His­toric Rac­ing Club Ice­breaker

This year’s an­nual Ice­breaker was, as al­ways, the first event of the clas­sic-rac­ing sea­son for many of the par­tic­i­pants

New Zealand Classic Car - - Pace with Grace - 6. 7. 8.

The an­nual Ice­breaker was held at Hamp­ton Downs over the week­end of Septem­ber 12–13, and all in­volved were wel­comed to a dry track on both days, with just the mer­est threat of rain and slightly blus­tery con­di­tions on Sun­day.

The Ice­breaker was the first round for many of the classes, in­clud­ing the PPG Clas­sic Tri­als, Alfa Tro­feo Se­ries, the ERC Clas­sic Race Se­ries, and the Cas­trol BMW Race Se­ries. Other classes in­vited to race were His­toric Mus­cle cars, His­toric For­mula Ford, and For­mula Li­bre.

With a good turnout of en­trants, on­look­ers were treated to some fine auto-rac­ing — al­beit with the odd ‘off’ or spin, pos­si­bly due to the lack of rac­ing in the off sea­son or over-en­thu­si­as­tic driv­ing. Ei­ther way, it made for some en­ter­tain­ing watch­ing.

Clas­sic Tri­als

With prac­tice and qual­i­fy­ing tak­ing place on Satur­day morn­ing, the day’s rac­ing fi­nally got un­der­way just af­ter lunch — start­ing off with the PPG Clas­sic Trial cars. As I have men­tioned in pre­vi­ous race re­ports, Clas­sic Tri­als dif­fers from stan­dard rac­ing — it is about nom­i­nat­ing a lap time in qual­i­fy­ing, then be­ing con­sis­tently close to this time. Each race is 10 min­utes long. A good mix of ma­chin­ery was on track, rang­ing from the 1951 Jowett Jupiter of Neil Moore to lat­ter-day cars such as Toy­ota MR2S and Porsche 944s. Three races were held over the Satur­day, with the fi­nal hon­ours and round points go­ing to last year’s se­ries win­ner, Paul Couper in the trusty Mazda MX-5.

ERC Clas­sic Race Se­ries

As the ab­bre­vi­a­tion ‘ERC’ sug­gests, this class is made up of Euro­pean cars, pre­dom­i­nantly pre ’77, and split into two groups — the ‘slow’ group, which is the AES / Trade­zone Class, with the ‘fast’ group be­ing the Ar­rows Wheels Sports GT Class. Race four was for the AES / Trade­zone cars, and pro­vided a tight bat­tle be­tween sev­eral of the run­ners. Ul­ti­mately, it was Paul Made­ley in a Porsche 944 who was first to sight the che­quered flag.

For their se­cond out­ing, Race 15, the or­ga­niz­ers de­cided to merge the AES and Ar­rows classes, the re­sult be­ing a win for the fast-fly­ing New Zealand Fire­fight­ers Rac­ing Team Es­cort of John Den­nehy. The fi­nal race for the com­bined AES and Ar­rows saw Ed­die Beresford take the che­quered flag in an Alfa Alfasud Ti.

For­mula Li­bre

This se­ries also pro­vided some close rac­ing. Its first race was kicked off by a rolling start, and soon saw a tight tus­sle break out be­tween

Graeme Cameron in a Swift FF and Dave Sil­ver­ton in a PRS FF. Once all eight laps had been com­pleted, it was Cameron who came out on top. The se­cond race was a more con­ven­tional grid start, and this time a bat­tle de­vel­oped be­tween Dave Sil­ver­ton and David Banks. Un­like the ear­lier race, Sil­ver­ton was vic­to­ri­ous. Sil­ver­ton and Cameron were also en­tered into the His­toric For­mula Ford class, and they once again pro­vided some close rac­ing in the first of the For­mula Ford races. Sil­ver­ton went on to win both of the For­mula Ford races of the week­end. The fi­nal race for For­mula Ford and For­mula Li­bre was com­bined, and it didn’t come as a sur­prise that Dave Sil­ver­ton would go on to win this by 3.6 sec­onds over David Banks.


The Alfa Tro­feo Se­ries kicked off the week­end, split into five sep­a­rate classes. The win­ners of each class were Ron Di­jk­mans (Alfasud, GTA class), Ed­die Beresford (Alfasud Ti, GT Ju­nior class), Max van Maa­nen (Alfa 33, Ve­loce class), Ross Olifent (Alfa 33, Tro­feo class), and Dar­ron Cur­phey (Fiat 131R, Corsa Ital­iana class).

His­toric Mus­cle Cars

The His­toric Mus­cle Cars were also present at Hamp­ton Downs — this class con­sist­ing of rac­ers from the ’66 to ’74 era, and in­clud­ing the likes of Ca­maros and Mus­tangs. They’re not com­pet­ing for points or a cham­pi­onship, the em­pha­sis within the HMC se­ries is on recre­at­ing a pe­riod when big-banger tin-tops were raced un­der FIA Group 2 and 5 reg­u­la­tions, as they were in New Zealand, Aus­tralia, Eng­land, and the US (Trans-am) — and that’s the word ac­cord­ing to Dale Mathers, the His­toric Mus­cle Cars di­rec­tor. Un­for­tu­nately, num­bers in this class were down, as sev­eral of the en­thu­si­asts were still in the process of pre­par­ing their race cars for the sum­mer sea­son.

Cas­trol BMWS

Con­clud­ing the rac­ing on Sun­day was the ap­pear­ance of the Cas­trol BMW E30 class. With a field of ap­prox­i­mately 40 cars split into Group1 and Group2, this class has be­come very pop­u­lar over the years as it is a very cost-ef­fec­tive way to go rac­ing. Win­ning the last race of the day was Richard Ox­ton, son of Kiwi mo­tor-sport leg­end, David Ox­ton, a racer who made his name com­pet­ing within var­i­ous forms of mo­tor sport, in­clud­ing a non-cham­pi­onship For­mula 1 race at Sil­ver­stone.

If this week­end was any­thing to go by, we are in for a clas­sic sum­mer of mo­tor sport, and, with upgrade works at Hamp­ton Downs pro­gress­ing at light­ning speed, we may even be rac­ing on the new, ex­tended lay­out by the end of the year.

I can’t wait!

As­sorted sports sedans fill the track Charg­ing along! Sin­gle-seater line-up BMW traf­fic jam … … leads to some heavy brak­ing

Sin­gle-seaters take to the track Tak­ing the che­quered flag Come, fly with this Camaro! David Ox­ton’s son, Richard, em­u­lat­ing the old man’s win­ning ways Mon dieu! Frenchies lead le pack

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