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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 13 Hethel - 4 September 2022

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

This was the first time that Healeysport have been to Hethel.  Hethel is the test track owned by Lotus Cars based near the village of Hethel just to the south west of Norwich in Norfolk.  It was originally a US airbase during WW2 that was bought by Lotus in 1966 and developed as their development and production base for their car division and Lotus Classic Racing.

The track is 1.66 miles long and shaped like a boomerang (see track map).  It comprises two hairpins, two chicanes, a sequence of bends and two long straights. As the cars are sent singularly out onto the track with up to three cars on track at any one time with the exit back into the paddock - without any incidents - the organisers can rattle through the entry list of 120 cars in just under an hour. 

The organisers worked on the basis of one practice lap followed by three timed runs.  As most of our drivers had not been to Hethel before, we decided to count the first two runs as practice and the next two as timed runs.  There was an option of a third timed run but most drivers in the paddock declined it.

Nine Healey drivers were expected but seven drivers appeared on the day - with Max Shand and John Tewson unable to attend.  That left us with the four Sprites of Richard Salisbury, Lawrence Maudsley and Garrow Shand who had not been to Hethel before, plus local man Dave Abram who had been before.  In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class we had Pete Walton in his 3000 and Paul Baker in his Jensen Healey who had not been to Hethel before and Michael Berry in his 100M who had recently done a track day at Hethel in one of the new Lotus Emira's but not in his Healey - bit of a difference!!

Like MIRA, Hethel operate a no camera rule, so there are no pictures or videos of the event - so a day off for Jackie!!

This round of our championship was set as a scratch event as we had no history with which to set any target times.  In fact none of us knew what a good time was, until we saw what the local drivers were doing in the other classes.

After our two practice runs the order in the Sprite class was as follows: Garrow Shand was the surprise leader with a best time of 103.49 from Lawrence Maudsley in 105.47.  Dave Abram recorded a 105.45 on his first run but went off the track on his second practice run so did not get a time.  Richard Salisbury was next in 107.73.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, it was Pete Walton who showed his ability to learn a track quickly to record a very good  97.39 from Paul Baker who posted a best time of 102.87.  Michael Berry produced a 108.02 on his first run but then tried to go too fast into one of the hairpins and ended up off the track and his time was disqualified.

On to the two timed runs after lunch and in the Sprite class it was Dave Abrams who pulled it all together to end with a very quick 99.17 from Garrow Shand who finished with a 102.86, just ahead of Lawrence Maudsley in 103.47 and Richard Salisbury in 108.20.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, Pete Walton lowered his time further to end with a fabulous 96.39 and be the quickest Healey on the day.  Paul Baker broke the 100 sec barrier to end with a 99.95 and Michael Berry finished with a 102.73.

So the final positions in each class were:

Sprite Class: 1st Dave Abram, 2nd Garrow Shand, 3rd Lawrence Maudsley and 4th Richard Salisbury.

Big/Jensen Healey Class: 1st Pete Walton, 2nd Paul Baker and 3rd Michael Berry

All the drivers thoroughly enjoyed this quick but technical track that really tested their ability to learn the course quickly without making to many errors.  The weather was fantastic and the organisation of the event was first class.

Our final event of 2022 is at Curborough near Lichfield on Sunday 2 October, where the final class positions will be decided - 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.

 

Round 11/12 Loton Park - 27/28 August 2022

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

The weather was just right for hill climbing - 20 degrees and sunshine with a bit of cloud cover from time to time and no rain.  Ideal weather to tackle this demanding track in the Shropshire hills.  Tom Walker's Sprite hill record was set in 2011 and many have come very close to breaking it over the years - so will this be the year? - let's see.

The Saturday event was run as a scratch event - where the fastest driver wins and on the Sunday it was run as a target time event - where each driver is given a target or their previous best time and the driver who beat their target by the most wins.

We had the 7 Sprites of Rob Owen, Steve Casson, Phil Gardner, Claire Giles including the 3 fresher's - Garrow Shand, Max Shand and Richard Salisbury.  In our Libre class, Nav Bhamra was new to Loton and in our Big/Jensen Healey class we had Trish C-P, Huw Edwards (out for the first time this year following a broken arm), Murray Shand, John Ducker, John Richards, David Lane (pictured above in his Jensen Healey), Richard Mason and Paul Baker, with 2 fresher's in Michael Berry and Ian Thomas.  Unfortunately, Will Richards had to withdraw at the last minutes as he had work commitments.

The first practice run was a bit of a shambles as a number of Healeysport and other cars went off track, particularly at Museum bend, which gave the impression that there was possibly oil on the track.   Richard Salisbury and Murray Shand were caught out by this bend but fortunately suffered no damage but Phil Gardner's car (pictured right) hit the tyre wall and had to be brought back down the hill on the back of the flatbed lorry.  Once back in the paddock it was soon determined that the damage to Phil's car was to the fibre glass bonnet only, so it was patched up with large amounts of non-colour coded tank tape and re-scrutineered and Phil was back out for the next practice run.  Clearly, he now has a new job for the winter!

