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2020 Speed Race Reports

Championship sponsored by Bill Rawles Classic Cars and Peter May Engineering


In 2020 all Healeysport Championship rounds were cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.  However, by late summer some events got underway and we managed to run four non-championship rounds.  Please enjoy the reports and pictures taken at these events.

Goodwood Sprint - Saturday 3rd October 2020

Storm Alex hit the UK on Friday night with torrential rain and by Saturday morning the rain was still heavy.  This time it was Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks Motor Club who hosted the sprint at Goodwood and the conditions were clearly not good.  However, the forecast was for the rain to stop by lunchtime with some sunshine in the afternoon.  So what happened ...

A number of our drivers had seen the weather forecast and had decided that Goodwood is tricky enough in the dry, add plenty of H2O and it can be downright dangerous, so did not put in an entry.  Lawrence Maudsley decided to withdraw his entry and Pete Walton's 3000, although entered, was not in a fit state to compete.  This left a very depleted Healeysport class of three drivers and two cars.  We had a very select band of Garrow and Max Shand dual driving their Sprite and Paul Baker in his Jensen Healey.

Our usually intrepid photographer also decided that a wet day at Goodwood did not appeal, so the picture right was taken in August.

The format for the event was one practice lap followed by three timed laps, with two of the timed laps after the lunch break.

Practice got underway and Paul Baker knew that this was the first time that he had used the Jensen Healey in the rain and had no idea how the Toyo tyres would perform in the wet.  The answer came very quickly as he could not get off the start line i.e. no grip from the rear tyres and the first turn in point at Madgwick found the fronts under steering so the answer was pretty clear very early on - there was no grip - and the accelerator could only be used when the car was pointing in a straight line - not ideal !! His first run time was 140.20 secs, over 30 seconds slower than his best time a few weeks earlier here in sun drenched August said it all.  Max and Garrow Shand had sensibly removed the Kumho's and put road tyres on their Sprite and Max finished with a 150.31 sec time and Garrow in 158.39.

Conditions were little better for their first timed run and the times recorded were marginally better.

As forecast, the rain stopped at lunchtime and shortly afterwards the sun started to appear.  This gave the drivers some optimism that there might be some grip which was probably misplaced, as all three were clearly trying too hard on their first run after lunch for the conditions and spun.  Paul and Garrow had all four wheels off the track and so did not get a time and Max spun on exiting the chicane so after a 360 on the track got going to complete his lap.

It was all now down to the last lap and a dry line was starting to appear.  All three greatly improved their times on this run with Garrow finishing with a 146.36, Paul in 125.15 and Max with a 124.50.  So close at the end, but to be honest, we were all just pleased to be putting the cars back on the trailers with no damage.

Our last outing is to Castle Combe on Saturday 17th October.

If you own a Healey of whatever type and what's happened this year has led you to consider the thought of competing in it, then send an email to competitionsec@austinhealeyclub.com and Paul Baker, our championship organiser will get in touch with you to discuss what you need to do.

Curborough - Sunday 20 September 2020

What a great day for the Aston Martin Owners Club sprint at Curborough - the weather was excellent with warm sunshine all day.  We had 8 drivers competing for the "Covid Cup".  A specially re-purposed trophy with Richard Mason's best tank tape and felt marker and a new aggregated target time system devised by Richard to encourage drivers to produce two quick runs.  Not an easy task to be consistently quick as some found.

Talking of Covid, Motorsport UK changed the rules twice in the week leading up to the event.  Firstly there was an edict that face masks had to be worn at all times in all places, then a few days later another email stated that face masks did not need to be worn in the paddock if you were more than 2m from anyone else.  As it turned out, most drivers wore a mask in the paddock to start with then as the day went on the number wearing them reduced.

So who took part?  Rob Owen (pictured above right) was out for his first ever competitive event in his Frogeye Sprite to compete against the four other Sprites of regulars - Garrow Shand, Claire Giles, Steve Casson and Pat Cooper.  We had the two well known Big Healey's of Trish C-P and Richard Mason and the Jensen Healey of Paul Baker.

Practice went off without any mishaps with Mr. Mason (pictured right) quickest with his first run of 68.29 which would have been a personal best in normal circumstances (pb's only count in a championship round).

