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2018 Speed Race Reports

Championship sponsored by Bill Rawles Classic Cars and Peter May Engineering

 

Round 5 - Silverstone - 3 June 2018

(Words by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

The two day MG Live event at Silverstone always attracts a good group of Healey drivers and this year was no exception.  We had 18 drivers over three classes - Sprites, Big Healeys and Jensen Healey.  Out for the first time this year was Max Shand, sharing the family Sprite with father Garrow; Murray Shand (pictured below right - testing the laws of physics) in his black 3000 - which was the first time this car had been used for a competition and it got through scrutineering without a problem; Ian Grainger in his familiar red W&P bodied Sprite but now with a Ralph from Pitstop new 1380 engine; Huw Edwards at last made it to his first event having failed to get to two previous events due to a tricky to find electrical fault; David Lane made it out in his Jensen Healey and Paul Baker had switched from his usual 3000 and was out in his Sprite for the first time in 4 years.

The weather was expected to be fine and dry all day, which is ideal for sprinting, so could some of the records be challenged?  Read on and see.

Practice was delayed a bit, in fact we did not get through our first timed run until after the stop for the Church service at Stowe church which finished at 11.10.  Between practice runs many of the drivers went to watch the first few laps of the Equipe GTS Pre 63 race from the bridge over Hanger Straight before they had to go back for second practice, to see how Jack Rawles fared against a field of Big Healeys, E Types and an Aston Martin project car.  We found out later that it was great news, as Jack won the race in the Rawles 3000.

After both practice runs the outcome was as follows: In the Sprite class, it was David Abram leading with a best time of 61.42 from Paul Baker (pictured below right) a second off in 62.49, with Colin Gale in 63.00 and Steve Casson a whisker behind in 63.05.  Max Shand posted a best time of 70.70 on his first run with Ian Grainger next with a 76.07 and Garrow Shand in 79.02.

In the Big Healey class (which for Target Time events this year will include the Jensen Healey class), it was Pete Walton leading the way with a 63.69, just ahead of Grant Marshall (pictured top right) in 64.05, John Tewson in 65.45, Pat Cooper in 65.61, Richard Mason in 66.40, David Lane in 67.88 and Huw Edwards a tad further back in 67.98.  John Ducker in his 100 was next with a 69.05 from Claire Giles who had not been to Silverstone for a while and posted a best time of 70.39, Trish C-P recorded a 71.80 and Murray Shand, despite a couple of spins posted a best of 77.25.

After lunch the timed runs got underway.  In the Sprite class, most of the drivers improved on their practice times with David Abram out front with a personal best time on this track of 60.32 with Paul Baker still getting the hang of driving a Sprite but improved with a 62.10, with Colin Gale still a whisker behind in 62.21 and Steve Casson in 62.97.  Max Shand went a bit slower with a 70.88. Garrow had a much improved 76.25 run and Ian Grainger also went slower with a 77.57.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, Grant Marshall posted a personal best time of 62.12 to take the lead from Pete Walton in 62.57, next was John Tewson in an improved 63.05 with Richard Mason taking nearly 3 secs off his practice time leapfrogged Pat Cooper with a 63.77.  Pat was probably regretting fitting the Avon ZZ's over the Kumho's as he posted a 64.75, yet David Lane (pictured right)  was consistently improving with a 66.69.  John Ducker lodged a 67.99 to stay just ahead of Huw Edwards with a slower time for him of 68.08. Claire Giles broke the 70 sec barrier and set a new personal best of 69.82 into the bargain (click here to see in-car video of this run).  Trish C-P posted an improved time of 71.04 and Murray Shand did his best run of the day of 74.56.

On to the final run and in the Sprite class David Abram got very close to breaking the class record with a pb of 59.94 just 0.07secs off Adie Ball's 2014 record.  Colin Gale also pulled out all the stops and lodged a pb time of 61.02 to push Paul Baker back to third with his time of 61.07 (click here to see in-car footage of this run) and Steve Casson finishing with an improved time of 62.74.  Max Shand could not improve on his first run time yet Ian Grainger finished with a flourish and a time of 74.22 to leap ahead of Garrow Shand who also improved with a 75.10.

