The Historic Racing and Sports Car Club Inc (HRSCC)

Historic vehicles, classic racing cars

Formula Junior newsletters and events

HRSCC Historic and Vintage Festival - Taupo 4th and 5th Dec 2010

A couple of days on from the Historic Racing and Sports Car Club's annual Taupo TT event and time to reflect on what a wonderful weekend everyone had. Everything worked superbly, the weather, the entry, the 'racing', and the socialising. The biggest plus must be that there were no incidents or damage among the competitors, everyone was out for some fun and a good run.

There were six groups running - historic sports-racing, Formula Fords, Formula 3/Formula Junior, Alfas, sports cars and the highlight of the weekend a good grid of vintage cars of all sizes and speeds. Our group had two invited guests, a very neat and quick Terrapin and Nigel in Graham Banks' Mk 5 Buckler (which also ran in the vintage group with Graham aboard).

A nice surprise was seeing Garth Thomas who bought his partly restored T72 Cooper-BMC formula three car for all to see. It was nice to meet Garth's dad, Bryan, a gentleman who competed in Jim Barclay's Gemini back in the 60s, some real Formula Junior history.

Most lost count of how many laps they got in, with very little time lost to recovering vehicles the groups rolled around so quickly everyone had had enough by 3pm on Sunday - the Carter Elfin, now back to genuine FJ specs and looking resplendent in new black paint, had enough. The battery went flat during its last run !

The Wayne Rodgers' initiated and created "Spirit of Formula Junior Award" went to the team of Walter Findlay and Rex Harrison for their never-give-up attitude, much to the delight of all competitors.

By my reckoning the HRSCC have been running this meeting now for 25 years, if you were unfortunate enough to miss this year, don't dispair, pencil it in for the first weekend in December next year. You won't regret it !

Regards and Compliments of the Season to all.
Ian Garmey

Formula Junior Eastern Creek - November 2010

On Friday 5 November eleven race cars were packed into two 40' containers bound for the Tasman Revival Series at Eastern Creek, Sydney to be held on 26 -28 November. The cars were Jim Barclay's Gemini Mk3A FJ, Roger Herrick's Lola Mk2 FJ, Neil Tolich's Jocko FJ, Nigel Russell's FMZ FJ, Tony Olissoff's Emeryson Elfin FJ, Paul Halford's Autosud FJ, Chris Atkinson's Lotus 20/22, Ken William's BBM, Peter Avery's Brabham BT16, Peter Boels' Lotus 41C and Stuart Lush's McRae GM1.

The Tasman Revival Series is held every second year at the undulating and flowing Eastern Creek circuit and this time there were over 400 entries ranging from a 1985 Ferrari 156/85 F1 car to an Austin A30 saloon racer. In between there were such gems as a Maserati 250F, Alfa 8C and many other exotics. It is a real spectacle with pit gazing being almost as enjoyable as the racing.

After the event organisers had unpacked our container for us, track familarisation commenced on the Thursday with those of us who had not driven the track before getting use to the blind corners, tricky infield and "heart in the mouth" high speed turn one. Friday dawned hot and sunny and it was all action with a official qualifying / practice and a race. As the FJ qualifying time arrived around midday, the temperatures had soured to 36 in the shade and the Kiwi contingent was suffering. Fastest in FJ qualifying was Chris Atkinson in his Lotus 20/22 which showed the benefits of a Richardson head on his Ford engine (these heads are not permitted in NZ FJ racing) by lapping 7 seconds a lap faster the the next best Kiwi FJ car. Tony Olissoff was very quick in the ex Nigel Russell Emeryson Elfin followed by Paul Halford in the Autosud, Nigel Russell in the FMZ, Jim Barclay in the Gemini and Roger Herrick in the Lola.

Unfortunately Neil Tolich had unexpected family commitments and was unable to race the Jocko over the weekend - however he did turn up on the Saturday and was able to get two laps in the parade and had the distinction of getting the Jocko to pass the Geogheon Mustang on the main straight (the fact that the Mustang had slowed for a photo shot was not relevant).

The first race on Friday was a close affair (apart from Chris' Lotus which was effectively in another class but nevertheless being well driven and mixing it at the front with the Australian Richardson head cars). Nigel and Tony finished less than half a second apart with Nigel just beating his old car. Paul, Jim and Roger finished line abreast but with a little gap between each car. Paul was going particularly well in the Autosud and it was getting lots of attention in the pits as as front engined Juniors are a rarity in Australia. Roger was frustrated by a mysterious lack of speed in the Lola and was struggling to keep up with the rest of the Kiwis.

The Saturday morning race had the Kiwis finishing in a block from 14th to 18th places with the order being Tony, Jim, Paul, Nigel and Roger. The race of the weekend was the Saturday afternoon race with a fantastic full-on dice between Tony, Nigel and Paul. The trio swapped places a number of times every lap and they had the crowd and commentators in raptures. Nigel crossed the line just before Paul with Tony, who had been baulked by a back marker on the last lap, only a second behind. The smile on Paul's face when he came in took ages to disappear and he reckoned it was one of the best races he had ever driven in. The next day he told us he had woken up at 2am just to go through the race again and he decided not to race on the Sunday as he didn't want to spoil the high of the Saturday afternoon race.

Jim had suffered a sudden loss of power in the Saturday afternoon race and had to be towed in. Back in the pits everything seemed fine but on the Sunday race it happened again with another tow in. The problem remained unresolved as the cars were packed into the container for their trip home but the possible cause could be a fuel line collapse or tank venting issues. Roger's Lola was getting slower by the race and was lapping over the times set by his Taraschi in 2008. Tony Olissoff and the TAFT mechanics descended on the Lola and after much checking it was found that a rear wheel bearing had almost totally seized and the slow speed of the car was attributable to driving it as if the brakes were on. As it was unable to be fixed at the track it was packed away early into the container.

