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2019 Speed Race Reports

Championship sponsored by Bill Rawles Classic Cars and Peter May Engineering

 

Rounds 7/8 - Harewood - 3/4 August 2019

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

Yet again this ever popular event was over-subscribed and as a result not all our drivers could take part.  Pat Cooper and John Tewson could not get an entry even though they had applied before the cut off date and Colin Gale had to pull his entry due to an engine problem at Castle Combe.  However, we had the four Sprites of Steve Casson, Phil Gardner, Garrow Shand and Claire Giles (pictured right) out for the first time in her recently acquired Frogeye (the ex-Joe Mackrell hill climb car) with husband Jon on hand to help with the car.  We also had five big Healeys on the Saturday of Murray Shand in his 3000, John Ducker in his 100/4, Trish C-P in her 3000, Will Richards in the family 3000 and Richard Mason in his 3000.  On Sunday, Huw Edwards joined the Big Healeys with his 3000.  It was also really great to see Rafe Haywood at the event and he stayed for dinner with us as well.

The weather was hot, dry and sunny all weekend.

As usual at these two day events, the Saturday event would be on scratch and the Sunday is based on target times.

The other major change at Harewood that they started last year and should be used at all venues was the way that the whole sign-on/scrutineering process was carried out.  The scrutineers come to your paddock space and scrutineer each car in race number order and once the car has passed then the driver takes the pass ticket to sign on.  A big improvement as it eliminates the big queue for sign on. 

Saturday practice got underway and in the Sprite class it was Steve Casson who was showing that the development work he has carried out on his car is bearing fruit.  His best time was a 69.87 with Claire Giles next getting used to the Sprite again after two years of not driving it - always a challenge switching to a Sprite from a 3000.  Garrow Shand was next with a best time of 79.67 which was a 3 second improvement on his previous best time in his previous smaller engined Sprite. It was Phil Gardner's first time to Harewood and there is a lot to learn on this long track where he opened with a best time of 84.47.

Practice in the Big Healey class saw Richard Mason open with a rather sedate time (by his standards) of 71.68, from Will Richards (pictured above) in 74.18, Trish C-P in 78.81, John Ducker in 79.80 and Murray Shand, who was struggling with a battery problem, in 82.79.

Paul Baker was in the lone Jensen Healey (JH) and it was his first time at Harewood in this car.  He achieved a tardy, by his standards, 75.21.

Before lunch the timed runs started and in the Sprite class all the cars went quicker with Steve Casson a fraction quicker with a 69.74, from Claire Giles in 75.92, Garrow Shand knocked over 3 secs off to record a 76.20 and Phil Gardner an 82.73.

In the Big Healey class, again, all the cars went quicker -  Richard Mason this time got his 3000 firing on all six cylinders and posted a much quicker 69.89 (see picture right - going backwards over the finishing line!!), (also see in-car video footage of this run) from Will Richards now with a 73.12, Trish C-P in 77.55 with a fast charging John Ducker a whisker behind in 77.73 and Murray Shand (now with a new battery installed) posted a much better 80.17.

Paul Baker in the Jensen Healey lowered his time by nearly 3 secs to 72.58.

On to the final run of the day and in the Sprite class all bar one went faster - Steve Casson took the class win with a 69.73 - yes 0.01 sec faster than his first run!!  Claire Giles took second with a 75.36 just ahead of Garrow Shand in third with a 75.77, with Phil Gardner in fourth posting a slightly slower time of 83.95.

In the Big Healey class Richard Mason went slower with a 70.20 but took the class win from Will Richards in second also with a slightly slower time of 73.48.  Local man John Ducker pulled out all the stops on his 100/4 and knocked over 2 secs off his previous run to finish with a 75.62 and leapfrog Trish C-P who reduced her time to a 76.25 to take fourth and Murray Shand finished the day with a slightly slower time of 80.85.

Paul Baker also went a tad slower to record a 72.73 in his JH.

So the final order was:

Sprite class: 1st Steve Casson, 2nd Claire Giles, 3rd Garrow Shand, 4th Phil Gardner.

Big Healey class: 1st Richard Mason, 2nd Will Richards, 3rd John Ducker, 4th Trish C-P and 5th Murray Shand

Jensen Healey class: 1st Paul Baker

After the event, all the drivers repaired to the 'Duckers Cocktail Bar' in the paddock for a quick Harvey Wallbanger plus nibbles.  This annual treat is laid on by John and Cate Ducker (pictured right) and is really appreciated by all the drivers after a hard and hot day's hill climbing.  This was followed by dinner at the Harewood Arms for 20+, all organised by Steve Casson, where they gave us a dining room to ourselves - great idea given the noise we make and amazingly the beer is still only £2 a pint!!

Sunday dawned with a light shower but the sun came out and soon dried everything off.  Huw Edwards joined the Big Healey class and the debate amongst the drivers was where were the target times as none had been issued prior to the event as specified in our regs.  So eventually the drivers board was completed with target times for all to see.  There then ensued a debate about whether certain drivers should be on Previous Best times or Projected times which our regs are quite clear about .... "... For drivers who have competed at a venue in four previous ‘Healeysport’ championship rounds with the same vehicle, their target time will be their previous best time.  For those drivers who have competed at a venue for less than four championship rounds, their target time will be either their previous best time or a ‘projected time’ whichever is fastest ..."

