Icebreaker 2014

34 191 crop

Well, the weather was supposed to be pretty marginal all weekend, and so it turned out – on the day that was supposed to be fine (ish).

Eight likely lads and their cars entered the Icebreaker to kick the 2014/15 season off, and with the weatherman getting the Saturday forecast almost 100% face about arse, practise/qually and the afternoons races went off without a hitch.  Most of the field also did the double in qually, and tagged along with the Formula Libre class for an additional seven laps or so.

The first race saw Tony Cross in pole, closely followed by Peter Boel in his Lotus 51B, and Martin Lucas in his new (old?) Van Diemen taking third.  During the race, Tony managed to pull away from Peter to finish 2.3secs up, with Don Hopkins rounding out the podium a close 0.6secs behind Peter.

Overnight the weather worsened with a swing to a front coming up from the South West.  This meant some heavy rain, and continual showers for the first half of the day, resulting in many of the Historic Muscle Cars packing it in for the day and heading home.  Formula Libre also threw in the towel (something about them only having slicks…when will they learn??) so it was down to the Formula Fords to fly the open wheeler flag.

“A river runs through it” would have been an apt description of the course when race two rolled around.  Coupled with a strong headwind along the pit straight, the race was going to be a challenge from the outset.  After a two lap warmup, the race got underway with all cars safely off the grid.  However it was not to remain as Craig Munro aqua-planed into the Armco barrier 350m from the sweeper resulting in a three legged Lola.  This brought out the red flag, and the race was restarted, albeit missing half the grid as several then took the safe option and headed for the pits to retire.  Tony Cross, Peter Boel, Martin Lucas and Dave Silverton took the restart, but Dave decided discretion was the better part of valour and soon called it quits on the race.

This left Tony, Peter and Martin to safely circulate and make it to the chequered flag.

The final race was run in better conditions, but with one car out with damage, and two off home for a pre-planned beer or three, only five cars took starters orders.  Tony Cross made it a brace of victories, and Peter Boel a brace of seconds.  Don Hopkins registered another third for the weekend.

The racing now moves on to the first TACCOC race meeting at Pukekohe on October 4th.

Icebreaker Wrap Up

Well it was a blustery weekend that saw cars take to the track in the first round of the Avon Tyres Historic Formula Ford Championship.  A modest turnout of 13 cars formed the grid, having lost Paul Dold (GLH # 74) the day before thanks to some clutch issues.

Saturday was not the warmest on record, and everyone had an eye to the skies wondering when the first drops of rain would fall.  For practice, Grant Campbell stoked his Swift around the track, and posted a 1:13.931 – an early indication that on a hotter day, he is set to go sub-73’secs early on for this season.  On his heels was Dave Silverton running on balding rear tyres at 1:14.520, edging out Ben Field in his Mark VIII Elden who posted a 1:14.608.

The first race was run in cold and windy conditions, with Brent Main (Keram #34) a non-starter thanks to a gear shift selector problem.  At lights out Grant Campbell shot off for the lead, closely followed by Dave Silverton, Ben Field and Michael Clark (Crossle #32).  Ben got around Dave on the second lap and set about chasing down Grant, however a late race mistake let Grant off the hook and Ben had to settle for second.  Dave by this stage had fallen off the pace and started to drift towards the fourth place of Michael Clark.  However MC was most likely contemplating other peoples famous fourth place drives, trying to ascertain if Fangio had looked as comfortable in fourth as he now found himself.  Whatever is was, Michael stayed in fourth all the way to the line.

Mike Hunter (Hawke #85) chases down Vic Clark (Palliser #911) in Race One

A little further back and Lindsay Porter was putting on his best Trulli-Train impersonation, keeping no less than four cars in tow behind him until the last few laps, whereby the three Lola’s in the field (T342 of Chris Fraser, T440 of Ian Staples, and Lindsay in his T644) did a casual reversal of placings, in so doing, letting Phil Major in his Spartan (#133) to sneak through.

