The HSRCA is one of Australia's leading car clubs catering specifically for historic racing, sports and touring cars.

Nissan V8 Star Rick Kelly Drives Group A ‘Godzilla’

 Rick Kelly legendary R32 GT-R

Nissan Motorsport V8 Supercars star Rick Kelly says he has a new appreciation for the legendary R32 GT-R after sampling a genuine Group A ‘Godzilla’ at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The former two-time Bathurst 1000 winning driver completed a handful of laps in the Terry Lawlor-owned car as part of a promotion for the upcoming Sydney Retro Speedfest.

First run last year, the June 5-7 event will again feature the Group A & C Heritage Touring Car series as one of eight historic racing categories.

Lawlor’s car was one of five Group A GT-Rs built by Gibson Motorsport, competing under Bob Forbes’ GIO Racing banner in 1991 and 1992.

Driven by Mark Gibbs and Rohan Onslow, the car won the 1991 Australian Endurance Championship after finishing first and third in that year’s Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 respectively.

Now based in Sydney and valued at around $500,000, it is the only one of the four surviving Australian GT-Rs that competes in the HTC.

“I really didn’t know what to expect from a 23-year-old race car, but it was pretty damn impressive,” Kelly told Speedcafe.com of the experience

“Acceleration, braking and mid-corner grip, even just the build quality when you look through it, these cars were certainly ahead of their time.

“What blew me away was that as a raw car, even without tuning it for the day, you’re starting at a very high level.

“When you get out of a rear-wheel-drive V8 Supercar after your first laps at any given track you think ‘man, there’s a lot of work to do here to get it dialled in’.

“But the GT-R was ‘this is good, give it a quick tune and let’s race’.”

Rick Kelly legendary R32 GT-R

Kelly was also surprised by how close the car’s overall lap time was to a V8 Supercar, having run a 1:31.5s in his Altima at the recent Sydney SuperTest Shootout.

“I didn’t think that I was pushing it excessively hard, but when I got in the guys said I’d done a 1:36 on my first three-lap run I thought ‘woah, that’s not too bad’,” he said.

“Once the boys told me how much it was worth and a little bit of rain came down I thought I better just make sure I hand it back in one piece.”

Kelly drove Nissan’s latest GT-R race car, the GT3 specification R35, at last year’s Bathurst 12 Hour and hopes to again be part of the factory Nismo line-up next February.

While Nissan has been open about the possibility of adapting GT-R bodywork to the control V8 Supercars chassis under the category’s 2017 Gen2 plan, Kelly expresses caution over such a prospect.

“What this has done for me is help me stop and look back at where motorsport has come from and experience an iconic time in Australian touring car racing,” he said.

“When the Gibson guys brought the car in it was revolutionary for its time. Now the circumstances are very different.

“If we brought a GT-R in now it’d be on the chassis we’ve already got and would have to be rear-wheel-drive.

“I love the GT-R for what it was back then and what it is today, not what it would be if we turned it into a V8 Supercar.”

Nissan Motorsport’s V8 Supercars carry the bodywork of the company’s four-door Altima sedan and are powered by a bespoke 5.0 litre version of the VK56 V8 engine, which features in the Patrol SUV.

Rest in Peace, Frank Matich

Frank Matich 1972 Champion

Today we sadly farewell another legendary friend in our motor racing world – Frank Matich.

Hailed by many as Australia’s finest all-round race driver, with engineering and driving skills to rival the late great Sir Jack Brabham, Frank Matich has died in Sydney after a long and debilitating illness. He was 80 years of age.

In a racing career spanning two decades from the mid-fifties, Matich captured several Australian Sports Car, GT and Gold Star titles, two Australian Grands Prix and the 1970 NZ GP. Two of the Sports Car titles fell to him in his own cars, the SR3 and SR4, while in 1971 he drove his self-designed F5000 car, the Matich A50, to victory in the AGP, then in 1972 took the Gold Star Championship in his A51 and A52.

Though Matich consistently held his own against the best Internationals – Clark, Hill, McLaren and Brabham – the coveted Tasman Cup always eluded him and despite constant pressure he resisted chasing the challenge overseas in favour of staying at home with his family.

Artwork by Brian Caldersmith

Frank's SR3

Race Fuel Pre-Order Discount for Sydney Retro Speedfest

Sydney Retro Speedfest Fuel Pre-Order

Our friends at Hi-Tec Racing Fuel will be supplying race fuel for Sydney Retro Speedfest and have put together a pre-order discount for the weekend.