As a result, in the Sprite class only Steve Casson was on his Previous Best time, the rest on Projected Times, in the Big Healey class, Richard, Huw and Trish were on PB's and John, Will and Murray on Projected Times and Paul in the JH class was also on a Projected Time as it was his first time there in the Jensen.

With that matter out of the way, practice started and the drivers in the Sprite class got down to improving their times and the order changed as a result.  Steve Casson still led the class with a much improved time of 68.93, but with Garrow Shand now taking the second slot with a 75.16 just 0.03 secs ahead of Claire Giles in 75.19 and Phil Gardner making a big improvement to finish with a best time of 81.25.

In the Big Healey class, Richard Mason was leading with a 70.48 from Huw Edwards in second in 73.72 from Will Richards in 74.13, John Ducker in 75.79, a rather slow time of 78.86 for Trish C-P and a quicker time of 79.82 for Murray Shand.

Paul Baker managed a best time of 72.07 in his JH.

Again, our first timed run was before lunch and as rain was forecast for the afternoon all the drivers knew they had to do a really good time on their next run.  With this encouragement, in the Sprite class, Steve Casson posted a fantastic personal best time of 68.04 to get under his target time (TT) of 68.41 (Click here to see in-car video footage of his run).  However, Garrow Shand knocked just over 2 secs off his best practice time to finish with a 73.00 and be under his TT by 1.00 sec.  Claire Giles also took a big chunk off her previous best to finish with a 73.62 and Phil Gardner finished with an 81.44.

In the Big Healey class, Richard Mason posted a 70.10, but Will Richards put a good lap together to post a 72.49 to beat his pb, as did Huw Edwards beat his pb with a 72.80.  John Ducker lowered his time again with a 75.11 but just over his pb.  Trish C-P knocked nearly 4 secs off her last practice run to post a 75.51, her quickest run of the weekend but just over her pb.  Murray Shand finished with an 80.94.

Paul Baker got within a second of his TT and the quickest 3000 with a 70.94 in his JH.

The drivers then went for lunch as the remainder of the cars completed their runs but were surprised to be told over the PA system that a driver in a Wolseley Hornet had gone off the track and hit one of the farm buildings right next to the track, doing significant damage to the building, so much so that the Clerk of the Course had to abandon the meeting due to the building being deemed unsafe so close to the track.  The driver was taken to hospital in an ambulance and we all hope he is ok.

So we based the results of this meeting on our first timed run and they were as follows:

Sprite class: 1st Garrow Shand (pictured right), 2nd Steve Casson, 3rd Claire Giles and 4th Phil Gardner.

Big Healey class:  1st Will Richards, 2nd Huw Edwards, 3rd Trish C-P, 4th John Ducker, 5th Richard Mason, 6th Murray Shand.

Jensen Healey class: 1st Paul Baker

So we all loaded up the cars on trailers and headed off home early just as the heavens opened as the forecasters had predicted.  It had been a really memorable weekend for all the good reasons of meeting up with friends and having fun in our old cars, but there was a sadness to have it all cut short yet hoping that the driver concerned is unharmed or recovers quickly.  But that's motorsport.

Our next event is at Loton Park near Shrewsbury for a double header hill climb on 24/25 August.  Be there 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 6 - Castle Combe - 27 July 2019

(Words by Colin Gale and Pics by Vicki Walton)

The Dick Mayo sprint is run by the Bristol Motor Club and is held at the Castle Combe circuit on the edge of Wiltshire, this little gem of a circuit of 1.85 miles opened in 1950 after being a fighter base for Polish airmen, attracted drivers such as a young Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, John Surtees and Colin Chapman to name a few.

Round 6 of the Healeysport Championship was low on numbers due to the over-subscribed entry. 2 Big Healeys and 1 Sprite (2 of us were reserves just prior to the event).

The morning weather was overcast at Combe as I arrived with Kermit, my very green 1380cc Sprite (pictured above), nice and early as it is my local circuit. Huw Edwards arrived shortly afterwards fresh from a local Premier Inn, with his Blue 3000 with white hardtop laden with fuel cans and spares. Then we heard Pete and Vicki Walton drive in with their Red over cream 3000 complete with hardtop on and they did encounter some heavy rain along their journey.

After a briefing from the Clerk of the Course we awaited the scrutineer from the MSA officials, it was a long wait, as we were placed on the bottom of the entry list (saving the best until last I guess!). Time to remove items from car, top up fuel, check tyre pressures, fix timing strut etc. and see that nothing is about to fall off!

Practice got underway, car 102 Pete Walton (pictured right), 101 Colin Gale, 100 (Ton up ) Huw Edwards. We started from the pit lane onto the track, long straight to Avon Rise, around the notorious right hand bend at Quarry Corner, along to The Esses shortly after, Old Paddock Bend, long straight to Tower Corner with an adverse camber, brake for Bobbies, accelerate away to Westhay and finish...back into the paddock via the pit lane - 3/4 of a full lap.

