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