Super Historics race
reports and news
HRC Pukekohe 21-22 March 2009
Final HRC event of the season saw some brilliant racing and the
usual crop of misdemeanors, mostly minor. These demonstrated that
a significant proportion of drivers, and in some instances the
safety-car drivers themselves, were unaware of correct intervention
procedures, which led to fields breaking up instead of bunching
up. Rolling starts are however getting better, with front-runners
keeping the fields nicely spaced instead of roaring off at a million
We had a turnout of the usual suspects (Geoff Harriman,Lyall
Zohs, Dave Heron,Will Oxley, with Grant Martin's Swift being driven
by Craig Abbott). Grant himself was driving Craig's Brabham BT
18 in the Historic class, to give it a good sort out and provide
some sort of opposition to Rodin Wootton's BT 21.In the event,after
changing front springs from 170lb to 300lb, and in spite of an
unstable rear-end (the car's, as well as Grant's) the times came
down to a winning 63 secs. The instability was later found to
be due to both engine-mounts sheared off (pretty, but useless
welds), with the rear-end walzing around on the rubber gearbox-bushes.Overnight
the welds were made properly.
Craig initially didnt know whether he'd got the DB4 or it had
got him, but he was soon sliding it out of Railways and up with
the leaders. Big fat grin.
Courtesy of the organisers, and especially of the Sports Car
Series, we were running again with sports racers. The cars (and
their drivers) are very well-matched to the superhistorics in
terms of pace and experience, and we are mindful that when out
with them we do not interfere with their championship series.Their
front-runners (Noel Woodford--Delta, Robert Hulme--Nemesis, Ian
Slight--Juno,Thomas Good--Saker) kept the rolling-starts neat.
Noel has obviously been studying at the Scott Dixon school of
rolling starts, since he persistently out-dragged everybody off
the lights.Will Oxley in the RT1 and Craig Abbott in the DB4 sat
with the leaders, with Geoff Harriman in support. Noel won a couple
of races, but after a paint-swapping duel with Thomas Good in
the third, handed the win to Will Oxley, who had wisely kept out
of the scrap ahead.
Robert Hulme unfortunately had his Nemesis aircleaner filled
from the inside with bits of valve-seat and cylinder head, which
with only 4 points or so in the Series was a disaster. Noel Woodford
very sportingly has offered him an engine to keep him in the series.
Will, Grant, and Craig eventually also developed problems. Will's
was of the parking kind ("Grant told me to keep the RT1 sliding,
so I did"). The DB4 deposited parts of its clutch-release
in the undertray, along with all its fluid, and the Brabham locked
itself in second gear when heading for another win.Apart from
that, an excellent weekend.Thanks, HRC and Sportscars.
Battle of the Brabhams. Grant (10) BT18
won against Rodins BR21 in the
Lyall getting ready to go.Umbrella man
is Brian Lawrence, Graeme's brother.
Noel Woodford (721) keeps the
field nicely together. He won this one.
Will Oxley (145) Ralt RT1 waiting
for a mistake.
Geoff and Craig private battle.
Mistakes made,and Oxley wins.
Dave in (on?) the March
Will Oxley, Ralt RT1 and Lyall,
Swift DB4 trail the Saker Sprint
Ralt arrested for offroad parking
Super historic/Sports Racing Car Grid:
||Radge Radge Sports
||Delta Honda W03
TAUPO February 2009
Well, both the big HRC meetings at Pukekohe and Taupo are over.Roll
on the next outing. We had 8 cars at Puke and 7 at Taupo-not enough
for full grids, but the selection of sports racers that elected
to come out with us made for some very exciting racing. The fastest
of these cars are very evenly matched to the single-seaters, and
that is basically what some of them are. Very sophisticated pushrod
suspensions, tunnel-effect sidepods, and 250- 300hp make them
single-seaters with covered wheels.
The full circuit at Taupo is much more interesting than Pukekohe,
and this led to some very exciting racing between Grant Martin
(Swift) , Robert Hulme (Nemesis), Geoff Harriman (Ralt RT 20),
Will Oxley (Ralt RT1), and Graham Sims (Reynard).In the first
race Grant forgot which way the circuit goes (that's what he says)
and lost out to Robert Hulme after a whoopsy or two, much to the
crowd's appreciation. As his memory came back, he did a lot better,
and won a race or two later on.
