TACCOC Spring Clas­sic 2015

New Zealand Classic Car - - Pace With Grace - 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

On a spring-like day last month, the TACCOC ­Spring Clas­sic was held at Pukekohe Park Race­way. We were greeted with a mixed bag of rac­ing — the card for the event in­clud­ing Clas­sic Tri­als, His­toric For­mula Ford and For­mula Ju­nior, Alfa Tro­feo Se­ries, His­toric Mus­cle Cars and Sports Sa­loons, and the MG Se­ries. Each class was pro­vided with three races apiece.

The Rac­ing kicked off with the His­toric Mus­cle Cars and His­toric Sports Sa­loons. Two new cars to the field were Richard Malam’s 1965 Ford Mus­tang and Glenn Alling­ham’s 1970 Chevro­let Camaro. Rac­ing was close in all three races — es­pe­cially at the front, where Peter Steven­son’s Ford Mus­tang and Alling­ham’s Camaro were bat­tling it out. Alling­ham won the first two races while Steven­son won the third. How­ever, the slightly greasy track in the third race meant it could have been any­body’s for the tak­ing, with fish­tail­ing aplenty.

The His­toric For­mula Ford and For­mula Ju­nior rac­ers were for­tu­nate to en­joy a dry track in all three races, al­though this did not stop them from hav­ing the odd mishap. Swing-arm fail­ure on Peter Boel’s Lotus 51B at turn four in their first race brought out the safety car. With rac­ing re­sum­ing just two laps to the end, it was a dog­fight be­tween Keith Main­land’s Van Diemen and Ger­ald Dun­can’s Chee­tah, with Main­land win­ning by just 0.004 of a se­cond! He promptly went on to win the next two races in his For­mula Ford.

MGS have quite a fol­low­ing, and own­ers who wish to race have formed a small se­ries. The grid had 10 or so en­trants, and rac­ing proved very close at times. The rest of the pack were no match for clas­sic rac­ing reg­u­lar, Grant Kern — un­til he had to re­tire with a blown head gas­ket dur­ing the third MG race of the day. The over­all win­ners ‘tro­phy’ — a choco­late fish — was cut in half and awarded to Neville Thomp­son and Rus­sell Sykes.

The grid of 20 cars in the Alfa Tro­feo se­ries prob­a­bly cre­ated the most ac­tion. With con­di­tions treach­er­ous at times, it was no sur­prise that there was more than just the odd spin. The se­ries’ three races were

made up of two grid starts and one hand­i­cap start. The lat­ter meant that the fin­ish­ing or­der amongst cars from the var­i­ous Tro­feo classes was some­what com­pacted. John Nuthall, in an Alfa GT, ar­rived at the che­quered flag first, fol­lowed by Gary Langs­ford in an Alfa 75, with third place go­ing to Chris Browne in an Alfasud.

The fi­nal race of the day was the PPG Clas­sic Trial. For­tu­nately, the en­trants were gifted with a dry track af­ter run­ning their two pre­vi­ous races in damp con­di­tions. This had made it dif­fi­cult for the driv­ers to ob­tain any­thing close to their nom­i­nated times and, as a re­sult, times ranged from 1min 31s for win­ner Al­lan Horner up to 2min 45s for the last placed driver. Cham­pi­onship leader Paul Couper fin­ished this round — which is round two of the Clas­sic Trial Cham­pi­onship — in third place.

By the time Newzealand­clas­s­ic­car goes to print, most of the ladies and gen­tle­men will have just com­peted at the TACCOC Sum­mer Clas­sic in Hamp­ton Downs, round three of their re­spec­tive classes.

Mus­cle cars to the fore His­toric For­mula Fords MGS line-up for their own race Vin­tage MG racer Al­fis­simo - Alfa Romeo Tro­feo con­tenders take to the track Clas­sic tri­al­lists are led off by Paul Couper’s MX-5 Al­lan Horner’s Austin-healey Sprite

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