Sunny Days, good racing
May 25-26, 2013
Report by Chris Ralph & Len Read. Pics courtesy Phil Wisewould.
This first bit is an observation made some months later after talking to people and conferring with my good friend Nat Soft. Just before I left on hols there was a kerfuffle when too few Nc competitors had entered to form their own race.
The only option was to revert to a Div 1 and Div 2 format and weather the protests. We were stuck between the organisers wanting to send all the Nc people home and the opposition from the fiercely protective Nb competitors who see this as “their” meeting. Luckily it all turned out for the best.
Thanks to Len Read for his report below and to Phil Wisewould for the photos – some of the shots taken in the last race showed how little light there was. (I remember in 1988 actually winning the last race Winton handicap in my Cortina, excitedly getting the tape they sold and jamming it in the VHS player hoping to hear my name mentioned. It was so dark you could only really see headlights and I heard the commentators say ‘not sure who won there, think it’s a Cortina…’)
Looking at the results it seems that Phil Barrow in the FJ had a wow of a time in Div 2, besting Eddie Dobbs in the FE, John Clarke’s Mustang and locals Quentin Ferry and Kerry Park in EHs. And terrific to see Ted Brewster turning in exactly the same times in the same car as he did 30 years ago when he was a young man approaching 50!
Naturally this is the Mini weekend and unlike Phillip Island when the quick NSW Mins come to play, Historic Winton is favoured by SA hotshoes, with Jason Armstrong and Robert Ford coming over to take on the wily Henry Draper and apprentices Anthony Ramadge and Pete Melick. And as for SA’s Ian Pringle, he almost lives over here! In Div 2 it was clear that Linda Devlin should have been in Div 1 based on her times, nonetheless she had great battles with SA’s Chris Cotton.
Sorry I missed it – but Len didn’t, and here’s his report.
Appendix J Revival at Winton Historics
I think we alleviated many fears of a split grid at Winton Historic in May. With a roughly organized Div 1 and 2 split, the racing was spectacular. In Div 1 it was fought out by the XU1 of Gary Edwards, Henry Draper and South Aussie Jason Armstrong. Congratulations to all three with times well into the 1.08s!
Henry really is a master steerer, to come from last on the grid to 3rd outright all within only 2 laps. Incredible. Another thing that stood out in this race was that apart from Gary Edwards, the NCs did not dominate the races. In fact Henry led Gary on more than one occasion.
My own dices with John Smallman in the Escort were only spoiled for me when he got me in the last race. Great stuff. There were dices all the way down the field. In the Division 2 races it was fantastic to see Linda Devlin take home a couple of wins. She is so smooth and does not crack under pressure of which she had plenty, with Ted Perkins, John Eeles and Paul Atkins all nipping at her heels on occasions. Great racing only spoiled (in my view) by an Nc car winning the last.
But I could not believe how many spectators stayed for that race being the last race of the day. This shows that the class puts on a good show and people want to see it. And yes, I think the grid split could have been a little better in hindsight when you look at the times, but this will be addressed next year I am sure if the need arises.
On another note I achieved a 100% rate with every Nb car wearing a “J” decal. This, I feel is important in that Nb drivers are starting to acknowledge the need to make their cars look different from their Nc cousins. I have to thank Paul Trevethan for organising and more importantly paying for them. He has been a great supporter of the Appendix J revival. They stood out and I had a few questions from people to explain what they meant, which is the whole purpose of them. I even over heard a group talking about it in the crowd.