1st Practice - and "Smokin" Huw Edwards left the marshals on the start line with 2 jets of black smoke from his near side twin exhaust pipes of his 3000. 2.51 sec to 64 foot, finish 72 mph over the line to record a time of 85.70 sec. Next up was "The Flying Farmer" - Pete Walton no drama, he was on a mission 2.64 sec at start, 67.10 mph over the finish and a time of 80.08 seconds. Thought he was at the controls of a Spitfire, although that was a few months ago for a rather special Birthday. Last of all, Colin Gale - "Kermit Rocket Frog" as I have been called by Claire Giles, who was here supporting and spectating at her local track while modeling her new race boots. My time was 64‘ start 2.81 sec. 73.90 mph over finish and a time of 75.39 sec. Able to use all 4 gears a very exhilarating sprint! (Oops that's under my personal best)

The sun was trying to break through the clouds as it was warming up, so it was time to enjoy breakfast at the Tavern.

Second practice and all the times were getting better, Huw Smokin’ Edwards (pictured right) - 2.44 secs start 71.60 mph Finish / 82.23 seconds. Pigtail Pete, 2.51 secs start 68.10 mph Finish /78.58 seconds and Kermit the Frog 2.77 secs start /74.9 mph finish / 73.05 secs. Weather now hot and humid but no rain ...

While the Marshals, who do a great job keeping us all safe, retreated to the Tavern to have their food and drinks, we spent our lunch time in the paddock relaxing and met many interested people to talk to.

Timed run 1 started after lunch and all 3 of us went slower (too relaxed!) with Huw 83.24 secs, Pete 78.88 secs and Kermit 73.74 secs. As this was a Target Time event, times are set for each driver, usually their previous best time, which the drivers have to beat. The Big Healey Boys had to do battle in their last run. Huw “The Welsh Wizard“ managed to pull it out of the bag to win on target 80.93 sec run with a target of 79.12 just 1.81secs above his personal best. While Pete squeezed a bit more out of the 3 Litre Healey and recorded a 78.42 secs run against a target of 74.83 sec his previous best, that’s 3.59 secs above target so second place.

My last run was aborted due to Gremlins under the bonnet whilst in the pit lane, but as I had achieved a new personal best time of 73.74 on my first run, so an overall Win, a Great day at the Office ..

Our next outing is to Harewood for a double header hill climb on 3/4 August.

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 - Lydden Hill - 13 July 2019

(Words by LC Branch and Pics from David Marshall)

After the heat wave of the previous few weeks, it was really good to be at Lydden Hill, a short drive south of Canterbury in Kent, in temperatures where it was comfortable wearing a race suit.

Seven Healeysport drivers had signed up for this sprint at the home of British Rally Cross.  As the name of the venue suggests, the track is not flat, it fits within the natural confines of the surrounding hills, which makes it ideal to view the whole track from almost any spectator point around the course.  It is great fun to drive as every bend is either uphill or downhill, which makes it a real challenge.  We used the tarmac track around the outside but for rally cross there are two off road sections. 

The seven drivers were: Huw Edwards and Peter Walton in their 3000's, Lawrence Maudsley (pictured above taking the hairpin), Garrow Shand and Colin Gale in their Sprites and David Lane and Paul Baker in their Jensen Healeys.  Colin and David were both new to the track and a first time here for Paul in the Jensen Healey.  Returning Healey driver Robert Chambers, was hoping to take part in his 3000, as the track is local to him, but as he works for the ECB and the Cricket World Cup final was on that weekend he felt business should come before pleasure, but we hope to see Robert out with us soon.

Our photographer for the day was none other than David Marshall, who is better known as the person who keeps Pete Walton's cars running so well.  So a big thanks to David for filling in for Jackie who could not make the event.

Unfortunately, the Highways Agency had decided to close two key motorways near the venue for the weekend - the M26 East bound and the M2 north bound - which caused the drivers quite a few problems, particularly when trying to get home from the track.  Colin Gale must take the record - with a 7 hour journey to get to his home near Bath!!!

The organisers offer one practice run of a 1.75 laps and three timed runs of 1.75 laps.  As we had two drivers new to the circuit we counted the first two runs as practice and the last two as timed runs for our championship.

Practice got underway and all the drivers used the two runs to learn the track and work out the fastest lines around each bend.  Lawrence Maudsley unfortunately ground to a halt on his second practice run due to an absence of petrol in his fuel tank!  So, for the rest of the day, this brought a new phrase into Healeysport vernacular  '.... I had better check my fuel, as I don't want to do a "Lawrence" ....'   Maybe this will catch-on!

In the Sprite class, Colin Gale was showing that he was a fast learner as although new to the course he managed a very respectable time of 91.40, from Garrow Shand in 102.83 and Lawrence Maudsley's first run only of 112.51.  In the Big Healey class, Pete Walton managed a best time of 92.30 and Huw Edwards (pictured right smoking it off the start line) in 97.46.  In the Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker's best was a 94.09 and David Lane a 97.11.

On to the first time run of the and in the Sprite class it was Colin Gale continuing to lower his time further with a 90.22 with Garrow Shand breaking the 100 second mark with a 98.71 and Lawrence Maudsley down to a 109.21.  In the Big Healey class, Pete Walton went a fraction slower with a 92.43 but Huw Edwards took a big chunk off to get a 94.98 (see in-car video footage).  In the Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker opened with a quick time of 91.66 (see in-car video footage) and David Lane in 97.77.

