The third round of the 2022 Formula Classic season, the Ernie Hastie Memorial, was held on Sunday 15th May. Several entrants made the journey down to Collie on Friday for the afternoon practice session and then took ‘the day off’ on Saturday to do other things in region before returning to race on the Sunday.
Bill Norman Did not have a good Sunday! He left Perth at 3.00 pm to get to the track on time only to have very concerning mechanical rattle from the bottom end of his engine during the qualifying session that forced him to retire his car before the first event.
Dan Gate continued his dominance of the class with a qualifying pole time 4.5 seconds quicker than the second place car and a comfortable win in all three events.
Young Formula Ford driver Marc Redman and FCR regular Lance Carwardine had a great battle for second place honours with Marc coming out on top with two second places to Lance’s one.
Further down the field Craig Thompson and Glenn Swarbrick were having a great battle in the historic Formula Fords.
Outright results for the meeting were;
1st Dan Gate 75 pts
2nd Marc Redman 58 pts
3rd Lance Carwardine 56 pts
Handicap results for this round;
1st Lance Carwardine 33 pts
2nd Dan Gate, David Drearden & Glenn Swarbrick 20 pts
The Collie Icebreaker, second round of the 2022 Formula Classic season, was held on Saturday 26th March. The weather forecast was for heavy rain all day which fortunately did not happen. The morning qualifying session was wet and there was a further shower just before the final race of the day but in between this it was dry, overcast and very humid. There was a modest entry with just 10 cars being present. Sadly some of the more regular entrants were unable to compete due to their cars being out of action or virus restrictions.
New kid on the block, Dan Gate, continued to show his race pace securing pole position for every race and winning all three events too. Bill Norman kept him honest in the first two events but unfortunately his Ralt suffered engine failure during the second race. A suspected dropped valve being the cause of the failure.
It was good to see “The Father” of Formula Classic, Neil McCrudden, making an appearance on the track again after a several year hiatus in his trusty Macon F2. Neil was immediately on the pace and ran well in the first two races until a fuel issue forced him to retire the car before the third run.
Ricky Virago and Lance Carwardine were trading third and fourth places depending upon whether the track was wet or dry with Glenn Swarbrick behind them, and as always, running steadily in his Macon Formula Ford.
Outright results for the meeting were;
1st Dan Gate 75 pts
2nd Lance Carwardine 52 pts
3rd Ricky Virago 50 pts
Handicap results for this round;
1st Lance Carwardine 28 pts
2nd Brian Searles 25 pts
3rd Glen Swarbrick 18 pts
The next round is at Collie over the weekend of 14th / 15th May.
The first round of the 2022 Formula Classic season kicked off at Wanneroo with the twilight meeting. There were 13 cars entered but sadly a couple didn’t make it past qualifying due to mechanical issues. Marty Bullock’s Chevron leaking oil from the rear of the engine somewhere and Allan Jones’ Ralt developed a misfire that could not be found.
New kid on the block, Dan Gate, showed his race pace immediately by putting his recently rebuilt Ralt RT4 on pole and then running away with a win in races 1 and 2. Unfortunately a clutch issue on the start line for race 3 excluded him from the final race of the day.
Andrew Nielson had handed over the reins of his Ralt RT4 to his son Terrence, for this race, and he was going great guns in his first outing in the car, chasing Dan hard. A good second place finish in race 1 and running strongly in second place in race 2 until a front suspension failure put him off the track and into the sand trap at the bottom of the hill.
Simon Alderson and Bill Norman were also in the mix at the front of the field in their respective Van Diemen FF2000 and Ralt RT4. Their consistencies paying off with a round win to Simon and Bill in second spot.
In the mid field, Craig Thompson and Lance Carwardine were having a great duel trading places regularly throughout the three races. Craig finishing on top and picking up third place overall for the day.
Outright results for the meeting were:
1st Simon Alderson 63 pts
2nd Bill Norman 53 pts
3rd Craig Thompson 52 pts
Handicap results for this round;
1st Robert Creasy & Genn Swarbrick 20 pts
3rd Allan Ould 19 pts
The next round is at Collie over the weekend of 26th / 27th March.
Night Masters Race Meeting, Wanneroo – 13th November
A good field of 16 cars entered the Night Masters race meeting, the final event of the 2021 season. Sadly the field was reduced by a couple of cars after qualifying notably Ricky Virago pulling out with engine issues in his newly rebuilt Ralt RT5.
It was a case of the usual suspects battling it out at the front of the field however ‘new kid on the block’ Allan Jones was keeping them honest in his newly acquired ex Ricky Virago Ralt RT5.
Race 1 was red flagged on the first lap after Bob Creasy’s Ralt RT4 stalled on the starting grid. The re start saw Marty Bullock take the win from Simon Alderson with Bill Norman coming third.
