Historic Winton. May 2017

Formula Juniors @ Historic Winton. May 2017.

The week-end of 26-27th May saw the 41st year of this great event. There is possibly no other Australian event that brings out a bigger entry of Classic Historic racecars and also Motor Bikes. It’s worth noting that not too many years ago our great friend and FJ mentor Roger Ealand, not only entered one of his race cars, but to the surprise of many appeared from his campervan with Margaret stuffing him into a full set of leathers only to jump on a racing bike and off to take on the 2 wheeled field.

Formula Junior was represented by a small group, 3 Rear Engined cars who ran with M & O  Sports & Racing and 3 Front Engined cars, who competed with Lb racing.

Murray Bryden in his Lotus 22, Geoff Fry in the Jolus FJ and Frank Hooks Cooper T76 , in reality an F2 car , but is 99% Formula Junior, and was driven by Jamie Larner. Over the week-end the Cooper was clearly quicker in the M & O field, slowed only by a concrete wall.  Murray Bryden followed back in the field with small teething issues then Geoff in the Jolus further back , hoping the fencing wire clutch system held together.

In Front Engined cars , stalwart John medley in the Nota, David Hardman in Norm Faulkner’s Stanguellini, and Max Pegram in the Gemini-Ford Mk. II, took on a big field of Lb racers. The 3 ran mid field over the event, with young Hardman leading the way showing the potential of Norms  beautiful Stanguellini. Over the week-end the Gemini was able to get in a PB trying to catch the Stang, while Johns Nota was always close behind.

Of interest was ex FJ owner , Mike Gosbell’s new car, the Sabakat Special. Its a very early Lotus, 1957, with a 1500cc Coventry engine. Although not a FJ is shows exactly where the next few years where heading.  The story of how this car came to Australia in a crop duster aircraft disguised as ” spare plane parts ”  is well worth reading up on.

With some of our FJs and owners currently in the US then heading to UK and Europe, it was obvious that entries would be down. However we really need to get more FJs onto grids here. Having just competed in the NZ leg of the Formula Junior Jubilee and experience the interest and atmosphere our cars create , its up to us to get more of our great little car onto the tracks.

Max Pegram