There was only one race on the Sunday but it was held in pouring rain. Tony showed his wet weather prowess and benefits of front wheel drive to bring the Emeryson Elfin in as first of the Kiwis followed by Nigel in the FMZ and Chris in the Lotus. Jim had a DNF with another power failure and both Nigel and Chris had spins (not an uncommon occurrence throughout the field during the race). Nigel got the most stick after the race as although he drove very well in the conditions he had the ignominy of also having a spin on the slow down lap while waving to the flag marshalls. (Nigels note; None of them actually saw or knew about it as they were all cowardly sheltering from the down pour in the comforts of the corporate room kindly laid on by the AFJA. The true ignominy is that I foolish told them about the spin.)

All in all it was a great weekend with a huge variety of exotic cars being raced as they should. The Eastern Creek track is like a longer version of Hampton Downs with a bit more undulation. Pit and function facilities are excellent and the international drivers are housed in a hotel only 5 minutes walk from the track. The Kiwi FJ contingent showed fine camaraderie with after match functions (including Tony's French aviator impressions) and everyone lending a hand when needed. Unfortunately, the FJ grid ended up splitting itself into two speed groups - those with Richardson or welded up heads and those without. Nevertheless, the racing was close and the revaluations of the meeting for us were the speed of Tony in the Emeryson and Paul's performance in the Autosud. Roll on 2012.

Tony Olisoff in his first race with the Emeryson Elfin Mk1 previously raced for many years by Nigel Russell; Paul Halford in the Auto Sud in another Battle Royal with Nigel in the FMZ with Max Lane in his newly arrived Lola Mk2, ex Truslove UK
Rumble in the Jungle
Autosud followed by Gemini Mk3A of
Jim Barclay and FMZ.

Formula Junior report 11 November 2010

There have been a few things happening in our world with cars crossing the Tasman, races, future events and some car activity.

Last week seven of our FJ cars were packed into two containers bound for Eastern Creek - the cars going are Chris Atkinson (Lotus 20/22), Jim Barclay (Gemini Mk3A), Roger Herrick (Lola Mk2), Paul Halford (Autosud), Nigel Russell (FMZ), Tony Olissoff (Emeryson Elfin) and Neil Tolich (Jocko). There are also a few FJ people (John Rapley, Mike Sexton and possibly John Holmes coming across as support). Eastern Creek is usually a great event with a track reminiscent of Hampton Downs with lots of undulations. There is a good FJ grid with mainly Australian rear engined Juniors plus a couple of Lotus 18s from Japan.

Last Sunday TACCOC held a meeting at Hampton Downs that provided a grid for non-Formula Ford historics. Four FJs turned up - John Holmes (Lotus 18), Ian Garmey (Cooper T56), Rob Williams (Elva) and Michael Herrick (Taraschi). Michael was having his first open wheel drive after the engine on his Cortina GT had expired the previous week. While Michael was getting to grips with having no grip (and loving it) the others had some great dices with the Lotus noticeable for running sweetly all day. These one day TACCOC meetings are a great format with reduced grids and slick organisation. They provide practice plus three 8 lap races in one day so there is as much racing as the standard 2 day meets provide but there is no hanging around waiting and you get a free day to gather more brownie points at home - they deserve more support from the FJ fraternity - and yes, I am on the TACCOC committee.

Just to show there is no bias, HRSCC are holding their renowned and relaxed two day meeting at Taupo on 4/5 December 2010. Here is a background to the meet :

Historic Racing and Sports Car Club
8am Saturday, 4 December to 4pm Sunday, 5 December, 2010

This is a social event formulated for you to enjoy your car, the Taupo track and fellow competitors.

With the exception of Alfa Romeo Tropheo Series cars, which for the past 10 years or more have been a traditional part of this HRSCC event, this meeting is aimed at Historic and Vintage cars and a race programme will be worked out to accommodate fast and slow groups for each category as required.

The Alfa Series cars will be running up to six races for their championship, Vintage Car Club entrants, Historic Sports Cars, Formula Ford and Formula Junior/Formula 3 will have exclusive races as well as mixed grid historic events, split into fast and slow groupings.

Documentation and scrutineering for all categories will commence at 8.00am Saturday followed by six-lap practice runs. A social dinner will be held on Saturday evening in the Taupo Car Club's clubrooms at the circuit, limited seating restricts the number able to attend so it must be on a first come-first served basis. $20pp, BYO refreshments. A prize-giving "ceremony" will be held at the conclusion of racing at 4pm Sunday.

Trophies to be competed for include ...

  • HRSCC FORMULA JUNIOR TROPHY: A one-off presentation of a trophy designed and presented by Wayne Rodgers for the best performing Formula Junior at the meeting
  • CLASSIC COVER TROPHY: Donated by Mark Joblin of Classic Cover Insurance for presentation to the winner of the Feature Event which this year will be for Formula Ford, to celebrate 40 years of the formula.
  • BIG TREE TROPHY: A very historic trophy presented to the Historic Racing and Sports Car Club by the family of the late Phil Seabrook for competition among Historic Single-Seaters.
  • THE ARTHUR MALLOCK TROPHY: Presented by Susanne (nee Mallock) and Bill Stone to the person with a U2 connection who best represents Arthur's ideals.
  • IAN IVERS MEMORIAL TROPHY: A beautifully mounted model car trophy presented by Colin Waite in memory of his friend and mechanic, Ian Ivers, for competition by under 1100cc sports and racing cars.
  • BRABHAM WHEEL TROPHY: A genuine Brabham single-seater steering wheel mounted on a plinth and donated by the late Bob Wigg to be presented to the best prepared car as chosen by our Scrutineers.
  • BIG REV TROPHY: An artistic trophy presented by HRSCC member Tony Garmey, now of Seattle, for presentation to the "Best Whoopsie" of the weekend.

