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 JULY 2015
Well we are now half way through the racing calendar and there have been a few notable meetings that have been run and won since I last run the fingers over the keyboard. Sadly for me I have not been able to even get to a meeting let alone have a run, so I the best I can do for news is to rely on my ever faithful correspondents for gossip.
Winton late in May was once again a big draw card for our older cars with 30 Ls and 19 J & Ks practicing. Good solid fields and by all counts some exciting racing.
I don’t have any reports from this meeting but a quick check on Natsoft shows that Jim Russell in the big Ford V8 had a very successful weekend with 3 from 3 wins. Great driving as usual from Stumpy. Patty Ryan had 2 seconds and a DNF so when he was on circuit he was flying.
Ls were a similar situation with very dominant showings from Dick Willis in the Mildren Climax winning both scratch races and the immaculate black Lola of Samantha Dymond just behind in second. The hospitality as usual was tops and all who ventured to the Pinsent Hotel for a Libation or two enjoyed the Wangaratta hospitality well!
This year the Easter Mallala meeting was moved to the Anzac Long weekend and sadly only 13 cars lined up for practice. Bob Schapel proved too strong for the rest with a few wins and Samantha Dymond running close behind with a few seconds and fastest in practice. A pointer of good things to come at Winton for Sam.
Derrick Greeneklee sent this report
Just a few notes on the Mallala historic Anzac day meeting. Firstly the change of date brought an increase to entries of over 150, suggesting most people have got other things to do at Easter time!
Weatherwise, Friday was shocking! Saturday was wet in the arvo, and Sunday cloudy and cool but no rain. The weather is always a bit iffy after Easter when the seasonal rains start, however it all went well.
Although general entries were up, LB and earlier were thin, although we were helped by a couple of FVs which lap in quite respectable LB times and fit in well.
The star driver for the weekend was Samantha Dymond in the Penrite Lola with pole, a win, and two seconds plus fastest lap of 1.24.25. Considering Samantha had never seen the track before this was a brilliant effort to out speed local hotshot Bob Schapel in his MG TC who usually cleans up. Bob shared the spoils with two wins and a second.
Michael Shearer drove his late Dad Kevin’s Ford A Special with verve and courage to fourth in the final race with an outstanding sub 1.30 time.
This big 4 cylinder car has enormous torque and circulates most circuits using top gear only. This includes Winton! This is the truth! You can ask Mike yourself and watch his eyes! Kevin offered me a drive in it several times but I was never brave enough.
Geoff McInnes was on the pace with four third places doing 1.29s easily. Gerard Miller ran fast and smooth all meeting in the big and quick ex-Bruce Hartwig Dodge Special. Don Grieveson’s Spectre FV was very competitive amongst the bigger engine cars. These 1200 FVs lap remarkably quickly despite their 40HP, due largely to their light weight and good brakes, because they don’t handle all that well. Anybody who can drive a FV quick can drive anything! They are certainly not out of place in the average LB field.
Norman Falkner’s classically red bodied Stangellini FJ as always, looked, sounded and went beautifully.
Noel Cunningham ran his Grand Prix Talbot and added a real historic feel to the meeting.
Unfortunately it rained heavily just prior to Saturday’s last race. A small field splashed around for 6 laps in atrocious conditions in which John Virgo’s big Riley aquaplaned off the track doing considerable damage to the front end but fortunately with no harm to John.
Team Cooper might as well have stayed at home. The McGurk MK6 Cooper JAP did a brilliant impression of Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault smoking engine blow up crossing the finish line, and despite a promising third in qualifying Brian Simpson’s MK9 Cooper Team car, after surviving a Kamikaze late braking excursion through the bull rushes, died mysteriously while holding third in the last race. A lunch time flyover and demonstration runs provided excellent entertainment for all.
The overall verdict was that although the weather is a bit risky, the later date of April 25 is more convenient than Easter to most folk resulting in more entries, although sadly these entries are not reflected in the Group we love best.
That’s about it Mal! My kindest regards to all and hope to see you again later in the year…. with some new pistons!
A few notes from Michael Shearer.
A story from Easter that you would appreciate from the Monoskate days:
Had a good run on the Saturday even though it was very wet and slippery. The A Model spent a bit more time sideways, and getting wheel spin and drift in the middle of the Mallala back straight is not fun. I finished up fourth overall and first Group K.
Bright and early with a dry track on Sunday, second row of the grid in a mixed J,K & L race, looking forward to the old girl launching off the line like she does and terrorising some unsuspecting folk ahead!
