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2016 Speed Race Reports

Championship sponsored by Bill Rawles Classic Cars and Peter May Engineering

Round 13 - Prescott - 2 October 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics by Jackie Baker)

Prescott was the final round of our 2016 season and the fitting venue to remember our old chum Allan Cameron who passed away earlier in the year.  The Bugatti Owners Club kindly named our classes the "Allan Cameron Memorial Event" and allowed all the Healey drivers in the championship who applied to take part.  As a result we had the largest field of 29 drivers in Healeysport history - a fitting tribute to the man who set up and ran this championship for many years and who was also the Comp Sec for Prescott.

Included in the 29 were Neil and Drew Cameron (Allan's sons) who took part.  Neil co-drove with past champion Murray Wakeham in his quick Ashley Sprite and Drew co-drove Andrew Taylor's 100S, as it was the last car that his father drove with us competitively.

Amongst the sixteen Big Healeys was Julian Hindle's replica of PWB 57 (the all aluminium engined 3000 car developed to run in the later cancelled 1967 RAC rally) - see pictured below.  Father and son team of John and Will Richards were out on John's 3000 - Will enjoyed it so much he has now joined Healeysport and will take part in a few more events next year.  This was Grant Marshall's (3000) and John Ducker's (100/4) first competitive run at Prescott, also present were the usual contenders including Messrs.' Mason, Cooper, Baker, Walton, Edwards, Giles, Job, Cecille-Pritchard (Mrs), Taylor (Snr & Jnr) and John.

David Lane continues to fly the lone flag for our Jensen Healey class but he can expect some competition in the class next year as a Jensen Healey GT is expected to be joining us.

In the Sprite class, as well as those mentioned above, we had Messrs.' Shand (Snr), Grainger, Giles (Mrs), Haywood, Taylor, Johnson (co-driving the Taylor Sprite), Casson, Gale, Abram and Mackrell.

This being the final round, there was also the small but not insignificant matter of who was going to take the top slots in the championship.  Although first place was certain in the Sprite class, could Steve Casson overhaul Colin Gale to take second place? In the Big Healey class, although first and second places were clear, could Richard Mason take the win and displace Trish C-P  from third place?  Read on to find out.

After the atrociously wet weather on the Saturday, it was a relief that Sunday was dry, warm and sunny and stayed that way all day, so personal best times and possibly records could be troubled.

The cars headed off for first practice with a warning from the Clerk of the Course that it was still damp under the trees in the Esses after the previous days rain, so everyone took it easy with the exception of Murray Wakeham who may not have heard the warning so promptly posted a class leading 52.98 time.   Second practice run went without a hitch for most but Pardon Bend claimed two victims with Claire Giles spinning the Mackrell Sprite but staying on the tarmac and David Lane going straight on into the gravel trap.  Unfortunately, some gravel snapped the belt driving his oil pump on the Lotus Twin cam engine, so he was a spectator for the rest of the day.  Murray Wakeham also had a fail through the Esses.  Derek Job's 100/6 did not run in second practice, the fuel pump was suspected but a shortage of fuel in general seemed to be the main cause and was soon rectified.  A compilation video of all the cars taking part in second practice can be seen by clicking on Sprite or Big Healey to see each class.

After lunch the timed runs got underway and in the Sprite class it was Joe Mackrell leading with a 52.34 from Colin Gale in 52.95, then David Abram in 53.11 and Steve Casson a whisker behind in 53.22.  Murray Wakeham's run brought out the red flags as he also ended up in the gravel at Pardon (pictured right).  Robin Johnson was next up with a 53.70, from co-driver James Taylor in 54.59, Neil Cameron in 55.35 in the un-damaged Wakeham Sprite, Rafe Haywood posted a 56.00, Claire Giles a 56.51, Ian Grainger a 62.02 and Garrow Shand in the 1098 Mk2 in 65.51.

The first timed run in the Big Healey class had a surprised Richard Mason out front with a 51.53.  The surprise was that  he was ahead of BOC Member and course specialist Pat Cooper's 100/6 who managed a 52.01, then Paul Baker with a personal best time of 52.68, Julian Hindle showed he knows the venue and is a quick learner in his new 3000 with a swift 52.90 (click here to see in-car footage of Julian's run), from Pete Walton in 54.13, Huw Edwards in 55.30, Grant Marshall in 56.14 and Ed Giles in 56.58 in his recently refurbished 3000.  John Richards achieved a 57.75 from Trish C-P in 57.88, Derek Job in 58.21, Andrew Taylor in 58.53 ahead of co-driver Drew Cameron in 59.20, Will Richards in 59.85, Nick John in 60.91 and John Ducker in 64.92.

On to the second and final run of the event/season and in the Sprite class it was Murray Wakeham who managed to keep the car on the track long enough to record an excellent 50,90 to take the win from Joe Mackrell who just held second with a pb of 51.69 from David Abram also with a pb and 51.85 and Colin Gale, also with a pb and 52.51.  Steve Casson did not beat his first run time of 53.22 to hold fourth from a late charging Neil Cameron with a 53.37, a whisker ahead of James Taylor in 53.44 and Robin Johnson in the same car in 53.55.  Rafe Haywood reduced his time down to a 54.69 to stay ahead of Claire Giles in a personal best time of 55.29, Ian Grainger in 61.58 and Garrow Shand in 63.11.

In the Big Healey class, Richard Mason (pictured right through the Esses) was ecstatic to have lowered his time further to a personal best time of 51.36 to take the win from Julian Hindle, who surprised all when he reduced his time by exactly 1 second to a superb 51.90 - so what will he do when he really learns how to drive that car!  Pat Cooper nearly lost it in the Esses so did not improve on his first run time of 52.01 and Paul Baker also could not go faster than his first run 52.68.  Pete Walton was a fraction slower than his first run of 54.13, Huw Edwards went quicker with a 55.06 and Grant Marshall was next with a fine 55.60 for his first time here.  Ed Giles was next with a 56.23, Drew Cameron improved by nearly 3 secs to record a 56.23, Derek Job must have added some super fuel as he knocked over 1.5 secs off to finish with a 56.58 to leap frog John Richards with a 57.64 and Trish C-P in 57.70.  Will Richards finished with a very creditable 58.40 but the next three drivers could not improve on their first run times - Andrew Taylor in 58.53, Nick John in 60.91 and John Ducker in 64.92.

So, what effect did this event have on the championship? In the Big Healey class, the winner was Paul Baker with 78pts, from Pat Cooper with 70pts and Richard Mason who just pipped Trish C-P to third with 62pts.  In the Sprite class, the final positions did not change after Prescott.  In first place was David Abram with a superb total of 87pts, Colin Gale came 2nd with 71pts and Steve Casson was 3rd with 67pts.  Therefore, the overall Healeysport Sprint and Hill Climb Champion for 2016 is David Abram with 87pts.  Well done David.

As this was a scratch event, no adjustment was made to the final positions and the results were as follows:

Sprite Class: 1st Murray Wakeham, 2nd Joe Mackrell, 3rd David Abram, 4th Colin Gale, 5th Steve Casson, 6th Neil Cameron, 7th James Taylor, 8th Robin Johnson, 9th Rafe Haywood, 10th Claire Giles, 11th Ian Grainger and 12th Garrow Shand.

Big Healey Class:  1st Richard Mason, 2nd Julian Hindle, 3rd Pat Cooper, 4th Paul Baker, 5th Pete Walton, 6th Huw Edwards, 7th Grant Marshall, 8th Ed Giles, 9th Drew Cameron, 10th Derek Job, 11th John Richards, 12th Trish C-P, 13th Will Richards, 14th Andrew Taylor, 15th Nick John, 16th John Ducker.

Jensen Healey Class: David Lane

In memory of Allan, a special prize was provided by the Cameron family and awarded to the driver who improved the most between the first and second timed runs and the winner (pictured right) was Garrow Shand in his Mk2 Sprite.

As it was the last race of the season which coincided, as last year, with Pete Walton and Paul Baker's birthday, cake and bubbly was on offer for all the drivers, partners, friends and others who had watched the day unfold.  (the excellent Chocolate cake supplied by Pete's wife Vicki)

Overall, during the 2016 season we have had more than our fair share of good weather, really close racing and most importantly, good camaraderie.  Let's hope we have more of the same for 2017.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

Want to start Sprinting and Hill Climbing?

If you own a Healey or Jensen Healey and you like what you see on this website and want to find out more then click here to take a look at our Beginners Guide.  If you want to get involved, then send an email to Paul Baker our Championship Organiser at paulbaker51@yahoo.co.uk   New drivers are always made very welcome.

