Archive for August, 2010

The VRROOOM Report – Sept 2010

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Racing with the MG’s – What fun!

Usually when there is a race meeting locally at Mallala, I am restricted to the Sports Car category if I was interested in entering. This would mean that I was in the same category as the big V8’s like Lyn Punshon’s Cobra, the late and older model Porsche’s, turbo this and that etc. So my little GT6 feels somewhat intimidated.  It was good news then when I heard that a round of the Victorian State Series for MG’s was to come to Mallala over the weekend of 21st and 22nd August for a two day race meeting.

You see nowadays, the MG fraternity have opened up their racing to include “Invited British Marques” that fit with the period and style of their racing. So Triumph, Austin Healey, Jaguar, Lotus etc can all get a race amongst friends and where we feel a sense of belonging.  Tom Hutchinson has been joining the MG’s when he competes in Victoria in their State Series for sports cars for the past year or so. Tom’s TR8 is clearly one of the quickest sports cars around, but he does get some strong competition from time to time against a couple of very fast Victorian V8 MG’s. I have also noticed a couple of other Victorian based Triumph race cars have been entered in the MG category from time to time, so felt it was an opportune time for me to give the GT6 a run and see how it shapes up against the MG competition.

What a pity Trevor Lindsay wasn’t here to join in the fun. And fun we had! Once the local MG racers had combined with the Victorian’s who had travelled across for this event, plus Tom and myself in our Triumphs, and a local Lotus Elise, we had a field of cars totalling around 30. I also joined Tom Hutchinson and Ian Wilson (TVR Tuscan) in the Sports Car category just for the hell of it, even though I knew I would be rear of field.

We were very fortunate with the weather – the days leading up to the race weekend were cold and wet, but Saturday turned out cool but fine and Sunday just beautiful with the sun shining down on Mallala and no wind, no flies and no rain. The Interstate competitors were very impressed. We had qualifying first thing Saturday morning, and things were going well for me until I forgot about cold tyres and cold track and went in too deep under brakes at the entry to the esses and after locking the front left wheel and much tyre smoke, ended up with the front wheels just inside the sand trap. This brought me much embarrassment as the session had to be halted whilst the recovery vehicle was activated to extract my GT6 from the beach. Notwithstanding this hiccough, I was pleased to have achieved P3 on the grid for the first race in MG’s & Invited British, behind Tom Hutchinson in pole and Rob Whitwell’s MGB GTV8 in P2.

As a competitor, the start of any race is exciting. I knew the importance of a good start, but just couldn’t get the GT6 off the line smoothly – lots of wheel spin and not much movement. Subsequently, I got swamped by several cars from behind and found myself in about 7th or 8th by the first corner. Bugger! I rounded up most of those that had passed me within a lap or two and had improved to 4th position with just a white MG midget in the distance. So I set off after him hoping to round him up by the end of the 5 lap race. This proved to be a forlorn hope, as I did it again – went in too deep under brakes into the esses and found the flat spot caused by the earlier mistake in qualifying, and spun  the car. Then the starter wouldn’t engage until the whole field had passed. More embarrassment! Arrggghhh! So I ended up last.

This meant that I was rear of field for Race 2 in the afternoon. I took Tom Hutchinson’s advice and exchanged my front tyres with the rears, hopefully to avoid that flat spot causing further pain. This proved to be good advice as the GT6 felt much better and I regained some confidence under brakes. I must say though that my starts for the whole weekend were poor.  Nevertheless, Race 2 gave me 6 laps to try to improve from my disaster in Race 1. And improve I did. What a hoot! Over 6 laps, I was able to progress from 27th on the grid to finish 10th – this was the most fun I have had on the track for some time – it is always feels much better when you are the one doing the overtaking, rather than being overtaken yourself.

