Lamborghini Giro Perth: 48 Hours On The Bull

Lamborghini Giro Perth: 48 Hours On The Bull

Early starts are a two-edged sword. On one hand, they offer a refreshing beginning to any day, with a beautiful sunrise, morning coffee and the opportunity to plan ahead with little interruption. On the other hand, the extra shut-eye is welcome, especially if you’ve had a string of early starts. Your body does need to rest and recover, despite a slew of entrepreneurs telling you that you need to achieve – sleep is overrated.

When the morning kicks off with the realisation that the next 48 hours will require immersion in Italian leather and carbon-fibre, it makes it easier to respond to the alarm clock, rather than foisting it at high speed into a nearby wall.

The Redline was invited to take part in the inaugural Lamborghini Giro Perth, a weekend for owners to spend time with likeminded folks, revelling in the beauty of these flamboyant machines. Giro is the Italian word for “lap”, which is appropriate, seeing as the group would be doing a lap of Australia’s south-west corner

Day 1: Briefing

The day started with a driver’s briefing inside Barbagallo Lamborghini. Around 50 people formed a snaking perimeter along the walls, ready for instructions. After the obligatory warnings about speed cameras and staying within the legal limit, sales manager James Figueroa outlined a basic rundown of the drive route.

A few minutes later, while trying the cram the last of the canolis in, it was time to set off. My drive partner for the journey was Andrea Ruggiero, Lamborghini’s area manager for Oceania. The steed for the first leg was a white Huracan LP 580-2 coupe. Definitely not the quickest vehicle in the convoy, but certainly not the slowest, either.

Andrea took the driver’s seat initially, and after setting the seat and steering wheel to his liking, there was a problem – after pressing the bright-red starter button, the car wouldn’t start. Nothing serious, mind you. He knew what the issue was straight away.

In his thick Italian accent, he almost sounded Schwarzenegger-like: “I’ll be back”. The door swung open and he dashed out. He was back almost as quickly. “Forgot the key.”

Day 1: Perth to Bunkers Bay

What happened next rivalled the echoes of composers past – a metallic chorus of starter motors and barking exhausts. One after the other, engines started. Around 25 cars, in all, created a symphonic cacophony, and one that was certainly an earworm for the rest of the day, and indeed, many more days to come. A raft of V12s, V10s and a couple of turbocharged V8s multiplied the noise, though there were no complaints. In fact, spectators preferred to acknowledge the spectacle with a bunch of upwards thumbs.

Each Lamborghini rolled out of the carpark, following the sales manager in his dark grey Huracan, and formed an orderly queue heading toward the Mitchell Freeway. The trip ran south, frustratingly limited by Australia’s draconian speed limits. Each car was well behaved, but restrained to an almost criminal degree. The occasional burst was more to clear the vehicles’ throats, rather than simply showing off.

After an hour or so, the convoy headed east, toward the South West Highway, giving an opportunity to take in some of Western Australia’s scenery, rather than simply being stuck on the boring (but efficient) Forest Highway.

There was a small diversion as the leader of the pack decided to cut back across to the freeway, but having done that a little too early, it meant ending up in the back streets of Warrawarrup (we think). But the smile it brought to the kids’ faces as the caravan rolled past certainly made the indiscretion worthwhile.

The lineup of vehicles then turned west again, using the town of Harvey (famous for its oranges) as a detour, and again, the locals certainly enjoyed the visual and aural feast. Speaking of which, the first stop was for a feed.

The Miami Bakehouse, which has created some of WA’s best pies (plenty of award winners in the menu), had a special menu laid out, ready for the Lambo crew to rock up and help themselves. And help themselves they did, not quite realising that there was still a lunch destination to come.

For people already eating, the various colours arriving certainly brightened up the day. Oranges, yellows, purples, greens – there was hardly a hue that didn’t grab attention. And it was a similar story as the convoy rolled out on the way to lunch in Busselton.

The highway provided an opportunity for each vehicle to stretch its legs, but only for a short sprint. After that, the national limit quite literally put the brakes on any more speed. The quick burst was definitely worth hearing.

Upon arriving in the picturesque town of Busselton, a representative from the council was there to greet us, opening up the foreshore for the cavalcade of Italian machinery to gather. Metres from the famous Busselton Jetty (the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere), we were treated to lunch at The Goose, overlooking Geographe Bay. Considering the whole journey takes around three hours, it meant that regardless of how late dinner was, we’d be sated for the afternoon.

It’s only a 35-minute drive from Busselton to Bunker Bay, where our accommodation awaited. The Aventadors on the trip ignored that timing, and got a move on. There’s something quite wonderful about a 6.5-litre V12 that’s wound up like an elastic band and then given an opportunity to unleash. The afternoon sun dipped behind a hill, casting a shadow across the roads, which afforded a clear view of the blue flame that punches out every time the V12 changed up. This is what the Giro is all about.

