, mainly over splendid touring roads.
The competition will be based on competitors collecting information as they travel around the course and their answers being ‘scored’, thus providing the ‘winner’ of the Trophy.
It takes in the Australian Alps (Friday), the Wine Country (Saturday) and passes through mainly farming country and numerous small villages (Sunday), as well as providing the opportunity to explore historic towns in the region on all days.
The Australian Alps are the highest mountain ranges of mainland Australia. They are located in south-eastern Australia and straddle south-eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria. The Alps contain the Australian mainland’s only peaks exceeding 2,000 metres (6,500 feet) and the only place on the mainland in which deep snow occurs regularly (snow also falls on Tasmania‘s high country). This is the main area for Friday’s driving.
With over 600 wineries, Victoria has more wine producers than any other Australian wine-producing state.
- Alpine Valleys, Milawa & Beechworth are known mostly for their table wineproduction in an area that is in a subalpine climate and is distinctively cooler than other North East Victorian wine regions. Closer to Mount Buffalothan Rutherglen, the vineyards receive more rainfall and cooler temperatures.
- Rutherglen is known for their full-bodied red wines as well as their sweet fortified wines. The continental climate of the area is marked by very warm summers and moderate evenings. Rainfall is very low and spring frostpose a viticultural hazard.
Saturday sees the tour pass through this area.
Sunday’s tour is over the Hume Weir via the Bethanga Bridge to Bethanga, and then it follows the Murray River to Granya and Tallangatta East, before passing through country which provides for fishing, bushwalking, canoeing, horse riding, or just plain leisurely driving with the most scenic mountain area in Victoria in the background. The return to Albury is via country around the historic town of Yackandandah.
DAY ONE – FRIDAY
Albury – Mount Beauty – Falls Creek – Omeo – Mount Hotham – Bright – Albury
The Italian Connection Trophy commences with a run on the Friday over the Victorian Alps – a 415 kilometre drive into the Kiewa Valley to Mount Beauty, then a twisting up-mountain run to Falls Creek and further on to Omeo. This is followed by a steady climb over undulating country to Mt Hotham, and then the twisting drop to Bright.
The tour travels around the western side of the Hume Weir with the Alps looming larger and larger as we travel towards Mount Beauty.
The scenic drive out of Mt Beauty (at 350m) and we climb to Falls Creek (at 1600m) On the way we may see some snow have blanketed the higher reaches of the mountains. The official snow season starts in mid-June, just two weeks after the tour.
A motorkhana and morning tea break will be held at Falls Creek, then we off again twisting and turning road through the Alpine National Park to the Omeo Highway
After lunch the course will pick up the Great Alpine Road (‘B500’). The road is Australia’s highest year-round accessible sealed road and winds past lofty mountains, valleys, forests, rivers, vineyards and farms.
The latter is a spectacular piece of road – sharp bends through forests of mountain ash and stringy bark that give way to stunning views of the valley below. The road practically sits atop the ridge of mountains for about 30 kilometres, giving spectacular views on both sides of the road.
Continuing along the Great Alpine Road from picturesque bottom-of-the-mountain Harrietville the route follows the Ovens River to equally picturesque Bright.
From Bright, the tour makes its way through the valley and back roads to Yackandandah.
Being a long drive we won’t stop at this historic town, leaving that until Sunday when we have more time, and we follow the main road to the finish in Albury.
DAY TWO – SATURDAY
Saturday’s 265 kilometre drive is initially through the relative flat vineyard country to Chiltern, then Rutherglen and Milawa; followed by uphill and down dale running through country surrounding Myrtleford and Beechworth on the way back to Albury.
Today we pass through three main shires – Indigo (Chiltern, Rutherglen, Beechworth and Yackandandah), Wangaratta (Eldorado, Oxley, Milawa) and Alpine (Myrtleford).
The Shire of Indigo is named after the Indigo Valley and Indigo Creek which runs through the shire into the Murray River. Thousands of hopeful miners, dreaming of ‘making it rich’ were attracted to the region following the discovery of gold at Beechworth in 1852.
Today the area is renowned as a premier tourist destination with its diversity of historic and natural attractions, fine restaurants and a flourishing wine industry. We will pass through Barnawartha and our first stop will be historic Chiltern; then onto Rutherglen. The wonderful wines of Rutherglen, the oldest wine region in Victoria, are justifiably world famous.
We will then pass quickly through Eldorado, where gold was found in the area during the 1850s and area named after the legend of El Doradoand onto Milawa, the hub of the Milawa Gourmet Region which offers a wide range of produce, including wines.
Myrtleford is the largest town in the Alpine Shire and is an important town in the Ovens/Buffalo River Valley, and here we will take a break for a motorkhana, followed by lunch, at the Savoy Club.