Race 3 on Sunday morning therefore meant that I started from P10 with the potential to progress further up the ranks if I kept my cool. I got a poor start again, but started working through the cars in front until I was in 5th position and chasing down a quick MG ZR but to no avail, as I ran out of laps to rein him in. I was able to dispose of this ZR within the first lap of Race 4 however, and then had 9 more laps to see if I could catch the white MG Midget. But no, this didn’t prove possible as we were doing almost identical times. So 4th place wasn’t so bad and I went home very happy with my experience racing with the MG’s.

Tom Hutchinson remained at the front of the field all weekend, taking a couple of wins and two seconds, but letting the fastest MG win a couple as well. Tom says he doesn’t want to win all their races (which he probably could do!) as the MG boys might not invite him anymore.

The Sports Car races were another story altogether. Ian Wilson had entered his relatively new TVR Tuscan, painted up in Ian’s trademark tinter yellow, but with big black headlight covers that make it look just like a big wasp. And sting it does! This is a very impressive race car that Ian drives very well – on a set of old tyres that Ian wasn’t overly happy with, he scored a couple of second places in the Saturday races behind Keith Wong’s turbo GT3 Porsche racer, but kept Keith behind him on Sunday to score two very impressive wins and a best lap time of 1:11.44 – I can’t wait to see this thing perform when Ian gets it fully sorted!

Tom’s experience in the Sports Car category saw his TR8 place consistently 5th amongst quality opposition, but competing on a set of old tyres, Tom was happy with his results. My thanks to Tom for sharing garage space at Mallala – the GT6 didn’t look totally out of place alongside Tom’s TR8 although my spare wheels and tyres did look a little “toy-ish” against the huge things that Tom runs on his TR8.

My only downside is that I came home with a gearbox that once again will need to be repaired, given the drive train vibration that developed over the weekend, and the synchro’s on 2nd and 3rd gear seemingly not wanting to do their job. Still, it was a wonderful weekend and I came home Sunday evening with a big smile across my face.

It was good to see a few supporters from TSOA out and about at Mallala, including Rod Carey, Richard Sutherland, Arrand Ellery, Tony Case, Dave Wilson amongst others. Also Ian’s partner Jahmeil and 13 month old daughter Iyla came up on the Sunday for a look see. I am not embarrassed to say that Iyla seemed to rate the orange GT6 as her favourite, and looked so cute when she adopted her driving position.

Now, to pull everything apart and get to that gearbox . . . . .  Roger Lange

Social Scene – September 2010

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

The ladies technical session at Cafe Buongiorno Mitcham on 10th August was well attended with lots of discussion about the up coming NSW Nationals and other things Triumph.   The next meeting will be Tuesday 12th October at the same venue and we hope to see you there.

The run on Sunday 15th August took us up to the South Australian Company Store in Angaston for either morning tea or an early lunch depending on your choice.  The weather could have been kinder as the wind was wicked but the rain generally held off.  There were not too many Triumphs present but it was an excellent run through the hills which are looking their best at the moment, and the coffee and food was very good at the destination.  Thanks to Greg and Lorraine for organising this successful morning run

The next Sunday run is being organised by Bill and Margie and is on Sunday 19th September meeting at 10.00am at Burnside Townhall carpark and heading to Tenafeate Winery at One Tree Hill.

Bob and John are organising a Technical meeting which will be held on Thursday 28th October meeting at 12.45pm at Performance Alloy Wheels 50 Kinkaid Avenue North Plympton.  Please let Bob or John know if you are intending to attend.

Sue Gibson

Member’s Triumphs

Friday, August 13th, 2010


Kevin McEnroe’s tough looking TR3 – real wind in the hair motoring! Provided you have some left of course!

Vice President’s Report – August 2010

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

With our President Roger gallivanting around the world at this time, the task of the normal Presidents report falls to me as Vice-President.  So here goes!!

There was a TRremendous roll up at the July meeting and I wanted to think that it was because word had got around that I was running the meeting, but unfortunately for me the great roll up was actually due to membership renewal and Logbook update.