Race Two was held on a wet track – the skies had opened up over night, and had kept drizzling all morning.  The sedan’s had done the best they could to create a dry line, but the rain god’s were having none of that, and proceeded to wash whatever line appeared away.  And so it was, the race started under “wet track” conditions.  Michael Clark decided that rolling starts were a good idea, and was casually heading for the first corner long before anyone else – however when the lights went out, and the clutch was dropped, he managed to reverse all his gains by spinning the back wheels and going nowhere fast.  MC would have us all believe that he did not jump the start, and simply “started outside his box”.

With the spray going high, the cars soon spread out and Ben Field was off the front with a clear view in front of him.  The two Clarks, Michael and Vic, both served a mechanical black flag.  In MC”s case, the stewards were probably all too aware that this was the man renowned for losing his exhaust pipe, and for losing his wing mirror out on track, so they figured this warranted a mid-race nut and bolt inspection.

Michael Clark (Crossle, nee Marmon Wasp) gets shown a flag he’d rather not see in Race Two…

….and serves his Mechanical Black Flag after stewards determine that all bolts and nuts are tight.

Gerald Duncan in the Cheetah (113) had a decent first lap, finding himself in second place at lap end, with a hard charging Mike Hunter in his Hawke (#85) right on his tail pipe.  By the end of the third lap Mike was through, and the next car eyeing up Cheetah-stew was Dave Silverton having had a bad first lap.  On lap four, Dave was into third, and there they all stayed to the flag; Ben for first, Mike second, Dave third, and Gerald fourth.  Behind them, Lindsay led home a Lola-trio as he finished 5th, Ian in 6th and Chris Fraser, 7th.  Brent Main finished in 8th and was the last car on the lead lap.

Ben Field (Elden) takes a the chequers after a wet race two

The final race of the day was held on a dry track, with lap times tumbling back down to the 74-second mark.  Many drivers set faster laps in this race than any other of the weekend, thus garnering 6-bonus points in the Minor Series.  A heated battle ensued at the front of the pack.  Ben Field, ever present, led at the end of the first lap – however, that Marmon Wasp rounded out the second lap in first place!!  Ben was having none of that, and slotted back into the lead for the next five laps, with Michaels’ Clark and Hunter keeping him honest.

And then, somehow, he did it again…The Right Honorable (some say) Michael Clark snatched victory out of the palm of Ben’s hand, crossing the line a mere 0.160-secs to the fore, and in so doing, won his second ever race.  Mike Hunter was a mere 0.151-sec’s further back on Ben, and took a well deserved third place.

So in conclusion, it was great to see the Wellington boys at the track again -welcome back Ian and Phil; great to have you out there lapping again.  It appears that this year will be a tight tussle at the front between a hard charging Michael Clark, Mike Hunter, Ben Field and Dave Silverton, with several others not too far behind.  Certainly the midfield has closed up from last season, so it will be interesting to see who improves over the season.

In the minor series standings, Lindsay Porter has a one point buffer over Ian Staples, with Vic Clark in third.  Most people improved their fastest lap times over the course of the weekend, which is great to see.

Next up is the one-dayer at Pukekohe on October 6th.

Chris and Ian do Lola-battle in their T342 and T440’s respectively. Brent Main is hovering in the rooster tail behind…


It was 1968…

It was 1968….