 

Round 12 - Curborough - 18 September 2016

(Words by LS Diff, Pics by Marius Abram and Jan Casson)

The penultimate round of the Healeysport Speed Championship found sixteen Healeys, half of them Sprites, back at Curborough, near the Cathedral city of Lichfield. Reputedly the only purpose built sprint course in the country, it was formed on former R.A.F. land with the aid of lottery money, and is also used for cycle racing, soap box Derbys etc. The track, recently re-configured to include a loose figure of eight format, now has a new fast and demanding ‘crossover’. It is also, at 1600 yards, nearly twice as long as the old ‘one-lapper’, providing more bang for the drivers’ bucks. It is in reality more like a pair of Eric Morecombe’s spectacles with the right side ear support missing than a true figure of eight. The course is extremely fast in short squirts, and requires serious concentration to get the right lines. Otherwise everything here is as it was; the spectators still have free entry and a great view of the entire course, and either Pam or her daughter is on hand to feed ‘em bacon and egg rolls for breakfast and succulent pork and stuffing with chips at lunchtime. What more could a driver ask for.

The Healeys were guests of the Aston Martin Owners Club today, and although they formed the largest class, there were many other interesting cars out on the track, among them a quick Volvo Amazon, a smashing little A35 (step-sister of the Sprite), and a few mouth - watering big Astons that were being used like David Brown intended. There was also an exceedingly quick Porsche driven by one Michael Jackson. No, not the MJ!

The weather, dullish early on, resumed the Indian summer mode we’ve got used to of late, and as the day wore on it became what could only be described as perfect. First practice, normally a sluggish affair at most events, was quite lively and led by the David Abram Sprite pictured right in 69.61 from Steve Casson in 70.54. Joe Mackrell was in third spot at this stage with a time of 73.72 - exactly a quarter second ahead of Rafe Haywood. Colin Gale, uncharacteristically, was off his pb by over four seconds - a suspicious knock emanating from Kermit’s engine. Claire Giles, co driving the Mackrell Sprite at Curborough for the first time, turned in a respectable 79.75. The Shand’s, Max (83.94) and Garrow (83.43) both fresher's at Curborough, wound up the Sprite class.

In the big Healey section, John Ducker, whose time here last September in his 100/4 was 90.67, was running against a provisional target time of 86.53. His opening shot of 86.19 would later trigger a visit from ‘the man in blue shorts’ to establish a stiffer target. Derek Job, 2.61 seconds under his pb would also attract the handicappers eye. Trish Cecille-Pritchard (74.74) too was well under her previous best as it seemed the big cars were on a roll. This became more evident when the Top Garage Bromyard prepared cars of Cooper and Mason took the stage. The big Healey record here of 69.12 set by Richard Mason was blown away by Mason himself in a run of 68.68, only to be immediately eclipsed by Pat Cooper in 68.52. The track conditions at this early stage clearly favoured, the big cars, which were mostly blitzing their previous best times - except for Huw Edwards who was off his pb by over a second. Freshman Julian Hindle brought his eye catching, nicely prepared alloy engined rally car over the finish in 74.27. Another Freshman Grant Marshall (pictured above), had some difficulty in navigating his way round, and after his failed run, was paid a visit by the Clerk of the Course holding a diagram of the track!

For practice two in the Sprite section, only Dave Abram (67.23) and the Mackrell car were quicker. Joe himself got down to 70.76 while co-driver Claire Giles was over four seconds better than her first effort in 75.62. Colin Gale, grounded by Kermit’s broken rocker shaft, accepted the gracious offer of a turn in Rafe Haywood’s car and took it to the finish in 74.71. Rafe himself made it in 71.99.

In the big Healey section there were only four improvers, John Ducker (86.17), Derek Job (76.36) pictured right and Messrs.' Cooper and Mason, who continued trashing the record with 68.43 and 68.61 respectively. Grant Marshall once again used his own version of the figure of eight and failed to get a time. Is this a new take on sandbagging?

On the first competition run for Sprites, Dave Abram broke his own record set just twelve months before by 1.4 seconds in 66.82, Steve Casson’s pb of 68.49 took him to second spot - click here to see in-car footage of Steve's run.  Rafe Haywood was just a quarter away from his target 71.05, while Colin Gale in the same car edged closer to his benefactor in 72.58. Claire Giles (75.69) was just a smidgen short of her first best practice time.  Joe Mackrell decided to demonstrate his hill climbing skills by tackling the mound on the inside of the chicane, very entertaining for the spectators, but alas ‘nil pointe’ for Joseph!  The Shands were getting the hang of the course with much improved times of 80.35 for Max and 82.80 for Garrow.

In Class B (big Healeys) the Bromyard team, also known as Ecurie Chassures Bleu, continued their attack with Pat Cooper breaking the class record in 67.57 and Richard Mason in second on 68.97.  Grant Marshall had spent some useful ‘down time’ spectating and this time drove the correct way round to finish in third spot with 71.37.  Julian Hindle finished fourth in 73.09, just point six one ahead of Huw Edwards.  Trish C-Pritchard’s 75.09 was her personal best, while Derek Job (75.21) and John Ducker rounded up the class with a new 100/4 record on the figure of 8 course of 82.33

The clement weather continued for run two. Five Sprites were quicker on the final run. The Shands were getting the hang of it and finished with Max in 78.58 and Garrow in 81.98. Claire Giles crossed the finish line in 74.36 with co-driver Joe Mackrell staying on the black stuff in 70.75. Colin Gale picked up a tad in the Haywood car in 72.46.

In the big Healey class only four cars improved. Derek Job was faster by 1.85 seconds while Pat Cooper replaced the record established on his first run with 67.01. In an attempt to catch PC, Richard Mason attempted the chicane in the wrong gear and paid the price with a finish in 69,20. Grant Marshall, now on the right track, crossed the finish line in 71.08 with Julian Hindle closing on him in 71.88.

An altogether cracking day with pb’s galore and new records in each class. And so nice to get away from those ruddy Olympics - taking over our lives!

As this was a target time event, the spreadsheet was updated with all the times and the order in each class was as follows:

Big Healeys: Gold - John Ducker, Silver - Derek Job, Bronze - Pat Cooper (pictured right) and Brass - Trish C-P

Sprites: Gold - Max Shand, Silver - Garrow Shand, Bronze - David Abram and Brass - Steve Casson

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

 

Round 11 - Gurston Down - 11 September 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

This was the final hill climb meeting at Gurston Down in 2016 and we had 7 Big Healeys (Messrs.' Marshall, John, Cecile-Pritchard, Job, Baker, Cooper and Mason) and 8 Sprites (with Grainger, Rowe, Mackrell, Casson, Gale, Taylor x 2 and Giles) taking part.  After the very wet conditions the day before fared by those who went to Wiscombe, the weather was expected to be overcast and dry but not particularly warm.  How wrong the forecasters were, as it was dry, sunny and warm, so the expectation of beating some personal bests was definitely on the cards.

First practice went without a hitch as all the drivers realised that the course was still a bit damp and green from not being used for sometime, apart from farm equipment, so took it easy.  Also, as most had set off early from home with no breakfast, the thought of a 'Gurston full English' was also probably on their minds, as the cafe was the first stop after our first practice run.

Suitably fed, the drivers set about their second practice run in earnest and to some effect.  In the Big Healey class, both Pat Cooper and Paul Baker broke their personal bests with 38.89 and 39.85 respectively with Richard Mason a whisker away in 39.87.  Derek Job recorded a 43.63, Trish C-P a 44.66, with first timer to Gurston, Grant Marshall, up the hill in 44.75 and Nick John taking chunks out of his first run time with a 49.51.

In the Sprite class, it was even closer, with the top 4 drivers within 2 tenths of a second of each other, with Andrew Taylor (40.37), Colin Gale (40.41), Joe Mackrell (40.49) and Steve Casson (40.57) all in close order.  They were closely followed by James Taylor in 41.28, Claire Giles in 42.83, Kevin Rowe in 43.86 and Ian Grainger in 49.93.

There were a couple of lengthy delays due to accidents at Ashes corner as vehicles had to be recovered, so a leisurely  lunch was had and the expectation built for the afternoon timed runs.

 As the paddock marshal summoned the Big Healey class to the start area, disaster struck Pat Cooper's 100/6 (pictured right) as it refused to start.  Despite some determined efforts by Keith and Joe, the fault could not be found before the rest of the class had to leave Pat stranded in his paddock place.  As the class took to the hill, it was Paul Baker who posted an excellent 39.03, nearly a second off his pb to take the lead from Richard Mason in 39.80, Derek Job with a 42.93, fast learning Grant Marshall was next in 43.50, then Trish C-P in 44.44 and Nick John in 49.93.

