The Nationals shine in Melbourne
Fiv Antoniou competes in and reports on on the HSV/HDT Nationals
Apart from my busy daily schedule, I have a passion for the General's performance products and last week I had the privilege of not only covering the HSV/HDT Nationals for Neos Kosmos but competed in them as well.
The Holden Special Vehicle and Holden Dealer Team Nationals held at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne was hosted by the HSV Owners Club of Victoria, attracting entries from all over Australia and attendance from as far away as New Zealand.
The four day event that happens once every few years in various Australian locations launched two Thursdays ago with registration at the HSV/HRT facility in Clayton.
The afternoon included a tour of the HSV factory and the Holden Racing Team (HRT) workshop for participants.
In fact, the works tour proved very interesting as HRT was preparing their Holdens for Bathurst and the factory operation was working on the latest VE3 model HSV.
As usual, the Melbourne weather put a dampener on the festivities as it was cold and wet, but it did not detract from the enthusiasm of those turning up to the opening bash.
Not to be denied, a good time was enjoyed by all as the canteen facility at the HSV factory appropriately named, 'Tom's Cafe' made available their kitchen and dining facilities to provide the evening barbeque and shelter from the inclement weather.
In between the opening and closing event on Sunday there was the two day Concourse and Street display at the world heritage Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton.
For a HSV and HDT owner this was the highlight of the year.
The pristine and best machinery was brought in to compete for the various model and other awards on offer.
Suffice to say there were many cars that shared in the various category prizes and a lot missed out, but never-the-less just competing in the Concourse class meant you were a selected finalist anyway.
I entered my weekend drive into the Nationals, a sting red, HSV VX GTS 300, which has won the last six consecutive 'VX Original' Shannon's Victorian Holden Day awards.
My ten year old GTS is used on a weekly basis and has travelled 58,000 clicks however it is in almost better than new condition with its original paint and interior intact.
Although many said I had a better chance of success in the Street Class, in choosing the much tougher judged Concourse category, success was going to be more satisfying.
Winning the 'Best VX' Concourse 1st prize at the Nationals really did make my day!
As Saturday evening closed in and the rain opened up, entrants, partners and families attended the gala dinner under the dome inside the Royal Exhibition Building.
It was just awesome to have a sit down function in such ambience, especially surrounded by the very expensive machinery on show.
Apart from the award presentations the other focal point of the night was the appearance of Garth Tander and Wil Davison from the Holden Racing Team, who discussed their Bathurst 1000 prospects and answered a few questions from the gathering.
In a very well organised affair, the finale to the Nationals was something else indeed.
Most of the cars on display, Concourse and Street were rolled out of the venue led by the Clubsport of HSVOC's social secretary, 'R8GIRL' Helen Vrahnos, who made a beeline down the Eastern freeway to the Holden Proving Ground in Lang Lang.
Lunch, entertainment and a speed bowl drive for the 100 odd HSV/HDT cars was organised for the big photo opportunity and big farewell to the Nationals until 2012 in Brisbane.
The surprise of the day was the charity raffle to ride in a current model 6.2 litre Camaro with one of Holden's best test drivers.
Out of the half dozen winners or so I was lucky enough to score the front seat on the drive and was not disappointed.
Nothing like taking to the winding road flat chat and then sweeping up onto the bank track doing roughly 230 kmh - At that speed, the 4.7 km speed bowl circuit is eaten up in seconds!
Suffice to say, I walked away from the experience with a grin from ear to ear!
However I did feel sorry for Peter, our photographer who missed out on a raffle win and subsequent ride!
- Register Now
- Turkey condemns NSW's genocide recognition
- Mykonos: Something to 'Crowe' about
- Greek community pays tribute to Hazel Hawke
- Fitch upgrades Greece's credit rating
- Recognising genocide
- Angelopoulos' Greek drama
- Greek men affected by crisis
- New rules for reverse mortgages
- Kastellorizian Association names their best
- Philippoussis vs furry animals
- 8 May 2013 | 13 Votes
- 8 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 3 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 15 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 13 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 30 Apr 2013 | 6 Votes
More from this Section
- Melbourne Heart signs Massimo Murdocca
- Richmond take on Essendon
- Sydney Olympic wins league leader
- Mariners out of ACL after Guangzhou loss
- Halloran to play for Bundesliga 2
- Oz players becoming rare in EPL
- Gallop not angry if Socceroos don't qualify
- Fans make the Wanderers a good investment
- Oakleigh Cannons with new coach
- Simon, Carle and Nichols return to A-League
A contentious anti-racism bill appeared to be causing an ever-widening rift within the fragile coalition government.
Tv personality, Helen Kapalos was the guest of honour at Alphington Grammar's Mother's Day High Tea
A Greek Australian part of the trucking company at the centre of the alleged fraud, Viking Group, was involved in the 'severe bashing'.
Many Australian soccer teams underestimate the power of their fans.
MP Maria Vamvakinou has vowed to stop Golden Dawn opening Australian offices after what she saw in Greece
Historian Jim Claven tours the modern-day city and reflects on the Byzantine and Orthodox legacy.
The new series of MasterChef Australia is already in hot water before it's even started
The teams that started as underdogs beat the favourites at home on Wednesday, setting up an appetizing mini-league.
Victorian veterans and families to receive Medals of Honour from Greek Army chief
Just shy of turning 100, three Greek Australian sisters die within 17 days of each other
Hitting the market around August this year, Holden will release the HSV Gen F
The Greek sponsored club tried for a second time to buy the club, putting $3.5 million on the table
Senator Xenophon says current ballot rules are "stacked against independents" and has moved to create the Nick Xenophon Group
Unemployment in Greece more than twice the average rate in the euro zone
The three day event includes lectures by Melbourne chefs, cooking classes and meet and greets with food critics
Cafe owners embrace goodwill scheme for the less fortunate
A winter must in a Greek household
The FFA chief, David Gallop says the A-League will make up for a Socceroos' loss