Race 2 saw Marty and Bill swap places at the front of the field will Allan Jones picking up third spot. Simon Alderson picked up a 30 second time penalty for overtaking under a yellow flag. This dropped him to ninth place in the results for race 2.
Race 3 was very good to watch with a huge battle between Andrew Nielson in his Ralt RT4 and Simon Alderson. Andrew keeping ahead of Simon to the chequered flag only to lose the place after receiving a 5 second time penalty for a jump start. Leone Magistro who’d been running reliably all day got a puncture in his rear tyre on the last lap and ended up in the sand trap. Fortunately no serious damage was done to his car although it was completely covered with sand and dust. Bill continued his winning way with Marty second and Allan third.
Historic results for the meeting were;
1st Bill Norman 70 pts
2nd Marty Bullock 65 pts
3rd Andrew Nielson 52 pts
Libre results for the meeting were;
1st Simon Alderson 68 pts
2nd Allan Jones 65 pts
3rd Harvey Leys 56 pts
Handicap results for this round;
1st Glenn Swarbrick 17 pts
2nd Andrew Nielson & Harvey Leys 14 pts
This was the final race of the 2021 season. The 2022 season will start around the end of February / early March.
We look forward to an exciting year of racing in 2022.
Rob Janney Memorial Race Meeting, Wanneroo – 17th October
A good field of 16 cars entered the Rob Janney Memorial race meeting. Seven of the 16 entries were from the Ralt marque. The weather was dry and overcast in the morning but the sun broke through later in the day leading to a warm afternoon. The local flies were out in force, lovely!
The field was reduced to 14 cars before the first race began with John Hurney withdrawing with gearbox issues and Harvey Leys pulling out after qualifying with fuel system problems.
Race 1 started with Marty Bullock in the lead and Bill Norman snapping away at his heels. On lap 6 Marty, unfortunately had an ignition wire come off whilst heading down into Kolb corner, effectively killing his engine. Bill following so closely was forced to take avoiding action and took to the grass sadly breaking the front left wishbone in the process. Both cars being towed back to the paddock at the conclusion of the race. Simon Alderson taking the chequered flag from Andrew Nielson and Stuart Kostera.
Race 2 saw Marty up and running again but starting from the rear of the grid prevented him from challenging for a win however he did manage to get up to 3rd spot at the drop of the chequered flag. Simon winning the race from Stuart in second place.
Race 3 saw the return of Ricky having fixed his fuel line issue. Simon continued his winning way in the third race making it a clean sweep for the day.
Allan Ould’s normally very reliable Aztec let him down this weekend with 3 DNF’s. The problem appears to be with the fuel pump.
After a rain interrupted practice session on Friday Afternoon qualifying on Saturday morning was a moist but drying track.
Bill took pole in his RT4 with Simon just behind, Marty came in third with Ricky completing the first 2 rows. Unfortunately Andrew had a misfire that would eventually ruin his weekend’s racing. Lance continued a good run in the Brabham and the Formula Ford contingent was reduced temporarily to 2 cars as John Rowe’s car decided that full throttle should be a permanent fixture.
Race 1 started with a wet track which dried throughout the race. Bill had only slick tyres so this worked well for him, although Simon was flying on his wets, challenging on the first laps before the drying track saw Bill pull clear. The qualifying order was the race order in the end with Andrew just managing to keep in front of Lance with his continuing misfire.
Race 2 was dry, allowing Marty to get some use out of some new slicks to at least challenge Bill for some of the time. Ricky was the big improver, putting in some very fast laps in his beautiful RT5. Andrew’s misfire allowed Lance to take 5th with Craig being the best of the FF’s.
Saturday Night was a cracking event in the Federal Hotel, we had managed to exceed a table for 12 on the Friday but Saturday Night saw a table of 20 requiring at least 4 extra spots. Amazing that we can only manage to field 9 cars but can field at least 24 for dinner at the pub. The RSA v NZ Rugby Union on the pub TV made a fantastic backdrop as we have a good contingent of both RSA and NZ countrymen and women amongst us and the good natured rivalry was great to witness during a high class and very close match.
Sunday produced some fantastic weather, Andrew withdrew the his RT4 as the misfire was diagnosed as a crank angle sensor failure and no replacement part was available. Glenn had an unfortunate incident during his Regularity run late on Saturday when an absolute deluge of rain caused his car to aquaplane off the circuit into a conveniently place concrete barrier. Glenn was fine and his car not too bad.
Race 3 Saw Bill get another great start with Marty in hot but hopeless pursuit. The real action was behind this pair with Ricky and Simon going at it for 3rd place. Unfortunately Ricky spun exiting the back straight chicane and backed his car into the bank. Minimal damage to car and driver but a missed result after a great drive.