Flag dropped, clutch dropped, clunk and no drive. After removing the right rear hub we found a new key sheared neatly in halves! After a brief moment of lamenting with the thought of the missed handicap and the DG Fraser Memorial race and no spare key, I searched through the tin of spares and found a suitable Old Henry proper steel bolt. Through the deft skills on an angle grinder from my partner in crime, a custom key was fashioned up for the slightly damaged key way. Few trips around the pits to bed it in, re-tighten the hub etc and we were ready to go.
Unfortunately we had missed the handicap as there was only 1 hour between the events. Out for the DG Fraser Memorial trophy and at the rear of the grid, I thought a gentle launch would be the order of the day, only to stall the car on the grid. Fortunately the starter we fitted a few years ago (amazing idea starter motors, not sure why Kev never thought of that, to be fair he did but never quite got it working) came in handy and away we went.
Still managed to catch a couple of cars by turn two and set to hunting down Gerard Miller. Not an easy feat and all thought of that weak link in the rear end went out the window. After catching Gerard the concept of a third place outright was there with a Riley Special not too far away, however the honour of the DG Fraser Memorial Trophy was too much and sensibility prevailed. In the process the car recorded its fastest lap time 1.29.8 which isn’t too bad for Mallala. The real question is do I touch the magic key!!
Thanks for both those reports lads!
Morgan Park was on again and I have a report each from David Bruce and Dick Willis;
JKL Report Historic Queensland 4/5th July
I arrived at Morgan Park on Thursday after lunch. It was strange to be at the circuit and not have a car entered. Thursday night was very cold -4 deg C.
Friday the fog lifted and we had a beautiful winter’s day.
We had 10 JKL cars entered and three invited M but due to the small field we were joined by group M racing cars. We should mention Frank Moore in the 1955 awesome Tornado and John Anderson in the Triumph/Wolseley special known as the “Woltri” who ran in regularity.
Private practice saw the demise of Dick Willis in the Nota Major with a major oil leak at the sump gasket. Dick removed the oil pan only to find metal swarf in the bottom of the pan so elected not to run to prevent further damage to the engine.
On Friday evening the HRCC put on drinks and nibbles at the Warwick RSL.
Saturday was another perfect winter’s day and practice saw these lap times recorded: Fastest was Bill Norman in the Australian built Lynx FJ at 1:28.5,Invited M, Warwick McBean Lolus at 1:38.4. Fastest in group L was John Ashwell in the Ford Zephyr powered Buckle Lightweight Coup at 1:39.2.Jb Rob Harcourt in the Lancia Meadows at 1:43.8 and Kb Pete Trapnell in his V8 special at 1:51.2
Race 1, event 3 on Saturday, 5 laps, saw some good close racing at the front of the field with no accidents. First across the line was Bill Norman in the Lynx FJ.First in invited M was Warwick McBean in the Lolus, first in group L was Mike Gosbell in the Nota FJ and in group J Rob Harcourt in the Lancia Meadows.
Race 2, event 12, six laps: Again close racing at the front with Bill Norman first. Invited M, Warwick McBean, Lb John Ashwell, and J, Rob Harcourt.
On Saturday night the HRCC put on drinks and nibbles for competitors, crew, officials and flaggies.
Sunday we were granted another perfect winter’s day. The HRCC ladies did a morning tea for wives, partners and girlfriends of competitors at the top of the tower.
I should mention here that Marquee pit space was provided at no cost to the JKL group due to the generous donation of Craig Carlson MGTC and HRCC member.
Race 3 event 21 of 8 laps was the feature race of our group and included the Chas Whatmore perpetual trophy for Group J
First to the checked flag was Bill Norman Lynx FJ. Group M invited: Warwick McBean Lolus, group L: Mike Gosbell Nota FJ. Group J and winner of the Chas Whatmore Trophy: Rob Harcourt.
Thanks must go to Peter and Ann Yeomans(Lotus 11 Lemans) for the sausage sizzle for the JKL drivers and pit crew.
Race 4, event 30: I was not present for this race so these results are taken from the “Mylaps” website. First: Bill Norman in the Lynx FJ making it four from four. Invited group M: Warwick McBean Lolus Group L: Mike Gosbell Nota FJ and group J: Rob Harcourt Lancia Meadows
PIT SPY REPORTS.
Frank Moore tried to start the Tornado with the carby plugs still in place, then found the fuel taps were off. When it finally burst into life it sounded fantastic especially under the bridge and down the hill into Gumtree.
Peter Yeomans’ Lotus 11 had the gear lever knob come off in his hand and later lost the gears completely(You are in big trouble if your knob comes off).
Pete Trapnell, V8 Special, came into the pits with bad noises from clutch or gearbox.
John Ashwell lost a rear axle from the Buckle and came back on the tow truck.
David Gleen (Anderson Holden) was unwell and did not compete, having towed the car all the way from the South. We hope you arrived home safely David. All in all a great weekend of Historic Motor racing, but we need more JKL cars on the track to keep our special spot on the programme.