It was all change again in the Big Healey/JH class, as Pete Walton (pictured right) took the top slot with a new pb and beat his own course record time with a superb 61.89.  Grant Marshall could not improve on his first run time and John Tewson also finished with a pb of 62.42.  Richard Mason did not improve on his time but Pat Cooper whittled his down to a 64.57.  David Lane finished with a new pb and course record in his Jensen Healey with a 66.14, just ahead of John Ducker who also finished with a pb and course record for a Healey 100 with his time of 66.44.  Huw Edwards saved his best run for last and ended with a 67.41.  Trish C-P was not prepared to lose the battle of the ladies and took nearly 1.5 secs off her previous best run to finish with a pb in 69.63, some 0.19 secs ahead of Claire Giles who could not improve on her first time run.  Murray Shand finished with a slower time due to two spins and probably spent the trip home contemplating the jobs he needs to do on the car before its next outing.

Overall a great day's sprinting with some fabulous weather which resulted in nine personal bests, three course records and some superb competition.  As this was a target time event, the finishing order was as follows:

Sprite class: 1st Colin Gale (pictured right), 2nd David Abram, 3rd Steve Casson, 4th Paul Baker, 5th Max Shand, 6th Garrow Shand and 7th Ian Grainger.

Big Healey/JH class: 1st John Ducker (pictured below right), 2nd Grant Marshall, 3rd David Lane, 4th Trish C-P, 5th John Tewson, 6th Claire Giles, 7th Pete Walton, 8th Murray Shand, 9th Richard Mason, 10th Pat Cooper and 11th Huw Edwards.

Our next event is a sprint at Lydden Hill (near Canterbury in Kent) on 14th July - join 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.

 

Rounds 3 & 4 - Anglesey Circuit - 5/6 May 2018

(Words by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker and Andy Wright)

We usually try and have an international event each year and this year the drivers thought that Anglesey Circuit at the very northern tip of Wales fitted the bill.  We had a good entry of 7 big Healeys and 4 Sprites although two drivers had to pull out.  Tom Walker broke his engine at Brands Hatch the previous weekend and one of our local experts, Huw Edwards left west Wales in his 3000 only to find the engine was playing up so decided to head back home.

So that left us with the three Sprites of Steve Casson, Colin Gale (pictured right) and David Abram and the five big Healeys of Trish C-P, Pat Cooper (pictured below on the start line with sombrero'd marshals), John Tewson, Richard Mason, Paul Baker and Will Richards/John Richards, albeit two cars had dual drivers.

Most drivers travelled to the circuit on the Friday to have a chance to see the track, most for the first time and to understand the layout as the National circuit was being used on the Saturday and the International course on the Sunday.  The views from this circuit are simply stunning being on a cliff top with the Irish seas in one direction and the Snowdonia National Park in the other.

Saturday dawned bright and cold but most importantly dry.  All the drivers signed on - bar one who had forgotten his race licence.  Top tip - take a photo of your race licence on your phone and it will save you £70 if you ever have the misfortune of forgetting your licence with no means of going and getting it.

The MG Car Club were running the event and decided that there would be 1 practice run of two laps and 3 timed runs, also of two laps.  As most of the drivers had not tackled this track, they agreed that for our championship we would treat the first two runs as practice and the second two runs as timed runs.  The more practice the better.

Onto practice and in the Sprite class despite taking to the grass, David Abram (pictured right) led the class on the first run from Steve Casson and Colin Gale spun at Rocket.  On their second practice run, David Abram still lead with a 136.62 but it was very close with Colin on 137.65 and Steve on 138.76.

After two practice runs in the Big Healey class it was John Tewson, car sharing with Pat Cooper, who was quickest with a 134.86 from Paul Baker in 137.14, Richard mason in 138.30, Pat Cooper in 138.28 and local Conway man Will Richards in the family 3000 in 146.64.

After lunch the two timed runs started and in the Sprite class the order stayed the same with David Abram lowering his time to a 134.43, a fraction above his own class record of 134.08.  Colin Gale brought his time down to a pb of 136.24 and Steve Casson posted a pb of 139.16.  On their last timed run, David Abram broke the class record with an excellent 133.60, yet neither Colin or Steve could go quicker so the order stayed the same.