So, on to the final run of the day and could the drivers go any quicker.  Well, Colin Gale (pictured below) certainly could in his Sprite as he finished with an excellent 89.63 but Garrow Shand and Lawrence Maudsley could not go any faster finishing with a 100.11 and 112.12 respectively, although both drivers were quicker than there times from last year.  In the Big Healey class, Pete Walton banged in yet another 92.49 - so his last three times were within half a second yet still some way off the 89.97 time he recorded last year - so, are the Kumho's that much quicker than the new Avon ZZ's his car now sports?  Huw Edwards was also slower, finishing with a 96.21. Check out the in-car video footage of his run.  In the Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker was a tad slower than his first run with a 92.61, but David Lane was quicker with a 97.61.

The finishing order by class was:

Sprite Class: 1st Colin Gale, 2nd Garrow Shand and 3rd Lawrence Maudsley

Big Healey Class: 1st Pete Walton and 2nd Huw Edwards

Jensen Healey Class: 1st Paul Baker and 2nd David Lane

The drivers all agreed that this track is a little gem as the elevation changes make each corner a real challenge and great fun to drive.  As it was David Lane's birthday, he supplied a much appreciated glass of bubbly and cake to finish off a superb day's sprinting.

Our next outing is to Castle Combe for a sprint on Saturday 27th July.

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 - Shelsley Walsh - 15 June 2019

(Words by LS Diff and Pics courtesy of Derek Hibbert Photography and John Tewson)

Round four found the Healeysport Speed Championship contenders at renowned Shelsley Walsh. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Worcestershire, this course, up which cars and motor cycles have raced against the clock since 1905, is the oldest motor racing venue in the world still in continuous use.

It was the first of our three championship visits to this venue this season and coincided with the Shelsley Classic Nostalgia weekend. The event is a festival of hill climb competition, classic car displays, a demonstration of Group 2 Rally cars blasting up the hill and many more attractions. The Healeys had their own class with a dozen cars taking part, and with the weather a tad on the damp side, first practice was a fairly cautious affair. It was also a target time round with drivers competing against their best previous times here - or a time set on a projection of what times they ought to do. Sprites set the ball rolling with Phil Gardner reaching the summit in 48.11 followed by Lawrence Maudsley (pictured right) in 48.87, excellent for his first visit here. The Gale/Casson duel continued with the former 1.95 seconds ahead on 39.29. All the big cars were a country mile off their pb's with local man Rich Mason being the quickest in 38.50 followed by Huw Edwards in 41.00, Pete Walton in 41.78, Pat Cooper in 41.80 and John Richards 42.75. Trish Cecile-Pritchard’s 43.26 was point one five ahead of John Tewson.  John Ducker’s 46.34 wound up practice one for the big Healeys. Paul Baker’s absence left David Lane the sole runner in the Jensen Healey class and he finished in 41.48.

Second practice was delayed by an unfortunate excursion of an MGC into the sleepers at Esses which took some time to clear up before the Healeys got under way. A rain shower prevented an improvement on earlier times as the track, particularly in notorious Esses, was decidedly unfriendly, and one or two drivers had ‘sideways’ moments.

By competition run one the weather improved and the track began to dry out as Pat Cooper joined the pre start line. Seconds from the off, smoke was seen coming from under the bonnet of the 100/6. Standing nearby, co-driver John Tewson, waiting to take over the car on its return from the hill, grabbed a fire extinguisher, immediately put out the fire and avoided a serious incident. Marshalls and helpful bystanders pushed the car back into the paddock. Scimitar driver Garry Cox provided a bucket of water and sponge for young Isaac Davies to wash the corrosive extinguisher residue off the 100/6. Isaac, crewman for John Richards also supplied PC with a drink to clear his throat. What a helpful crowd these hill climb folk are!

Meanwhile, away from the drama, the rest of the Healeys were charging up the hill for their first competitive run. Colin Gale romped up the now dry track with a great time of 37.08 – two point zero two seconds quicker than rival Steve Casson.  Phil Gardner (46.65) led home Lawrence Maudsley (48.30). A much improved effort from Dave Lane took him to a finish in 41.60 to be followed by the 100/4 of John Ducker in 44.61.  Richard Mason approached Esses at an astonishing 80mph and carried the momentum through to a finish in 36.77.  Huw Edwards made an excellent start of 2.71 secs over the first sixty feet for a great launch up the hill to a finishing time of 41.27 - then headed home.  Pete Walton was just point six zero short of Huw’s time.  John Richards crossed the finish in a quick 79mph to record 40.93 – his best run so far.

The weather remained clement for the final runs. Phil Gardner was nine tenths quicker this time up and Lawrence nearly two seconds better than on his first effort with a finish in 46.36. Colin Gale’s Kermit (pictured right) crossed the finish at 78mph to take the Sprite scratch honours in 36.73. Steve Casson’s best effort of the day produced an excellent 37.96. The big Healeys too enjoyed the sunny break in the weather as their times improved. T.C-P got down to 40.60, David Lane just one hundredth of a second behind her, and John Ducker over two seconds better on this run in 42.76. Richard Mason was just one fifth of a second quicker on this run but still ahead of Pete Walton’s 39.48. John Richards, a tad slower off the line this time and one mile an hour down over the finish was still quicker by four tenths of a second on this run.

This round was a target time one and finishing positions would be adjusted accordingly. News from PC’s camp was that thanks to the swift intervention by John Tewson, damage was minimal and the car will be sorted by Bromyard’s Top Garage in readiness for its next outing at the Chateau Impney hill climb in July.