In the Sprite class it was all change as Joe Mackrell took the lead with a stunning 39.56 and new pb, from Andrew Taylor also in a pb of 39.69, Colin Gale also recorded a pb of 40.08 to take third from James Taylor, also with a pb of 40.82.  Steve Casson fluffed his gear change into the second part of Karousel so lost all momentum and ended with a 42.02 (click here to see Steve's run) from Claire Giles who also went slower with a 43.29 to stay ahead of Kevin Rowe's 43.59 and pb, with Ian Grainger finishing with an improved 49.79.

As the drivers got back to the paddock Pat Cooper's 100/6 was still refusing to start, so Richard Mason got to work and eventually found that the live feed to the ignition switch was at fault, corrected it and got Pat to talk to the marshals to see if he could join another batch to take his first timed run.  The marshals concluded that as Pat would be running more than two batches later than the batch he should have gone in and as he is competing in a club championship, he could not join a later batch.

On to the final run of the day and in the Big Healey class, it was Pat Cooper would needed to put together a quick but safe time, which he did, of 39.12, a pb but just not quick enough to beat Paul Baker's first run time of 39.03.  Richard Mason went faster and recorded a 39.40 and Paul Baker messed up the exit to Ashes so went slower with a 39.41.  Derek Job beat his previous pb with a 42.46 and Grant Marshall also trimmed some more time off to record a 43.29.  Trish C-P just missed a pb by 0.16 secs and Nick John finished with a slightly slower time.

The last run in the Sprite class was eagerly awaited as virtually any of the top five drivers could take the win.  In the end it was Andrew Taylor who lowered his pb further with a 39.34 to take the top slot from Joe Mackrell who went slightly slower with a 39.70, then it was Steve Casson (pictured right) who broke through the 40 sec barrier for the first time with a 39.75 and pb from Colin Gale who went slightly slower on his second run with a 40.45 but held fourth spot with his 40.08 first run, from James Taylor's 40.22 and pb.  Claire Giles finished with her best time of the day of 42.49 (click here to see in-car video of Claire's run), Kevin Rowe went slower with a 44.33 and Ian Grainger got close to his pb with a 48.41.

As this was a target time event, the spreadsheet was updated with the latest run times and the order in each class was as follows:

Big Healey class: 1st Paul Baker, 2= Pat Cooper and Derek Job, 4th Trish C-P, 5th Richard Mason, 6th Grant Marshall and 7th Nick John.

Sprite class: 1st Joe Mackrell (pictured right with Richard Mason), 2nd James Taylor, 3rd Steve Casson, 4th Andrew Taylor, 5th Colin Gale, 6th Kevin Rowe, 7th Ian Grainger and 7th Claire Giles.

The prizes, cut glass tumblers, were presented by Richard Mason to the top three in each class to round off an excellent day's hill climbing at this well run venue in the Wiltshire hills where no less than 9 personal best times were beaten.

Please join us at the Curborough sprint track on Sunday 18 September for our penultimate round of the season if you can.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

 

Round 10 - Wiscombe - 10 September 2016

(Words by Colin Gale, Pics by Patrick Forester)

“50 shades of Grey”

I do not mean the drivers - I mean the weather!  All four Healey drivers, Joe, Claire, John and myself, arrived early to set up for the day, amid the morning fog. We signed on after walking the challenging course. 

During scrutineering, a light shower turned into heavy rain. My MSA scrutineering sticker was given to me, in three pieces wet through! Where shall I stick that now?!!!

Well, first practice started in the rain, I was glad we were in batch four.  Although, Joe, who was dual driving the white/ red Frogeye, was on the back end of batch three.  While the rain was easing up!  The rest of us, Claire, John and myself were getting ready for batch four.  Slowly, the rain stopped.  Resulting in the following: Joe Mackrell, Colin Gale and Claire Giles, 58.09, 58.30, 58.58 seconds respectively. While, John Ducker, a new comer to Healeysport this year, made it all the way from Yorkshire, to take on the challenge of Wiscombe Park, with his very nice, white /black 100/4. He had a very cautious run through the Gate to the Esses, to finish in 70-16 seconds.  That’s what practice is for!  Time for a bacon butty and a cuppa I think!

Results from the second practice run, obviously still very wet and greasy conditions, but we did try harder, believe me. Sprite class; Joe, Colin, Claire 54.59, 55.38, 56.16 seconds respectively.  While John’s 100/4 making the biggest difference to record 64.32 seconds.

All this racing makes you hungry and thirsty, let’s stop for lunch!  At last the sun came out and we enjoyed a leisurely lunch break.  Time to talk about… You guessed it, Cars! What Gears? Where to change? What not to do? Watch the other competitors to get tips… All that goes out the window, when you get behind the wheel, the red mist blurs your vision, oh hell go for it anyway!!!

Now this hill climbing is taken VERY seriously.  Practice was now over and while waiting in batch four, I heard the Tannoy results for Joe, while batch three returned to the paddock.  Now, that did put the pressure on me.  Claire now in the hot seat, as Joe walked across the Paddock, with the biggest grin ever!  “Batch four to the start line!”  As directed by the marshals of the MG car club.  The track now drying by the minute. Resulting in more great runs. Joe 49.87 sec… Wow! Colin  50.25, Claire 52.44 sec, very good.  Click here to see Claire take the final bend.  John, recorded a 59.53 and was closing the gap more each run. All very exciting, as we read from the paper scroll, printed at the finish.  While, we watched other competitors around Martini Hairpin, we met John's great nephew aged 12 taking some very good photos of the finish.   See Pics from Patrick Forester.

The final run was nigh, same again. Joe was off first, we followed doing our very best to catch the little white demon!  Joe did not better his first run, so recorded 50.07 sec. Claire’s run was better in 52.11 secs, and John’s run was better still in 58.96 secs.  While, myself (Colin) in the bright green sprite mk1/2 came off the course within 80 meters from the start on Wis straight, all four wheels on the grass, then back onto the tarmac. To record 55.06 sec. Not such a smiley face from me!  But that’s racing I suppose.

A very well deserved win for Joe. A fantastic try from Claire, co-driving the Sprite for a change, so different from her road-going 3000. John lowered his time by 11.02 seconds, from practice to finish, in only four runs on this very tricky hill.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

 

Round 9 - Loton Park - 27 August 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

Where has this year gone?  We are now at the end of August and on our annual pilgrimage to one of the best hill climbs in the UK - namely Loton Park.  We have a really good turn out of 17 cars, including the Sprites of Messrs.' Gale, Abram, Casson and Haywood, with Father and son duo Andrew and James Taylor plus Joe Mackrell and Claire Giles.  With the Big Healeys represented by new boys Marshall (pictured right braking hard for Fallow) and Ducker (first time for both at Loton), plus old hands Cecile-Pritchard, Job, Richards, Edwards, Baker, Cooper and Mason.  John Richards son Will was also co-driving the family 3000 but was in another class as he is not in the Healeysport championship.

Unfortunately, Derek Job did not arrive at the track as planned as it turns out he had a puncture on route to Loton, only to find that his spare was not suitable for competition use, so reluctantly headed for home.  An interesting point for all competitors here - make sure you have a spare that can actually be used on track if needed!!

The weather at Loton is always fickle.  The weather forecasters had all week had been predicting rain but by Friday they all seemed to be confident that it would be dry on the Saturday.  How wrong they were!

Our first practice run was in the dry but as the track had not been used for a while all the drivers seemed to think it was quite slippery so took it carefully, with one exception, one Mason R, who didn't know what all the fuss was about by posting a 65.36.  Then as we lined up at the start for our second practice run, what a surprise, it started raining and was quite heavy for those at the end of our batch.  This just proves, yet again, that it's impossible to predict what the weather is going to do at Loton.

So the results from practice were:  In the Sprite class - James Taylor was the surprise leader with a 66.05, from Colin Gale in 66.48, Rafe Haywood in 66.75 and Steve Casson in 66.95 - all very close - then came David Abram in 67.42, Joe Mackrell (pictured right) in 67.97, Andrew Taylor in 69.67 and Claire Giles (out in the Mackrell Sprite at Loton for the first time) in 70.33.

In the Big Healey class - It was Richard Mason leading with his first run time of 65.36, from Paul Baker in 66.58, Pat Cooper in 66.68, Huw Edwards in 69.70, Grant Marshall in 70.17, John Richards in 70.63, Trish C-P in 75.60 and John Ducker in 79.46.

The rain continued during lunch but stopped just before our first timed run - so we had a wet track. 

In the Sprite class - It was Colin Gale who felt most at home on a slippery track to lead the class with a 72.85, from David Abram nearly 3 secs adrift in 75.65, then James Taylor in 76.24, Andrew Taylor a whisker behind in 76.34, Joe Mackrell in 77.89, ahead of Steve Casson in a leisurely for him 78.06, Claire Giles in 79.86 and Rafe Haywood with a surprising 84.88 (something must have happened he didn't care to mention!).