All you have to do is fill in and submit the following fuel order form and pay for your order by the 29th of May, 2015. Pricing is included in the order form.

Fuel will be supplied in a 20-litre/200-litre drum or pumped into an approved 20-litre jerry can. Please be sure to familiarise yourself with, and follow, the terms and conditions defined in the pre-order documentation.

Sydney Retro Speedfest Hi-Tec Racing Fuels Pre-Order Form [PDF]

Additional fuel may be available from the Hi-Tec Racing Fuels Station at Sydney Motorsport Park, located next to the scrutineering shed.

2015 Wakefield Park Historic Summer by Mark Richards

Historic Racing at Wakefield Park

Photography by Mark Richards

We’ve had a little break since our opening meeting of 2015, the Historic Summer at Wakefield Park, so let’s dive back in with a brand new photo gallery covering the weekend’s motorsport thanks to Mark Richards.

The gallery covers historic racing action from all categories and features some brilliant shots. Click the following link, and enjoy!

2015 Wakefield Park Historic Summer: Mark Richards

Then make sure to head to Mark’s website here for a whole lot more. You can also drop him a quick email if you’re interested in any of the photos or are looking for something not yet online.

Thanks to Mark Richards for the images.

Historic Racing at Wakefield Park

20th May 2015 Social Meeting: Ray Clamback

Following on from the aeronautical theme of Reg Darwell’s entertaining social night last year, we’re pleased to be joined by Ray Clamback at our upcoming 20th May social meeting.

At the meeting, we will be enjoying the adventures and misadventures of Ray, a pilot with 55 years of flying experience. Ray started flying whilst working in Borneo and has made over 200 flights from the USA ferrying light aircraft back to Australia.

Two of these ended in the Pacific! One saw him treading water for twelve hours before eventually encountering a ship and being rescued.

Ray has an exciting collection of interesting and entertaining stories to be told, so make sure to come along and enjoy them!

Denistone Sports Club at 59 Chatham Road West Ryde is the venue as usual. We’ll be kicking off at 8PM but would love for you to join us for a meal and drink beforehand.

Vale – Clive Adams

Clive Adams

Image thanks to Brian Caldersmith

We are sorry to have to tell you that Clive Adams, one of the mainstays of NSW racing during the ‘50s and a founder member of the ARDC back in November 1951, passed away on Wednesday, 22 April, just two months short of his 100th birthday.

He was one of Australia’s engineering greats, conspiring in the 1950s with fellow craftsmen Jack Pryer and Stan Brown to design and build the range of Prad sports/racing cars, acknowledged by many as the best designed and most beautifully proportioned Australian Specials ever crafted.

Clive was a competent race driver, too. His first mount was a front-wheel-drive supercharged Alvis from Alec Mildren. The loss of the Alvis with a blown engine first time out at Bathurst prompted Adams and Pryer to fabricate their own car from a concoction of MG, Amilcar and Bugatti parts, powered by a Ford V8/60 engine. It was 1950 and this was the first Prad, to be followed by a series of four more over the next ten years.

The next car, Prad ll, was based on a monoposto-bodied Sydney Speedway car, stretched and widened, and achieved good placings at Bathurst and a record at Hawkesbury hill-climb before being replaced in 1956 by Prad lll, powered by Holden. During the build, Clive kept his eye in with borrowed drives in such cars as Stan Coffey’s Cooper-Bristol, Tony Arditto’s Jaguar sports and Ray Fowler’s MG J2, in which he lapped Mt Panorama in 3m.07s – just think about that! 

Racing in those days was mostly at the Mt Druitt circuit, an abandoned wartime airstrip secured by Belf Jones, who became the ARDC’s first Secretary, with George Bell the President. Along with Clive, the inaugural Committee comprised leading drivers Arthur Hayes, Jack Robinson, Laurie Oxenford and Leo Bernard, joined soon after by Doug Chivas and Frank Kleinig and in 1953 by Jack Brabham. 

Clive and Jack Pryer continued their association and in 1959 produced probably their finest creation, Prad lV, with a 200bhp Grand Prix Alta engine and Jaguar XK120 gearbox, which they finally passed on as a gift to Spencer Martin, their ardent supporter.

