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13-02-08

Formula Junior Tasman Series Australian Update 4



Report by Neil McCrudden about his & Lance's time in New Zealand

Neil & Mandy McCrudden, Lance Carwardine, John Illig & Bob Betts have all returned from their New Zealand adventure.

On the WARM web site Neil has written an approx 4000 word report about the trip with its high's & low's. This article has many pictures and an additional ~40 image picuture album

Click here to go to the WARM Website then choose "Neils report about the New Zealand racing trip"

 

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Earlier report No.3

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Earlier report No.2

Some note point details from Neil below & a written report from David Reid below the images

1 Container arrived OK
2 Lotus dropped valve in qualifing and destroyed new engine
3 Trying to fit replacement engine (McEntee engine) for Taupo
4 Radiator cap came off McEntee in race 1 on Saturday and burnt Lances back
5 Glen Caple drove Macon on Saturday. finished 18th in race.
6 I drove Macon in race on Sunday , started 18 on grid and finished 5th
7 Lance fitted new head gasket to Fiat engine which caused engine failure on Sunday - no holes in gasket for oil to drain back to engine. He will try and fit new engine for Taupo
8 Macon and McEntee are going well.
9 Had a lot of locals provide fantastic help in fixing engine etc.
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Download Results

Below is a report by David Reid

We all arrived safely between Monday and Thursday and were kept busy with the UK and WA containers cleared, but the MEL and 2 BNE containers held in Auckland until 9.30am on Friday. The Kiwis unloaded the two car container and trailered those two to the circuit, arriving at midday. The other two containers arrived around 2ish and everyone worked hard to get cars out, fuelled and ready. Dick Willis and Mike Gosbell chose to not practice, but the rest of us got some laps in. I was seeing 130mph at the end of the back straight – seriously scary when the next corner is a hairpin! Some real problems then unfolded with Dick Willis out (comprehensive engine failure – crank, block head etc), Graham Brown (dropped valve, destroyed piston), Peter Boel (dropped valve, destroyed piston), Neil McCrudden (dropped valve etc as well in the Lotus + the McEntree still having issues sorted). Graham B had his spare engine in overnight and just missed Race 1, but is now back in business. Peter B has worked almost non-stop and has arranged a new piston from Christchurch and will rebuild his motor in time for Taupo. In the meantime, Allan Conway has water in oil, oil in water etc and thinks the block has failed. Both he and Peter are still in Pukekohe and when we left (I am now down in Taupo), they were about to pull Allan’s engine down. He also plans on being back in business for the weekend. The racing has been great and the Kiwis wonderful hosts. Peter S and Jonathan W are showing the internationals how to do it and are both driving very impressively. The mid-field is a riot and everyone is having seriously good fun. It is absolutely wonderful to close up on the front engined cars which are beautiful and go better than I thought. The UK contingent are all lovely people and slowly adapting to the lack of formality. Well some are.
 
I have attached the updated result sheet for your interest and all races count for both our Junior Tasman Series as well as the 8 race World Series – I only need you guys to decide which 2 of the 4 Phillip Is races you have decided will apply to the AFJA series points and could Kelvin / Michael let me have a list of the confirmed withdrawals from Calder / Phillip Is so I can update my master sheets?
 
On the regalia front,. the Kiwis have been selling a very smart polo and matching cap which is aimed at their two events and Duncan and Mair have also been selling a polo and cap with the Series logo.   I have presented each competitor with a Bucket Hat bearing the Series Logo and they have been very popular with non-competitors even offering to buy them! I will also present each of the competitors doing all of the 4 rounds with the Shirt shown in the attached photo and am very pleased I decided to proceed on that front. On the Hospitality front, Annie, Bev Boel and Colleen Conway are making plans for lunches and refreshments for drivers, their wives and pit crews for all competition days. We are reasonably confident that we have all that well in hand.
 
As to our AFJA Jubilee Series Dinner, I’ve had no feedback, so assume Frank Matich has declined our offer to be our guest speaker. I will approach Duncan to speak to us briefly as well as inviting any our international guests who may also wish to speak. The key to the success of our dinner will be no long addresses or speeches and for the evening to be one of light hearted  camaraderie.
 
 
Cheers,       David Reid

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Earlier report No.1

Well it all seems to be finally coming together. Whilst most of this is known to those competing in New Zealand, here is an update on the events.

Brisbane Container

Melbourne Container

United Kingdom Container

Perth Container containing 4 of Neil's cars.
 
NEW ZEALAND
After a lot of hard work, the Western container has departed, the Southern container is on the ship which sails tomorrow and the Northern containers are also on the ship which sails Thursday. The UK containers have arrived in New Zealand. We are all looking forward to some great times on and off the track and there is already a good feeling of camaraderie building. The Kiwis have a very healthy relaxed approach to Historic Racing which seeks to foster everyone having a good time. One of their (unwritten) rules is that if you lap another car twice, you get a drive through penalty! Whilst this probably won’t happen, it sets the scene for the mid and back field having as much fun as the front end. We look like having a grid of some 40 cars comprising front and rear engines, drum and disc brakes and I have attached some photos of the various containers being loaded.
 
