Rusty Nuts at the 2019 HSRCA Spring Festival

The Rusty Nuts are a group of (mostly) MG drivers and club members who head out into the wider world in pursuit of motorsport glory and good times with good mates. They were recently at the HSRCA’s 2019 Spring Festival, and you can find out what they got up to thanks to the following report from Steve Perry.

Regularity & Rusty Nut Report – HSRCA 28th & 29th September 2019 Wakefield Park

Steve Perry 

Regularity, racing and super sprinting were all on again in September at the HSRCA Spring Festival at Wakefield Park, Goulburn.

Having a very bent MGC gearbox preventing me from competing, Bruce Smith lined me up (press ganged?) to be his Elva Courier pit crew for the meeting. Well, outdoor exercise and track banter with a few MG drivers and others, and watching some beaut historic race cars in action is always enjoyable, so I agreed. Then it sunk in – Bruce worked on Friday, meaning a drive down on Saturday for scrutineering in Goulburn soon after 7am, after a 2 1/2 hour drive. That meant meeting at about 4:30am with a get up time of about 3:20am! The Sparrow family were still sound asleep. The things we do for motorsport and fun with cars. Lights were out at 8:30pm after an enjoyable but long 17-hour day.

Rusty Nuts at the 2019 HSRCA Spring Festival

The September Regularity and Rusty Nut runners included Sydney members Phillip Powell (MGB), Richard Rose (MGA), Geoff Morse (MGB Peninsula Special) and Bruce Smith (Elva Courier) along with MGCC Newcastle member Ian Ashton (MGB). Also in Group S we had Doug Barbour (911 Targa) and Sam Girgis (MGB). Racing Group M & O we had Daniel Nolan driving Alan’s 5 litre Nola Chev.

The MG Regularity drivers Phil Powell, Bruce Smith and Ian Ashton had decided to camp instead of using carports, which is always a brave decision in Goulburn due to its very unpredictable weather. However, this whole weekend was blessed with perfect weather  – warm sun and cool air.

The happy campers had a beaut weekend, albeit with a few niggles! Phil Powell had some gearbox issues, meaning changing up was OK but NOT changing down. Bruce had fuel filter issues caused by perishing fuel tank foam, and then some engine missing. Sam Girgis had bigger issues in Group S with his yellow Bee generating a huge James Bond-type engine smoke screen due to oil somehow getting into one cylinder. Most engines stop in a big way after all the smoke leaks out, so Sam packed up after a great day on Saturday.

We had a keen but small group of supporters – Richard Caller was on hand to assist Geoff Morse with his MGB, Frank and Tony Kanak were the pit crew for Alan Nolan’s big Nola Chev sports car, and I was helping Bruce Smith with his very nice Elva Courier (an English fibreglass-bodied sports car with MGA engine and gearbox). Phil Powell was joined by his better half Glenis, and so was Ian Ashton.

Regularity scores one point for each tenth of a second OVER your nominated time, but its two points for each tenth UNDER your time. LOWEST point score  wins. Hence, its best to nominate a time just a tad quicker than what you think you will do – not easy to calculate with all the traffic and considering the 30 minutes and 20 plus laps in the annual HSRCA Regularity enduro. This classic event was won yet again by an MG team – congratulations to Phil Powell, Geoff Morse, Ian Ashton and Richard Rose! The big win means the usual F1 test drive with Ferrari (on the simulator in the pool hall).

Regularity produced a very entertaining demonstration of some very spirited driving by Geoff Morse in his MGB special and Adam Hall in his ‘64 Sunbeam Alpine – a car Geoff also knows well after his many years racing a blue Alpine. Both overtook each other several times in each session trying to keep up a good even pace, with Geoff a tad quicker over the lap. Great stuff.

Meanwhile, Phil Powell was having to charge into corners maximising mid corner and exit speed as he only had overdrive 3rd and top to play with, and he still got down to very respectable times! A great drive.

Good to see Bruce Smith back in the saddle after many years and enjoying his drive in the Elva. Some smooth laps early on were interrupted somewhat by some engine missing, while Bruce was re-learning Wakefield. Richard Rose was up and down on his nominated times in his MGA in the traffic, but was still all smiles with his usual position in the middle of the track. Ian Ashton from MG Newcastle was the most consistent MG driver with two first places outright and one second outright – well done Ian, as this was well up on his position from last time at Wakefield.

Rusty Nuts at the 2019 HSRCA Spring Festival

MG/Rusty Nut Results (care of Natsoft)

Four runs including a 30 minute enduro in run 2, with the first 3 runs only counting towards an overall win (as we had a lack of runners in Run 4). Lowest Regularity Pointscore wins the Sheep Station!

Rusty
Nut
Reg1
Place
Reg1
Points
Reg2
20 Laps
Place
Reg2
Points
Reg3
Place
Reg3
Points
Reg4
Place
Reg4
Points
Total Rusty Nut
Result
I Ashton 2nd 53 1st 204 1st 64 DNS N/A 321 RN 1
G Morse 4th  97 6th 477 4th 92 DNS N/A 666 RN 2
P Powell 12th 416 10th 722 5th 129 3rd N/A 1267 RN 3
B Smith 10th 201 8th 646 9th 431 DNF N/A 1278 RN 4
R Rose 13th 703 11th 825 6th 130 DNS N/A 1658 RN 5

An exceptionally low score by Ian won the day for the ‘Rusty Nutters’, followed by Geoff Morse (a big improvement over his last outing), and the big effort by Phil Powell put him into 3rd spot only a whisker ahead of Bruce Smith.

In between our runs and giving each other lots of free advice, we watched some spectacular historic open wheeler and sedan race cars on the track, with the Group S fast battles up front dominated by Doug Barbour’s 911 and in Group N some great close and quick racing between a Ford XY 351 and a fast Rotary RX-2.

Daniel Nolan was very quick in the big Nola Chev getting his lap times down to the very low 1-second bracket – well done Daniel on some very tidy and fast driving!

We also enjoyed a nice car display by MGCC ACT, which included a beaut K-Type replica, MGA, MGBs, MGY and an auto MGC, Austin Healeys and a rare salmon-coloured Sunbeam Tiger!

So regularity and racing is certainly a lot of fun for like-minded drivers, whilst improving your driving skills. All had a great weekend!

Come and join the Rusty Nuts next time in your MG for some of the best fun you can have sitting down, on or off the track! You drive at a pace that you are comfortable with and nominate your own expected lap time – how much more control do you need? Get that MG out of its garage, and do some spirited cobweb removing driving with us!

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