As the group approached the Pullman Resort in Bunker Bay, the roads began to turn a bit more twisty, and a bit quieter. While everyone was on their best behaviour on the approach, there was a bit of time in between check-in and dinner. Play time.

The countryside became an echo chamber for the screaming Diablo and its wonderful twelve-cylinder, with a couple of Huracans having a bit of fun as well. Soon, the Aventadors decided it was appropriate to get involved, and the petrol stations a few kilometres away began rubbing their hands with glee.

The resort became immersed in the reverberations of Italian masterpieces, and by the time dinner was served, guests were more interested in the sounds surrounding them than the food on its way to the table. And who could blame them?

Day 1: Debrief

People have to eat, though, so the entertainment was surrendered for a few hours while stomachs were filled with a spread of cold meats, wood-fired pizza, meatballs, breads, olives, dips and pannacotta. And Italian wines, naturally.

In chatting with a few of the owners that evening, it became very apparent that the drawcard for purchasing wasn’t how much attention the cars get, nor was it the appeal of the badge. It was actually how the cars drive, how they sound, and how they grab you.

One owner also related how he was in the market for another Italian brand but because of the way he was treated, he decided to head to the Lambo dealer. He was welcomed, spoken to with respect, had time spent with him and he literally drove out of the yard with a Lamborghini.

The Lambo staff weren’t in the spotlight that evening, rather they were mingling with the customers, taking feedback, being available when needed but in the background enough when required. The night was all about the owners, which is how it should be. This sort of treatment is part of the ownership experience; after all, when a sports car is that expensive, you’d expect some perks to come along with it.

Day 2: Performante

The next morning was, as you’d expect, an early start. The dealer needed some drone footage for its social channels, so it needed an extra driver and with a bright purple Huracan Performante needing a steerer, it wasn’t too hard to obey the alarm’s urges to get out of a warm bed.

A smaller convoy this time – four cars in all – headed through the bends to the beachside, and with a Performante in hand, when the filming was done, it was time to enjoy the car properly.

There’s something you have to note about the Huracan. While turbochargers are one of the wonders of modern engineering, and cars are becoming faster and more efficient, they create a very muffled effect, thus destroying aural pleasure. That’s why when Lamborghini decided to stick with engines that don’t use turbocharging, the world rejoiced. And listening to the Performante at 8200rpm, we rejoiced as well.

With 470kW and 600Nm in a car that weighs just 1382kg, anyone who understands physics will realise that it’s going to be rather quick. But reading something and experiencing it are two very different things, as we discovered in our time with the car. The ferocity of the acceleration is quite something, but it’s the build-up of power toward the redline that widens the eyes. Each gear adds to the experience, building with a crescendo of a soundtrack married to an unrelenting push from behind.

Tip it into a corner, though, and the real revelation comes. This thing is not just a straight-line wonder – it’s a true driver’s car. The steering is quick and super direct, but without being too heavy. At lower speeds, in tight 90-degree turns, the Huracan’s all-wheel-drive system can be felt pushing the front a bit, and a simple lift off the throttle is enough to tuck the nose in before feeding in more power.

As the speeds rise, though, and the corners become longer, the AWD setup becomes an asset and not a liability, aiding putting the power down without the tail-happy attitude of the RWD version. The balance of the chassis is amazing, and an active aerodynamic system comes into play.

Flaps at the front force the nose down, while at the rear, the huge spoiler has air channels running through it, with flaps on each side which help to turn the car into a corner and make it grip even more. You soon start trusting the suspension, the grip of the tyres, and the aerodynamics, which all work in concert to produce a vehicle with roadholding that defies logic.

But then, there’s a problem. After all this fun came the realisation that we may have made it down here, but we also have to get back. And in a Performante that’s not going to be walk in the park. Sure, the engine and gearbox will handle it fine, and the suspension in Strada mode is bearable, but it’s the seats that are the issue.

The carbon-backed race buckets may have some semblance of foam and Alcantara, but they have not been designed for long distance. And with our own pace being set on the return journey (no convoy this time) it was around hour two that it became tedious. Thankfully, you can opt for normal seats at no extra cost, though they do add a bit more weight.

Of course, being a Lamborghini sports car, there’s not much in the way of practicality. There are no cupholders and the space under the bonnet is enough for a small travel case, but not much more. But who cares? It’s a Lamborghini and owning one gives you not only access to track days and weekends like this, but access to one of the best engines ever built.

Yes, the Urus is brilliant at what it does, but we need to keep turbochargers at bay for as long as we can.

After all, that howling V10 is one of the best reasons for an early start.