We’re settling back into life in the present after spending a wonderful weekend in the golden age of motor sport with the 2019 HSRCA Summer Festival at Sydney Motorsport Park. To help you adjust, we’ve assembled a magic collection of images from the event, and have a few words to share as well. Read on!
After spending our mornings at the Sydney Classic bathed in fog, for the Summer Festival we were beset upon by smoke, which has been settling upon Sydney as a result of the terrible bush fires in New South Wales. So, while the weather forecast steadily improved throughout the week prior to the event and we actually ended up with a clear weekend, some rain would have been very welcome and likely cleared the atmosphere a little as well.
Nevertheless, while the literal atmosphere was a little hazy, occasionally lending a golden glow to the circuit, the atmosphere of the meeting was friendly and buzzing, with a tremendous entry joining us to farewell the year’s classic motor sport calendar.
We kicked off on Friday the 29th of November with private practice kindly hosted by Sydney Motorsport Park. The motor sport carried on all-but unabated through to not just a new month, but a fresh season, wrapping up in the early afternoon on Sunday the 1st of December. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the volunteers who support us, beautifully-prepared historic sports and race cars and impeccable driving standards, we kept the circuit singing throughout the weekend with barely a blip.
We were thrilled to host strong fields from all of the groups who joined us at the Summer Festival. We were also pleased to host several trophy events, as well as feature events in celebration of Elfin’s 60th anniversary, the Dawson-Damer trophy, the Group S enduro race and the BMW Challenge.
Group S were the first of our feature events out on Sunday morning, kicking off race day Sunday with a 22-lap team endurance event, complete with driver change and all the accompanying action in the pits. The forty-minute epic saw several front-runners retire early, with Kevin Luke eventually crossing the line first in his Porsche 911. Simon Meyer followed in second place in an MG Midget, with Bryan Taylor in third in a second 911 Carrera.
The Dawson-Damer trophy race was held later in the morning, and saw a beautiful collection of ’60s race and sports cars in close competition. The race was won by Andrew Robson in a Brabham BT30, followed by the Elfin 600 of Laurie Bennett and Brabham BT31 of Peter Strauss. It’s magic seeing these iconic cars out in numbers at race pace, and we hope to see more of them out and about in the future.
An Elfin sprint was held as part of the marque’s 60th birthday celebrations and saw three Elfin 600 vying for the fastest lap. Laurie Bennett eventually emerged victorious, firing in a 1:42.08. Sean Whelan was next fastest, with Ian Ross third fastest in his Elfin 600C Repco Brabham.
The BMC Challenge was another event that was a lot of fun, and one we’d like to take forward to future meetings. It was also held in a sprint format, and pitted cars running BMC’s A-type engine against each other, meaning a mix of Group S and Group N cars like Austin Healey Sprites, MG Midgets and of course the mighty Mini. It was a Midget sweep on Sunday, Simon Meyer going fastest in his Midget on a 1:52.11, with Nick Sebesfi just a few tenths slower on a 1:52.49 and Brian Weston third fastest.
There was clean and close racing to be found throughout the entry, with entertaining classic motor sport to be enjoyed no matter which group was on track at the time. As well as those mentioned above, we saw strong entries and fun events in the big ’70s sports and race cars of Group QR Sports & Racing, Formula Vee, Formula Ford, a packed Group N field and the timed categories Regularity and Super Sprint.
On Sunday we were joined by an HSRCA club run and display, kindly organised by Rick Marks, which also ran demonstration laps over lunch. The cars were immaculately prepared and the display, and good company, added to the great atmosphere of the event.
Speaking of that atmosphere, thanks to all of the drivers, teams, families and friends who come along to HSRCA meetings and make them such pleasant places to be. The pits and paddock were consistently abuzz with mates catching up and industrious tinkering, and that atmosphere is an aspect of HSRCA meetings of which we are most proud.
Most importantly, we, and I’m sure everyone involved in the HSRCA Summer Festival, would like to send a most wholehearted ‘THANK YOU!’ to the volunteers who support our meetings and make them safe and enjoyable. Without you, none of this would be possible.
With that, it’s time to pack the cars and tools away, and take a break to spend the summer holidays with family and friends. We will be back early next year to open entry for the Autumn Festival, which will be held over the 21st and 22nd of March, 2020. Have a safe, happy and healthy holiday break, and we will see you in 2020!
Thank you from Rod, Richard and the HSRCA committee for a most excellent Summer Festival!
Settle in and spend a few minutes clicking through the following links to enjoy the wonderful coverage of the event produced by the talented photographers who cover HSRCA events.
Images thanks to Campbell Armstrong Rider, Riccardo Benvenuti, David Jenkins, Seth Reinhardt, Stuart Row, Geoff Russell and Peter Schell. To get in contact with Peter or Seth, email Seth at [email protected].
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