Image thanks to Ian Welsh / Shifting Focus Photographics
Based on road cars and pushed to the limits of the aerodynamic and mechanical knowledge of their day, Sports Sedans played an important role in Australia’s motor racing history. Today, they’re a burgeoning historic group and we’re pleased to welcome them to the Spring Festival over the 22nd and 23rd of September.
The Historic Sports Sedan category will make its New South Wales debut at September’s 2018 Spring Festival at Wakefield Park. At time of writing, the field will include drivers from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, with more still to join. Several entered cars have competition history prior to 1986 (Group U), and these will be joined by stunning replicas of cars we all know and love from the Group C & A era. All have been lovingly restored to do what they’ve always done best – race.
One car with period history is the 1970 Ford Escort Mark 1 V8 of Garry Ford. Built by Ron Whittaker and log-booked in 1975, it raced extensively on the east coast of Australia in the mid-to-late ‘70s. Ford actually owned the car back in 1977, racing it for two years before selling it. He was able to buy it back some three decades later and has been a regular competitor in it ever since.
Ian Baird will pilot an Austin A30 that was built and raced by Barry Bray in the early 1970s. The car was initially powered by a supercharged Datsun S2000 motor, but that proved unreliable so it was reverted to a speedway mechanical fuel injection system. The change gave the A30 the reliability it needed and it went on to be very competitive in the under two-litre class.
Simon Pfitzner will also be joining us, running a turbo Datsun Stanza Coupe. The Stanza was built in 1980 from a new shell supplied by Howard Marsden. It began its competitive life as an under two-litre car, but was later turbocharged. It features a very rare Nissan factory motorsport LZ20T motor that was originally used under Nissan’s Group 5 sports car program and acquired thanks to a strong relationship with Nissan Motorsport.
The Spring Festival will host Round 2 of the series’ John McCormack Trophy. John is an innovator who built cars that ran at the cutting edge of the class during the ‘70s and ‘80s, including legends like the Unipart Jag and Ansett Charger. The group will run a supersprint format, with a single file rolling start. This gives drivers the best opportunity to stretch the cars’ legs and have some fun while still being kind to the equipment and only requiring a CAMS Speed License. It also encourages people to bring these awesome machines out of their garages and onto the track, where they can be enjoyed by all.
In their day, these boundary-smashing machines thundered around Aussie racetracks, thrilling spectators in the hands of touring car legends like Moffat, Jane, McCormack, Richards, Grice and more. The legacy of these cars is still seen in modern Australian race cars, and the category still exists, running nationally, often under Shannons’ CAMS National Series.
The HSRCA is very pleased to welcome the category to the Spring Festival, and we can’t wait to see these magic machines in action. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see these stunning cars on track, or be a part of the event as a competitor.
Spectator tickets will be available at the gate each day. Kids under 16 get in free, adult tickets are $20 for a day or $30 for a weekend pass and concession tickets are $15 or $25 for the weekend. Wakefield Park is located at 4770 Braidwood Rd, Tirrannaville.