... and lemons!


  • Protests will be ignored!
  • Documentation and scrutineering irregularities could count against your car's trophy total!
  • Not all winners will be recognised!
  • The Organising Committee reserve the right to change the rules at any time during the weekend (without prior notice) - depending on who is winning!
  • The Organising Committee, Steward and Clerk of the Course are all available to be "bought" at any time during the weekend. A "nod and a wink" from the Starter can be had for as little as a bottle of bourbon !

Entry forms were sent out by Ian Garmey on 8 November but if you haven't got one but want to enter just contact me and I will forward the documents to you.

We have unfortunately been advised by the Waitemata Branch of the VCC that they have decided that our FJ cars are no longer welcome to compete at their Chelsea hillclimb. We are uncertain as to why they have come to this decision as they are allowing other similar cars to compete.

The Waitemata Branch of the VCC are organising an historic event at Hampton Downs at Easter 2011 and are keen to attract as many cars as possible in order to make the event a success for them. As such, they would like our FJ cars to enter.

On the new car front, Mike Sexton is coming close to the finish of his restoration of his Gemini Mk2. I have had a sneak preview and it will be a stunning car with a high polished alloy body and great lines - as the first Gemini Mk2 built it is also a special car. Coincidentally, the other recent Gemini import (Noel Woodford's Gemini Mk3A) is also nearing completion and it appears possible that this car could be the first Mk3A made. There is still some verification needed to support this deduction but as the car was purchased from the US west coast and as there was only one Gemini Mk3A running on the west coast in period, we think they may be the same car. If so (and some original body colours appear to match) then the car could be Ed Leslie's 1961 US car. Ed was a well known and respected driver having driven for Carroll Shelby, Jim Hall and Roger Penske. Noel has contacted the late Ed's son Leslie V Leslie, who remembers the Gemini well (he recollects as a 10 year old the painting over of the Chequered Flag white and black with Ed's favourite red) and he holds period records including a photo of the Gemini at Brands Hatch in August 1961 with Mike Parkes driving for the works Chequered Flag team. More information on this car is coming to light all the time and it is hopeful that its history will be able to be verified one way or another.

Allan Cattle was out in his newly acquired Volpini at the Icebreaker meeting and it was looking very smart in pale blue, Unfortunately it dropped a valve early in proceedings but knowing Allan it will soon be back in running order.

The other event for FJ cars is of course the Chris Amon Festival at Hampton Downs on 21-23 and 28-30 January 2011. Following in the footsteps of the Bruce McLaren Festival it will be a great show but unfortunately there will not be the level of UK and European entrants we had last time. However, there is a good group of Australian FJs coming so racing should be brisk and exciting. The cost of putting this event on is considerable and as a result the organisers have had to increase the entry fee to $920 for the two weekends. This includes $345 for use of the marquee which is compulsory housing for our cars - you can leave your tent at home and not have the hassle of putting it up and stopping it blowing away. All details can be found at I am the FJ co-ordinator so if you have any queries or problems just ask.


The Lynx New Zealand Formula Junior Racing car 1961-1965

Lou had always been keen on motor sport and thought that this new class being promoted by the New Zealand Motor Sport body offered an affordable entry into single seating motor racing, and when one day in 1961 when Lou was telling Benny of his passion, and Benny offered to build this Formula Junior racing car for Lou, it was all go. Lou would put up the money and be the sole driver and Benny would be the designer.
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Formula Junior Update and TACCOC Pukekohe April 2010

Hi Guys,

Nigel Russell and I have just viewed Allan Cattle's new acquisition - a beautiful blue Volpini, chassis #007 (see photo). It is a great looking car and has a good history having originally been imported into the USA by Volpini distributor, Biener Pontiac and run in period in the US, but in more recent times residing in the UK. It brings our front engined fleet to 13 cars and with rumours of a few more rear engined Juniors about to hit our shores our grid seems to be ever growing.

We have eight cars confirmed for Eastern Creek in November with this likely to rise to nine cars. There is some discussion around the AFJA putting on a race at Sandown in early November but nothing is confirmed as yet.

The last race of the season was the TACCOC event at Pukekohe on 11th April and it turned out to be fantastic weather with lots of racing (the same amount of track time in one day that you would normally get in a two day meeting). Contestants were Nigel Russell (Emeryson Elfin Mk1), Wayne Rodgers (Lynx), Rob Douglas (Donford), Neil Tolich (in Roger Herrick's Taraschi), Jim Barclay (Gemini Mk3a), Roger Herrick (Lola Mk2) and John Holmes (Lotus 18). The Juniors virtually had their own grid (a TACCOC policy), with only two U2 sports cars and an F3 Cooper joining in.

Unfortunately John Holmes retired early for the day with no front brakes and Rob Douglas was plagued with electrical gremlins. Wayne Rodgers broke a top rear link resulting in the half shaft breaking, after having set a very quick time in the 1.15s and Neil Tolich ran out of fuel in the Taraschi but had a couple of good runs putting in very competitive times. Nigel had a minor issue with loose wires (in the car!) but had the Emeryson running well by the end of the day. Roger and Jim had some good dices with the Lola having a little more top end grunt (which is handy at a track like Pukekohe).

