Round 2, Legends of Bathurst, Hampton Downs,
12-14 Jan 2018

The first Sports Car round ever on the Hampton Downs International circuit had a massive field of 29 cars! This set the atmosphere for some great racing and entertainment over the weekend. The Formula Libre cars joined us again enhancing the racing throughout the field.

The sponsorship of the races by Matos - John Ryall, Atomise - Richard Kelly, and GDR Plasterboard – Gary Rush, was hugely appreciated and helped make possible the live streaming that The Fast Files produced, thank you, gentlemen, for supporting us and making us look good on the telly (computer, device etc..)

Alan Barker made a very welcome return to the series in his current spec Juno that was prepared by McCarroll Motorsport, powered by a 2.5 litre Honda and looking splendid in its Juno livery.

Dean McCarroll’s new Juno also has the current spec chassis and bodywork although with a 2 litre Duratec engine. While the engine may have only been 2 litres, the high state of tune and reduced weight provided a significant step forward in performance, which was sadly short-lived, read on….

David Glasson’s Juno while outwardly looking unchanged, appeared to have an improved set up judging from its performance, and perhaps a more motivated driver if race pace was anything to go by, maybe the close racing?

Anthony Barker, Robert Hulme and Nick Barker were running their cars mostly unchanged from the MG Classic meeting and were eager to test themselves on the new circuit.

Richard Kelly had a new car and along with John Mines both took the opportunity to come north and try the international circuit to see if it matched the hype. Steve Sharp was looking to maintain and even possibly improve his excellent results from Manfeild.
Pete De Joux joined us after his stint in Antarctica, a fairly significant change in surroundings one would imagine.

Chris Prout was driving Nick Rae’s Radical as Nick was overseas. We won’t say much more as Nick might be reading this. Chris did tell me he’d improved setup, so we look forward to seeing how Nick goes in the future.

Anton Aalders was looking for a good run having made some refinements to his car.

John Ryall was a very welcome return for his first run in the series. Unfortunately, a fire in practice forced the withdrawal of his car.
We were all very relieved to find that John was able to get out of the car with only minor injuries. We look forward to John’s return to racing in the inspiring new project that he has been working on. I am sure it will prove to be an exceptional race car and something that NZ Sports Cars will be proud to have in our series. Stay tuned!

Qualifying

Some surprises in qualifying times were to be expected as the track was new to most drivers as well as new cars. Not a simple circuit either to get right off the bat.

The Juno’s of Alan Barker, Dean McCarroll and David Glasson posted the fastest times followed by Tony Quinn in his Reynard. Go sports cars! It’s always nice to beat the track owner/promoter!



The next group, Anthony Barker, Gary Rush and Robert Hulme were separated by less than half a second. Robert had installed a new nose on his car overnight with the help of Mike Limbrick after an off in practice the previous day.

Nicholas Barker, Geoff Harriman, Warwick Mortimer and Richard Kelly formed another close group. John Mines and Steve Sharp also posted similar times.

Chris Prout and Pete De Joux were sandwiched between a number of Formula Fords.

Anton Aalders, unfortunately, had an exhaust leak, which caused some further damage and consequently, Anton did not qualify.

Race 1

The Juno’s led the field away from the start. However, Alan Barker quickly dropped off the pace with an engine problem, which let Dean McCarroll lead at the end of the first lap, followed by David Glasson.

Unfamiliarity with the track may have contributed to some spins as Anthony Barker, Dean McCarroll (ed: maybe lack of talent too, hehe) and John Mines all lost places early in the race with some unusual and creative lines being used on the segment of the track.

Meanwhile, Robert Hulme and Geoff Harriman had worked their way up to 3rd and 4th places respectively, and Chris Prout climbed to 14th place before dropping four places on the last lap.

David Glasson didn’t put a foot wrong and took the lead on lap 2 with a nice late braking move up the inside of Dean on turn 2. He finished some 2 seconds ahead of Dean McCarroll and in the process, and set the fastest lap, just.
Race 2

David Glasson took the lead on the first lap and was closely pursued by Dean McCarroll until lap 6 when Dean took Dave on the inside of the dipper for the lead, then promptly had a stuck throttle at the sweeper, ending in a DNF. Behind them, Ken Smith and Tony Quinn swapped places in some very close and hard racing.

Robert Hulme was chased by Anthony Barker until lap 3 when he spun and retired with a broken axle.

Richard Kelly passed Nick Barker on lap 1. However, late in the race both Richard and Nick spun, thereby swapping places. These spins allowed the duelling duo of Anton Aalders and John Mines to finish less than a second behind.

David Glasson won by a small margin ahead of Ken Smith. Tony Quinn took a close third place and in the process also set the fastest lap.

Race 3

The Formula Pacific cars of Ken Smith and Tony Quinn took control of this race from the start until Ken retired on the last lap.

Dean McCarroll, unfortunately, retired on lap 2 with a broken camshaft, leaving David Glasson to take second place.

Robert Hulme and Geoff Harriman enjoyed some good, close racing, swapping places mid-race.

Richard Kelly passed Anthony Barker on the first lap. To re-pass Richard, Anthony braked late into turn 2 and spun ending his race.
Pete De Joux and Tony Carruthers also enjoyed some close racing.
Summary

The large entry list ensured that there was good racing throughout the field, and it was exciting racing too. At the front of the field, the Sports Cars and Formula Pacific’s put in very similar times.

I have heard from several sources, that the Sports Cars/Formula Libre provided the most exciting and enjoyable racing to watch out of all the classes racing that weekend. And as a driver, I’d like to say that it was incredibly fun to race wheel to wheel with so many talented drivers that respect each other, while still considering it a race!

Going forward into the season the Juno’s of Dean McCarroll and Alan Barker are going to provide some very close racing at the front of the field when their teething problems have been sorted out. Alan especially deserves a shout out, for putting his car on P1 after not racing for three seasons on a new track, damn.

Robert Hulme is providing some stiff competition for Richard Kelly in the Prosport class, bring it on. And Steve Sharp is looking to take a firm grip on the Sports Car Trophy from Nick Barker.

Anton Aalders put in an outstanding effort to repair his car and have it running for Race 2 on Sunday, awesome effort!

As always, many thanks to all of our supporters but especially to Beulah, Mike and Gerard for the barbecue. It is a lovely way to finish a day of racing, thank you.

Gerard Baker – Club President
Dean McCarroll - Secretary (Editor)



 
 

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