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

Heritage Touring Cars go Retro in Sydney

Heritage Touring Cars at Racefest

The Queen’s birthday long weekend on June 11-12 sees a big field of genuine Group C & Group A Touring Cars racing at Eastern Creek’s Sydney Motorsport Park. With a record grid of 30 cars entered, all vying for points in the Championship, racing will be fast and close and lap records are expected to be under threat.

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Record Gathering of Australian Lotus Elevens to Celebrate their 60th at Sydney Retro Racefest

Lotus Elevens at Sydney Retro Racefest

Lotus Eleven Chassis 538 leading 188 at Lakeside on the 26th of November, 1961. These cars will reunite at Sydney Retro Racefest this June. Image courtesy of the Brier Thomas Collection.

Sydney Retro Racefest will bring together a record gathering of Australian Lotus Elevens this Queen’s Birthday long weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the classic sportscar racer.

Eight of Australia’s eleven Lotus Elevens will make their way to Sydney Motorsport Park this June 11th and 12th to take part in Sydney Retro Racefest. The gathering marks the 60th anniversary of the Eleven, and will see the cars displayed in a special marquee as well as compete in Regularity events.

“The idea was really based on the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Eleven at Watkins Glen in the US. They were able to bring together a decent proportion of the American Elevens, and had eight or ten of them out on the track.”

“I kicked the idea around with Ed (Holly) for a bit and we started having conversations back in March last year. We’re now up to eight of the eleven cars here in Australia, which is amazing!”

“All four New South Wales cars are going to be involved and we have four coming down from Queensland. The guys bringing cars down from Queensland are making an impressive commitment, so I’d like to send a special thanks to them!”

“We’re going to put together a marquee, à la the race teams back in the day, where we will be displaying the cars. Several will be heading out to the track to compete in Regularity throughout the weekend as well.” – Ashton Roskill

Gathering eight of the eleven Antipodean Elevens is a significant achievement, especially when you consider that only fifteen Lotus Elevens came to Australia in period, and only 270 of the cars were built during their three years of production.

Renowned for their light weight and aerodynamic shape, the cars feature a stunning aluminium body that wraps around a light steel tubular chassis. Horsepower is handled by either a sidevalve Ford four cylinder or a, more desirable, Coventry Climax all alloy 1100cc engine.

The Le Mans models feature four wheel discs that provide world-beating stopping power. A rack and pinion setup gives the cars very direct steering, and coil sprung suspension, with swing axle front suspension in the early cars, completes a very handy handling package.

“The Mark Eleven came from a succession of cars, the Nine and the Ten, but the Eleven was the first real production car. They’re absolutely gorgeous with their flowing lines that are so iconic of the 1950s, when cars were designed by eye rather than wind tunnel.”

“In the mid-‘50s the Elevens were virtually unbeatable in the small sports racing capacity. They swept everything before them in the 1100c up to 1500cc classes, mainly using Coventry Climax motors.” – Ed Holly

The cars were extremely successful in sportscar racing overseas and have only become more desirable as they’ve matured. Just fifteen eventually made their way to Australia to go racing, and they were no less successful here. Since their period racing career they’ve enjoyed a renaissance of sorts with several receiving world-class restorations and continuing their race-winning form in historic motorsport.

One such car is Chassis 538, which is the only car to have been sold new into Australia and will be taking part in Racefest this Queen’s Birthday Long weekend.

Upon its completion Chassis 538 was test driven in the United Kingdom by Count Steve Ouvaroff and then put on the boat out here. It went to George Jamieson, who had been racing a Jaguar XK 120 with Les Agnew.

“They were both in awe of the car! It was much more of a race car than the XK.”

“One thing which really stood out to them was the brakes, especially in such a light car. Having those four massive discs on a car that weighed just 400 kilograms meant that they could still be on the power well after most of the cars around them had to jump on the brakes.” – Ed Holly

From Jamieson the car went to Bevan Flemming, who achieved some good results in it. Joe Hills then bought it, eventually selling to John Partridge who owned it for almost 40 years.

Ed Holly bought it in 2010, restoring it to its stunning contemporary condition and taking it to the Lotus National meeting in Canberra in 2013. That was its first run in 46 years and it acquitted itself well, running a 1:19 around Wakefield Park and winning the biennial event’s concours d’elegance.

Ed’s car will be joined by seven other Elevens on track and in the paddock at the upcoming Sydney Retro Racefest this Queen’s Birthday long weekend over the 11th and 12th of June. Take the opportunity to enjoy this momentous gathering, to see the cars in action on the track and to get up close and personal with them in the pits and paddock.

Tickets are now on sale at a discounted online price through Sydney Motorsport Park, and will be available at the gate as well. Entry for kids under 12 is free.