Then into the hills to Stanley, now famous for its orchards of apples, chestnuts and berries before moving onto Beechworth, a beautifully preserved old gold town, where we will take a 30 minute break for a look around.
From Beechworth we head for home.
DAY THREE – SUNDAY
Albury – Hume Weir – Bethanga – Granya – Mitta Mitta – Erskville – Kiewa – Dederang – Yackandandah – Albury
Sunday’s 320 kilometre journey primarily takes in undulating country to the east and southeast, over near perfect touring roads, through Bethanga, Granya, Mitta Mitta, Kiewa and Dederang; then the return to Albury takes in the historic town of Yackandandah.
Today’s run will be, in the main, to the east and southeast.
A look at the Hume Weir and then across the large waterway to Bellbridge and up the hills to Bethanga; From here we head towards the Murray River and follow it along a twisting road for some 20 kilometres before heading south through Granya to the location of Old Tallangatta, which was abandoned as the waters banked up as Hume Weir filled.
From here until Yackandandah the picturesque countryside is dotted with small hamlets and he first ones we come across are Eskville and Mitta Mitta, the gateway to the large Dartmouth Dam.
Then onto Tangambalanga/Kiewa, situated in the rolling hills of a valley, the towns exist around the dairy and cheese factory of the Murray-Goulburn dairy cooperative, which processes milk for the fresh milk market, as well as butter and cheese.
From Kiewa we swing south, running (again) beside the Kiewa River, which we cross twice on the way to Dederang, a popular trout fishing region.
Then onto a break at historic Yackandandah, a former gold mining town which is now predominantly a dairy farming and forestry region, one where visitors can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the district’s forest and mountains. The town is affectionately known as ‘Yack’. We will have a good look around, before once more heading to the finish in Albury and the final motorkhana test.
Then a lot of discussion amongst the officials to ascertain who is the Champion of the 2012 Italian Connection Trophy.
ITALIAN CONNECTION TROPHY
25 – 27 May 2012
Fantastic to see Ferrari back on the winner’s podium at the Malaysian Grand Prix
“Alonso won a really great race holding off the challenge of a relentless Sergio Perez.
Ferrari called it the perfect strategy in the rain-affected race, and Alonso didn’t put a wheel wrong as he held off Perez by just 2.2 seconds. Perez could and probably should have won his first grand prix but ran wide when pressuring Alonso with six laps remaining and couldn’t close the gap in the remaining laps”
Alonso was outstanding keeping Perez at bay all the way to the chequered flag.
Fernando Alonso celebrates his first victory of the season
on the podium at the Malaysian Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel believes Narain Karthikeyan was responsible for the collision that brought an end to his chances of scoring points at the Malaysian Grand Prix and has called him a “cucumber”.
The Italian celebration continues at the ICT as the start date approaches.
SO, we have talked about the fabulous country, the beautiful and historic sites, the sponsorship support, restaurants we are eating at. We have also shared with many of you a video that describes the charity we support The Duchenne Foundation.
NOW it’s time to talk about the driving; after all this is an event for motoring enthusiasts; a rally that tests your driving and navigation skills, as well as your observation powers in seeking answers to questions posed in the road book along the way – with a trophy for the best at the end.
Whilst there is so much to stop and see, the prime objective is to drive the wonderful touring roads. There won’t be much time to spare to stop and explore all that may be of interest as there is a schedule to be met, but the tour will provide you with some wonderful opportunities to observe places and locations that at another time you can return and be able to spend hours, maybe days, enjoying in a more leisurely visit.
I have just seen the first Road Book and you’re going to be busy, but it will be fun. I have also had a chance to check out the various Motorkhana configurations that are currently being considered by Tom and his team and I can guarantee that no Motorkhana is going to be the same; what course you might drive in Falls Creek will not have any resemblance to the course in Myrtleford or Albury.
I have just received a photograph of Domenico Cece’s newly acquired Maserati Gransport, what do you think?
I will be updating the competitor pics as of next week if you haven’t sent me a photo of your machine yet then please send it; everybody in the ICT would like to know who and what they are up against.
Regional radio and television campaigns are underway and our first media release was sent out a few days ago with a call for drivers. So if you want to join the fun call, email or simply download the entry forms on the website www.italianconnection.com.au complete them and get them in ASAP. Remember if three days is too difficult for whatever reason you can still come and be part of the rally for one or two days, you just need to call Robert on 0438 848 048 or send him an email email@example.com for the special entry form.
Rob’s Blog #6
Here we are again. I would like to welcome our new graphic designers Albury based Hue Graphics, Nicole and Sam are looking after us.
I mentioned recently Domenico Cece is a new entry with his beautiful Maserati Sports but Domenico has also thrown his company, Cello Liqueurs’ support behind the ICT with some sponsorship.