British Prime Minister Harold Wilson backed the campaign for working an extra half hour…without pay;

The Tet Offensive begins in the Viet Nam war;

The 1968 Winter Olympics are held in Grenoble, France;

The Gold Standard is dropped – the US no longer matches each dollar with the equal in gold;

2001: A Space Odyssey is released at the movies, shortly followed by Planet of the Apes; Hair opens on Broadway;

The Wahine grounds with the loss of 53 lives; The last steam passenger train runs in Britain; Boeing rolls out the first 747 for the worlds media;

Saddam Hussein becomes Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Council in Iraq after a coup;

Mattel introduces the world to Hot Wheels;

Led Zeppelin makes their first live performance; The Beatles release their White Album;

Marcus Gronholm is born; Colin McRae is born; Mika Hakkinen is born; Paul Tracey is born;

Jim Clark is killed (F2 race, Hockenheim), Mike Spence is killed (Indy 500 practice); Jo Schlesser is killed (French GP, Honda RA302),  Ludovico Scarfiotti is killed (hillclimb), Robert F Kennedy is shot; Martin Luther King, Jr is shot dead;

DFV engines were offered to teams other than Lotus for the first time;

Ken Tyrell entered his first cars on the F1 grid; wings are seen for the first time in abundance;

Chris Amon took three poles, Denny Hulme had two victories, and Bruce McLaren took one, at Spa;

Graham Hill took the title, Jackie Stewart in second, and Denny Hulme, third – Bruce took fifth and Amon in tenth;

And then, a new(ish) formula was getting its first showings in the US of A….

Formula Ford 1968 Styles

On the Grid: Taupo

Time for a little grid walk…cars from Taupo 14/15 January.

Tony Cross; Lola T340

Don Hopkins; Crossle 32F

Peter "Baldric" Grant; Elden PH25

Michael Hunter; Hawke DL2A

Michael Clark; Crossle 32F


Bruce McCoy; Lola T342


Nigel Huston; Johnson FF

Vic Clarke; Palliser WDF3

Mike Creswell; Loal T342

MIA…Dave Silverton and Roger Slee…sorry guys; batteries went flat…

TACCOC Spring Classic – Pukekohe – Event Photo’s

Special thanks to Pete Dawson for snapping these photo’s:

In NASCAR they say "boogety boogety boogety"...we just say, "GO!"

Bruce McCoy leads Michael Clark and Gerald Duncan on the front straight

Cheqeurs for Dave Silverton and Phil Foulkes. They were seperated by mere tenths of a second at the line.

Graham Dickie leads Vic Clarke with Ron Wilkin tagging along.

Bruce McCoy stops for a coffee; "Latte, skim milk, please"

In Formula One, you used to get the Trulli Historic Formula Ford, you get the Clark Conga Line

Heading off into the sunset????

Icebreaker 2011

The 2011 season got underway on a weekend of changeable weather conditions.  Saturday saw sunshine and a bit of wind, with Sunday really living up to the Icebreaker name with a cold Southerly and rain – so much so, that Race 3 was reduced to 6-laps, and only 5 cars took the starters orders.

Mike Creswell (Lola T342, #7) opened the weekend setting fastest lap in qualifying with a 1:14.643.  Taking P2 was Dave Silverton (PRS, #43) on a 1:15.338, with the ever present Tony Cross (Lola T340, #340) setting P3 at 1:15.358.

Race 1 saw Creswell drop back in the first lap, with Silverton driving into the lead for the first three laps.  However, Class II driver, Grant Campbell (Swift FB4, #46)  soon took over on the 4th lap and wasn’t headed for the rest of the race.  Behind Campbell, Silverton and Cross filled out the top three at the line, with Cross only slipping back to third on the last lap.

Race 2, run under wet conditions on the Sunday morning saw lap times drop by around 10-seconds on average.  Creswell made for a better start to the race, maintaining the lead through to lap 6 where he dropped four places, falling behind the trio of Campbell, Cross and Silverton, as well as Mike Lee in his Class II Mondiale M86S (#55).

Race 3 turned into a wet weather practice session after a group consensus regarding the heavily deteriorated weather.

Fastest lap for the weekend went to Dave Silverton, outclassing the Class II cars, and taking all four bonus points on offer for the weekend.

The second round of the series now moves to the bumps and divits of Pukekohe Park Raceway on October 8th for a one-day, quick-fire event.

Click here for the Championship Standings