Sydney Retro Racefest Car Profile: The Army Reserve XD Falcon Group C

Army Reserve XD Falcon Group C

Frank Binding’s Army Reserve XD Falcon Group C will be unleashing its magnificently-liveried muscle upon Sydney Retro Racefest this June 11th and 12th Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

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Summer 2016 Edition of the Oily Rag

Oily Rag Summer 2016

The Summer 2016 issue of The Oily Rag is now with the printers and, depending on the vagaries of Australia Post, will soon be in a letter box near you.

In this issue are reports from the HSRCA’s February Wakefield Park meeting, the HRCC’s TTT day and Super Sprints and the VHRR’s Phillip Island Classic.

There is of course a lot more including stories on two Alfa TZs, Parramatta Park and four pages of classifieds. Sadly there are also a couple of obituaries, including one that’s of significance to the HSRCA.

Keep an eye on your postbox, and enjoy!

If you have any questions about The Oily Rag, or would like to submit a story or images, please contact editor Patrick Quinn at oilyrag@hsrca.org.au.

Ex-Dick Johnson Greens’-Tuf Mustang Returns to the Track for Sydney Retro Racefest

Dick Johnson Greens Tuf Mustang

Dick Johnson’s Greens’-Tuf Mustang is set to return to Australian motorsport this Queen’s Birthday long weekend at Sydney Retro Racefest.

The car was formerly owned by Bill Pye, who entered it in 2015’s Sydney Retro Speedfest before his tragic passing later that year. It has since been purchased by well-known Heritage Touring Cars racer Terry Lawlor, who added it to his collection of classic Mustangs after selling his ex-Bond Caltex Sierra.

Lawlor will race the car for the first time at Sydney Retro Racefest.

“The car is well sorted and very quick, and we hope to be able to mix it with many of the Sierras, as well as with the BMWs and the like.”

The Mustang is one of Australia’s great touring cars, although its competition life started a long way from here. It was built by European team Zakspeed and raced by Klaus Ludwig in Europe. During that time, the wizards at Zakspeed developed it into a particularly sweet handling and powerful machine. Touring car legend Dick Johnson brought it into Australia in 1984 alongside a sister car.

With 1984 being the final year of Group C competition, the James Hardie 1000 saw some Group A cars run in their own class alongside the Group C cars. Johnson entered the Mustang into the race as a backup to his Greens’-Tuf Falcon and it qualified 48th, although it would not be needed come race day.

In 1985, with the change in regulations from Group C to Group A, the reigning champion hopped out of his Greens’- Tuf Falcon into the Mustang GT. The pair would claim eight podiums in 1985 and finish their debut season second in the drivers’ championship behind Jim Richards driving a works BMW 635.

Dick Johnson Greens Tuf Mustang

The car would then be used as a Dick Johnson Racing team spare, with Johnson moving to the second of the two Zakspeed Mustangs. It did see some competition in 1986, entering Australian and New Zealand endurance rounds, and gained some fame when Allan Moffat drove it for a television feature testing top Group A cars.

Its globe-trotting career would then take it to New Zealand, where it raced in the Nissan-Mobil 500 series painted in JPS’ black and gold livery. It saw competition on the streets of Wellington and Pokehoke before returning to Australia and sitting out the remainder of the 1986 season.

It would then be sold to Robbie Ker, who, with Johnson as a co-driver, raced it in the Wellington Nissan-Mobil 500. Unfortunately it saw heavy damage during an accident in practice and did not race.

After Wellington, Ker continued to race the car in New Zealand, giving it bigger wheels and tyres, and flaring its guards to suit. It then passed through several hands before Australian muscle car racer Ross Donnelley purchased it in 2006. Donnelley treated it to a full restoration, by Ken Hopper, bringing it to immaculate period condition as it was raced by Johnson in 1985.

It saw its return to the track in 2008 at a Muscle Car Masters round in Sydney, after which it was sold to Bill Pye, who raced it in Heritage Touring Cars until his passing.

Now in the hands of the extremely experienced and quick Terry Lawlor, we expect it to be very fast indeed, and to give its Group A contemporaries a great run during the motorsport-packed Sydney Retro Racefest weekend.

Its return to racing will take place at Sydney Retro Racefest over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend on the 11th and 12th of June, 2016.

The event, headlined by the Group C and A Australian touring cars of the Heritage Touring Cars series, is set to be an absolute stunner. It will see a huge collection of historic racing and sports cars, everything from Formula 1 to Groups C & A, classic sportscars and more, duking it out through a packed two day racing schedule.