In the Big Healey class, Paul Baker (pictured below right in his 3000) took the class record with a 134.44 (click here to see the in-car video footage) and pushed John Tewson into second place with his time a whisker behind in 134.62, Richard Mason lowered his time to a 137.11 as did Pat Cooper in 137.83 and Will Richards in 146.17.  When the Tewson Cooper 100/6 came back to the paddock it was clear that the abrasive surface had taken it's toll on the two nearside tyres with the front down to the carcass.  As the pair did not have a pair of spare wheels with fresh rubber to fit but had a new set of 4 tyres that needed to be fitted to the rims, the car was retired for the last run and a tyre fitter booked for Sunday morning before the event started to have all 4 tyres changed.

On the last timed run Paul Baker went slower but Richard Mason lowered his time to a 135.50 and Will Richards brought his time down to a 144.93.

As this was a scratch event the finishing order was:

Sprites: 1st David Abram, 2nd Colin Gale and 3rd Steve Casson

Big Healeys: 1st Paul Baker, 2nd John Tewson, 3rd Richard Mason, 4th Pat Cooper and 5th Will Richards

All the drivers and partners went out to dinner that evening at a local restaurant where the food was generally good but the service was diabolical hence we got a 50% discount on the meal!!  It was good though to spend time with each other and David Abram did a fantastic job of organising the minibus, restaurant and the garage at the circuit.

On Sunday morning, the sun came out and the wind died down but we now had mist to contend with.  See pic right of Richard Mason in his 3000.  The organisers were happy top let us out on the full International circuit with it long straight (although really a long curve) and obvious higher speeds.

We had a slight change of drivers as Will Richards handed the 3000 over to his father, John and Trish C-P had entered the Sunday event in her 3000.

The organiser returned to the usual format of two practice runs of 1 x 2.1 mile lap in the morning and two timed runs in the afternoon.  In our championship, this was a target time event with each driver being given a target and the one who beats or gets closest to their target wins.  Target times are set after second practice.

After two practice runs in the Sprite class, David Abram was leading the way with a best time of 108.99, Colin Gale was next in 112.53 and Steve Casson's best was 116.36.  See Steve's Sebring Sprite below.

After two practice runs in the Big Healey class, it was very close between the top four drivers with John Tewson heading the list with a 110.03, Paul Baker was next in 110.95, then Pat Cooper in 111.60, closely followed by Richard Mason in 111..94.  Next was John Richards in 116.89 having spun at Rocket on his first run and Trish C-P posted her best time of 127.10.

On to the timed runs and in the Sprite class David Abram pulled out all the stops to record a stunning 106.05 to claim a second class record this time beating Neil Cameron's 107.24 record by over a second.  Click here to see David's run.  Colin Gale also broke his pb with a 109.93 and Steve Casson lowered his time to a 113.30.  Feeling he could not better his first run David Abram decided not to do his second run.  Colin Gale went slower on his final run but Steve Casson posted a pb of 112.33 to round off the weekend.

The timed runs in Big Healey class all the drivers improved their times and were headed by Paul Baker in a 108.32 from John Tewson in 109.19, then Pat Cooper in 110.44, Richard Mason in 111.39, John Richards 116.71 and Trish C-P in 121.38 - a whopping 6 secs off her practice time and a new pb. On to their final run and with the new tyres now nicely scrubbed in, John Tewson posted a new class record of 107.92, Paul Baker could not go any quicker, but Pat Cooper lowered his time to a 109.78, Richard Mason dropped his time to a 110.09, John Richards posted his best time of 115.41 but Trish C-P recorded a slower time.

Once the target times had been taken into consideration, the results were as follows:

Sprite:  1st Steve Casson, 2nd David Abram (pictured right) and 3rd Colin Gale

Big Healeys:  1st Paul Baker, 2nd Trish C-P, 3rd John Tewson (pictured below right), 4th Pat Cooper, 5th Richard Mason and 6th John Richards

This was a fabulous weekend and an excellent event enjoyed by all.  It was very well run and organised by the MG Car Club with a very friendly atmosphere - just the way this sort of event should be.

Our next event is at Silverstone on 3rd June for the MGLive sprint on the Stowe circuit - join 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 - Gurston Down - 22 April 2018

(Words by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

Round two and off to the rolling hills of Broad Chalke in Wiltshire, just west of Salisbury.  The weather all week had been unseasonable hot which had dried out the place after one of the wettest winters on record.  However, as always in these parts, a hot spell is often ended with thunder storms and we were not disappointed.  For over an hour the night before the event the sky was ablaze with lightening and the heavens opened.  Then the sun came out in the morning, the temperature rose and the place dried out.