The chance of taking a trophy home with a glass tankard appealed to the drivers and the first timed run of the day after lunch brought out some much quicker times.  Richard Mason was quickest with a very swift time and a new pb of 67.28.  Steve Casson was next in 69.11 a time matched by Paul Baker (also 69.11) over 4 seconds quicker than his best time here last year and 3 seconds faster than the class record. Garrow Shand was next quickest in 72.06 just off his pb and Claire Giles was next in 73.81.  Trish C-P recorded a quicker time of 75.32 from Pat Cooper in his 1275 Sprite in 78.63.  Rob Owen was getting to grips with a new track, what this sport of sprinting was all about and was struggling with a car that had carburetor problems giving him poor running and a flat spot - should be no problem to fix for this marine engineer.  His first run time was 86.81 a marked improvement on his practice runs.

The newly devised target time system had Richard Mason out front from Paul Baker and Claire Giles.  But, as stated before, the drivers had to be consistent over two runs to win the prize.

On to the last run and it all changed.  Richard Mason and Paul Baker went slower yet Claire Giles and Steve Casson broke their pb's with some cracking times (see Steve's run on video).  Trish C-P, Garrow Shand (pictured right) and Rob Owen all improved their times but did not trouble their target time and Pat Cooper had clutch problems and was having trouble changing gear so was out of the running.

So after all that the winner was Claire Giles in her Frogeye Sprite in a pb winning time of 73.28 and a best of 0.72 secs under her target.  Well done Claire - a deserved winner of this special award.

The Covid Cup and glass tankard was presented to Claire (pictured right) by KJ C-P and Richard Mason picked up the prize from the organisers with the quickest run of the day in our class.

Overall it was a great day's sprinting at Curborough with a big thank you to Martin Greenslade and the team at AMOC Racing for putting on such a well run event under such challenging conditions.

Our next outing is to Goodwood on Saturday 3rd October, followed by a sprint at Castle Combe on Saturday 17th October.

If you own a Healey of whatever type and this period of isolation has led you to consider the thought of competing in it, then send an email to competitionsec@austinhealeyclub.com and Paul Baker, our championship organiser will get in touch with you to discuss what you need to do.


Prescott - Sunday 6 September 2020

A number of the hill climb venues are now starting to accept championships such as ours, Prescott offered us a class of 15 cars, which we were very keen to accept.  Unfortunately, a good number of Healey drivers had taken the opportunity  to take their cars apart for long awaited work so were unable to join us at this fantastic venue.  As a result we had 11 drivers - including the 3000's of Richard Mason, Trish C-P, Pete Walton and Ed Giles, the Healey 100 of John Ducker, the Sebring Sprites of Steve Casson and Lawrence Maudsley, the Frogeye of Claire Giles, the shared road going 1275 Sprite of John Tewson (pictured right) and Pat Cooper (as Pat's 3000 had been damaged at Prescott a few weeks earlier) and the lone Jensen Healey of Paul Baker.

On this beautiful Sunday morning, we were privileged to be perched up high on the Bugatti Terrace with its commanding view over the paddock and easy access to the restaurant which was unfortunately closed.  In fact, all food had to be booked on-line in advance, unfortunately the booking system only accepted food orders for the Saturday and we were there on the Sunday!!  So some drivers booked a breakfast thinking they would spot their error and others did not.  Fortunately, most got something to eat.

Practice got underway and when it was time for the Healey class, most came back to the paddock but the red flags came out and Pete Walton was missing.  Apparently, he had locked up going into the Esses, hit the right hand Armco barrier which sent him head first into the left hand Armco.  Fortunately Peter was fine but his car was not and it took quite a while before the car appeared back near the paddock with a significant amount of frontal damage and was clearly not going to be going anywhere but home on the back of a trailer.  The rest of the class finished the run without incident.

Onto the second practice run and this time it was Richard Mason's 3000 turn to bring the proceedings to an abrupt halt, as his car stopped just off the start with a suspected half shaft failure. Most were amazed to hear that they were original and standard half shafts in his car and not some super strength version needed to take the stick he usually gives them!!  Again the rest of the class finished without any issues, but we were now down to 9 drivers.

As the total field of drivers was less than usual, practice was completed early despite the best efforts of the Healey class to slow things up!  So our first timed run was before lunch.  As this was not a championship round we were therefore treated as a class of 9 drivers with the quickest taking the honours but no prizes.  The quickest after our first timed run was Steve Casson in 53.06, closely followed by Paul Baker in 53.78.  Third was Claire Giles (pictured right) in 56.44, fourth was John Tewson in an excellent time for a road going Sprite of 57.69 from Ed Giles in 58.26, then John Ducker (pictured above right) in 59.57, just ahead of Trish C-P in 59.65, then Lawrence Maudsley in 61.74 and Pat Cooper in 62.51 clearly missing the oomph of his 3000.

