Newsflash 28/3/2020


I promise not to mention the dreaded word COVID-19 in this update. Oops, I already have – my apologies, but there appears to be no avoiding it.  We have managed one race meeting only, and we were very lucky to get that one in.  This was the annual historic classic at Phillip Island and also the first round of the AFJA championship.  We boasted 7 Juniors, the best turnout for a while and 2020 was starting to look really good.  There were 5 (yes, five!) Lotus 18s, (Kim Shearn, John Rowe, Grant Walker, Paul Faulkner and Steve Moody), Robert Nitschke in his Elfin, Max Pegram (Gemini Mk11) and myself in the Rennmax.  Congratulations to John Rowe for most distance travelled, all the way from Perth.  A photo is enclosed showing the grid for the last race of the weekend with the Rennmax sandwiched between two fat Brabhams, with Kim Shearn and Grant Walker in their 18s.

The racing was great fun, and there were no major catastrophes, although Steve Moody retired early with what appeared to be a “floating” camshaft that was upsetting both valve and ignition timing that will necessitate a rebuild.  Grant Walker also suffered from the usual gremlins that creep into a new car as it is being sorted, but certainly made good progress over the weekend. Max Pegram chose to play with similar front engined cars to his Gemini and raced with Group L for the weekend, and he had a good time once the wet weather cleared on the Friday.

A lot has changed in our daily routines since the halcyon days of March 6/7/8 when we were at Phillip Island and it is hard to believe it was only 3 weeks ago.

To put it into perspective, we had a field of 40 or so M&O sports and racing cars at Phillip Island and 2 weeks later at Wakefield Park, there was a field of 2, neither of which was a Formula Junior.  The entry list at Wakefield at one stage had nearly 150, but by the time the race meeting started it was less than 80.  I feel sorry for the HSRCA – the meeting ran at a huge loss.  Since then, Winton, Mallala and Eastern Creek have all been cancelled. 

At this stage, the next meeting will be at Morgan Park in early July, but who knows whether or not it will go ahead.  It is a fantastic meeting and I haven’t missed it for the past 6 years or so, but the question on my mind right now  is –  to book or not to book accommodation! 

So, all I can suggest is to do a refresh on your engine if it is due, fix all of the little things that have been bugging you and stay fit and healthy.

The pointscore after our fist round is shown below. 

NAMESTATECarClassPhillip Island
    8/9 March
BRYEN, NoelNSW1963 Rennmax B-1FJ2R50
SHEARN, KimVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R48
PEGRAM, MaxVIC1960 Gemini Mk IIFJ1F41
FAULKNER, PaulVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R38
WALKER, GrantVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R29
NITSCHKE, RichardSA1962 Elfin FJFJ1R18
MOODY, SteveVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R12
ROWE, JohnWA1960 Lotus 18FJ1R7



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