Race 4 and this time Bill did not make such a good start allowing Marty through and a race long 3 way battle with all 3 cars within 1 second of each other throughout most of the race. It was frantic stuff with Simon getting in front of Bill after his attempt to overtake Marty. In the end Marty prevailed (just) for the win. Unfortunately Lance struck a problem and had to pull in. Craig completed a very good weekend in the lovely Lola and John also ran solidly all weekend after fixing the throttle on the Valour.
It was a great weekend with some great racing and some very good company.
2021 Formula Classic – Round 5 August Race Meeting, Collie – 21st/22nd August
A good field of 10 cars entered the Collie August race meeting. Of the ten entries 9 were historic log booked vehicles, Ricky Virago being the sole libre log booked car entrant. The weekend weather was changeable with a mixture of rain and sunshine which made the tyre choice interesting for most of the entrants.
Sadly, Bill Norman broke a driveshaft at the start of the first race, resulting in a restart for the group and ending Bill’s racing weekend before it really began.
Marty Bullock dominated three of the four races, however Ricky Virago recorded his first win on the Sunday morning whilst the track was still damp, electing to run on wet weather tyres. Ricky had run second to Marty on both races the day before and it was great to see him take the chequered flag for the first time.
Lance Carwardine ran a consistent third throughout the weekend, this was equally great to see as he had been struggling with various issues with the Jane Brabham that now have all, finally, been resolved.
There was also an interesting battle running in the mid pack too, between Glenn Swarbrick and Craig Thompson in their historic Formula Fords with both taking honours twice each over the course of the meeting.
2021 Formula Classic – Round 4 June Race Meeting, Wanneroo – 13th June
Despite the gloomy weather forecast in the week leading up to Round 4 of the 2021 FCR Championship, the weather was kind with sunshine and blue skies for most of the day.
There was a good list of entrants for this event but sadly the numbers were depleted before the racing got underway. Lance Carwardine was the first not to run pulling his entry due to uncertainties with the engine cooling system on the Jane Brabham. Harvey Leys experienced fuel pressure issues and only managed a few laps in qualifying before withdrawing and both of Rob Jordan’s entries didn’t make it beyond the qualifying session either.
Simon Alderson maintained his winning form with outright wins in all three races and also taking the Libre class honours. Marty Bullock race consistently second on the track keeping Simon honest and collecting the Historic class honours.
Towards the end of race 3 Bob Creasy’s Ralt engine breather line parted from the motor liberally spraying oil around large sections of the track. Bob finished the race but unwittingly created a bit of chaos for his fellow competitors and causing a significant delay for the remaining events whilst the marshals cleaned up the track. Allan Ould sadly was an innocent casualty of this oil spill retiring his Aztec thinking he had a punctured tyre that was causing the unstable handling.
It was good to see John Hurney make his first appearance this year in a Durotec powered Formula Ford borrowed from the Fastlane stable.
At the conclusion of the racing FCR put on a barbeque that was well attended by their members, guests and friends.
2021 Formula Classic – Round 2 Wanneroo Night Masters – 27th March
The second round of the 2021 Formula Classic season was held at Wanneroo Raceway. The grid consisted of 16 cars, with three Formula Ford cars joining the FCR field. FCR also had a guest entrant, James Hogan, from Northern Ireland, who is on vacation in Australia for several months.
The qualifying session unfortunately saw Stuart Kostera in the Ralt RT4 drop out and not return to the track.
The competition at the front of the field was fierce with Marty Bullock and Simon Alderson going toe to toe. Simon taking out top honours in each round and Marty dropping away from the challenge with an overheating BDA engine in his Chevron.
Andrew Nielsen ran consistently in third place until the final race when Harvey Leys got ahead of him at the start in his Chevron sports car and never looked like losing that spot.
Lance Carwardine’s woes continued with the rebuilt Jane Brabham, having qualified and running well in the first race a mechanical gremlin forced the car to stop in the second race and not to return to the track.
2021 Formula Classic – Round 1 Collie Ice Breaker– 13th March
The first round of the 2021 Formula Classic season kicked off at Collie with the traditional Ice Breaker meeting.
It was a full day’s programme with a qualifying session and three races.
Race one saw Marty Bullock and Simon Alderson take up their usual spot at the front of the field battling hard with each other for race honours, with Lance Carwardine in the recently rebuilt Jane Brabham and Ricky Virago doing battle for third position. Sadly for Lance his engine expired towards the end of the race with a blown head gasket and that put him out for the rest of the meeting.
Alllan Ould was next across the line followed by Glenn Swarbrick and John Rowe. John was running his newly acquired 1972 Valor Formula Ford for the first time and he was adjusting to his new steed.
Races 2 and 3 yielded the exact same result as Race 1, very consistent running by all competitors.