The results of the two practice runs in the Sprite class were: Steve Casson led the class with a superb 61.81, just 0.16 secs off the hill record from Max Shand delivering an impressive 65.30 given it was his first time at Loton.  Claire Giles (pictured below) was next in 68.26, from Rob Owen in 71.86, Richard Salisbury in 73.26, Phil Gardner (taking it easy and checking that his car was ok) in 73.34 from Garrow Shand who was new to the track and had not yet had time to walk the course in 75.08.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class, it was Paul Baker quickest in 63.63, but Richard Mason posted a 64.44 on his first run then his head gasket let go at the start line on his second practice so he was pushed back to his paddock bay.  Trish C-P stepped in and offered Richard a dual drive for the rest of the weekend.  Fortunately, it is a car that Richard knows well as he maintains it.  Next was Dave Lane in his Jensen Healey in 67.70 from Michael Berry in his 100M in 68.26 - although a fresher he had recently done the driver training day at Loton so knew the track quite well.  Ian Thomas posted a very good 68.78 on his first run showing his rally skills of being quick on a track he has not seen before.  John Richards recorded a 69.13, John Ducker a 69.50, Huw Edwards in 73.09, Trish C-P in 73.95 and Murray Shand in 75.32.

Our sole driver in the Libre Class is Nav Bhamra and he recorded a best time of 70.88.

After lunch the afternoon timed runs got underway and in the Sprite class it was Steve Casson who recorded the fastest time of 63.56 from his two runs.  On the first run he spun the car at Keepers bend (click here to see the video) and on his second run tried too hard and as a result went slower, finishing with a good time but nowhere near where he was hoping to be.  Max Shand was next with an excellent 64.92 to take second place.  Phil Gardner forgot about the problems in practice and recorded a very good time of 66.92 to take third from Claire Giles who was a whisker behind in 66.96.  Garrow Shand got his time down to a 70.33.  Rob Owen posted a best time of 71.10 and Richard Salisbury who had been struggling with a misfire finished with a best of 74.43.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class it was Paul Baker out front with a new class record time of 62.58 from Richard Mason - learning to get the best out of Trish's car in 66.82 (some way off his pb of 61.75 in his own car).  Then we had 4 cars within half a second of each other - Michael Berry moved up the order to take third place with a very good time of 67.12 with Dave Lane just a tad behind him in 67.44 and Ian Thomas also a whisker off in 67.72 (click here to see his run) and John Richards just behind in 67.75.  John Ducker broke his personal best with a 69.57 to be just ahead of Murray Shand in 70.22, a ring rusty Huw Edwards (pictured above) in 70.81 and Trish C-P in 71.18.

Nav Bhamra broke the 70 second barrier to finish with a best time of 69.44 - a good result for his first day on this long and tricky hill.

As this was a scratch event the order was as follows:

Sprite Class: 1st Steve Casson, 2nd Max Shand, 3rd Phil Gardner, 4th Claire Giles, 5th Garrow Shand, 6th Rob Owen and 7th Garrow Shand.

Big/Jensen Healey Class: 1st Paul Baker, 2nd Richard Mason, 3rd Michael Berry, 4th David Lane, 5th Ian Thomas, 6th John Richards, 7th John Ducker, 8th Murray Shand, 9th Huw Edwards and 10th Trish C-P.

Libre Class: 1st Nav Bhamra (pictured right)

Click here to see a compilation video of the cars in the Healeysport class

The drivers retired to a local hostelry for dinner and some R&R before we tackled the hill again the following day.

Sunday was dry, bright and sunny all day.  This event was a target time event, so the final positions were calculated at the end of the event.

The practice session ran much smoother than the previous day with very few problems.  In the Sprite class it was Steve Casson out front with a best time of 62.29 from Max Shand who lowered his time further with a 64.30 sec run.  Claire Giles moved up to third with a best of 67.60 from Phil Gardner in 69.58.  Rob Owen broke his pb with a very good 68.52 to be ahead of Richard Salisbury in 71.74 and Garrow Shand in 71.93.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class it was Paul Baker leading with a new pb of 62.49 from Richard Mason in 66.27 and Michael Berry in 67.20.  David Lane was next in 67.55 from Ian Thomas in 68.03, John Richards in 68.73, John Ducker in 68.96, Trish C-P in 69.19, Murray Shand in 69.91 and Huw Edwards in 73.27.

In the Libre Class, Nav Bhamra was going quicker on every run and finished practice with a very good time of 66.38.

After lunch the Sprite class hit the track and Steve Casson (pictured above) put together a blistering run of 61.56 (click here to see his run) to set a new personal best and class record, beating Tom Walker's long standing record.  Well done Steve, a deserved result after a frustrating day on Saturday.  Max Shand was trying really hard on his first run and spun but recorded an excellent 64.33 on his last run - a great result for someone new to this demanding track.  Claire Giles finished with a very good 67.10 just beating Phil Gardner with his best time of 67.39 (click here to see his run).  Rob Owen pulled out all the stops to end with a 68.08 - his best time of the weekend by far.  As did Garrow Shand who got down to a 68.93 and Richard Salisbury finished with a 71.76 - his best of the weekend.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class no matter what Paul Baker tried he could not improve on his practice time and ended with a best of 63.04.  Richard Mason was getting the hang of driving Trish's car and lowered his best time to a 64.92.  Michael Berry's first run ended in a 'fail' due to ignoring a red flag but he saved his best run of the weekend to the last and finished with an excellent 66.91.  John Richards, the wily old fox from Halkyn, saved his best run to last to leapfrog up the list ending with a 67.06, just beating "Mr Consistency" aka Dave Lane with 5 of his 8 runs in the 67's, ended with a 67.20.  Ian Thomas finished with an excellent 67.97 from John Ducker a whisker behind in a superb pb time of 68.31.  Murray Shand (pictured above right)  had an engine problem on one run but again finished well with a 68.88 his best of the weekend by far.  Trish C-P could not quite match her best practice time and ended under 70 secs in 69.40.  Huw Edwards finished with a 71.76 and probably a very sore arm. 

