Newsflash 18/7/2020

Folk,

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).
  • £70,000. Comes with spares & service package.
  • Jonathan Williamson: jonathan_m_williamson@yahoo.com or +61 437 513786 (Brisbane)

Stay safe and I hope to see you at a race meeting soon.

Noel Bryen.

Newsflash 16/5/2020

Greetings,

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.

Hope to see you all soon, and stay healthy,

Regards,

Noel Bryen.

Newsflash 28/3/2020

Greetings,

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

Regards,

Noel

Newsflash 25/1/2020

Folk,

As Kim mentions below, I will send the details out shortly for the AGM which will be held at Phillip Island.  We book a house for the duration and the intent will be to have the AGM on the Friday night over a BBQ and a few refreshing drinks of your choice.  But more on that later.  

I have also  included an extraction from a conversation Kim had with his local Hoosier tyre agent.  They are having a special on Formula Vee tyres which are the Vintage TD compound.  The Vintage TD is on the Group M tyre list, so if you want to get your car out on the track for a run, the Hoosier could be a cost effective option.  If you entered your car as Group M rather than FJ, then you should be legal.  However, for FJ only races, you would need the regulation Dunlop.

Regards,

Noel

A message from our President:

Well,  another year passes and thoughts turn to what lies ahead. Each one of us has their own challenges, however, I really hope more of us can gather together at some race meetings this year.

The magic happens when like-minded people meet, talk and swap war stories with each other. Last year alone, we had members travelling far and wide including Antarctica, New Zealand, Denmark, not to mention the UK and numerous other European countries. All have great Formula Junior tales (except maybe Antarctica!) Some are even true, but most include terrific fun, with exploits abroad and at home too.

Most members say it’s the people as well as the racing that attracts them. If that is the case, I sometimes wonder why more folk don’t race, or at least attend meetings, more often so any feedback would be more than welcome.

My absence overseas each year continues to have me believe that another member of your choice may be better positioned to further our cause and re-invigorate our group. How about it? Anyone prepared to take over the reins from the AGM which will be held at Phillip Island in March?

Location and time details, voting slips, an agenda and previous minutes will be circulated in due course by our untiring Secretary, Noel Bryen.

Please give thought and voice as to how we can enhance what is a truly unique and special group of historic racing enthusiasts…FORMULA JUNIOR.

Kim Shearn 

President

AFJA

HOOSIER Tyres

Hi Kim,

Thank you for the chat on the phone this morning.

Following our conversation we have a special on our Formula Vee tyres which will work on Formula Juniors.

We are having a sale of these tyres at $450+ per set!

The compound/tyre range is our Vintage T.D. which has received amazing success around the world in both wet and dry conditions.

I understand that the current tyres you are using are Dunlop 4.50-15 Front and 5.00-15 Rear.

Our FV rear is very close to the 4.50-15, we also have a 5.00-15.

So, other options may be the following:

FV front & 5.00-15 rear = $980+ / set

FV Rear (on front) & 5.00-15 rear = $988+ / set

The specs on the tyres are as follows:

DesignationTread widthAprrox dia.Approx Circ.Meas RimSection WidthPrice
120/590-154.8”22.6”70.9”4.5”6.1”$110+
135/620-155.6”24.1”75.6”4.5”6.9”$115+
5.00-155.2”24.7”77.6”4.0”7.0”$379.10+

Please note, the measurement of tread width is quite subjective.

Measured Rim also affects the section width.

Therefore when comparing to other tyres it may not be an accurate comparison.

Newsflash 19/12/2019

Folk,

Please find enclosed the results for the AFJA series for 2019.  As you can see, it has been a quiet year with only 12 competitors racing over 8  meetings.  Max Pegram is the clear winner of the Leo Geoghegan Trophy with 160 points in his 1960 Gemini, with Richard Nitschke winning the Aussie Built Trophy in his 1962 Elfin.  Congratulations to them both.  The F3 trophy was not awarded this year as there were no competitors.