The results were as follows:

Sprite Class: 1st Colin Gale, 2nd Steve Casson, 3rd Phil Gardner and 4th Lawrence Maudsley.

Big Healey Class: 1st Trish C-P (pictured right), 2nd John Ducker, 3rd John Richards, 4th Richard Mason, 5th Pete Walton, 6th Huw Edwards, 7= John Tewson and Pat Cooper

Jensen Healey Class: 1st David Lane

Our next outing is to Lydden Hill, the home of British rally cross for a sprint on Saturday 13th July.

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.

 

St Goueno - 1/2 June 2019/a>

(Words by LC Branch, Pics by Jackie Baker and Vicki Walton)

St Goueno is a small village in the middle of Brittany which every year holds a round of the French national hill climb championship.  They also allow a group of 85 drivers, mainly from the UK and Ireland, to compete in a 'Masters' set of classes which includes a weekend of hill climbing, excellent food and drink plus live entertainment.  Healeysport thoroughly enjoyed attending this event for the first time in 2015 and again in 2017 and we were welcomed back this year.

At 3.2km, the course is much longer than anything the UK has to offer, with fast sweeping turns with virtually no clear view of the exit from most bends.  All the returning drivers wanted to have a chance to reacquaint themselves with this demanding track as they felt there was some unfinished business.  In the end, 10 Healeysport drivers with partners and others took part:  Steve Casson, David Abram, John Tewson and Pat Cooper were in Sprites, Huw Edwards, Richard Mason, Peter Walton and John Ducker were in Big Healeys and David Lane and Paul Baker were in Jensen Healeys.  The drivers new to St Goueno were John Ducker and John Tewson.  Unfortunately, Tom Walker and Robin Johnson were unable to attend the event and had to cancel at short notice for family reasons.

Most caught the day sailing from Portsmouth to Caen which left them with a 3 hour drive to St Goueno, yet some took the longer journey via the night boat to St Malo but had the shorter drive to the venue.  For those arriving on the Thursday afternoon, the locals had laid on a welcome buffet dinner with local wines in the St Goueno Civic Centre which was excellent. 

Friday was hot and sunny with the afternoon set aside for signing-on and scrutineering.  In the evening there was a seafood dinner and entertainment from a number of live bands performing on a covered stage set up in the entrance to the Civic Centre.

Saturday was practice day with one untimed free practice run to be followed by two timed practice runs.  The weather forecast was for sunshine all day with temperatures nudging 30 degrees, so it was going to be very hot and we were not disappointed.  On to the first timed practice run and in the Sprite class it was Steve Casson who was quickest out of the blocks with an excellent sub 2 minute time of 1:59.6 and a new personal best time, to be ahead of David Abram in 2:03.7, John Tewson in 2:09.6 a respectable time for only his second ascent of the hill.  Pat Cooper, usually brings his 3000 but this time decided to exercise his orange Frogeye nicknamed "Tango" and achieved a 2:14.4.  In the Big Healey class, Peter Walton, although struggling with a hole in his exhaust which got bigger as the event went on and therefore his car got louder, opened with a really quick 1:58.8 to set a new personal best, from Richard Mason in 2:00.9, some 5 secs faster than his previous best time.  Huw Edwards was following the trend by opening with a 2:06.8, some 8 secs faster than his pb and John Ducker was still getting to grips with this track with a 2:17.4.  In the Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker here for the first time in his JH, opened with a 2:10.0 and David Lane recorded a 2:18.9.

A recurring theme of the weekend was the long delays brought about by a multitude of accidents, some serious which resulted in the Directeur de Course (the French equivalent of the Clerk of the Course) deciding that the Masters last practice run was to be converted to a convoy run.  We heard about this whilst waiting at the start so all repaired to the bar by the start line and had a quick beer!!  Well it was very hot!  When finally the track was clear, all the cars were waved through by the start line marshals to run in convoy at slower than normal race speed.

Once the racing was over for the day, there was just time to get changed and get down to St Goueno for a paella special and plenty of the local vin, again with a selection of live bands playing into the small hours.

Sunday morning started overcast which meant that although it was warm and dry it was not as hot as it had been on Saturday, which was a relief.

The first timed run on Sunday morning in the Sprite class had Steve Casson still out front but by a smaller margin.  With a 2:00.2, although a pb it was slower than his previous day's practice time.  David Abram knocked a couple of seconds off to record a 2:01.1 and a pb.  John Tewson lowered his time to a 2:06.8 and Pat Cooper registered a virtually unchanged time of 2:14.6.  In the Big Healey class, Pete Walton (pictured right) pulled out all the stops to register the fastest time recorded by any Healey on this hill of 1:56.4.  Richard Mason was steadily improving with a 2:02.9.  Huw Edwards went slower with a 2:10.2 as did John Ducker with a 2:18.3.  In the Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker knocked nearly 10 seconds off his practice time to record a 2:00.7 and David Lane lowered his time to 2:14.8.

Lunch was provided for the drivers, partners and friends in a marquee next to the track and was a gastronomic barbeque  with wines (yes, wine was on offer!!) and set us up for our final two runs.

