The HSRCA’s summer meeting at Sydney Motor Sport Park on 11 & 12 November brought 21 bees out to play despite a clash with Sandown. Matt Scott and Tony Brook made the trip from Melbourne and Doug Angus came down from Qld to join the otherwise NSW field. Greg Stott made a return from a long absence after selling then buying back his Mako. Bernie Haehnle gave his car some exercise for the first time in a while. Norm Vesty was another entry we haven’t seen for a couple of years. And Steve Normoyle was there for his first run in his new vee.
The weather for the weekend was a good as it gets with temps in the mid-twenties and virtually no wind. No damaged shelters this year!
Most were there on Friday to sort out cars and drivers. Your reporter started the day with very little braking and a spluttering engine from half way down the straight to turn 2. Bleeding, adjusting and hard use on the track sorted the brakes. A change of fuel pump improved the splutter to only affecting the last couple of hundred metres into turn 2.
By the last session on Friday only Alex, Bernie and I were on the track, everyone else obviously had everything sorted. Alex and I had a ball with our own private race after Bernie overtook us and we weren’t able to keep up. Tony unfortunately had some overnight repairs with help from DC after a bit of a bump with Ian B.
The vees had the first practice session on Saturday morning. Our president was off his usual pace as punishment for being led astray by his overnight host Tony Paynter and a scotch bottle. As expected DC set fastest time by a comfortable margin followed by the rest of the field with times suggesting some close racing. Your reporter was happy setting a better than usual practice time after spending Friday experimenting with some new lines through corners. New tyres helped! But the spluttering engine into turn 2 was a frustration.
The race 1 result sheet shows a comfortable win to DC with a tight tussle for second between the Nigels resolved in the Jones favour by .1 of a second. Geoff Stone and Pete Iredale followed then a close tussle for 6th between Matt Scott, Chris Raper and your reporter. Matt was kind enough to let me through at the flag with Chris just behind. Bernie followed and was reported as observing that he was keeping his distance as he thought we were mad. It might have something to do with Chris and I going through turn 4 with wheels interlocked. If this is true our tactic worked!
I can report the last half of race 2 from the pit roof after having the car almost fail to start due to weak battery and subsequent lack of electricity to power the ignition causing me to pull out after two laps. The battery always lasts the whole weekend without charging. Except this time! The field was unusually strung out but with two and three car dices throughout. DC again lead the field home with Pete second and Doug Angus making it to third from the back of the grid after a DNF in race 1.
My sparing partners from race 1 were next, Matt 4th then Chris and Bernie just pipping Kevan after a race-long duel. Kevan was recovering!
With Chris Raper’s help a check of my car with a healthy battery showed all good so Chris and Bernie kindly accommodated my car overnight beside a power point. In the morning everything was working fine – it seemed.
Race 3 was a fizzer. It could have been interesting with both Nigels, Geoff Stone and I off the back of the grid – me hoping to stay with them. However an unfortunate contact between the visiting Victorians brought out the pace car for most of the race. At the restart my car decided to run erratically again, not only into turn 2 but it slowed coming out of turn 3 giving Norm a bit of a surprise. I pulled off before someone ran into me.
Before race 4 I changed the carby and eliminated the fuel filter. And belatedly checking the obvious found that the points had closed up. One or all of these cured the problem!
I was again off the back of the grid for race 4 but managed to work up to dice with Ian B and Greg Stott for most of the race. I lost the tow towards the end and in a last lap attempt to make up ground took a faster line through turn 9. It didn’t work, the resulting spin dropping me two places. At least I got a good look at Bernie’s car that had been parked on the inside of the turn for most of the race. The order up front was again DC followed by Doug, Geoff, the Nigels and Pete.
So it was another great race meeting. Frank Kleinig recovering from some health issues visited in the pits. Non competitors including Steve Batty, Tony Paynter and James Nagel with Karen were in the pits all weekend lending a hand as needed. And of course the families and friends of the competitors were there as usual lending their support.
Here’s to the next one!