I am currently in my COVID bubble in the second week of our lockdown, which hopefully will end in a few days. Having done everything I can to the Rennmax in preparation for the next meeting and tidied up the shed, I decided to tidy the home office and found some filing to do from the last couple of rounds, which reminded me that I haven’t provided an update for quite some time. Then, Bill Hemming sent the update below, which is aimed at the FJHRA in Europe, so what better time to provide an overall update of events in the AFJA.
Mallala, April 2021.
This was a typical Mallala event, relaxed, laid back, unhassled and uncomplicated. The only negative part of the weekend is the grind there and back across the Hay Plains, but that is soon forgotten. AFJA competitors included Kim Shearn, Max Pegram, local boy Richard Nitschke and yours truly. Bill Hemming, Peter Strauss and Norm Falkiner were also competing, but not in their Juniors – it’s nice to have a choice!
The organisers mixed us in with the Formula Fords for this event, and it worked out quite well. We were too slow for the FC cars but mixed it with the FBs and FAs, so there was always someone to play with. The weather was kind, the racing good, the social dinners excellent and Spencer Martin was guest speaker on the Saturday evening and was very entertaining. A fun weekend, especially since the car went back on the trailer in one piece.
Eastern Creek, June 2021.
This was going to be a FANTASTIC event, with over 260 competitors, the biggest event the HSRCA had staged in over a decade. But alas, it was not to be, with COVID restrictions wiping out the Victorians with only a week to go, and the result was just over 200 competitors and not enough to break even.
The event was celebrating the life of Ron Tauranac, and to mark the occasion the HSRCA arranged for Sir Jack’s winning car from 1966, the BT19, to be on display across the weekend. What was even better, we managed to coerce Sam Brabham, Sir Jack’s grandson, to drive it in the parade laps on both days. And, just when you think it couldn’t get batter than that, it DID! We arranged for Sam to race Tony Simmons’ BT6 FJ in the races across the weekend, and he thoroughly enjoyed it.
I can now claim braggers rights that I have raced my Rennmax against a Brabham driving a Brabham, and I beat him! But I’m not getting too carried away, I know he was not driving at 100%, but it was wonderful to see him on the track. Check out the photo below. Sam is a lovely bloke, a real ambassador to the Brabham family and to the sport itself, only too willing to participate in sponsoring historic motor sport. In chatting to him, he said he was really excited to have a drive, because this was the first time he has raced a Brabham at speed, having done many parade laps over the years in other Brabhams. Sam has had previous experience in Formula Ford and modern sports cars and resides in Victoria. Fortunately for us, he was working in Perth the week prior and flew straight to Sydney for our event, hence avoiding the Victorian lockdown.
The event was still great despite the absence of the Victorians and the weather was perfect all weekend and not too many red flags, but it could have been so much better. A special thanks to Tony Simmons for lending the BT6 – as you may know, Tony is not very well these days, suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, but he made the effort to come out to the track on the Sunday and meet Sam and his old friends.
You have probably heard by now that Morgan Park, scheduled for 3/4 July has been postponed to 18/19 September, also due to COVID. This means our next event is Winton Long Circuit on 7/8 August – I hope to see you there.
The current points score is at the bottom of the article, after Bill’s missive.
Notes from Down Under.
Following a plea for entries to upcoming events, a fleet to New Zealand in 2022, and help to organize things, there was a roar of apathy!
Formula Junior in Australia is suffering from infanticide, largely due to our inept State Premiers who lock us down on the smell of a COVID case.
I guess they can claim they are keeping us alive….but this is no way to live. Events are being cancelled on 2 day notice (usually after interstaters have left home to make the 2000km trek to the track).
Our category is being kept alive by the usual diehards like Noel Bryen in his Rennmax, Steve Moody in his Lotus 18 and Max Pegram in his Gemini with sporadic appearances by others and social media support by Alan Conway (Brabham F3). Matters weren’t helped by yours truly when I ran over my legs by my runaway F5000 on a slope – broke my right ankle and tore tendons in my left leg 3 days before the May Winton meeting. Just getting out of my moonboot after 7 weeks and hope to be at the August Winton meet. Any sympathy I got was for my car, as in “is the car OK”. My speedhump impersonation stopped it 3 feet from hitting a truck on the other side of the road. My ever loving wife hit me with “if you’re looking for SYMPATHY, you’ll find it in the dictionary. It’s between SHIT and SYPHILLIS”.
