Wrapping Up Round Four of the 2019 CSCA Super Sprint Series
Austin Healey CSCA ROUND 4: Saturday June 29th – Wakefield Park, in the Combined Sports Car Association (CSCA) Supersprint Series.
By Stephen Perry
The fourth CSCA round of the year was run by the Austin Healey Owners Club (AHOC) at Wakefield Park in conditions as good as it can get for this time of year near Goulburn. A light fog cleared early to blue sky and a light Nor’wester which brought some relatively warm air for a change with an early approximately three degree air temp that warmed up to about 16 degrees. (Compare this to 2 years ago with a starting temp of MINUS 9 warming up to a grand total of just 7 degrees!). The Sou’westers bring the cold/wet bad weather at Goulburn, fresh from the snow, with very lazy winds.
Many drivers enjoyed plenty of runs (up to 54 laps!), in a well-run and organised supersprint, with only 2-3 tow-ins, including yours truly with what sounded like a disintegrated clutch.
Our club had only three entries supporting this event, in a small field of just 74, which is a disappointing turnout, with some drivers away on holidays and other getting over health issues etc. Greg Smith ran in his ex-Group S MGBGT, Gary Maher ran his Ford Escort, and I competed in the MGCGT. Geoff Morse (MGB special) was away, and Max Wasson is still recovering from some knee repairs. The family Scheffer were missing in their MX-5s, and Richard Rose was unavailable.
I managed to reserve side by side carports for the Three Amigos from MGCC on Friday afternoon by placing some items in each vacant carport, while I parked my ute and trailer across all three when I arrived at around 3:30pm. Then, three cars and their drivers returned hot from the track wondering why I had taken their spots! I had to quickly explain I thought the three spots were available as the carports were completely empty except for air – and all ended well as they let me keep some items stored at the back while they finished their day, otherwise someone else would have tried the same trick.
Scrutineering was available as well so I unloaded the MGC and had it checked and signed off and set up ready to roll the next day. As I was on my Pat Malone, I later enjoyed an entertaining dinner at a motel restaurant in Goulburn with a few Jaguar members, some of whom have been coming with me to CSCA sprints for nearly 40 years.
Drivers were able to get up to 54 laps on the day with Greg doing 51 and Gary doing 38 laps, and so fantastic value for a timed track day for Greg at about $3.60 per lap! The MGC only managed 12 laps in anger before the clutch let go in top gear at full throttle down the main straight, generating a lot of very loud metal-to-metal rattles. In its defence, it has lasted some eight-plus years, and has done a lot of hard work dealing with some 200+ engine hp in that time! I was lucky not to be rear ended by a Lotus behind me, who had not realised I was breaking to stop and get off the circuit, and not breaking just to slow down for turn 1!
Again there were great conditions for some good times, with a warm track and cold air, and Greg Smith put in some fast laps in his Rowntree-tweaked BEE GT to beat his old time again by over a second, which is quite a margin. Greg is still getting quicker and quicker in his well-handling car, and Gary Maher beat his old best time by about two seconds! Well done. My tyres were a bit too worn and heat cycled (and so is the driver) to beat my best but got me within 1 second.
The interesting mix of old and new cars competing in the CSCA series continues. The series was originally set up for British sports cars, but now features very modern supercharged Lotuses (Loti), Toyota 86s, Renault Meganes, Mitsubishi Evos, MX-5s etc and at the other end, an early Formula Ford, faithful Cobra and reproduction Ford GT-40s in Gulf colours (and a beaut road going version dropped in as well – see my photo), V12 Jaguar E-Type, Triumph TR-7s and TR-8s, and a Stag, and Healey S & a 3000, and MG Midgets. Makes for good track watching!