Roy­croft Tro­phy

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - Words and Pho­tos Steve Ritchie 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

With Cy­clone Pam head­ing to­wards our shores the Roy­croft Tro­phy had the like­li­hood of be­ing any­thing but a straight­for­ward event. How­ever, thank­fully the rain held off, and we were in for a great week­end of rac­ing.

Or­ga­nized by the Waitem­ata Branch of the Vin­tage Car Club of New Zealand, the His­toric Rac­ing and Sports Car Club and the Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cle Rac­ing Reg­is­ter of New Zealand, and held over the week­end of March 14 and 15 at Hamp­ton Downs, this year’s event was cast with a French flavour. The classes in­vited to race were the His­toric For­mula Ju­nior, Pre-1960 Sports Cars, Pre-1945 Sports Cars, Pre-1960 Sa­loons, and demon­stra­tion laps of Pre-1963 mo­tor­cy­cles.

Lunchtime ac­tiv­ity saw pa­rade laps of the var­i­ous vin­tage cars and his­torics, in­clud­ing the SCAR (So­ciété de Con­struc­tion Au­to­mo­biles de Reims) 1912, which was one of only six built, this ex­am­ple be­ing im­ported to New Zealand new in 1913 by the owner of Auck­land’s Grand Ho­tel, Henry Bray. Also in the pa­rade and on dis­play was a 1915 Re­nault chara­banc. Other lunchtime en­ter­tain­ment was pro­vided by the Lind­say Meech Band, an ex­quis­ite brass band play­ing some fine tunes.

On Satur­day night there was a French wine and food evening. Those at­tend­ing were treated by hear­ing guest speak­ers, in­clud­ing Hugh An­der­son, a four times mo­tor­cy­cle world cham­pion who also won the Isle of Man TT four times, Ken Mcin­tosh, known world­wide for his tun­ing abil­i­ties and Nor­ton ex­per­tise, and 90-year-old Les Har­ris who, in­cred­i­bly, still races his BSA Ban­tam.

Satur­day’s rac­ing in­cluded the Waitem­ata Cup for Pre-1960 ma­chines. This was won by David Owen in the 1953 Jaguar C-type replica, with sec­ond place go­ing to Tim Hill in his 1951 Mor­gan Plus 4, while third place went to Steve Sharp in his 1955 Buck­ler 90. How­ever, for the ‘Spirit of the Event’ Hill was named as the win­ner since Owen had al­ready won the Bar­rie Girdler Tro­phy for the Fastest South Is­land ve­hi­cle. Also on the Satur­day was the de­lau­tour Me­mo­rial race for Pre 1945ers, which saw Fred Court­ney in the 1950 North­land Spe­cial take the ti­tle, fol­lowed by Steve Payne in a 1960 Mor­gan 4/4 in sec­ond, with Peter Ben­brook’s 1950 Buck­ler MKV in third place.

The week­end was rounded off on Sun­day with the 10-lap fea­ture race for the Roy­croft Tro­phy – this be­ing Ron Roy­croft’s Ryall Cup, do­nated to the Waitem­ata branch of VCCNZ by Terry and Deanne Roy­croft). This saw a field of 14 cars from the var­i­ous classes all vy­ing for the Tro­phy, in­clud­ing Terry Roy­croft, who drove his fa­ther’s fa­mous Type 35 Bu­gatti. The even­tual win­ner was David Owen, fol­lowed by Tim Hill, with Steve Sharp round­ing off the top three, while Terry Roy­croft put in a ster­ling ef­fort to fin­ish the race in fourth place.

De­fend­ing Targa New Zealand win­ners, Glenn Inkster and Spencer Winn (Mit­subishi Evo VIII), got their 2015 sea­son off to a win­ning start with over­all and class victory in the one-day Metal­man Targa Sprint event on March 8.

Based at Ard­more Air­port, and with two short stages re­peated three times each for a to­tal dis­tance of just over 60km, the event at­tracted a 40-strong mix of regular Targa spe­cial­ists, along with in­ter­ested first-timers like re­cently crowned NZV8 Tour­ing Car cham­pion Kevin Wil­liams, who leased a Mit­subishi Evo VI.

Inkster and Winn took the over­all event honours by 26 sec­onds from fel­low All­com­ers 4WD class fast-man Leigh Hop­per and his co-driver Simon Kirk­patrick (Subaru Im­preza WRX), but the win­ning pair cer­tainly didn’t have it all their own way.

The mar­gin was just one sec­ond in two of the stages, and Hop­per and Kirk­patrick turned the ta­bles on Inkster and Winn to win the sec­ond stage by three sec­onds. In the other stages the mar­gins re­mained in the sin­gle fig­ures, though as we’ve said, Inkster and Winn re­tained the ad­van­tage.

Third over­all and win­ner of the Mod­ern 2WD class was Clark ‘Metal­man’ Proc­tor, in the highly-mod­i­fied tur­bocharged Nis­san V6-pow­ered Ford Es­cort MKI, now re­built af­ter its crash and gear­box is­sues in last year’s Targa South Is­land event.

“We’ve had a few wee is­sues, as you’d ex­pect when you are in a bit of a hurry to put some­thing back to­gether and just make the start line, but in say­ing that I am re­ally pleased with how it’s go­ing,” Proc­tor told Nzclassiccar. “The roads are good too, they’re the sort that re­ally suit the car, it feels com­pletely at home in the tight, twisty bumpy stuff, it just soaks it up.”

Proc­tor spent the best part of the day fight­ing a pitched battle for the Mod­ern 2WD class lead with Taranaki ace Ross Gra­ham’s Holden To­rana A9X V8. Gra­ham (who used dif­fer­ent mem­bers of his team as co-driv­ers dur­ing the day) claimed class wins in three of the stages, in­clud­ing the first by five sec­onds over Proc­tor and the third — again over Proc­tor — by just one sec­ond.

As he set­tled into his re­built car Proc­tor got quicker and quicker, while at the same time the late-model BMW M3 V8s of Simon Clark and co-driver Don­ald Howard, and Aaron Robin­son and Ge­orge Ran­dle (shar­ing the car owned and usu­ally driven by Tim James), started putting pres­sure on Gra­ham.

The re­sult was that Gra­ham held on for sec­ond in class and sixth over­all, with the BMWS of Clark and Howard and Robin­son and Ran­dle third and fourth re­spec­tively in class, and an im­pres­sive eighth and ninth re­spec­tively over­all.

Early on in the day there was also a battle for class honours in Clas­sic 2WD. But when the Dat­sun 240Z of early pace-set­ters Andy My­gind and An­thony Baker was slowed by a mis­fire then fuel star­va­tion, fa­ther-and-son Porsche 911 S pair Ed­die and Tom Grooten eased away to lead home the clas­sic con­tin­gent from Ken Nor­thin and his co-driver in Nor­thin’s Ford Es­cort RS 2000 replica.

Fi­nally, ab­so­lutely buzzing af­ter his very first taste of tar­mac road ral­ly­ing, was V8 tour­ing car ace and newly-crowned cham­pion Kevin Wil­liams, who de­cided to do the event when he found out it was go­ing past his front gate. De­spite a mi­nor of­froad ex­cur­sion, Wil­liams ended up a re­spectable sev­enth in the All­com­ers 4WD class, and says that now he has a taste for tar­mac ral­ly­ing.

Ross Mackay Fast Com­pany/ Proshotz

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