For a first time, the Healeysport class of 12 drivers was asked to use the grass by the start line as the paddock was full.  Although concerns that the grass might turn to mud proved not to be the case with the advantage that we were close to the restaurant and timing board.

Two drivers had to withdraw - Huw Edwards, due to a problem with his engine and Simon Leeming due to family reasons.  We did however have 6 Sprite and 6 Big Healey drivers including the dynamic duo in the yellow Frog namely Robin Johnson and Rafe Haywood (hoping their car would prove a little more reliable than it's last outing at Curborough), Steve Casson out for the first time this year in his refreshed Sprite, Phil Gardner out for the first time at Gurston competitively with new racing rubber, Kevin Rowe in the tri-tone Sebring  and Colin Gale, winner at Curborough, in the ever popular and very green Kermit.

In the Big Healey class, the drivers were keen to see the two cars that had been in the Rawles Emporium for most of the winter, namely Claire Giles's BJ8 (pictured right) and Trish C-P's BN7. Claire's car looked very similar until the bonnet was opened revealing a full race engine with all the trimmings.  The work on Trish's car was less obvious as the work was more structural but great to see freshly painted steel in all the right places.  Equally less obvious was the other change made by Pete Walton, in that he had switched the wheels, tyres, hubs, brakes etc.. with his Blue BJ8 to lose weight with the bolt on rather than centre lock wheels.

 First practice got underway and the Healey classes were one of the first on track.  It was exceedingly slippery due to the rain and mud on the course, so all took it carefully and waited for the sun and the other cars to clean up the track.  As is tradition, an excellent breakfast followed in the restaurant - after which all is right with the world.

As expected, the times tumbled in second practice with 7 of the 12 drivers within 2 seconds of each other.  In the Sprite class, Robin Johnson was leading with a 40.42 from Colin Gale in 40.52 and Steve Casson in 41.23. In the Big Healey class, Paul Baker was quickest with a 40.35, Richard Mason next in 40.64 and Pete Walton in third with a 40.81.

Lunch was delayed due to a single seater going off the track at hollow - the driver was fine but the car clearly was not. So after lunch the timed runs got underway and in the Sprite class the order stayed the same with Robin Johnson (pictured right) leading the pack with a 39.23 from Colin Gale in 40.25 and Steve Casson in 40.78.  Then it was Rafe Haywood still getting to grips with driving the yellow Frog in 45.27, just ahead of Kevin Rowe in 45.34 and Phil Gardner in 52.32.

In the Big Healey class, Paul Baker lowered his time to a 39.19, from Pat Cooper in 39.52 and Richard Mason in 40.55 albeit without his overdrive, which had decided to stop working.  Pete Walton beat his pb with a 40.81 from Claire Giles who was learning fast how to use her newly acquired horsepower with a 43.21 - some 6 seconds faster than her pb for this course!!  With Trish C-P improving her time to a 44.69.

Before our last run of the day, Nick Revels (Gurston Down Comp Sec) did a live interview with Paul Baker and Robin Johnson in the paddock with his roving microphone linked to the public address system, asking about the cars that take part in our championship.  Some lively banter ensued between the pair to the delight of the watching Healey drivers.

On to the last timed run for the day and as the weather had stayed bright and sunny, the track was probably going to be the quickest it had been all day.  In the Sprite class, Robin Johnson's Sprite starter motor failed so he could not take part.  However, his first timed run of 39.23 was good enough to secure first place.  Steve Casson recorded a 40.17 - his best time of the day to take second place from Colin Gale who went slower than his first run.  The next tree drivers all improved their times by a small amount so held position - with Rafe Haywood in 45.11, Kevin Rowe in 45 32 and Phil Gardner in 52.24.

In the Big Healey class the top two drivers both went fractionally slower with Paul Baker (pictured right) in 39.49 and Pat Cooper in 39.54.  Rich Mason worked out a way of driving the hill without an overdrive and finished with a very creditable and quicker 39.85.  Pete Walton went faster still with a new pb of 40.16, Clare Giles went fractionally slower with a 43.40 and Trish C-P finished with her best time of the day of 44.39.

An excellent day's hill climbing at this very well run venue.

