Mal Reid’s latest JKL newsletter has gone out to fans of pre-1930s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s historic racing and sports cars, and is now available for you to peruse on the Club website. Just hit the link below, and enjoy!
It’s the Pits November 2014: Mal Reid
Firstly let me apologise for my tardiness in getting this addition of the newsletter to you all. I made it back from a wonderful trip to China the evening before our Wakefield Park meeting late September and managed to pack the Prad and gear into the trailer and make the track for the 1st race on Sat afternoon.
Before I left for holidays late in august I was concerned as to the level of entries we had received for JKL, s. On my return I was relieved to find out that the entry count was enough for our own races but down on expectations with 22 JKL qualifiers (I didn’t practice so say 23 entries) and 24 JKL regularity entries many of whom were cross entry racers.
Les Wright in the mighty Dalro Jag had again been invited to run in Lb racing. This will be the last time Les will run it in Group M livery as I hear that he is going to return it back to its pre 1960 Lb specs.
As many of you will remember, the Dalro was often seen in the very capable hands of Bob Healey and then later Les himself sliding and drifting the big Jag special around on those little 15″ wire wheels in Lb racing and it will be great to have it back in the JKL field. Firstly to bolster our dwindling fields and secondly, to have someone else for all to chase.
Having had the privilege of driving the Dalro I can say that it is certainly right up there with the Ted Grey Tornado (now in the hands of Frank Moore) and the Eldred Norman Zephyr (Graham Snape) as one of the best Aussie specials built and one of the quickest front engined cars of the pre 60 period worldwide!
JKL qualifying had the Dalro in front by a mile (1.12.79) leaving John Medley (Nota BMC formula Jnr) the first of the real Lb’s, followed by Warwick McBean (Lolus), Shane Bowden Prad 5 Testa Rossa and Brian Simpson (Cooper Jap) all in the 1.15 sec area. Next in the 1.16 bracket was Dick Willis in the Nota Major the Sharp Holden of a very crook driver in Grant Craft and Max Pegram in the Gemini Mk 2. Poor grant had come all the way from his home base in Hong Kong only to get a dose of something nasty and was unable to continue for the rest of the weekend.
The rest of the field was made up of Peter McKnight Aarons Lotus, Greg Smith MG Holden, Ian Edgar MG TC, Barry Bates Lotus 15, Graham Hawker Kam MG, Percy Hunter MGTC, Lisa Tobin-Smith Ford V8 spec, James Elphick Gazelle Ford, Frank Cuttell SAS Armstrong Sidley, Craig Carlson MGTC spec, Peter Yeomans lotus 11, John Murn, Decca spec, Steen Pederson Sampson GP, and Wes Dayton’s MGTC. Missing in action were both the team R cars of David Reid (faux Pas) and myself in Prad MK 3. The Faux Pas wouldn’t rev over 4000rpm and I had trouble getting revved up at all following a long overnight flight from OS on Friday!
The attraction of a free cross entry for the JKL Regularity proved to be popular with 13 racers having an extra run. They joined the 12 or so non-racing competitors whom included Mal Brewster, Rick Marks, Peter Cohen, Pat Goulding, Neil Sivyers, John Lackey, Barry Bates and Les Craft, so there was plenty of opportunity to get out on the track for the entire weekend.
The first race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon was a well contested affair. Les in the Jag was never going to be headed but the race for the JKL’s was won by Shane Bowden’s Prad 5 from Warwick McBean’s Lolus, sports cars 1 & 2, from Max Pegram’s Gemini and Prad MK3 next with me at the wheel and finding some sort of motivation and finally awake at the wheel. John Medley rounded out the top five with all but the Dalro lapping within a second.
This was a great result for Shane as it was his first ever race win (Les not counted in the results) in a race career spanning some 35 years or so. He really has the Prad cracking these days and is driving the wheels of it! Good stuff.
Non finishers were Dick Willis’s Nota Major, Lisa Tobin-Smith’s V8 Ford, Brian Simpson having “air cooled” dramas in the Cooper Jap and Peter McKnight’s Aarons Lotus being cantankerous. It was sad to see Liza not finish as this was her first race in open JKL company but she made amends with a good drive in the first race on Sunday morning.
As usual it was great to catch up with many of our mates at the Astor Hotel on Saturday night. I was especially happy as I had been looking forward to a great big Aussie Steak and a few beers after 4 weeks of Chinese tucker.
Sunday morning came around all too soon for some as we were first race at 9am.
Situation unchanged up the front with Les getting down to the 11 second mark and never to be challenged and Shane (he must have went easy on the red) proving that the result on Saturday wasn’t a fluke leading home the Aarons Lotus (both the car and Pete running on red I think) from the ‘Mayor of Holbrook’ John Medley in the Nota BMC FJ. I’m not sure if my head ache was from the quality Shiraz that went with the Cattleman Rib eye on Saturday night or Johns never ending story telling. You would think I’d be use to that big voice after almost 40 years!!