Oh well, onward and upwards. Our NZ foray will have to wait until 2023 but there are some terrific events for the remainder of 2021.
Jeff Brown has purchased the one-off, BMC engine GARD and is well on the way with a full restoration of this very interesting car. Kim Shearn has become a grey nomad for 6 months and is currently cruising through Western Australia where he has been charged with re-enthusing the 9 odd FJ’s in Perth.
Hope to have more positive news for the next FJHRA newsletter.
After Phillip Island, Wakefield Park and Mallala, we are now well and truly into a racing recovery. And at Phillip Island and Mallala, the FJ guys and gals had a great celebration BBQ and Dinner.
We’ve got Morgan Park (8th May), Winton (22nd May) and Sydney (12 June) quickly approaching so get your entries in and we can organize a group drink/dinner at each event. The quicker the entry, the better the drink/dinner organization. Then we can plan our second half of the year around Morgan Park (3rd July), Winton (7th August), Wakefield Park (28th August) and again (11th September), Sandown (6th November) and Sydney (27th November). Can’t do them all perhaps, but don’t say there is no opportunity!
We HAVE to get out and wipe that smug look off Noel’s face. Unfortunately, when Danny Ciarma tried, he launched his Lynx 8 ft in the air and scared his wife shitless, so his Lynx is now for sale (contact email@example.com). Let’s keep it in Australia. If you can’t afford the Lynx, grab the Gard which is advertised for twopence halfpenny…looks like a great introduction car for FJ.
But the real reason for this communique is the lifting of NZ travel restrictions. I’ve started to liaise with NZFJ about what support we can get to participate in their 6 race festival in January/February 2022. We’ve done it several times in the past and they have reciprocated with Aussie trips with their cars. But this exercise can be a bit expensive unless it is organized well and early….like about now!
We already have racking etc for 6 cars in a 40ft container and we have previously booked B and B houses for 10 people which has made the trip affordable when we have the numbers. For a full container and group booking, I estimate about $3000 to $4000 can give you a 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 week NZ holiday, entry fees, flights, accommodation, car transport (ex Melbourne). You only need to spend extra on food and a hire car share.
That’s cheaper than entering 5 Australian meetings…and you are guaranteed full FJ grids and a great time.
1. Can I get a quick expression of interest to get some idea of numbers for logistic negotiations
2. Does anyone have a good, reliable contact regarding Trans Tasman freight forwarding.
And my 3rd (I know I only said 2) request…is any member/partner/friend able to help me form a small team to keep this on the boil.
That’s enough for now, I’m off to load up for Morgan Park. See you there?
This is absolutely true. Since being forcibly (and unopposedly) elected to President for the Australian Formula Junior Association (AFJA) at the Phillip Island race meeting in early March, you really aint seen nothin’ from me.
So I guess it’s time to overcome my inherent shyness and make a few comments to try to be effective in my role to progress our favourite category as we emerge from COVID inertia. As I said to outgoing Pres, Kim Shearn: I really don’t have any sure fire answers to the problem of how to get more cars out on the track. But I’ll try.
Having experienced true FJ enjoyment, courtesy of FJHRA management, around the world (Australia, New Zealand, UK, Europe, Sth Africa, Canada and the USA), I am absolutely certain that the winning ingredient is the element of “FUN”. Only FJ can give the level of FUN we experienced to the number of participants involved, with the number of different cars available, at the number of circuits and meetings which welcome the FJ fraternity.
Of course, the success of the FJHRA comes down to numbers. With a large pool of active FJ owners, the FJHRA can afford professional management with necessary skills in communication and organization. With our limited numbers, we can but learn from their efforts and try to replicate the good bits.
The first “good bit” I believe we should aim for, is CAMERADERIE. Without fail, we recall the feeling of a particular 4 day meeting more fondly than just a particular race….because a meeting involves a familiar group of like-minded people doing lots and lots of good stuff together. Like camping (or block booking motels), BBQs, car preparation and repairs, dinners, presentations and even racing.
