One of South Australia's premier motorsport event the Willunga HillClimb was held on December 1

Flying up Willunga Hill and finishing first was Dan Day in his Subaru WRX in five minutes and 26.78 seconds. PHOTO: Stuart Daddow.
Flying up Willunga Hill and finishing first was Dan Day in his Subaru WRX in five minutes and 26.78 seconds. PHOTO: Stuart Daddow.

December 1 is a day when advent calendars start opening, children begin to get excited about sitting on Santa's knee and the reality of presents under a lit-up tree.

Since 2006, members of the South Australian motorsport community have brought that same level of excitement to the Fluerieu Peninsula for the Willunga Hillclimb event.

The 2019 chapter of one of South Australia's premier motorsport events was no exception.

2018 winner Dan Day, with his extensively modified Subaru WRX, returned to the illustrious ascent. Day would be defending his title against some formidable competition made up of 120 cars led by Kevin Weeks in his beefed up Lamborghini and Nick Streckeison behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi Evo X with a rear wing to rival a Boeing A380.

Although the first day of summer someone forgot to tell the weather man and the cold, blustery conditions brought some heavy showers just before the start of the first competitor negotiating the course.

The slippery roads meant that most competitors applied an overly cautious approach to the start of the day to ensure they saw the day out with their cars intact.

The danger with this approach is that times are accumulated over four competitive runs on the day, meaning one slow time can have a big impact on finishing position when the winners are announced.

As the day progressed, the rain held off and confidence in tyres holding the road grew, which saw times get quicker and the race for the trophies more ferocious.

As the final run commenced, some light drizzle began which grew into light rain, not heavy enough for spectators to take cover or make farmers smile, but enough to make the road slippery again.

The tough conditions meant that this year's victory would not necessarily go to taming the car with the most horsepower, but to the driver with the best car control and bravery.

As the final results came in, once again Dan Day and his Subaru WRX topped the time sheets with a commanding victory winning by over 14 seconds accumulated over the four attempts up the hill and earning his third Willunga Hillclimb title.

The race for the other two podium spots was much closer with John Beasley in a much older Mitsubishi Evo 4, last year's third place, moved up one step on the podium to win second place.

The margin to Nick Streckeison in his Mitsubishi Evo X on the third step of the podium was just over one second, a minimal gap after four runs on the day..

One of the crowd favourites for 2019 was the much anticipated debut of Darryl Power's replica of Dick Johnsons 1983 Group C Ford Falcon touring car, operating as the course car during the day.

Overall another brilliantly run event by Ultimate Motorsport Events and a much loved race by the community and spectators alike.

Results - 1st - Dan Day - Subaru WRX - 5 minutes 26.78 seconds, 2nd - John Beasely - Mitsubishi Evo 4 - 5 minutes 40.99 seconds, 3rd - Nick Streckeison - Mitsubishi Evo X - 5 minutes 42.41 seconds.