Our second timed run went as follows:  In the Sprite class, David Abram broke through the 2 minute barrier to record a new Sprite hill record of 1:59.0.  Steve Casson set off on his run only to be baulked by the Lotus Europa in front of him but unfortunately the Directeur de Course decided that he was not given the opportunity of a re-run.  John Tewson was really flying with a superb 2:01.7, an excellent time given his first visit to this hill.  Pat Cooper also got to grips with his new car and knocked over 7 secs off his previous run to record a 2:07.3.  In the Big Healey class, Pete Walton went a fraction slower in 1:57.4, but Richard Mason broke through the 2 minute barrier to record a 1:59.5 - his best time at St Goueno.  Huw Edwards recorded a near identical time of 2:10.4 but John Ducker knocked 6 secs off his previous run with a 2:12.4.  In the Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker finished with a 2:00.6 a pb and a new Jensen Healey hill record, but David Lane suffered the same fate as Steve Casson as his run was baulked and he was not offered a re-run.

There was then a big gap in the proceedings as there had been a big accident with a French single seater driver ending up in the trees and needing hospital treatment.  When we were finally called to the start for our last run Steve Casson's car refused to start, but a quick bit of re-wiring got it going.  Unfortunately, as the event was again running late the Directeur de Course decided to cancel the Masters last run and convert it to a convoy run.  An unfortunate end to what had been a superb weekend.

So, with only two of the final three timed rounds completed, David Abram took the honours with a new hill record in the Sprite class but Steve Casson, who only had one timed run, probably felt he could have won it if he the chance of another run.  In the Big Healey class, Pete Walton was imperious taking 3 secs off the previous hill record and in the Jensen Healey class Paul Baker reduced the hill record by 11 secs, but David Lane was also feeling rather miffed at only getting one timed run..

All the drivers (pictured right) retired to the bar for a well earned beer plus the local delicacy of fresh oysters!!  You don't see those on offer at many UK motorsports venues!!

The evening finished with a wind-down meal of superb local produce and wines in St Goueno.

This is a unique event that combines hill climbing, music, entertainment, superb food and drinks, transportation from the venue to the village and to gites, plus the ability to meet drivers from the UK, Ireland and France.  It was a shame that the runs were marred by so many accidents, but that's motorsport.  Overall we had a fantastic time and that is what we will remember for a long time. 

A huge thank you must go to John Lloyd and his team who did a fantastic job of organising the event, plus the people of St Goueno for their unbelievable hospitality, as it was great fun from Thursday to Sunday and left us all wondering - when can we go back?

 

 

Round 3 -Goodwood - 11 May 2019

(Words by LC Branch and Pics/videos by Jackie Baker)

After missing out on going to Goodwood last year due to date changes by the organisers, we were back at this tremendous venue for this well run springtime sprint.  The weather was dry and bright with the threat of showers which fortunately did not materialise.

We had ten drivers competing in our three classes of Sprites, Big Healeys and Jensen Healeys.  In the Sprite class were the Shand duo of Max and Garrow in their 'square bodied' Sprite and a trio of Sebrings from Steve Casson, Lawrence Maudsley and David Abram (pictured right).  This was a first outing this year for both Lawrence and David.  In the Big Healey class, were John Ducker, Trish C-P and Pete Walton and David Lane and Paul Baker completed our entry in their Jensen Healeys.  This was a first time to this track for Lawrence, John and David Lane, so they were given much advice about taking it easy as it's a fast track until you know your way around it.

The format described by the organisers was to have one practice run and three timed runs.  As our championship rules only count two timed runs, we used the first two runs as practice runs and the second two as timed runs. 

So after the first two practice runs, in the Sprite class, it was David Abram out front with a best time of 104.85, some way ahead of Max Shand in 110.01 with Steve Casson a whisker behind him in 110.31, then Garrow Shand in 123.40 and Lawrence Maudsley getting to grips with the track in 138.38.  In the Big Healey class, Pete Walton was some way clear in 105.18 from Trish C-P in 125.90 and John Ducker (pictured right) in 132.70.  In the Jensen Healey class it was close as usual, Paul Baker had a best time of 116.49 from David Lane in 119.38.

On to the first of the timed runs after lunch, and in the Sprite class David Abram put in a stunning lap of 101.14 - just 4 hundredths of a second off his own track record.  Max Shand and Steve Casson continued to stay within a whisker of each other with Max posting a quicker time of 108.31 just ahead of Steve in 108.74 (see in-car video footage).  Garrow Shand also knocked nearly five seconds off his practice time with a 117.60 as did Lawrence Maudsley in 133.37.

In the Big Healeys, Pete Walton (pictured right) lowered his time to a 104.09, Trish C-P lowered hers to a 124.31 as did John Ducker in 132.41.

In the Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker lowered his time to 113.63 (see in-car video footage) but David Lane had gear selection issues so finished with a 125.20.

On to the last run of the day and the weather was still warm and sunny.  In the Sprite class, David Abram went a tad slower than his first run in yet still a very quick time of 101.20.  Max Shand then took a further 4 secs off his first run time to finish with an excellent 104.15 and a personal best from Steve Casson who also lowered his to 107.38 and a pb.  Garrow Shand when faster to end with a 116.60 and a pb as did Lawrence Maudsley in 130.12.

In the Big Healey class, Pete Walton lowered his time by nearly two secs to a 102.82 to end just over a second off his track record time of 101.75 (see in-car video footage).  Trish C-P did the same to end with a 123.22 and John Ducker took a whopping 6 secs off his earlier time to finish with a 126.40.