In the Libre Class, Nav Bhamra had a few engine issues but finished with an excellent 65.10 - a great result for someone so new to Loton and hill climbing in general.

The target time spreadsheet was fired up and the results of the target time event were:

Sprite Class: 1st Rob Owen (pictured right), 2nd Garrow Shand, 3rd Steve Casson, 4th Phil Gardner, 5th Max Shand, 6th Richard Salisbury, 7th Claire Giles.

Big/Jensen Healey Class: 1st Murray Shand, 2nd John Ducker, 3rd Richard Mason, 4th Michael Berry, 5th Ian Thomas, 6th Paul Baker, 7th Trish C-P, 8th Dave Lane, 9th John Richards, 10th Huw Edwards

Libre Class: 1st Nav Bhamra

As it was Jan Casson's birthday, a selection of delicious cakes and bubbly was on offer when the prizes were presented to the top three in each class

A really memorable and enjoyable weekend for all sorts of reasons, not least helped by excellent weather, a well organised event and two evening events to choose from.

Our next event is at Hethel (the Lotus test track near Norwich) next Sunday 4 September - 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.

 

Round 10 Goodwood - 13 August 2022 - Phew what a Scorcher - part two!!

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

Heat wave number two descended just in time for our round at the fabulous Goodwood circuit near Chichester in West Sussex.  Fortunately the paddock has covered bays so that the cars and drivers can shelter from the 30 plus degree heat when not competing.  This is also somewhat different weather to that we faced here last year when the event was cut short due to torrential rain.  The hot dry track could also lead to new records - so let's see what happened.

We had 13 drivers booked to take part with the 8 Sprites of Monty Hinton, Lawrence Maudsley, Max and Garrow Shand, Steve Casson, Rob Owen, Richard Salisbury and David Abram plus the 5 Big/Jensen Healeys of Gerald Wilby, Ian Thomas, Pete Walton (pictured right) , Michael Berry and Paul Baker.

Brighton and Hove Motor Club, who organise the event, had decided that they would offer one practice run followed by up to three timed runs.  Given the extreme heat, we took the decision at the start of the day that we would follow their format and have just one practice run because we felt that there was a strong possibility that the last timed run would be cancelled and we need two timed runs for our championship.  More on this later.

The organisers also took the sensible decision that they would leave drivers in their paddock bays until the last moment and then send the drivers to the start line to avoid keeping the drivers for long periods out in the hot sun whilst suited and booted.

Everyone got through the noise test although David Abrams Sprite refused to come out of 1st gear whilst at the noise test.  David and others tried to release the gear but to no avail.  So unfortunately, David had to retire his car.

Practice got underway and in the Sprite class it was Max Shand who led with a 105.29 from Steve Casson in 106.84.  Lawrence Maudsley posted an amazing time of 112.26 - over 14 seconds faster than his last run here last year, without any change to the car.  Clearly he has gained a lot of experience and confidence in his car to tackle this very quick track in such a way.  Monty Hinton was next in a very good 114.38 to improve on his last run here by over 2 seconds.  Richard Salisbury (pictured above) was next in a very good 121.03 given he has not driven at Goodwood before.  Garrow Shand put in a relaxed 123.46 and Rob Owen posted a 123.93 nearly three seconds faster than he achieved here last year.

On to the Big/Jensen Healey class and it was Pete Walton out front with a good sighting lap of 106.72 from Ian Thomas who has not competed at Goodwood before but recorded an excellent 110.41.  Next was Michael Berry in 113.11 over 5 seconds faster than his best last year.  Paul Baker was next in a leisurely 119.97 from Gerald Wilby (pictured right) in 143.55 also over 6 seconds faster than last year.

On to the first timed run and in the Sprite class it was Max Shand out front with a stunning 102.77 setting a new personal best time and only just over a second off the class record.  Steve Casson also set a new pb of 105.78 (Click here to see his run) as did Monty Hinton with an excellent time of 112.58.  Lawrence Maudsley went slightly slower than his practice run in 113.99 but Garrow Shand knocked over 5 seconds off his practice time to record a 118.04.  Rob Owen reduced his time further with a 121.04 to just get ahead of Richard Salisbury who went fractionally slower than his practice run in 121.44.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class, Pete Walton was getting tuned into the circuit and recorded a fast 64 feet time of 2.17 secs and a quick time of 102.05 just a second off his class record time.  Michael Berry posted a fabulous 109.66 in his 100M to get ahead of Ian Thomas who recorded a marginally quicker time of 110.15.  Paul Baker managed a 113.38 yet Gerald Wilby knocked a further 4 seconds off his practice time to post a 139.02.

After lunch the Clerk of the Course called a meeting of all the drivers to explain that they were concerned about the marshals out around the track in full protective orange suits in this 35+ degree heat and asked the drivers if they could shorten the meeting by not doing the third timed run.  The overwhelming majority of the drivers agreed so therefore, we had one more run to go.

On to our last timed run - in the Sprite class Max Shand finished with a slightly slower time of 103.05 (click here to check out his run) as did Steve Casson in 105.82.  Lawrence Maudsley (pictured right) then posted his quickest time of the day to end with a personal best time of 111.64 - an excellent run.  Monty Hinton posted a slower time of 114.26 but must be pleased with his progress this year.  Garrow Shand lowered his time to his fastest time of the day - a 117.63.  Rob Owen managed to stay ahead of Richard Salisbury but it was very close.  Rob finished with a pb time of 120.29 and Richard with a 120.55 - so close.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class, Pete Walton pulled out all the stops and finished with a superb 101.08 lowering his own class record in the process.  Michael Berry finished with a slightly slower run time of 110.87 but an excellent performance on the day.  Paul Baker finally bettered his pb with a slightly improved time of 111.54 (Click here to see his run), but still not quite where he hoped to be.  Gerald Wilby also went slower with a 142.07 but Ian Thomas was going all out to improve his time when his engine seemed to be running on 5 cylinders when he got over to St Mary's, so he backed off and headed back to the paddock slowly to avoid any further damage.