In the Big Healey class - Richard Mason held the lead with a 71.74, from Grant Marshall who showed his prowess in the wet with an excellent 74.94, from Huw Edwards a tad behind in 74.99, then Paul Baker in 75.07 with Pat Cooper in close order in 75.93.  John Richards posted a 78.63, Trish C-P an 82.18 and John Ducker an 88.63.

Before our last timed run, the drivers were keeping a close eye on how the drivers in the subsequent batches were doing to see if their times were improving, as although there was no wind to speak of the sun was starting to appear and dry the track.  So going to the line for our last run, most drivers seemed to believe that the track was dry and so they could go on max attack.

In the Sprite class - All the drivers produced their best time on this run, with David Abrams pulling out all the stops to bang in a 64.03 to lead the class, from Steve Casson a whisker away in 64.25 and Colin Gale in 64.60 and a pb - that was close, with the top three within half a second of each other.  Then came James Taylor with a superb 65.77 and a personal best to hold off Joe Mackrell in 66.34 and Rafe Haywood a fraction back in 66.64, with the fast improving Claire Giles finishing with an excellent 69.65.

In the Big Healey class - Richard Mason finished with the fastest run of the day in both Healey classes with a 63.92 (check out the in-car video of his quick run), from Pat Cooper in 64.68 - just 0.02 secs off his pb (we really do need to check his birth certificate!!), from Paul Baker in 65.18, Huw Edwards in 69.60, Grant Marshall in 70.37, John Richards a whisker behind in 70.47, Trish C-P broke her personal best with a 72.01 and John Ducker set his quickest run of the day with a 78.74.

Probably all the drivers felt they could have gone quicker on their last run, but it had been a rain affected day and they were not sure the whole track was going to be dry and this is not a place to get it wrong.  Click here to see a compilation video of the driver's tackling Triangle and Keepers corners.

As this was a target time event the spreadsheet was given the full beans with the following results:

Sprite Class:  1st Colin Gale, 2nd James Taylor, 3rd Andrew Taylor, 4th David Abram, 5th Steve Casson, 6th Claire Giles, 7th Rafe Haywood and 7th Joe Mackrell.

Big Healey class: 1st Trish C-P, 2nd Pat Cooper, 3rd Paul Baker, 4th John Ducker, 5th Richard Mason, 6th Huw Edwards, 7th John Richards and 8th Grant Marshall.

So the prizes were presented to the top three drivers in each class by Bette England (pictured above with Colin Gale), Cheryl Mason's cousin, who happened to be visiting Loton Park for the first time with her husband and thoroughly enjoyed the day.  Well done to Trish and Colin for taking the top slots in both classes.

As it was also Jan Casson's birthday, a delicious slice of coffee and walnut cake and a glass of bubbly was offered and gratefully received by all the drivers and friends, which capped off an excellent but changeable day's hill climbing courtesy of the local weather.

Our next event(s) are at Wiscombe Park on Saturday 10 September followed by Gurston Down on Sunday 11th, so please come along and see us if you can.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

 

Round 8 - Harewood - 7 August 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

On to the second of our two day meeting at Harewood and we were joined by brothers Robert and Garrow Shand with their 1098cc Mk2 Sprite (Pictured right), Rafe Haywood in his red Frogeye and Peter Richards and Huw Edwards in their 3000's.  Most of the drivers were confused by this new naming convention i.e. using your first name even when you are actually known by your second name.  As Robert Shand was actually Murray Shand and Peter Richards is better known to us as John Richards.  Are you still with me on this one?  To make matters worse the Harewood commentator kept referring to Claire Giles as Claire "Gillies" and Joe Mackrell as Joe "Mackerel".  Not to be left out, the other drivers decided to be known by another first name, so Colin reverted to Colm, Pat became Eamonn, Paul became Eric and Steve chose Sydney, or was it Percy - you get the drift.

Well, enough of that - now back to the serious business of the hill climb.  In the Sprite class the leader after the two practice runs was Colin Gale, who opened up with a 70.05 and a pb, from David Abram in 70.49 and Steve Casson in 71.04.  Joe Mackrell posted a 73.54, Rafe Haywood a 74.06 and Claire Giles a cracking 75.03, some 2.5 secs quicker than she had managed the day before.  Murray Shand was new to the car and the course yet recorded an 81.81 ahead of brother Garrow in 83.22.

In the Big Healey class, it was Richard Mason (pictured right) who continued to lead the class with a best time of 69.82 from Paul Baker who equaled his best from the previous day with a 71.70 from Pat Cooper in 72.20.  Huw Edwards was next with a 73.95, John Richards posted a 75.54, Trish C-P knocked nearly a second off her best from the previous day to record a 77.34 and John Ducker clearly works well on cocktails as he lowered his best by nearly 2 secs, down to 82.86.

The lunch break gave the drivers the chance to take a look at the classic car show that was taking place in the field next to the paddock and Steve Casson was particularly impressed by a car that had been extensively modified with active air suspension and a large sound system costing in the region of £20k - somehow I get the feeling that a technical regulation change for the Sprite class is going to be put forward at the Drivers' meeting in October!!

On to the timed runs and in the Sprite class David Abram swept into the lead with a first run time of 68.90 with Steve Casson posting a 69.59 to be just ahead of Colin Gale in 69.69.  Joe Mackrell was chipping away at his time with a 72.99, yet now followed by Claire Giles in 75.04, an almost identical time to her best in practice.  Garrow Shand leapt ahead of Murray Shand with an 82.55 and 83.41 respectively, which left Rafe Haywood needing to put in a really good time on the last run as he span off at the last corner and ended with a 94.61.  On the second and final run in the Sprite class it was David Abram who lowered his time further to finish with a 68.69 and beat his pb by the smallest margin of 0.01sec.  Steve Casson finished with a new pb of 69.39.  Colin Gale did not go quicker but held third place from a resurgent Rafe Haywood who logged a quick time of 71,87 and the ever improving Joe Mackrell in 72.70.  Claire Giles could not improve on her first run time and in "Team Sibling Rivalry" Murray Shand improved again with an excellent 79.67 with brother Garrow unable to improve on his first run time.

On the first timed run in the Big Healey class and Richard Mason was a tad slower than practice with a 69.94 to just stay ahead of a fast improving Pat Cooper who posted a 70.40 and Paul Baker in 71.49.  All the following drivers held position but did not improve on their best practice times.  Huw Edwards lodged a 74.64, John Richards a 75.56, Trish C-P a 78.27 and John Ducker an 83.04.  So, on to their second and final run, Richard Mason pulled out all the stops to register his best time of the weekend to lead the class with a 69.03.  Pat Cooper went slightly slower than his first run with a 70.60 and almost lost second place to Paul Baker who finally managed to beat his pb with a 70.73.  Huw Edwards held fourth spot with an improved time of 74.20, yet John Richards was clearly trying hard as he bought the proceedings to an abrupt halt as his 3000 got beached in the gravel trap on the outside of Farmhouse bend and needed a tow out (pictured right). Trish C-P finally beat her pb with a best time of 77.56 and John Ducker ended with a slightly slower time of 84.61.

Another super day at Harewood with excellent close racing.  As this event was a target time affair where the driver specific targets are taken into account, the spreadsheet had been powered up and rechecked and the results were as follows:

Sprites Class: 1st Steve Casson, 2nd Colin Gale, 3rd David Abram, 4th Claire Giles, 5th Joe Mackrell, Murray Shand, 7th Rafe Haywood and 8th Garrow Shand.

Big Healey Class:  1st Trish C-P, 2nd Paul Baker, 3rd John Ducker, 4th Richard Mason, 5th Pat Cooper, 6th Huw Edwards and 7th John Richards.

Cut glass prizes are awarded to the top three drivers in each class.  Jan Casson is pictured right with Trish C-P receiving her award for winning the Big Healey class.

Our next event is at Loton Park on Saturday 27 August, so come along and see us if you can.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

 

Round 7 - Harewood - 6 August 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

Harewood is the most northerly venue in this year's calendar and we are fortunate that it is a two day event to make it worth the miles travelled.  As such, round 7 on Saturday 6th August was a scratch event and round 8 on Sunday 7th was a target time event.

We had the 5 Sprites of David Abram, Steve Casson, Colin Gale, Joe Mackrell (pictured right in his Frogeye) - out for the first time this year with his new co-driver for the rest of the season - Claire Giles.  The Big Healey drivers included Richard Mason, Pat Cooper, Paul Baker, Trish C-P and local new boy John Ducker out in his 100/4 with a new set of Kumho's.

Given the distance, most drivers tend to drive to Harewood on the Friday so Trish and Claire had organised a dinner at the Italian restaurant nearby for 14.  It was a great evening, thoroughly enjoyable - well done Trish.

