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2021 Speed Race Reports

Championship sponsored by Bill Rawles Classic Cars and Peter May Engineering

 

The opening four rounds of our 2021 Healeysport Championship have been cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.  However, we managed to get our Test Day as planned on 1 April and the rest of the season currently looks safe.

Rounds 5/6 Harewood - 5/6 June 2021

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

Entry for this ever popular event sold out in a matter of hours yet the Healeysport drivers were on the ball and we had a fabulous entry of 19 drivers taking part in this two day weekend event.  We had the ten Sprites of Claire Giles, Steve Casson, Max and Garrow Shand, David Abram, Lawrence Maudsley, Phil Gardner out in his new Sebring GT fronted Sprite, and new drivers Richard (known as Monty) Hinton in the ex Ian Grainger W&P bodied Sprite (pictured right), Rob Owen in his Frogeye and Richard Salisbury in his Sebring Sprite.  We had the 3000's of Richard Mason, Will Richards, Huw Edwards, Trish C-P and Murray Shand out in his almost/but not quite complete freshly prepared BJ8.  We had the 100 of John Ducker and the 100S Replica of returnee Andrew Taylor. Plus we had the two Jensen Healeys of David Lane, who was new to this track and finally Paul Baker.

The weather forecast was excellent with dry and sunny weather expected all weekend.  The event was being run under Covid conditions with no signing-on or scrutineering as this had been completed on-line before the event.

Practice got underway on the Saturday morning and it was clear early on that the drivers had not had much practice and were a little ring rusty as the practice runs were completed with no driver anywhere near their target times on this long and twisty track.  In the Sprite class it was Steve Casson leading the way with a 69.20 from David Abram in 71.78, Max Shand in 72.88 and Claire Giles in 73.98.  Garrow Shand was next with a best time of 75.90, then Phil Gardner getting used to his new car in 79.73, Robert Owen in 80.37 (pictured right), Monty Hinton in 81.75, Richard Salisbury in 84.35 and Lawrence Maudsley close behind in 84.40.

In the combined Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, Richard Mason was out front with a best time of 70.99, followed by Paul Baker in 73.11, Will Richards in 74.30, Huw Edwards in 75.23, then John Ducker in 76.10, Murray Shand in 76.80, Andrew Taylor in 80.69, Trish C-P in 82.25 and finally David Lane in 83.29.

With the smaller overall entry due to Covid, the organisers were rattling through the cars at some rate and managed to start our first run time before lunch with our second run just after lunch.  A third run was offered, which most took as they needed the practice but the third run did not count towards the championship positions.

As the cars set off for their first timed run Paul Baker's Jensen Healey refused to start.  It was later diagnosed as a variable electrical feed problem that fried his electronic ignition so his distributor was converted back to points to get it going for the third timed run of the day.  As always with the Healey drivers, help, tools and parts were freely donated to help a fellow driver get back out on track.  Many thanks were due to Richard Mason and Dave Abram.

On completion of the second timed run, the spreadsheet was truly warmed up and the results against target time were as follows:  the Sprite class was won by Claire Giles in a personal best time of 72.57, followed by Steve Casson in 68.46, Max Shand in 70.47, Robert Owen in 78.12, Lawrence Maudsley in 82.29, Phil Gardner in 78.06, Monty Hinton in 80.32, Richard Salisbury in 82.96, Garrow Shand in 74.92 and Dave Abram in 71.77.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, Andrew Taylor took the honors in a 79.14, followed by Will Richards in 73.22, John Ducker in 76.11, Richard Mason in 70.16, Murray Shand in 76.82, Huw Edwards in 75.97, Trish C-P in 81.01 and David Lane in 82.72.  Paul Baker did not record a time.

At the end of the event the drivers retired to the Ducker's "Tikki Bar" in the trailer park for cocktails/beers and the prize giving.  This is an annual treat put on by John and Cate Ducker for the drivers and friends that is much appreciated by everyone. The choice of drinks and food was amazing - well done John and Cate (pictured right) - can't wait for next year.

The top three in each class received their trophies, however there was a special prize of a packet of Burton's Stig-on-Wheels donated by Cate Ducker and won by Rob Owen as the fastest newcomer to Harewood.

Sunday morning dawned bright and fresh and all the cars took to the track for the morning practice runs.  In the Sprite class Steve Casson continued to lead the way with a best time of 69.01 with a Max Shand moving up to second spot with a 69.49 and David Abram complaining of no grip in third with 70.16.  Claire Giles was next in a fabulous 71.22 which turned out to be her best time of the weekend.  Garrow Shand in 74.99 and Robert Owen was steadily improving posting a 75.59 which was also his fastest time of the weekend. Phil Gardner's best was 78.31 with Lawrence Maudsley almost getting into the 70's with an 80.03 just ahead of Richard Salisbury in 80.18.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, it was very close at the top with Richard Mason just in the lead with a 69.94 from Paul Baker in 69.95 - yes, 1 100th of a second!!  Click here to see the in-car video of his run. The Jensen Healey was back working again.  Third was Will Richards in 79.91 with Huw Edwards next in 74.10.  John Ducker was the leading 100 in 77.02 with a much quicker David Lane in 77.97 some 4 seconds quicker than his previous run - someone must have given him some pointers as to how to get round this track!  Andrew Taylor improved to a 78.52 yet Murray Shand blew the head gasket on his 3000 so took no further part in the proceedings.

As with the previous day, the first timed run was before lunch.  The Sunday was also a target time event and we tried a new system of using the previous best times from the day before, so the results were as follows:  In the Sprite class, the top three were Richard Salisbury took the top slot with an improved time of 80.03 from Lawrence Maudsley in 79.43 and Phil Gardner in 75.50.  Then came a much improved Dave Abram in 69.21, Robert Owen in 75.64, a new pb for Garrow Shand in 72.64 and an excellent finishing time of 78.74 for Monty Hinton out at his first competitive event with us.  Steve Casson was next with a 68.98, then Claire Giles in 73.40 and Max Shand did not record a time as the Sprite's clutch went he shares with Garrow.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, the top three were Trish C-P with a best time of 77.00, from Will Richards with a pb of 71.23 and Huw Edwards who managed a 74.71 before he had an engine misfire.  Richard Mason finished with a best time of 68.97 - click here to see the in-car video of his run, then Andrew Taylor (pictured right) in 78.24, John Ducker in 76.46 and Paul Baker in a slower time of 70.57 but a new class record and pb. David Lane's car broke down on the finishing line on his first run with a snapped clutch cable.

Most drivers left after the second timed run although more runs were offered to those who stayed.  It had been a really good weekend with fine weather and just great to be out on track again and to be with the Healey Drivers again after such a long period since our last event.

Our next event will be a first for Healeysport at Snetterton near Norwich for a double header sprint on 26/27 June.  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 competitionsec@austinhealeyclub.com   New drivers are always made very welcome.

 

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.