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2021 Speed Race Reports

Championship sponsored by Bill Rawles Classic Cars and Peter May Engineering

 

So far in 2021 we have had 4 Healeysport Championship rounds cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.  However, we managed to get our Test Day as planned on 1 April.

Healeysport Test Day - Curborough Sprint Track - Thursday 1 April 2021

Motorsport resumed in England on Monday 29th March, which was excellent timing as we had our Healeysport Test Day planned for Thursday 1 April.  This was really the first opportunity for most to legitimately leave home with a trailer and race car for the last 6 months or more.  As it was, we had 20 cars (the maximum allowed for testing at this circuit), 22 drivers and a number of support crew arrive early for breakfast at the Curborough Sprint Track just to the north of Lichfield in Staffordshire.  The event was run under the latest Motorsport UK Covid rules to keep everyone safe.

The package for all attending included a hot breakfast and lunch, which on a cold but thankfully dry Thursday at the beginning of April is a very welcome sight.  Everyone was pleased to meet up, all outside and socially distanced of course, as we have not all met up since our last event in September/October last year.  Interesting to see the various and new lockdown hairstyles and beards.

We had most of the regular drivers, plus Robert Chambers and his son Michael out for the first time with us in their well known 3000. John and Will Richards brought their latest acquisition - a race prepared Healey 100, which looked and sounded the part (see pic right of Will queuing to start).  We also had Michael Berry (see pic of Michael below) out with us for the first time in his very smartly prepared red over black Healey 100.  John Ducker will have some competition at last with these two 100's. 

Pat Cooper brought not one but 2 cars - his usual 100/6 and one of his bevvy of Sprites, which KJ C-P (yes that is a person and not just an acronym!) tried the Sprite for size and found it very much to her liking.  We may see more of KJ in that car!!  Pictured below right.

Murray Shand was hoping to have his new 3000 ready for the day but an unforeseen cylinder head gasket problem meant that his car was not going to be ready in time.  Fortunately his brother Garrow offered him a drive in his Sprite as long as he could fit in the drivers seat - which he did.

It was great to see Colin Gale at the test day, who, you never know may well be back out with us at some time in the future.  Thanks Colin for taking the photos of the day.  A selection of his pics are shown here with some more on our gallery page.

A little after 9am, practice commenced with Richard Mason and John Verry controlling the exit from the paddock to ensure that only one car was on track at any one time.  The system worked very well and made efficient use of the time we had available.

Not long after testing got underway, Richard Salisbury came back into the paddock with a puncture in a rear tyre of his very smart Sebring Sprite.  Once the car had been jacked up and the tyre removed it was clear that the problem was due to a protruding rear leaf spring bolt and no wheel spacers on the the rear axle keeping the rear tyres away from the leaf springs.  Normally a spare wheel would be put on but as the leaf spring needed some work the car was put back on the trailer and no more testing.

The John/Will Richard's Healey 100 seemed to be going well, but a slightly overfilled radiator meant that steam and water was being thrown out of the overflow when going down the straight.  Not really a problem as the water level was lowered and the problem solved.

Tom Walker brought his class E Race Sprite for some testing and half way through the day was seem changing away from his usual Avon race tyres to something softer to try and get some grip on this cold day.

David Lane was unable to bring his latest sprint and hill climb prepared Jensen Healey as it was not ready in time so instead brought his well known Gulf liveried Jensen Healey.  Unfortunately it probably needs some new tyres as he was also struggling for grip on this cold track on an old set of Toyo's - it did make it interesting for those watching though!!

Steve Casson was out in his updated Sebring Sprite - check out the in-car video of one of his practice runs link to video

Two members of Shenstone and District Club members came to test the noise we were making at the track, not because the Healeys are especially noisy, but because they have had complaints in the past from a new housing estate nearby and wanted to take some readings whilst we were practicing from various points around the circuit.

After everyone had done as many laps as they wanted, or the ran out of fuel or tyres or all three, time was called and everyone headed off home grateful for the opportunity to meet up with some old friends and have some fun in our old cars.

A big thank you to Richard Mason from everyone in the club for organising the day.

 

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 competitionsec@austinhealeyclub.com   New drivers are always made very welcome.