The numbers and fun have been achieved in the recent past right here in Australia, despite the tyranny of distance in our vast land. In retrospect, this was achieved largely through the organizing efforts of supporting spouses. Roger’s Margaret, Don’s Janette and Kelvin‘s Bunny all gave huge support. Whereas Kim and myself have been blessed with not a lot. Therefore, we have come to depend on the coupling of others. Fortunately we have access to Noel’s superb Robyn who has done an outstanding job for Kim over the past few years. And we have Max’s very capable Emma chomping at the bit to get more involved.
All we need is better entry levels. At the AGM, Peter Strauss (and Jane) generously offered to contribute some funds towards promoting more entries. So we can start looking at travel and transport assistance to turn race meetings into holiday events at Perth (2 meetings in 2 weeks at 2 tracks), Morgan Park, Wakefield Park and Winton (3 meetings within 6 weeks), plus Mallala between Perth and Melbourne. Then there are new events at new circuits (Pheasants Nest near Wakefield, and The Bend in Sth Australia) plus the old favourites at Phillip Island and Eastern Creek. Let’s not forget New Zealand in January next year (6 meetings at 6 circuits in 6 weeks). Time to start planning for cost and time effective Trans Tasman travel. Allan Conway has been a great contributor to our facebook page and this will continue be an important communication channel. Also, see Noel Bryen’s Phillip Island report.
So we can look forward to trialing “EVENTS PLUS” in 2021 and get the AFJA back as a desirable destination for our friends overseas.
The AGM for the AFJA was held over a relaxing BBQ at Phillip Island last weekend and I am pleased to say that we had a quorum and we also elected a new President for 2021 (insert a pretend drum roll just here).
Congratulations to Bill Hemming for picking up the baton after 5 sterling years of effort from Kim Shearn. The remainder of the committee positions are unchanged from last year with Robyn Bryen as Treasurer and myself as Secretary. Bill’s main priority will be to find some ways to get more cars onto the race track and he is open to any ideas or suggestions.
With that in mind, the first round of the AFJA Championship has come and gone, and the results are shown below:
1960 Gemini Mk II
1963 Rennmax BN-1
1960 Lotus 18
1960 Lotus 18
1960 Lotus 18
1960 Lotus 18
Now, just because you have missed the first round doesn’t mean that it is too late to join the fun, because all 10 historic rounds are valid, but only your 4 best rounds count towards the pointscore. So, you can miss a couple and/or have a DNF here and there, but sill remain competitive through the year and the overall winner for each class won’t really be known until the end of the year. I will also include the historic round at Barbagallo if it is on, but I couldn’t find it listed on the website calendar.
And whilst it is great to see all three FJ classes represented at the first round (front engined, rear engine drum brakes and rear engined disc brakes) it would be even better if we had an F3 car joining us. So, please give it some thought and come and join the fun.
A year like no other? That’s for sure. As there has been very little in the way of activity during 2020 let’s look ahead instead.
Phillip Island is upon us and, as usual, should be a cracker, even sans spectators. Then Wakefield Park a couple of weeks later, followed by Mallala in April.
No doubt some of us will participate in at least one of the above and some, including me, will do all three. Anyway that’s the plan subject to border restrictions. Organisers are offering full refunds should the pox interfere so enter and plan to be there if you can.
I remain perplexed as to why a number of our members have race ready cars but don’t usually travel to meetings. This year is the time….extremely limited, or no opportunity, to race or holiday overseas, so Australia is calling. Time to get off the couch, explore and race around our vast, interesting country.
The first two rounds of our 2021 championship are set to be PI and Wakefield. The following rounds will be decided at our AGM at PI.
Last year’s championship is redundant really so no trophies will be awarded.
I would like to recognise the considerable work Noel & Robyn Bryen contribute to our group. They truly keep it all together and we would almost certainly fold were it not for them. My contribution is negligible compared to them.
And that brings me to the position of the Presidency. Surely one among you have the desire and drive to take on the role and commence afresh. We need new blood, enthusiasm and ideas to drive our group forward to prevent us rolling into a larger unit like M & O, for example. Any takers? I’m out of ideas except for recognising the need for a new start.
The history of Formula Junior is in our hands and ours alone. We need to preserve the origins of the class, after all, it remains the only universal historic formula on 5 continents! Add to this the value of your investment in your car and it becomes apparent that should we fail to exist, then surely values will decline and that isn’t helpful to say the least.
