TACCOC Spring Classic 2015
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.