As this was target time event the spreadsheet was fired up and the results calculated.  Unfortunately an error was made which was identified after the prizes had been awarded.  The actual order of the day was:

Sprite class: 1st Monty Hinton, 2nd Lawrence Maudsley, 3rd Steve Casson, 4th Max Shand (pictured right), 5th Rob Owen, 6th Richard Salisbury 7th Garrow Shand and 8th David Abram.

Big/Jensen Healey class: 1st Gerald Wilby, 2nd Pete Walton, 3rd Michael Berry, 4th Paul Baker and 5th Ian Thomas.

Overall we had an excellent day's sprinting at Goodwood despite the heat and the shortened event but it did mean that, for some, we could get into an air conditioned car for a cool drive home.

Our next event is at Loton Park near Shrewsbury on Saturday/Sunday 27/28 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.

 

Round 8/9 Shelsley Walsh - 16/17 July 2022 - Phew what a Scorcher!!

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

For once the weather forecasters were not wrong, as we had one of the hottest weekend, double header events that can be remembered.  We were at the historic Shelsley Walsh hill climb for their Classic Nostalgia summer spectacular.  The weekend included displays and demonstration runs of BRM, Surtees/Shadow CanAm and F1 cars, Gerry Marshall tribute cars, a large selection of classic rally cars, plus a superb fly past on both days by the Battle of Britain flight Lancaster on Saturday and the Hurricane and Spitfire duo on Sunday.

The Healeysport Championship cars were given the prime paddock position on the entry to the start line with covered paddock spaces that provided welcome relief from the 30 degree plus weather over the weekend.

We had our largest entry of the year with 21 cars/drivers entered - including 8 x Sprites, 2 x 100's, 2 x 100/6, 6 x 3000's, 2 x Jensen Healeys and 1 Sprite in our new Libre class.  Five drivers were new to Shelsley, namely Monty Hinton in his W&P bodied Sprite, Ian Thomas (pictured right) in his 3000, Gerald Wilby in his 100/6, Murray Shand in his 3000 and Nav Bhamra in his Sprite.

At our Driver's meeting last year Richard Mason promised we would do something special on this weekend and devised a team event for all the drivers.  The rules were quite simple - the drivers put themselves into teams of 3, come up with a team name and the team with the lowest aggregate score over the two days would win the prestigious "Shelsley Team Cup" and a bottle of bubbly, with a second bottle for the runners up.

As the weather was expected to be dry and hot all weekend the expectation was that records would be beaten - so let's see what happened.

On Saturday morning practice got underway and in the Sprite class, there were no surprises when Steve Casson got close to his pb with a best time of 36.56 to lead the class.  Phil Gardner was next in 40.57, then Claire Giles in 40.84, Richard Salisbury in 41.04 with Lawrence Maudsley just behind in 41.07, with Garrow Shand in 41.91, Rob Owen in 42.88 and Monty Hinton (pictured right) learning the hill in 45.41.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, it was local specialist Richard Mason (3000) out front with a best time of 35.13, from Paul Baker (Jensen Healey) in 37.31, Will Richards (3000) was next in 38.34, from Trish C-P (3000) surprising all with an almost pb topping time of 39.56, from David Lane (Jensen Healey) back after breaking his wrist in 39.84, freshman Ian Thomas (3000) was next in an excellent 40.25, from Michael Berry (100) pictured below right, in 41.59, from Derek Job (100/6) in 41.76, then the second 100 of John Ducker in 42.45, then Murray Shand's 3000 recorded 50.55 on his first run then ran out of fuel on his second, finally Gerald Wilby in 54.08.

Our sole contestant in our Libre Class was Nav Bhamra in his Sprite in a best time of 41.22.

By now, the seven Shelsley Team Cup teams and names were recorded as follows:

Team Vectis (Roman name for the Isle of Wight) - Richard Salisbury, Gerald Wilby and Ian Thomas.

On the Button (2 Jensen's!) - Paul Baker, David Lane and Derek Job/Pete Walton

Swivel the Pill (anagram) - Phil Gardner, Steve Casson and Will Richards

Beauties & the Beast (no prizes for guessing) - Trish C-P, Claire Giles and Richard Mason

The Red Arrows (all red cars)  - Murray Shand, Garrow Shand and Monty Hinton

The Spritely Boys - Nav Bhamra and Lawrence Maudsley

100 Dragons (2 x 100's plus Rob) - Rob Owen, Michael Berry and John Ducker

After the Lancaster fly past, the timed runs started.  In the Sprite class, Steve Casson finished the first day with a superb personal best time of 35.66, from Phil Gardner (pictured right) also in a pb time of 38.90 - Click here to see his run.  Claire Giles had a problem with the Weber on her Sprite which was affecting her performance, so she ended the first day with a best time of 40.31, some way off her pb.  Garrow Shand leapt up the ranking with a 41.21 and Richard Salisbury also lowered his person best to end with a 41.24.  Monty Hinton was the big surprise in the Sprite class as he finished with a 43.06 nearly 2.5 secs quicker than his best practice run.  Lawrence Maudsley was a whisker behind in 43.24 which was also a pb.