As custodians of some magnificent cars, in my view we need to do more to increase awareness among the wider historic racing community as well as others. Why do you own your car? Would the opportunity to display and show your car to the public be more important to you than to race it? Let us know along with any other positive ideas.
Western Australia has a big number of cars and they are a very active group both here and overseas. Perhaps they have ideas and people who can move us forward?
These decisions are largely in members hands and I encourage you to urgently consider our future structure, activities and methods to increase participation among us.
Greetings, after what has been an uneventful, eventful 2020 if you know what I mean.
At last I have some motor sport news for you.
Firstly, we “enjoyed” a very wet, cold and miserable weekend at Wakefield Park at the end of October and although there were rivers running across the track in all the wrong places it was good to get out and have some fun. Despite the fact that it was only a NSW meeting thanks to COVID, we had 150 entries and some good grids.
On the down side, WP have installed some new noise monitoring equipment with 3 sensors and they were very exuberant in its use. I was black flagged in the first race on Sunday when I could eventually use a few revs and start to enjoy myself, so I packed up and went home. Many others were pinged as well, so if they maintain that sort of vigilance I won’t be going back. The circuit manager encouraged me to make a submission to council, which I did, so we will see what happens. Apparently WP are under pressure from neighbours and are trying to strike a balance so that they can sustain the business into the future. There must be a cow in a nearby paddock that produces curdled milk on a Monday morning after a race meeting. I offered to shoot the cow, but they didn’t take me seriously.
And the most important news? Phillip Island 2021 is ON. 5/6/7 March. This is the labour day long weekend for the Mexicans, so get your accommodation booked asap. It is slightly truncated from a normal PI meeting with private practice on Friday, rather than Thursday as it has been over the past few years, but never mind, it is still Phillip Island.
And lastly, the message below was sent recently from some enthusiastic “old timers” from the HSRCA and I encourage you to support them if you are able. Bear in mind that the meeting is for pre 1961 sports and racing cars, so not all FJs are eligible. However, if you are hungry for a drive and want to do it in a relaxed and friendly manner, then this is an ideal opportunity.
See you at the track
WELCOME, WELCOME, WELCOME, AND WELCOME BACK!
We have been away, but we are back!
Post Covid-19 ALL HISTORIC RACE MEETING SEPTEMBER 2021
Rob Rowe/John Lackey/John Medley are once again involved in running a race meeting—for old cars and old motorcycles (including sidecars). We started at Amaroo Park in 1976, and revived with great success at Wakefield Park in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019– special days indeed.
Ours remains a unique and special event: we are amateur enthusiasts who love our motor sport, and want to share that with like-minded enthusiasts, friends old and new. We would like you to join us.
We are challenged by trying times. We hope to endure and to survive, but we cannot do this alone: we need your help, your involvement, your active participation, your very strong commitment. Our relationship with Wakefield Park remains wonderful, but in 2021 we investigate a new site: Pheasant Wood Circuit, Marulan– as keen as we are to host this special event.
We together need us all to meet this challenge
What “All-Historic Race Meeting 2021”
When 11th and 12th September 2021 (with a private practice day available on the 10th September 2021). Where Pheasant Wood Circuit, near Marulan NSW. Pheasant Wood Circuit is not as long as Wakefield Park , but lap times at Pheasant Wood are similar to those at Wakefield Park. The track is licensed for 25 machines in a race or regularity trial. Google ” Pheasant Wood Circuit” for track layouts and on track action pictures of solos, sidecars and racing cars.
There is camping accommodation reasonably nearby at the Bungonia National Park at very reasonable cost; or all the accommodation options at Goulburn 30 kms south on the M31.
Who Pre 1963 Motor Cycles and Outfits and Pre 1961 Sports and Racing Cars.
How By 31st December 2020, we need confirmation of your intention to compete from a minimum of 100 eligible cars and 100 eligible motorcycles, in the form of a $50 deposit on your entry fee (to be refunded by 31st January 2021 if insufficient entries are received).
Please send your name and $50 deposit to Pheasant Wood Circuit Phone Pheasant Wood 02 48411422 to make arrangements to pay by cheque or money transfer. Bank Details BSB: 032102 Account: 108676 Use your name as the reference. Total entry fees, including deposit, are $160.00 Solos, $ 160.00 sidecars, $200.00 for cars. MA , MA single event, AASA and CAMS open and CAMS L2 (regularity) rider/driver licences will be accepted.