The new season starts with the Icebreaker on 25/26 September at Hampton Downs so only 158 days to go .............

Formula Junior Report March 2010

Just a quick update this time.

Remember to get your entries in for the HRC two day meeting at Hampton Downs on 20 / 21 March. There is an historic grid which will no doubt be a bit of a mixture but lets try and get a group of FJs so we can have a "play" together. Entry is at : Don't enter in the Classic Trials section.

Please mark in your diaries the TACCOC one day meeting on 11 April at Pukekohe. This meeting is limited to only five grids so you can expect to get a practice and three races (probably what you would get in a "normal" two day meeting). TACCOC is committed to a slow and fast historic grid so it is a real opportunity to race in a grid of like speed cars.

We have just heard that another new FJ is about to hit our shores - and this time another rear engined one. Noel Woodford (who drove Brian Grant's Lotus Consul in the Bruce McLaren Festival), has acquired the Gemini Mk3 (possibly a Mk3a but more likely a Mk3) that Jim Barclay circulated a few weeks back. The car is coming from the US and has been partially restored but needs some work. It is fortunate that Jim Barclay's Mk3a can be used as a "check" and I think there is the odd Gemini part floating around that could help Noel - I think I might know where there is an original blank Gemini chassis plate. We welcome Noel to NZFJR and trust that he will have his car out soon to join our ever increasing FJ fleet.

On another note, there is a MSNZ forum being held in Wellington on 31 March to discuss the possible banning of leaded Race Fuel No 1 (actually out of spec AVGAS). There are elements within MSNZ that want a total ban of leaded fuel for environmental reasons. While this maybe OK for the more modern race cars, our historic cars require leaded fuel to combat valve recession problems in our old engines. It is interesting to note that in the aviation field leaded fuel is still permitted, almost worldwide, due to potential engine safety issues. From my research, the motorsport associations of Australia, UK, US and Canada have convinced their respective Ministries of Environment that leaded fuel is essential for historic motorsport and the detrimental effect on the environment is less than minimal - I fear that MSNZ may be the exception to this approach. The ludicrous situation is that if we are forced to use unleaded pump gas then we will need to add a valve recession additive - the most effective of which is TetraBOOST - which is lead based so we are back where we started from!!

Interestingly, the motorsport use of leaded fuel is minute. From Canadian figures, it appears that 0.01% of all fuel sold is leaded and of that small percentage, 98.5% is for aviation use. The remaining 1.5% (of 0.01%) is used in a number of areas such as hydroplane and jet boating, offroading, some farm use, dirt track racing, drag racing and historic and classic racing.

Jim Barclay and I are going to the forum to represent our section of historic racing and we will be putting a strong case to maintain leaded fuel for our historic cars.


Formula Junior Report February 2010

Hi Guys,

I suppose we are all gathering breathe after the very successful Bruce McLaren Festival (thanks to Jim who organised the whole thing and to Ian who was our FJ series co-ordinator).

One thing that was evident was the outright speed of the top overseas FJ cars. These drum braked cars were lapping Puke in around 1.09 which is around the same pace as the 1.5 litre disc braked, wide tyred single seaters of Levis and Lawrence were doing at the NZGP in 1967 and 1968!! Clearly these "modern" FJ cars (apart from being well driven) are highly engineered and are at a level of performance that New Zealand and Australian compliant FJs can't attain.

Against this background, it is opportune to reiterate that both Australian and New Zealand FJ regulations are different from those in the UK and Europe. For example, AFJA and CAMS strictly limit modifications to those available in period - this generally precludes an increase in engine capacity (from 1000cc to 1100cc) and specifically prohibits the likes of Richardson heads on Ford engines.

The NZFJR has a similar approach that restricts modifications to those that were available on individual cars in period but applies a slightly more liberal control on engine capacity due to the number of cars with existing over 1000cc engines (remember that if your FJ has an engine exceeding 1000cc it should have a minimum dry weight of 400kg). However, we encourage cars to revert to their period engine capacity if possible.

As far as Richardson heads are concerned, NZFJR takes the same stance as AFJA and CAMS - a car with a Richardson type head is a non- compliant FJ in both Australia and New Zealand. A recently imported FJ came with a Richardson head and we hope to work with the car's owner to try and have it converted back to a compliant standard period based head. In the meantime we will let this car race but on the understanding that it is a non-compliant FJ (and therefore can't be described as an FJ) and will be among the first to be culled (along with the F3 cars) if there is over subscription for FJ events plus it will be unable to join in if we run FJ only grids.

A couple of the UK competitors were lamenting to me at the weekend that FJ racing in the UK and Europe was getting out of hand as it was too competitive and costly - to compete at the top means huge money getting the last bhp out of the engine. I picked up a set of used race tyres from a UK entrant that had apparently lost their competitive edge after 10 races - he was very surprised to hear that our tyres lasted about four seasons.

Our philosophy is different - we want good close clean racing without breaking the budget or our cars and ourselves. That is why we do not have a championship or trophies - there is nothing to strive to win at the end of the year. On the same basis we do not need to spend countless dollars on extracting to last bit of performance from our cars - that is why we do not allow the likes of Richardson type heads as the extra performance they provide would mean that the non Ford engined cars would need to have very highly modified and costly engines to try and maintain parity. This would challenge a fundamental to the success of FJ in NZ which is relatively cheap racing without the requirement for a new engine build each season or new sets of tyres every ten races.