Percy Hunter in the MG TC Spec must have gotten to bed early because he jumped up the order with a fine 5th just behind ‘Mr McBean ‘ in the very consistent Lolus. Dick managed to get the Nota Major firing and to the finish line as did Lisa in the big ‘Flat Head Ford V8’. 19 starters and 19 finishers was a great result.
The 10 lap feature handicap was once again a Shane Bowden affair closely followed by the Dave Reid Faux Pas, now fitted with the old extractors and revving past 4000 for the first time all weekend. Willis, Medley and McKnight swapped a few spots around in the top 5 but it was Barry Bates in the Lotus 15, Ian Edgars TC, James Elphick Gazelle, Graham Hawker KAM MG and Lisa Tobin-Smith who filled out the top 10.
The last race saw a smaller field start with cars and drivers wearing out and it was the man in the red Aussie sports special that make it 4 from 4! This was a great result from Shane who drove Prad 5 magnificently all weekend, never putting a wheel out of place and withstanding the pressure exerted by some very good car/drive combinations. No ‘driver of the meeting’ award at this meeting but Shane would have won it easily had it been awarded. “Prad’s Rule”!!
For 20 years now Wakefield Park has been very kind to our JKL cars and as usual both the on track racing and off track socialising were top shelf. Many thanks to all those who attended, especially all from Queensland and Victoria. It’s always great to catch up with old (and not so old) mates.
Also many thanks to our hard working volunteers without whose dedication meetings like this would be impossible to organise and run.
Other news from around the traps comes from a few helpful correspondents with their thoughts on the last Sandown meeting held over the 8th and 9th November weekend.
VHRR Sandown Park Nov 2014, from Shane Bowden
The VHRR Sandown races were well supported with 31 cars qualifying for the JKL race. It was pleasing to see some of our interstate mates down south with David Reid (Faux pas), Warwick McBean (Lolus)& Barry Bates (Lotus 15) from NSW, Nick Daunt (Cooper Bobtail) from Qld and John Virgo (Riley) from SA. Unfortunately Barry & John did not survive Friday practice with various mechanical maladies.
Saturday qualifying in very hot conditions saw Nick McDonald on pole from Shane Bowden (PRAD 5), Samantha Dymond (Lola), David Reid, Max Pegram (Gemini) & Warwick McBean. On what is generally accepted as power circuit Samantha and Max qualified exceptionally well with their tiddler engines!
From reports of many spectators, all the JKL races were exciting to watch with battles all through the field with David Reid and Nick McDonald dicing hard at the front. David won 2 events with Nick taking out the feature race. Graham Raper in the George Reed Ford block of flats (exceptionally fast starting & very quick in a straight line) exploited his car strengths and managed to hold out Sam Dymond in the diminutive Lola and I had a good view of this from behind as the God of Speed deserted me in the PRAD after qualifying (caused by me being too miserable to buy some new rear tyres from Ian Edgar) with massive oversteer.
Dick O’Keefe in the usually monotonously reliable Photon had a shocker of a weekend with overheating and a lack of power from his newly rebuilt engine. In fact it was so bad that we had him on suicide watch as he conceded the O’Keefe/Bowden laminated $20.00 note perpetual trophy to me on Saturday afternoon!
In all it was good to see some interstate visitors enjoy some excellent races at Sandown in one of the friendliest classes in historic motorsport.
See you all at Phillip Island in 2015.
Historic Sandown 2014, from John Medley
This was one for the ages— beautiful weather, a splendid meeting, hospitable and charming Melbourne hosts, and highly applauded JKL races where drivers displayed high skill levels in many absorbing contests. Three of JKL’s oldest hands agreed these were the best JKL races for decades, particularly because of skill level and the contest but also because these were the only events both days with no red flags, no car damage, no contacts, no safety car on circuit, no delays. Ian Tate has seen some races in his life and stated publicly these JKL events were outstanding, safe, and highly competitive. Stumpy Russell has seen no less, and was no less effusive in his praise. There were numerous others expressing the same view. Some of us didn’t come to Sandown, but the JKL fraternity came from all over Australia.