Domenico’s Mum Franca Cece created one of the best Limoncello you will ever taste and two years ago Dom and wife Teresa took it to market. Now his Mum’s Limoncello is famous and can be found all over Australia. Dom is bringing us his unique and very Italian liqueur so at the end of our dinner each night we can enjoy a little shot of Italy to finish our evening. Check out his website http://celloliqueur.com.
The rally routes are just about finalised for each day (see the map below). You can see we are going to cover a lot of ground with a whole bunch of new challenges.
You might have seen in my last blog that young Phil Olsen injured himself, I said he had a broken ankle – a bit more serious than that he broke his hip! He is on the mend and doing fine. He is home and he is very excited about joining the Rally. Good on you Phil!
We are just twelve weeks away from the fifth Italian Connection Rally start and I am delighted to report that activities and developments have been brilliant.
First I should tell you about some of the support that has been added to an already great group of sponsors.
Border Media that include leading regional broadcaster The River radio and Southern Cross TEN television in their stable have been confirmed as our broadcast partners. Not only will they be promoting the event in a strong on air campaign on radio and television but are looking to have one of their on-air team enter the rally. They will be selling space on their car to local businesses with all proceeds to the Duchenne Foundation.
They will be reporting their progress throughout the three days on how they and the rest of the rally are doing.
In addition The River is looking at holding a sausage sizzle breakfast for the public at the Friday morning start of the ICT. A gold coin will get them breakfast and all proceeds once again to the Foundation.
So you can expect a big crowd to see you off on the first day. As in previous years the rally group will be escorted through town by a horde of classic cars and bikes led by the highway patrol with its blues and twos going.
Welcome to new entry Dominic Cece whose bringing his shiny new red Maserati and founding competitor Ian Alison returns once again in his 1997 Fiat Turbo Coupe
In another exciting development the Classic Italian Motorcycle Association of Australia as well as the MGOCV – Moto Guzzi Owners Club of Victoria have contacted us to see if there is any way they can be involved in the event. There is a whole bunch of ways and we are in discussion. I will keep you all posted on progress.
We welcome our new print partner Quantum Print Albury Wodonga’s premier printer who will produce all the ICT printing needs this year. Our creative sponsor will create stunning designs for Quantum to produce.
Still on the promotional front look out for a story about the ICT in the next edition of ‘Italianicious’ magazine
I am also very pleased to report that for the fifth year in a row Pirelli will be supporting the ICT with some of their excellent merchandise for us to auction off for the Duchenne Foundation.
A big thank you to the Savoy Club in Myrtleford who are letting us use their car park again for one of our Motorkhanas and especially Noel Stone director of La Fiera who makes everything ticks over like clockwork; also thank you to Falls Creek for agreeing to allow us to hold a Motorkhana in their village too.
A bit of news about someone who has become a bit of a mascot of the ICT family, the son of the Duchenne Foundation Chairman Peter Olsen, young Philip Olsen has broken his ankle. It is a bit more serious when you suffer from DMD but Phil’s doing fine, he is at Bear Cottage recovering and we are hoping he will be ready to join us with his Dad in Albury.
Last year’s crews will remember him zipping around The Italian Forum Piazza in Sydney in his new “Ferrari red” motorised transport.
Hang in there Phil and best wishes from all of us for a speedy recovery.
Tom our C of C leaves for a two day test drive of the routes in a couple of weeks.
Don’t forget Auto Italia this year being held in Canberra on Sunday 15 April.
Last but not least we need your entry forms and registrations. We have a lot to do to arrange for you all to have a fantastic time over the three days and we need to ensure we look after you properly so we need confirmation that you are coming.
If you have haven’t already got them; Entry forms, Registration forms and Supp Regs are all downloadable from this website . One or two day participants need to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the correct single day form.
If you have any questions send an email or call Robert on 0438 848 048
“If you love your wheels, you won’t want to miss being a part of one of the best touring road events on the calendar, the fifth Italian Connection Rally”
This year Tiina and Ange are coming to defend their title and I am delighted to report that the Chairman of the Duchenne Foundation Peter Hojgaard Olsen along with his son Phil is also going to join the fun.
- “Todd and I had a fabulous time, met some great people and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on fantastic roads through gorgeous countryside, and then we completely surprised ourselves by winning! It was a wonderful experience especially for our very first Rally. The event was really well run which made it an especially fun weekend.”
