2014-2015 Season Wrap

Better late than never, as they say!!

This wrap-up has been sitting in the draft pile on the website for a week or ten too long, so apologies to everyone for not getting my A into G and hitting the “publish” button.

So without any further delay…drum roll please….

This seasons victors and recipients of a F1 test with Manor F1 (OK, maybe that last bit is a little bit untrue), are Ron Wilkin and Gavin Aleksich in Class 1 and 2 respectively.

Whilst not taking away a victory this season, Ron has plugged away at the top, or near the top from start to finish this past season and was able to amass a decent haul of points to see him better long time racer Phil Foulkes by 14 points, even with Phil phoning a friend in the last race to try and overcome the points gap.  A happy third was first season veteran Keith Mainland.

Class 2 was headed this season by first season veteran Gavin Aleksich taking his Mondiale into the top weekend points on several occasions.  The ever fast Tony Graham was second, and Lindsay Porter took home third place laurels.

Congrats to everyone that raced this season!!

2014-2015 Avon Tyres Championship Points Tables

Class One Championship Points Table

Class Champ – Ron Wilkin!!

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Ron crests turn 3 at Hampton Downs

 

Place Driver Points
1 Ron Wilkin 798
2 Phil Foulkes 784
3 Keith Mainland 757
4 Martin Lucas 638
5 Chris Fraser 632
6 Tony Cross 585
7 Gerald Duncan 582
8 Keith Jones 498
9 Bruce McCoy 444
10 Dave Silverton 410
11 Paul Dold 399
12 Bernie Hines 394
13 Graeme Cameron 368
14 Peter Boel 364
15 Geoff Bogue 360
16 Don Hopkins 343
17 Michael Clark 292
18 David Banks 223
19 Mike Creswell 193
20 Craig Munro 100

Class Two Championship Points Table

Class Two Champ – Gavin Aleksich!!

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Gavin (#55) trailing Lindsay Porter (#644)

Place Driver Points
1 Gavin Aleksich 647
2 Tony Graham 420
3 Lindsay Porter 386
4 Frank van Lingen 255
5 John Pickford 254

A Curly Tale: TACCOC Hampton Downs

November 9, 2014

 

Promise of decent weather and an old fashioned ‘quick-fire’ race schedule attracted the biggest group of old fart Formula Fords to be assembled together for some time. Firstly a big welcome to newcomers to our happy little band – Geoff Bogue (ex Brownlie/Fraser Lola  – blue #36), and Gavin Aleksich who has purchased the white/red #55 Mondiale that Dave Silverton originally imported and Mike Lee subsequently ran. It was great seeing these new faces, and wonderful to see Harold Phillips looking so well after some of his health challenges this year – really hope to see you back in your exquisite Lola soon Harold. Also brilliant to see Graham Main looking fit after his recent scare.

 

Speaking of Lolas – the bloody things are everywhere, mostly driven by Taurangaians but great to also see Keith Jones out again. Chris Fraser tried convincing everyone his car was better prepped than ever before a race but when the fuel went in, it came straight out – so scratch a Lola while other cars had turned but refused to cooperate in the form a black Reynard that wouldn’t start (bad luck John Pickford), the Crossle of Don Hopkins while after just one lap in race one, Dave’s PRS was out for the day. My specially trained mechanical ear detected a head gasket – and if I’m right, getting to Manfeild should be a piece of cake.

 

And so to the racing – Tony Graham has not slowed down and was easily fastest of the more modern cars. Phil Foulkes led the way in the class 1 cars with Tony Cross and Gerald Duncan squaring off for next best. Gerald has made quite a stride towards the sharp end and continues to personalise the car with new a new number and font. Behind them was arguably the best scraps through all three races. Ron Wilkin really had the Elden going well and was chased hard in race 1 by Keith Mainland in the ex-Richard Cullen #79 VD. His stated aim for the day was to “get into the 15s” – his best previous time having been a 16.1. Ron and Keith put on a great show with Ron using his greater experience to hold the VD out. They recorded identical fastest laps – but Keith failed in the quest to do ‘a 15’ by doing a 14.9.