Another reason to control our FJ car's speed is safety. We have had an ongoing "battle" with MSNZ over belts and roll bars. We have obtained some dispensations which thankfully has avoided some of our FJs being unable to race. One of the factors that contributed to us gaining these dispensations was that NZ FJs have a good safety record and are not too fast. If we allow non-period modifications and start lapping Puke at 1.09 I would think MSNZ's attitude would change.

If we continue to self-police what we do with our cars and maintain true to the philosophy of restricting modifications to those available on our cars in period then the success of FJ racing in NZ will continue to grow.

I trust you are all looking forward to the remainder of our season and I will circulate details of forthcoming races shortly.


December 2009

Taupo Report:

Greetings Fellow Formula Juniorists,

It is now count-down to the international FJ races held as part of the Bruce McLaren Festival at Hampton Downs and Pukekohe in January. There will be an excellent field at maximum grid size of 40 cars and I am sure it will be a memorable spectacle.

Over the last few weeks there have been two FJ events with the HRSCC meeting at Taupo on 6 December followed by the TACCOC event at the new Hampton Downs track on 13 December. Taupo saw a small field of FJ cars (John Rapley in the Brabham, David Herrick having his first drive of the Taraschi, Nigel Russell in the Emeryson, Wayne Rodgers in the
Lynx, Ian Garmey in the Cooper and Walter Findlay in the Elva DKW). In typical HRSCC relaxed fashion there was no timing, no grid positions and no finishing order records - just racing for the enjoyment of it. Most cars performed well but Walter was having some problems in getting the Elva to run cleanly with the DKW not behaving. David Herrick was having his first single seater drive having parked his BMW 2002 so he can get use to the Taraschi which he is racing in the Bruce McLaren - after the first race he came in complaining of no grip but was told "welcome to our world" - by the end of the day he was
enjoying himself and was up to speed.

The next weekend a larger group lined up for their first experience of the new Hampton Downs track. Entrants were Roger Herrick - Lola, Nigel Russell - Emeryson, David Herrick - Taraschi, John Holmes - Lotus, Rob Williams - Elva, Jim Barclay - Gemini, Rob Douglas - Donford, John Rapley - Brabham, Neil Tolich - Jocko, Ian Garmey - Brabham, Walter
Findlay - Elva and Wayne Rodgers - Lynx. The new track is made for FJ cars with technical corners, undulations and a reasonable straight. Lap times are about 7 seconds slower than Pukekohe but the width of the track and run-offs are reassuring.

John Rapley was out in front in most races with Rob Douglas going well in the Donford. The next group consisted of the Lola, Lynx and the Emeryson with the Gemini mixing it in the last race. It was good to see Neil Tolich out in the Jocko which had improved significantly from its first run at Pukekohe and few months ago - having the wheels pointing in the same direction made a big difference!!

Unfortunately there were some early season gremlins with the Lotus, Elva DKW, Emeryson, Jocko and Brabham all having problems. It was a very enjoyable day with fine weather and the challenge of a new track that provides a number of passing opportunities and variable corner lines. A welcome sight later in the day was Chris Atkinson's newly
acquired Lotus 20B/22 which did a few circuits after the close of play.

Results of the TACCOC meeting are at :
(Historic Group #2)

I trust everyone will have a great Christmas and that their stockings
are large enough to fit car parts.


Nigel Russell;Emeryson Elfin FJ, Gavin
Bateman; Mallock U2, David Herrick:
Taraschi FJ

Taraschi FJ
Nigel Russell fettling the Emeryson Elfin FJ
Cooper T56 and Lynx FJ
FJ group
Walter Findlay;Elva DKW FJ
Ian Garmey; Cooper T56

October 2009

It is probably an opportune time to remind everyone of the two remaining meetings this year that will cater for Formula Juniors.

On Sunday 6 December HRSCC are holding their annual Taupo meeting on the club circuit. Due to a booking problem the event will only be a one day meeting but a good turnout of FJ cars is expected. As Ian mentioned it may be an opportune time to discuss issues to be raised with MSNZ's Historic Commission.

The following Sunday (13 December) TACCOC will be holding a one day meeting at the new Hampton Downs circuit - it will probably be the first time for most of us to try out the new racetrack. TACCOC will be running this as a non-compulsory COD event but all entrants will be expected to be Schedule K compliant. With the expected MSNZ manual amendments the Icebreaker debacle is not likely to be repeated.

There has been considerable discussion going on in the UK and Europe regarding non-complying FJ cars. This matter has been simmering for some time with protests lodged at both Monaco and Monza complaining of "modifications" to cars that are outside both the rules and the spirit of FJ racing. There has evidently been huge amounts of money spent on some cars with the result that they are performing better than period to a ridiculous extent. Evidently the recent FJ race at Goodwood featured at least one car that had questionable modifications - rumours of secret fuel and a laptop required to start the car.

The ethos of FJ racing is that the cars should essentially be as they were in period. "Modern" FJ racing is NOT a development class - it is all about exercising these fantastic historic cars with like minded people. It is not about "bending" the rules so a bit more speed can be squeezed out of the car. All of the components of our cars should be kept as they were in period unless there is a very good reason why they should be changed. In general terms, modifications and changes to components cannot be done unless it can be proved that it was done in period.

With the NZFJR we have purposely taken a relaxed approach to policing the class on the basis that the enjoyment of exercising the cars is paramount and officialdom should be minimised. However, this is dependant on all competitors self policing what they are doing to their cars. In order for this to continue please have a good "look" at your car and do everything to ensure it is kept in period form. If anyone is uncertain about a proposed "modification" to their car please come back to me so it can be discussed within the NZFJR before it becomes an issue.