So, the finishing order was:

Sprite class: 1st Robin Johnson, 2nd Steve Casson, 3rd Colin Gale, 4th Rafe Haywood, 5th Kevin Rowe, 6th Phil Gardner

Big Healey class: 1st Paul Baker, 2nd Pat Cooper, 3rd Richard Mason, 4th Pete Walton, 5th Claire Giles, 6th Trish C-P

Our next event is at the Anglesey Circuit on 5/6th May for a weekend of sprinting - join 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 1 - Curborough - 8 April 2018

(Words by Trish Cecille-Pritchard with Pics by Marius Abram)

Our season opener was held at Curborough near Lichfield, where we’d visited two weeks earlier for a test day.  This was also a target time round.

After endless wet weather and dreadful conditions in previous weeks, it was encouraging to arrive in the dry, although pools of lying water on the grass in the paddock were a stark reminder!  The forecast was for a warm but cloudy day with no rain in sight.

A colourful turnout of five Sprites and five Big Healeys, including the comeback kid “ Robin Johnson” with Rafe Hayward sharing the Yellow Frog.

Practice got underway after Rafe suffered the first of many gremlins which beset the Yellow Frog when it refused to start and had to be pushed by marshals to get going, leading us out of the paddock. 

First time out we everyone went fairly cautiously testing for grip and more importantly because some were getting to grips with more power, fresh new tyres, total rebuild, damage repairs and other tweaks!

Colin and Kermit (pictured above) were on fire from the off, so was John Ducker (pictured below) who so narrowly avoided blowing his PB in practice throwing caution to the wind!  Our MGCC hosts decided to do a first timed run before lunch with the possibility of extra runs in the afternoon.

Rafe was out first bringing the Yellow Frog back in 77.47secs. Colin and Kermit put in a blinder of a run in 68.14secs, achieving a new PB and beating his target by 1.76secs. Garrow Shand was another taking advantage of the grip and posted a new PB in 79.89secs under target by 1.44secs. David Abram scorched around but unusually was a tad off target but a quick time of 68.96secs and Robin back in the Yellow Frog went extremely well in 71.39secs.

Grant Marshall led out the Bigun’s and blistered round gaining a new PB in 69.57secs and under target by 1.51secs. John Ducker in the smart 100/4 is clearly on a mission this year, posted another PB in 75.63secs which was 1.44secs under target. Not to be outdone, Rich Mason put in a “spirited run” (Quote from commentator), to record yet another PB in 69.05secs a nanosecond under his target. Pete Walton out for the first time this year having driven his 3000 up from Buckinghamshire, masterfully drove round gaining another PB of 69.32secs just .14 shy of his target. TCP back in the saddle with her extensively remodeled BN7 was erring on caution but still made up 1.13secs from practice.

Lunchtime provided drivers with much needed sustenance and time to catch up with each other after the winter break. The weather had held, in fact the sun attempted to shine as we had lunch only to fade away under a thin layer of cloud and the breeze dropped, rendering it warm and muggy for the start of the afternoon.

Our class followed four single seaters, who managed all day to keep us waiting around up at the start with dual drivers, endless faffing and red flags!!  Eventually, our second run of the day produced two faster times for David and Robin in the Sprites. Colin had led the way from the start to take top spot, Garrow made great progress all day to claim second place. Eventually, Robin (pictured right remembering to put his visor down at the first bend!) managed to put in a second timed run of 69.66 to take third place with David in fourth. Robin and Rafe were having starting problems all day from a powerless battery. Down but not out, this trio will be back on song at Gurston.

The Big Healeys, the last cars to go out, still had it all to play for. Grant and John couldn’t improve on their first runs which put them in first and second place, both with PB’s. Pete managed to record an identical time and a PB from his first run, there’s consistency for you!  Richard and TCP were the only two to go quicker, Richard by .22sec and a new PB. TCP after gaining confidence clawed back .98sec to finish just shy of her target.

A great day was had by all, lots of PB’s and much was learned about our cars with improvements at the start of the season. The top three in each class were:

Sprites. 1st Colin Gale 2nd Garrow Shand 3rd Robin Johnson

Big Healeys. 1st Grant Marshall 2nd John Ducker 3rd Richard Mason

***************

Colin received top honours from MGCC for fastest car in the Healey Class ( an Extra Birthday Present! )

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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