I will work up a draft calendar for 2020 over the Christmas break for discussion at the AGM, which will be held at Phillip Island over the weekend of 7/8 March, and this will also be the first event on our calendar.  The known race meetings for 2020 thus far are:

Phillip Island – VHRR – 7/8 March

Wakefield Park – HSRCA – 21/22 March

Mallala SCCSA – 25/26 April

Winton Short – VSCCA – 30/31 May

Eastern Creek – HSRCA – 6/7 June

Morgan Park – HRCC – 11/12 July

Winton Long – VHRR – 01/02 August

Wakefield Park – HSRCA – 29/30 August

Sandown – VHRR – 7/8/ November

Eastern Creek – HSRCA – 28/29 November.

So, we could be attending a race meeting almost every month in 2020.  Please let me know your thoughts for a possible calendar for next year.

In the meantime, AFJA fees are now due for 2020, so either make a direct deposit of $25 to the AFJA  bank account BSB: 063465, Account: 10088952 or complete the enclosed form and return it to me with your cheque.  Alternatively, Robyn will happily accept cash if you see her in person.

NAMESTATECarClassPhillip IslandWakefield ParkMallalaWinton SMorgan ParkWakefield ParkSandownEastern CreekTOTAL
    9/10 March30/31 March27/28 April18/19 May13/14 July28/29 September9/10 November30 Nov/1 Dec 
PEGRAM, MaxVIC1960 Gemini Mk IIFJ1F50404030    160
NITSCHKE, RichardSA1962 Elfin FJFJ1R  3224  3036122
HEMMING, BillVIC1962 Elfin FJFJ1R40362418    118
BRYEN, NoelNSW1963 Rennmax B-1FJ2R11   40  3182
MOODY, SteveVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R46     16 62
SHEARN, KimVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R  40    2161
BUCKLEY, RobertQLD1963 GolfordFJ1R 10  40   50
BUTCHER, RobertVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R   26    26
REID, DavidQLD1962 Cooper T59FJ2R       2626
THALLON, DonQLD1963 MRC FordFJ2R    24   24
BRYDEN, MurrayVIC1962 Lotus 20FJ2R 19      19
HOCKING, WayneSATADFJ1R  16     16
WALKER, GrantVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R   16    16

Regards,

Noel

Newsflash 24/9/2019

Folk,

Wakefield Park is on this weekend and is a round of our championship.  However, there are no Formula Juniors entered, which is a sad state of affairs indeed.

The next championship event is Sandown on 26/27 October and so far only 3 Juniors have entered.  These are David Reid in his Cooper, Kim Shearn in his Lotus and Richard Nitschke in his Elfin.  We need more, as does the entire M&O category.  We are in great danger of being merged with other categories if we can’t maintain our numbers.  We are already seeing Group O being merged with Q&R at some meetings and it won’t be long before Group M ends up in the same boat.

It is not feasible to combine Group M with Q&R because of the speed differential, which means we will end up with Group L as the only alternative.  This is already occurring at some meetings and is far from ideal.  So, please consider Sandown as your next event – entries close on 30 September.  Failing that, the last event for the year is Eastern Creek on 30 November/1 December.

I hope to see you there.

Regards,

Noel Bryen

European Escape – 2019

Folk,

Some more news from Kim, and the points score after our last round at Morgan Park, where we have beautiful but cold weather and some great racing.  Only the Juniors of Don Thallon, Rob Buckley and myself made the circuit, with Allan Conway’s F3 Brabham suffering from a gremlin attack which kept it in the pits the whole weekend.

But first, here’s Kim.

Is it just me or do others awaken and think of when is the next race weekend? Sure, we think of the kids, grandkids and friends, but racing is always an early thought.

Over here, in Europe, there is a race meeting virtually every weekend, so no end of fun. Two weeks ago it was was Anglesey on the Welsh North coast. A fantastic track, not unlike Phillip Island in location.

Five Aussies were in the line up and Marty Bullock won the first race and got 3rd in the second. David Kent won his class and, despite a litany of problems, David Watkins also did well collecting, if I remember, a third in the second race.