The next day the weather was superb and once the drivers had signed on and their cars had been scrutineered we were off on our first practice run and quickly remembering what a tight and twisty track Harewood is, as well as it being the longest hill climb track in the UK.  The paddock organisation at Harewood is renown for it's efficiency yet the Healey class tried hard to disrupt the smooth running with two of the Sprites without a reverse gear and Pat Cooper taking an eternity to get ready for each practice run!!

So the order in the Sprite class after our two practice runs was: David Abram led the way with a best time of 70.26 from Colin Gale in 71.12, then Steve Casson, who went off the track on his first run, managed a 72.40 on his second run, from Joe Mackrell who achieved a 75.38 on his first run then spun off on his second run, leaving Claire Giles getting to grips with Joe's Sprite again since she last drove it at Prescott in October last year, achieved a best of 78.41.

In the Big Healey class, it was Richard Mason leading the pack with a best of 69.80 from Pat Cooper in 71.03, then Paul Baker scrubbing in a new set of front tyres with a 73.54 from Trish C-P with a best time on her first run of 79.33 with John Ducker (pictured right) improving all the time and ending practice with an 86.89.

On to the business end of the day with the timed runs after lunch.  In the Sprite class it was all change after the first run as Colin Gale went quickest with a 70.10 to be just ahead of David Abram in 70.40 and Steve Casson in 70.65.  So three cars within half a second.  Joe Mackrell put in a much quicker time of 72.81 and Claire Giles improved to a 77.76.  After  their second and final run it was all change again as David Abram (pictured below)resumed normal service with a quicker time of 69.29 to take the win, with Steve Casson a whisker behind with a 69.62 and a pb, yet first round leader Colin Gale could only manage a 71.16 i.e. slower than his first run to take third slot.  Both Joe Mackrell and Claire Giles also went slower on their second runs so their positions remained the same.

In the Big Healey class the first run ended with Richard Mason going quicker with a 69.42 but just 0.07 secs ahead of Pat Cooper clearly stung into action after the comments from the other drivers about his tardiness in the paddock, recorded a superb 69.49, just off his pb.  Paul Baker's tyres were slowly improving as were his times, with a first run of 71.70, yet Trish C-P went quicker with a 79.21 as did John Ducker in 84.59.  On their second run, both Richard and Pat both went slower but held position as Paul Baker's final run a fraction quicker in 71.62 still some way off his pb to remain in third place.  Trish C-P put together her best run with a 78.29 and a pb and fourth and John Ducker also lowered his time to an 84.37, his quickest of the day.

We had an excellent day's hill climbing at this superb venue with fabulous weather.  To finish off the day nicely, John and Cate Ducker kindly hosted a Cocktail "happy hour" in the paddock with some fabulous and innovative drinks, olives and nibbles.  Which led Steve Casson to comment, "John and Cate have certainly picked up on the essence of our championship very quickly".  After which some of the drivers met up for a meal at the Harewood Arms whilst others found a quiet corner for a snooze.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

 

Round 6 - Castle Combe - 23 July 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

After the massed crowds at Shelsley Walsh, six days later we were at the Dick Mayo Sprint at the picturesque Castle Combe circuit in Wiltshire.  We had 12 cars entered with the Sprites of Kevin Rowe, Steve Casson, Colin Gale and David Abram and the Big Healeys of John Ducker, Claire Giles, Trish C-P, Huw Edwards, Paul Baker, Grant Marshall and Peter Walton (pictured right at the start line).  Simon Leeming was due to be out in his freshly restored 100/6 but an oil pump problem meant that he co-drove with Kevin Rowe in his Sprite.

The weather was expected to be hot and dry and we were not disappointed.

Practice was completed without any problems and in the Sprite class it was David Abram, yet again leading the way in his Sebring bodied Sprite, with a best time of 73.41, from Colin Gale a bit further back in 75.46.  Steve Casson was next with a 78.61, Simon Leeming in 79.63, from Kevin Rowe in 81.28.

In the Big Healey class, the surprise leader after practice was Grant Marshall in an excellent 76.32, especially as Grant had never been to Castle Combe before and this was only his third competitive event in his 3000.  Very close behind him was circuit specialist, Pete Walton in his BT7 in a best time of 76.69 with Paul Baker further back in 78.86 as this was his first time at this circuit in his 3000.  Next was Huw Edwards in 83.91, from Trish C-P in 85.71, with Claire Giles up next in her road going BJ8 in 95.79.  Claire lives very close to Castle Combe but had never driven the course before, so this was a new adventure for her, especially as circuits have not always been her favourite places.  John Ducker was also new to the course in his 100/4 and achieved a best time of 102.03.

On to the timed runs after lunch and in the Sprite class David Abram continued to lower his time and completed the first run in 73.28, with Colin Gale in second place in a slightly slower time of 75.71.  Steve Casson closed up on Colin Gale with a 77.53, as did Simon Leeming (pictured right) with a 78.69 and Kevin Rowe with an 81.09.

In the Big Healey class, Pete Walton took the lead with a superb 74.83 and a pb from Grant Marshall who also went quicker with a 75.17 (see the in-car video footage of Grant's run), as did Paul Baker with a 78.19.  Huw Edwards took over 3 seconds off his best practice time to close up with a 79.12, but Trish C-P went slower with an 88.47, especially as she had Claire Giles closing on her with a 94.27 and John Ducker also slightly slower with a 103.39.

On to the final run of the day and in the Sprite class it was David Abram who took the honours with a masterly display and his fastest time of the day of 73.07.  Colin Gale took second place with a quicker run of 75.48 which almost beat his second practice run.  Third was Steve Casson with a much improved time of 76.24 and a personal best.  Fourth on track was Simon Leeming with a very quick 77.56 but as he was not registered for the Sprite class, that position went to Kevin Rowe who could not improve on his first run time with an 82.28.

TThe last run in the Big Healey class had both Pete Walton and Grant Marshall unable to beat their first run times with 75.31 and 76.22 respectively.  Paul Baker improved a fraction with a 78.14 to take third from Huw Edwards who could not improve on his first run with a 79.80.  Trish C-P at last put a good run together and finished with a vastly improved 84.56 and a pb to take fifth place from Claire Giles who also knocked a big chunk of time off to finish with a 92.61.  John Ducker rounded off the class by knocking exactly 5 seconds off his previous run to finish with a 98.39 and get under the magical 100 second barrier.  Check out the compilation video of all the cars taking the first chicane.

As this was a scratch event, where the fastest car wins, the results were as follows:

Sprite Class: 1st David Abram, 2nd Colin Gale, 3rd Steve Casson, 4th Kevin Rowe and Simon Leeming was unclassified.

Big Healey Class: 1st Pete Walton, 2nd Grant Marshall, 3rd Paul Baker, 4th Huw Edwards, 5th Trish C-P, 6th Claire Giles and 7th John Ducker.

Overall it was an excellent day's sprinting at this traditional circuit and with fabulous weather making it a day to remember.

Our next event is a the double header at Harewood on Saturday/Sunday 6/7 August, so come along and see us if you can.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

Want to start Sprinting and Hill Climbing?

If you own a Healey or Jensen Healey and you like what you see on this website and want to find out more then click here to take a look at our Beginners Guide.  If you want to get involved, then send an email to Paul Baker our Championship Organiser at paulbaker51@yahoo.co.uk   New drivers are always made very welcome.

 

Round 5 - Shelsley Walsh - 17 July 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

The Classic and Nostalgia weekend at Shelsley Walsh is always a 'must attend' event, as the organisers lay on so many attractions for the drivers and spectators to see.  From V16 Auto Unions to Audi Quattro rally cars, air displays, live music and much, much more.  Last year 8000 visitors attended the weekend, this year MAC believe it may well be double that number.  There were vast crowds which, at times, made life a little difficult for our club photographer trying to get near the course to photograph the cars in our championship.  Seriously hope that it does not become a victim of it's own success and become too crowded or where the hill climbing becomes secondary to the other attractions.

We had a good entry of 17 cars competing in round five of our championship with 6 Sprites, 10 Big Healeys and 1 Jensen Healey.  The weather was set to be dry and sunny all weekend so maybe a record may fall - so read on to find out.

Practice at Shelsley Walsh is a much more relaxed affair than most venues with the driver being able to decide when they take their two timed runs with practice finishing before lunch.  So what happened?  In the Sprite class, it was current championship leader David Abram quickest with a best time of 36.99 from Colin Gale in an almost pb time of 37.40 who was ahead of Steve Casson in 38 seconds dead.  Rafe Haywood was next with a 38.75, then there was a jump to Max Shand in the 1098cc Mk2 Sprite who now remembers just how steep the hill is for the smaller engined cars, in 48.80, ahead of father Garrow Shand in 51.65.

