Today all the news that fits: Danny Ricciardo takes a $15m voluntary redundancy from his employer; Is your sex life like motor racing? Take our (very) quick quiz to see your rumpy pumpy rating; Think the F1 at Spa might be huge? Try the Mx-5 Cup at the soon-to-be extinct Wakefield Park instead; and Love teapots? We’ve got handle and spout heaven for you.
Daniel Joseph Ricciardo AM, 33, initially of Perth, Western Australia, now of Beverly Hills (US) and Monte Carlo, has taken a VR from the McLaren Racing Limited team in Woking, Surrey.
Another Australian, Oscar Piastri, will assume Dan’s duties next year. Dan was one of the top three drivers in F1 at Red Bull and Renault and remains the most popular driver on the circuit. The move to McLaren never worked. He has been overshadowed by half Belgian, half soap dodger driver Lando Norris.
My view is that McLaren always gave Dan the second-best car but we’ll see next year when he probably goes back to Alpine (AKA Renault).
Round the town sprint racing is like sex at a certain age.
You spend hours in preparation, dress up, give it all you’ve got and its over in 60 seconds. (Well in the case of winner Dean Amos, 40.66 seconds; second fastest, Warwick Hutchinson 41.02 seconds; and Brett Bull, 43.12 seconds.) In no way am I suggesting a relationship between Dean, Wozza and Brett’s time and their performance in the how’s your father, mother or other department.
The Leyburn Sprints are the biggest (not counting a few others) outdoor event in Queensland. Basically about 220 cars are timed on a 1km course around the streets of Leyburn (pronounced Leeburn) pop. 476. More than 15,000 people from all over the known world in Queensland crowd the streets to watch everything from the most beautiful 1933 black, Aston Martin Long Series Le Mans to a Morris Minor with a V8 planted where the four-cylinder side valve engine used to be, to the WART BMW piloted by two old codgers, try to avoid hay bales (worse than hitting concrete), spectators and entering the local school swimming pool.
Race organiser Tricia Chant deserves an Order of Brisbane for making this the best grass roots motoring event in Australia.
Tricia and a few pollies spoke to open the weekend of Dagwood Dogs and battered mushrooms. Tricia spoke briefly and very well.
While Dan and the others from the F1 reality show (on Foxtel and Kayo) will be running around the 7.004km Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the real action will be at the Wakefield Park raceway, just a few short kilometres from the Goulburn Maximum Security Prison, occasional home to readers four and 11.
This could be one of the last races at one of the last two permanent motorsport facilities in NSW. Despite the huge dollars the racetrack brings to Goulburn, despite the track being there for 30 years, despite the impact on local and NSW engineering tech businesses, new Range Rover residents moved in, decided they didn’t like the noise and have worked to close the track in a week.
And this week, in the manufacturers doing you over section, we’re looking at Mitsubishi dealers’ extended warranties linked with long duration roadside assist packages and the experience of reader 12, John Bolitho.
John, who lives in rural Victoria, bought a new Pajero from Brighton Mitsubishi, part of the Tony White Group (“Family owned. Customer Driven”). “We were persuaded to buy the roadside assist package when we bought our new Pajero. Seemed quite cost-competitive at the time. We missed the very small print saying the whole package was conditional on them performing all work on the vehicle for the duration of the roadside assist (seven years).
The Melbourne dealer well knew we lived in rural Victoria, far from Melbourne,” John tells me.
“During the Melbourne lockdowns, we country bumpkins were forbidden by law from going to Melbourne. We got our log-book service done by a leading Mitsubishi dealer in a regional town close to us, where we were allowed to travel when it was due.
“Next thing Brighton Mitsubishi began a series of very hostile emails to me saying we had breached the terms of the small print in the agreement with them by having the Pajero serviced by someone other than them and purporting to cancel the package. Despite the service being performed by an authorised factory dealer in accordance with the factory guidelines at a time where the law forbade us from bringing the vehicle to them! The threatening language was unbelievable. Yes, we were mugs to be persuaded in the first place but having to go through a hostile process to get the product reinstated was very stressful and hardly consumer-friendly. Threats to go to the ACCC swayed them in the end. Needless to say, Mitsubishi themselves did not want to know about it.”
So, some poetic justice, that a few weeks ago the Victorian Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Mitsubishi Motors Australia and its dealer Mitsubishi Berwick. Basically, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found that Mitsubishi had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by advertising misleading fuel consumption figures for a Triton SUV. The court dismissed the appeal with costs finding that “based on the expert evidence, that the fuel consumption label contained representations that were misleading and deceptive and false or untrue for the vehicle”.
Now, knowing many of you are keen car collectors and teapot and tea towel collectors, I had hoped to bring you full details of the 2022 Carnival of Flowers Teapot Extravaganza in Toowoomba. With more than 400 teapots and 300 tea towels from all over the world including Spa you’d be a mug not to be there. Alas, like Wakefield Park, I think it may be cancelled.