After several meetings in a row of being baked, frozen, flooded and COVID-cancelled, we were blessed with a near-perfect winter weekend over the 11th and 12th of June for our 2022 HSRCA Sydney Classic historic race meeting. Put the kettle on and take a break for a few minutes to relive the action and enjoy a huge collection of photos from the meeting.
Aside from a little wind on Saturday afternoon, conditions for the event were perfect, with sunshine warming the track, tyres and our bones, and setting the stage for good times and great racing. This was a most welcome change after our 2021 summer and spring meetings were cancelled due to the plague, and our ‘Return to Racing’ one-day meeting and 2022 New Year Historics meetings were both held in torrential downpours at Wakefield Park.
The action kicked off on Friday morning with private practice hosted by the circuit, giving competitors an opportunity to test, tune and settle in ahead of the meeting proper. By the time the sun was up on Saturday morning the circuit was wide awake with everyone preparing for qualifying and the action didn’t let up until Group S saw the final chequered flag of the weekend on Sunday afternoon.
That buzz extended to the pits and paddock, which weren’t quite as lively as last year’s historic meeting in honour of the late Ron Tauranac AO, but were still full of life, friendship and lovely old cars.
On Saturday, we were honoured to host a group from MS Australia and provide hot laps. It was wonderful to meet everyone, and a most humbling experience. Our thanks to everyone involved and everyone who made it happen.
Speaking of those old cars, the 2022 HSRCA Sydney Classic saw a spectacular entry, with around 210 cars contesting the full range of race and speed events over the weekend.
Thanks to strong entries in Group N, Heritage Touring Cars’ Group C & A and Australian 5-Litre Touring Cars, the Sydney Classic was a great meeting for touring car fans. A highly competitive Group S field and grid from MG Racing Australia added to the tin top allure, as did the varied and interesting collection of cars in Regularity and Supersprint. Formula Ford and Formula Vee brought out some exciting cars and put on some excellent races, as did the wings ‘n slicks entries from Group Q & R Sports & Racing, and the classic L, M & O Sports & Racing cars.
Aldo De Paoli was in a class of his own in Group N, putting a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro on pole, by over a second, and going on to win all three closely-competed races. Adam Walton, Jamie Tilley and Chris Thomas fought for the remaining spots on the podium, putting on some excellent back-and-forth races over the course of the weekend. The video above shows Tom Tweedie starting from the back of the grid in race three for a run up to sixteenth.
It was a similar story for Jonathan Webb in Heritage Touring Cars. Webb qualified the Caltex Ford Sierra RS500 on pole position ahead of Tony Alford in ‘Godzilla’, the 1992 Nissan R32 GTR, and Terry Lawlor in the Group C Falcon XD. He went on to win all three races, with Adrian Allisey, Brian Henderson and Rick Allen also fighting up the top, and Terry Lawlor particularly impressive in the older Falcon.
Australian 5-Litre Touring Cars were wonderful to see out on the track in force. The series runs a super sprint format, which was initially led by Andrew O’Connell in the #888 Ford Falcon before Jacob Khouri slipped ahead in the second event and held that position the remainder of the weekend, eventually becoming the only driver in the category to drop under the 1:40s, finishing on a fastest lap of 1:39.82.
O’Connell went second quickest in the second event, with Carey McMahon taking a drive in a 2003 BA Falcon and running third. Chad Parrish managed to give O’Connell the slip in the third run, claiming second, while Peter Abood and Peter Xiberras did the same in the final run, going second and third fastest.
Group S was home to another dominant performance, Wayne Seabrook back on board his 1976 Porsche Carrera and going four-for-four. In fact, the top three didn’t change across the whole weekend. Terry Lawlor did double duty at the meeting, claiming second in all four Group S events in the ’66 Shelby American GT350 and Doug Barber made third home for his ’76 911.
MG Racing and invited British sports cars fielded a smaller field than we’ve seen in the past, but still put on some great races. Once again, it was a clean sweep with the MG Midget of Simon Meyer too much to match. Damien Meyer qualified second ahead of Michael Trathen, with Trathen and Tony Vollebregt going on to second and third in the remainder of the weekend’s events.