CALDER
As at today, we are still waiting for access to the Entry Forms and Supp Regs which are promised to be here very shortly. The UK, NZ and returning AUS containers will be delivered direct to the track for Customs and Quarantine to open and clear. We do understand that there will be lock up garaging available for all cars for security during the event. Keep an eye on Calder’s websites  www.motorsport.com.au and www.amcclub.com.au  for entry details.
 
PHILLIP ISLAND
By now you should all have entered (www.vhrr.com) and many classes were already over-subscribed before Christmas. We look like fielding a maximum grid of some 55 cars and, in doing so, will set some records.
 
HOSPITALITY
There will be an AFJA Jubilee Series Dinner at Phillip Is on the Friday night – further details will be forthcoming from Kelvin on this and our AGM on Saturday afternoon. We will also be having drinks and nibbles in the pits at the conclusion of each day’s racing to allow us all to get together, particularly with the International competitors. More arrangements will be forwarded once we have confirmed entry lists.
 
PROMOTION
As we will be collecting professional and amateur photos as well as video footage of all events for a potential future publication, a history of your car, together with photos would be greatly appreciated for those assembling the story. Please forward to me at david.reid@balvarran.com and I will pass it on.
 
US SERIES
Some of our members going to compete in NZ are preparing to take at least one container to the US to compete in their Jubilee Series as follows:
 
Aug 08-10             Round #1              Pre-Historics         Laguna Seca        nr San Francisco
Aug 15-17             Round #2              Historics                Laguna Seca        nr San Francisco
Aug 22-24                                             Historics                Joliet                      nr Chicago
Aug 29-01             Round #3              Rolex Vintage      Lime Rock             nr Massachusetts
Sep 05-07             Round #4              Historics                Watkins Glen       nr Rochester, NY State
 
We are developing a detailed transport plan to move the cars all the way in their containers so as to be free to personally travel by car, air or rail.
 
If you are interested and want to be kept informed, let me know and I will add you to our email update list. WE WILL NEVER HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY AGAIN.
 
AUS EVENTS ENTRY CONFIRMATION
You are shown on our entry list as competing at both Calder and Phillip Is. Can you please confirm by return email to me that you will be. We need to have a definite listing, so if you have decided that you will not be there, or have not entered for Phillip island, please let me know ASAP. If we don’t hear from you, we will assume you are not coming......
 
In the meantime, if I can help in any way, please let me know.
 
 
Regards,       David Reid

 

The latest notes & images from Neil & Lances escapades in New Zealand

We had a very successful meeting on the new grand prix circuit at Taupo, New Zealand.  After a few mechanical problems at Pukekhoe, I decided to concentrate on driving and sorting out the Lotus Formula Junior.   From a huge field of international drivers and cars we were able to move the car up the grid from 26th out of 40 odd cars to finish 10th  in the last event.  We still had oil delivery problems and I backed off for the last two laps, Never the less I was with the front train for about 4 laps and the car was starting to perform well considering we were running our replacement engine.
The McEntee was running well but we were not able to cure the oil seal problems from the back hubs and the drums were filling up with oil.  Lance nursed the car through the event so we can concentrate on it for Calder and PhillipIsland.
One of the key sponsors of the Tasman Series was Bonney’s Transport. The owner Calvin Bonney is a keen driver although in Trucks (Shared his driving with the late Denny Hulme) and sedans (Monaro).  To get the eight or so international containers to Pukekhoe he had worked all night picking them up from his yard and delivering them to the circuit for free.  As I was going to concentrate on the Lotus for Taupo I offered Calvin a drive of the Macon for the Friday practice.  He practiced with the F5000 and drove extremely well.  I then offered him the car for the weekend.  Although Glen Caple was in Taupo, his CAMS licence ran out at the end of January (bugger).  Calvin managed to get second on the grid from a massive field of historics including Ralts, Marchs, Brabham, formula Holdens and V8 powered open wheelers.   In the first race it was a duel between the Ralt RT1 and the Macon and Calvin was brilliant against a more powerful field.  He won the event convincingly.  The second event was on Sunday and the Macon held pole position.  In this race Calvin moved out to almost ½ lap ahead and Lance had moved up into 4th position ready to pounce on the 2nd and 3rd cars when a back marker spun and the race was red flagged with 1 lap to go.   Lance followed the other cars into the pits but Calvin stayed on the track and moved back to the start line for a restart. In New Zealand if you leave the circuit you must go to the back of the field.  Lance was able to move back to mid field in the last lap but Calvin won it convincingly.
The last event saw Lance win the event with Calvin only a few seconds behind. The third place getter was about ½ lap behind; so West Australia achieved a one, two finish.
The cars were all cleaned, drained of fuel and repacked into the container for Melbourne.
The Formula Junior Association of New Zealand presented me with a trophy for I think doing the most to get to the event and providing the car to Calvin Bonney – a great looking trophy and totally unexpected. 
I would have to say that the New Zealand people did a fantastic job in helping us, I will write up the story in the next few days when Lance gets back and we will hopefully cover the full trip.
 
The three photos show the F2s in the pits, The line up of Formula Juniors for the grid, and the queue goes the same distance behind us and the collection of Lotus formula Juniors from around the World at Taupo.
 
Cheers
 
Neil