After the two timed runs in the Big/Jensen Healey class, it was Richard Mason out front with an excellent 34.90, just 0.28 off his pb.  Paul Baker lowered his pb and set a new Jensen Healey record with his 36.74 run.  Will Richards set a new pb time of 37.65.  A reinvigorated Trish C-P set a superb new pb time of 38.61. Ian Thomas spun in the Esses on his first run and then recorded his first sub 40 second time of 39.42 on his second run.  David Lane finished with a best time of 39.60.  Next came the battle of the season between the two 100 drivers - this time Michael Berry was quickest with an excellent 40.22 very closely followed by John Ducker in 40.29.  Derek Job was next in 40.42 followed by Murray Shand who lowered his time by over 5 secs to end with a 44.70.  As did Gerald Wilby as he finished with a 51.57.

In the Libre class, Nav Bhamra broke the sub 40 second barrier to end with an excellent 39.96 run.

As this was a target time round, all the drivers times are compared with their targets and the results were as follows:

Sprite class: 1st Steve Casson, 2nd Monty Hinton, 3rd Phil Gardner, 4th Richard Salisbury, 5th Claire Giles, 6th Rob Owen, 7th Garrow Shand and 8th Lawrence Maudsley

Big/Jensen Healey class: 1st John Ducker, 2nd Trish C-P, 3rd Michael Berry, 4th Paul Baker, 5th Richard Mason, 6th Will Richards, 7th Ian Thomas, 8th Derek Job, 9th David Lane, 10th Gerald Wilby and 11th Murray Shand.

Libre class: 1st Nav Bhamra

After the prizes were awarded and the organisers prize giving attended, there was just enough time for a quick shower and change before dinner expertly organised by Phil Gardner at a superb local pub/restaurant for the drivers and partners/friends etc... An excellent end to a great day's hill climbing.

Sunday morning was expected to be even hotter than Saturday with over 30 degree heat.  Unfortunately the forecasters were not wrong.  There was one change of driver as Derek Job was only present for the Saturday, to be replaced by Peter Walton in his 3000.

As the Sunday event was also a target time round - all drivers would have either their previous best time or their Saturday best time whichever was the lower.

Practice got underway in the Sprite class - Steve Casson was again leading the class with a best time from his two runs of 36.45.  The next five drivers were within a second of each other with Claire Giles next with 40.25, from Phil Gardner in 40.43, Garrow Shand in 40.57, Rob Owen in 40.73 and Lawrence Maudsley in 41.68.  Richard Salisbury was surprisingly off the pace in 44.53 as was Monty Hinton in 45.00.

Practice in the Big/Jensen Healey class had Richard Mason out front with a best time of 34.80 just 0.18 off his hill record.  Paul Baker was next with a 37.50 just ahead of Will Richards in 37.59 and Pete Walton in 38.00.  Trish C-P was next in 39.26 with Michael Berry putting in his fastest run of the weekend a 39.82 run.  To put this into context - the Healey 100 record of 39.47 was set in 2002 by none other than Allan Cameron in his circuit race car.  Even though many have tried to beat it, it has stood for twenty years.  So, well done Michael, your time was just 0.35 secs off the record.  David Lane was next in 40.06 just ahead of Ian Thomas in 40.32, John Ducker in 41.54 and Murray Shand in 41.87.  Gerald Wilby's car had problems so he did not complete a practice run.

In the Libre class, Nav Bhamra managed a best time of 40.43.

After the Spitfire and Hurricane fly past the timed runs got started.  In the Sprite class it was Steve Casson in 35.74 a tad slower than his pb setting time on Saturday.  Click here to see his run.  Claire Giles car was still not performing as it should, but by grit and perseverance Claire took the second slot with her best time of the weekend a 39.48.  Next was Lawrence Maudsley who leapt up the board with a pb time of 39.76 - his first sub-40 secs run.  Phil Gardner's best time was a 40.56 to stay just ahead of Rob Owen in 41.03, Garrow Shand in 41.25 and Richard Salisbury who finished with a much improved time of 41.76.  Finally, Monty Hinton finished the weekend with his best time and another pb of 42.40.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class, Richard Mason could not manage to beat his practice run time and finished with a best time of 35.15.  Paul Baker reduced his time further and finished with a new pb and class record time of 36.69 to stay just ahead of  Will Richards who also finished with a new pb time of 36.81 - Click here to see his run.  Pete Walton was next with his best time of 37.37 with David Lane just behind him in 38.43.  Ian Thomas finished his weekend with a 39.48 - well done. Trish C-P finished with a very good 39.20.  Now we come to the two Healey 100 drivers - up to this stage Michael Berry has had the edge and this time posted an improved time of 39.67 - just 0.20 off the hill record.  But John Ducker had other ideas and he posted his fastest time of the weekend of 39.52 - to be just 0.05 secs off the record - close or what!!  Murray Shand had worked all weekend to keep his car on the track and had slowly chipped away at his times until he finished with a best time of the weekend, a 42.19.  Gerald Wilby only managed to complete his first timed run as he had to leave the event to catch a ferry home to the IOW, but finished with a 51.79.

In the Libre class, Nav Bhamra set a new pb and class record of 39.76.

As on Saturday, as this was a target time event, the driver's times were compared with their targets and the results were as follows:

Sprite class: 1st Lawrence Maudsley (pictured above right), 2nd Monty Hinton, 3rd Steve Casson, 4th Richard Salisbury, 5th Rob Owen, 6th Claire Giles, 7th Phil Gardner and 8th Garrow Shand.