 

In race 2 they were at it again and Keith slipped by going into the sweeper on the last lap. Tony Cross had stopped on the very outside of the sweeper  meaning the yellow flag was being waved and correctly observed by Ron…but not by the VD driver. The Tauranga Lolas ran nose to tail in race 3, Keith Jones went quicker and quicker while Gavin and Geoff had smiles wide enough to suggest they’ll be coming out to play more often. No cars were hurt and there would seem to be a fair number of us heading down to Manfeild.

 

So some prizes for our TACCOC Spring meeting field of Formula 1 hopefuls:

 

  • The Clay Regazzoni Award for the most blatant jump start of 2014 (thus far) goes to Gerald Duncan
  • The Gilles Villeneuve Award for getting the car most sideways goes to Phil Foulkes – but only just from Tony Graham
  • The Vittorio Brambilla Award for colour blindness goes to Keith Mainland
  • Biggest improvement in one meeting….Keith again – from a 16.1 to a 14.1…
  • Most consistent line of every lap – Lindsay Porter and Keith Jones – a tie
  • Best presented car; a guarantee to make me unpopular but what do I care? Bernie Hines – green Lola #221…bloody gorgeous

 

Rumours from the day

 

  • Tony is still considering introducing the concept of paint to the 85 Reynard
  • Peter Boel is well on the way to having the Lotus 51B back on the track after the wee incident at the Car-breaker
  • We will have another Crossle on the grid for the Howden Ganley Festival meetings

New National / North Island / South Island Formula Ford Series

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North Island and South Island Formula Ford Series Announced

All series’ working together for bigger grids next season

Formula Ford racing could receive a major boost to grids with the announcement of North and South island local series, both of which will share some dates with the national Formula Ford championship.

Both the North Island and South Island series will be open to any Formula Ford racing cars, but a variety of classes incorporating modern and less contemporary machinery will operate to encourage more drivers to bring out the legendary single seater racing cars. Classes will cater for all later eras of the popular racing category.

Each of the North Island and South Island series will run over six rounds, with each sharing three rounds with the premier six round National Formula Ford Championship – a title which boasts some of the country’s finest racing names as winners.

North Island-based Formula Ford drivers and teams can double up by competing for both the National title and the North Island title. The national championship rounds at Hampton Downs (February 1 and 2), Manfeild (February 8 and 9) and Taupo (March 8 and 9) will also form three rounds of the new North Island series, with the three New Zealand Racing Drivers League meetings at Manfeild (March 1 and 2), Taupo (April 5 and 6) and Hampton Downs (May 3 and 4) completing the North Island series dates.

There will be a similar opportunity on the South Island for teams and drivers there, with the championship rounds at Ruapuna on November 2 and 3, Teretonga on January 11 and 12 and Levels on January 18 and 19 qualifying for both National Championship points and South Island Formula Ford series points, with further meetings at Levels on November 17th, Teretonga on December 7 and 8 and Ruapuna on March 23 providing the remaining three rounds for the South Island Formula Ford series.

“It is very positive to see a high level of co-operation within the Formula Ford classes with the aim to secure a future for the NZ Formula Ford Championship,” explained MotorSport New Zealand’s General Manager,  Brian Budd. “Formula Ford is still accepted internationally as the ideal formula in which young race car drivers can develop race craft that positions them to go on and succeed in wings and slicks formulas. For that reason MotorSport New Zealand continues to support Formula Ford.”

NZRDL co-organiser and HRC boss Chris Watson was also delighted with the news of a coordinated Formula Ford approach in NZ. “We’re very pleased to be involved in this very exciting resurgence in Formula Ford racing. The category has always been an important step in the career of young drivers and by including Historic Formula Ford it gives younger drivers less of a financial hurdle to enter the class.”

South Island series organiser Steve Edwards too, says the coordinated approach is great news for Formula Ford in New Zealand.

“New Zealand is a small country so one set of regulations for all FF championships is sensible simply so cars can enter a range of events. Currently all four series have their own rules which divides the racing potential of the 150 odd cars in the country. One core set of regulations have been achieved and that is great news. We want maximum sized grids this season. By improving the ‘class’ structure of the national series this has been achieved. We all very much hope the outcome will be substantial grid sizes with purposeful, close racing throughout.”