In Formula Ford, another clean sweep saw William Lowing going home happy after a good weekend aboard the ’88 Van Dieman. Peter Lucas claimed second in the first and second races before Cameron Walters took home second in the final race of the weekend. Garry Watson qualified third and held it for race one before Walters took his spot in race two, Garry Watson climbing the podium for the final race.
Domenic Ciccio kindly filmed his experience of the event, which you can enjoy on YouTube.
Formula Vee ran alongside the Formula Fords, and finally broke the streak of clean sweeps. Matthew Pearce qualified the Rennmax Mk2 first ahead of David Cutts and David Clark, but Cutts was able to bump him to second in the first race, with Sephen Normoyle doing the same for Clark. Race two saw Cutts continuing to climb, gaining his first win, with Pearce and Normoyle second and third. Pearce scored the win in the final race of the weekend, with Normoyle climbing to second and Clark back in third place.
Vivian King and Ian Buddery had a great weekend in Q & R Sports and Racing, trading between the top spot and second place for much of the weekend. Colin Haste in the Lola T560 claimed third in qualifying, before Andrew Carrig climbed the podium for third in all three races, Malcom Boyd second in the final event.
Matich SR4B pilot Brad Morrin secured pole position in L, M & O Sports & Racing ahead of Wayne Wilson and the Brabham Buick V8 of Les Wright. Wilson found his footing in the first race of the weekend, claiming victory ahead of Morrin and Wright and going on to a repeat in race two. With Wilson again at the head in race three, Norman Falkiner and John Macey took to the podium for a strong finish to the weekend.
Supersprint saw Bob Saunders and Bruce Tresidder going quick all weekend, Saunders setting the fastest Supersprint lap of the weekend in the first session on Saturday morning with a 1:49.69. Paul Finch went second in the PRB Clubman in that same run on a 1:50.16 – another time that wouldn’t be equaled in events to come. Torana Pilot Col Robinson went third on a 1:51.27, while Brad Robinson would find the top of the time sheets in the third and fourth runs, on board another Torana.
Bruce Melville opened his weekend in Regularity on a high note in the S3 Elan, topping the field ahead of ex-President Richard Cardew and Greg Boyle. Boyle remained competitive in the second run, second behind Bradley Basset in the Ford Escort and the Capri of Craig Anderson, moving up to win the final run of the weekend ahead of Bruce Melville and Richard Rose.
Our prizes for the drivers of the meeting were awarded to Wayne Wilson in open wheelers, Brad Morrin in sports racing, Wayne Potts in production sports and Chris Thomas in touring cars. Best presented open wheeler went to Greg Stott, sports racing to Bo Bates, production sports to Garth Selig and touring to Craig Marsland. Congratulations to all, and thanks to John Murn and the commentary team for organising.
We’d like to extend a huge thanks to all of our competitors for supporting the meeting in such excellent numbers, bringing out beautifully prepared vehicles and driving them with the appropriate combination of respect and vigor.
None of that would be able to happen, however, without the army of volunteers and supporters who contributed to the 2022 HSRCA Sydney Classic. A huge amount of work goes into making a race meeting like this happen – especially one as large and complex as this – and we would not be able to do it without you. Thank you!
Thank you from Rod, Wayne, Noel, Robyn and the HSRCA committee for your support of the Sydney Classic. Put September 10 & 11 in your diaries and join us for a weekend away at the Spring Festival at Wakefield Park.
With that, let’s move on to the photos. Click through the following galleries, and enjoy.
Thanks to Andy Aristodimou, Campbell Armstrong Rider, Riccardo Benvenuti, Domenic Ciccio, Peter Dalton, Jeremy Braithwaite, Andrew Green, Steve Haskell, David Jenkins, Craig King, Bruce Moxon, Brent Murray, Mark Richards, Stuart Row, Geoff Russell, Peter Schell, John Smith, Mark Walsh and Russell Windebank for covering the event, and sharing their images!
Please click their names to head to their websites and get in touch if you’d like to see more or order images. If you’d like to get in touch with John, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can reach Craig at email@example.com.
If you’d like to reach Bruce, Geoff, Jeremy, Peter Dalton, Peter Schell, Russel, Steve Haskell or Koen, or Seth, or if you’re looking for something in particular, send Seth an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.