Time for something a little different. It’s non-Saaby, but I’m going to indulge anyway…..
Scroll on down if you’re not interested.
Today the MG Car Club hosted their second annual historic racing day here in Hobart, at Baskerville Raceway. There were some MG’s involved, though you won’t see many (if any) in the photos I’ve selected to show here.
The day had a mix of feature races and regularity events. The feature races featured the faster cars on the course and some notable drivers, too (more in a moment). They did one flat-starting event to begin with, followed by a handicap race later on, which was quite exciting.
Regularity, for those who are unfamiliar, is a type of racing where competitors nominate their own lap time. They then have to lap as consistently as possible and lose points for being off their nominated time. It’s a type of racing where you can still push your car, but the aim is consistency, not outright speed and therefore, it evens out the field a little.
Both types of racing were fantastic to watch, with some great machinery on display. The color. The sound. There’s something about grassroots motorsport that’s quite addictive.
Shannons Insurance sponsored a vehicle display at the event and this Ferrari Dino was one of the stars of the show. It’s amazing the quality of machinery that’s hanging around in some garages, even in a small city at the end of the earth.
There were a few classic Australians there, too. I came within a hair of buying one of these XP Falcon coupes when I was about 19 years old. It was red, though.
I never came close to buying one of these, but the EH Holden from 1964, below, remains as one of my favourite Australian classics, especially in wagon form.
And below, one of the muscliest of Australian muscle cars, the XB Falcon Coupe. Mad Max aficionados will find this to be familiar….
And, for me, one of the lesser moments in Australian muscle car history….
This Porsche 911 was the highlight of the afternoon. It’s a replica of a car that came second in an Australian Touring Car series back in the early 1970’s.
The car was driven by a special guest at the event, John Bowe. John Bowe is Tasmania’s most successful driver, twice winning the Bathurst 1000 and being Australian Touring Car Champion in the mid 1990s.
Bowe drove the 2.2 litre Porsche in the feature races, with his most competitive opponent being a HQ Holden with a big, worked 350 Chev engine (5.7 litre). The Porsche was outpointed in the power department – by a long way – but Bowe led almost a half-length of the straight by the end of the first lap. He eased off a little after that to keep things looking competitive, but it was a master class by the Tasmanian veteran.
Baskerville was actually one of the first tracks Bowe competed on as a young bloke. During the interview he’s giving in that photo, he talked about the time when his first Baskerville experience fell apart. He was coming around the corner into the main straight when he “ran out of talent” and ended up in a thicket in the paddock off to the side.
It was encouraging to hear this, as I wrote off my Viggen on the exact same corner back in 2007 🙂 .
And yes, I did get some photos on the track, too…..
Wherever there’s a Porsche racing, there seems to be a Porsche Racing truck….
And the engine on this flying lettuce was a work of art. Racing engines always seem to be so neat.
This HQ Monaro from 1974 has a very special place in Tasmanian history.
Back in January 1975, the Tasman Bridge in Hobart was struck by an ore carrier, and a large section of the bridge collapsed. 12 people were killed. 7 on the boat, and 5 people who were in cars that fell into the river.
This HQ Monaro was made famous around the country by this photo:
The car was left teetering on the edge of the bridge, with the engine hanging over the edge and the whole car precariously balanced.
The car is still owned by the Manley family, who bought it new just six months or so before the bridge collapse.
That’s enough for now.
A final shot, though. Guess who’s got the only clown car painted bright yellow?