Yet another Sydney Drive Day has been completed, and lots of fun was had by all. For this drive we decided to revisit an earlier popular route, Tarana, and then head on out to Bathurst for lunch.
I was keen to stretch the legs on my new 206 GTi180, having just replaced my old 2000 model GTi 3 weeks before. We met up at our usual meeting place, and gradually people turned up until the meeting area was pretty full. Once again we had lots of new people, and at final count the tally was 5 GTi180s (1 Aden Red and 4 Aegean Blues), 6 GTis, and one 206CC, for a total of 12 cars for the drive. We also had Osbourne turn up for the start with his GT bumpered 206CC and his camera, and David met up with us in Bathurst with his white GTi. It was great to finally meet some of our more distant 206gti.net members, with Simon Mooney making the trip down from northern NSW, and riding shotgun with Scott Morris from Newcastle, in his Blue 180.
The first leg of the trip saw us making a run down the M2 to Blacktown before heading out to our first intermediate stop in a car park opposite Richmond RAAF Base. As in past events, it was great driving in formation down the motorway, and we must have looked quite a sight to other motorists on the road with us.
The carpark at Richmond turned out to have a 406 coupe and an immaculate looking 405 SRDT already there, and I had a little conversation with a guy there who was quite interested in my thoughts on the new GTi180. Whilst we were taking some photos and chatting amongst ourselves a lovely example of a white 404 sedan cruised through the car park, doing his utmost to ignore our existence despite my frantic waving whilst standing right in front of him. I find it a real shame these "purists" can't seem to take more pride in other obviously enthusiastic pug owners. I just love seeing other pugs on the road!
From Richmond we headed up through Bell's Line of Road, and lovely road very close to Sydney that ends up joining back up with the highway at Lithgow. Unfortunately there was a lot of relatively slow traffic on Bells this day, and it took a bit away from the experience, but we all arrived safely at our second intermediate stop in Lithgow. This was another opportunity for more photos of course, and many of us took it.
From here we took Magpie Holland Rd (what an intriguing name!) past the Lake Lyell reservoir, which sweeps and dips through some classic Australian landscapes to Tarana (which consists mainly of a pub) and then some more twisty stuff and eventually a long straight run out to Bathurst. We stopped after Tarana for a brief moment to rectify an errant muffler from Gavin's car, then continued on. The weather was superb and the Bathurst trees had really turned it on for our photo shoots lined up near the town hall.
After a lunch stop at a bakery in town, we all headed up to the mountain, aka Mt Panorama, for some strategic photos on the start grid, followed by a lap or two of the track. Mt Panorama is rare in being one of the few race tracks open to the public, and despite keeping to the posted 60km/h speedlimits, is a truly amazing drive. How they manage to hurtle those enormous hulking V8s down through Skyline and the Dipper will never cease to amaze me. It's certainly a lot of fun in a GTi180!
After a few more laps by some of my fellow 180 owners, plus some more photos from a strategic location at the top of Skyline, we all headed home to our various starting points - another successful 206 Drive Day complete.
Next on the agenda is the Advanced Driver Training Day at Oran Park on June 23. It's being hosted by the Peugeot Car Club of NSW, but everyone's welcome. For more details send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)