Hi I'm Jack, weekends are too short, so I love to make the most of the time we have. I also love cooking and occasionally write a blog of the food I love to cook, if you'd like to join me for dinner, click here dinnerwithjack.blogspot.com.au
Published May 13th 2012
A ride on the Wilde side When we first received an invitation for a ride on the Wilde side at a Bakers Hill property, I was only mildly interested, but then after a little delving into the facts of the day, we learnt that a ride on the Wilde side involved a wild ride in a rally car piloted by current leader of the 2012 4WD Australian Rally Championship, Tom Wilde, I became very interested.
Head East to Bakers Hill
Our day commenced with a 90 minute drive to the RallySchool venue at Bakers Hill, the rural property is 75 kilometres east of Perth and is set among sheep and wheat farmland. With an unusually high forecast of 29°C, it was a beautiful morning for a drive through the hills of Mundaring, the sun was shining and our spirits were high and you could feel the excitement build as we neared our destination, especially as we traversed the final 10 kilometres on a gravel road section to the farm gate.
We found the meet point, which was well marked with a large red sign, cautioning that there was high speed rally driving in progress, and stating that we were to wait to be collected by a RallySchool team member. We were soon met and led through the property to the RallySchool base camp, travelling at times only a few metres from the well marked race track, it was a dusty ride - a sign of things to come.
On arriving at the camp we were met by Tom Wilde's co-driver Lee Tierney, who once having welcomed us, asked who was first up for a Wilde Ride and next thing our friend Danieka was being fitted out with a crash helmet and led to a Subaru WRX Sti rally car.
It was here we first met Tom Wilde, he with a huge smile and a notable keenness to get cracking, looked a lot younger than I had expected, but had a calmness about him that instantly put you at ease. He invited us out to take photos, before strapping himself into the WRX and whisking Danieka off on the ride of her life!
WILDE Ride in a Subaru WRX Sti I was next in line and soon found myself being strapped into the cock pit of the Subaru WRX Sti rally car, the seats of which are nice and wide and once the harness was snapped into place, I felt as comfortable, as comfortable could be.
Tom fired the beast up an we took off leaving a cloud of dust behind us, turning through a right bend. I felt the rear end starting to step out a little, then all of a sudden it flung around the other way into a tight left and we were quickly beyond sight of them back at the bush camp. A few hundred metres down the dirt track and having taken some air going up and over numerous drainage dips, Tom asked if I was feeling comfortable with the ride. At my response of "Loving it", he sped the WRX up and headed into a tight right bend, at a speed far in excess of that I could have imagined a car going through such, but Tom made it seem so easy; the car felt like it was gliding through the bend, we had gone no more than five hundred metres and I was hooked.
Tom Wilde in the WRX Sti
The following 9.5 kilometre journey was just as awesome, just as quick, too quick in fact, whilst the speed we travelled at was a large part of the excitement, I ended up wishing the ride with Tom went a little bit longer, it was such a buzz. I still am amazed at the way he made such a rough track feel so smooth, smooth as silk in fact! My wife Jo went out with Tom next and according to Tom, she immediately started repeating the words "WHOA WHOA" the second he sped into the first bend, she was still saying "WHOA" for a good time after she had left the vehicle, and had a smile a mile wide that is still there 24 hours later.
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO
RallySchool have provided Tom and Lee with two cars from their stable for this special fund raising day, the second being a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO - it looked splendid in its red and white duco. As I came to an end of my ride in the Subaru with Tom, he informed me that I was to go for a spin in the EVO with Lee's uncle Dennis Dunlop.
The ride in the Mitsubishi was a lot rougher than the Subaru, which seemed to be magnified by Dennis's aggressive driving style, but it somehow added to the excitement. There were a few more moments when you found your heart in your mouth, especially as huge boulders zoomed by, within what seemed mere millimetres and then when after losing a fraction of a second due to a slow gear change, he muttered "well we are going to have to make that lost time up" and you know he is serious.
Whilst this day was a special fund raising day for Tom and Lee towards their Australian Rally Championship campaign, RallySchool offer a number of different packages including half and full day drive sessions, where you get not only a couple of fast laps with experienced rally drivers, but you get to drive the cars yourself.
They have two cars at the track, both of which you get to drive, during an adrenalin filled day. With experienced rally drivers sitting alongside to give instruction and tips as you make your way around the drift track, enabling you to get the most out of the cars and your day. Going by the experience we had at Ride on the Wilde Side Day, it can only make for an awesome day to remember. Get your drive experience started here Western Australia RallySchool