Dana Dupere – Driving her Maserati Spyder
In 2013 each start and finish will occur in Albury New South Wales providing an easy journey to the start for competitors from Victoria, the ACT and New South Wales.
|START: Friday 20 May 2011||10.00 am||Faraday Street Carlton.|
|1ST Stop-over:||2.30 pm||Myrtleford|
|7.00 pm||Rally dinner at (2 hat) RANGE restaurant|
|Saturday 21 May|
|8.30 am||Motorkhana (Savoy Club|
|10.30 am||ICT Re-Start|
|Saturday 21 May||3.00 pm||Gundagai|
|5.00 pm||Motorkhana (under Lights)|
|7.00 pm||Rally Dinner – Services Club|
|Sunday 22 May||8.00 am||Rally re-start|
|FINISH||2.30 pm||Leichhardt Arrival – Italian Forum Piazza|
|37 Norton Street|
As competitors from previous ICTs will remember, for the past two years we have had a reunion dinner on the night before the Rally start. Founding competitor, winner of the 2008 rally and thoroughly nice guy, Lido Russo, has previously given over most of his stunning Walsh Bay restaurant, Ventuno, for an ICT pizza-and-beer gathering.
The media is already publishing stories thanks to our intrepid PR manager, Liz Swanton, with the latest in last week’s Parramatta Sun about Ben Doig and Wayne Green – good story, lads.
I have been asked by a number of you whether you can bring friends and family to the victory dinner, and the answer is – yes, of course. You will need to pay separately for them and I will advise the location of the dinner and the cost for your guests in coming weeks.
Last week we visited the Classic Rally Club and told a great bunch of members about the rally, although they didn’t take much telling because the last two winners of the rally – Dominic Votano and Robert Panetta – are both members. There could be a strong move to try and achieve a hat trick. I could mention quite a few drivers who are planning to rain on their parade, however…
Robert Gunn – Event Producer – tel: (02) 9960 1733; fax: (02) 9960 1744.
17 February 2011
I have just been chatting with Fabio at Brunetti’s restaurant in Melbourne, where we would like to gather for the rally start. I have had confirmation that they will welcome us. Fabio is a real enthusiast. I am trying to talk him into joining us in his classic Alfa Romeo at least for the first leg. That’s also where we will have our rally breakfast, European style of course, because they have some very serious pastries and equally good coffee.
7 February 2011
It’s February 7 and the countdown continues to May 20 – Day One of this year’s event.
Also from Gundagai comes the news the local police will join the fun. They’ve asked to compete in the Gundagai motorkhana which will be held under lights. No news yet on what they’re going to drive but we’re delighted they want to be involved.
I’m not the only one keeping past and potential competitors informed. Peter Doig is doing the same with the Victorian Alfa Club while David Judd and Peter Parussolo are talking to the Victorian Fiat Club.
31 January 2011
It’s looking good for us. A big ‘thank you’ to founding ICT competitor and all-round nice guy Charles Di Petta who is flying the ICT flag and will become the ICT ambassador at the Macedon Rally. He will be proudly promoting the 2011 ICT on his 1970 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV.
18 January 2011
This whole blog thing is good! To keep finding things to talk about means I have to keep making things happen so I have something to talk about!
I heard from an old favourite of the Italian Connection Rally last week. He emailed to say that after a year’s hiatus he’s coming back – and bringing one of the superstars of the Rally with him. No, it’s not a Lambo or a Ferrari; it’s Peter Parussolo’s brilliant 1955 Fiat 1100.
Welcome back Peter and Ol’ ’55.
So if my co-driver and I can get 30 Supporting Sponsors, it’s an extra $3000 in the tin for Duchenne pretty easily. If we get 25 cars each averaging 20 Supporting Sponsors then it’s an extra $50,000 without too much effort. I reckon as a group of entrants we should aim to generate that figure apart from whatever the Foundation does …”
It will be a six day event plus a pre-rally day in London. We are looking at a spring event April/May. Just send me an email to log your name and I will get you more details as they come to hand: Robert@italianconnectionrally.com.au
10 January 2011
I hope you all had a safe but amazing Christmas break.
Laini and I did a bit of a road trip to Albury that took us partially on the ICT route. We over-nighted in Gundagai (our second ICT stop-over this year) and we found new terrific motel accommodation for the rally which I have subsequently booked for us.
We drove in and around Gundagai, Tumut and Adelong – fantastic vistas around every bend.
I didn’t get to catch up with our favourite Gundagai entrant, Councillor Bill Maslin, but I did receive an exciting text message from him telling me they have arranged for a very special Sydney socialite – the lovely Maria Venuti – to join us when we arrive. I don’t think she will be entering the motorkhana but she is a fun lady and will certainly add to our already great rally spirit.
Many of you have already registered – and it’s great to have you back – and we’re also getting some enquiries from potential new competitors, some of whom are interested in trying our new single-leg ‘rally taste-test’.
We are also trying to organise a car for the Duchenne Foundation chairman, Peter Hojgaard Olsen, and his son so they can be part of the fun. He is currently driving a Range Rover – not the perfect rally car!
Tiina and Angela will be back, of course, with threats of increased competiveness to better their last year’s second position to be the all-girl winning team.
Stand by for more news as the action accelerates and get those registrations in!