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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.