Qualifying tempted only to deceive—in the nicest possible way. Qualifying times were markedly off the pace, qualifying leaders were not necessarily race winners, and what emerged was that The Contest proved a great motivator for most. Queenslander Nick Daunt, for example, qualified 12th – but was 3rd into the first corner; Graeme Raper back in the thundering Monoskate did even better: off 7th, he repeatedly led race 1, and certainly won the Noisiest Driver Award (with Birthday Boy David Reid) as they fell around laughing after the Race 1 Contest. Usually Noisy Greg Smith even passed Monoskate during the front five battle to make it six for a time, and it was David Reid in Faux Pas after a see-sawing contest who won. The front threesome battle so delayed them that Shane Bowden and Samantha Dymond closed. Splendid battles continued through the field, three NZ Formula Juniors rightly added, Bernie Mylon bemused and surrounded by Sprites, the JK trio trailing, the 130% rule properly ignored. Poor Barry Bates didn’t survive practice, compression down on one cylinder. Tim Wright raced the Regah this time, rightfully surrounded by lots of those nice Ballarat Wrights. We have often seen George Hetrel (Bugatti) before, less so Noel Cunningham in the Powys Lybbe special Talbot Darracq , a splendid 8 cylinder beast. Les Murphy’s MG P won long races pre-war but Sandown’s long straights were no help to a brave Stuart Steinfort in the same car. A great race:
…. and even the lap chart cannot show the passing and re-passing that occurred within each lap. Casualties included Max Pegram (Gemini) and Ian Edgar (Meatsafe MGTC) with damaged valves, Greg Smith overnight repairing Ian’s ( but not his own MG Holden which blew out its timing case seal and rushed into Turn 1 sand), Peter McKnight’s Aarons Lotus destroying its first water pump, Warwick McBean (Lolus Holden) and Dick O’Keefe (Photon)with untraceable power losses, which may also have been a problem for Geoff McInnes. Allan Cattle’s Volpini had already been assaulted by a wayward Formula Ford (which is why he was with JKL), and Tony Olissof’s Emeryson Elfin after spectacularly two wheeling across ripple strips and sand in practice failed again later.
Nick McDonald drove very well to just fail to overcome David Reid’s Faux Pas in the first two events (within 1 second each time), so changed tactics for the third – and ran away. His plan was to delete that passing-and-repassing-one-another pattern, sneak up under the Faux Pas’ tail, pass just before the Elva’s best section of the course, and run away. David Reid claims “I ran out of talent”, which was unkind, because Nick drove very well indeed to win clearly. The fastest lap times tell the story. Patrick Ryan’s misbehaving MG continued to misbehave, Electric Dick’s Photon, mysteriously underpowered, improved, Ray Sprague and Peter Statton in flathead Ford V8s stirred the souls of Stumpy Russell and John Medley who wished they had theirs there, much travelled Scotty Taylor won the little Ls, Graeme Marks’ MacHealey and Geoff McInnes chasing DG Reid home in the big Ls, Nick Daunt eventually lapped faster than Sam Dymond but conceded defeat in a gentlemanly manner, Bernie Mylon continued ankle deep in Sprites, and the rest soldiered on, not least the ex Mike Gosbell Cooper T52 in Geoff Herbert’s hands. Nigel Russell’s FMZ Junior apparently evaporated from the results. I was sorry to note George Spanos’ one owner Elfin Aero coupe for sale. (someone buy it for me!)
We NSW people had a lovely time. May I thank all for the friendship, hospitality, fun, for the racing too of course. Let us do it all again very soon.
HSRCA Tasman Trophy, from Mal Reid
The HSRCA Sydney Motor Sport Park Tasman meeting is on this weekend and I have had much correspondence and many phone calls asking why there are no races for the founding group (JKL’s) at this meeting. The only answer that I can give is that for a few years now our entry levels have been very low and that has meant the combining of our races with other groups such as Sa’s and M’s which is a bit harrowing for the older and slower in our ranks. This option wasn’t offered for this meeting, which some have said is disappointing as they would have liked to have competed.
The door has closed on this meeting for the JKL fraternity, but I and others will seek some clarification as to what level of participation the race committee will need to secure races in either our own races or races combined with other groups at future HSRCA SMSP meetings. It will then be up to us as a collective to muster support from our fellow JKL racers to get the numbers needed.
Within the next month or so I hope to send out a mini survey to all seeking some clarification as to what meetings you might be likely to support next year. I know that it’s difficult to often commit too far in advance, but if we all have a preference for meetings and can encourage others to attend those meetings as a group, it will make it more viable for the meeting organisers, more fun for us the competitors and add some surety to the future or our JKL group. If we can’t get the racing numbers up we will get less and less opportunities to compete. It’s as simple as that.
Had a note from John Bryant regarding some changes to the Mallala meeting next year and he asked me to pass it on.
I would just like to update you.
We have moved our All Historic Mallala from the traditional Easter weekend to Anzac weekend.
We would ask if you could inform your categories of the change in date and encourage them to attend.
We believe Mallala to be the last of the traditional picnic race meetings.
You have the ability to camp on site if you wish.
5 races plus practice.
Dinner at the track on Fri night.
Anzac service Sat morning and a twilight race meeting on the Saturday with a traditional race day Sunday.
This places the event almost equally between PI and Winton.
We would encourage all to attend this event.
Thanking you for your support.
Should you require any further info don’t hesitate to contact me.
If anyone has a comment, news or suggestion, I am more than happy to hear from you. In the mean time there’s not much else to report. Have a happy and safe Christmas and a prosperous and healthy 2015.
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