Morgan Park Historics, July 4/5 2015
By Dick Willis
Up in South East Queensland every July is one of the most enjoyable Historic race meetings you will ever find. Tragically, unlike the early days of Historics, many from the southern states these days never get to experience it. What a pity, it is a great 3km circuit with some rewarding challenges, commonsense takes precedence over bureaucracy and, unlike many venues, the organisers have the welcome mat out for visitors.
This year JKL numbers were down a little compared to previous years so 12 Formula Juniors were to join us in our races making a potential total of 26 starters in our races. Unfortunately several of our numbers were to fall by the wayside before racing started, last year’s front runner, Pete Trapnell with the ex Dick Vermullen Ford V8 special with a suspected broken crank, David Gleen (Anderson Holden) who fell ill, Les Wright in the much anticipated “Lb” version of the Dalro who couldn’t get the “new” motor ready in time, Dick Willis who discovered metal particles in the sump of the Nota Major when he removed it to fix an oil leak so thought it prudent to park the car to avoid further damage. Peter Yeomans had to pull out on the Saturday with gearbox woes in the Lotus Eleven and John Ashwell, after running very strongly in the “lightweight” Buckle ( it weighs nearly a tonne ! ) was a casualty in the first Sunday race when a rear wheel/axle/brake drum etc parted company.
Despite all this carnage some great racing was taking place at the front of the field between the Formula Juniors of Bill Norman, Noel Bryen and Don Thallon with the proverbial blanket covering this trio in nearly all four races. In our group, Warwick McBean emerged the quickest in the Group M (invited) Holden powered Lolus lapping some 3 seconds quicker than he had done on previous trips to Morgan Park. Tragically, the original builder of Warwick’s car, Stewart Everett of Kyogle passed away only a few weeks ago having suffered injuries which ultimately led to his passing when he rolled his Porsche Spyder copy at this meeting last year.
Having been made an offer he couldn’t refuse, Barry Bates sold his Louts Fifteen to a buyer in the UK and his search for a replacement car led him to become the new owner of Ray Kenny’s Thomson Lola sports. Running as an invited M car he finished comfortably inside the top ten in all his races relishing the handling of his new acquisition. Fellow invited M competitor, Paul Armstrong with the radical Nalla Holden continues to come to grips with it and was another to clip 3 seconds off his best time from last year.
Group J cars (pre 1931 in case you had forgotten) are rarely seen these days except at Winton so it was a pleasant surprise to have two entered, Rob Harcourt with the Lancia Meadows which he has had forever and goes surprisingly quickly. Warren Webb with the ex Norm Bice Lea Francis seemed to be having a trouble free run and found he was by no means outclassed by some of the later cars. Mike Gosbell found that a new set of tyres on his pretty Nota BMC FJ improved its times by some 6 seconds a lap from the previous meeting last May, consequently he was well up in the action with other Group L cars.
Terry White became one of the few Victorians ever to undertake the Morgan Park experience and declared the trip well worthwhile, really enjoying the event. Fellow MG TC racer, Craig Carlson also has his car operating quite nicely thanks to some tweaks by Percy Hunter and our thanks must again go out to him for sponsoring the marquee which housed our Group. Jim Elphick with the Gazelle never seems to miss this meeting and again found some others to race with. In Regularity, Frank Moore had his annual outing in the fearsome methanol (used 100 litres) fuelled Tornado.
Finally our thanks must go out to the HRCC of Qld for making us so welcome and to David Bruce even though he has sold the WRM for his efforts in promoting the JKL flag in Queensland. Personally, I had a great time spectating and socialising but I did miss being on the track.
Thanks to all for their reports! Remember if you have any news at all don’t hesitate to let me know.
I have been advised that a meeting commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Historic Amaroo, our 1st all historic meeting, is being planned by the VSCCA to be run around September next year. This is around the time of our usual JKL featured Wakefield meeting and it has been suggested that our group not run at the Wakefield meeting for 2016 and concentrate all our efforts into making the most of this milestone 40th anniversary and join the VSCCA meeting. Early days yet so let me know if you think you would like to run at one meeting or the other or even both.
Lastly, our HSRCA Wakefield Park Meeting will be on 19th and 20th September so pencil this into your diary. This is always a great meeting, with top racing and wonderful hospitality. Once again JK & L’s will be the featured group and a free pit marquee will be available to our cars. Entry fees will be up a little on previous years but free cross entry to run in both race and regularity will be available to all those who need more track time. If you haven’t been to a Goulburn meeting just talk to someone who has. It’s a great weekend away for all and the hospitality as good as it gets. I hope to see you there.
That’s all I have for now.
Cheers and safe racing