It’s The Pits, January 2020: All the News from JKL in the New Year

Catch up on all the news in the world of J, K and L with Mal Reid’s January 2020 edition of the newsletter for pre-1930s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s historic racing and sports cars, wrapping up the historic racing over September, October and November 2019.

It’s the Pits, January 2020

The past few months have been very busy for JKL racers. We had two Wakefield Park meetings during September, Sandown Park in October, the 25th Anniversary meeting of Wakefield Park, and then finished the year with the HSRCA Summer Festival in November at SMSP.

Wakefield Park’s All Historic Car and Bike meeting was held over the 31 Aug/1st Sept weekend. This meeting is restricted to pre-1963 cars and 66 competitors turned out for some good racing over a fine weekend. The bikes added a lot of extra interest, much like they do at Winton every year.

The cars were grouped into two regularity and three race groups and even though the grids were small there was some very determined racing going on. It was also great to see some of our interstate mates trek north of the boarder. Dick O’Keefe in the quick Photon Lotus 11 and Shane Bowden in the Prad 5 ran in Gp A and as usual ran hard all weekend to give a hurry up to the quicker Dalro, Faux Pas, Nota Din and MGs.

Regular ‘works Nota driver’ Rob Leslie lead the way in Gp B in Bruce Richardson’s Nota Minx and was closely followed by the very pretty Thompson Spec of Barry Bates and Sabakat of Mike Gosbell.

Group C was made up of mostly JKs and the Sulman Singer was getting an airing (yours truly amongst several others having a drive at this meeting) having a spirited run with Geoff Fry’s Vulcan Sports for most of the weekend.

Time will not allow me to detail each race but I can honestly say there was no shortage of track time and those that attended enjoyed the event, which was well run by Wakefield Park with the able assistance of Rob Rowe and John Lackey.

The HSRCA Spring Festival meeting was next, again at Wakefield Park. Held over the last weekend in September, the 28th & 29th, Group Ls were combined with M and Os and FJs but even then, it was a pretty small field of only 11 cars to line up for practice on Saturday morning. I am unable to report on this meeting as I was OS at the time. I did, however, get back just in time for the Wakefield Park 25th Anniversary meeting on November 16-17.

This meeting was promoted by Wakefield Park and our old cars were grouped into Regularity, early Racing and Sports, and Racing and Sportscars from the 50/60s. Many of the entrants from the inaugural Wakefield Park meeting were in attendance and many cars as well. The weekend kicked off with a big dinner at the Goulburn Workers and some 180 people reminisced about the opening of this great Goulburn facility 25 years ago.

As most would know, the circuit was the brain child of Paul Samuels and John Carter, both avid historic competitors. It was built to provide a home for historic and club-based motorsport. It’s great to see that their vision is still going strong after all these years.

Even though this was the 3rd historic meeting at the circuit in less than three months our JK and L fields were pretty good. 12 Regularity cars fronted for practice (thanks to the support from our fellow GEAR racers) along with 8 early Sports and Racing and 15 Sports and Racing cars from the ’50s and ’60s. Sadly the fields thinned out as the weekend progressed and many cars were on their trailers and heading home by Sunday afternoon.

2019 HSRCA Summer Festival

The last meeting of the year for JKLs was the HSRCA Summer Festival meeting at Sydney Motorsport Park. Sadly only 3 Lbs and 2 Invited Ms attended and were grouped together with the quicker M and O Tasman cars. Team Reid ran both the Holden Repco Aussie Specials, Faux Pas and Prad 3, David McKenzie in the MG Elfin Streamliner, Barry Bates in the Thompson Special and Rex Robinson in the Mallock U2 Replica.

Whilst our Lbs were thin on the grid I can report that the M and Os presented a terrific grid of cars and put on some beaut races.

Bought and sold over recent months includes Paul Armstrong’s Nalla Holden, which moves to a new home in Melbourne. Andrew Makin who took over Dick O’Keefe’s Scorcher Auto Electrics business is the new owner. Brian Lear’s beaut little Elfin Catalina was sold to a great Canberra mate of mine Peter Shaw. Pete is a new recruit to Historics and is starting out at GEAR next week and we hope to see him at other race meetings soon.

That it from me! I hope you all had a great Christmas and happy and healthy New Year.

Race safe and see you at the track in 2020,

Mal Reid

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