The Historic Racing and Sports Car Club Inc (HRSCC)

 THE HISTORIC RACING AND SPORTS CAR CLUB INC
Historic vehicles, classic racing cars

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 mph.

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
Historic class
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.
First Geoff.......
.....then Craig
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:

5

Geoff Harriman Ralt RT20 Super Historic
7 Mike Limbrick Mallock U2 Sports Car
10 Craig Abbott Swift DB4 Super Historic
11 Lyall Zohs Swift DB4 Super Historic
22 Anton Aalders Alders GCR01 Sports Car
26 Alan Service McRae U2 Sports Car
28 Bob Deeming Lotus 2-11 Sports Car
29 David Heron March 722 Super Historic
34 Geoffrey Young BDV 3 Sports Car
38 Grant
Johnstone
Hulson Delta Sports Car
44 Donald Shatford Radge Radge Sports Sports Car
46 Lloyd Wilson Fraser Clubman Sports Car
99 Steve Sharp Lotus Seven Sports Car
111 Iain Slight Juno LMP3 Sports Car
145 Will Oxley Ralt RT1 Super Historic
371 Thomas Good Saker Sprint Sports Car
721 Noel Woodford Delta Honda W03 Sports Car
747 Robert Hulme Nemesis Sports Sports Car

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" RT20
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.

January 2009

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. Very impressive.

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 28-29-30th 2008

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 Calvert’s car’s 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, RT4’s 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 RT4’s 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 wasn’t worth the effort and so the race was canned. It did ease off a bit for a while, but depending on 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 association’s 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 wouldn’t 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 Blight’s 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 Howard’s 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 Mohr’s Chevron B29 Atlantic is seen in the foreground.

Another new car which should make its appearance at Mallala is Rod and Julie Kuchels’s 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.

Don’t 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: - kevmiller@dodo.com.au for Col, Bryan, and Andrew.
Colin: - hastbld@acay.com.au Bryan: - easternraceparts@hotmail.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 properly.

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 lapping.

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 ron@mgcarclub.org.nz

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 (albo@woosh.co.nz) 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 Hesketh.

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 is interested.

Finally, we are working on a logo for your cars which will probably read Superhistoric Racing NZ.

Sports Car Race Series 2008-2009:

13/14 Sept   Puke HRC
4 Oct   Manfeild ?
15/16 Nov   Manfeild MGCC
30/31 Jan   Taupo HRC
14/15 Mar   Taupo HRC
28/29 Mar   Hampton HRC
3/4 April   Manfeild MGCC
11/12 April   Taupo TCC

Archived reports:

News June 2008 (PDF file 21kb)