In terms of crowd-appeal, judging by the lines of spectators
over the pits,these races were second only to the F5000s, with
plenty of mild excursions until tyres heated up, and engines at
9000 rpm providing appropriate background. The 2-litre Hart in
Grant Martin's Ralt RT1 driven by Oxley could be heard all the
way round, even though silenced. The weather of course was perfect,
with a cool breeze off the lake, providing you could supply some
shade. Drivers without umbrellas really cooked on the dummy-grids.
Dave Heron finally got the March 722 performing the way he wanted
it, after persistent starter problems. The starter was eventually
dismantled and fitted with a new shaft taken from a spare (Honda)
which just happened to be in Grant Martin's toolkit. When shimmed
into correct register, all the starter-problems went away. A far
more mysterious problem nearly ended his weekend. On race day,
water came out of the exhaust. Blown head-gasket?Plugs out, turn
over and fountains out of the plug holes.One even hit the roof
overhead. Cooling system had not lost water. Where from? No clues.
On drying out the engine, it fired-up and ran perfectly all weekend,
with no sign of trouble.We subsequently found that the garages
were left unlocked overnight by mistake, and that anyone had access
to the cars, but nobody else was affected........., so we leave
this in the Great Unsolved Mysteries of Motorsport box.
Assuming everyone now has broadband and can handle the downloads,
we attach some pictures which we hope give the flavour of a great
weekend of motor sport. Let's hope they act as an incentive to
the non-runners to come out to play.Even if you dont regard yourself
as a Legend of Motorsport, theres still plenty of time to enter
for the March event at Pukekohe.Dates and info have now been sent
out by HRC.
Dave Heron expecting rain
Graham Sims expecting fun
Grant Martin and Geoff Harriman.
Will Oxley in second slot
Will Oxley pretending to be Grant Martin
Geoff Harriman and "Ferrari"
Graham Sims ready to go
Robert Hulme leads in the Nemesis.
GM and WO fighting back.
GM gets it right and starts winning
GS describes his personal battles
DH into pits after having a real go
with the March
GH shows how he got all those marbles
on the LH front.
It's a couple of months since you heard from us, but that doesn't
mean nothing has been happening. Far from it.
First things first, and your entries are all in for the Tasman
HRC meetings, aren't they... Except of course for the inevitable
late entries, which will cost you another $40. Looks like we will
run with the sports-racers again (F5000 have enough entries for
their own international grid).
Eastern Creek Repco Brabham Meeting (28,29,30 Nov)
Acouple of us accompanied the NZ contingent across the ditch
. This included (FJ) Nigel Russell with the FWD Emeryson,Roger
Herrick with the Taraschi, plus Roger Munns with the Brabham BT22.
Just about all our F5000 went, and the field was totally dominated
by Kiwis, one way or another (14 cars in a 20-car field).
We are sure that the stirring private battles between Nigel
and Roger H.will be reported elsewhere, as will the mastery of
the Lola T430 F5000 driven by Ken Smith, who gave everybody driving
lessons.The main straight at Eastern Creek is very long, and the
excited PA commentator stated that the F5000s were "approaching
200mph" as they backed off for Turn 1, a long (130mph?) left
hand sweeper that delivers the cars into the hilly bits out in
the countryside. Ken Smith took this in a series of little slides.
Our main focus of interest was the Group (Q+R) cars (Formula
Atlantic and Formula 2 Cars), since this group (fostered by the
Historic Formula Atlantic and Formula Two Association [HFAFTA]
has over 50 cars registered.The class is supported by the main
organiser of the Repco Tasman revival meetings HSRCA (Historic
Sports and Racing Car Association of NSW, Inc.)
This class corresponds almost exactly to the Superhistoric class
here,a under the aegis of HRSCC; and HRC are bending over backwards
to support growth of the class by including Superhistorics in
their grids.It will be a while before we too can offer grids of
28-30 cars, but you have got to start somewhere.
Although you might mistake HFAFTA as the Ron Tauranac Appreciation
Society as a result of all the RT1s and RT4s racing, the Historic
F2 side is well represented, with Chevrons, Brabhams, and March
to the fore. There is even a March 722 (clone of Dave Heron's
car) which was by no means disgraced.
The racing was of course dominated by RT4s (they occupied about
1/4 the grid, all up front) fighting it out with Australian RT4
clones (Cheetahs). Due to ground-effects, the fastest of these
cars took the sweeper flat, with no lifting, just about the only
really fast cars to do so.