On a lighter note, we welcome Rob Douglas to the class in the ex-Bruce Carter Donford. Rob is a quick driver who has seen the light and moved on from racing a Morgan Plus Eight and he will provide good opposition for the rear engined cars. As Ian mentioned, Grant Clearwater is bringing "home" a Cooper T59 which must have been one of the rarer period Ford engined cars so it should be quick. With the anticipated Lotus 20/22 arrival the rear engined FJ division is getting a boost after the arrival of a number of new front engined cars last year. With our numbers growing we should not be far away from getting out own FJ races (no more dealing with Formula Fords).

See you all at Taupo.


February 2009

Greetings Fellow Formula Juniorists,

We have now completed our FJ races as part of the Tasman Grand Prix Series at Pukekohe (24-25 January) and Taupo (31 January, 1 February).

As usual we were mixed in with the Historic field supplemented by a contingent of historic FV cars from Queensland. FJ participants were John Rapley (Brabham BT2 - Taupo only), Jim Barclay (Gemini Mk3a), Bruce Carter (Donford), John Holmes (Lotus 18), Roger Herrick (Lola Mk2), Walter Findlay (Elva DKW), Alan Woolf (Volpini - Pukekohe only), Rob Williams (Elva BMC), Ian Garmey (Cooper T56), Nigel Russell (FMZ Pukekohe and Emeryson Elfin Taupo) and Paul Halford (Autosud - Taupo only).

Pukekohe was a warm and fine weekend although the hairpin was causing problems with the track breaking up as the new seal failed and peppered cars with stones. The first race finished under a yellow with the Lola the first Junior home followed by the Gemini and the Lotus. The Lola was getting over it's previous brake problems and was closely dicing with with Jim's Gemini. It was good to see Alan out in the Volpini which looked "a million dollars". Ian Garmey was easing the Cooper in after a winter rebuild and the FMZ was suffering some mysterious electrical issues which seemed to baffle everyone.

The Sunday races saw the FMZ restored to full fitness and the Lola a non starter due to family commitments. Bruce Carter was showing real form in the Donford and led home Jim Barclay followed by Wayne Rodgers driving Ian Garmey's Cooper. The front engined cars had a real close dice with the FMZ finishing .002 seconds ahead of Rob William's Elva.

The last race was a handicap with Nigel powering the FMZ around in style to come in a creditable third overall. Wayne Rodgers in the Garmey Cooper put in the fastest FJ time of the weekend with a 1:18.262.

Taupo was a repeat of the previous weekend's weather and showed the superiority of John Rapley in the Brabham as he was the fastest FJ all weekend with a best time of 1:51.998 followed by the Lola with a 1:57.661 and the Gemini with a 1:58.052. The racing was close all day although there were several incidents that caused the retirement of Bruce Carter in the Donford (a coming together with a FF), Jim Barclay with suspected valve spring issues which caused him to miss the last race and Paul Halford who had a frustrating day with carb and/or electrical problems which saw him getting little track time. Paul's Autosud is a great car and we are sure it will soon be running properly. It was an unfortunate weekend for Paul as his McLaren Elva Mk1B succumbed to piston failure before the first race.

Nigel's Emeryson Elfin was running superbly all weekend and Walter Findlay's Elva DKW was treating everyone to the sound and distinctive smell of two stroke - all the time he was getting faster and he is now very close to the pace of the other front engined cars - watch out!! Roger's Lola was having gear selection problems which caused a spin in the last race when he arrived at a corner with a box of neutrals. The Lola was also making strange engine noises at the end of the last race so some remedial work is needed. Rob Williams and John Holmes in the Elva and Lotus respectively ran consistently and without problems all weekend often involved with exciting dices with other cars.

All in all a successful series but there was some murmuring about the reduction in races and laps in these HRC organised events. It seems as if we are getting "short changed" by ending up with only three six lap races over a two day weekend meeting. The upcoming TACCOC meetings at Pukekohe on 5 April and 10 May seem a better value for money with 3 races (plus a practice) in one day for $125 (assuming both meetings are entered for a combined $250).

Rumour has it that Neil Tolich's Jocko is not far away from being in race mode so we may see this unique FJ at Pukekohe in April.


December 2008

Greetings Fellow Formula Juniorists.

Another year is rapidly drawing to a close and it has been a remarkable year starting with the International Series at Pukekohe and Taupo featuring many overseas cars.

In more recent times since the last update, there has been the Tasman Revival Series at Eastern Creek just out of Sydney which the NZFJR was represented by Nigel Russell in the Emeryson Elfin FJ and Roger Herrick in the Taraschi FJ. The Eastern Creek track and facilities were excellent and it was a real change to run at a track with significant level variations and blind corners. It is surprising that New Zealand with all its mountains and hills has mainly flat race tracks.

At Eastern Creek Nigel was quickly on the pace while Roger took a little time to get to grips with the track but in the end the two cars were only separated by a difference in best times of 0.7 second - with advantage to the Emeryson. Most of the cars were rear engined with a mixture of Brabhams, Coopers (including the ex Len May T52), an interesting Lynx Borgwood (#41 below), a Nota and a few Lotus. In the last race the Emeryson broke a rocker shaft but all in all it was a very successful event.

The weekend following Eastern Creek was the HRSCC event at Taupo on the short club track. NZFJR participants were Jim Barclay (Gemini Mk3a), John Rapley (Brabham BT2), John Holmes (Lotus 18), Nigel Russell (FMZ), Rob Williams (Elva), Roger Herrick (Lola Mk2) and Colin Waite (Stanguellini). In addition the Carter's Cooper T76 and Elfin Catalina were also joining the fun. In typical relaxed HRSCC manner no times were taken and we all raced until exhaustion set in on Sunday afternoon. For a real "grass roots" meeting it had some distinguished spectators with Kevin Bartlett from Australia and Adrian Reynard from the UK. Eion Young was also circulating so a journalistic snippet may appear. Unfortunately the FMZ broke a half shaft after a rush engine and gearbox fit on the preceding Thursday and a doomed trip down to Taupo on the Friday when a spinner from the FMZ's left rear wheel parted company going out of Matamata and disappeared forever into the undergrowth. A local Taupo Vintage Car Club member graciously donated a spinner from his Austin Healey to get Nigel racing.