Big/Jensen Healey class: 1st John Ducker (pictured above right), 2nd Will Richards, 3rd Michael Berry, 4th Paul Baker, 5th David Lane, 6th Pete Walton, 7th Ian Thomas, 8th Richard Mason, 9th Trish C-P, 10th Murray Shand and 11th Gerald Wilby.

Libre class: 1st Nav Bhamra.

Attention now turned to the result of the "Shelsley Team Cup".  After some serious mental arithmetic the results were as follows:

The winning team was - "100 Dragons" - pictured right(John Ducker, Rob Owen and Michael Berry) - a fabulous team effort to record the lowest score of -3.25 (the lower the score the better), the team were awarded the fabulous "Shelsley Team Cup" and a bottle of bubbly.

The second placed team was - "Swivel the pill" pictured below right (Will Richards, Phil Gardner and Steve Casson) who amassed an excellent  score of -1.34 and were presented with a bottle of bubbly.

The third placed team was "Beauties and the Beast" (Claire Giles, Trish C-P and Richard Mason) who scored +0.58.

Well, how do you sum up this weekend?  We had our best entry all season, the weather was great, if not a little too hot at times, but the upside was that the track was bone dry all weekend with fabulous grip due to the temperatures.  We had a superb meal on the Saturday evening, Battle of Britain fly pasts, some fantastic cars on display and demonstration runs, all the drivers were trying their hardest to beat their targets resulting in numerous personal best times and a few hill records.  It was Rob Owen and David Lane's birthday, so cake and bubbly was devoured by all after the racing had finished.  We had no accidents and no serious mechanical woes and everyone went home with a smile on their face - so overall a fabulous weekend.

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.

 

Round 7 Gurston Down - 18 June 2022

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

After a two year break, this was our second outing this year to Gurston Down in the rolling Wiltshire hills near Salisbury.  The weather had been hot all week but come Saturday the clouds appeared, the temperature dropped considerably and there was a threat of rain.

We had eleven cars entered for this one day event - comprising the 4 Sprites of Claire Giles, Phil Gardner, Steve Casson and Nav Bhamra (pictured right - Nav's Sprite runs in the Libre Class) plus the 3000s of Ian Thomas and Trish C-P, the 100's of John Ducker and Michael Berry, the 100/6's of Derek Job (first outing for some time) and Gerald Wilby and the Jensen Healey of Paul Baker.  Only Ian Thomas was new to the track

Practice got underway and in the Sprite Class it was Steve Casson who was out front with a best time of 40.01 from Claire Giles in 43.20 and Phil Gardner very close behind in 43.28.

In the Big Healey class, Paul Baker led with a best time of 41.65 from Michael Berry in 42.81, next was new driver Ian Thomas (pictured right at the start line) learning the track very quickly in 43.01, then Trish C-P was next in 46.52, John Ducker close behind in 46.79, then Derek Job reminding himself what hill climbing is all about, from Gerald Wilby in 56.86.

Nav Bhamra's currently our sole entrant in the Libra class, his first season out in his Sprite and this was his first attempt at a hill climb.  His best practice time was 45.60.

After lunch the rain started just as the Healeysport runners were getting ready for their timed runs.  It was heavy at first then it petered out fairly quickly.  However, as a driver, rain always puts that question in your head as to how wet is the track - so how fast can you actually go?

In the Sprite Class, Steve Casson treated the track as if it were dry and popped in a 39.92, the best time of the day across all the classes. Phil Gardner went marginally faster in 43.17 and Claire Giles was just behind in 44.13.

In the Big Healey class Paul Baker posted a 41.82, some way off his pb set here in April mainly due to a worsening misfire that has reappeared.  Ian Thomas was next with an excellent time of 43.21 given this was his first time at Gurston.  If you want to see Ian's run click here.  Ian was just ahead of Michael Berry (pictured right taking to the grass) in 43.37.  Trish C-P was next in an improved time of 46.13 again staying just ahead of John Ducker in 46.20 with Derek Job remembering how to do it with a much improved 46.44.  Gerald Wilby also finished with a quicker time of 56.10.

Nav Bhamra posted a 45.26 - his fastest run of the day - well done Nav.

As the Healeysport classes were waiting to be called to the start line for their last run, an announcement came over the Tannoy that a competitor in the previous class was receiving medical treatment in the collection area at the top of the course having completed his run.  The delay was significant which included the arrival of two Ambulances and the Air Ambulance.  It was later announced that the rest of the meeting was to be cancelled.  No further information was given at that point.

It was announced the following day that the competitor had not survived and a minute's silence was held.

As this was a Target Time event the times from our first timed run were compared with the targets given to each driver and the results of this round of our championship were as follows:

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

Big Healey/Jensen Healey class: 1st Michael Berry, 2nd Ian Thomas, 3rd John Ducker, 4th Paul Baker, 5th Trish C-P, 6th Derek Job, 7th Gerald Wilby

Libra class: 1st Nav Bhamra

The prizes for this event were not awarded at Gurston as we felt it inappropriate and will be presented at a later date.

Overall this had been an unusual day with weather that was cold, dry, windy, sunny and then wet.  Then the event was brought to a premature close.  Naturally, our thoughts go to the family and friends of the competitor.

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 5/6 Harewood - 4/5 June 2022

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

On this Platinum Jubilee weekend the championship travelled to Harewood in Yorkshire for this fabulous hill climb.  As last year, 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 very good entry of 15 drivers taking part in this two day weekend event.  We had the 8 Sprites of Richard Salisbury, Lawrence Maudsley, Steve Casson, Claire Giles, Phil Gardner, Rob Owen, John Tewson and Garrow Shand.  In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class we had the 2 Healey 100's of John Ducker and Michael Berry, the 3000's of Will Richards, Murray Shand, Trish C-P and Richard Mason and the sole Jensen Healey of Paul Baker.