Spectator passes are now available for purchase now through the Sydney Motorsport Park website, and will also be available at the track on both days. Adult tickets are $20.00 for Saturday, $30 for Sunday and $40 for a two-day pass. Concession passes are $15.00 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday and $30 for a two-day pass. Entry for kids under 12 is free.

For more information stay tuned to www.hsrca.com.

Tickets On Sale for Sydney Retro Racefest!

Sydney Retro Racefest 2016

Sydney Retro Racefest, New South Wales’ premiere historic motorsport event, will take over Sydney Motorsport Park over the Queens Birthday long weekend on the 11th and 12th of June, 2016.

This year’s Racefest is set to be the biggest yet and will bring together an awe inspiring collection of historic racing machinery for one of the most motorsport-packed weekends of 2016’s racing calendar.

Spectator passes are now available for purchase through Sydney Motorsport Park at a discounted online pre-order rate. Head to the website here to take advantage of the online discount and purchase yours.

Tickets will also be available at the track on both days. At the gate, adult tickets are $25.00 for Saturday, $35 for Sunday and $50 for a two-day pass. Concession passes are $20.00 for Saturday, $25 for Sunday and $40 for a two-day pass. Entry for kids under 12 is free.

Spectator passes include access to the grandstands and viewing areas, as well as to the pits and paddock – enjoy historic racing’s open and relaxed atmosphere, get up close and personal with the cars and meet the men and women who care for and race them.

Sydney Retro Racefest will be headlined by the Group C and A historic touring cars of the Heritage Touring Cars series. These machines are the true Legends of Bathurst – ‘Godzilla’ Nissan GT-Rs, Ford Sierra RS500s, Aussie muscle from Holden and Ford and overseas contenders from BMW, Toyota, Volvo and more.

In the ’80s and ’90s they were driven by the likes of Peter Brock, Dick Johnson, Allan Moffat and Jim Richards – and when they hit the track at full noise this Queen’s Birthday long weekend the result will be the best tin top racing since the ‘90s. Get ready for pure racing action that transports you straight back to the golden age of Australian motorsport.

Joining them will be a full-to-bursting collection of sports and racing cars from five decades of motorsport history. Open wheel racing will see Formula 5000s, Formula 1s, Formula Fords and Formula Vees hitting the track, while Groups Q & R will bring the noise for sports race car fans and the classic sports cars of Group S and muscle cars of Group N will represent racers with doors and (occasionally) roofs.

When you take a break from the on-track action, Sydney Retro Racefest spectator access includes full access to the pits and paddock. There you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the cars and chat with their drivers.

This relaxed atmosphere is one of historic racing’s greatest qualities – make sure to take advantage of it!

We are proudly supported by Mercedes-Benz Parramatta as the naming rights sponsor for Sydney Retro Racefest 2016. Mercedes-Benz Parramatta will provide the safety car for the meeting and a wonderful display of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Sydney Retro Racefest will run over the 11th and 12th of June, 2016. Be there.

Join Us for the May 2016 Social Night with Bruce Allison

Bruce Allison Chevron B37 Mallory Park

Bruce Allison at Mallory Park, UK in the ex VDS B37 Chevron

May 18 will see the second HSRCA social night for 2016, with guest speaker Bruce Allison regaling us with stories of his forays in, mostly, open wheel racing in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, UK and Europe.

Starting with a series production Twin Cam Escort in the early 1970s, Bruce progressed through Formula Ford and various Australian F2 cars before taking the leap into Formula 5000. His first Formula 5000 was a Lola 332, from which he moved to an ex-VDS B37 Chevron, previously raced by Peter Gethin, which he took to the UK and raced in their 5000 series.

An amusing and entertaining person, Bruce will be worth coming along to listen to!

The evening will be held at the usual venue, Denistone Sports Club, 59 Chatham Road in West Ryde starting at 7:30PM. As always, come along a little earlier to enjoy the bistro and a drink with friends.

JKL Newsletter April 2016

JKL Wakefield Park

Mal Reid’s latest JKL newsletter has gone out to fans of pre-1930s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s historic racing and sports cars, and is now available for you to peruse on the Club website. Just grab it from the link below, and enjoy!

This edition recaps the JKL action at our recent Wakefield Park Summer Historics and the VHRR’s Phillip Island Classic, looks forward to upcoming historic racing meets, catches up on all the news in pre-’30s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s race cars and a whole lot more.

Thanks to Mal for putting together another excellent read! Enjoy it by clicking the link below:

It’s the Pits #11, April 2016 [PDF]

Catch up on the previous edition here:

It’s the Pits #10, December 2015 [PDF]

Join Us for Race Time and Plenty Of It at Sydney Retro Racefest 2016

Sydney Retro Racefest

Entry to the 2016 Sydney Retro Racefest, to be held over June 11 & 12, is now open, and you can enter online through the CAMS Member Portal at this link.