In the Big Healey class, it was local course specialist, Richard Mason, who led the way with a best time of 35.61, with Pat Cooper next in 36.92 from Paul Baker in 37.82, with Huw Edwards beating his pb with a 39.24 and John Richards just behind in 39.50.  Trish C-P (pictured above) was next in 40.82, very close to her pb, with Derek Job next in 41.56.  Grant Marshall, out for only his second event, but this time at a very challenging and steep hill climb that really tests the engine's pulling ability, recorded a best time of 42.13 with Claire Giles next in 49.75 and lastly John Ducker, like Grant, his first serious hill climb with us in his very new 100/4 with a best time of 52.72.

In the Jensen Healey class, David Lane (pictured right) achieved a best of 38.65.

The lunch break allowed the drivers to take a look and appreciate the various attractions before getting down to the business end of the day with the two timed runs.  The other key point to bear in mind that this was a target time event with actual times being compared to a pre-set target for each driver, so the quickest driver may not be the eventual winner.

As we were running in the last batch of each run we started our first timed run about 3pm and our second run after 5pm.  In the Sprite class it was all very close.  Colin Gale leapt into the lead with a new pb of 36.79 to push David Abram back into second place with a 36.86, with Steve Casson in third with a 37.68, just ahead of Rafe Haywood in 37.78.  So the top four drivers were within a second of each other.  Max Shand lowered his best time down to a 48.31 but Garrow was struggling to get near his best practice time with a 54.06.

In the Big Healey class, Richard Mason got within 0.23 secs of the course record with a 34.85, to stay ahead of Pat Cooper who defied logic by beating his personal best time with a masterly 35.72.  Paul Baker also recorded a pb with a 37.13 as did Huw Edwards with a 39.30.  John Richards achieved a 39.66 (see John's first timed run on video), Grant Marshall leapt up the leader board with a 40.49 with the 40 second barrier tantilisingly close.  Derek Job recorded a 41.00, with Trish C-P just behind with a 41.10, Claire Giles broke her pb with a 48.59 and John Ducker (pictured right) posted a 54,05.

So on to the final run of the day and in the Sprite class it was David Abram who pulled out all the stops to record an excellent pb of 35,96, with Colin Gale unable to go faster on his second run.  Steve Casson also went quicker to register a pb with a 36.97 (check out Steve's last run on video) and Rafe Haywood, Max Shand and Garrow Shand all unable to improve on their first run times.

In the Big Healey class, the top four drivers all failed to go quicker on their second run leaving the order - Richard Mason, Pat Cooper (check out his last run on video), Paul Baker and Huw Edwards.  Grant Marshall still found room for improvement and broke the 40 sec barrier with a final run of 39.39 to get ahead of John Richards, Derek Job and Trish C-P who did not improve their times.  Claire Giles lowered her pb further with a 48.40 in her standard, road going 3000 from John Ducker who managed to lower his time to a 53.02.

David Lane, in the sole Jensen Healey, also could not improve on his first run time.

As stated earlier, this was a target time event so the spreadsheet was cranked up and the results were:

Sprite Class: 1st David Abram, 2nd Colin Gale, 3rd Steve Casson, 4th Rafe Haywood, 5th Max Shand and 6th Garrow Shand.  Interestingly, the same order if it were a scratch event.

Big Healey Class:  1st Pat Cooper (pictured right), 2nd Claire Giles, 3rd Huw Edwards, 4th Richard Mason, 5th John Richards, 6th Trish C-P, 7th Paul Baker, 8th Derek Job, 9th Grant Marshall and 10th John Ducker.

Jensen Healey Class: 1st David Lane

Take a look at a compilation video of the Healeysport class in action - or as many as our photographer could get!!

Overall, it was a fabulous day of hill climbing in perfect weather conditions, a rare treat at Shelsley.  We had very close competition in the Sprite class with David taking the honours for the fourth time in four events - a bit of a trend maybe!  Pat Cooper continues to prove that age should be no barrier to competing in this sport, as he continues to surprise his fellow competitors with his driving ability - long may he continue to do so.  And finally, David Lane really does need some competition in his class, so if you have a Jensen Healey and like what you see on these pages, come along and have a chat, as we would love to have more cars out in the Jensen Healey class.

 Our next event is a sprint at Castle Combe on Saturday 23 July, so come along and see us if you can.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

Want to start Sprinting and Hill Climbing?

If you own a Healey or Jensen Healey and you like what you see on this website and want to find out more then click here to take a look at our Beginners Guide.  If you want to get involved, then send an email to Paul Baker our Championship Organiser at paulbaker51@yahoo.co.uk   New drivers are always made very welcome.

 

 

Round 4 - Silverstone - 5 June 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

The MG Live weekend is always special, with racing on the full Grand Prix circuit all weekend and for us, the MG North West Centre run sprint on the Stowe circuit.  We had 15 cars accepted with 7 Sprites and 8 Big Healeys.  Out for the first time this year were father and son duo of Andrew and James Taylor in their Sprite and Grant Marshall was out for his very first competitive event in his beautifully prepared, rally spec 3000, pictured right.

The good news was that the usual Silverstone Scrutineers,  that have caused many a problem in the past, had been changed for an excellent group of new Scrutineers who thoroughly checked the cars but did so with a positive and friendly attitude.

The not so good news was that although the course was physically the same as last year, instead of using cones to mark the edges of the first corner/chicane, it was now lined with tyre walls.  The second chicane was also lined on both sides with tyre walls.  An altogether more intimidating set of barriers which had the effect of slowing up the drivers for fear of hitting these almost immovable objects.  More of this later.

The weather was expected to be dry and hot all day, but the mist, cold and damp was slow to lift, but once the sun came out later in the morning, it warmed up fast.

We had two practice runs and in the Sprite class it was David Abram who was leading with a best time of 62.54 from Colin Gale a second adrift in 63.56, Steve Casson a whisker off in 63.70, then James Taylor in 65.79, ahead of father Andrew in 66.75, Kevin Rowe in 70.80 and Ian Grainger in 73.78.  Ian's car was not sounding as if it was firing on all four cylinders, so a quick check by Joe Mackrell with a compression tester he soon established that it had blown it's head gasket, so Ian decided it was time to push the car back onto the trailer and take no further part.

In the Big Healey class, it was Paul Baker leading the class with a 64.77, from three cars in very close order, namely: Richard Mason in 65.39 Peter Walton in 65.43 and Huw Edwards in 65.69.  Next up was Grant Marshall in a surprisingly quick 66.4 from a slow starting Pat Cooper in 68.73, Derek job in 71.93 and Nick John in 73.35.

The first timed run was scheduled before lunch and in the Sprite class, it was David Abrams (Click here to see video footage of his run) who continued to reduce his time to a personal best of 61.09 to lead the class from Steve Casson who also popped in a pb with a 62.72 just ahead of Colin Gale in 62.95 - also a pb.  James Taylor also beat his personal best to record a 63.26 to stay ahead of Andrew Taylor in 65.21 and Kevin Rowe in 69.46.

Amongst the Big Healeys, it was Paul Baker who lowered his time to a 64.55, but disaster struck Richard Mason as he hit the tyre wall in the second chicane bringing out the red flags.  Richard's car had sustained frontal bodywork damage and a split oil cooler, so the car had to be retired.  Peter Walton (cclick here to see in-car video footage of his run) leapt up to second place with a 65.04 and a pb, from new boy Grant Marshall a tad behind in 65.27 with Huw Edwards (pictured right with his new helmet design) a fraction further back in 65.61.  Then came Pat Cooper in 66.19, still getting the measure of this new track format from Derek Job in a much improved 68.34.  Nick John suffered a double problem as his brakes were sticking on and he hit the tyre wall into the first bend, sustaining some minor bodywork damage, so he retired his car.

The organisers had promised 3 timed runs if all went well, which it had, but our championship rules only allow the best of the first two timed runs, so the next run was to be the decider.

In the Sprite class, it was David Abram who took the win albeit with a slightly slower second run time of 61.13, from a late charging Colin Gale with a new pb of 62.66 to push Steve Casson back to third slot with a slower time of 63,69.  James Taylor also went slower with a 63.97 yet his father Andrew when quicker with a 64.27 and Kevin Rowe finished with his quickest run of 68.17.

Paul Baker went marginally quicker with a 64.37, yet still 1.5 secs off his track record set last year, to take the win from Pat Cooper, who, with an excellent final run of 64.73, jumped 3 places to take the second slot from Peter Walton in third with a slower run time of 65.14.  Grant Marshall knocked a further 1 hundredth of a sec off his first run time to finish with a superb 65.26 to stay ahead of Huw Edwards who did not improve on his first run time.  Richard Mason shared Pat Cooper's car for the last run and managed a best time of 67.06 to be ahead of Derek Job in a slightly slower time of 69.98.

To see video compilation of all of the cars competing - click here

Overall, it was an excellent day's sprinting.  Congratulations go to all the drivers for making it so enjoyable and to David Rainsbury and his team for such a well organised event.