On to the last run and Steve Casson was under pressure from the Jensen Healey of Paul Baker.  Steve rose to the challenge to finish with an improved time of 52.67 to take the top slot from Paul who could not improve on his first run time.  Claire Giles reduced her time further to 56.30, but John Tewson could not improve on his first run but held 4th from a faster time of 58.06 from Ed Giles.  John Ducker went quicker with a 59.48 to hold off a challenge from Trish C-P who did not improve her time, but Lawrence Maudsley (pictured below) got very close to the 60 second barrier with a pb of 60.75.  Pat Cooper rounded off the class with a quicker time of 61.27 - circa 10 seconds off what he would have done in his 3000.

Some drivers decided to take the optional third run but most chose to load up their cars on their trailers and get an early trip home.  The famed camaraderie of the Healey drivers was proved yet again as the Cooper/Tewson duo loaded the rather bent 3000 of Pete Walton onto their trailer and John Tewson followed behind in the Sprite to Pete's house where his car was off-loaded and the Sprite put back on the trailer to go back to Pat's place.  Renews your faith in human nature.

Well done to Prescott for allowing us to take part - they did an excellent job and they hope to soon have the paying public as well. 

Our next outing is to Curborough on Sunday 20th September for a sprint with AMOC with a Covid Cup on offer, then another sprint at Goodwood on Saturday 3rd October, followed by a sprint at Castle Combe on Saturday 17th October.

If you own a Healey of whatever type and this period of isolation has led you to consider the thought of competing in it, then send an email to competitionsec@austinhealeyclub.com and Paul Baker, our championship organiser will get in touch with you to discuss what you need to do.


Goodwood Eagle Sprint - Saturday 1st August 2020

This was the first outing this year for all the drivers taking part, included the 3000's of Trish C-P and Pete Walton, the 100/6 of new entrant Gerald Wilby (pictured right), the Sprites of Steve Casson and Lawrence Maudsley and the Jensen Healey of Paul Baker.  As this was not a championship round, where we would usually have our own class, instead we were spread amongst the standard classes and therefore in different parts of the paddock.  Not a problem as we were all just really pleased to be there.

Under the new Covid oriented regime, all signing-on, scrutineering and driver briefing was carried out on-line before the event which made for a very simple start to the meeting.

The weather was fabulous and we all got through the noise test - well - almost, Paul Baker squeaked through with a 106db against a limit of 105db!!  However, there was no sign Of Lawrence Maudsley and we found out later that he had travelled down the day before, stayed over in a local hotel and when he set off for the circuit his trailer lost a wheel, so he decided to get his car and trailer recovered back to his home in Essex.  Great shame but a reminder to get your trailer checked before you use it again.

The format was one practice run followed by three timed runs.  Pete Walton's latest upgrades clearly had a positive effect as he broke his own class record of 101.75 on his first timed run but saved the best till last to finish with a 100.02 and that was with a missed gear change!  So a sub 100 second time is a real likelihood in October if we get the same weather.  Trish C-P's last outing at Goodwood resulted in a accident and an expensive rebuild so she took it easy as there was nothing to prove but just to have some fun.  Her best time was a 125.96.  New driver, Gerald Wilby was out for the first time with us in a lightly modified car on road tyres.  His quickest run was his first (144.28) and he finished with an off in the gravel at Lavant corner with fortunately no damage done.

Steve Casson (pictured right) in his Sebring Sprite improved his times throughout the day and finished with a big improvement to his personal best time of 105.89 (Click here to see video footage).  Paul Baker in his Jensen Healey likewise steadily went quicker as the day went on and finished with a 109.28 over 4 seconds quicker than last year but also picked up a drive-by noise violation of 102db against a limit of 101db.  So maybe some exhaust work in the offing!

As we were all in different classes, usually with much quicker cars there was little chance of us picking up an award from the organisers.  Unless of course your name is Pete Walton (pictured right receiving his award from Len Wooller), as his super quick time meant he deservedly picked up a 3rd place class award - fitting for for such a good time and only beaten by a Caterham CSR that did a 90 sec run and a Renault Alpine turbo.

Well done to Brighton and Hove Motor Club for working so hard to put on this event - it was a great end to a fantastic day at Goodwood.  Great pity that Lawrence didn't make it and hope that Gerald was not put off by his excursion.  Our next outing will be to Prescott on Sunday 6th September.


If you own a Healey of whatever type and this period of isolation has led you to consider the thought of competing in it, then send an email to competitionsec@austinhealeyclub.com and Paul Baker, our championship organiser will get in touch with you to discuss what you need to do.