The preferred car is the 1986 RT4 with pushrod suspension, followed
by earlier cars with rockers.
We made contact with the President of HFAFTA, but our timing
was bad. He was nursing a broken hand, and very agitated, as his
wrecked Brabham was still being recovered. He was punted into
the wall by someone else's accident.
Local Odds and and Sods
Dave Heron is re-united with his crank (BDA) from the March.
After the mess left by departing flywheel bolts (and flywheel)
at Taupo it has proved possible to remachine the face and register.
Nice new bolts and a calibrated torque-wrench figure prominently
in the rebuild.
Nice to see big smiles from Lyall Zohs at Puke following lots
of settle-down laps in the DB4. The succssion of niggling problems
now seem past.
Grant Martin finally gave up trying to get Lucas disributors
to stay together at 9000rpm plus in his DB4, pulled the engine
and installed a twin-coil "wasted-spark" system.The
fluffing nonsense at top end all went away.Another victory for
solid-state electronics over mechanical whizzers, it seems.As
one observer remarked "The 43D4 distributor was developed
for the Cortina 40 yrs ago. It's amazing it can do what it does.
Just dont push it too far"
The Lucas/Wilkinson Ralt RT4 (1984 rocker-arm car) has arrived
from Miami, along with the usual "Ready ro race, get in and
drive" advice.(Littlemore, here we come). Naturally we have
stripped it. Clutch seized solid (corroded release). Can remake,
replace with Saab($700) or Ford ($250). We are remaking, and adapting
the Ford as spare.More interesting, the main crossmember holding
the rear suspension/transaxle to the car was fatigue-cracked 1/2
way through--in 2 places.
It's a very simple 3"x 1" x 5/16" extrusion,
cheap to replace. (Tauranac was often crticised for his 'brackets
bolted to brackets' approach, but he did it to make owner-replacement
of parts easy. Many are grateful for this.)
Not so simple was the magnesium Ford/Hewland adapter, also fatigue
cracked in the usual places- four of them this time. If this lets
go, the transaxle departs from the engine, with interesting results.
This will be welded, heat-treated, remachined and kept as a spare.
Although in general we are extremely pleased with the car, and
it has spent a large part of its life in storage, it IS a 25 yr
old car, and vigilance or replacement are the only answers to
fatigue.We dont expect to have it on the track this season.
We would like to include interesting items about your car, partricularly
if they can be of help to other owners . We cant do it if you
dont tell us. Emails are quite OK, and they dont have to be articles
(which would be very welcome).
PS - We are still working on a Superhistoric logo.
Ray Wilkinson, Martin Lucas, Grant Martin
Eastern Creek Sydney Australia report - HSRCA November
A fairly good number of entrants made up of 23 FA / Euro F2 cars
and 5 invited Australian F2 cars assembled at Eastern Creek as
a support category for the Australian round of the 2007 / 2008
A1 GP. Due to a rather wettish summer so far, for most of the
Eastern States, there was every chance that the weather would
play a part over the weekend. And this was to be the case.
The Friday morning practice session was a little damp with most
people circulating with lap times of just over the 2 minutes.
There was a red flag half way through the session when Geoff Calverts
cars handbrake (?) locked on and he was stuck for a while
in the middle of the track between turns 3 and 4. The drizzle
had cleared up by the time the qualifying session came around
later in the day and Ty Hanger dominated with a fastest lap of
1:28.57 in his RT4. Actually, RT4s took 8 of the 9 front
positions in the session. Chris Farrell was the odd man out in
the Spirit BMW claiming second spot with a 1:31.98.
Saturday morning looked promising and 26 cars arrived at the
dummy grid, on slicks, for Race 1, however very early in the race
rain made its unwelcome appearance. For most of the track it was
only a very light drizzle, but in the proximity of turn 1 it was
a fair bit wetter. My own experience in the Modus was that I started
in 17th position, lost a place before turn 2, and then when the
Pace Car came out on about lap 4 found that I was the 7th car
behind it. Where did they all go? Prior to the Pace car coming
out there were a few very interesting laps for both drivers and
spectators. As you approached turn 1 you could see the increased
spray coming off the cars ahead as they turned in, and it tended
to make the next few seconds most interesting. The Pace car stayed
out for 3 laps and Ty
Hanger managed to keep it all together to take the win with a
best lap of 1:35.10. Vivian King and Sean Whelan closely followed
in their respective RT4s in group R. Doug Macarthur was
5th overall and 1st in Group Q with Peter Whelan and Peter Landan
not far behind.