Only Michael Berry was new to the track as everyone else had been there before although not necessarily in the car they were using.  John Tewson is the current Big Healey record holder but is now out in his Sprite and Claire Giles was using her Sprite rather than her 100/6.  Claire was also supporting her husband Jon on the Saturday as he was competing in a Morgan GN called 'Salome' (pictured below) in one of the VSCC classes at Harewood.

The weather was forecast to be dry on Saturday with some rain on Sunday.  Saturday was run on scratch i.e. the quickest driver wins their class with Sunday our Target Time, where each driver is given a target that matches their experience and the ability of their car.

Practice on Saturday got underway and in the Sprite class after two runs, it was Steve Casson leading the way from Garrow Shand, John Tewson, Rob Owen, Phil Gardner, Richard Salisbury and Lawrence Maudsley.  In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, disaster struck the Mason 3000 as it shed it's fan belt on the first run.  All the drivers searched for a replacement but none could be found that would fit, so Trish offered Richard a shared drive in her 3000. So after two practice runs it was Paul Baker in the Jensen leading Richard Mason in his Trish's 3000, from Will Richards, Michael Berry, Murray Shand, John Ducker and Trish C-P.

The times across the two classes were lower than expected which most put down to the cold conditions

The first timed run was held before lunch followed by the second timed run after lunch.  In the Sprite class, Steve Casson took the top slot with a 69.89 some way off his personal best of 68.04, confirming that the cold weather was having an effect on the times. See Steve's in car footage. John Tewson, pictured right, leapt up the leader board to second place with a 73.14 (check out in car video footage) pushing Garrow Shand to third with his best time of 74.13.  Phil Gardner moved up to fourth place in a personal best time of 74.20 with Lawrence Maudsley making the biggest jump up to fifth place with 75.01, over 4 secs quicker than his previous pb.  Claire Giles finished with a 76.81 just ahead of Rob Owen in 76.99 and Richard Salisbury in a personal best time of 78.67.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker took first place with a new pb and Jensen hill record of 70.32, but was disappointed to have not broken into the 69's. See his run here.  Richard Mason was a whisker behind in 70.62 with Will Richards third in 73.58 - both drivers some way off their personal bests.  New to the track - Michael Berry produced some very quick times and finished with a 75.59 - an excellent result given that this is the longest hill climb track in the UK and it's hard to get all the corners right in one lap.  Murray Shand produced an excellent 76.58 on his first timed run to knock over 2 secs off his previous best time.  Trish C-P was next in 78.92 with John Ducker probably thinking of the cocktails he would be serving after the event and finished with a best time of 79.13, some way off his pb.

So, the finishing order for this round was:

Sprite class: 1st Steve Casson, 2nd John Tewson, 3rd Garrow Shand, 4th Phil Gardner, 5th Lawrence Maudsley, 6th Claire Giles, 7th Rob Owen, 8th Richard Salisbury.

Big Healey/Jensen Healey class: 1st Paul Baker, 2nd Richard Mason, 3rd Will Richards, 4th Michael Berry, 5th Murray Shand, 6th Trish C-P, 7th John Ducker.

With Saturday's racing complete, all the drivers retired to the Union Jack festooned 'Queens Jubilee Bar' (aka the Ducker's bar - pictured right) for a well earned cocktail and something festive to eat - not had a Coronation chicken vol-au-vent since the 70's!!  John (pictured right) and Cate Ducker surpassed themselves this year with a stunning array of drinks and food.  At an appropriate time John issued a random selection of Royal masks for all the drivers to wear for the group photo - see picture top right.  A huge thank you from all the drivers and partners to John and Cate for putting in so much thought and effort into organising this event each year, as it is an absolute delight and so Healeysport - well done.

As forecast, Sunday dawned cold and damp, where we had practice under damp conditions and then it rained for the timed runs.

Practice in the Sprite class got underway and the order was very much as the previous day.  The main difference was that Richard Salisbury lost his clutch on the start line for first practice and decided to retire the car for the rest of the day.

In the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class the weather conditions turned the grid up side down.  Although Richard Mason was quickest with a relatively pedestrian 73.51, new driver - Michael Berry was second in a fantastic 74.40 proving that the lighter and well balanced Healey 100 is ideal in these tricky conditions.  Will Richards pictured right was next, followed by Paul Baker, Murray Shand, John Ducker and Trish C-P.

Come the timed runs, the rain was now coming down steadily.  As always, this has the habit of upsetting the normal seeding.  Quickest on his first run was Garrow Shand in a very fast 77.53, followed by Steve Casson in 81.12, then John Tewson in 82.34, Claire Giles in 83.87, Phil Gardner in 84.47 and Rob Owen in 85.07.  On Lawrence Maudsley's first run he went too fast on the down hill section and couldn't make the Esses section so took to the escape road - well, more a track really that wends its way around the outside of the bottom section before re-entering the track before Country bend.  With four wheels off the track the run is classified as a fail.  This probably affected Lawrence's confidence as his 2nd run took 90.61 although the weather conditions were much worse. 

Lawrence's off also had the effect of red flagging Will Richards 3000 as his was the next car on track.  So Will was sent back to the start for a re-run but had to join the queue behind the cars in the batch following the Healeys.  By the time Will got to the start line for his re-run, the track had dried a little and he finished his run in 75.26 to lead the Big Healey/Jensen Healey class.  Michael Berry continued his good form to finish with a 79.51 from Paul Baker in third with a 80.99, Murray Shand who actually went faster on the last run to finish with a 81.83, then Richard Mason in 82.02, Trish C-P in 86.96 and John Ducker in 87.79.