Bill Hemming went really well in his gorgeous Tojiero and while i was running strong in 4th spot in race 2, I blew a donut and failed to finish. The field was about 20 strong so we all had some success really.

A couple of weeks earlier many of us raced at Most in Czech. It is another excellent venue and the racing there was held in 35°C+ Heat. Everyone got through ok, though overheating was ever present.

We took a couple of weeks to get back to the UK after, you guessed it…lots of shopping, too many bloody castles and numerous churches! She needs therapy of varying types but I’m buggered to understand some of it, even after 45 years of trying!

This weekend we run at Croft which holds a sort of mini Goowood Revival type meeting. Located up North, near Newcastle (there’s that bloody word again) it promises to have a bit of a different feel. I will race the F3 Penny Ford and see how that goes after considerable tweeking during the off season.

Finally, the week after is Nurburgring, a real highlight on this trip. Despite the rigid discipline in the organising it is a really good event with A1 hospitality tents, strong entry and lots of interesting cars in various classes.

After a disappointing incident in practice at Winton before I left home, my Lotus 18 is under going a complete refurb with many new components. Dave Price is, along with Allan Bisset, seeing to it all and I’m looking forward to joining you all on my return for a Summer full of racing.

We are working on the 2020 calender and improving our communications with you all as time goes by. It’s never easy to satisfy everyone, but we’ll  keep trying and hopefully grow our group over time. Helpful suggestions are encouraged and your support is the best way to flourish.

Meanwhile, Cheers 

Kim Shearn 

President 

AFJA

NAMESTATECarClassPhillip IslandWakefield ParkMallalaWinton SMorgan ParkWakefield ParkSandownEastern CreekTOTAL
    9/10 March30/31 March27/28 April18/19 May13/14 July28/29 September9/10 November30 Nov/1 Dec 
PEGRAM, MaxVIC1960 Gemini Mk IIFJ1F50404030    160
HEMMING, BillVIC1962 Elfin FJFJ1R40362418    118
NITSCHKE, RichardSA1962 Elfin FJFJ1R  3224    56
BRYEN, NoelNSW1963 Rennmax B-1FJ2R11   40   51
BUCKLEY, RobertQLD1963 GolfordFJ1R 10  40   50
MOODY, SteveVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R46       46
SHEARN, KimVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R  40     40
BUTCHER, RobertVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R   26    26
THALLON, DonQLD1963 MRC FordFJ2R    24   24
BRYDEN, MurrayVIC1962 Lotus 20FJ2R 19      19
HOCKING, WayneSATADFJ1R  16     16
WALKER, GrantVIC1960 Lotus 18FJ1R   16    16

Bad luck…good luck

Hi all,

I was meant to be at Croft racing this weekend. 

Unfortunately, as Tom, the mechanic, warmed up the Penny Ford in his workshop yesterday, it broke another camshaft and, obviously, couldn’t  be fixed in time as he was heading off in his truck for Copenhagen on Tuesday night.

Tom was taking my Lotus to Copenhagen as he wasn’t returning to England before going onwards to Germany for my (and others) race the following weekend. The lotus was also waiting on a new driveshaft that was being delivered to Germany so I could race there. What to do?

Tom borrowed a driveshaft from Team Classic Lotus and will take it to Copenhagen. I cancelled Croft, the rang Jac Nellerman in Copenhagen (he organises that event) made a late entry. Jack suggested I fly to Denmark from Edinburgh and stay in ONE of his motorhomes. He arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport and whisk us to the opening cocktail party on the, Thursday night. His driver will also take us to the track on Friday morning to collect one of Jac’s classic cars for the weekend. I then decided we wpuld stay in a hotel in town rather than impose on him for a motor Home. This also allowed Marie to shop while I race…nothing new there.

We then fly back to Edinburgh on Sunday night, collect JOYCE, then catch the overnight ferry from Hull to Rotterdam on Monday night and drive to Nurburgring in time for laps on the old circuit on Thursday next week.

Phew!

What could possibly go wrong?

I’ll  let you know the outcome, but suddenly  things got a bit busy here!!!

Cheers,

Kim