Race 2 in the afternoon was much more under control with sunny
weather and 24 starters. Once again Ty took the win with a fastest
lap of 1:27.90, just 0.22 outside his own lap record. This time
Sean came in 2nd with Chris Farrell 3rd in group R. Peter Whelan
was 5th overall to take 1st place in Group Q, I came in 2nd and
Peter Landan recovered from a spin (?) to take 3rd.
Sunday can best be summed up by the photo on the previous page.
The rain came and went all day, at times fairly heavy. Not long
before our race was scheduled, the rain bucketed down and a look
at the clouds suggested it was going to stay that way. The stewards
gave us the option of canning our race or going out behind the
Pace car and finishing the race the same way. The majority of
drivers decided that it wasnt worth the effort and so the
race was canned. It did ease off a bit for a while, but depending
when we would have eventually gone out, the weather varied from
light to heavy rain with a fair bit of water running across the
track in a few spots. Anyway, all this was in hindsight and people
were getting on with packing and loading up. It is always a shame
to end the weekend like this because of all the individual effort
that people put in just to be there, but such is life.
My only involvement for the A1 was mainly putting together this
newsletter and sending it out. I think special mention must be
made of all the effort put in by Bryan and Col to organize our
associations inclusion as a support category at the A1GP.
I know that a lot of effort goes in behind the scenes to string
it all together. There were additional OH&S issues to content
with this year and also at the last minute we were informed that
AVGAS wouldnt be available at the track. It all came together
in the end and then there was only the weather to contend with.
Thanks also to all the competitors for presenting their cars in
such great condition and in particular the interstate guys for
whom it must be at least a 6 day event.
Howard Blights new Chevron B29 with 2 litre BDG made its
first appearance at Eastern Creek. It was a rush to get it there
in time but according to Howard it went fairly well for the first
time out. A few teething problems which were more to do with Howard
getting used to the cockpit and where the gears were, etc. etc.
combined to make it hard to set quick lap times, but a best of
1:38.77 in race 2 seems a good start for this seasoned
campaigner, and I am sure he will move rapidly up through the
field later on in the year. It should be easy to spot the Banana
hovering around your rear wing attempting to get by.
Due to the inclement weather I failed to get a proper photo of
Howards previous car, the 75 March that Rob Foster
had recently acquired. It has had a complete make over and looked
immaculate in its distinctive new lime green paint job. It can
be picked out here in the photo along with Rob to the right in
the black race suit. Peter Mohrs Chevron B29 Atlantic is
seen in the foreground.
Another new car which should make its appearance at Mallala is
Rod and Julie Kuchelss 1977 March (77B-30). It originally
raced in New Zealand and was bought into Australia by Ray Hanger
at the end of 81. It has undergone a full restoration and
Rod and Julie are looking forward to its first real
outing at the Easter Mallala meeting. Hopefully all will go well.
Bryan reports that some sort of deal was done and Tony Simmons
took home in his trailer Peter Mohr's Chevron B34 Atlantic, which
now leaves '' Simmo'' with a B34 Chevron F3 with 2.0 litre Toyota,
surplus to requirements, maybe John Bowe should buy this and annoy
all the Atlantics with an F3, price is very reasonable I believe,
even after you add on the 10% spotters fee to Bryan.
Dont forget Mallala at Easter. The organizers are hoping
for a big roll up of open wheelers and Peter Whelan has been helping
out in this area. Contact him if you want to be involved.
Newsletter put together by: - email@example.com
for Col, Bryan, and Andrew.
Colin: - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryan: - email@example.com
Icebreaker Meeting Pukekohe 13/14 September 2008
Those of you who managed to make it had a great meeting.It was
the first time the superhistorics had been formally listed in
the programme as a class, and as mentioned earlier, included a
few F5000s. As leaders in the rolling starts the F5000s might
need to study the Manual a bit more, to allow the field to form
The maximum speed for rolling starts is 100kph not 100mph! Spacing
is 3 car lengths not 10. Lyall Zohs (Swift DB4) says he had to
pedal quite hard on the form-up lap. As expected, the F5000s cleared
off, and only started lapping tailenders after 6 laps or so. Since
the races were 8 laps, extra care was expected (and taken) with
Some of the sports-racers requested joining the back of our
grids (you will remember our earlier discussions on this), and
after a quick check around with drivers there was unanimous approval.