On 12 December Paul Halford's Autosud FJ arrived from the UK and it was immediately under scrutiny by some of the local FJ owners. It is a remarkable and rare car with IRS running through a transaxle made from an inverted Fiat 600 gearbox. It is a tight fit as it has currently been set up for a small driver and some nameless scribe managed to jamb himself in the seat with three people needed to extract him. Paul should have the car out soon as it is in racing condition and just a few things are needed - fitting of seat belts and a roll bar for example. Some photos are attached below - Nigel seems very happy that he can fit in it. Also check out the fantastic pannier tank (one of two) used in period for long distance races.

Neil Tolich's Jocko FJ is now running after some engine work and restoration continues on Michael Sexton's Gemini Mk2. Ian Garmey is completing a refurbishment on his Cooper and we hope to have a few more cars showing up for the January 2009 events at Pukekohe and Taupo.

1959 Taraschi FJ (11) of Roger Herrick
cornering inside the Lynx Borgward FJ

Front wheel drive arrangement of the
1960 Emeryson Elfin MK1 (3) of
Nigel Russell evident in this photo.
Taraschi FJ (11) behind.
Nigel Russell trying out for size the
recently arrived 1960 Autosud FJ (34)
acquired from the UK by Paul Halford.
1960 Autosud FJ being checked out by
Paul Halford (left) and Mike Sexton (right)
Fantastic pannier tank (one of two) used
in period for long distance races.

September 2008

Greetings fellow Formula Juniorists,

Firstly, I trust all the local drivers are getting their entries ready for the HRC Ice Breaker meeting at Pukekohe on 13 and 14 September. Entries can be made at and details of the event can be found at the HRC site: I will be making contact closer to the event so we can arrange a paddock area to be roped off for the FJ cars.

We have arranged for the FJ entrants (plus Wayne and Bruce) to have their pits in bays 6 to 9 of the covered pit area. Ian Garmey has kindly offered to rope it off on the Friday to ensure it is reserved for us.

We can get our tow cars in at the back of the pits and two to three race cars per pit bay. Trailers will probably have to be parked in the trailer park.

Wayne Rodgers is still recovering from shoulder surgery so the Lynx will not be seen until next year and Ian Garmey has the Cooper T56 stripped right down for a "birthday" so it will be a while before it is seen on the track. John Rapley's Brabham BT2 is undergoing repairs but we hope to see John up this way soon.

David Fenton has his Lotus 18 for sale as does Bruce Carter with the Catalina. We need to get these great cars out on the track so try and persuade anyone you know to acquire them.

Ian Garmey tells me that The New Zealand Formula Junior Register was recently awarded the Colin Chapman Memorial Trophy by the HRSCC for meritorious contribution to the club over the past year. This is no doubt a reflection of the International Formula Junior Series and special thanks should go to the team (especially Nigel) who made this possible.

Michael Sexton's Gemini FJ is now on the way to NZ and some very special information has come to light on the car from the race mechanic who helped build it in 1959 and who now resides in Wanganui. Michael is determined to restore it to period specification and as a result we could have our first Amal carbed car running.

Another front engined FJ has been acquired and is also about to depart the US for our shores and all will be revealed shortly. It is a rare and different car that will be a welcome addition to our grid. Rumour has it that a further front engined FJ is being sought overseas by another Auckland saloon racer. This will make about a dozen front engined cars here and a grid of them will make a great sight.

Nigel has been in contact with the Historic Sports & Racing Car Association of NSW who are running the Tasman Revival meeting on 28 - 30 November 2008 at Eastern Creek. Currently I am taking the Taraschi and Nigel the Emeryson. There are possibly some spaces left for other FJs but we need to know very soon of interest. The deal is attractive with the entry fee of A$1500 covering transportation to and from NZ and within Australia, pits, accommodation and local transportation of drivers to and from the event. HSRCA's note below explains the situation in more detail. If you are interested please let me know ASAP. Click here for more details (PDF file).


Newsletter Aug 2008

Greetings Fellow Formula Juniorists,

For those of you who may be interested, attached are the regulations and newsletter for the Manfield MG Classic on 14 - 16 November 2008. Click here to view more (PDF file).

The HRC Icebreaker meeting at Pukekohe on 13 and 14 September 2008 is not far away. Current entrants are Jim Barclay (Gemini Mk3a), Nigel Russell (Emeryson), Graeme Brayshaw (Taraschi) and Roger Herrick (Lola Mk2). If anyone else is contemplating an entry please let me know so that I can attempt to have an FJ paddock area reserved.

Michael Sexton's Gemini has evidently arrived at the Port of Tauranga and is being railed up to Auckland so we will expect to find it at the Rangiora marshalling yards some time next month.

Neil Tolich's Jocko Junior is about to leave the US very shortly and rumour has it that a very rare Italian Junior has had a deposit paid and is subject to an inspection in the UK in two weeks time.