In the Jensen Healey class, both cars went slower - and there was a reason.  At the end of the Lavant straight doing about 120mph, David Lane mistakenly changed from 5th into 2nd gear instead of into 4th gear, This threw the car sideways onto the grass on the outside of the track yet he managed, through good driving and good fortune to get the car back on the track and avoid hitting the barriers at Woodcote - which would have been very messy and costly!!  As Paul Baker was the car behind David on track, he was surprised to find the Gulf coloured Jensen recovering back onto the track in front of him as he rounded Woodcote before the chicane.  Not surprisingly, David was still shaking some time after this incident.

As this was a target time event, Steve Casson calculated the results and they were as follows:

Sprite Class: 1st Max Shand, 2nd Steve Casson, 3rd Garrow Shand, 4th Lawrence Maudsley and 5th David Abram.

Big Healey Class: 1st Pete Walton, 2nd Trish C-P, and 3rd John Ducker.

Jensen Healey Class: 1st Paul Baker and 2nd David Lane

As the prizes were awarded to the drivers, Helen Shand handed out to the assembled drivers and partners, generous portions of birthday cake she had made to celebrate Garrow's 70th birthday with a glass of some bubbly, which is always a treat and much appreciated by all present.  It was also Trish and Keith's birthday - clearly a popular time of year.

As the weather had stayed dry, we all had a great time especially as all the cars went home in one piece, even if David Lane's heart rate may take a little longer to recover!

Our photographer was distracted by a pilot (pictured right) practicing take off and landings in an old Harvard trainer as our drivers were trying their best on the track outside the airfield.

 Our next event is our overseas adventure to St Goueno in Brittany at the end of the month, to take part in a round of the French National Hill Climb Championship.  Our next championship round will be at Shelsley Walsh on Saturday 15th June - so come 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 -Gurston Down - 21 April 2019

(Words by LC Branch and Pics/videos by Jackie Baker)

After the freezing weather of Curborough we were in for a real treat at Gurston as it turned out to be hot and sunny all day.

We had 13 cars booked to attend the meeting but due to mechanical problems, both Lawrence Maudsley and Huw Edwards had to cancel their entry at the last minute, but both hope to be out very soon.  That left us with the five Sprites of Ian Grainger, Phil Gardner, Robin Johnson, Steve Casson and defending champion, Colin Gale.  In the Big Healey class, we had Claire Giles, Pete Walton and the co-driving duo of Pat Cooper and John Tewson.  And finally, we had David Lane and Paul Baker in their Jensen Healeys.

After two practice runs in the morning, it was Colin Gale leading the Sprite class with a 39.56, two tenths under his previous best, from Steve Casson a whisker away in 39.98 also just off his pb.  Robin Johnson was still getting used to the new spec of his yellow Frogeye with a best time of 40.52 from Phil Gardner who knocked nearly two secs off his previous best time with a 46.42 and Ian Grainger who also lowered his pb to 47.30.  Both Phil and Ian were reaping the benefits of recent engine improvements.

In the Big Healey class, it was John Tewson who was some way out in front with a best time of 40.69, some way off his pb but ahead of co-driver Pat Cooper who's best was a 42.17, somewhat tardy by his standards.  Pete Walton recorded a 42.52 and Claire Giles a best of 44.64.

In the Jensen Healey class, it was Paul Baker, first time at Gurston with this car leading with a 41.85 from David Lane in 43.38.

As the weather was so good and the track nice and warm, times were expected to tumble and possibly some pb's and class records.

So after lunch the Healeys took to the track and on the first run in the Sprite class Colin Gale sliced a fraction off his best practice time to record a 39.51 and Steve Casson followed suit with a 39.56 and a new pb, just 4 hundredths behind).  Check out Steve's in-car video footage.  Robin Johnson went slower with a 41.03 as did Phil Gardner (pictured right) in 46.75, but Ian Grainger continued to lower his person best to a 47.09.

In the Big Healey class, Pat Cooper pulled out all the stops and took the lead with a 40.14 a whisker ahead of John Tewson who posted an improved time of 40.17.  Pete Walton had a recurrence of his overdrive woes and finished with a much slower 44.60, yet Claire Giles continued to lower her time to a 44.33.

In the Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker went slower with a 42.41 and David Lane went faster to post a 43.04.

On to the final run of the day and in the Sprite class, both Colin and Steve both went slower so Colin took first and Steve second, yet Robin Johnson finally put a good run together to finish with a respectable for him time of 39.93 to take third place.  Both Phil Gardner and Ian Grainger (pictured below) posted pb's on their last run, Phil with a 45.57 (nearly 3 secs off his previous best) and Ian with a 46.53 (also nearly 3 secs off his previous best).

In the Big Healey class, Pat Cooper went even faster to finish with an excellent 39.92 and John Tewson went a fraction slower with a 40.29 to hold second place from Pete Walton who ended with his best time of the day of 41.70 (still with O/D problems - but see in-car video footage) and Claire Giles who went a tad slower to end with a 44.50.

The competition is always going to be close in the Jensen Healey class as both drivers recorded their fastest runs on the last run of the day and ended up 0.82 secs apart, with this time Paul Baker on 41.06 (a pb and new class record - see in-car video footage) and David Lane on 41.88.

