Historic Racing Sports Car Club

January 2009

It’s a couple of months since you heard from us, but that doesn’t mean nothing has been happening. Far from it.

First things first, and your entries are all in for the Tasman HRC meetings, aren’t they… Except of course for the inevitable late entries, which will cost you another $40. Looks like we will run with the sports-racers again (F5000 have enough entries for their own international grid).

Eastern Creek Repco Brabham Meeting (28,29,30 Nov)

Acouple of us accompanied the NZ contingent across the ditch . This included (FJ) Nigel Russell with the FWD Emeryson,Roger Herrick with the Taraschi, plus Roger Munns with the Brabham BT22. Just about all our F5000 went, and the field was totally dominated by Kiwis, one way or another (14 cars in a 20-car field).

We are sure that the stirring private battles between Nigel and Roger H.will be reported elsewhere, as will the mastery of the Lola T430 F5000 driven by Ken Smith, who gave everybody driving lessons.The main straight at Eastern Creek is very long, and the excited PA commentator stated that the F5000s were “approaching 200mph” as they backed off for Turn 1, a long (130mph?) left hand sweeper that delivers the cars into the hilly bits out in the countryside. Ken Smith took this in a series of little slides. Very impressive.

Our main focus of interest was the Group (Q+R) cars (Formula Atlantic and Formula 2 Cars), since this group (fostered by the Historic Formula Atlantic and Formula Two Association [HFAFTA] has over 50 cars registered.The class is supported by the main organiser of the Repco Tasman revival meetings HSRCA (Historic Sports and Racing Car Association of NSW, Inc.)

This class corresponds almost exactly to the Superhistoric class here,a under the aegis of HRSCC; and HRC are bending over backwards to support growth of the class by including Superhistorics in their grids.It will be a while before we too can offer grids of 28-30 cars, but you have got to start somewhere.

Although you might mistake HFAFTA as the Ron Tauranac Appreciation Society as a result of all the RT1s and RT4s racing, the Historic F2 side is well represented, with Chevrons, Brabhams, and March to the fore. There is even a March 722 (clone of Dave Heron’s car) which was by no means disgraced.

The racing was of course dominated by RT4s (they occupied about 1/4 the grid, all up front) fighting it out with Australian RT4 clones (Cheetahs). Due to ground-effects, the fastest of these cars took the sweeper flat, with no lifting, just about the only really fast cars to do so.

The preferred car is the 1986 RT4 with pushrod suspension, followed by earlier cars with rockers.

We made contact with the President of HFAFTA, but our timing was bad. He was nursing a broken hand, and very agitated, as his wrecked Brabham was still being recovered. He was punted into the wall by someone else’s accident.

Local Odds and and Sods

Dave Heron is re-united with his crank (BDA) from the March. After the mess left by departing flywheel bolts (and flywheel) at Taupo it has proved possible to remachine the face and register. Nice new bolts and a calibrated torque-wrench figure prominently in the rebuild.

Nice to see big smiles from Lyall Zohs at Puke following lots of settle-down laps in the DB4. The succssion of niggling problems now seem past.

Grant Martin finally gave up trying to get Lucas disributors to stay together at 9000rpm plus in his DB4, pulled the engine and installed a twin-coil “wasted-spark” system.The fluffing nonsense at top end all went away.Another victory for solid-state electronics over mechanical whizzers, it seems.As one observer remarked “The 43D4 distributor was developed for the Cortina 40 yrs ago. It’s amazing it can do what it does. Just dont push it too far”

The Lucas/Wilkinson Ralt RT4 (1984 rocker-arm car) has arrived from Miami, along with the usual “Ready ro race, get in and drive” advice.(Littlemore, here we come). Naturally we have stripped it. Clutch seized solid (corroded release). Can remake, replace with Saab($700) or Ford ($250). We are remaking, and adapting the Ford as spare.More interesting, the main crossmember holding the rear suspension/transaxle to the car was fatigue-cracked 1/2 way through–in 2 places.

It’s a very simple 3″x 1″ x 5/16″ extrusion, cheap to replace. (Tauranac was often crticised for his ‘brackets bolted to brackets’ approach, but he did it to make owner-replacement of parts easy. Many are grateful for this.)

Not so simple was the magnesium Ford/Hewland adapter, also fatigue cracked in the usual places- four of them this time. If this lets go, the transaxle departs from the engine, with interesting results.

This will be welded, heat-treated, remachined and kept as a spare.

Although in general we are extremely pleased with the car, and it has spent a large part of its life in storage, it IS a 25 yr old car, and vigilance or replacement are the only answers to fatigue.We dont expect to have it on the track this season.

We would like to include interesting items about your car, partricularly if they can be of help to other owners . We cant do it if you dont tell us. Emails are quite OK, and they dont have to be articles (which would be very welcome).

PS – We are still working on a Superhistoric logo.

Ray Wilkinson, Martin Lucas, Grant Martin