Competition Report – November 2008

2008 NATIONAL RALLY – QUEENSLAND

Participants enjoyed two competition events as part of the Rally program – a Sprint at the Morgan Park circuit near Warwick, and a Hill Climb at Mount Cotton, somewhere between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Only two of the SA contingent saw fit to compete, these being Neil Martin in his newly acquired TR7-V8 (ex- Bob and Natalie Farrell) and yours truly in his GT6. Neil gets the prize for having a go, given that he drove his Trumpy there and back, as well as keenly contesting the Sprint, Regularity and Hillclimb events. My GT6 had the luxury of a trailer (and Cherri and I had the luxury of the Verada!) but when it came time to go, the GT6 just went!

Morgan Park is in interesting circuit comprising several combinations of track layout choices. At the last Qld Nationals, we had use of one of the short circuits on a mostly wet day, but this time around, we enjoyed the full long circuit and a fine day. Needless to say, it was a blast! Particularly the blind and very fast turn three that takes you left over a crest and under a bridge. I finally did it flat out in third on my last run of the day, but I must say that took some courage. The tight sections of the track before you come out onto the straight are also great – I think they call them the flip flops. The GT6 was just great through these tight right and left handed sections.

The Mount Cotton Hillclimb was also a great day. Owned by the Qld MG Club, these facilities have been improved significantly since my last visit here 15 years ago. The dusty and rugged track to get in to the property hasn’t changed however. It is an interesting Hillclimb in that some sections of the track are revisited in the opposite direction and, as the old saying goes, what goes up must come down. The steep climbing sections are followed by rapid descents and hairpin corners to test driver, brakes and handling. The fastest downhill section has a pit of peanut shells to catch anyone that can’t make the hairpin at the base. Only in Queensland!

Apart from all the eager National Rally participants who had a go at these events, it was great to see some Queenslanders come out as day entrants, in particular Simon Rhodes in a very well sorted and fast TR7V8 race car, and Roy Davis who brought out the ex-Dennis Hawkins GT6 for a go at the Hillclimb. This GT6 has been built into something of a hill climb special, with a 2.7 litre engine and a 5.1 ratio Nissan diff – very quick, and looked and sounded great as well. Brian Falloon in his white TR5 impressed as well, particularly at the Hillclimb where he wasn’t that far behind the full competition cars that were on sticky slicks etc. All in all, a great couple of days.

OTHER COMPETITION NEWS

Neil Martin was at it again at the Austin 7 Club Regularity event on Oct 19th, once again in his newly acquired TR7V8. Clearly, Neil is going faster that he ever has, and it may take a little while for him to work out the consistency factor, but he did manage to rate 4th in the last run of the day.

Also held over the weekend of Oct 18th / 19th was the final round of the Victorian Circuit Racing Championships held at Phillip Island. Tom Hutchinson (TR8) qualified 4th behind two Lamborghini’s and a Porsche GT3, and in the three races finished 4th, 3rd (beat the Porsche) and 3rd (beat a Lambo) – not a bad result for an old Trumpy! Well done Tom.

The final round of the MSCA Super Sprint series was held on Sunday Oct 26th at Mallala, and on a windy but fine day, we witnessed some fresh interest from within the TSOA ranks – brothers Bruno (TR7V8) and Stephen (TR7) Franchi took to the track for their first sprint event and by the look of their faces at the end of the day, they will be back for some more fun next year. Neil Martin was also having a go – gee, I hope he doesn’t wear out his new toy too quickly! Peter Nelson left his TR8 dhc home again in favour of his MX5.

Results

Peter NELSON            MX5                 1:26.61

Bruno FRANCHI          TR7V8             1:31.78

Neil MARTIN               TR7V8             1:33.91

Stephen FRANCHI      TR7                 1:42.10

My GT6 was home in the shed with all the components of a new engine ready for assembly. On return from Queensland, I needed to sort out a screeching noise from the clutch / gearbox area so removed the engine / gearbox for examination. I had noticed excessive oil leaks from around the sump, so thought, while it is out, I will drop off the sump and install a new gasket. Oh well, while the sump is off, maybe I should shine a light inside the engine and have a look? Just as well I did, as five cam lobes had crumbled. By the time I had inspected all components, a full rebuild was considered appropriate.

Even though I missed the last MSCA Sprint of the year, Trevor Lindsay and I are both looking forward to the last SCCSA race meeting of the year, being held as a Twilight Meeting on Saturday, 15th November.

And on a final note, some good news – the Dolomite is finally repaired and running and should be out for the All Triumph Rally for the Tony Esau Memorial Trophy on Sunday November 16th – will we see you there? See your TRak magazine or the website for information.

That’s enough from me . . . . see you trackside!

Roger

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