So the final results were:

Sprite Class: 1st Colin Gale, 2nd Steve Casson, 3rd Robin Johnson, 4th Phil Gardner and 5th Ian Grainger.

Big Healey Class: 1st Pat Cooper (pictured right), 2nd John Tewson, 3rd Peter Walton and 4th Claire Giles.

Jensen Healey Class: 1st Paul Baker and 2nd David Lane

A fabulous day's hill climbing at this very well organised venue.  We also had two potentially new drivers (one with a 3000 and the other a 100) come along to see the racing, have a chat with the drivers, take a close look at the cars they would be competing against and discuss what they would need to do to their cars and safety equipment they would need to pass scrutineering.  Let's hope they go to the next stage and join us for their first event.  If anyone else is thinking about taking part, come along to see the Healeys at our next event at Goodwood on Saturday 11 May and have a chat.

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 - 14 April 2019

(Words by LC Branch and Pics/videos by Jackie Baker)

The first round of the 2019 season saw us back at the Curborough sprint track after our practice day there two weeks ago.  The weather was very cold with a heavy early frost and a strong easterly wind that meant that the temperature did not climb much above 5 degrees all day, however, at least it stayed dry.

We had 15 drivers spread across our three classes including two guest drivers in the form of Pat Cooper and Joe Mackrell, who were out for the first time competitively in Pat's recent acquisition (pictured right), a race-spec Frogeye Sprite in a very bright orange, which he has nicknamed 'Tango'.  As the car does not meet our sprite regs, Pat and Joe were invited guests.

The Shand's were out in force, with Garrow and Max out in their new red creation.  A Mk4 Sprite with a Swiftune 1380cc engine.  Also present was Murray Shand in his black 3000.  The Sprite class also had last year's champion, Colin Gale in his very green Sprite, as was Robin Johnson in the well know very yellow Frogeye.  Unfortunately, Lawrence Maudsley had to withdraw at the last moment from the event but plans to be at Gurston next weekend.

In the Big Healey class we had the 3000's of Pete Walton, Trish C-P, Will Richards and Richard Mason in his freshly repainted and very smart 3000 (pictured right)with John Ducker out in his 100.

This year we have a second Jensen Healey to give David Lane some competition in the JH class, with Paul Baker out for the first time in his black ex-circuit race car.

Practice got underway and despite the cold weather the times were surprisingly quick.  Colin Gale headed the timing sheet overall and in the Sprite class with a best time of 68.64, just half a second off his previous best at this track.  Richard Mason was quickest in the Big Healey class with a 68.88 and Paul Baker was a fraction ahead of David lane in 73.13.

After practice it was clear that Pete Walton's 3000 had an overdrive problem that meant that he could not select reverse gear.  After much attention the O/d could not be coaxed into life so the car had to be retired for the day.

After lunch, the timed runs started and in the Sprite class it was Colin Gale who continued to improve posting a pb time of 67.98 from Max Shand (pictured right) with a 70.64, then father Garrow in 71.75 and Robin Johnson in a rather tardy for him, 72.77.

In the Big Healey class, it was Richard Mason leading but with a slower time of 69.67, followed by Will Richards in 73.15, Trish C-P in 76.03 a whisker ahead of John Ducker in 76.13, and Murray Shand in 82.35 but complaining of engine problems.

In the Jensen Healey class, David Lane took the lead with a 72.50 from Paul Baker, a bit further back in 73.25.

On to the last run.  In the Sprite class, Colin Gale reduced his time further to end with a 67.93 and a pb from Max Shand who knocked off a further second with a 69.58 and a pb (check out the in-car video footage of his run).  Robin Johnson reduced his previous run time by 2.5 secs to end with a much improved 70.22 from Garrow Shand who finished with a 72.09 and a pb (see in-car video footage).

In the Big Healey class, Richard Mason left his fastest run of the day until last, to end with a 68.77 and a pb.  Will Richards also went quicker to finish with a 72.80, as did Trish C-P with a 75.10.  John Ducker reduced his time to a 75.63 and Murray Shand sorted his engine problems as he knocked over 4 seconds off his first run time to finish with a 77.96.

In the Jensen Healey class Paul Baker (pictured right) went fractionally quicker on this run with a 73.18 (see in-car video footage) a whisker ahead of David Lane in 73.25, but David's first run time was the fastest overall.

As this was a target time event, the actual times recorded by the drivers had to be compared with the pre-allocated target times set for them.  We were fortunate to have a willing volunteer (well I think he was will !!) in the form of Rafe Haywood to undertake this role as Steve Casson was not present at the event.  So Rafe's pencil was sharpened and eraser not far away and the results for each class were calculated manually - they were as follows:

Sprite Class: 1st Max Shand (Pictured right receiving his award with his son), 2nd Colin Gale, 3rd Robin Johnson, 4th Garrow Shand

Big Healey Class: 1st Richard Mason, 2nd John Ducker, 3rd Murray Shand, 4th Trish C-P, 5th Will Richards and 6th Pete Walton.

Jensen Healey Class:  1st David Lane, 2nd Paul Baker

So that ended our first outing for the year.  We had a good turnout of Healeys and some great racing, but let's hope the rest are a bit warmer.  Our next round will be at Gurston Down on Sunday 21 April, so be there 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.