Magazine articles covering the 50th anniversary of FJ

The Oily Rag (PDF file)
MotorSport News (PDF file)
Australian Classic Car (PDF file)
NZ Racer (PDF file)

December 2007

Junior Gentlemen Racers

The Historic Racing and Sports Car Club's annual Taupo TT event was another cracker weekend (appropriate with Christmas approaching). Superb weather, plenty of races, and the hallmark of HRSCC meetings - a complete lack of bureaucracy and officialdom. One of the highlights of Sunday was the after-match get-together and prizegiving with MSNZ Steward Alan Curry presenting lemons to those who screwed up. For the record NZFJR members all-but scooped the prizes with Nigel taking the Classic Cover Trophy for the feature race; Wayne Carter getting the presentation and sportsmanship award; and John Rapley the Ian Ivers Memorial.

The feature event was for front-engined Formula Juniors and this was contrived in an effort to be the first in the world to run a race to highlight Formula Junior's Golden Anniversary - it might have been a month early for the 2008 celebrations but we reckon we can lay claim to being the first !

We had a really good entry, 12 cars, which is an all-time record for NZFJR (congratulations Gentlemen !) . . . there were a couple of deletions during the weekend but we will ignore these so as to only report the positive. It was great to have Walter Findlay running with us in the wonderfully unique Elva-DKW, nice to welcome David Fenton back from the US and racing in his Lotus 18 Ford, and to have Graham Main guesting in Bruce Carter's Elfin Catalina (Carterlina ?). Bruce has been a bit crook of late so we all wish him a speedy recovery and a hasty return to our grid.

The MG Car Club's Manfeild event was a late entry to our "championship" and John Rapley was the only Junior able to get there so he scored max.

Total points scored : Brabham BT2 Ford J. Rapley 56; Cooper T76 BMC W. Carter 25; Brabham BT9 Ford A. Woolf 24; Taraschi Fiat R. Herrick 28; Lotus 18 Ford J. Holmes 22; Cooper T56 BMC I. Garmey 22; Emeryson BMC P. Benbrook 21; Gemini Mk3a J. Barclay 17; Lotus 18 Ford C. Abbott 12; Elva 100 BMC R. Williams 11; Lotus 18 Ford D. Fenton 11; Elva 100 DKW W. Findlay 4.

Next events are the big ones, the Historic Racing Club's Formula 5000 GP and Formula Junior 50th Anniversary at Pukekohe, 26-27 January 2008 and HRC Tasman Revival and Round 2 of FJ Golden Jubilee series, Taupo 2 and 3 February. Forget those Christmas holidays at the beach, have a look at that locking brake, that niggling clutch snick and shove some grease in the wheel bearings. On the serious side, it was reported at Taupo last weekend that race gas will only be available from BP Tauhora on Saturday mornings so it may pay to get a couple of extra 20 litre buckets and fill them before you leave home. We have discussed approaching one of the mini tanker companies in the hope of getting a small tanker or trailer of leaded 105 octane at the circuit. More on that as it develops.

We are now down to the final arrangements for the 11 cars going to Melbourne in February organising marine insurance and import carnets. There is still one space available or a page in Classic Driver Magazine and it is not too late to jump in to it, but you had better be quick ! On the home front we still need a couple of sponsors to take up some track-side advertising, it is exceptionally good value with guaranteed television exposure. If you think you may know of a company, or individual, who can help please give Nigel a call on 09 418-0676 or e-mail

Compliments of the Season to you and yours

Ian Garmey

Historic Racing Club's Pukekohe Icebreaker Meeting (September 2007)

A fine start to the new season with a good entry running at the Historic Racing Club's Pukekohe Icebreaker Meeting last weekend. Saturday's weather was superbly fine and sunny with Sunday getting off to a damp start before fineing up and drying the track out as the Historics took their places on the grid. We had a practice and an eight-lapper on Saturday and an eight-lap handicap and two scratch races on Sunday.

Points were scored from Saturday's grid start and Sunday's handicap event, which resulted as follows : Taraschi-Fiat, Roger Herrick, 24, 1; Lotus 18 Ford, John Holmes, 22, 2; FMZ-BMC, Nigel Russell; Gemini-Ford, Jim Barclay, 17 equal 3; Cooper T56 BMC, Ian Garmey, 15, 5; Lotus 18 Ford, Craig Abbott; Emeryson-BMC, Peter Benbrook, 12, equal 6; Cooper T76 BMC, Wayne Carter, 5, 8.

Nigel explained to those intending to travel to Australia for the Formula Junior Golden Anniversary trans-Tasman Challenge where we were up to with our sponsorship negotiations and we spent some time discussing shipping arrangements. Everything is looking very positive, with still four months to go. At this stage we have nine cars listed to go to Melbourne, any more starters ?

No decision was reached as to whether the Whittaker's Manfeild event should be included in our "championship" scoring . . . so, unilaterally I will say "yes, do it". But, I am unable to attend so we will need someone to record all FJ entries, and results from the 'feature' and one handicap race.

Next event will be Whittaker's Manfeild on 10-11 November. The Historic Racing and Sports Car Club's Taupo meeting, which is also a NZFJR Championship event, is confirmed for 1 and 2 December. Then it is the big ones at Pukekohe and Taupo (26-27 January and 2-3 February).

Craig Abbott has kindly offered to donate a FJ 50th Anniversary Trophy for annual competition.

Brabham BT16 F2 Rodin Wooten
and BBM Mercedes of Ken Williams
1960 Lotus 18 FJ of John Holmes
FMZ (BMC) FJ of Nigel Russel
l and Gemini ford FJ of Jim Barclay

Archived reports:

News May 2007 (PDF file 368kb)
News March 2007 (PDF file 19kb)
News February 2007 (PDF file 35kb)
Icebreaker 2006 (PDF file 160kb)