Long past retirement age, and with a well-established workshop at Taree, NSW, Clive continued to work on his and other cars. These included those of son, Ian, who raced through the ‘60s and ‘70s in a Lotus 7 (now owned by Melinda Sexton), a Lotus 23B and a Lola T330. HSRCA members will possibly be familiar with the Shane Bowden car (now in Victoria) and Mal Reid’s Prad Holden. 

The attached Brian Caldersmith artwork was commissioned for the HSRCA’s February 1999 Oran Park event which recognised the achievements of Clive and Jack who attended as patrons for the event.

April Private Practice Day at Sydney Motorsport Park

Sydney Motorsport Park Practice Day

Due to the cancellation of Top Gear, the ARDC have decided to put on a private practice day on Friday the 17th of April, 2015.

Sessions for L2S CAMS licences will be provided along with sessions for faster groups to suit the cars that turn up on the day.

Garages and carports are free and will be allocated on a first in best dressed basis. All you need to do to get involved is turn up and book in on the day in suite 9 from 7am. Gates open at 6am. Hit this link to the ARDC’s private practice page for more information.

A minimum PC CAMS licence or higher competition licence is required for cars, and an MA Senior National Licence is required for bikes.

The ARDC requires motorcycles, superkarts and sidecars to complete pre-payment of the practice fees prior to the practice date. A minimum of ten participants must have prepaid before a session is allocated to them. The documentation can be found on the ARDC’s website here.

This is a brilliant opportunity to get in some sorting or testing prior to Sydney Retro Speedfest, which will be held at the track on the 6th & 7th of June, 2015. With sessions for L2S CAMS licences it’s also a great opportunity to give the pride and joy a nice high speed run.

Come along, tell your friends and let’s make use of the track time recent events have freed up!

Photo Gallery: 2015 Ringwood Hillclimb

HSRCA Ringwood Hillclimb

Image: Ian Fletcher

We’re back from our first hillclimb event, the Ringwood Hillclimb, and have a wonderful set of photographs for you to enjoy thanks to Ian Fletcher!

MG Car Club Newcastle’s Ringwood facility just north of Raymond Terrace was the venue for the event, and we would like to send a huge ‘THANK YOU!’ to them for their magnificent venue as well as their invaluable assistance with timing, clerk of course duties, secretary duties and other officials.

Twenty cars took part in the event and were able to complete an impressive total of 180 runs over the day. Some rain in the morning and after lunch slowed proceedings a touch, but did little to dampen everyone’s enjoyment of the day.

FTD went to Laurie Griffiths in a Porsche 911. The oldest car running up the hill was a 1931 Alvis.

Midday saw the arrival of those who took part in the HSRCA club plate run to the venue and we were pleased to have more friends joining in the socialising after their morning’s adventures.

Thanks to everyone involved!

For a lovely selection of photos from the morning please head to our ‘Gallery’ page, or hit the handy link below.

2015 Ringwood Hillclimb: Ian Fletcher

Photography by, and thanks to, Ian Fletcher.

Gold Coast Function to Remember Leo Geoghegan

Leo Geoghegan

A memorial get together will be held at La Piazza in Runaway Bay, Queensland, for our northern-based friends and relatives to get together and honour our mate Leo Geoghegan.

The memorial will be held at La Piazza from 1.30 to 4pm on Monday the 23rd of March. Drinks and nibbles will be available.

La Piazza is located at:
21 Bayview Street,
Runaway Bay, QLD,
(07) 5563 9200

Please contact Ian Maudsley on 0417 240 101 or email us here if you would like to attend.

The HRCC’s Historic Torque: February & March, 2015

Historic Torque

Historic Torque is the official journal of the Historic Racing Car Club of Queensland, and both February and March editions for 2015 are now available for download.

The newsletters look forward to Autumn’s Historic Warwick, catch up with racer Jill Nelson, recap the HRCC Try, Train and Test event, celebrate the lives of Bill Campbell, Leo Geoghegan, Joe Marano and Ivan Tighe and a whole lot more. Download them from the following links:

HRCC Historic Torque February 2015 [PDF]

HRCC Historic Torque March 2015 [PDF]

And catch up on previous editions with these links:

HRCC Historic Torque January 2015 [PDF]

HRCC Historic Torque December 2014 [PDF]

HRCC Historic Torque November 2014 [PDF]

HRCC Historic Torque October 2014 [PDF]

HRCC Historic Torque September 2014 [PDF]