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.
The 2013/2014 race season is fast approaching. Much has been happening behind the scenes in Formula Ford on a national level with the aim of reinvigorating the Formula Ford scene in both the North and South Islands. As Historic classed Formula Fords, we are eligible to race in any of the below listed events; the only thing holding you back will be the bank manager *cough* wife *cough*.
We’d also like to thank Avon Tyres who have come on board again for this season to support the Historic Formula Ford race series. Cheers to Avon (and Paul).
Avon Tyres Historic Formula Ford Series:
- 14/15 September – Icebreaker @ Hampton Downs
- 5 October – Spring Classic @ Pukekohe
- 3 November – Summer Classic @ Hampton Downs
- 11/12 January – Tasman Revival @ Taupo
- 18/19 January – NZFMR 1 @ Hampton Downs (and/or)
- 25/26 January – NZFMR 2 @ Hampton Downs (and/or)
- 22/23 February – Tasman Revival @ Pukekohe
- 29/30 March – Legends of Speed @ Hampton Downs
Note that the (and/or) for NZFMR is listed as the programme has yet to be announced
Historic Formula Ford Minor Series Events:
- 9/10 November – MG Classic @ Manfeild
- 30 Nov / 1 Dec – HRSCC Picnic @ Taupo Club Circuit
South Island Historic Events (weekend of):
- 31 January – Skope Classic @ Ruapuna
- 7 February – Enzed @ Levels, Timaru
- 14 Feb – Southern Fest @ Teretonga
- 19 April – Classic Event @ Highlands Park (to be confirmed)
North Island Formula Ford Championship (to be run alongside the NZ Racing Drivers League):
- 1/2 February – Round 1 @ Hampton Downs
- 8/9 February – Round 2 @ Manfeild
- 1/2 March – Round 3 @ Manfeild
- 8/9 March – Round 4 @ Taupo
- 5/6 April – Round 5 @ Taupo
- 3/4 May – Round 6 (Final) @ Hampton Downs
South Island Formula Ford Championship:
- 2/3 November – Round 1 @ Ruapuna
- 17 November – Round 2 @ Timaru (short circuit)
- 7/8 December – Round 3 @ Teretonga
- 11/12 January – Round 4 @ Teretonga
- 18/19 January – Round 5 @ Timaru (long circuit)
- 23 March – Round 6 (Final) @ Ruapuna
National Formula Ford 1600 Championship (Motorsport NZ):
- 2/3 November – Round 1 @ Ruapuna
- 11/12 January – Round 2 @ Teretonga
- 18/19 January – Round 3 @ Timaru
- 1/2 February – Round 4 @ Hampton Downs
- 8/9 February – Round 5 @ Manfeild
- 8/9 March – Round 6 (Final) @ Taupo
That’s a lot of racing, I hear you say…which is correct – if you were to attend all North Island Events, then that is 16 weekends of racing!!!
Entry fees into the North Island Formula Ford races are yet to be ratified, but there will be a class solely for Historic Formula Fords (i.e. cars complying with our Technical Regulations and with a COD). There will also be a prize fund set up, of which all drivers are eligible, so you never know…you might make enough winnings to afford some of those fancy coffees you get nowadays. Please consider supporting this new series, even if it is just to race one or two rounds. In this inaugural season, grid numbers are likely to need our support.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.