It’s the Pits, November 2018

Catch up on all the news in the world of J, K and L with the November 2018 edition of Mal Reid’s newsletter for pre-1930s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s historic racing and sports cars, covering September’s Spring Festival and Wakefield Park’s meeting for pre-’62 cars, bikes and sidecars.

It’s the Pits, November 2018

By Mal Reid

Wow, this year is fairly rocketing along with September being a busy month here in NSW featuring two Wakefield Park meetings run and won.

The first was held over the weekend of the first & second, the pre-1962 Wakefield Park-run meeting featuring cars, bikes and sidecars. 40 cars entered for racing and another 30 for regularity made for a fun and successful meeting.

With five races scheduled for the two days there was plenty of track time for all. Racing was again split into three groups according to performance; Regularity was split into pre and post-war groups.

Sixteen pre-war regularity cars hit the track first and it was good to see some familiar faces back. Kent Patrick brought out the Type 37 Bugatti, Steen Pederson made a welcome return in the Salmson GP, Tim Shellshear in the MG Magna and Les Craft in his MGTC were all faces we haven’t seen for a while.

Post-war regularity fielded ten cars from the Austin Special of Ken Reidy to the Nota Din of Alan McMaster and Milano GT of John Wright.

Group A racing featured ten of the older cars, with Chris Frost in the big Hartwig Fargo leading the field home from another Dodge Special of David Stewart and Ross Hodgson, again at the wheel of Dave Shannon’s Riley Special, rounding out the top three.

Group B was lead home by Greg Smith in the MG Holden. Greg travelled all the way from Vic and would enjoy his most successful meeting in 40 years with three scratch race wins. He didn’t have it all his own way though as Greg Snape in the Cooper BMW hounded him all the way. Rob Leslie was having another ‘works drive’ in Bruce Richardson’s Nota Minx, which later retired so Team Reid plonked him in the Sulman Singer for Sunday as a reward for towing duties.

It was good to see Percy Hunter back on the track and pleasing to see him have a fine third place finish in the second handicap race on Sunday. A fitting result for a stalwart of our JKL group, who has now hung up his helmet after decades of racing. Well done Percy! (See for sale notice later in the newsletter.)

Sixteen Group C cars practiced and Dick O’Keefe’s Photon sports was on pole from yours truly in Prad Mk3 and Brian Simpson in the Cooper Jap. This group had a very strong field of competitive cars and it was surprising to see regular front runners Les Wright in the big Dalro Jag and Dick Willis Mildren Cooper back mid field. Both managed to climb through the field for both Saturday scratch races but the Repco Holden-powered Prad was too good, managing to hold out a fast-finishing Les and a slipping and sliding Cooper with tyres well past their used by date!!

It was a beaut, well-run meeting and Wakefield Park are planning to run it again next year.  The trophy presentation was held on Saturday after racing and all competitors were treated to a bevvie or two, a hot sausage roll and more, all while the Jazz Band played!

A special award was presented for the first time to the car competitor whom most represents the “spirt of the meeting” and in my opinion the Ron Reid Trophy couldn’t have gone to a more fitting driver than Rees Mackay. Well done Rees!!

The HSRCA’s 2018 Spring Festival

Three weeks later it was time to return to Goulburn for the HSRCA’s Spring Festival over the weekend of the 22nd & 23rd of September. Because of the closeness of the meetings our JKLs were grouped with invited M and FJs giving a field of eighteen competitors.

With thinning fields it’s the only way to get a good-sized grid and at this meeting it really produced some excellent racing. Jamie Larner in the 1965 Frank Hook Cooper T76 FJ lead the field from Noel Bryen’s Rennmax BN1 FJ with the first of the Lbs next, David Reid in Faux Pas. Dick Willis returned this time with Nota Major and Rex Robinson was having his first proper race in the now logbooked Mallock U2, fitting in very well with the other Group M cars.

It was good to see Bill Hemmings make the trek up from Melbourne in his Elfin and he kept the other Elfin Streamliners of Ed Woods and David McKenzie company most of the weekend. My Prad broke another rocker at the previous meeting so out came the oldest car at the meeting, the mighty Sulman Singer, now with new motor. I was able to have some great dices with Ian Motley in the little Austin 7 and Andrew Halliday’s Cooper Mk5.

The old saying that “there’s no substitute for Cubic inches” was never truer than the battle in race 1 between the two very well driven FJs and the equally well-driven Faux Pas. Only three tenths of a second separated Jamie from brother Dave and Noel two seconds back in what was an epic nine lapper, Dicks Nota 4th putting many more modern machines to shame. It was disappointing not to have more of our group in attendance, but I can assure you that all those that made the trip down the Hume were well rewarded with a good weekend’s fun.

Upcoming 2018 Historic Race Meetings

We have a few major meetings still to be run. Firstly, there’s the VHRR’s All Historic Sandown over the weekend November 9-11. Check out all the details at vhrr.com/wp/sandown/.

Next is our HSRCA Tasman Festival Meeting in December 1-2nd at Sydney Motor Sport Park. All details and info here at hsrca.com. I have being informed by our President Richard Cardew that an anonymous donor has offered to rebate $150 against entry fees for Group JKL entrants who attend this meeting. It applies to competitors traveling from interstate or from distant locations, i.e. more than 500 kilometres from Sydney.

The HSRCA will arrange for the rebate to be paid. Entrants should notify Richard Cardew by email ([email protected]) of their desire to take advantage of this offer. The offer is retrospective to the date of opening of entries.

This is a very generous gesture by our anonymous friend so I hope that we can get a few more take up the offer.

For Sale: Historic Australian MGTC Monoposto Special

As I mentioned in my report earlier Percy Hunter has decided to hang up the helmet after a long and varied motor racing career and he has asked that I let all and sundry know that he is selling his beloved George Pearse MG Special.

At 83 I have finally hung up my helmet and am offering my much-loved MG for sale.  I have owned and raced this car since 1988. It has a very strong continuous racing history from 1947, beginning with George Pearse at Bathurst (full history available on request – too long to list here).

The car is currently in excellent condition and ready to race.  Fully rebuilt engine one race meeting old.  Currently supercharged but also runs with carburettors.  New Hoosiers on rear and good on front.  C. of D. and Log book.   @ $65K.  Contact Percy Hunter at 02 4733 4554.

Vale Paul Trevethan

And finally, on a sadder note I would like to mention that we have sadly lost another of our racing brothers. Our very good mate and fellow Team R member Paul Trevethan sadly passed away late August. Paul was one of a kind and will be sadly missed by many.

Paul started his racing career in 1961 in a self-built Clubman that was restored and raced by John Hunter. The Clubman made way for many MGs from MGTB to MG V8. He prepared and raced them all, Lotus Cortinas including the ex-Moffatt car, several Formula 5000s, a monstrous Ford Galaxy and a pair of MGBs that he built and prepared for what was to be known as the “Aussie Spa Attack” at Spa-Francorchamps in 2004.

I could go on but suffice to say Paul had a very wide and varied motorsport career, and despite the appearance of being “Mr Grumpy” he had a wit and sense of humour we’ll all miss. His knowledge of all things mechanical and his craft as a race car builder and preparer will be sorely missed by many. I know firsthand, as he did the restoration of my Prad Mk3 Repco and what a great job it was. If there is a racing heaven I’m sure he will be up there having a few beers with Ronny, Louie and all our other departed mates. We’ll miss you Bro.

That’s it for me for now, if you have any news please drop me a line.

Cheers and safe racing,
Mal Reid

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