I trust everyone had a great festive season. Our first meeting of the year has been “run and won” at Wakefield Park, and Phillip Island is just around the corner.
Who says that the weather at Wakefield Park is always atrocious? Either freezing cold or boiling hot. Last weekend was a perfect late summer meeting with the weather deemed “ideal air cooled driving conditions” by the 3 peddlers of such devises.
There was plenty of track time over the course of the weekend with practice and 2 scratch races on Saturday and a handicap in the morning and a scratch race in the arvo on Sunday. One feature of the programme was that the last race on Sunday finished at 2.30pm, which is a good thing to allow everyone to get on the road early and not miss a late afternoon event.
Thanks to Dick Willis and Garry Simkin, here are some observations from the weekend.
At scrutineering the excitement was all about the new CAMS mandated roll bar padding so be prepared, at future meetings, especially Phillip Island it appears you won’t be allowed onto the track unless your car complies.
Now to the field, listed in qualifying order:
Brian Simpson, Cooper JAP, qualified on pole, won the first race but then had 2 DNFs.
Peter McKnight, Aarons Lotus, after the withdrawal of the above, won the next 2 scratch races.
Bob Boast, Cigar MG, 3rd in first race, DNF in second race with blown oil seal in supercharger, repaired with help of master engineer, Greg Smith, in time for Sunday, AM race, didn’t start PM race because of starter problems.
John Medley, Nota FJ, a series of DNS, carby float sunk, then discovered fuel pump problem.
Dick Willis, Gladiator Sports, battled with new tyres which didn’t work unless pumped to 35 psi, then out grunted on straight by all and sundry.
Garry Simkin, Cooper Vincent ran very well and was always very closely matched in some great dices with uncle Derry.
Percy Hunter, MG TC Special ran very consistently and reliably all weekend after some niggling problems at recent meetings.
Derry Greeneklee, Cooper JAP, as mentioned above, the battle of the two blue V Twin Coopers was something to see, and smell, especially from behind.
James Elphick, Gazelle, withdrew after qualifying when the fragile valve rockers (from an early model Rover!) were found to be damaged.
Chris Farrell, MG TC Special, returning to racing after a recent illness he felt unwell and handed the driving duties to Terry White who acquitted himself very well in an unfamiliar car and was rewarded with second places in the handicap and the final race.
David McKenzie, Elfin Streamliner, usually seen racing a Bug eye Sprite, David brought out his Elfin, initially troubled by a rear wheel bearing problem he recovered and featured in a photo finish in the final race.
Geoff Piggott, MG ARA making a rare appearance but promising to enter more frequently, difficult as he works in Qatar but he was rewarded with a win in the handicap.
It was beaut to see that nearly half the field was from interstate. The Coopers driven by Derry and Brian are a regular feature at Wakefield Park and Derry sent these sentiments through to me.
My first response is to tell you that it is always a great pleasure to renew friendships again with HSRCA Group LB drivers when we visit Wakefield Park. The secret of course is our shared enthusiasm for racing old cars. So please know how much Brian Simpson and I appreciated the willing help volunteered by several of your members to get a couple of cranky Coopers fired up for the next meeting.
After a great start on Saturday morning Brian had his share of worries, which he may tell you about himself!
My MK5, which my wife for obvious reasons has named the Bluebird, distinguished itself by running the whole weekend with only tappet, chain, carburettor, fuel pump, gearbox, and timing adjustments between events…. nothing really!
Although the fields were small (Phillip Island in two weeks time probably had something to do with it), the racing was really keen within the small group of mixed cars. So in summary all I can say is a big ‘Thank you’ to Noel, Wes, and the HSRCA for another very enjoyable WP race meeting!
It’s always great to see the air cools out on the track and along with Garry Simkin’s Cooper, the boys went hard at it the whole weekend.
VALE – TONY OSBORNE
I and all others at WP last weekend were very saddened to learn of the recent passing of Victorian enthusiast and good mate, Tony Osborne. Tony was a regular NSW participant who loved to cross the border and compete at Wakefield Park and Eastern Creek and will be well remembered for his exploits with the CWM, GAF MG, Simca sports and of course his long term love the Riley.
I had many a ding dong race with Tony when I raced the Sulman Singer and will sadly miss his smiling happy face in the team R pits, and his company whilst enjoying a glass of red and a steak at the Astor, Isle of White, or Red Cattle Dog. Tony was a great mate to many in our JKL group. He was always friendly and cheerful and of course, very competitive. He will be sadly missed and to Marge and family we offer our sincerest condolences.
“It’s the Pits Wakefield Park”
There has been some movement in car ownership in the last month or so.
Dick Willis reports the following cars have changed hands.
- Paul Armstrong has sold the Jewitt to a Queenslander and promptly bought the Nalla off Henry Walker. Great to see Paul continuing on in the sport and with this new acquisition he will really be able to lean on David Gleen!
- Brenda Hunter’s Lasos Holden sports has gone to Phil Speer and his son on the NSW South Coast
- The late George Gilltrap’s Ford 10 Special recently advertised, has been sold to a chap from Stockton, NSW
- Syd Reinhardt has sold his MG TC Special at auction to a Victorian buyer
- Queensland’s Peter Harburg has had something of a clearing sale at a Paris auction, the ex Stillwell D Type Jag went for about A$5 million and the Ferrari Monza a couple of million less. Also sold by him were some Porsches and an Aston Martin, still has plenty of cars left though.
- My air cooled spy Garry Simkin tells me that Bob Minogue has purchased the Sidney Rudge which he raced in the 1960s. This car was last seen in NSW some years ago as the Sidney Vincent and driven by Cameron McMillan.
Bruce Hartwig has decided to off load a few of his cars and has asked that I let it be known.
Here is some detail on my 3 specials.
CAMS log book and C of D, Built 1995. Pre-war Dodge chassis gearbox and diff. Just fitted a new long stroke Chrysler engine. Fast and reliable, 1:15 Winton, 2:05 Phil Island. Over 200 starts and only 3 DNFs.
Just finished building this one. Similar to the Ranford Fargo from W.A. CAMS log book and C of D . All Dodge running gear. New 250 CID Dodge engine. Built as a 2 seater with a view to road rego. (I’ll take this one to Winton).
Scaled down P3 in appearance. 1750 cc Alfa engine. No CAMS log book due to modern engine but good for hill climbs, sprints etc.
I’d like to sell any 2 of these and would consider trade MGA or sim. Bruce Hartwig 08 83885738 or 0431 024 719.
Steve Budden informs me that he has just completed the restoration of the Read Holden Special. This is one of the very attractive and well built Holden based specials of the late 50’s and was built by Ted Read in 1958. It has had an extensive Historic racing history from the time Adrian Hart first hit the track in it in the early 80’s. Hopefully we will see it at events in the near future. It will be great to see it back in the group.
Lastly, seen testing at Morgan Park last week was the mighty Ted Grey Tornado in the very capable hand of Peter Mohr. Pete has been getting it ready for Frank Moore who is running it at the Melbourne GP, and he thought it necessary to do a few test laps. His comment in relation to a run in arguably the best “Aussie Special” was that “Ted (Grey) and John Mac (MacDonald) must have big Goolies!!!” It’s that sort of car.
Don’t forget to send through any news, rumour, gossip or stories you may wish to share.
Cheers and safe racing
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