Trish C-P joined us at the end of the day with her son James to help celebrate Pat Cooper's birthday and helped us toast Pat's health and longevity with a delicious glass of something cold and bubbly.

Our next event is a hill climb at the world famous Shelsley Walsh on Sunday 17 July, so come along and see us if you can.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

Want to start Sprinting and Hill Climbing?

If you own a Healey or Jensen Healey and you like what you see on this website and want to find out more then click here to take a look at our Beginners Guide.  If you want to get involved, then send an email to Paul Baker our Championship Organiser at paulbaker51@yahoo.co.uk   New drivers are always made very welcome.

 

Round 3 - Curborough - 21 May 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

Round three was at the Curborough Sprint track at the event organised by the Midland Automobile Club (MAC).  We had 11 cars including the Sprites of Ian Grainger, out for the first time this year, Colin Gale (renamed for the day -  Colm O'Gale, after sporting an emerald green shirt that matched the colour of his Sprite), Steve Casson and David Abram.  The Big Healey drivers included: Derek Job, Trish Cecile-Pritchard, Huw Edwards, John Ducker (pictured right, out for the very first time in a competitive event in his very smart Healey 100), Pete Walton, Pat Cooper and Paul Baker.

The track layout being used is called the figure of 8, which is an interesting and testing course which equates to about a two lap run.  A number of the drivers had not used this layout competitively, so were keen to get some practice runs.

However, as the entry list for the event was large, including about 60 drivers from the Caterham Academy, the Clerk of the Course made it clear at the drivers' meeting that to complete 2 practice runs and 2 timed runs before the 6pm curfew was impossible and he made the decision to limit the event to 1 practice run and 2 timed runs.  This was a disappointment but understandable.  The other issue affecting the day was the weather.  All week preceding the event, the weather had been forecast to be wet all day.  On the morning, there was light rain but that soon stopped before the practice runs.  The forecast on the day was for rain at 3pm, so more on that subject later.

Practice got underway and in the Sprite class it was David Abram (pictured right locking a wheel in his Sebring Sprite) who led the way with an opening 69.05 from Colm O'Gale in 70.20 (quicker than his pb), with Steve Casson up next with a 71.29 and Ian Grainger getting his bearings with a 83.96.

In the Big Healey class, it was Paul Baker who started with a 72.53, then there was a close three way battle between Pete Walton in 74.20, Huw Edwards in 74.39 and Pat Cooper in 74.64.  Trish C-P was next with a 78.06, from Derek Job who almost missed the crossover section to record an 88.20 with John Ducker also learning the track with a 91.60.

After a short lunch break the timed runs got underway.  The drivers knew that this may be their only chance to get a dry timed run with rain expected at 3pm, so they had to make the most of this first run.   In the Sprite class, David Abram lowered his time further to 68.23, just missing his own course record of 68.22.  Steve Casson had been getting driver coaching advice from a one R Summers and recorded a very quick 69.11 to move up to second place.  Colm O'Gale also got into the 69's with a 69.90 and Ian Grainger reduced his time to an 81,27.

In the Big Healey class, all the drivers lowered their times, with Paul Baker (Pictured below) leading with a 70.50, (Click here to see in-car video footage of Paul's run), from Pete Walton in 71.77, Pat Cooper moved up the ranking with a 72.11, from Huw Edwards in 73.07.  Trish C-P posted a 77.90 to stay ahead of Derek Job in 79.48 and John Ducker in 90.67.

At 3pm the Healey drivers were called to the start line and, as forecast, the rain duly arrived.  The Sprite drivers were out first and had to contend with the wet conditions, but then to everyone's surprise the rain stopped, the sun came out and the track started to dry as the Big Healey drivers went out.

So, in the Sprite class all the drivers went slower so the first run times determined their positions.  Click here to see video footage of Steve's wet run.  

 In the Big Healey class, only Pete Walton went quicker, by 0.10 sec, which did not change his position in second place and all the others went slower.  Click here to see video footage of Pete's wet run.

To see a compilation of all the Healey drivers competing - click here.

This was an interesting day, with a shortened practice session and a rain affected last run, but we also had the fun of watching the Caterham Academy drivers slip sliding around the track and spinning off at regular intervals on their control tyres with minimal grip.  For our championship, the finishing order in both class was as follows:

Sprite class: 1st David Abrams, 2nd Steve Casson, 3rd Colm O'Gale 4th Ian Grainger (pictured below in his W&P bodied Sprite)

Big Healey Class:  1st Paul Baker, 2nd Pete Walton, 3rd Pat Cooper, 4th Huw Edwards, 5th Trish C-P, 6th Derek Job and 7th John Ducker.

Our next event is a sprint at Silverstone on Sunday 5 June at the MG Live event, so come along and see us if you can.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

Want to start Sprinting and Hill Climbing?

If you own a Healey or Jensen Healey and you like what you see on this website and want to find out more then click here to take a look at our Beginners Guide.  If you want to get involved, then send an email to Paul Baker our Championship Organiser at paulbaker51@yahoo.co.uk   New drivers are always made very welcome.

 

Round 2 - Goodwood - 7 May 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

We all headed south for our annual pilgrimage to Lord March's historic circuit nestling in the South Downs.  Goodwood is typical of the circuits built after the war, using the track that enabled the fuel trucks to get around the old WW2 grass airfield without getting stuck in the mud.  Fast and challenging, but a delight on a warm and sunny day in early May.

WWe had our largest turnout to date at Goodwood with 15 drivers entered, which soon turned to 14 as Simon Leeming realised he could not get his new 3000 ready in time for the event.  Instead, he brought his 70's 911 with a 2.7 Carrera engine, but had to join another class to compete.  So, we had the 5 Big Healeys of Pete Walton, Trish Cecile-Pritchard, Claire Giles, Nick John and Paul Baker.  However we had the 6 regular Sprites of Max and Garrow Shand, Steve Casson, Rafe Haywood, David Abram, Kevin Rowe plus 3 newcomers with Pat Harris out in his Speedwell Sprite and father and son duo of Pete and Paul Taylor in Pete's class D race Frogeye.  Pat currently circuit races in the Lackford sponsored Midget and Sprite series (click on the 'Spridget Challenge' tab above to find out more) and Pete used to race his Sprite in the Healey race series, but both fancied trying their hand at sprinting.

The format for the day was different, with two single lap practice runs followed by the usual two timed runs after lunch.  All the cars made it through the noise test with surprisingly low decibel readings - long may they continue to use that noise meter!!  The weather was superb all day, so expectations were high for low times.

Practice got underway and before our class had got to the start line there were two big accidents requiring breakdown recovery to transport back the severely damaged vehicles.  The most unusual, was the driver of a Cobra who appeared to brake too sharply after completing his lap and spun his car into the pit lane wall, doing serious damage to the car, taking out the timing system in the process but otherwise he was ok.  

So after the two practice runs, in the Big Healey class, there were no surprises that course specialist Pete Walton (pictured right waiting for the off) was way out front with an excellent time of 103.95 from Paul Baker in 113.11, Trish C-P in 122.97, Nick John in 124.09 and Claire Giles in 139.13.

In the Sprite class it was David Abrams who was leading the way with a best time of 104.11, from Pat Harris in 111.60, then Steve Casson in 115.07.  Max Shand put in a superb 121.61 in the 1098 Mk2 Sprite to be ahead of the larger engined cars of Kevin Rowe in 1223.76 and Rafe Haywood just behind in 123.78.  Pete and Paul Taylor were having troubles with their Sprite as it appeared to have a mis-fire resulting in some slow runs but Pete managed a 140.27, Garrow Shand a 142.00 and Paul Taylor a troubled 155.09 (pictured below - a flat battery was diagnosed under the gaze of Douglas Bader and in front of the new Aerodrome building).

During the lunch break, Pete Taylor nipped off to the local Halfords to buy a new battery, which seemed to improve the performance of their car in the afternoon runs.

After lunch the competition resumed in earnest.  In the Big Healey class, it was Pete Walton who lowered his time yet again to 103.54 and Paul Baker took nearly 5 secs off his practice run to post a 108.36.  Trish C-P recorded a pb of 120.59 using the newly gained performance from her rebuilt engine and Nick John lowered his time to a 122.10 also benefitting from increased power from a new cam.  Claire Giles has only been to Goodwood once before and then it was pouring with rain all day so really has not had much chance to learn how to tackle this quick track. In her first timed run she recorded a fractionally slower time of 139.67.

In the Sprite class, David Abram was slightly slower with a 105.32, as was Pat Harris with a 111.77.