The Historic Sports and Racing Car Association of NSW, in conjunction with the Australian Racing Drivers’ Club, is organising the Sydney Retro Racefest at Sydney Motorsport Park over the weekend of the 11th and 12th of June, 2016 and we would be delighted to have you join us.

Entries are now open for Sydney’s best and most track-time packed historic race meeting. Entry is preferred through CAMS Event Entry, which you can get to by visiting www.cams.com.au.

Sydney Retro Racefest is designed to showcase the best of historic racing, plenty of track time and value for money for all enthusiasts, competitors and spectators. To that end, we have limited the number of competing categories to 9 for this event with the aim of providing plenty of quality track time over the weekend. Entrants should enjoy upwards of 80 minutes of track time over the weekend!

The race weekend is being professionally run by the ARDC, and with your traditionally safe and respectful driving we’re looking forward to limited downtime between races and a smooth weekend.

Please help to make this a weekend to remember by lodging your entries now through the CAMS Member Portal at this link.

We are pleased to welcome Mercedes-Benz Parramatta as the naming rights sponsor for Sydney Retro Racefest 2016. In addition to their financial support, which will help us to market the event, Mercedes-Benz Parramatta will provide the safety car  for the meeting and a wonderful display of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

We look forward to going racing with you, and to making this a very special event and one for us all to remember!

If you have problems completing entries online, or if you require a paper entry to be sent to you, please contact Terry Lawlor  +61 409 811 166 or at terrylawlor@bigpond.com for assistance and directions. Supplementary regulations and additional documentation are available for download below.

We thank you in anticipation of your entry and look forward to you joining us over the 11th and 12th of June.  With your valued support the Racefest will continue to grow and become a flagship feature of Australia’s motorsport calendar.

With every good wish for a memorable weekend of classic motorsport,
The Sydney Retro Racefest Committee.

2016 Wakefield Park Summer Historics Wrap-Up and Gallery

Wakefield Park Summer Historics

Welcome home, and thanks to everyone who joined us at Wakefield Park to kick off 2016’s historic racing season!

We’re freshly returned from the opening round of 2016’s motorsport, and that means it’s time to procrastinate work for a while by reminiscing about the weekend and checking out some photos!

Wakefield Park Summer Historics

Our 2016 Wakefield Park Summer Historics race meeting was held at Wakefield Park over the 27th & 28th of February. It was a relaxed return to motorsport with no ‘feature’ events held – simply an opportunity to catch up with mates, give the cars a run and get back into the historic motorsport groove after the summer break.

Goulburn treated us with pure summer Goulburn. After a hot Friday practice we settled into a cool and rainy (and very slick) Saturday, before the sun came out and delivered an absolutely perfect race day on Sunday.

Wakefield Park Summer Historics

Speaking of delivering absolute perfection, we were joined by a stunning field of historic racing and sports cars from all periods of the sport’s history. Each was beautifully prepared and both skilfully and respectfully driven. It’s wonderful to watch them at full tilt out on the track, and even better to see them driven in that spirited fashion safely.

And it was just as wonderful to encounter them in the pits and paddock, which had the added bonus of being full of great people! They were, as usual, full of friendly buzz and automotive tinkering.

We often mention the joys of chatting your way through the pits and paddock, and it bears repeating. If you do come along to an event, make sure to take some time strolling through the pits, getting up close to the cars and chatting with the wonderful people who have taken on their custodianship or contribute to their continued racing.

We’d like to send our thanks to everyone who came along and got involved, either as a driver, pit crew member or spectator. You’re responsible for the friendly atmosphere and great racing at our events, and we’re exceptionally grateful for your support!

Wakefield Park Summer Historics

Our most important and heartfelt thanks is reserved for the skilled and dedicated volunteers who make our events possible. The amount of work, time and talent that you invest into this sport is immense, and the success of every event is down to you.

We could not spend these weekends playing cars with our mates without you, and we, and everyone involved, would like to send our most heartfelt and enduring thanks to all of you. THANK YOU!

Wakefield Park Summer Historics

Now that you’ve endured my words, it’s time to move on to the pictures! Grab a vessel of your favourite beverage and maybe a biscuit or two, and spend a few minutes relaxing and reminiscing with the first of our photo galleries from our 2016 Wakefield Park Summer Historics.

Click through the handy links below, and enjoy!

2016 Wakefield Park Summer Historics: Jeremy Dale

2016 Wakefield Park Summer Historics: Seth Reinhardt

2016 Wakefield Park Summer Historics: Rod Mackenzie

2016 Wakefield Park Summer Historics: Mark Richards

Images thanks to Jeremy Dale, Rod MackenzieSeth Reinhardt and Mark Richards.