Taupo HRC Meeting Race Report

The first race of 2012 was held at Taupo Motorsport Park over the weekend of 14 & 15 January.  Weather was overcast and windy, however the forecast rain stayed away for all FFord races.

Championship leader, Mike Creswell, trialled his T342’s snorkel during free practice on Friday, but his times were off so he reverted to running without it for the rest of the weekend, however he still wasn’t quite fast enough to get onto the front row after qualifying, the honour shared by Tony Cross and David Silverton.

Race One saw Peter Boel in his Lotus Mk41C scamper off, leaving the way clear for the fast group of Cross, Creswell, Silverton, Mike Hunter, and Don Hopkins to dice it out cleanly without the out-of-class car of Peter Boel’s being a factor to the racing.  Cross and Silverton managed to break the tow of the two Mikes and Don Hopkins, and pressed off into the distance establishing a lead over third place of 18-sec’s by the end of race, with TC edging Silverton by 0.6secs on the line to take the win.

Meanwhile, the race for third was being hotly contested between the two Mikes of Creswell and Hunter, with the latter holding third for most of the race until a spin going into the left hander that exits the in-field section ended with him square to the track, and Mike Creswell diving for cover via the kitty litter, re-entering the track in third place just ahead of the now caught up Don Hopkins.  Hunter resumed behind Don, and there they stayed to the end.

Race Two saw Peter Boel grab a box of neutral’s at the go, baulking those behind him on the grid.  However of more import was TC grabbing himself a jumpstart penalty which played out against him for line honours.  TC and Silverton resumed their dicing at the front, clearly the fastest two cars on Saturday, again opening up a 18-19sec margin at the chequers.  Dave led the most of the race between them, with TC taking a look for the pass and the lead twice going into the chicane off the drag strip.  On the very final lap, TC mad the pass stick, and they crossed the line 0.23-sec apart, however TC’s jumpstart and subsequent 5-sec penalty reversed the finishing order between them.

The two Mike’s again had a dice throughout the race, never more than a car length gapping them, with Hunter staying ahead until the last lap as Creswell entered the dragstrip chicane ahead, then crossing the line a half second up on the other Mike.

Race Three was run on Sunday morning with  Roger Slee was a non-starter in his Dulon.  The front three on the grid was again Cross, Silverton and Creswell, however TC must have had too much bacon for breakfast and Dave Silverton simply drove away throughout the race for a comfortable 12-sec victory.

The action therefore moved to the two Mike’s and Don Hopkins once more, this time with Hunter and Hopkins heading Creswell for most of the race.  With three laps to go, Creswell setup a pass on Hopkins as they entered the start finish straight pulling along side on the exit from the dragstrip chicane and taking the inside line through the left hander onto the start finish straight.  Hopkins had more speed out of the corner and pulled forward so the two were running nose cone to gear box, however Creswell kept to the middle of the track and thus held Hopkins to the outside line through turn one and simply drove inside and past him.  It was then a matter of T340 vs T342 as Creswell chased down Tony Cross with an approximate four second deficit with 2-and-a-half laps to run.

However the lap count settled the matter, with TC crossing the line 1.3-secs up on the charging T342 behind him.

Special mention too for Michael Clark, proving that bottle openers are not the only tool one should keep in their toolbox as his exhaust pipe extension fell off on the last lap of the race, ruining what was a pretty decent run for him in race three.  Mayhaps someone will loan him a spanner next weekend?

Historics in Tier One Racing

Motorsport NZ has asked three of our regular drivers, Phil Foulkes, Grant Campbell and Tony Graham to race in this seasons Tier One Formula Ford (Class II) Championship, which has a round at Pukekohe this weekend.

Tony Graham has raced in some Tier One events in recent years, and whilst the three are unlikely to be challenging the Mygales and Stealths, one can be sure the wily foxes will be pressing hard to make a good impression.

Good luck to Phil, Grant, and Tony.

Phil Foulkes will be racing Tier 1 with Grant Cambell and Tony Graham this season