If we do not succeed in getting entries for 100 Cars and 100 Motor Cycles (including sidecars) the meeting will be abandoned and Historic Motor Sport in NSW for older Historics will probably cease to exist!.
Why To have a wonderful race meeting and enjoy our bikes and cars and one another’s company. We do not wish to fail; we want you to help the meeting to succeed. Please plan ahead, commit to this plan, spread the word to encourage others particularly new others to send their deposit. Let us all get this special occasion on the go. Pheasant Wood Circuit and RR, JL, JM.
I trust you are well during these interesting times, particularly our Victorian brethren. The HSRCA is still planning to run its first meeting for the year at Wakefield Park on 29/30 August, but who knows where we will be by then. We have several Victorian entries but it is highly unlikely the border will be open in time for them to make the journey.
No doubt you have heard of the passing of Ron Tauranac this week at the ripe old age of 95. A true gentleman and a legend of our sport.
In other news, I learnt this week that Sandown, planned to be run in early November, has now been cancelled, so they obviously believe that it will be sometime before any form of normality returns down south. Kim Shearn managed to sneak out of Victoria in his new motor home before the borders were closed and he called me today from Moree (NSW). We discussed what to do with the AFJA Championship this year and, after talking with Jon Rowe in WA we decided unsurprisingly, to cancel it for 2020.
If anyone knows how to drive Facebook, Kim has created a site called Australian Formula Junior. It would be much appreciated if someone could post this information onto the site. I’m afraid it is way beyond by technical knowhow – give me a pair of webbers any day.
Jonathan Williamson, a keen competitor in his Lotus 22 for several years until he moved to South Africa with his work, has returned to Australia and his car is now up for sale. This is a fine example of the marque and in Jonathan’s hands was a front running car, beautifully prepared and maintained by the Penrite Team in Melbourne. Details are provided below.
1962 Lotus 22 22-FJ-13
Very original Lotus 22 in my ownership for 20 years. I raced the car in the UK & Europe before bringing the car with me to Australia in 2003. I have since raced extensively in Australia and NZ, winning the Australian Formula Junior Championship twice. The car is the holder of several lap records at Australian circuits.
The car was sold new to Malcolm Templeton in Ireland, who was the official Lotus importer. He successfully raced the car between 1962-1964, winning numerous FJ races at Kirkistown, Bishops Court and Phoenix Park. In 1963 the car was converted to Formula Libre spec with a 1500cc Lotus twin cam, and Malcolm continued to win races across Ireland.
In 1965 car was sold to Reg Armstrong, the professional Irish motorcycle racer who rode for the AJS, Norton and Gilera factory teams. A comprehensive history file has been put together by an Irish motorsports historian.
The car has a continuous history and was fully restored by Simon Hadfield Motorsport in the UK.
Current Australian CAMS Certificate of Description and FIA Papers (HTP not used in Australia).
I trust you are all well during these interesting times and are well advanced with the many and varied projects that you now have time to do whilst waiting for the racing season to get started again. I have taken the opportunity to do a refresh on the engine in the Rennma , and something even more dramatic, I decided to do a complete rebuild on my 1973 Morgan 4/4 that has been a part of the family since 1984. She was looking very tired, particularly the paintwork. It is now down to the bare chassis and today I sanded, rubbed, gouged and ground myself to a standstill.
I have been working from home (WFH, as against WFO) (I work for Defence, (Navy) and everything has an acronym) 3 days a week for some time now – which has been handy, because the shed is so close and I can nick down there for some therapy every couple of hours. It does have its drawbacks though. You will notice there is a letter missing on the name of my Junior in the above paragraph. Well, I managed to spill a very fine glass of McLaren Vale shiraz across the keyboard the other night and now that letter that is missing is one of several that doesn’t work.
Have you been missing the racing action? I certainly have and so have the F1 boys. They’ve created their own action by playing musical seats early this year. It’s a pity Danny Ric missed out on the red suit, but never mind.
I have been in touch with the HRCC, the organisers of Morgan Park, and they are hopeful that their July meeting will go ahead. At least at this stage it hasn’t been cancelled.
In the meantime, Don Edwards has decided to part company with his very pretty 1960 Cooper T52, the details of which are below.