Click here to see in-car footage of Pat's run. Steve Casson was steadily chipping away at the times and posted 113.55 to be just outside his pb.  Rafe Haywood jumped up the order with a 120.21, with Max Shand slightly slower with a 122.66, but still a pb (those new Kumho's really must have made a difference).  Kevin Rowe also recorded an improved time of 122.92 and the father and son duo had Pete Taylor just ahead of son Paul with 129.03 to 129.79 respectively - at least they finished their laps albeit with the car not sounding totally on song.  Garrow Shand was continuing to take big chunks out of his times with a 137.75.

On to the final run and in the Big Healey class it was Pete Walton who pulled out all the stops, almost lost it in the chicane, but ended with a new class/track record time of 102.89, beating the old time set by Jack Chatham.  Well done Pete.  Click here to see in-car footage of his run.  Paul Baker beat his pb to end with a 107.40, Trish C-P and Nick John did not improve on their first run times but Claire Giles knocked over 4 secs off her previous best time to finish with a really good 135.39.

David Abram (pictured right in his Sebring Sprite) was keen to beat not only his fellow Sprite drivers but also the Big Healey of Pete Walton.  He achieved the first part by posting a superb time of 102.89 but was 3 hundredth's of a sec off beating Pete's time.  Close or what.  Second place went to Steve Casson who leap frogged Pat Harris to end with a pb of 110.17 as Pat could not improve on his first run time of 111.77.  Rafe Haywood had also only been to Goodwood once before in the wet so he also was learning the track fast and ended with a very respectable 118.01, from Kevin Rowe and Max Shand who both ended on 122.66.  Max went off at St Mary's on his final run so could not improve on his first run time, but not for the want of trying!  Paul Taylor improved a bit to finish with a 128.88 but the car obviously did not allow Pete to have a final run.  Biggest improver of the day must go to Garrow Shand who knocked a whopping 7 secs off to finish with a 130.81 and a pb some 10 secs quicker than his previous pb.  Click here to see a compilation video of all the drivers taking Woodcote and the chicane.

So, what a day.  Once all the results had been collected and the target time spreadsheet fired up, the final positions were known.  The glassware was presented by five year old Jacob Crees (Paul & Jackie's grandson) to the top three in each class.  As it was Trish and Keith's birthdays, there was chocolate cake and Prosecco for all (bar Jacob).  So the finishing order in the two classes, once the target times had been taken into consideration, were:

Big Healey Class: 1st Paul Baker, 2nd Pete Walton, 3rd Trish C-P (pictured right receiving her prize from Jacob), 4th Nick John and 5th Claire Giles

Sprite Class: 1st David Abram, 2nd Steve Casson, 3rd Garrow Shand, 4th Max Shand, 5th Rafe Haywood, 6th Kevin Rowe, 7th Pat Harris, 8th Paul Taylor and 9th Pete Taylor.

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

Want to start Sprinting and Hill Climbing?

If you own a Healey or Jensen Healey and you like what you see on this website and want to find out more then click here to take a look at our Beginners Guide.  If you want to get involved, then send an email to Paul Baker our Championship Organiser at paulbaker51@yahoo.co.uk   New drivers are always made very welcome.

 

Round 1 - Gurston Down - 17 April 2016

(Words by LC Branch, Pics & Videos by Jackie Baker)

Our first event of the season got off to an amazing start with some superb weather making it a day to remember.  We were expecting to have 18 cars, with 9 Big Healeys, 8 Sprites, 1 Jensen Healey and no Modified Sprites.  This soon changed as we found out that Robin Johnson and Adie would not be with us as the Yellow Frog was not ready.  Then first practice got underway and our class of 6 Sprite drivers soon turned into 3 as the Max and Garrow Shand's Mk2 lost it's clutch and the Casson Sebring had a lose crank pulley and broken woodruff key.  Fortunately, Steve Casson was offered a drive with Rafe Haywood so all was not lost.

The regular readers of the Championship race reports will realise that we have added two extra classes for 2016. We now have a class for Jensen Healey cars and one for Modified Sprites that are similar in specification to the old Healey race series Class E specified cars, thereby allowing greater modification over the existing Sprite class. So anyone with a Jensen Healey or a Modified Sprite please get in touch and join the championship.

As well as the regular championship drivers, we also had ex series champion John Tewson back (see pictured below) co-driving with father-in-law Pat Cooper, in his much modified 100/6, David Lane was out for the first time in his beautifully prepared Jensen Healey which he usually circuit races and plans to co-drive the car in the championship with his daughter later this year once her university exams are out of the way (pictured above).  Also good to see Murray Wakeham back in his familiar red Ashley fronted Sprite.

After second practice, the order in the Sprite class had Murray Wakeham leading from Colin Gale in second then Rafe Haywood just ahead of Steve Casson in the same car. 

In the Big Healey class, Richard Mason, John Tewson and Paul Baker were all within 0.5 of a second of each other with Pete Walton next with a mysteriously low terminal speed from Pat Cooper up next wondering how the entry got screwed up so that he was out first in his 100/6 and not son-in-law John!!  Next up was Huw Edwards in his 3000 with a refreshed engine from Derek Job in the freshly repaired and repainted 100/6 after Goodwood last year, from David Lane in his Jensen Healey - David had been added to the Big Healey class by the organisers as they did not want a class with one car in it.  Trish Cecile-Pritchard was next and keen to put in a strong showing this year, from Nick John, who is expecting an engine upgrade soon.

On to the first of the timed runs after lunch and in the Sprite class it was local specialist, Murray Wakeham leading the way with an opener of 39.19, with Colin Gale next up in 41.89 despite slipping off the track at Karousel on the cement dust.  Click here to see the in-car footage of Colin's excellent skills to keep the car out of the Armco barriers. He was followed by the Haywood Frogeye duo who were very close, but edged by Rafe Haywood (pictured below) in 42.86 from Steve Casson a whisker behind in 42.99.

In the Big Healey class, it was Richard Mason who lowered his time to 39.72 to hold a very slender lead from John Tewson who was just 0.08 secs behind in 39.80, with Paul Baker a little further back at 40.35 nursing a misfire, from Pat Cooper who had moved up the rankings with a 40.63 to stay ahead of Pete Walton who had picked up the pace with a more realistic 41.31.  Huw Edwards was next with a 42.69 just ahead of David Lane in a much improved time of 42.70. Click here to see the in-car footage of his run.  Derek Job achieved a 43.62 and Trish C-P a tad behind with a new pb of 43.95, from Nick John in 47.99.  Check out the compilation video of all the cars on their first timed run taking Ashes bend.

So, on to the final round of the day, the weather was fine and the track was dry and warm.  In the Sprite class, Murray Wakeham had a problem and finished with a time of 39.79, slower than his first run, but Colin Gale was keen to keep the pressure on him and managed a 40.65, just off his pb.  The Sprite reliability index was lowered yet again when Rafe Haywood had an alternator lead fall off which stopped the car on track leaving Steve Casson to take third slot with a quicker time of 42.03.

In the Big Healey class, as usual, the dual drivers were sent off first and Pat Cooper came back into the paddock after his last run having done a slower run than his first run, to hand over the car to his co-driver John Tewson, but was followed by the marshals who wanted to know why his car was spraying oil onto the track and would not let the car back out until it was fixed.  The upshot was that John Tewson did not get his second run.  Richard Mason (pictured below) messed up a gear change on his last run so was slower, but Paul Baker lowered his pb with a 39.92 to be the quickest on the last run but ended up third behind Richard Mason (39.72) and John Tewson (39.80) - close or what!  Pat Cooper was fourth, closely followed by an excellent run by Pete Walton who took over two secs off his pb to finish with a 41.16.  The next three drivers were slower on the their last runs, Huw Edwards (42.88), David Lane (42.94) and Derek Job (45.75) but Trish C-P bucked the trend by lowering her pb further with an excellent 43.70 and Nick John also finished with a slower time of 49.56.

Overall, we all had a great day.  The reliability of the Sprites was a concern but the weather made it a day to remember for the right reasons.  The results were as follows:

Sprites: 1st Murray Wakeham, 2nd Colin Gale, 3rd Steve Casson & 4th Rafe Haywood

Big Healeys: 1st Richard Mason, 2nd John Tewson, 3rd Paul Baker, 4th Pat Cooper, 5th Pete Walton, 6th Huw Edwards, 7th Derek Job, 8th Trish C-P & 9th Nick John

Jensen Healey: 1st David Lane

Click on the links to see the full results from this and all events this season.  To see all the pictures, in-car and outside videos go to our Gallery page.  If you want to see the sprint and hill climb records for each class and venue, then go to  the Big Healey and Jensen Healey records and the Sprite records pages.

Want to start Sprinting and Hill Climbing?

If you own a Healey or Jensen Healey and you like what you see on this website and want to find out more then click here to take a look at our Beginners Guide.  If you want to get involved, then send an email to Paul Baker our Championship Organiser at paulbaker51@yahoo.co.uk   New drivers are always made very welcome.

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