One of the sports-racers (Robert Hulme) was circulating in the
sub 60-sec bracket.
Ther were the usual opening-event retirements, including Grant
Martin (DNS Swift BD4, sparks) and Roger Dowe (Lotus 69, DNF,
sparks), but the crowd and commentator seemed to be quite happy.
Both the commentator and local press described superhistorics
as "the feature race of the meeting", and in this respect
the presence of 3 or 4 F5000s did us no harm at all.
A side-aspect of the sparks issue, is that several of us, including
Grant, have found that modern distributor rotors seem less able
to handle high voltage coil ignitions than older bakelite ones.We
have seen holes punched right through from top to bottom and will
now carry several spares. Under high cylinder-pressures(full throttle
under load), spark resistance is high, and insulation fails.
Manfeild Classic, November 14-16
We have contacted the MG Car Club giving some information on
the Superhistoric Register, and requesting that provided sufficient
entries are forthcoming, they consider allocating a superhistoric
grid. We have also suggested they contact Tony Roberts or Chris
Watson for an organisers' view. Get moving now and contact www.mgcarclub.org
.nz or firstname.lastname@example.org
Taupo HRSCC December 6-7 (Club Circuit, Track 3)
As the original sponsoring club for superhistorics, HRSCC will
be running its traditionally friendly annual Taupo Meeting with
a superhistoric grid. Although those going across to the Tasman
Revival at Eastern Creek (Nov. 28-30) will be a bit pressed to
make it, we recommend this low-key 2-day event to everybody.
The club's motto used to be "if you have an old racer,
we'll find a race for it", and it's not too different now.
Contact Alan Service (email@example.com) or www.HRSCC.co.nz.
24-25 Jan 2009 Pukekohe Tasman F5000 GP
This high-profile event will feature international F5000s, and
superhistorics will run separately. This means that we will have
to have enough entries for our own grid, possibly in combination
with sports racers.
30 Jan-1 Feb 2009 HRC Taupo Meeting
Similar in format to the Tasman GP. For both these contact www.grandprix.org.nz.
Southern Festival of Speed (early warning) Feb. 2009
The SFOS traditionally has a liberal attitude to fitting in
cars of diverse classes, and we expect to see a good representation
of S.I. superhistorics, as well as a fair contingent from the
north. Formation of grids is sometimes a little whimsical, but
performance-based, and we will endeavour to get superhistorics
fitted in separately if we can.
Department of Corrections
Bill Ritchie would be delighted to actually own the ex-James
Hunt F3 Hesketh, but the original owner is determined to hang
on to it. Bill is busy organising the car to come to NZ, but has
not (yet) organised the vast amount of cash required to transfer
ownership. Donations would be very welcome to PO Box 28140 Remuera.
Newsletter 11th September 2008-09-11
As entries for Icebreaker close, we have a full grid over 15
cars in total. This includes a few F5000s who for this meeting
are honorary Superhistorics. It will be a rolling start, and the
F5000s will clear off and not bother anyone till the last lap(s)
or so. Let us hope the weather clears up in time.
Bill Ritchie has joined us, having imported the ex-James Hunt
1973 F3 Hesketh/March. As Race Coordinator of HRC (and COC) he
wont be out this time.He is also negotiating another car.
Graham Cook (who has also joined us) was at March when Hunt
shunted too many cars, and was invited to leave and continue at
We have been asked to supply a car for display at the Speedsport
show in Auckland, and have lined up David Heron's ex-Peterson/ex-Lauda
March 722. This is the F2 car Adrian Whapham used to race and
is the prototype (722-1).
Bob Homewood has also joined us, and we are organising a "dyno-day"
at Hitech, Drury -lunch/coffee provided - at $50 a car (max 8
cars). Bob will provide tuning information and select at least
one car for working up on the dyno. This will also be open to
HRSCC. If oversubscibed we will split to 2 days. Let us know who
Finally, we are working on a logo for your cars which will probably
read Superhistoric Racing NZ.
Sports Car Race Series 2008-2009:
News June 2008 (PDF file 21kb)