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2022 Speed Race Reports

Championship sponsored by Bill Rawles Classic Cars and Peter May Engineering

 

The 2022 championship will include 14 rounds, hopefully this year, without Covid 19 interruption.  The test day ran well despite the weather and the rest of the season will proceed as planned.  Scroll on down to see the race reports shown in latest first order:

Round 2/3 Anglesey - 30 April/1 May 2022

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

Our last trip to Anglesey was in 2018 and the drivers were keen to reacquaint themselves with this interesting and scenic track, perched on a headland on the southwest side of the island, surrounded by beaches.

We had originally expected to have 16 drivers taking part in this two day weekend with scratch events on both days but as reported in the Gurston missive below we lost Dave Lane and Huw Edwards to broken bones, so had 14 drivers.  However, we had two new drivers out with us - namely Nav Bhamra - the new proud owner of Pat Cooper's very orange Sprite nicknamed "Tango" - this was Nav's first competitive event after the practice day.  As Tango does not meet the regs of our Sprite class, it will be run in our newly formed Libra class.  Also out with us for the first time was Jon Giles - co-driving Claire Giles new 100/6 - Jon is an experienced competitor but more used to older vehicles often with chains (namely Frazer Nash's).  Due to the gap since we were last here, a few of the drivers - Richard Salisbury, Rob Owen, and Jon Giles, had not been to Anglesey before.

Dave Abram arranged for our group to have a garage (see picture above - there are 10 Healeys in that garage!) in case the weather turned wet - how could he have known - as the Saturday was fine, dry but cold yet Sunday started with heavy rain which only eased up slightly by the time we finished.  In fact, we should have arranged for two adjacent garages as not all the cars could get into the dry on the Sunday, but fortunately, local entrepreneur Will Richards (apparently he gets it from his father), used his immense charm and procured another half of a garage for three of the drivers to use - it was much appreciated given the weather.

On Saturday, the organisers decided that as it was planned to be wet by mid afternoon, they would run the single two lap practice around the National circuit and the two timed runs of two laps without a break. Then they would stop for a late lunch followed by further timed runs for those who wanted to take part.

Practice was a cautious affair for most as they either tried to remember the track or learn it for the first time.  Some of the corners are tricky with blind exits, double apex's, late apex's or they are off camber.  All the drivers got through it without any problems, despite a few spins.  Clearly, as it was overcast and cold, the tyres were not giving as much grip as some would have liked. On to the timed runs and in the Sprite class it was Steve Casson (pictured above) who finished top with a 135.32 nearly 4 seconds quicker than he had done there before - is this the same person who preferred hill climbs?  (check out video of his run). Dave Abram was second with a best of 136.47 with John Tewson in third with a 139.17, Richard Salisbury took fourth in 149.79 and local man Rob Owen finished with a best time of 152.11 on his first run.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, Peter Walton (pictured right - with his passenger door open!!)  took the top slot with a best time of 134.76 just 0.32 secs slower than the class record (click here to see Peter's run).  Richard Mason took second with a 136.84 from Paul Baker in third with a 137.29 (see in-car video) with John Richards next in 141.60 on his first timed run as he spun on his last run. Jon Giles was next in 142.06 a whisker ahead of Michael Berry in 142.84 in his Healey 100.  Claire Giles was getting used to her new 100/6 in a best time of 151.72 just ahead of Trish C-P in 152.90 which she did on a her first timed run.

In our new Libra class, Nav Bhamra (pictured right) ventured out for the first time onto this fast sweeping circuit and steadily improved despite a slight problem on his last run and finished with a best time of 147.46.

At the end of the two timed runs it started to rain so all the Healey drivers decided to head for some lunch under cover and called it a day.

So the results for this scratch event were:

Sprite Class: 1st Steve Casson, 2nd Dave Abram, 3rd John Tewson, 4th Richard Salisbury and 5th Rob Owen.

Big Healey/Jensen Healey class:  1st Pete Walton, 2nd Richard Mason, 3rd Paul Baker, 4th John Richards, 5th Jon Giles, 6th Michael Berry, 7th Claire Giles and 8th Trish C-P.

Libre Class:  1st Nav Bhamra.

The rain came down hard overnight and continued that way throughout the rest of the day.  Most cars that had run open on Saturday had hardtops put on for Sunday.  Claire and Jon Giles decided not to take part on Sunday due to the weather (they have an open car) and some faults with the car.  The only other change was that John Richards made way for son Will to run the family 3000.

The organisers decided that as a number of the drivers taking part had gone home due to the weather, that they would run the two single lap practice runs and two timed runs and then stop for lunch.  If anyone wanted to do additional timed runs then they could, after lunch.  The Sunday event would be run on the International circuit - the longest and fastest of the track configurations available.  Tackling this course in these conditions was going to be a challenge as there was a lot of standing water, visibility was not good - added to which the closed cockpit cars have a tendency to mist up on the inside in these conditions - so quite a test for the drivers.

In the Sprite class, it was Dave Abrams (pictured above) who reclaimed the top slot with a best time of 122.31 pushing Steve Casson into second place with his best time of 125.04 (see Steve's run).  John Tewson was again third with a best of 131.33 on his first timed run as he spun on his last run.  Richard Salisbury was a whisker behind in a 132.87 and Rob Owen finished with a very creditable 138.76 given he was the only open Sprite - he must have been drenched!!