Just as a reminder…. for those of you with historic registration please be aware that your Logbook requires updating by 15th August or your rego becomes invalid / illegal after that date, for more details refer to the reports from Tom Long in the last few magazines.

As you are all probably aware, the August meeting is our AGM, which means that another year is over, and I think you will all agree it has been another very successful year.  We have had many great Sunday and midweek runs, some very special premium events like the Tony Esau Memorial Run, the Weekender and Day of Triumph, and we have also had our loyal contingent representing the club on the track.

Thanks must go to all of the office bearers and other members who have in any way contributed to the running of the club and its events for the last year.  Without this loyal band of very capable people the club would not be as successful as it is.

Our membership is growing and participation at events is strong, and there is healthy discussion by members of the club as they endeavour to enhance, improve and support the TSOA with its current and upcoming activities.

The challenge for the incoming and ongoing committees is to continue to grow, improve, develop and support the membership and activities for all sections of our membership.

Again, I reiterate that it is not too late to help mould the future of your club by nominating for a position on the committee, or to offer help with other supporting activities. Constant rotation of committee and other ancillary positions has the potential to introduce new and different ideas to add to the already successful and established formula to which we have become accustomed. Let me assure you that it is not a daunting task and it can be very rewarding.

On  a more personal note and although this is not normally a forum for recommending other organisations, I would like to suggest that members give consideration to RAA Premium membership if they are travelling long distances, particularly when driving Classic vehicles.  A short version of a recent personal experience which leads me to make this suggestion is as follows:

Travelling with my caravan to Queensland in the past few weeks, I stopped my car (not my TR) whilst we had a short break, when I went to re-commence my journey I found that the vehicle would not start again.  We were approximately half way between Wilcannia and Cobar, in other words, in the middle of nowhere!  I contacted the NRMA/RAA who sent the Cobar representative out with a Tray top truck and a Nissan 4WD to rescue us.  With approx. 12 man hours and a total of 680Km to get my vehicle and van back to Cobar I was a little worried about the cost, but as it turned out , the cost was nil out of my pocket. The local NRMA/RAA representatives were great and I was very grateful that we had upgraded our RAA membership.

From my experience, if you are travelling long distances, I think it is worth giving serious consideration to what the RAA has to offer.  By the way…….we now have a new starter motor.

The TSOA Nationals are in about 6 weeks and those going should be starting to work on their car to ensure a smooth and safe run to Kangaroo Valley in NSW and back.

On a sadder note, we pass on our condolences to Kevin and Sue Foster for the lost of Kevin’s father who passed away in recent weeks, our thoughts are with you both at this time.
That all for now…………. John Sampson

Social Scene – August 2010

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

I would firstly like to say a big thank you to everyone who has assisted me during the past year.   It certainly makes the job of Social Secretary a lot easier when you have willing helpers.  If you feel you would like a term in the position please nominate as the position becomes vacant as at the AGM on 17th August.

The mid week run on 7th July apparently saw a good number of people attend despite a very secretive destination.  I understand about 30 people headed off to Meadows for coffee and cake, but a number of those did not make it to the lunch venue which was at Echunga.    Thanks to Steve for organising.

The run on Sunday 18th July saw about 30 people turn out in what could only be described as appalling conditions, rain, very low cloud and cold.   There were not too many Triumphs present but everyone who attended enjoyed the lunch at Giovannis at Mt Barker where the order of the day was pasta and/or pizza.  Thanks to Peggy and Brian for organising.

Upcoming runs are all advertised in TRak.

Note for the diary:   This year’s Christmas dinner will again be at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club on Saturday 4th December.   The committee decided to return once more due to the good reports received regarding the venue and a great value 3 course meal.  The price for the dinner has been kept the same for members ($40ph) and non members will be $55ph.   Trophies for the Day of Triumph will be handed out at the dinner, so if you were a place getter please come along and collect your prize.