As this was a Target Time round the times were input to the spreadsheet and the winning order was:

Sprite class: 1st Garrow Shand pictured right, 2nd John Tewson, 3rd Rob Owen, 4th Phil Gardner, 5th Claire Giles, 6th Steve Casson, 7th Lawrence Maudsley and Richard Salisbury had to retire his car.

Big Healey/Jensen Healey class: 1st Will Richards pictured right, 2nd Michael Berry, 3rd Murray Shand, 4th Richard Mason, 5th Paul Baker, 6th Trish C-P and 7th John Ducker.

Overall a great weekend's hill climbing at this challenging venue.

Our next event is Gurston Down on Saturday 18 June.  Looks to be an excellent weekend's hill climbing at this fabulous track.

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 4 Prescott - 28 May 2022

(Report by LC Branch and Pics by Jackie Baker)

For the past few years we have usually had Prescott as our last event of the year in October, but the weather has not been too kind to us over the past few years so when the Bugatti Owners Club asked us if we would like to attend their Historique event in May the drivers jumped at the chance.  So, for the first time in 10 years we were back at Prescott in May - and boy what a difference - the sun was out, it was warm and the spring flowers were in bloom - ideal conditions for hill climbing at this prestigious venue.

We had 18 drivers attending - 8 Sprites and 10 Big/Jensen Healeys.  We would have had more if Huw Edwards and David Lane were fit and Richard Salisbury and John Tewson had managed to get an entry.  In the Sprite class, Monty Hinton and David Nutland were new to Prescott and this was David's first time out in his Sebring Sprite with us.  We also had the the Sprites of Max and Garrow Shand, Phil Gardner, Rob Owen, Steve Casson and Lawrence Maudsley.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class, we had just one new driver in Ian Thomas in his 3000 rally car with the Healey 100's of John Ducker and Michael Berry, the 100/6 of Claire Giles, the 3000's of Trish C-P, Murray Shand, Ed Giles, Richard Mason and Pete Walton plus the Jensen Healey of Paul Baker.

Practice got underway and in the Sprite class there were a couple of mishaps to our freshmen.  David Nutland (pictured right) went straight on at Pardon bend and stopped abruptly in the gravel trap.  Unfortunately, his steering was damaged and he could not continue.  Monty Hinton was much more fortunate as he swung wide at the same bend and caught the rubber barriers on the exit - some superficial damage which meant he could continue.  The rest of the Sprite drivers completed practice without incident with Steve Casson quickest in 52.31, Max Shand in 54.29, Garrow Shand in 55.56, Rob Owen in a best time of 57.04, Phil Gardner in 58.24 and Lawrence Maudsley in 60.64.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class, Richard Mason was quickest with a best of 52.12, from Pete Walton in 53.22, a whisker behind was Paul Baker in 53.25, then new driver Ian Thomas was showing that all his rally experience was being put to good use with an excellent 55.51, just behind was Michael Berry in 55.67, then Ed Giles in 57.55, from Murray Shand in 58.90, then three drivers were very close together with John Ducker in 60.03, Trish C-P in 60.14 and Claire Giles in 60.40 struggling with a difficult gearbox selector.

Our second practice run was halted due to a fly past by a Spitfire (pictured right) that had been organised. Such an iconic shape and the glorious sound of that Rolls Royce Merlin engine - marvelous.

After lunch the timed runs got underway.  In the Sprite class it was Steve Casson who was slower on his first run then managed to get it all together to finish with a new personal best time of 51.56 - he would have been even quicker if he had not run wide at Pardon.  Check out his run.  Max Shand was next quickest on his last run in 53.29 also a pb, father Garrow was next in his final run of 55.67, closely followed by Rob Owen also in a pb of 55.86 and Phil Gardner in 56.42, Lawrence Maudsley in 57.53 and Monty Hinton managed two runs without incident and finished with a respectable 63.76.

In the Big/Jensen Healey class, Paul Baker took the top slot with a 51.86 - a pb and a new Jensen Healey class record - see his run here - from Richard Mason a whisker behind in second in 51.94. See Richard's run here.  Pete Walton was next in an excellent 52.42 and pb from Ian Thomas (pictured right) in a superb 55.73 (excellent for a first run at Prescott) who had Michael Berry still a whisker behind in 55.77.  Ed Giles finished with a best time of 57.62 from John Ducker in a new pb time of 58.53 just ahead of Murray Shand in 58.62.  Claire Giles broke through the 60 second barrier to finish with a best time of 59.90 and Trish C-P ended the day with a best of 60.55.

As this was a target time event, the actual times are compared with the targets given to each driver and the results were as follows:

Sprite Class: 1st Lawrence Maudsley, 2nd Steve Casson, 3rd Rob Owen, 4th Phil Gardner, 5th Max Shand, 6th Garrow Shand, 7th Monty Hinton and 8th David Nutland

Big/Jensen Healey Class:  1st Paul Baker, 2nd John Ducker, 3rd Pete Walton, 4th Richard Mason, 5th Michael Berry, 6th Ian Thomas, 7th Ed Giles, 8th Murray Shand, 9th Claire Giles and 10th Trish C-P

As it was Garrow Shand's birthday, cake and bubbly was on offer during the prize giving.  So, overall a great day's hill climbing at this iconic venue.

Our next event is next weekend at Harewood on Saturday/Sunday 4/5 June.  We have 16 drivers entered, so looks to be an excellent weekend's hill climbing at this fabulous track.

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 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.