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, Richard Mason (pictured right) must have had 3 Weetabix for breakfast as he finished with the fastest time of the day by a Healey in 115.98 to take the win and push Pete Walton into second place with a best time of 119.08.  Michael Berry (pictured below) really proved that a well sorted 100 is a match for 3000 when the power advantage of the 3000 is negated by the weather.  Michael finished with an excellent time of 121.26 - no mean feat in an open car.  Paul Baker was next in 122.02 (see video of run), followed by Will Richards 128.73 (click here to see Will's run) and Trish C-P in 131.22.

In the Libra class, Nav Bhamra finished with a best of 134.71 after the two timed runs and was the only car to go out again after lunch to get some more practice.  He showed a steady improvement to a 127.45 after his fourth timed run.  Well done Nav - shows tenacity under such difficult conditions.

There was collective sigh of relief that all the cars finished with no damage or breakdowns.

The results of the Sunday scratch event were:

Sprite Class: 1st Dave Abram, 2nd Steve Casson, 3rd John Tewson, 4th Richard Salisbury and 5th Rob Owen.

Big Healey/Jensen Healey class: 1st Richard Mason, 2nd Pete Walton, 3rd Michael Berry, 4th Paul Baker, 5th Will Richards and 6th Trish C-P.

New class records were set by Nav Bhamra in the Libre class, by Michael Berry in the Healey 100 class and by Paul Baker in the Jensen Healey class.  As they were all setting a new record, no extra points were awarded as you only get the extra point for breaking an existing record.

A big thank you must go to Marius and Kelly for collecting the times and generally helping anyone who needed a hand with a ready smile over the weekend and for Jackie Baker and Vicki Walton for taking the photos in such difficult conditions. 

Our next event is our first target time event at the new Prescott Historique event on Saturday 28 May.  We have 19 drivers entered, so looks to be an excellent day's hill climbing at this prestigious venue.

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

 

Round 1 Gurston Down - 16 April 2022

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

The weather for the weekend was forecast to be warm and sunny - which indeed it was - in fact, superb hill climbing conditions with the chance of some records being broken.  We had 11 cars entered for the event - the Sprites of Lawrence Maudsley (first time at Gurston), Garrow Shand, Claire Giles (in the Sprite as her 100/6 was making unwanted noises from the diff area) ably supported by Colin Gale (great to see you there Colin and thanks for doing the scoreboard), Phil Gardner and Steve Casson.

As the Jensen Healey class has only two registered drivers (David and Paul) for 2022, the JH class will be merged with the Big Healeys as far as points and awards are concerned.  It was agreed at our last drivers meeting that more than 4 JH drivers were needed to create a separate class.

So the JH/Big Healey class consisted of Trish C-P (3000), Michael Berry (100M) who had been to Gurston a few weeks earlier to learn the track, Paul Baker (JH) and Peter Walton (3000).

We had two unusual retirements from Gurston - Huw Edwards broke his arm and David Lane broke his wrist in separate incidents but both obviously could not take part and have had to withdraw.  We wish them both a speedy recovery.  David and Suzie turned up in the afternoon to see everyone - which was great.

First practice was not the usual relaxed affair, as the scrutineers for some unknown reason, decided that they should scrutineer cars in later classes first rather than those going out in the earlier batches.  So a slight delay before the usual highly efficient organisation by the marshals took control for the rest of the day.

As not all of the drivers had been to the practice day, this was the first time out for some in their race cars for 6 months so some times were a bit more relaxed.  After the two practice runs, that took place with no incident, in the Sprite class, Steve Casson lead the way with a best time of 39.83, from Phil Gardner in 43.50 a whisker ahead of Claire Giles in 43.51 with Garrow Shand on 44.95 and Lawrence Maudsley learning the track in 48.70. 

In the Big Healey/JH class, it was Pete Walton (pictured above waving to our photographer) leading with a 40.94, from Paul Baker in 41.26, Michael Berry (pictured below) in 43.70 and Trish C-P in 45.58.

After lunch the timed runs got underway and the competition warmed up.  In the Sprite class Steve Casson won the class with a personal best time of 39.01 on his first run which he could not better on his second run (click here to see in-car video). Phil Gardner took second slot and also went fastest on his first run and finished with a much improved time of 42.19 - over 2 seconds quicker than his previous best time.  Claire Giles was third with her best time on the first run and finished with a best time of 43,22 a whisker off her pb.  Garrow Shand was fourth with his best time on his last run with a 43.49 (click here to see a video of his run) - the last three drivers were within 0.2 of second between them - all very close.  Lawrence Maudsley was steadily reducing his times and finished with a very creditable 46.40.

In the Big Healey/JH class Pete Walton finished in first place with a personal best time of 39.38 (click here to see in-car footage of his run), from Paul Baker a tad behind in 39.97 also with a pb and a new Jensen Healey class record (click here to see video).  Michael Berry finished with a very good time of 42.97 - only a couple of seconds off the hill record in a Healey 100 in only his second time at Gurston.  Trish C-P finished with a 43.42 less than a second off her pb - so well done.

So the final results for this scratch event were: Sprite Class: 1st Steve Casson (pictured right), 2nd Phil Gardner, 3rd Claire Giles, 4th Garrow Shand and 5th Lawrence Maudsley

Big Healey/Jensen Healey Class: 1st Peter Walton, 2nd Paul Baker, 3rd Michael Berry and 4th Trish C-P

A fabulous day's hill climbing at this very well organised venue.  If anyone is thinking about taking part, come along to see the Healeys at any of our next events this year (see our events page above) and have a chat.

Our next event is a double header weekend at the Anglesey Circuit in North Wales.  We had 15 drivers entered, but now to be 13 as described above, who are all looking forward to an excellent weekend of sprinting at this fabulous venue.

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.